Roleplaying

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Mimi
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Roleplaying

Post by Mimi » Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:28 pm

We at Saint Joe's are a moderate-roleplay SG... this leads to lots and lots of questions. What is roleplaying? What you mean by "moderate"? How do I know if I am roleplaying appropriately? I will attempt to talk a little about it.

Roleplaying, quite simply, is pretending to be someone else. It's like playing dress-up, or 'cops and robbers', just more complex. If you ever used to pretend you were Luke Skywalker, or played with Barbie dolls and had them get married, you were, in fact, engaged in roleplaying. So don't be intimidated! You already know how to do it!

What does it mean to roleplay (RP) on City of Heroes? Well, it gets a little compicated, but basically, it means that your character's (or "toon's") actions should sometimes be disperate from your own thoughts, feelings, and motivations. I don't know a whole lot of people who patrol their neighborhood looking for crime. Well, we have those people, they're called the police. But most ordinary people don't go looking for trouble. So, right from the start, acknowledge that your toon does things that you don't do.

But, to specifics: the use of the in-game channels is the best way to roleplay on City Of Heroes. And they break down this way:

Local. Local is, literally, what your character is saying. So roleplay! Don't talk about alts and stats and stuff in Local. Your character isn't talking about those things, only you as a player! Now, this is not entirely possible right now-- but only because of others. People talk OOC (out of character) in Local all the time. But we should really try to change that.

Broadcast. Ok, this is for announcements, and calls for help, and such. It is OOC. Use it however you use it. It is actually sort of important for Broadcast be OOC, because your character might be a jerk. Don't ever be a jerk over Broadcast, it's not nice.

Request. Request is even more importantly OOC that Broadcast, since it reaches everybody. Again, be a player, not a character when using Request.

Team. The Team channel is where we talk about what needs to happen in a fight. That often means OOC. But I would suggest that we use Team to speak about out-of-game stuff, but using your character's voice. That's the best way to put it, I guess.

Supergroup. Originally, I thought the SG channel should be IC (in character). I don't think this anymore. I now think it needs to be a blend of IC and OOC, similar to Team but this is us talking to ourselves, so we have more freedom.

Coalition.Coalition follows the exact same rules as the SG channel. In fact, it largely replaces the SG channel.

Tells. Tells should really be used OOC. Sending tells in character is a really strange thing: if your character cannot "say" it, then it probably shouldn't be said at all. So be cautious with IC tells. At the minimum, please make sure you are clear that you are speaking IC.

The SJS Global. The SJS Global channel is entirely OOC. No exceptions. It is to be used only for organizing teams, get-togethers, and keeping in touch. Participation in the SJS Global Channel is on a strictly voluntary basis only. Do not bring any roleplay into the SJS Global channel.

Using the different channels, we can effectively discuss strategy and game mechanics and still maintain our identities as characters. Some people will ask. "but people talk OOC in local all the time, and if they ask me questions, how do I respond?" My answer would be, "either in character, or use a tell."

When people come up to me with questions about the SG, I try very hard to either talk as Mimi or I take it to tells. I know it is hard right now, but it can be done, and should be done.

One of the things that WOW really has going for it are official Roleplay Servers. We at CoH don't have that yet. But we could, and Saint Joe's can be a part of getting it off the ground.

More later.
Last edited by Mimi on Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:55 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Jaygo Jones
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Post by Jaygo Jones » Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:07 pm

I have a feeling that CoH isn't going to add a RP server anytime soon.. the WoW rp servers aren't packed like most of the rest of their servers, it's a great thing to offer but they have like 40 active US servers now anyway.. and with the number of people playing they can afford to cater.

One can only hope that Coh will follow the trend,and it'd be great to help influence that decission.

reality is often as disappointing as it sounds though

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Post by Mimi » Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:44 am

I think that what our goal should be is to start changing the tone.

There has never been a focus on RP for City of Heroes, and so it is an uphill battle. That is a simple truth. But plenty of people have joined SJS with the words "oh, I have been looking for a RP supergroup." So that is a hopeful sign, I think. And what we need to do is not disappoint those people.

So far, the biggest voice for Roleplaying has been the Simian Defense Force. The only problem is, many people do not like them, since their RP is a tad abrasive... But they do it, and for that I think they need to be congratulated.

What I think we need to do is continue where the SDF started. I want us to be able to RP and I want people to not feel threatened because of it.

One of the hurdles we will need to face really comes from a large group of the older, more experienced players... Players who I have a great deal of respect for, but they do not RP. That's just the truth. They are nice guys, to be sure, but they talk to one another as players all the time, never really as characters. And I want to get them on our side, but I do not know if it will happen.

...more later...
Last edited by Mimi on Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jaygo Jones
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Post by Jaygo Jones » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:21 am

I think we just need to find a way to let those older palyers experience more from the game than just 'run, shoot, kill'. some of them have multipule high level characters. they have a very large knowlege base for the game. we need a bridge for that same experience to get across while keeping the integrety of the game from out RP standpoint.

RP is a great way to expand teh fun of CoH. and continued presence by us will only help the cause, as we seem to have a pretty good group of people here, that are doing this more for the fun than for anything else.

i am still pretty new to the game, but having come from WoW and a heavy raiding guild i can say that it's been more fun to RP than to power game.

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Post by Mimi » Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:33 pm

Jaygo Jones wrote:i am still pretty new to the game, but having come from WoW and a heavy raiding guild i can say that it's been more fun to RP than to power game.
Yay! Speak it, Jaygo!

Yes, those high-levels are really important. They set the tone simply by being level 50. It's a weird-ism that seems to happen; people look to the level 50s for, like, inspiration or something. But we have 2 level 50s now, maybe they can help!

Jaygo Jones
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Post by Jaygo Jones » Sun Dec 18, 2005 5:08 am

So after further review of how to help influence others to give RP a chance, I think that once the holidays are over we should focus on using the boards( that way we don't kill our game time) to trying to make our winter dance a smash hit. If we can make the dance and some of our sporting events in the Arena the 'talk of the town', we will command intrest at the very least.

ao as things get crazy for the christmas rush around here i'm using my spare time at work to think of ways to get the dance off flawless.

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Post by Mimi » Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:41 pm

Okay, next on my wierd little series of posts on roleplaying...

In our code of conduct, it states that "no one at Saint Joseph School has the right to restrict your ability to roleplay. However, there are certain behaviors which cannot be tolerated under any circumstances." What exactly does this mean? Simply put, it means that we acknowledge that there are lines that should never be crossed, even in good fun. Beyond those lines, there is only character, which must not be stifled if we are going to promote the idea of roleplaying.

Among the things we cannot tolerate are threats of violence, unwanted sexual advances, and repeated verbal abuse. Of course these things are unacceptable. They are both un-fun and against the EULA, so we cannot allow them for any reason.

But what about things that fall into the grey areas of these rules? The best question is not "do I like what this person said?", but rather, "is this person making things more interesting?" Let me proffer an example that toes these lines very closely...

Smiley Bob has joined SJS. When he writes up his bio, he states that he has an on-again, off-again physical relationship with Frowny Jane, who is another member of SJS. Frowny Jane does not know this person and does not wish to be physically involved with anybody. Smiley Bob needs to change his bio, apologize to Frowny Jane, and recieves a warning from the Administration about conduct.

And example two...

Smiley Bob has joined SJS. He meets Frowny Jane for the first time, and asks her if it would be okay to give them a stormy romantic history. Frowny Jane thinks about it, and agrees, just so long as it is clear that they are not currently "together" - after all, Frowny Jane doesn't want to be involved with anybody, but she decides that it is interesting if she once had a past. They outline what is acceptable talk in regards to their relationship: both of them agree to never discuss why they broke up, or any details about their romance. As long as both players respect the rules that they set up from themselves, there is no violation of our code.

Once Smiley Bob and Frowny Jane agree to the terms of their shared history and begin to roleplay it, they have engaged in a kind of roleplaying contract. It is not anyone's right within the supergroup to violate their contract without a kind of "due process," that is to say, just because you or I may not like the idea of their stormy romance, we cannot simply demand they change it. We are free to discuss it, but ultimately, unless they are breaking the EULA or our code of conduct, they are under no obligation to change their roleplay simply because we don't like it.

One final example on this topic...

As it turns out, Frowny Jane is roleplaying her role in SJS as a teacher. Smiley Bob is roleplaying his role as a student. When news of their stormy relationship gets out, it casts a shadow on the character of the school itself: after all, physical relationships between staff and students are simply not acceptable in the world. Frowny Jane and Smiliey Bob need to make a choice: they can rewrite their histories so that the relationship did not occur (maybe Smiley Bob has always had a crush on his teacher, but nothing has ever happened), or Frowny Jane can rewrite her history and reconceptualize herself as a student, or Smiley Bob can rewrite his history and become a member of the staff.

I hope these examples help to illustrate the fine line between acceptable and unacceptable roleplaying. Remember, even in these instances, the answer is almost never "you cannot do that." It is most often, "the way you are doing that doesn't work. Can you find another way to do it?"

Just like the open forums on developing staff and facilities, we should feel free to discuss each other characters with one another. If we forge connections and conflicts, roleplaying will become more interesting. Simply shouting at one another doesn't do that. Make suggestions. Talk about why you might object to something, don't just draw a line in the sand.

...more later...

Jaygo Jones
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Post by Jaygo Jones » Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:55 pm

Well said meems

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Post by Mimi » Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:07 pm

Updated the thread to address "tells".

More coming, when next I feel inspired.

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Post by Mimi » Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:53 am

Next up... "Character Ownership".

As soon as I'm not so sleepy.

You can start to think about it here.

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Post by Mimi » Thu May 18, 2006 5:56 pm

Updated the thread to discuss the coalition channel and the SJS global channel. Also, check out my new thread about storytelling, since these two topics are related.

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Post by Kris O'Sullivan » Mon May 29, 2006 12:31 pm

Mimi wrote:Next up... "Character Ownership".

As soon as I'm not so sleepy.

You can start to think about it here.
Wow!!! Interesting thread there!!!
"In blessed memory of Sister Mercy (Sister Mary Catherine St. Claire {Dec 12, 1923 - unknown date})

Her memory lives on with St Joseph School as a testament to the good that can be done by healers at the scene of conflict."

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