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Looking for input into a RP examples and advice thread for new players

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Roleplaying
Looking for input into a RP examples and advice thread for new players

Scorpienne's Avatar

04.26.2012 , 08:52 AM | #1

I'm crafting a RP examples and advice for new players post. I was hoping to get some community input from the group mind.

Please comment if you have something constructive.

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New folks (and plenty of old folks) might wonder how "that RP thing" works in TOR. I just wanted to provide you with some example and some advice to familiarize you with what kind of things are possible, so you may consider playing on an RP server.

In its most simple definition, RP is when you use the /say and /me emotes to have your character do things that he or she is likely to do.

Let's say I have a character named Vetala.

If I type /say Those sith look like they are about to start a fight.
Players of characters of both factions that have characters physically near Vetala see this in their chat box.
Vetala says: "Those sith look like they are about to start a fight."

If I type /me edges quietly away before a fight breaks out.
Players of characters of both factions that have characters physically near Vetala see this in their chat box.
Vetala edges quietly away before a fight breaks out.

Using /say and /me you can type out what your character says and does. Add a bunch more people and you might get... (examples actually seen on my server):
  • A group of troopers (one guild) planning a tactical strike on a group of bounty hunters (another guild) on Hoth. This is done through /say and /me to describe what the characters are doing, and then the Guild Leaders might agree to have everyone go to Hoth at a certain day and time and flag themselves for PvP so they can play out the raid.
  • A bunch of people hanging out "in character" in one of the cantinas. Their characters might complain about how much repairs cost, buy each other drinks, or express appreciation for the music. A lot of this is done through /say and /me and transferring drinks bought from the bartender to other players.
  • A big speeder bike race ( where people are standing in the crowd placing bets or cheering on the racers. Also a lot of /say and /me occurs describing what people's characters are saying and doing. The players might actually trade credits back and forth depending on the outcome of the race.
  • A Sith Apprentice calling out her master for a duel in the main square in Kaas City to prove she's ready to take on a higher title. The apprentice would use /say or even /yell to challenge her master, she would initiate a duel and he'd accept, and then after the fight, they would have another conversation with /say to discuss what happened. The players might have agreed that the apprentice's player won't set her in-game title to anything other than apprentice until and unless she does well in the duel.
  • A group of jedi mourning a fallen comrade as they bury him on Tython (in real life, the player left the game and deleted the character, so in a sense, he really is dead). The characters might all go to the falls, talk about the person who died, and talk through a funeral service.
  • A bunch of IAs doing the Tatooine Heroic 4+ "Call Down the Thunder" and RP going on a mission to mess up the Exchange using stealth and trickery at Keeper's request. They choose to stay IC (in character using /say and /me) the whole time.
On most RP servers, it's hard to just walk up to someone and start RPing because RP works better if people have some expectation of what is going to happen ("we're going to plan a raid", "we're going to fight a duel", "we're going to bury our comrade").

This social contract just makes the RP a less vulnerable experience - it's like you can all agree not to make fun of each other for playing "let's pretend."

Some examples might be:
  • Either someone will organize an open event (cantina night, swoop bike race) and everyone is invited.
  • Sometimes, the RP is necessarily mostly private (one group planning a raid on another group).
  • Other times the RP is mainly about a small number of people (the apprentice dueling her master) but passerby can comment on it and may become involved in the scene. You could use /say or /yell to cheer on the Sith apprentice. Maybe she's grateful and wants to buy you a drink after the duel. Maybe she's insulted that you thought she needed help and *she* wants to duel you for that insult.
  • The group of IAs might be a group of friends levelling together and agreeing to RP together.
There are some basic guidelines that you should be aware of before you start thinking about RP.

Create your own unique individual character. Realize that the events of your class storyline belong to everyone in that class, so don't use them as part of your personal story. There are too many clones of Malgus, Sheppard, Drizzt, Legolas, Aragorn, and Shan running around. You can come up with something new and different.

(As a side note, your character should have a unique and Star-Warsy name and Legacy for RP. Most RPers aren't going to take Darth Araagorn of the Puppykicker Legacy seriously, and some RPers will shun you based only on your character name.)

Your characterís friends, family, adversaries and other relations should be unique player characters. Resist the temptation to be related to NPCs (non player characters) - you're better off telling a story with other PCs (player characters) who can help you expand your storyline, just like you can help expand theirs.

Spend some time observing others who are doing open RP before you jump in. See what they do and how they interact. Try to figure out what's socially acceptable and unacceptable before you start making mistakes.

Make your character mortal and (somewhat) realistic. Your Jedi Knight isn't the son of Bastila Shan and Darth Revan. Your Sith Sorcerer isn't the Emperor in disguise. Your Smuggler isnít the secret leader of the Exchange. Your Imperial Agent doesnít own a Star Destroyer. No one else will believe this - itís just not in the expected scope of player character powers. Heck, in the game reality, you donít even have the power to permanently kill or injure another player character! Making your character some sort of superhero above and beyond the rest of the characters is called "god modding" (making your character a god) and it's offensive to and considered juvenile by most of the RP community.

Give your characters flaws and limitations that make them interesting and unique. Many iconic characters were defined by their weaknesses (Han Solo, for instance, was an immoral greedy mercenary for most of Ep. 4 according to some people, which made it even cooler that he helped Luke blow up the Death Star.) Is your character lazy? A speciesist? Afraid of heights? Give your characters realistic personalities - model them off of your friends and family in real life if you need to.

Communicate clearly. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are key. Since you're communicating through writing (via /say and /me) people have to be able to *understand* you. Clear writing is vital; you don't have to be perfect, just clear. 1337 speak is right out!

Do a little bit of homework. For instance, if you're going to play a Chiss, at least spend 10 minutes reading up on Chiss on the web to figure out how Chiss names and culture work. Same with other alien races. If your character is from a certain planet, read up on the history and culture of that planet. At least read the SWTOR codexes for your race, home planet, class, advanced class, and faction.

Your actions and reactions are your own. No one else can make your character do anything. Likewise, you can't make other people's characters do anything, even by interaction. For instance, you can't say "Vetala realizes that this bounty hunter is so handsome that she falls in love with him!" I'm in charge of what Vetala does and thinks. You can't say "I cut your head off with my lightsaber!" The other guy might choose for his character's head to not get cut off.

Cultivate RP with good examples, leadership, and patience. Once you get into the swing of it, try to teach the new guy the lessons youíve learned. In the meantime, lead by good examples. Find like-minded people on your server and create your own RP events. If you run across Darth Araagorn the son of Bastila Shan who says that heís so handsome your character falls to her knees in worship, then pull that player aside and gently show him the ropes.

Remember you're having fun playing "let's pretend!" Donít take it too seriously. If you don't like it, use the "ignore" function liberally and just move on. If you like it, be sure to tell the people you RPed with thank you and that you had fun.


Trols's Avatar

04.29.2012 , 03:19 AM | #2
A good guide to new roleplayers. Very interesting read and it deserve to be linked into a Roleplay source thread.

One thing though. You stated that /em shows for both factions. To my knowledge, only /say is cross faction for reasons I cannot explain. So all "/em is gallant as Jedi are and hold the door for the Sith Lady" won't show for the opposite side.

The solution is to include emotes in /say instead. Its not pretty but it works lacking other alternatives.

/s Let me hold that for you, Miss Sith *the Jedi says as he hold the door open for the Sith Lady.*
Quartermaster Vazon:
Quartermaster of the Iron Hand
Siolo OdŠn:
M.D. and soon to be owner of Nar Shaddaa Free Clinic

a_birdbird's Avatar

05.05.2012 , 10:28 AM | #3
Nice guide!

The standard dropdown emotes (versus custom emotes) are viewable cross-faction, otherwise there are a variety of styles to use with /say to make actions visible, one of which is described above. I've also seen people use brackets, as in:
CharacterName says: [Leans heavily on the bar and orders a drink.] It's dead in here tonight.

This style allows for the ability to also emphasize words with asterisks:
CharacterName says: [Leans heavily on the bar and orders a drink.] It's *dead* in here tonight.

You can also type /e instead of /me when using custom emotes, as well as /s instead of /say.
Some dropdown/standard emotes have animations, and several of those are repeating. If you use the repeating emotes, you might want to be prepared to cancel the emote animation before it loops. Simply tap "w" or "s" to do so.

Using double parentheses is convenient when conveying OOC information cross faction, or in other situations in which you might want to share the info more publicly rather than through a tell or in party chat. Such as:

CharacterName says: ((afk for a few minutes!))