Roleplaying Primer

Roleplaying is the purpose of a MUX. People come here to play out their characters as heroic or nefarious adventurers in the Sunset Isles, carousing in dingy wharfside bars and trading blows with goblin raiders in the eaves of the western mountains. Not every character has the same set of goals or interests, but it's important to learn how to play out your character in a way that's both fun for you and fun for others around you. People are much more likely to play with you if you're entertaining company, and there's not a whole lot of fun in being an isolated adventurer. Every experienced MUSHer has their own opinions about what constitutes "good roleplay". The advice of this guide isn't meant to be some final word or enlightened wisdom, but just a few basic tips for avoiding habits that a lot of people find annoying or dull.

First, understand the difference between "IC", in character, and "OOC", out of character. You, the player, are out of character. What you say as a player is assumed to be separate from what your character does. Pages, @mails, bboard postings, and conversation in an OOC room is assumed to be out of character. What your character does and says in the game is considered to be in character. It is very, very important not to confuse the two. If a character is being obnoxious or rude towards your character, you should not assume that the player is being obnoxious to you. A lot of people have a hard time dealing with this, and show difficulty in separating IC conflicts from OOC relations. This doesn't make it any more welcome. If you can't keep you character's knowledge and attitude separate from your own knowledge and attitude, people will tend to avoid playing with you.

Second, take time with your poses and dialog. Every pose you make should give your partners something to respond to. Nothing's more frustrating than some character who just stands there and poses stuff like "Tai Wu nods." or "Tai Wu shrugs.". It's not much better when the pose is six lines about Tai Wu's internal conflict with no outward display greater than a furrowed brow. If you don't give them some sort of reaction or dialog to play with, people will tend to stop playing with you. They want to show off their own character's traits and attitude, and if you never give them anything to work with, they'll find other partners. While you're at it, work to make sure you're using good grammar, proper capitalization and punctuation, and accurate spelling. You don't have to be perfect, but your poses are what other people will judge you by. If you do a sloppy job with them, it's not going to impress anybody.

Third, have a clear idea of your character's goals, and work on advancing them. Sitting in a bar drinking all the time can get boring in a hurry. Desiring fame and glory is a good start, but how exactly does your character plan to get them? Maybe he wants to avenge himself on an enemy, or perhaps she dreams of reuniting the scattered descendants of her people. Be proactive about your goals and try to make it fun for other people to help you accomplish them. Learn how to run Player-Run Plots and you'll never be short of company.

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