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 Hyperlot's Guide to Roleplaying: Newbie Edition

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Hyperlot

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Join date : 2015-03-24
Age : 24
Location : portland, or
Byond Key(s) : GrandmasterHype, Hyperlot, Lord_guan_yu,

PostSubject: Hyperlot's Guide to Roleplaying: Newbie Edition   Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:27 am

Hyperlot's Guide to Roleplaying: Newbie Edition

So kid, you wanna roleplay, do ya? Well, you've certainly come to the right place. I've been doing this twelve+ years (more than half my life at this point) across all types of mediums and genres! For the purposes of this guide, I'm going to assume you know absolutely nothing. That being said, we should probably  start with...







First, to save you some headaches in the game and in reading this guide, I'll outline some basic terms that get thrown around often:

RP: Roleplay

RPer: Roleplayer

OOC: Out of Character

IC: In Character

Keep those in the back of your mind, you'll see them crop up later.

So what is Roleplaying, exactly? Wikipedia has this to say about what a Roleplaying game is. "A role-playing game (RPG and sometimes roleplaying game) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making or character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines."

Yeah, kind of a mouthful isn't it? I would say that at it's core, Roleplaying is a form of collaborative storytelling. It's writers, and sometimes actors, coming together to each play a fictional character, bouncing off of one another to create a larger story.

Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Live another life, in a different time, place, or universe entirely? Roleplayers do this regularly, it's the nature of our craft. In essence, a Roleplayer crafts a character - a complete person, totally separate from themselves. This character will have their own beliefs, dreams, hopes, fears, flaws and foibles - and then, the Roleplayer will crawl into the skin of this character, and live in their world. Dungeon and Dragons players live lives as noble warriors, powerful mages and cunning rogues, cutting down monsters and stockpiling gold and powerful artifacts. Across countless internet forums, people create a character and live a life in the universes of their favorite anime, sci-fi, or movie universe. The possibilities are quite literally boundless, limited by only your imagination.

If this seems too vague, let me put it more bluntly: A Roleplayer creates a character. It can be a simple as a name and some basic personality attributes, or as deep as an entire life story behind the character, detailing their struggles as well as their triumphs. Then, the Roleplayer plays this character - making decisions and taking actions as the character would, although not necessarily as the Roleplayer themselves would. In this regard, a Roleplayer is a little bit of a writer and an actor - able to create interesting, vivid new people, and then step into their skin and behave believably as they do.

For the purposes of our little game, we're situated in an entirely original universe, rooted in Journey to the West - which, if you don't know, is a piece of very famous chinese folklore. I suggest you go ahead and Google it and least get a feel for the basics. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Welcome back! Now you should have a pretty decent image in your head: Stoic martial artists, powerful mystics and otherworldly creatures. Of course, our universe is only based off of Journey to the West. It's different in many ways, and you're free to Roleplay any manner of character you can imagine (Within reason), but having a general grasp of the type of universe you're building your character in always helps. So, what's next?


Building a character is as simple or in-depth a process as you want it to be. You can simply pick a race, background and persona type in the game's character creation process, and just Roleplay accordingly. Of course, Roleplaying is much like any other hobby - you get more out of it the more you put in. Consider researching the different races, reading each description. Read each background description, each persona description - what type of character do you want to be? Put as much detail in backstory and personality as you want, just know that you want to make a character you have have hours of fun being.

Try and avoid cliches if at all possible. Having a character with a super tragic background might feel really cool at first but eventually everyone will get tired of hearing about how totally deep and tortured you are. The same is true for being overly happy-go-lucky and carefree - remember, your character should resemble a real person. This means they should seem relatable. This means realistic strengths and weaknesses. Even if you want to play a villianous character, which I totally encourage you to do, he shouldn't be cartoonishly evil. Villain's dont' frequently identify as villians and unless your character is a total psychopath, probably wont take pleasure in causing pain and suffering just for the fun of it. Playing a heroic character? That's fine too, the same rules generally apply. Even if they try their best to be a hero, and take pride in it, they probably still have some character flaws. Maybe they're cowardly, too afraid to sacrifice their own life for others? Maybe they're still selfish, only helping others when it suits them? These choices are yours to make and can be some of the most rewarding. Play around with it, experiment, and find a balance that's right for your character.

So, you have a character, well rounded and ready to go. What's next?



Congratulations! You are now living the life a new person, in a whole new universe!

...So now what? This can be a difficult question to answer, mostly because it's entirely dependent on your character. Generally your character should have goals, and work towards those goals. You do this by, well: Roleplaying. In our game you have a Say verb, and a Roleplay verb. The Say verb allows your character to speak, and the Roleplay verb allows your character to perform actions. This is where you spend the bulk of your time on this game. When you do something with your character, anything, from pacing a room, throwing a punch at a bandit, or climbing a tree - you write out a description of what they're doing and post it with the Roleplay verb for your fellow Roleplayers to read and react to. You can react in kind to their reactions, and thus, ideally, you will collaboratively write a story together.

More basically, there are two main distinctions in the game to be aware of: OOC, and IC. OOC stands for Out Of Character, and it basically refers to you. What you as a person knows, or says, and it separate from IC - In Character. This distinction exists for an important reason: The things you know are not necessarily the same things your character knows, the things you think are not necessarily the same things your character thinks, and the things you say are not necessarily the same things your character would say. Take for example, our Ranks verb. Ranks are in-game positions of importance, such a planetary leader or great martial arts master, that a character can hold. Some are race restricted, so if you can see who holds what rank, you might be able to work out what race they are. However, that does not mean your character knows this, and your character shouldn't act is if they do. This is called metagaming, and its not only the sign of a weak RPer, but also against the rules. It breaks the immersion for everyone, because basically your character is psychically gaining knowledge they shouldn't realistically have access too.

Now lets talk IC. What your character does is generally up to you, but there are some conventions that help. Let's say your character was Luzix, a mighty Verdu warrior, and you were facing down the equally powerful Shimo Henko Lord - named Chillin. You might Roleplay something like this:

Luzix's eyes narrowed, his rage adopting a primal energy that he had never felt before. He didn't just want to beat Chillin, he wanted to break him. "Now I'll finish you!" His hands slammed together infront of him, the waters beneath him beginning to ripple and break as an intense swell of golden energy formed at his fingertips. "DRACHEN.... VIER!" His voice broke the sky, reverberating through the clouds like a chorus of furious angels, as the burst of Ki fired out of him like a cannon, barreling towards Chillin.

In this example, the character Luzix charges up an Ki attack (If you aren't familiar with what that is, you will be once you play enough JTTW:A, but just think of it like our version of magic for right now) and then fires it at Chillin. Included in the RP are some details about the enviroment, which add flavor and help people visualize what you are doing, some details about how the character is feeling to develop on your characters personality and help people relate to who he is and why he is doing what he is doing, and of course, the specifics of the attack you are launching. These are the marks of good Roleplaying, and good writing in general. Combat RP is pretty common in our game, and you might spend quite a lot of time doing it - Roleplaying punches, and kicks, and blocks, and flying around and all sort's of cool House of Flying Daggers kind of stuff. Basically, you should Roleplay any action you can. Keep in mind though that just because you don't use the Roleplay verb to describe and action, doesn't mean your character didn't do it. You don't have to Roleplay every step you take, but when you're walking, your character is walking and other characters can see and respond to it. So when to use the Roleplay verb and when not to use it? Simple: If it involves another character, such as an attack, always Roleplay it. You should probably go check out the Rules, located elsewhere on this forum or under "Rules" in game, for more specific info like this.

You can literally Roleplay anything and everything - farming for cabbages, conducting intensive scientific research, meditating on the truths of the universe - and your fellow Roleplayers can reply in kind. This is where the collaborative story telling element comes into play and is the meat of what we are here to do.



So, that's the basic run down. I might at some point make a more Advanced Guide, but you should for the time being make sure you read all the rules forward and back, give those Race Descriptions a good reading, and never hesitate to ask us in game for help. Seriously, I know I speak for a lot of us when I say we are always eager to help - some of us a little too eager! Now get out there, and have fun. See in you game!
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