How Do I RolePlay?
The concept behind roleplaying is quite simple. At the most basic, roleplay is done by two or more people taking turns expanding upon a story, whether verbally through tabletop games or textually through online text-based roleplaying. Tabletop games typically come with instruction books, informing players about the way their game is designed to be played as each one is designed differently. Online text-based roleplaying is the focus of most online roleplaying communities, and as such what I will be focusing on here.
Roleplay can start multiple ways, but usually starts from a character idea or a plot idea. In the case of online roleplaying what follows is usually the search for a place to instigate this character or plot, although it can also happen the other way around with discovering a place to roleplay first and coming up with characters and plots second.
Although roleplay takes place across multiple platforms online, they all function essentially the same way, with one player posting a section of the story with their character and the next posting a section with theirs. This cycle is repeated until the storyline reaches its end.
In the case of most roleplay there are a few etiquette guidelines that participants are encouraged to follow, unless a prior arrangement has been reached.
- No Metagaming. To metagame is to use information that you, the player, know outside of the roleplay to guide whatâ€™s happening inside the roleplay to better assist your character in having the upper hand. This usually comes in the form of characters suddenly knowing secrets about the other character in any given scene that they have had no way to discover.
- No Powerplaying. To powerplay is to use your post to take control of the other playerâ€™s character. This can put the other player in awkward positions as perhaps their character would not actually do what it is that they have been shown doing. As roleplay is a collaborative writing exercise, it is better for everyone to write their own characters and not control othersâ€™.
- No Godmodding. To godmod, or to have a godmode character, is when your character is made essentially invincible within the confines of the scene in some way. This can come in the form of being all-powerful or all-knowing, in being unable to be killed, in always being able to escape consequences, or in always winning a fight or not being hit in a fight. Characters like these are difficult to play with as they can make it difficult to move the story forward.