In the wake of all sorts of role-player related ups and downs lately, I’d like to take a moment to remind people of a couple of things that I have learned during all this time I have been a role-player. Please keep in mind that these come from my experiences alone, and they certainly aren’t enforced rules. Just things that might help others who are trying to get into the RP community.
1.) Communication is KEY. If you take anything away from this text post, let it be this.
Not feeling an RP? Say something. Something come up and you can’t make a scheduled RP that you have set up with someone? Say something! Need a break? Say something! One of the literal worst feelings when being in an RP situation and not knowing what’s going on with the other person, especially when it comes to long gaps of time where nothing happens…or maybe someone’s just focusing on another alt. Silence and lack of communication is a breeding ground for uncertainty, assumption, jealousy and frustration.
2.) Real life comes first. Always.
There should be no guilt being given or received for needing to sleep or rest, or to take care of one’s family or friends. Even just the need to be away from the computer or gaming systems. Real life ALWAYS comes first.
3.) Set engagement expectations early.
Some people play one character and are looking for constant engagement with that character. Some people spend time across a number of alts and may favor a few of them more than the rest. Some people can only RP once or twice a week due to schedules. Make sure people involved understand availability.
4.) Roleplay should NEVER be forced.
If you are logging on and role-playing feels like a chore? Something is wrong and you need to think long and hard about what that is. Maybe it’s a lack of story, or you aren’t getting particular types of RP out of the current set-up you have. Maybe it’s time to move on to another game for a new, fresh start. Try to address this as soon as you start feeling it.
5.) There are good and bad kinds of drama.
Is there some juicy story drama happening during an arc? Romance? Tension? Action? This is the good kind of drama. In Character drama can be healthy and fun (again, so long as there is communication).
Are players treating each other with disrespect? Games of he-said she-said about players? Discrimination? Name-calling? Avoidance or alienation? Now we have some problems.
Identify drama early. Address it before it becomes a wildfire.
To reiterate, a lot of what was said above are things that I have experienced, and situations that might help others. There’s certainly no guidebook or laws set in stone regarding RP engagement, but maybe some of the things I have learned (both positive and negative) can help others enjoy this wonderful hobby.
If you have any other helpful tips and tricks when it comes to RP, speak up! I certainly love to read helpful ideas and experiences. Sharing wisdom can only help!