Causing a Scene

Posted: July 28, 2009 by Salvatore Otoro in Roleplay 101
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sindee meets another player in Lost Angels

Sindee meets another player in Lost Angels

You’ve arrived in a sim you like, you’ve got all your gear, and you’re character is dressed as you want them to look.  That was easy.  The hard part begins now.  You don’t know anyone here.  It may be your first time or your fifth time and you still have not made any connections within the sim IC or OOC.  This is probably the most intimidating part of role play.  Recently a friend, Feles Seitan, asked me. “Have you covered in your blog the graceful way to pass between stories if you find you aren’t connecting with the initial group of players you meet, but don’t want to necessarily exclude them from future play?”  The following will answer that question as well as offer some tips to get started in a sim when you don’t know anyone there and/or have never role played there.

Most new players have a few fears when they first step onto a role play sim.  First of all, they don’t know anyone so they have to make some friends otherwise they won’t be able to role play.  This brings about the second fear, which is that you are walking into all the scenes in the middle.  Everyone has a scene going on and you think that you will have a hard time making inroads with unknown persons in role play that has possibly been going on for a while.  The third fear is that even if you are able to join someone’s role play, that you will mess up and say something wrong, basically stage fright.  While all these fears are real, they are easily solved.

Orchid, Salvatore, and Sakura23 in Lost Angels

Orchid, Salvatore, and Sakura23 in Lost Angels

I can tell you, from experience, that some seasoned players in a sim will ignore new role players or noobs, as they are mostly called.  One reason new players are sometimes ignored because some players just don’t want to take the time to teach, or get the player up to speed on what the scene played out is all about.  Others will ignore a new player because the scene they are concentrating on the scene they are playing.  Yet others will do so simply because they refuse to.  These reasons are not something you should dwell on when entering a sim.  Everywhere RL and SL you have cliques that shun outsiders and getting in is near impossible but there are ways around it.

The main thing you have to remember is that your character has to develop some background.  It can be minimal but enough to have some kind of story about where you came from, how you got there, what you do, and or what you are looking for.  These four parts will give your character a base from which to work on.  There is more in my section about Character Development.  When I meet a new player, I do a mini interrogation hidden in these four questions.  I don’t do it to intimidate the player but to give them a chance to tell me more about themselves in a simple casual conversation.  My character is a demon who will seldom reveal much of its present, past, or future with anyone, much less a human.  Many have left with more questions than answers when questioning me about who I am, what I do, and who I associate with, but that is the nature of my character.  You may not want to be as secretive upon first arriving though all that depends on who your character is and who they become comfortable with.

A club in Tempura City

A club in Tempura City

An RP sim also has many props and places that are conducive to role play.  These serve as tools to foment role play, develop characters, and formulate a scene.  A Simple way to begin your role play is to head into a store or a structure.  Walking into a bar, a dance club, or a shop can help you begin your character’s entrance into the role play.  You could, for example, walk into a bar, see no bartender and help yourself to a bottle, then go back your barstool and begin drinking or stay behind the bar and become the bartender.  Think about the possibilities and all the people you can meet as the bartender or while sitting down having a drink at the bar.  You could also walk into a bookstore and browse the shelves for a certain title, ask for help finding that book, and perhaps strike up a conversation with someone there.  You could also walk into unknown territory, be confronted or threatened, perhaps beaten or killed.  It is risky but you will meet some players that way.  These encounters will start you off on getting some role play done and interacting with some players that you will now considerer allies or enemies.

Another point to consider concerns how role play is done.  There are different type of role players and you need to be aware that not all of them will respond as quickly as you might.  Some role players are para-role players.  These role players will usually post long paragraphs in response to a post and they may take extra time to respond.  I have seen cases where it easily takes some players 10 or 15 minutes to respond because their post is several paragraphs long.  There is no right or wrong way to role play.  Para-role players, also known as paraRPrs, like to describe everything down to the last detail in terms of their emotions, what they see, hear, smell, and touch.  Originally, I didn’t like to interact with paraRPrs because of the lengthy posts, but as I got accustomed to different RP styles, I learned that some role play became much more intense when it was done in paraRP as opposed to short and quick responses.  This is something to keep in mind when you are role playing.  There are different styles of players and each brings their unique spin on the story.

The last point I want to touch on is the fear that many new players have about speaking or messing up their lines.  I know when I started, it was intimidating not knowing anyone and wondering what to say and whether I was going to say the wrong thing.  When I talk to others who want to join role play they have similar fears.  My advice is to jump in and get started because it is not a contest to see who can say what.

A battle by the Pack's Den in Lost Angels

A battle by the Pack's Den in Lost Angels

You will notice when watching a scene taking place that some players have typos and even take back lines because they made mistakes.    Sometimes even seasoned players will miss a posting or response from another player and mistakenly say something that would have been different had they seen it beforehand.  You won’t be penalized or shunned for typos and or deleting a line.  Simply advising everyone by putting an asterisk followed by the correctly spelled word or phrase will indicate to all that you had a typo.  When deleting a line of dialog, simply say it in OOC within brackets as such ((scratch that last line)) or however you wish to tell them.  This way you can correct the role play as it moves along.

I hope this answers the question and offers some new avenues to pursue when arriving in a sim.  It seems tougher than it really is.  Remember, seasoned players and the cliques alike within a sim always need new players to add to their ranks, keep the role play fresh, and add more stories to the mix.  New players and new acquaintances mean more fun for everyone involved.

  1. felesseitan says:

    This was very informative and I really appreciate your taking the time to answer. I can understand some of the cliquishness in some of the sims after experiencing it first hand. I was put off at first, but my friend explained that the nature of RL was secretive, very protective of the character information, and the assumption always of new players was that they could be enemies, it was built into the overall story. It’s certainly more challenging to enter and establish yourself as neutral or non-threatening.

    • Role play character information is very secretive because you have to find that out IC and that can be a daunting task. The other part of it, of course, is that you don’t know a new player’s loyalties yet. They may be in fact a spy for a rival faction. I have experience first hand, alts that were born the day they arrived at the RP sim or a few days prior, that tried to join factions and were heavily scrutinized because there was always that question about who they really were and why they came looking to be a part of faction. Being part of a family in my role play sim, I am by nature untrustworthy of any outside of my circle…the same applies to all other factions. A new player has to prove themselves to others and lay to rest the fears that their intentions are more than what initially appears. I’m glad this answered your questions and hope it helps others to learn a bit more about starting out in an RP sim.

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