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Roleplay
  • RP Guide
A Guide to Roleplaying
by Arangilas Bloodrage of The Knights Of Eriador.
A short introduction to the concept of roleplaying.

Greetings Everyone,
As not all of us have equal experience in roleplaying, I thought I would write the basics down as to help those less experienced. The guide is pretty basic in setup and is by no means a "rulebook" for RP. It's just pointers and advice for rookies in an easy to read setup.
These are also the founding pillars on how RP is done on Laurelin - our beloved Lotro Server :)

Hope you enjoy! Arangilas

Each member as well as anyone wishing to join or those wishing to interact with us is expected to respect this and be a RP’er (roleplayer) as well. In open chat only (“say”), RP will be responded to and respected, referred to as being IC (In-Character). OOC (Out-of-Character) chat is kept to all other aspects of communication which includes: tells, fellowship, kinship, raid, regional, advice and OOC channels.

• Step 1: Pick a good name
When engaging in RP, it's important to have a realistic name. "Rubberduck" or "pewpwnlazer" is not good names for RP. Depending on your race and class you will have plenty of options. Lord of the Rings Online even gives you a suggestion as to how you should name your character by providing the background lore for nameing at the character
creation screen.

• Step 2: Write a basic story for you Character
o Determine where you are from and what you have done in life up until the point you are now.

o Including "critical" NPC's such as, The Which King, Gandalf, Aragorn etc. is perhaps a bad idea. It's even worse if you pick a character that's actually "killable" in-game and include it in your characters background. Don't claim a kill IC'ly, at the most you can say the foe in question tug-tailed and ran after a hard fight (Like in Cartoons).

o A good thing to remember is the family tree, who were your ancestors? Where are they now? Being creative here is a very good idea. Don't go with the usual "familiy killed by big bad, now seeking vengeance" It's been done to death and it just doesn't add very much depth to your character.

o Find someplace in-game you could call "home". Be it a ruin or a small hole in the Shire. Use that location from in-game to describe what your characters childhood might have been like.

o Collect clothing/armor as you adventure through the world. Find something that suits your characters persona and background. The clothing can also be a part of your story, like a trademark for your character e.g.: "always wears a pink hat".

• Step 3: Talking IC (In-Character)
o When engaging with others in RP, it's just as much about what you don't say as it is about what you say. You don't have to be the one talking all the time, and every action does not have to involve you. Letting others participate and contribute to the RP is part of the fun.

o Do not shorten your words. Using "U", "R" and/or numbers to represent letters is a huge violation of the unwritten RP code. Speak as you would in real life, and write every word to the letter.

o Make sure what you say is relevant to your character or the conversation at hand, don't talk about off topic items out of no where.

o Remember, when you are In-Character you talk as if you were your character, you only know what your character would know.

Step 4: Start spontanious RP
o Engage in IC conversation whenever you can while adventuring, it adds extra fun to an adventure.

o Don't push for a response, the person in question will respond if they feel like it.

• Step 5: Attend all the RP events/meetings you can
o Associating with as many other RP'ers as possible is a certain way of increasing you RP abilities.

o Events provide a unique experience to any RP, most of this is spent in silence by you, but the stories that unfold before your eyes are better than most books you'll ever read.

• Step 6: Take a break when you need to
Too much of a good thing can lead to it getting boring. If you find yourself getting bored, go do something else for a few hours and then return. Sometimes it takes more than just a couple of hours away from RP if it has been especially intense, in that case don't attend events for a couple of days.

BIG "NO-NO's" of RP

- Do not metagame

“Metagaming” is using knowledge of IC things you have as a player, but which your character does not, in roleplaying. Essentially, it means mixing up IC and OOC, which should always remain separate. For example, a metagamer might read something about another character on an out-of-game forum, then have their character suddenly know this in-game too. Metagaming of any sort is strictly forbidden, and represents downright Bad Roleplaying.

- Do not poweremote

Also known as “God-moding”, this means dictating another character’s actions to them in any way, or not leaving room for them to respond to a situation. An example would be an emote such as “Frodo punches Sam in the face and knocks him out cold.” The correct way of doing this would be phrasing it as “Frodo throws a punch aimed at Sam’s face, trying to knock him out” or something similar which leaves room for the other player to react and respond how they choose.

- IC Actions Have IC Consequences

Characters do not roleplay in a vacuum, and your IC actions may have IC consequences. If you attack and rob somebody, you might expect them and their friends to come after you with a vendetta. You should always be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions, and if you are not, do not take the action in the first place – which means thinking before you leap. Do not use OOC excuses to avoid IC repercussions, and conversely, do not take IC action against somebody for something that was OOC (ie. Somebody annoyed you in an OOC chat channel, so your character treats theirs with disrespect and contempt IC’ly).

- Be Realistic

This applies at all levels of RP, and means staying true to the lore and limits of Middle-earth. You cannot roleplay a Ninja Vampire, or one of the Unnamed Wizards, or the heir of Elendil, etc. All members are expected to put some effort into researching the lore of The Lord of the Rings to know the world in which they are roleplaying. Realism also means not pulling off ridiculous, impossible, or superhuman feats or emotes in RP; your character cannot dodge a dozen arrows at once, not even if they’re Legolas on steroids.

- Resolving Fights

RP can often lead to situations of violent conflict, and our preferred way of resolving IC fights is with the built-in game mechanics of sparring; your character’s level is representative of their IC abilities and strength. Thus you should not expect to be accepted as an all-conquering warrior at level 10; do not act as such until you have the ability to back such roleplaying up in a real duel, and do not start fights unless you are willing to accept a spar invite if it is sent your way. That said, if your opponent has a good reason to prefer to use “Emote Fighting” instead, and you are amenable to this method, you should resolve the fight that way. You should especially trust fellow kinship members to use Emote Fighting responsibly, and allow them the benefit of the doubt to practice this method in a situation if they wish. If neither parties can agree, you should simply RP your way out of the situation somehow instead and walk away.

- Mature/Adult Content

As a mature group of players, we are not averse to accepting more “adult” and “darker” themes in our RP, such as graphic language, violence and sex. However, this should always be done in a sensitive manner with the “audience” at any given time kept in mind. Some types of RP should only be done behind closed doors or in kinship-only groups, and not before public groups of RP’ers which may comprise children or people who are easily offended. Be responsible in what you RP and how, and if you think it would get an “18” certificate in a film, then make sure your audience is of an appropriate age and willing to participate in it. On the other hand, by joining the kinship you are expected to possess a level of maturity, and should be prepared to encounter RP of such adult themes. If it is not to your tastes, then nobody is forcing you to be involved. Do not complain about it unless you feel it has been done in a particularly irresponsible way. Furthermore, if such RP is felt to be causing any OOC problems in the kinship, the leadership reserves the right to intervene.