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CyberCommando's Avatar

01.06.2012 , 12:56 PM | #1
Roleplaying in Cantinas is one of the most popular forms of RP and by far one of the easiest to 'jump into'. However, for this reason it can be one of the most frustrating ones for RPers, both experienced and inexperienced. I have humbly prepared the following document to present my own opinions, experiences and advices from my 6+ years of RolePlaying in MMOs and taverns. Hope you enjoy!

Cantina RP

"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"

Introduction to Cantina RP

Cantinas(and Taverns) have a unique appeal in RolePlay that no other setting can really hope to compete with. They are a den of socialization, attracting people from all walks of life, and bringing them together under one collective roof, leading to all sorts of interesting interactions. They have been a staple of Star Wars since 'A New Hope' and a staple of the RolePlaying Community since the first pen and paper RPGs. They serve a variety of purposes, from a place to relax and enjoy your characters humble interactions, to a staging place for adventures, and in depth story lines.

Cantinas in SWTOR

Almost every planet in SWTOR has some sort of Cantina, if not multiple. They serve a purpose in the game as social hubs, in which players can acquire 'social gear', and for RP they are often utilized by players for similar reasons. Each Cantina is different in some way, for example a Cantina on Coruscant and a Cantina on Nar Shadaa may be structured similarly, but the clientele and the ambiance will be exceptionally different.

The following are some of the Cantina's which seem to have become hotspots for RP in SWTOR. If you have any more information about them, or any Cantina which I have not mentioned, please post it in the comments and I will add it to the guide and credit it to you.Keep in mind that I play Republic, and have not yet gotten a chance to experience the Cantinas on Dromund Kaas.

  • Fleet Cantina(Republic/Sith Fleet)- The 'typical' Cantina, located in the middle of the Republic and Sith fleets, it provides a place for a character to get a quick drink, but does not feature the ambiance which other cantinas provide.
  • The Dealers Den(Coruscant) - This cantina is located in the Galactic Market District of Coruscant, and is accessible to everyone above level 10. It features dancers, holovids, and a large dance floor. While somewhat shadier than the Cantina on the fleet, it is still a bit more clean than Silent Sun.
  • The Silent Sun(Coruscant-Black Sun District) - This Cantina is located in the depths of the Black Sun district, so you will have to fight your way past a few mobs to get there. It is a bit more of an exclusive club perhaps, as it has a bouncer guarding the door, but it it certainly seedier, with a back room for shady deals.
  • Coruscant Trade Cantina(Coruscant-Senate Landing Pad Area)- A more average cantina than some of the other exciting locales.
  • Slippery Slope(Nar Shadaa - Promenade) - One of the few 'neutral' cantinas, this has become a hotspot for cross faction RP, and SWTOR-RP guilds on Lord Adraas have renamed this cantina Yucola Tonka.
  • Nexus Room(Dromund Kaas) - A bit like 'vader's toy room', this Cantina is a place for Empire characters to meet up and RP

Determining your place in a Cantina

Standing next to a large alien and attempting to imitate his accent might not be a good idea for your characters health, but it could lead to some interesting RP! That is, when he RPs picking your flesh out of his teeth

In order to 'get the most out of' Cantina RP, it is essential that you determine an in character reason for being at the cantina, and determine your 'niche' in the cantina. I remember in WoW that there were huge amounts of people who would go to the tavern 'looking for RP' and be unable to find satisfactory RP due to the fact that they approached the situations in ways that weren't conducive to finding/generating RP, despite being creative and talented RPers themselves.

Therefore, here are a few questions to help you determine your 'place' in the Cantina.
  • Reason for being in a cantina- Why is your character in a cantina? Is it simply to drink, and enjoy the music/entertainment? Is it in order to escape the troubles of his/her job? Are you meeting a connection for a shady business deal? Are you hoping to pick up an attractive member of the opposite gender? Are you spoiling for a fight? Are you there to dance? If your a force user, who doesn't often go to cantinas, why are you in one at this point?
  • Reasons for being in this particular cantina - Is this the cantina your character typically frequents? Are you meeting someone who requested this particular venue? Does this cantina offer any special attraction that would bring you to it? Do you typically hang out in the neighborhood? Does this cantinas clientele suit your liking? Is this cantina famous for some sort of food or drink?
  • Placement - [i]Where in the room do you instinctively go? Are you standing/sitting in a place that your character naturally would sit, or has something changed?(Remember there are no set rules on this, characters are dynamic, but just thinking about your placement can give you a better sense of your character) Do you move around a lot?[i]
  • Activity -[i]What activities is your character drawn to in a cantina? Does he/she prefer to converse with other patrons actively, or would they be more suited to to sit in a corner booth with a couple friends? Does your character fiddle with the jukebox excessively? Or are you one of the strong silent types who sits at the end of the bar, and /e's something about your drink?

    Your place as the player in Cantina RP

    "I came to dance, dance!
    Just as it is important to figure out what your character is doing in the cantina, it is helpful to know why you, the player have stationed your in game avatar in a cantina, and what you are looking for in terms of RP in the cantina. For some people, they may be simply placing there characters in a cantina in hopes that they will end up part of some sort of in character discussion or RP, for others they may be seeking to make new RP acquaintances, for some they may be seeking someone for there character to spend an extended period of time horizontal with, and some may be seeking and adventure or a more indepth storyline.

    The following are some potential reasons which a player may be in a cantina RPing.
    • Casual RP Conversations- Most RPers, even those who RP heavily with very specific groups of people, like to get their 'RP fix' occasionally, and RPing in a cantina can give them that opportunity to simply talk to other characters, learn about them, and develop their characters habits/mannerisms, in a relatively safe environment. Often times people will do this while working on crew skills or waiting in a WarZone queue.
    • Looking for RP Partners- Often times, people come to Cantinas looking to meet new people to RP with, and develop relationships, both positive and negative with other characters. They enter a cantina oocly hoping that they will emerge with new friends or enemies, that will add something to their RP storyline.
    • Looking for ERP- Like it or not, it is a part of most MMOs, as it provides a certain deal of fantasy escapism, and some people are naturally in Cantinas, simply looking for another character to role play erotically with.
    • Looking for an in character fight- Often times, people who RP more aggressive characters will take them into cantinas looking to pick fights. While this can lead to some interesting RP, it can also lead to to OOC drama, and I would personally recommend avoiding RP fighting as much as possible.
    • Waiting for a friend/acquaintance- Fairly self-explanatory, cantinas provide an opportune place for people to meet subtly, and someone who may be icly somewhat dismissive of your attempts to RP may be specifically waiting on someone.
    • Looking for Adventure/Storyline- This is typically my reason for going into cantinas. I like to approach RP in a cantina as a way to start out, continue, or extend a storyline, doing RP guild recruitment there, or icly making connections with people.

    Attracting/Generating RP in a Cantina Setting

    "He doesn't like you... I don't like you either...We're wanted for the death penalty on 12 systems... OW! GODMODDER! WTH! Lightsabers are OP!"

    There are a few different ways to go about instigating RP in a cantina, and no way is necessarily better than any other, and determining what method you utilize for this can correspond directly with what you determined in the above section 'Determining Your Place in A Cantina'. However, in instigating RP, one should be both prepared to face rejection from other players(and not take it personally), and to end the RP encounter in a civil way if there appears to be an OOC issue(they don't RP, they are RPing in a way that you feel is innapropriate(IE: hitting on OOCly, making crude sexual jokes), they randomly jump up on top of the table and start stripping, etc)

    Erk-Mor : Erk(a human) walks casually up to the Zabrak sitting fiddling with the juke box, and stands behind him, tapping his foot, waiting for his turn to choose the next song. After waiting a few moments, he reaches forward and taps the man on the shoulder "Hey, couldya hurry up?"
    Orik(the Zabrak): LOL, u c@n just w@lk past & use at the s@me time
    Erk-More: Erk smiles, uses the machine and walks away.

    In instigating RP in a cantina, I have found that there are 3 different main approaches:
    • The Intentional Approach - The 'Intentional Approach' includes any method in which you would approach a character, with a distinct purpose, beginning a conversation with them, directly attempting to initiate some form of RP with them. This is the most straight forward form of instigating RP, and for many it is the simplest and most effective, as it theoretically merits a response. Some examples of this approach include
      • The Pickup Artist- Attempting to flirt with another character and buy him/her a drink, get his/her com number, or dance with him/her is an effective way to instigate at least an RP response, but it is also more likely to get you mistaken for someone who is simply seeking ERP. If the person RPs back with you, even if they are rejecting your character, it is a way to develop some sort of relationship with that character.
        Example: Pickup Artist(Done Right): A male trooper walks across the bar to a female, asking to buy her a drink. She blushes and says 'I don't think that is a good idea' (this initiates RP about 'why that isn't a good idea' and the characters build some sort of repor)
        Example: Pickup Artist(Done Wrong): A female Sith walks up to a female Agent. She grabs her by the hips and pulls her close "We make love, else I force choke you!"
      • The Instigator- Insulting another character is, like attempting to flirt with another character, dangerous territory, and should only be done if its something your character would do ICly, and you are competent enough as a RPer to prevent it from coming across as an OOC insult. Simply randomly insulting characters is not effective, and will make people believe that you are a troll, so it is imperative that you be careful, and only have your character say insulting remarks when the situation warrants it. Also, remember, cantinas are a place of scum and villainy, so its likely that the Zabrak your insulting is more than willing to pull a holdout pistol on you.
        Example: Instigator(Done Right) - A Jedi Knight walks into the cantina, pushing past a smuggler. The smuggler turns and growls at him "Damn force wizards, think you can do whatever you want don't you?" The Jedi Knight turns and looks at him, and replies (and a good RP scenario begins)
        Example: Instigator(Done Wrong) - A bounty hunter walks around the room, randomly pointing at people. "Your mother was a nerf." upon receiving no response he utters similar insults to other people in the room. When they get up, preparing to kick his pugnacious behind, he claims that they are 'taking it ooc' and runs off.
      • The Salesman- This can be a fun alternative to the above options, by having your character approach others attempting to sell them some sort of product or service. Whether or not they buy your product, it can foster some interesting RP.
      • The Recruiter- Guild or group recruitment can be effective in general chat, but the characters that are recruited to an organization via personal RP tend to be both far more capable and more far more interested in the plotline. Also, even if they reject the recruiters offer, both have something else to RP about.
      • The Friendly Stranger- Sometimes its just as simple to have your character just approach and say 'hello' to a stranger, and start a conversation, but many people find that this method does not correspond well with the character they are trying to develop.
    • The Accident- On other, somewhat 'active' way to engage other characters into RP is by doing something that would accidentally involve them in your characters actions, or involve you in theirs. Some examples of instigating RP via 'accidents' are:
      • Alcohol Induced- Maybe your smuggler can't hold his liquor, and accidentally trips and spills a drink all over a bunch of higher class Jedi Consulars. BOOM! Instant RP situation.
      • Clumsy- Perhaps your young character hasn't completely learned how to handle her body, and accidentally bumps into a huge gruff trooper. BOOM! Instant RP situation
      • Curious- Inquisitive characters can lead to RP situations, sometimes simply looking at a character funny can instigate RP, as can attempting to look over their shoulders or asking them a question.
      • Ignorance-Just randomly asking a character if they know where the restroom is can lead to some interesting RP on both your sides. Especially since there are no bathrooms to my knowledge in SWTOR!
    • The Active Passive- One of the hardest ways to RP in a Cantina is to roleplay what I call the 'Active-Passive'. That is, to roleplay as your character would, without specifically instigating RP with someone in specific. This can be difficult for many RPers, as it requires both patience and a bit of work, but when it pays off it can lead to some extremely interesting RP. Some examples of 'Active Passive' RPing are:
      • Body Language: RPing your characters body language, and the signals which he/she may be giving off can be an effective tool for attracting the sort of RP which you may be interested in. However, it does require a certain degree of skill, as many of us are not acutely aware of the actions that we typically do subconsciously.
        Example: Body Language(Done Right): The Twi'lek reached forward to grab the drink, her posterior sticking out slightly as she took her drink, before resting herself delicately onto the bar stool and eying the room.
        Example: Body Language(Done Poorly): Erk scratches his butt.
      • Dancing: Dancing can be a mixed bag, as a lot of people see it as an OOC action, but theoretically it should be very much in character in a cantina. If one describes exactly how he/she is dancing, they are far more likely to attract others to RP with them than they would be if they just typed /dance.
      • Musician/Artist/Actor: If a character describes what he or she is doing and it is interesting, they are far more likely to attract RP than someone who says nothing, but this approach may require multiple posts, as in order to convey the idea of practicing/performing some sort of art, multiple posts may be required.
      • Standup Comedian: This is really hard. If you can do it, you will be loved. If you aren't any good at it... well, that could be an interesting RP story too.
      • The Patron: Roleplaying as someone watching the dancers/listening to the music is a fairly generic, but nonetheless effective way to open your character up to RP.
      • The Brooding Stranger in the Corner: This is really cool! Which is what everyone thinks, until they realize that 'brooding in the corner' isn't really conducive to RP if everyone is doing it. If you think your character would be doing this, and you can do it effectively, feel free to try it.

Dealing with Griefers

Meesa think ARR PEE is Bantha Poodo!

As Cantinas are widely accepted to be the 'hubs' of RP, it is unfortunate that they often times also attract griefers, who seek to to get their s***s and giggles by making life difficult for RPers. Fortunately, we have this amazing tool call /ignore. I would widely recommend people use that, as opposed to attempting to argue with them, since that is the reaction most of them are looking for.

Closing Time: Concluding Your RP in the Cantina

That's it, I'm taking my wookiee, and I'm never coming to one of these things again!

No matter how much fun you have in any given cantina RP, there comes a time when your character will have to leave, either because of OOC reasons, or because it simply makes sense to leave the cantina. Some reasons for leaving the cantina may include: going off with a friend you met at the cantina, leaving to 'get some rest', going to catch a starship, and more.

However, just because your character is leaving the cantina isn't necessarily a good reason to break character, and if you have a bit more time, you can turn this into a golden opportunity for some RP. For example, is your character the type who tips the bar tender? Or do you slip out unnoticed, not even paying for your meal?

Additional Notes from Comments
Quote: Originally Posted by Soultranna View Post
One other thing about cantina RP: "Racial Tension" (On Empire worlds this is fairly common.)

Pureblood and humans act haughty and pushy, whilst other species get treated like slaves, and/or bullied (Chiss may be accorded some level of respect, but Twi-Lek will hardly ever be). This is part of the SWTOR canon! so be ready for it, and if you're comfy playing a forced submissive role, have fun with it. That said, players of Sith and Human characters really SHOULD try not to bully or godmode their way around. No one 'wins' with RP god-mode turned on.

I hope you have enjoyed this guide, if you have any suggestions for me, please post them in the comments section