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Oggthebase
11.13.2012 , 03:22 AM | #3
happysister answered your first three questions I'll take a shot at your fourth:

- roleplay is like when as a kid you played cowboys & indians (or as a girl you played the mommy with your dolls / the princess in her castle). As a grown up, it would be similar to "acting" in a theater play, except that you invent the script as you play, and the set is the game environment.

For example let's say you're playing a jedi knight called Jen-Taigonn.
In order to flesh out your jedi knight, you'll imagine his past and his motivations. You can also describe him and give him idiosyncrasies ("Jen-Garon is 6 feet tall, slender and agile, walks with a catlike grace. He has a habit of scratching his head when in deep thoughts")

While playing the game, you'll imagine how, based on his past and psychology, he'll react to what's happening around him.

At the most basic level, roleplay is "Jen-Taigonn is a good guy so I'll always pick the nice answers in the dialogue".
A more advanced approach would be to imagine an explanation as to why he does it. "Jen-Taigonn will help that poor fellow because he cares deeply for others, as he was heavily influenced by his old nurse who brought him up after his parents died in the space cruise accident of Bemral IV".

Of course, you can only go so far while making stories in your head and being constrained by the game missions. Where roleplay takes on a whole new dimension is when you roleplay with other people, each person playing a role.
"Does Jen-Taigonn take an instant dislike of that smuggler who seems to lie every other sentence? What does he think about that pretty corporal who seems interested in him?"

Some RP guild will offer a background, or a theme (there are RP guilds that are structured like a military unit), organise events with a loose scenario that players will improvise on. Search them on your servers and try to join one.

The most important difference with the "cowboys and indians" of your youth is that there is no "I am the cowboy and I win". What would be the point of having three Jedi Knights meeting each other, each being "the strongest Force user EVER"?
Roleplaying with others is to write a story together.