What is Roleplay?

Let’s start at the very beginning.  What -IS- roleplay?

role-play [rohl-pley]  verb (used with object): to assume the attitudes, actions, and discourse of another

Let’s break down this definition to something basic, highlighting the various points

  • VERB: it is an action word.  In order to roleplay, one must be active to make it happen.
  • ASSUME: to take on
  • ATTITUDES: the mindset
  • ACTIONS: (another verb word) ways in which to physically behave
  • DISCOURSE: the speech
  • ANOTHER: That which is not of yourself.

The very definition of the word is about creating something that is not OF you, yet is controlled BY you AND influenced BY others.  Each person brings their character into the roleplay.  They bring the attitudes, actions and discourse to interact with their other roleplayers, who are doing the same,  to create a story.

Immserive roleplay is when the characters shape the storyline by their actions and it takes on a whole life of its own.  The characters within the scene determine the outcome itself.  It is done “in character”.

The way you play your character will determine the way OTHERS will play THEIR character against yours.  It has nothing to do with someone liking YOU, the person.  It has to do with how THAT person wished to play the mindset they created for their character.

Some scenes have a few people, some have many.  The focus shifts based on the roleplay.  Each character SHOULD not only get the chance to be in the spotlight, but should also play a supporting role in someone else’s spotlight.  Sometimes people try to force a shift of a scene with too much OOC.

OOC is what happens between the typists which can ruin the natural flow of the scene.  Negativity in OOC can spoil a whole sim.  If someone is constantly negative in private or group chats about the scenes, the design, the story or any other number of things, that person is a “festering boil” that needs to be popped.

Remember, you are not the author of the roleplay, you are only the creator of the lines for ONE person, your own.  Be true to your character – keep them within the actions, attitudes and discourse you created for them when you started.  A character with no supporting players is just a monologue.


About Lex Zimmer

A simple carpenter in the Isle of Dee
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