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Harlwystyr's Guide to Roleplaying


Started by Harlwystyr
Post #4830
Writer

310
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant
Breton
Two quick terms:

OOC: Out of character - acting beyond the fourth wall.
IC: In character - roleplaying your character.



Background:

So, as we all know; our characters need a background story. What -is- important is that this background story will be affecting how our characters act, think and feel in certain instances. This is the core foundation of a character concept - for them to have a personality shaped upon their experiences.

It's important to make a believable story, and some times the "simple" story might actually be the best. It might be tempting for some to speak to a Bosmer who has been raised by Khajiit (yeah yeah I know, Dunmer by Argonians - see Brand-Shei), but the vast majority of roleplayers prefer a down-to-earth approach such as; Bosmer hunter started to wander the borders of Valenwood, fell into fighting with the necromancy-assisted imperials. Now, this allows for two set ups: A possible negative encounter with the imperials (could be a -very- big motivation behind his personal war) as well as a poor view on necromancy - depending on the imperials.

TL:DR:

Keep it simple - don't try to overdo it when a simple story can be the most interesting for yourself and the people around you.



Feelings:

So now that we got a character, now we need to take a look at his desires / motivations / situation. This is alpha-omega in roleplay. Portraying an -actual- character. Far too many times, people do not wish their characters to lose, for the simple reason of it making their characters look bad - even if feelings and circumstances go against them.

Feelings, as stated in the background, need to be based on experience in past events. As we all know; magic is distrusted by certain people (for example the nords) - HOWEVER: Keep in mind that it was not in the same degree during the Second Era as it is around Skyrim's time (the Oblivion Crisis, Great Collsapse, Great War, etc.)

Depending on your character's motivations, think on how he would achieve these goals. Is he a nord barbarian with little expertise in advanced warfare and strategy? Would he then go about planning the rescue of his loved ones from a great castle? No he wouldn't; he would seek help - like the NPCS (we'll get back to this), for example from a strategist from House Redoran. -THIS- creates roleplay, both for the barbarian, as well as the Redoran strategist - it's about being open.

TL:DR:

Let circumstances and feelings guide your character, even if it makes them look bad - characters can actually be "good" in an OOC way by appearing bad IC.



The "Hero" and the Character's (Social) Power

If there is a way we're -not- supposed to go, it's to assign ourselves to the role of the "hero" of the game. This isn't a singleplayer game like Morrowind or Skyrim; and it would look stupid if every man and his cat went around saying he stopped Mannimarco and Molag Bal. Raids will surely be up for that, but here's the point - it's not classy, and raids should be considered purely OOC.

Here it's important to take on the roles of "NPCs" for ourselves. Does this mean we stand around all day, giving out quests? No - we simply roleplay as, for example, a city guard of Whiterun would. Here arises a problem, however - the scope of power: If there already is a -REAL- NPC who takes care of a specific task in game; for example the mayor of Camlorn - DO. NOT. assign this position to yourself. It is taken, we do not need players to fill this out - same with roleplaying famous characters from the lore. Sure, they may be around this period, and they may not be present in-game, but that doesn't mean we can actually ROLEPLAY them in their potential - as everyone view them.

As for the scope of power, remember that it is classy to keep your characters' powers "down" - depending on his role, experience and such. If you go into a confrontation with another player, his roleplay session can be -very- short if your character is a super saiyan (by the way, I hate anime and manga, you've been warned)

TL:DR:

Don't play the "real" hero of the story - take on reasonable "NPC" roles and don't force social power onto your character when it clearly isn't yours to take - be considerate of others, and do not roleplay famous people from lore.



Quick runup on Magic:

Keep in mind, however, that magic is -powerful-. One of the reasons people "hate" it is because magic is -unfair- and -powerful-. If we look at any high fantasy universe, we can easily conclude that, yeah, a group of soldiers < an experienced wizard. It's important to realise that magic might make your character scared, and is thus also a mental block. One of the few things I find interesting about, for instance, the Thalmor and House Telvanni, is also the -mental- pressure on their subjects. How would it feel if you had some cruel overlord above you, ready to smite you with a snap of his fingers if you didn't do what he says? Yeah, that'd be horrible.

TL:DR:

Magic is powerful; make it have consequences; and control yourself for the sake of others.



Actions have consequences:

If you think your character can walk into a bar, start a fight, kill a man and then stroll out like it was nothing - please don't play the Elder Scrolls Online, for the love of mankind.

A typical, yet stupid roleplaying flaw is for people to evade consequences from their actions - even those who roleplay people with political power. No matter what you do, there will ALWAYS be consequences for your actions - both positive and negative - no matter in what size and scope they appear.

This could also affect your character IC. If you killed a man's father - if drunk or something - your character might be able to evade jail - but he will OF COURSE have to leave town, as to not pay for his crimes. Even then, he will live with the knowledge that there's a chance his victim's son might hire people to track him down.

TL:DR:

Don't ignore the conequences that might arise from your character's actions - it can actually be fun to roleplay out.



Roleplay within the lore - don't gather "influence"

Yes, we get it - everyone loves Game of Thrones and everyone loves ninjas. Yeah well, here's the deal - I hate Game of Thrones, and I hate ninjas, and I don't want to see it in my roleplay. It's FINE that it exists, all power to the respective artworks - but it is NOT. PART. OF. ELDER. SCROLLS. LORE. The Elder Scrolls is NOT a grimdark setting - the closest thing you come close to grimdark is Skyrim, and that's nowhere near Game of Thrones.

As for ninjas... Whoever says that they want to see darkly-clad Assassin's Creed kind of fools roll and jump around on rooftops with katanas. Get out of my thread...

TL:DR:

Stick to the Elder Scrolls universe - don't gather influence from other works that can break the immersion.
This post was last modified: February 2nd 2014 03:34 PM by Harlwystyr
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Post #4838
Banned

867
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Argonian)

makes me think. isnt this from the official forums? The first rule of roleplaying: No ninjas. wich i completeley agree.

any way well written indeed.
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Post #4839
Writer

310
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant
Breton
Yep, it's my guide from the forums :P
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Post #4841
Administrator

961
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant
Redguard
Would you like this moved and stickied in the Role-playing forum?


Please use the Help & Feedback section if you need help. This will help others that may have the same questions and you will receive a faster response.
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Post #4842
Writer

310
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant
Breton
Actually, I was uncertain if I should post it here or in the role.playing forum. Looking back, the latter might have been best. If you'd be so kind, it'd be great.
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Post #4844
Member

345
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
Akaviri got samurai armor and katanas, surely they have ninjas too :)

- apologies for obvious trollpost, sometimes it overwhelm me and i cant resist

Tecca why we cant delete our posts?
This post was last modified: October 30th 2012 12:51 PM by Rage


Debating with someone on the Internet is like mudwrestling with a pig. You get filthy and the pig loves it
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Post #4861
Member

7
Thank you, really. :)
I was actually hoping someone would make a "how-to" guide for roleplaying on here, like on the official forums. I didn't expect it to be by the same person. :D
Many of the things on here can ruin a perfectly good roleplay thread. (I also would not mind being called out on for breaking one of these rules.)
Here is a link to the Mary Sue test, which is a great way for people to see if their character is overpowered, etc.
http://www.springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm


Shivani's Bio Cheat-Sheet
Name: Shivani
Gender: Female
Race: Khajiit (Suthay-Raht)
Age: 20
Class: Merchant/Trader
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Post #4885
Contributor

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Not Set
While I am not really comfortable/confident enough with the lore to join the Role play on this forum, I must admit I do like reading it from time to time.

I think this forum is quite lucky as far as the RP community goes, RP-ers with large vocabulary and a strong grip on the lore not to mention, good writers, but that in itself brings on higher expectations.

When you get to the rather high level the RP is at now (almost like a story) you start to judge it that way. Rather than rolling your eyes at an unrealistic over powered Gary Stu/Mary Sue (as you would with a less advanced characters/RP forums) you start to pick at the character motives and dissect their actions because the characters themselves are realistic and likable. You move onto the next stage of trying to understand them by analyzing what they do and this can be the point where it all goes wrong.

As a random example, say your character is clumsy, but you never actually having him/her exhibit that trait. Instead showing them being able to run through an overgrown forest dodging arrows effortlessly makes them difficult to sympathize with and in extension, like.

There is nothing wrong with flawed characters, characters that do the wrong thing and get the rap for it as a result. Readers support them for it (Uhmmm as an example from popular literature, Severus Snape from Harry Potter was hated by the fan base because he behaved in a certain way with no explanation/reason at all, when he is revealed to have understandable motives the fan base adores him because they can sympathize with him although his actions that caused the dislike in the first place still happened)

We as people make mistakes and can relate to that. No one is perfect, therefore no one can relate to perfection.
Seeing a character struggle, loose some battles, make mistakes and suffer for them. That's what makes a character interesting and possible to relate to.
Most importantly, that's what makes people root for them. To will them on and support them.

I wan't to say I am not talking specifically about anyone, I am only really expanding on the guide and adding in my own opinions from my own experience. I think all the Characters I have read so far are pretty awesome. XD


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Post #4901
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252
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Fine RP guide indeed.


The Elsweyr Confederacy

My motto: "Don't look for the next opportunity. The one you have in hand, is the opportunity."
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Post #6559
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335
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
I agree with most of the parts. However, an experienced roleplayer can pull of characters of high power, let it be social or just plain brute fighting or political power. This naturally means that the player is capable of making the character, no matter how powerful to dodge all the mary sues, he understands the consequences of what such characters bring into the table, and overall manages to pull it off in a way that it creates an comfortable atmosphere to those around him. Suffice to say, such characters are not for beginners.

Also, I'd like to add, there are certain things beginners should always avoid. And those are the following traits:
- A person consumed by madness / insanity
- A person who completely lacks emotions / feelings (The deadliest Mary Sue trap)
- Important member of your faction
- A criminal (suffice to say, most beginners fail to take the consequences)
- A class / profession that isn't common. (Such as a pirate, everyone loves pirates, they even exist in TES lore, but seeing a pirate running about in middle of Cyrodil without a proper reason to do so makes peoples heads spin)
- Your character is on a path of vengeance (Unfortunately, so are the 90% of other people)
- Special characters (The other fleshy part of Sheogorath, just as insane, lacks the powers of a Daedric prince [Note: Reserved you scoundrels!], sounds awesome on paper, but perhaps its better that someone more experienced creates this random encounter)
- Vampires and werewolves (I must say, the second deadlist Mary Sue trap)
- Something else I forgot to mention whilst sipping my morning coffee, oh that it was... A drunkard.
This post was last modified: November 8th 2012 04:38 AM by Nehemia
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Post #6566
Writer

310
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant
Breton
Lovely points Nehemia. :)
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Post #8574
Member

5
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
(November 8th 2012 02:59 AM)Nehemia Wrote:  I agree with most of the parts. However, an experienced roleplayer can pull of characters of high power, let it be social or just plain brute fighting or political power. This naturally means that the player is capable of making the character, no matter how powerful to dodge all the mary sues, he understands the consequences of what such characters bring into the table, and overall manages to pull it off in a way that it creates an comfortable atmosphere to those around him. Suffice to say, such characters are not for beginners.

Also, I'd like to add, there are certain things beginners should always avoid. And those are the following traits:
- A person consumed by madness / insanity
- A person who completely lacks emotions / feelings (The deadliest Mary Sue trap)
- Important member of your faction
- A criminal (suffice to say, most beginners fail to take the consequences)
- A class / profession that isn't common. (Such as a pirate, everyone loves pirates, they even exist in TES lore, but seeing a pirate running about in middle of Cyrodil without a proper reason to do so makes peoples heads spin)
- Your character is on a path of vengeance (Unfortunately, so are the 90% of other people)
- Special characters (The other fleshy part of Sheogorath, just as insane, lacks the powers of a Daedric prince [Note: Reserved you scoundrels!], sounds awesome on paper, but perhaps its better that someone more experienced creates this random encounter)
- Vampires and werewolves (I must say, the second deadlist Mary Sue trap)
- Something else I forgot to mention whilst sipping my morning coffee, oh that it was... A drunkard.

Very good points, as others have said; however I'll have to make some points of my own to mirror yours. :)

The pirate thing/example... well; pirates could have different motives. Some could be a Robin Hood-esque pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow-esque, or an evil pirate . In Elderscrolls, I don't think you're too 'locked in' to specific classes. Except for possibly being too... 'out there'. It would be very hard to be 'out there', but, there are boundries. Just be careful not to go too far with your class. They have to have weaknesses and strengths, as all good characters should. If they know everything/can do everything, its a very one-sided class and character.

As far as the vampires/werewolves thing goes... they do exist in this universe. And they have talked about a perk system implementing werewolves/vampires. SO. I wouldn't say you can't be one. However, you just need to prepare yourself/take precautions and know what you're getting into. If you don't, then you need to watch and observe people that seem to have a good balance on that type of character.

You can't really tell someone exactly how to roleplay, if they don't want to roleplay the way you or I do; my motto for that is, if they bought/paying for the game, whatever makes them happy, they will do. Though, you can always try to say: "You know, you could try improving your roleplay experience by: such and such". Sometimes people dont wanna hear that, sometimes they'll be more than happy to listen. But, to each their own.

Now, if it was WoW or another universe without Werewolves and Vampires (aside from the Worgen and San'layn) I would have to say you're in the wrong universe. XD

But, yeah. Just my two cents. I've roleplayed for about 8-9 years on multiple platforms. :3

(Also a note to Nehemia: I just noticed you said 'what beginners should avoid', I read it wrong and just noticed it after I typed up this whole post. I do agree that beginners should stay away from that sort of stuff until they observe/get some tips from people they think are a bit better with balancing the more difficult roles. :3)
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Post #10877
Member

25
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
1st Rule of Roleplaying: Do not subject others to your rules.

You are not the god of roleplaying and people do not have to bend to your will.


Great House Hlaalu

A casual/moderate PvP and RP Guild.

http://ghh.guildlaunch.com/
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Post #11542
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335
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Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
(November 20th 2012 10:12 AM)NordJitsu Wrote:  1st Rule of Roleplaying: Do not subject others to your rules.

You are not the god of roleplaying and people do not have to bend to your will.

We don't. But giving people "guidelines", or hints who have absolutely no idea about the standards is a positive thing. Excluding the community with elitism (what I've seen) is just horrible, and gives everyone an negative mindset.


Come, Unstoppable Eraser Rain
Throat Adder | Societas Daemonica
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Post #11550
Banned

138
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)

My dark elf Will become the master of shock. his background is..while exploring morrowind he was caught in a wild storm..the crowds sparked at sent a lightning bolt through his body electrocuting him for several minutes..only one thing saved his life the amulet of mara his wife had given him previously with undue courtship..the electrocution transformed him into a literal live wire knowing he could never be close to his wife again for fear of harming her he wanders the wilderness nullifying evil with his new found form.
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