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"Anyone can Role-Play. It just requires a desire to be somewhere else, with friends that want to be someone else, in a time that will never occur anywhere else."




candle.gif (9961 bytes)The discussion of what role-playing entails is a discussion which can be never ending. In the end, there are no set rules as to what is acceptable role-playing and what is not. One thing for sure though; those who are more serious about playing the part of the medieval adventurer will frown upon those who speak in the game about pizza or television.

One of the biggest factors in the ambiance and fun of a role-playing game are how well the participants role-play. Following are some guidelines to help your role-playing, which are summed up nicely by a wandering Bard:


Know Thy Environment


The basics to all role-playing is to become aware of your environment. The age and ambiance is very important. A 21st century Police Officer is a ludicrous character to have in 14th century England. Determine the relative age of the environment. Is it similar to any age in our Real history (i.e. Lord of the Rings is very similar to 14th century England, or the Dark Age’s). Determining the age of the land will provide the "ambiance" for your role-playing. Your character can help create this ambiance or help to destroy it. The better your character responds in this age, the better the experience for everyone.


Know Thy History


Each world has its own unique history. It is this history that attracts people to roleplay in that world and much of the role-playing environment is based on the history that the game creators have set forth.


Watch Thy Tongue


Each world has its own native language, and sometimes, many languages. It is usually acceptable to "slang" this language with the use of normal English. In general, the language in most of the realms we visit is "Elizabethan" in nature. However, it is acceptable to integrate normal English when speaking. This makes communication easier since you do not need to learn the "Elizabethan" language. Just throw in a few "thee’s" and "thou’s" and life is good. The better that your character learns the language, the better the role-playing. It helps set the environment and ambiance for everyone.


Another component of this is your character. Let your character speak through the race he/she is, not your human form. If you play a Dwarf, use of "me do this" or "me thinks" is very appropriate. Likewise, Ogres and Trolls are not very intelligent by nature and tend to use short phrases like "ugg" or "dat hurt". When you develop your character, be aware of their native language versus the language of the land. This includes any speech problems that your character may have such as a lisp.


To thy own self be true


Be true to your character, not to the human that drives the character. Role-playing is based on this principle. If your character is an Ogre, then your character is to stupid to understand the principles of virtue, or be seen giving an eloquent public address. Think this through when examining the Class/Race considerations. If you want to play the game as yourself, then create a character that is your Race/Class in real life. If you create an Ogre, and give them super intelligence, you have destroyed the role-playing environment. Race/Class considerations are very important.


Think carefully when building a character. Here are some points to consider:


  • Give the character a history (biography)

  • Give your character a personality

  • Give your character a language

  • Give your character a face and physical appearance


Its important to try and create a virtual person for others to see. I have a picture of King Arthur in my mind. Tales and our interpretations have created that picture. I think I know what he looks like. This is important for your characters, and helps others to visually imagine what you look like. This helps to create the environment for role-playing. Show everyone "who" your character is by actions and dress. Demonstrate your personality and your character flaws. Do this OFTEN! Go to a tavern and just sit at a table, describe everything you do, from shifting in the chair, to brushing the hair out of your eye’s. Do this OFTEN! The more you do it, the better people can build a picture in their minds.


A final word on this topic. It is perfectly acceptable to create a character that is very similar to yourself. If you feel comfortable and happy to role-play this way, then do it. What is important is that you are true to the character and not yourself in role-playing. If your true to the character, you are helping build the role-playing environment. If an Ogre comes to you and speaks of virtue, you should laugh at the idiot and walk away. That person just ruined the role-playing experience. If you want to be intelligent and powerful, then use the Race/Class combinations to create a character that fits your desire, not the other way around.




Participate and adventure with a player guild or in groups. Role-playing is the most fun when you have an audience. Get involved in quests, not just the old dungeon run for gold. Explore. Role-playing should build a story, with many small chapters. The game is a quest, filled with smaller quests and adventure. Give your character some time to grow and join with others in adventure, not just chatting about where the monsters are. Go get drunk one night, go get gold another, go vanquish evil and then rest a while in the tavern. Make some cloths for the "needy", out-wit the "greedy". Build chapters in your characters life. When you do this, you are helping to build the environment for everyone! Remember, you are not alone. The more you "get into it", the more you drag others "into it". The whole world benefits.



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