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How to assemble a character history for your roleplaying character

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Last week, we talked about roleplaying descriptions for characters and what should be considered a descriptor for your character. Along the way, I also mentioned that a lot of people make the common assumption that a character's history should be a part of their description as well. After all, part of what makes up a person is everything that's happened to them, right? Sure! But not when we're using roleplaying addons that have a clearly defined spot for character history.

And that clarification is important, because there are still roleplay addons out there that don't have a character history tab at all. Does this mean you should type up your character's history as part of your description? Absolutely not. Descriptions are for descriptions, and history is for history. If your roleplay addon doesn't allow for a character history tab but you're really gung-ho about writing up that history for everyone to read, I'd suggest finding a roleplay addon that has a spot for all that backstory you're dying to tell.

Except for one thing -- you don't want to tell everyone everything.

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: Wearing the right mask

One of the most common difficulties many roleplayers face is that of finding other people to roleplay with. To help overcome this challenge, All the World's a Stage presents a guide to finding roleplayers in three parts: "finding the right realm" for roleplaying, "joining the right circle" of roleplaying friends, and "wearing the right mask" to attract other roleplayers to you.

Your face is the first thing people notice about you when you go out into the world. Quite rightly, most of us put a lot of effort into making our faces look clean, healthy, and happy much of the time. Some people even go so far as to think of their faces as masks which they can use to alternately hide or reveal their true feelings to the world as each situation requires.

When you roleplay, your character is the mask you wear in a world where your real face doesn't matter at all - it defines who you are within this fantasy world and it determines how others will react to you as one of its denizens. Likewise, it deserves its proper amount of attention, like the care you give your outward appearance for your real life interactions. The method of caring for it is different of course, but the spirit and intention is the same.

Roleplayers have certain conventions you can use to quickly identify yourself as one interested in interacting with them. But more important than these is your attitude: just as the way you stand, smile, or keep yourself clean are all more important than the actual look of your face in real life; so, in roleplaying, a humble manner, a friendly approach, and a confident integrity are all essentials, whereas things like race, class, funny quirks and accents are all merely supporting elements.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Add-Ons, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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