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Posts with tag quirk

All the World's a Stage: The inside layer


This installment of All the World's a Stage continues the discussion about the layers of roleplaying, still taking a break from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions. Last week, we looked at how to interact with strangers in roleplaying environments, on "the surface layer."

So there you are -- you've got a character who is gregarious and gets into roleplaying groups relatively easily. Your character's way of interacting with others makes it easy for other people to recognize you as a roleplayer, and even encourages them to come out and roleplay with you, even if they're not that much into roleplaying themselves. You've followed some good advice about finding roleplayers -- maybe even joined an RP guild -- and you're meeting characters you think are interesting, and you really hope they think your character is interesting too.

But then something goes wrong and you feel that special RP feeling start slipping away. The people in your guild stop talking to you as much -- sometimes the whole guild atmosphere seems to go quiet and dull, and no matter what you say, nothing seems to get the actual spirit of roleplaying flowing again. You start to think maybe your interesting character quirks aren't all that good after all. You keep trying to think of new ones, but no matter how funny your accent or entertaining your antics, people just aren't getting into it like they used to.

The problem here isn't actually you -- it's an assumption that many roleplayers, even experienced ones, sometimes have when they are in new roleplaying situations. We take the burden of creating a roleplaying atmosphere too heavily upon ourselves, when actually what we need to do is not create the atmosphere, but nurture it. Questions are the key here -- if your character has a genuine interest in other people then he or she will be able to draw out the spirit of roleplaying in them, get them talking about themselves, and start having interesting interactions together.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: The surface layer


This installment of All the World's a Stage diverges from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions, in order to have a closer look at different layers of social interaction in roleplaying, and see in which ways you can tailor your character for each one.

So there you are -- you've got the coolest, funniest, most heartbreaking character idea on your whole RP server. You login, create your new masterpiece, and start leveling up... But as time goes by, you realize you have a problem. No one seems interested in you! You may be having trouble meeting people who actually roleplay on a roleplaying server, or the roleplayers you run into may not realize how truly awesome your character is. Let's say you even join an RP guild and try to impress your guildmates with your witty "/guild" chatter, only to discover that they're seem mildly interested at best.

What's a roleplaying genius to do? It would be tempting to think that you are not such a great roleplayer as you think, or that your character idea isn't as fantastic as you had hoped, but the truth might lie in something far less depressing: You may have created a character with true depth, yet lacking established friends to explore that depth with, your character has no way of showing it. Making such friends is never easy if you are too deep for them -- they expect some sort of interesting surface-level interaction first. Likewise, if a character is all silly gimmicks designed to entertain strangers, without anything deeper for potential close friends to enjoy, he or she may seem like an attention grabber, entertaining in the short term, but mostly shallow in the end. Choosing the right kind of surface-layer character traits to suit your personality and social needs is essential if you want to have a good experience in roleplaying.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: Ten Commandments of Roleplaying

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

WoW
Insider is not Mount Sinai, and I am certainly not the Burning Bush, but there is a need for a clear, concise list of "do's and don'ts" which new and experienced roleplayers can refer to in times of need. I therefore submit the following commandments as a guide and a reference to roleplayers throughout the World of Warcraft.

Obviously the list of essential rules I lay out here will be different from a list you might make, but hopefully the basic ideas remain the same. In addition, being as I am hardly a prophet of the Almighty, I reserve the right to edit these commandments over time as times change and new insights emerge.

1. Thou shalt not play God.

You only have control over the actions of your own character. When roleplaying with others, you must never ever use an emote or action which denies others the right to choose their own actions in response to yours. For example: "Moosis glares with white hot anger at Faro" is acceptable; "Moosis glares so intensely that Faro's face melts" is not. Whether or not two people's characters are fighting with each other, their act of roleplaying itself is essentially cooperative -- even in a battle of emotes, both players must work together to tell the story in an interesting way, neither one presuming what the other will do.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: Authentic class

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, suggestions, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

Sometimes it can be difficult make your character feel really authentic. Very likely, you work in an office in real life, for instance, and perhaps you daydream of burning up all your paperwork. You certainly don't cast hellfire and summon demons to wreak havoc upon the world, so naturally you have no personal understanding of how a warlock would really behave.

Of course it helps to do some research on the lore behind your class, but in fact even lore writers are only imagining. No one in the world has practical experience of what any of the Warcraft classes would be like. Even classes like priests and hunters are so heavily fantasized that there is a great difference between the class and its real-life namesake.

Imaginative extrapolation is the name of the game here, and as always when imagining things, it helps to try and root your character's class-based behavior around some tried-and-true character quirks, things that will make everyone who interacts with you feel compelled to say to themselves, "Wow! That's just the sort of thing a <insert your class here> would do!"
Read on for some practical quirks, with links to more resources on the characteristics each class would display.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: Something to remember me by


All the World's a Stage is a column for creative minds, playing with roles every Sunday evening.

The best characters in novels and movies often leap into your mind from the moment you first see them -- something they say or do sets them apart and captures your interest, and from that time on, you're hooked.

Likewise, when we roleplay, our characters should always have some memorable trait which can hook other people's interest. Too often, I see roleplayers focusing too much on dark secrets that they only reveal to their closest friends, and neglecting those mannerisms which could give everyone they meet an instant and profound impression of their character. Of course, if some people prefer to roleplay this way, that's fine. But to my mind, roleplaying is best when it avoids cliquishness, and the best roleplayers are those whose characters stay with you, even if you never see them again.

When I'm creating my own characters, I think of such memorable traits as "gimmicks," but that word usually has a negative connotation that doesn't apply in this case. For now, the best word I can think of is "quirk." It's an instantly recognizable pattern of behavior or speech that can let others know who your character is right away. Below you will find some of my favorite quirks I have seen people use in their roleplaying in WoW, each of them entertaining and inspiring it its own way.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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