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Posted (edited)

Lately, I've wanted to get into RP.

 

I've dabbled in the past, a few people I've met here and there that managed to build a compelling story with me. I loved those moments, they're some of the fondest memories I have of CoH. But that was on Live.

 

From an outsider perspective, getting into RP seems like an exclusive club. Like it's difficult to break through that initial barrier and get the most out of the RP experience. It seems, to me at least, that many RPers are one of two things: Team formers that dominate with an iron fist (meaning if you don't RP "correctly" or the way they want you to, they will immediately kick you off of a team and ban you from joining again) or are all powerful interdimensional beings, literal gods, or an unstoppable cosmic entity with zero weaknesses. These kind of people are not fun to be around.

 

Where are the people that RP classic heroes? The ones that have secret identities, dual-lives, a romantic interest, and an arch-enemy? The ones that are incredibly powerful, yes, but have a fatal flaw or weakness that challenges them on a daily basis? Or the powerless vigilante that's dedicated him/herself to protecting the little guy? Or the alien with nostalgia for their home planet?

 

Another question I have is wording. By this I mean, is it really necessary to add the extra descriptive actions? As an example:

 

"Mary Jane glanced at the warm cup of coffee in her hand and cracked a faint smile. 'I don't know, Spider-Man. You tell me.'"

 

Is the part in Italics necessary to effectively communicate with other RPers? I always assumed dialogue and the occasional emote was enough. Would regular RPers recommend I get comfortable with the descriptive actions I wrote above?

 

I suppose these questions seem more like complaints, but I'm genuinely curious. I want to know if I'm looking at RP wrong or if there are like-minded individuals out there.

 

Let me know.

 

Thanks.

Edited by Heroestoday1
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Typically the best place to find people that RP as classic superhero archetypes is in dedicated RP SGs. There's Pocket D as well of course but it can be a very mixed bag, so if there's a particular theme you're looking for with your RP you're probably better off finding a group with that same interest first. Don't be afraid to ask around on the forums or in LFG/Help/General chat in-game if there are any classic superhero themed RP SGs around that may be recruiting, and you should be able to find a group of people you click well with both in and out of character.

 

As for the extra descriptive stuff, that can vary. It comes down to just personal preference on your style of roleplay. My take on it for instance is that not every post or bit of dialogue needs some described action or emote to accompany it, but including these things can help convey things about a character's personality and emotions that the simple dialogue alone might not. If the words on their own get across everything you need them to, then there's nothing wrong with a purely dialogue post. But if there's something underlying it you want to convey (Is the character being sarcastic? Hesitant and afraid to say something? Seething with rage but trying to stay calm?) then subtle little touches through their emoted actions can add a lot.

 

But really the golden rule should be if you and the people you're roleplaying with are having fun, then you're doing it right.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Heroestoday1 said:

Where are the people that RP classic heroes?

 

https://discord.gg/KPnj4ZURuc

 

2 hours ago, Heroestoday1 said:

Another question I have is wording. By this I mean, is it really necessary to add the extra descriptive actions? As an example:

 

"Mary Jane glanced at the warm cup of coffee in her hand and cracked a faint smile. 'I don't know, Spider-Man. You tell me.'"

 

Is the part in Italics necessary to effectively communicate with other RPers? I always assumed dialogue and the occasional emote was enough. Would regular RPers recommend I get comfortable with the descriptive actions I wrote above?

 

Up to you.

 

But consider that A LOT of people who play this game are autistic, so the additional explanation of character motivation in the emote can aid understanding. (Especially in situations where dialogue is ambiguous/implicative.)

Edited by America's Angel
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30 minutes ago, Arctique said:

My take on it for instance is that not every post or bit of dialogue needs some described action or emote to accompany it, but including these things can help convey things about a character's personality and emotions that the simple dialogue alone might not.

 

I never thought about it like that. Thank you for the info.

 

15 minutes ago, America's Angel said:

But consider that A LOT of people who play this game are autistic, so the additional explanation of character motivation in the emote can aid understanding. (Especially in situations where dialogue is ambiguous/implicative.)

 

This helps. Thank you.

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The discord link, too, is a great place.  It's an active place with people well versed in the lore, RP styles, and such.   You'll have the neurotics at every extreme of the RP spectrum there, but generally you have people that want you to enjoy your experience and are more than willing to be patient as you "find your groove.    (  https://discord.gg/KPnj4ZURuc )

There's also a RP and an OOC chat channel that- although quite silent lately- does tend to have people on it.   Posting a greeting in OOC and stating your interest will occasionally spark some great encounters.    I use the RP channel itself less- it's envisioned as an in-character... kinda  a joint cross-dimension hero/villain tech-or-magic CB chatter channel.

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Posted (edited)

It's an SG thing for sure to find those multi-layered character strings.

 

Deeper plots require deeper connections, requires more time investment and connection with like-minded people. You're not going to find out a characters fatal flaw on Week 1 of meeting them, that might be a Supergroup plot in itself. Roleplayers that approach plot-themed Roleplay with the idea in mind being strong makes your char interesting could not be more wrong, character flaws make characters interesting, conflict of interest, temptation to cross lines of morality due to driving factors like vengeance or hate, dozens more driving factors not tied to outright strength, your character shapes itself when presented with difficult situations.

As for the emotes and description in Roleplay you are doing more than speaking, it's equally important to showcase body language or odd/quirky character traits. I play a sentient robot for example and when she moves servos and pistons ignite into life to give her those human-like movements, the tone of her voice is important, the texture or of her clothing or state of her chassis, if her chassis was dented, scratched perhaps she was recently in a fight? Every emote should be a hook you set out to fish and entice your fellow Roleplayer, raise questions to keep conversation above the stale stagnant level of "How are you?" you want to passively put across your character through not even talking at times. or describe things that are simply not accomplished in game with the costume creator, the only limiter here is your imagination, absorb that inspiration from things you enjoy, manifest it into a character and think about every tiny nuance that would make it interesting.

This is how you add layers to a character, layers that each lead off to interesting lines of conversation. Got a scar? How'd you get it? In a fight with an archvillain?

Why is your cape red with a black star? Perhaps it's a flag of some hidden civilization.

Your costume has a spatter of blood on it, your Hero might not be all they seem.


Think about these things when creating the character in the game world itself, it's like environmental storytelling in video games, telling a story without having to speak it due to placement of a few props.

 

 

 

Edited by Latex
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I'll admit to liking SG-based RP. Usually it means you have something you know is going to *be there* at a certain time, you can develop characters, you can keep a plotline going even outside the game, should you care to - it's great for long-term development.

 

The hard thing is *finding* the people to start with. Elsewhere, I was co-leading a fairly long lived RP group. It was *great* ... well, ok, it got to be kind of a job after a while, partly because I felt obligated to provide drivers, which was not the fault of others, really. I also got feedback after a while that new people felt like there was "too much" to catch up on. I never really found a good way to work around that, even as I tried to keep things welcoming.

 

You *can* do that through things like POcket D... but, eh, for me it just didn't really click. What you might try doing is advertising for some short-term, set plots (mostly as in "we're going from A to B and seeing what people do, for the next 2-3 months or until we finish") and see who's interested. It gives a set environment, definite duration, and brings in people you might not otherwise interact with. You can build up a nice little "rp phonebook" that way, even if it's not on those characters afterward, by finding people whose style clicks with yours.  (Basically, think of it like a task force writ large.)

 

As far as the emote thing... well, it's up to you just *how much* of it to do. Latex's idea of "hooks" is probably a good way to start. Or just think of the important bits that might show your character's state of mind at the moment.

 

 

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On 6/4/2021 at 12:14 PM, America's Angel said:

Up to you.

 

But consider that A LOT of people who play this game are autistic, so the additional explanation of character motivation in the emote can aid understanding. (Especially in situations where dialogue is ambiguous/implicative.)

 

To spool further off this point, I'm a roleplayer who writes exclusively in a literary style, always providing /em text about what my characters are doing between words, and to mark the intonation of their speech, because the English language is such a magnificent, sprawling toolset that it seems silly to me to deliberately leave vague that which could be easily clarified by a few lines of descriptive text.  Consider the following:
 

Quote

[HardLight}: Just what do you think you're doing?

 

Now, we can sometimes glean from context what the intonation of statements like these are.  In this case, let's say that HardLight has just caught his sidekick, Trespass, going through his office while he's away.  What is HardLight feeling when he says "Just what do you think you're doing?"  Presumably, he's not stating it neutrally.  There is an intent to his statement: he's questioning Trespass.  If I'm Trespass' player, though, I don't have a lot of room to build on that in a way that plays off HardLight as a character.

 

Now, let's add some emote text:

 

Quote

 

HardLight's leather loafer clacks back onto the tile as he catches Trespass going through his papers.  He just stares for a moment, his mouth hanging open, unable to muster an articulate response.

[HardLight}: Just what do you think you're doing?

 

 

In this example, HardLight is shocked.  He's either confused or betrayed that he'd catch his sidekick going through his things without his permission, and likely both.  This lets Trespass' player know that he's not about to do anything so drastic as escalate to violence immediately, but he's shocked, and he'll need to be mollified or become an imposition.

 

Next, let's try on:
 

Quote

 

HardLight steps down, heavy, on the office floor, his shoulders braced to either side.  The material of his gloves stretches taut over his knuckles as he balls his fists, his voice a low rumble.

[HardLight}: Just what do you think you're doing?

 

 

Danger!  In this version, HardLight may still be feeling betrayed, but he suspects sabotage, subterfuge, or some other enemy action.  He's not shocked, he's angry, and that same line, "Just what do you think you're doing," suggests that Trespass is about to be punished for her transgression.  The tone is vastly tenser and more immediate.

 

Alternatively, we could go with:

 

Quote

 

HardLight keeps pace into the office at a stroll, making no effort to hide his entrance.  He walks blithely past Trespass, stalking around her in a little circle before tilting his head at her.  He coos, body languid with potential energy like a housecat stalking a bird,

[HardLight}: Just what do you think you're doing?

 

 

This is an entirely different scene from the first two, with identical dialogue.  In this, HardLight has parsed what Trespass is doing as some kind of game.  Being compared to a predator here also conveys, additionally, that he feels that he has the advantage in whatever this game is, and isn't threatened by Trespass' interference.  On the contrary, he welcomes it.

 

Now, if we return to,

 

Quote

[HardLight}: Just what do you think you're doing?

 

- that gives Trespass way less of a picture of what's going on, and way less to work with when she's crafting her own response.  Worse, it may give her the wrong impression and our respective visions on the tone of the scene will fall apart, because I wanted to convey option 3) - that HardLight is playfully teasing Trespass for stealing from him - and instead she reads option 2) into that, and starts going:

 

Quote

[HardLight}: Just what do you think you're doing?

[Trespass]: Oh no!  Please, this isn't what it looks like, please just forget this happened, please please please!

[HardLight]: ((Oh, he was like... joking?))

 

Being descriptive gets us on the same page and helps us avoid that, and it paints a richer portrait of what the character is like - how they express, what they sound like, what the values they wear on their sleeve are - to boot.

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Just dropping by to say thank you @TwoDee that does clear a few things up.

giphy.gif

I was going to post something of the like myself since I write as a hobby but am venturing into literary profession as a passion.

A lot of my posts, reactions and responses will include expressions, sometimes visible thought processing in facial reactions as well as posture changes because the body language is just as important as what is heard and spoken.

I tend to be very much an immersive roleplayer, so how I respond and react to events happening around me, is pretty vital to how my characters are portrayed. I hope this helps the OP.

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I'm going to try out RPing once I have downloaded this game this week. How does it work? When you chat with people online inside the game, you are supposed to only say in-character things right? You can't "stray" from the path of the RP conversation by saying out-of-character things like "I haven't decided on what type of my background history my character should have" or "I need to turn off my PC now" right?

Edited by Palehood
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You can, if you indicate them with [[OOC brackets]]. You shouldn't do it too much, obviously; follow your group's lead to know how much is all right.

 

Also, having at least a general idea of your character's background before you start can be helpful.

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7 minutes ago, Palehood said:

I'm going to try out RPing once I have downloaded this game this week. How does it work? When you chat with people, you are supposed to only say in-character things right? You can't "stray" from the path of the RP conversation by saying out-of-character things like "I haven't decided on what type of my background history my character should have" or "I need to turn off my PC now" right?

It depends entirely on your preference. There's story style, immersive, and light/heavy roleplaying. Light tends to be more new roleplayer friendly. Myself, out of habit, I tend to keep my out of character remarks out of quotations and use <bracket> so there's no confusion when I'm in character, and when I'm out of character. The most vital thing is to remember to have consideration and respect for other players. You can stray from RP conversations to speak in out of character if you want to, but most people tend to be pretty friendly and willing to help you along the way if your very fresh to this style of gaming socially.

Edited by CrystalDragon
corrections, moving on. :P

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On 7/19/2021 at 2:15 PM, Palehood said:

I'm going to try out RPing once I have downloaded this game this week. How does it work? When you chat with people online inside the game, you are supposed to only say in-character things right? You can't "stray" from the path of the RP conversation by saying out-of-character things like "I haven't decided on what type of my background history my character should have" or "I need to turn off my PC now" right?

 

Saying OOC (Out Of Character) things like "I need to turn off my PC now" is fine! Real life always takes precedence over a scene, and if the people you're with are cool then they'll likely understand.

 

However, keeping up with the immersion of a scene, especially ones that might be more emotionally intense, can also be important. It can feel very awkward if John Doe professes his love to Susie Sue, only for Susie to respond with "((oops, gtg!))" before logging off into the ether. John Doe is sort of left hanging, in-character, because the love of his life just evaporated in front of him. 

 

So I might suggest some alternatives for your two examples!

 

Quote

"I haven't decided on what type of my background history my character should have"

 

Instead of responding to a question about your background that you haven't figured out yet, just be vague! Everybody loves a mysterious character. Entice people! There's nothing wrong with hanging a curtain over an unfinished backstory, all anyone else will see is the curtain, and you can figure out what's underneath at your leisure. Besides, when's the last time you strolled up to someone at a bar and expected to learn their whole life's story in one sitting?

 

Quote

 

"I need to turn off my PC now"

 

 

This is a tricky one, and I would say letting people know OOC, then also resolving the scene smoothly IC is the ideal way to go. How I often do it is I whisper the person if it's a 1-on-1 scene, or I just say in OOC brackets for group scenes, then write something to explain my character leaving.

 

For example:

Susie Sue: ((gonna go to bed guys! see you later!))

Susie Sue stretches and stands, shrugging her jacket back onto her shoulders. "Well, anyway, I'm heading out."

 

If, for whatever reason, I need to leave much faster than that, I might simply say something OOC, thank people for the RP, and leave right away, but I wouldn't recommend making that a habit if you can help it.

 

The most important advice you should keep in mind when it comes to RP is that you will always feel incredibly awkward when you first start out! You might find yourself standing around, too shy to talk to people while everyone else seems already wrapped up in their own social groups. That's totally normal! I've been RPing for over 12 years and I still find myself in that situation if I'm on my own surrounded by strangers.

 

The best thing you can do is just put yourself out there, be kind, be willing to learn, and focus on having fun and sharing cool stories with others. Look for people who respect your time, value your contributions, and engage in the style of RP that you enjoy. Join an RP SG and attend an event or two, see how you like it! I hope you have fun! ^^

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I RP classic heroes who sometimes have secret identities and sometimes dont. a secret identity isn't required. it's just important to understand that without one, life tends to get even more crazy for the character in question, usually a hero will attempt to have a secret identity at first, just for the sake of making things easier on themselves and any loved ones.

 

Sometimes it doesn't work out in which case they drop the attempt and make do with the best they got.

 

Also good RPers will often be able to good naturedly (and with discussion with the parties in question) turn an unexpected break in etiquette or protocol into a story oppurtunity.

 

Internet problems making characters blink in and out of reality? OH NO EVIL TIME TRAVELLERS!

 

huge lag making rubberbanding and moving around near impossible? "SOMEONE BROKE SPESS TIME CONTINUUM!"

Edited by ZeeHero
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I don't know if anyone else uses this parlance, but to build off of what @teamtr said:
I've long championed the term "Natural Stopping Point" in regard to a place in a roleplay narrative that is ideal for calling things to a close in such a way as to not disrupt the overall narrative.  Like the end of a chapter in a book, or the break before commercial in a slow-paced television show.  Doesn't need to have a cliffhanger, but those can help if you want to pick things up again later.

 

The term has also allowed for a bit of shorthand along the lines of "this seems like a good natural stopping point," or "do you think we can get to a natural stopping point in the next half hour?"

And the best thing about it; I've very rarely ever had to explain what it was to another roleplayer.  The language is preloaded to be self-explanatory in most situations.

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You definitely don't have to write books when RPing! We have emotes and you should liberally use them, but they don't always cover everything in the way you want to convey it so its entirely up to you how much context you want to add. Some people are more comfortable with more descriptive, some people don't type fast so they go with briefer emotes, it's just a way for you to show how a character acts without them speaking, if they are timid or grumpy or curious, etc.

 

I will say secret identities are very, very hard to do without first finding a group to click with, and committing to finding a way for your character to slip up so that their teammates find out their identity.  It just isn't very doable from an organic standpoint because there isn't a lot of opportunity in play where 'normal civilians' are an expected part of the RP so accidently finding out they are a hero doesn't really work.

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23 hours ago, teamtr said:

The most important advice you should keep in mind when it comes to RP is that you will always feel incredibly awkward when you first start out!

 

Turn your initial awkwardness into an asset by RPing an awkward character!

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1 hour ago, Tiger Shadow said:

 

Turn your initial awkwardness into an asset by RPing an awkward character!

 

Although you should be mindful that that may backfire, making you a perpetual piece of scenery rather than an active participant in the group. (Says the person who plays Artemian. The quietest, most socially skittish guy in the entire history of shy player characters. 😝 )

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31 minutes ago, Coyotedancer said:

 

Although you should be mindful that that may backfire, making you a perpetual piece of scenery rather than an active participant in the group. (Says the person who plays Artemian. The quietest, most socially skittish guy in the entire history of shy player characters. 😝 )

How do you deal with that in RP? I've got a character who could stand to make some friends, but doesn't like bars or new people 😕

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30 minutes ago, Magairlín said:

How do you deal with that in RP? I've got a character who could stand to make some friends, but doesn't like bars or new people 😕

Well, I got a few skittish characters that have trouble meeting new people and making friends in bars and big gathering hotspots. She mainly meets people on the fly/in the wild more than she does anywhere else. It can be hard at first, but striking up conversation during a mission with group mates can be like striking gold.

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5 hours ago, Magairlín said:

How do you deal with that in RP? I've got a character who could stand to make some friends, but doesn't like bars or new people 😕

 

Honestly? I didn't. After about a year of off and on attempts with various characters, I finally admitted the obvious... That that sort of public roleplaying just wasn't meant for me... and I've stuck to casual RP mission teams ever since.

 

*THAT* has been great fun. Even with a character as socially out of his depth as Arte. 👍

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