Good Day to You!
I'm glad you could all make it today. Especially considering the tragedy that has befallen the world as I type this. Today, at the Ruby Road Exchange, forty seven lalafell were tramped by a runaway petting zoo. The causalities were horrendous. Now don't you feel bad for those poor animals? They'll be cleaning their hooves all night. Well, you shouldn't, because I was roleplaying.
(Forgive me, I kinda liked the movie Tootsie)
Well, That's Done.
So let's move onto the guide itself shall we? Bless your little heart if you're still with me after that. I appreciate your patronage.
Now, what I'm going to do with this guide is show you some of the roleplaying basics, so hopefully whenever you have a question I'll be there to help. Check out this handy list of what to expect from me today.
Things That Will Happen In This Guide
Things That Will Not Happen in This Guide
- I will teach you a few ways to approach roleplaying.
- You will learn all I know and a bit too much about myself.
- You will learn some of the basics of roleplaying.
- You will learn to love me and I shall learn to love you as well.
Alright, let's party!
- I won't teach you everything. Roleplaying is about being yourself.
- I won't tell you HOW to roleplay. That is entirely up to you.
- Handshakes. We hug here.
- Cliche cliffhanger endings. I can't st-
Chapter 1: Who Is Your Daddy And What Does He Do?
The hardest thing about roleplaying is deciding the answer to probably the simplest question anyone could ever ask about your character. Who Are You? Simple enough, you're you. But in roleplaying you can be someone other than you. Do you want to be the hero that Eorzea deserves? Maybe you just want to be a simple farmer from a planet far away where they harvest funky music and eat stars. Maybe you want to be your favorite anime character. I won't judge you for that last one. Not out loud at least.
It's important to answer this question. This will be the main focus of all other aspects of your character and what you do with yourself. Ask yourself a few questions before you make your character. Maybe those questions will look like this:
These are only examples, really. But questioning like this can help an awful lot. It'll assist you in molding your characters to what you want them to be and help them become the character they deserve.
- Where did I come from?
- Who were my family members?
- What am I good/bad at?
- How should I look?
- What makes me, me?
- Am I afraid of anything?
Another tip I like to advise anyone who can't think of what they want to be, draw. Try drawing your character. You would be surprised at how once you can lay eyes on your character how well ideas will flow about just who they are. You don't have to do it, but it's a handy way to give it a shot.
Really you can skip this part entirely and just jump right in. Some of the most entertaining people I've ever met seem to have just made their characters up as they go along. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's not everyone's cup of tea.
So just remember, this is just one step of the journey. For a lot of folks, it's the hardest step. For some, it's the easiest. Just like real life, it's different for everyone. There's no right or wrong with it, you just take your time and you only put that foot forward then you've decided that you're happy with the new you.
Chapter 2: Finding Your Roots
So you've decided just who you'd like to be and how you'd like to look. You might be Razz Darktongue of Ul'dah and your mother was a relgious dragon and your father was a mailbox who yearned to be a ballroom dancer. Well that's all fine and good, but do you know how to act like the offspring of a zealous dragon who drug her mailbox husband to church every Sunday morning?
Now, don't confuse this for me telling you how to play your character. I'm not doing that. Overall your personality and actions are yours to behold. What I'm suggesting are a few things to keep an eye like your mannerisms, state of mind, habits. Things like that.
Maybe since your mother was a bit on the religious side, you never got the chance to partake of wine or alcohol. Well while mama's home on the nest and dad's full of this month's magazines you're more than free to get a little tipsy. Maybe because your dad didn't talk much, you don't talk much, but are content to just be around people for hours at a time. Even if you're not speaking.
Really it can be any kind of little quirks like that Keep in mind that where you come from should alter how you react to other stimulus. Say you're from Ul'dah and you've moved to Gridiania. Odds are your character would have to adjust to the newfound foliage and the fact that it gets dark so early now.
And be sure that if you're not sure how to act like a gospel preaching dragon or a waltzing mailbox, don't be afraid to use your friend the internet. Sure he's mean sometimes, but he has some handy sites on hand. Some like the following.
- Your character should be influenced by their surroundings.
- Your upbringing doesn't HAVE to dictate your current mental state, but it helps.
- Never forget that in the end it's your decision.
- No two cultures act quite the same. Study up and learn a bit about them before jumping in.
It never hurts to study. And it can save you some problems in the future should you decide that a waltzing mailbox is your career choice. Just don't upset your mother who just wanted you to be a minster spitting hellfire from the pulpit.
Chapter 3: Public Speaking 101
Now here's the longest part of this guide: Public Interaction.
ARR gives us numerous ways to communicate with people. You can speak out loud to the group around you. Send a whisper to someone for something you want them only to hear. Or you can have a party and chat with a few friends. Maybe even your Free Company promotes roleplaying in their chat. That being said, you just have to know the right chat for the right time.
Meeting Someone New: Now let's say you're cruising the streets of Gridania one night. You've got your armor shined up and your mixtape is in your headphones. Summer Lovin' '87. Most of you weren't alive then. Don't judge. I was like a year old. But you spy out of the corner of your eye a Roegadyn lady who you just have to speak to. Well, how do you talk to her?
Everyone has their own preferences on how to be spoken to. Just use your noggin and approach in a social manner at first. Most times it's best to use the /say chat to strike up a conversation. I know a lot of people like /tell or /whisper, but it would be quite awkward to just go up to a stranger and start whispering. If you approach them in /say and they reply in /tell then that's more than likely an invitation to continue in /tell and go for it. Otherwise, they may play along in /say or just send you a /tell along the lines of "I'm sorry, but i'm busy" or the like.
Which brings us to my next point.
Respecting Fellow Players: This might seem a bit odd to you. But not everyone is going to want to roleplay with you. Even on roleplaying servers there are those that don't care for it and it can lead to an awkward moment or two. But it's super important that you respect these peoples wishes. If you approach someone in character and they don't respond in kind, don't get mad. They could be new to it, or possibly just not sure what to do with how handsome you are. Yes, ladies can be handsome too.
That's not the only problem you may run into. In your travels you'll meet people who roleplay entirely different than you. And that's okay. Everyone RP's differently.
Some folks will take it VERY seriously. They're not just playing a character, they ARE their character. Which is generally referred to "Hardcore" though there are many different names for this. These are the people who are always in character. They never break and will always respond exactly how they feel their character should respond. It's not for everyone, but it's a popular style.
For those that don't eat, sweat, and bleed roleplay there is the "Casual" crowd of roleplayers. These are usually the people who set up times and places to roleplay. More often than not you can approach them out of character and talk to them, possibly set something up for a later date. In my travels I have found this style of RP to be far more prevalent than the hardcore crowd.
In your travels you'll come across all sorts of people and places. Roleplayers of all types and walks of life. It makes for a far more entertaining experience to take them all in. Savoring the sights and sounds you come across and adding them as experience to your growing character's life story. There may even be times you will come across a Roleplaying Hub. An area where RP is held in mass.
Roleplaying Hubs come in all shapes and sizes. Often they're a place you can get to from a low level for those that wish to RP, but don't wish to level all that much. Most times they are taverns, or outposts, or sometimes even places located out in the wilderness. They're usually selected amongst the community, or in some cases they're just a place people seem to naturally congregate.
You can see people go about their daily lives of their characters. Some spending their time drowning sorrows, other just talking to any ear that will listen. Again, like with all things Roleplay, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just enjoy the thriving city driven entirely by other players.
In your travels you'll grow as a character and as an Roleplayer. You will come across characters you never thought you would see. You will laugh, possibly cry, and most definitely make new friends. Nobody roleplays alone, that is half of the fun of the experience. Sure you can write your story and make yourself a sweeping epic that crosses Eorzea like a hot wind of justice, but unless you're talking to other people and sharing your story, you're just a guy punching litterbugs in the face.
I hope this guide has been helpful to you. I'll gladly answer any questions as well as amend this guide as the time comes for it. If you see anything that should be in here, but isn't, feel free to let me know.
Until then, go forth and roleplay!
Your Roleplaying Guide,
Roleplay: Not Just French Maids Anymore! (A Guide to Roleplaying)
I go over some of the basics of roleplaying and teach you how to get your feet wet in the proverbial waters of the roleplaying community.