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If you would be so kind, dear fellow rpers, I was wondering if you might share with me your tips and tricks towards what makes for successful rp, and what makes a successful rp character.


I have read Eva's excellent rp guide on this site, I have perused other useful threads, but oftentimes a direct engagement with peers gleams the best information. In particular, I have questions on the following situations:


+How do you meet new people? By this, I mean what is the best way to rp with strangers outside of guild and friends? Oftentimes, I have arranged meetings with others, only to find we do not have any real reason to meet ICly.A central purpose for meeting would make for a stronger, easier rp session, yes? Or am I just overthinking things?


+ 'ordinary' vs. 'extraordinary': I tend to roll average joes. Any powers they may have are very much contained within the loreof both game and class they are. Magical realism, so to speak. It has been my experience, however, that a large contigent of people enjoy rolling naruto or dragon ball z type chars; these types of powers are quite foreign and alien to my chars, and I am often unsure how to react. I would like to open myself up to as much rp, and as many rpers as possible, so what are some ways to find common ground here?


+ 'evil' vs. 'good': very much in the same vein as above; i tend to roll good chars, and often find myself feeling as though i am surrounded by assassins, soul-scarred mercs, or flat out psychotic people. Again, i enjoy magical realism, so to me, this is like going to the quick-mart, and the guy behind the counter revealing to me he's been hired to assassinate Betty from the hair salon next door, who's actually seeking revenge on the traffic cop for waving a car through that hit her dog two years ago.


I.... wouldn't know how to react. How do I adjust my char. To better facilitate interactions w/ shadowy types?


+ serious vs comedic: drama is good. Too much drama becomes suffocating and overwhelming to me, leaving me gasping for some comedic relief.


In short (and tl;dr) is standard rp expectancy that you simply find like minded rpers, or are there mistakes I am making/ ways I can refine my approach to access more rp?


Please do not limit your advice for a novice to the above only. I thank you for your time, and eagerly await your suggestions

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Disclaimer:   What follows is strictly my opinion.  I will RP with most anyone regardless of how I view their RP styles/techniques.  I will probably incur the term "RP elitist" at some time or another, and that's fine.  I tend not to see that as a negative the way some try to imply that sort of connotation.  I admit that I do have certain hopes, but I also have no desire to demand my own expectations be met.  But to reiterate, what follows is my opinion, and those opinions of others are apt to be different.



When I think about some of the most talented and interesting characters I've interacted with, they are not always necessarily the most powerful or the most intelligent or the best at something.  I find weakness and vulnerability to be enticing qualities in characters and this "room for growth" makes for a lot of interesting possibilities.


To me a character that changes gradually over time in realistic ways is also interesting.  Characters that change drastically overnight are usually less "real" to me, though I accept that certain events in their stories may trigger a sort of "about face" where there is a sudden shift in value, aspirations, etc.


Interesting characters to me also have motives for everything that they do, whether I'm privy to those or not.  And I don't expect to be always privy to the reasons for things.  But I do like to know that there are reasons that support decisions and that a character isn't necessarily doing things just willy-nilly (footnote: insanity is a sufficient enough reason if that is a part of the character's persona).


I don't usually like seeing anything overly supernatural or out of scope with the lore of the game cropping up in RP, but I usually kind of accept it in stride whenever it does so long as it's not something I feel is extremely ridiculous.  I know there are RPers that will latch on to certain aspects of the lore and interpret things one way or another and that's fine as well.  But for myself I prefer to avoid anything that's very extraordinary.


Most of the rest of what you've asked about boils down to the RPer and individual preference.  I like comic relief once in awhile, but when everything is a joke or there's never anything regarded seriously than I feel like something is missing.  This sometimes feels like being spoon fed a diet of only cake, candy, and sweets.  While it may seem ideal at first, there quickly comes a point where I really want some meat and popotoes.  And I prefer more serious, gritty style of RP where bad things happen and need to be dealt with, and not everyone can skip around on cloud nine all of the time.


Good versus evil is sort of the same thing.  I tend to view it more in shades of gray.  "Good" may mean different things to different people and is highly based on perspective.  Often the best "evil" characters have very compelling reasons for behaving the way that they do, depending perhaps on something from their backstories.  You can refer back to what I said above about motivation for character actions/behavior.  If a character's family was slain by someone and their story is angled at seeking vengeance, that's definitely one of those gray areas.


I'm glad that you read the RP guide and gleaned a lot from it, and I'm happy you started this conversation as well because it is very interesting to see how other people feel.


It's also important that people realize that opinions are being expressed here, and there seems to be a lot of sensitivity in the RPC community of late, or false perceptions that certain remarks that are being made as generalizations are directed at individuals.  I would encourage everyone to take these posts with a grain of salt because I can see how quickly tensions could rise if someone assumes a remark is directed specifically at them.  The RPC harbors a number of different communities which each encompasses different sets of values and beliefs.

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Exceptionally well put Eva ^^

My goal of this thread is to find common ground amongst the various rp styles, not create divisiveness


In learning others methods and reasons, I hope to better myself as an rper, so that I can interact with a more diverse group. Thanks for the contribution!

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It has been my experience with this bunch so far, that we are also very much the "magical realism" crowd. While I can't speak for everyone, I don't think you'll find many sparkly vampires (or any vampires at all as they're not something you can really be in this game) or a Sephiroth clones. I think it's safe to say you're in good company here.


When I RP'd in FFXI, I found the RP linkshell I'd eventually join at a party they threw. Some of the people in my social/light RP linkshell were invited, and I tagged along with them. We hung out in Bastok, and I liked what I saw. Groups hold events like that all the time. Plus, RPers like to congregate in interesting places, so if it looks like a decent set piece, there will probably be some RPers showing up eventually.


As far as "evil vs. good", I try to keep within a "shades of gray" mentality. An assassin can be a good person if his victims are truly horrible, and a soul-scarred mercenary can have a heart of gold.


A common pitfall I see new RPers getting trapped in is the need to spout tons of personal exposition to the first passerby they meet. Yes, you've created an interesting backstory for your character. That's awesome! But think about how you actually react to strangers. If you're standing on a bus stop with someone, and they engage you in small talk are you going to tell them your life story? No, you're going to small talk back. This might lead to actual conversation, and if it's relevant then hey, you can throw in some personal information! I think very hard about how my character speaks, the type of idioms or slang they use, and how they respond to other people. I want it to sound as natural as possible, and unless I'm playing an absolute blabbermouth, my character isn't going to blab to a stranger about every little detail of their life.

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The best thing I can say to my friend is this:


Many people write some of the most amazing back stories you will ever read in your life here.  I enjoy very much reading them.  But all of that story can be told over a camp fire in one night in game.  Then what are you?


That is the question you must ask yourself.  What are you?  What makes your character real?  What do they desire?  What drives them?  What makes them unique and memorable?  


There will lots of mages fighters singers dancers all kinds of stuff out there when we go live again.  You will be one of them as will I and everyone else.  What makes you different?


I agree with Eva that it is more grey area then a good vs evil thing.  Cloud and Squall were the lead good guys of FF 7 and FF 8 respectively but they could hardly be considered D & D Paladins but they did good by their acts.


 As far as the powers thing I agree that people can tend to say I am the best at this but speaking from 1.0 exp that is as far as I saw it go.  Sometimes it is just better to say I am a very good *blank* or I am very skilled at *blank*.  That way people recognize your skill without being turned off by your need to remind everyone how good you are.


Meeting other people can be hard I won't lie to you on that.  Even if you are fortunate enough to catch someone outside their group and/or shell chances are they will have to cut a session short because they have to get back to their group.  People including myself are people of habit.  They will always go back to what they are most comfortable with.


I don't think you are doing anything wrong in trying to get in on RP you just need to throw yourself out there a bit and see who will take you in and if that group works for you.


I would love to hearmore about your character's personality and goals for that reason.


Thank you and good luck!

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+ How do you meet new people?



I am admittedly bad at this. I know I pass up so many opportunities. Basically, any time you see open RP in chat, that is more or less an invitation to chime in, if you have a valid ic reason. For instance, if you see someone smacking a person around, and your character would be the sort to intervene, intervene. There are always places that open rp commonly happens... The Mining Concern, outside the Platinum Mirage, at the Amphitheater... If they're rping in /say, it's open. You may not be welcome in character, but that in itself can be good rp.



Besides that, rp events are a good start. TALE used to run masquerade balls open to all, Everwatch and other linkshells had things like fashion shows, campfire story nights, etc. These are a good place to meet people... as long as you participate.



And lastly, of course, joining an RP linkshell is the obvious one.



+ 'ordinary' vs. 'extraordinary'




My take on this is that, to some degree, we are all extraordinary. Not necessarily 'Half demon, half goddess exiled princess' extraordinary, but we are individuals who are swept up in extraordinary events. Our characters are generally skilled in martial or magical arts, and have managed to survive the Umbral era. No one tends to rp Frank the Janitor (No, that's not a challenge). Adventurers, as a whole, are extraordinary people.



The trick to remember is that, while you are a cut above the average citizen, and certainly have tremendous potential, you are not alone in being special. No one can be good at everything, and if you try, you will find people unwilling to rp with you. But don't be afraid to excel, and compete. And also keep in mind that real people constantly grow and improve, so build that into your character. A starting out fledgling may have a great deal of natural instinct and potential with a blade, but a veteran will still walk all over them. There will always be someone stronger than you. That isn't a downside, that is a potential development path and point of interaction. That veteran rper would make a VERY good  mentor, or possibly a rival for you to strive to match and overcome.



Personally, I built Izzy from the ground up with the plan to become a Paladin, even before it was in the game, as well as moving into a military career. Blacksmithing evolved, and became part of the character, and I focus on these things as what she excels at and takes pride in, regardless of how many jobs I level in game. She is extraordinary, because of who she is, her goals, and her determination. Not because of some kind of special prophesied destiny (Avoid those.)



+ 'evil' vs. 'good'




No one outside of a cartoon villain thinks of themselves as evil. Whether you are 'evil' or 'good' is a judgement history makes. What you should focus on is motivation. What does your character want? What do they believe? What will they do to reach their goals? A person who wants nothing but to help people can become a tremendous villain because they cross too many lines in that quest (Recklessly seeking power to end suffering, exerting ruthless control to enforce order, descending into madness over the impossibility of their goal, taking extremist views, etc). Generally, don't worry about good or evil. Focus on motivations, be true to those, and good or evil will unfold as they will.



+ serious vs comedic




My take on this is no one outside of a cartoon is wholly one or the other. Everyone has their serious side, and their silly side. The most comedic character can be grim if the situation demands it.



For myself, Izzy is a serious character, with serious goals. That being said, around friends she can be quite a goof, just because of who she is. She has a weakness for balls of yarn (Resulting in her permanent ban from the weaving guild) and cannot STAND fish. There is also a running gag of the stories Eva tells about babysitting her as a child, as she was quite a handful.



Basically, it's a shades of grey thing. Don't be afraid to have a sense of humor when it's called for, and don't try and be a clown at a funeral.

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TL;DR -- Go poke around and take the temperature, listen and THEN join in!




I'm going to echo a lot of stuff Izzy has said.



Ordinary vs. Extraordinary 


JJ's three greatest skills are: Not dying, adapting and fighting (close third is being bald, eating, pinwheels and pumpkin-wearing). While even back in the day (FFXI) that incarnation of JJ was considered a great fighter, he's no means invincible. Creating very unique (Sephiroth, King Arthur, etc) character, where you are already in a league of your own by creating is a major pitfall. That being said, you can have a powerful character from the get-go, but to be an answer to all wrongs and expert in all combat is boring. A character that overcomes adversity, or doesn't, is more interesting than someone that blitzes through a whole legion of enemies. 


To mirror Izzy's creation of Izzy: I've modeled JJ to be in his 50s and be pretty powerful. That being said, he has as many shortcomings as he does strengths (and has the boo-boos to prove it). He was born from average parents, no pre-destined crap.. just clawed his way into not-dying a whole bunch and punched a buffalo or demigoddemonthing in the face in the process. 



Good vs. Evil


Pretty much what Izzy said. Though, some "good" characters can be perceived as "evil" due to an outsider viewing something in the wrong context. Example: JJ is seen slaughtering a group of unarmed young people. Reality: The unarmed young people are pugilists that were trying to kill JJ. Sure, JJ's going to kill the crap out of them. An onlooker might see a big bastard in black armor slicing unarmed people to pieces. Ruh-roh! (Goooood rp conflict and stuff~)


Serious vs. Comedic 


This was the topic that made me want to post. In the past, I have been a source of comedic relief to the point that some of the "gags" are now staples of my character. In the face of certain degrees of adversity, my character could be cracking jokes and being an all-around idiot. Though, when stuff got reals-ies, my character could get reals-ies too. JJ would -never- crack a joke at a funeral... unless it was of a close friend and knew the friend would be disappointed if he didn't take up the opportunity. Actually, come to think of it, JJ was usually the butt of jokes rather than the start of them....

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Everyone here is so helpful ^_^


@Dogberry: your comment about there being a large magical realism crowd made me giddy! And your point about exposition pitfalls is well taken: not only have I been guilty of it myself, but I've been on the receiving end of it too. Pacing the reveal of ur story makes sense *nods*


@faceman: so you have a good backstory, but then what are you? Couldn't have put it better myself! This, paired with


@Isilme: Isil's point on motivations has helped bring to light one of my weaknesses; on those character sheets, I always struggle to fill in questions such as 'main goals' 'biggest fears' 'likes' and 'dislikes'. Coming up with who they are outside of their main backstory might help them integrate with a more diverse crowd; to help them in a wider range of conversations.


Just like ogres and onions, my chars should have layers :D


@Badlands: your bit on perception is still one I struggle with. Since ther is an obvious consensus that terms like good and bad are too broad (I fully understand in reality things exist in shades of grey) I shall say my characters are... well-intentioned. When they come across ppl they perceive as ill-intentioned, I don't know how to react.


It is highly possible I am blurring OOC and IC here... not wanting to upset the person I am rping

with, instead of my char acting negatively, they don't react at all. It is true I avoid conflict irl. I will need to get over that hurdle if I hope to proceed :P


Also, nice to find someone who enjoys comic relief! No my chars generally are serious, but its nice to ease some of the many tensions from time to time.



Thank you all very much for this! I'm learning lots *takes notes*

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If there's even a hint that something you might do might make someone angry OOC or upset, it's always good to shoot a tell. There's bound to be big things that happen IC that could hurt some feelings OOC, but all in all everything IC shouldn't be taken as OOC hate. 


As Eva says: Communicate!

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