Remember, your character doesn't speak in a monotone. Use punctuation.
If you are stating something, end your statement with a period. If you're exclaiming something, use an exclamation mark. If you ask a question, use a question mark.
In addition, separate ideas with commas or ... (depending on your character's "speech habits." The triple periods are usually used to separate connected ideas, or to pause between a single idea. A comma will connect a string of *more than two* adjectives, or related, but separate ideas. The word "and" would replace a comma, in most cases.
emote smiles and waves at ~susie.
emote smiles, waving at ~susie.
emote smiles broadly, her gold-capped teeth glinting in the lamplight, and waves at ~susie.
So often I'll see something like..
The dark girl says, "hey how are you"
And I have no idea if she's asking because she's concerned, or if she's just being polite, or if she is just saying it because the player feels a need to fill in empty space. I also wonder if the player even cares about the game, because I don't see any effort.
If, instead, I see,
The dark girl asks you, "Hey, how are you?" I can assume she's at the very least being just plain friendly.
If I see,
The dark girl exclaims, "Hey, how are you!" I can assume she's either been worried about not seeing me for awhile and is relieved, or that she's REALLY happy to see me, or she's just an excitable girl in the first place.
Your character's voice tells a LOT about him or her. HOW you present your character's voice and movements says a whole lot about the character him or herself, and it also reflects on your interest in delving into the fantasy world.
The more you add even the smallest things such as punctuation and capitalization, the more believable your character will be to everyone who comes across him or her. And the more sincere the rest of us will believe you are about your game playing.
There are basically a few things that have worked for me helping with my RP and basically just having a good time in Armageddon:
A well rounded personality
When you create a character I recommend asking yourself these questions. (I used his, because it's easier than writing he/she)
There's a billion more ways you can round out your characters personality, but remember the most important thing is that your character is a living breathing complex character, even the simplest of people are still vastly complicated balls of memories and emotions. People can be unpredictable, they act differently around different people, they can be multi faced. Speaking properly around a templar while throwing slang around his buddies.
One thing that Krrx once said really hit me hard in my early days of Armageddon. Loosely quoting him he said that Armageddon is not always exciting, but that's what makes the exciting times so, well, exciting! It's the build up to the fruition of a plot or goal of your character that really makes it so much more fun.
I never look at my characters as someone to be trained, but a character to just play and have fun with. Looking at your character from the "I have to get his skills better" outlook will just make me bored with the constant training, and dissapointed with the long awaited results if there's no substance behind the character's life and personality. Focus on his life, what he wants right now, and what he wants in the future.
What Code? A.K.A. Mommy, I see twinky people!
I try to never look at the game as a game. I never try to look at people as PCs played by a player, but as a real person I am interacting with. Everything that happens to me I don't think of it as how was the code abused to disfavor me, but stay in character and roll with any punches that come my way.
When you play remember you're playing for your enjoyment, don't let yourself be worried with silly things like code and twinks. I generally try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and RP as if they are the best RPers in the world and deserve me to RP my best around them.
Hero or Anti-hero? Bad ass or yes man?
Many times people want to play people who go against the grain, the exceptional people. This is not something that MUST be done, in fact most people should be playing normal people who follow the social norms of their respective homes. My most interesting PCs have all been disciplined rule followers.
Fancy Emotes and good grammar are important, but do not make someone a good roleplayer. But it still looks nice.
The most important thing to me, is making a consistant character. Meaning that they are believable. That they have reasons for their actions. That they do not stray from the design without reason.
Write these things down, it helps. Make a list of likes, beliefs, or thoughts in their head. It is almost like writing a script for your character. If A happens, character will do B because of C.
Basically I am trying to say: Don't make the character be like you. Don't have them try to act "perfect".
The best way to stop this is give them a flaw, give them something to build on that is just completly not you. Something that if someone found out, that they could take advantage of them. Don't set out to make your character invincible.
Instead of playing the game like you need to make the best character, play the game as if you are a part of the game.
When I can spend a long time with someones character, and almost predict some of their actions because of past ones, that player to me is a great roleplayer.
I've been at Armageddon for about two years, give or take a month or so, and I've learnt a lot from such veteran players as Ysania and good ol' Ihsahn. I've never been one for 'fancy emoting' where you describe in detail how you rub your face; ie: First and second fingers of the right hand are raised by @me to brush along the jaw towards their chin.
I prefer: emote raises a couple of fingers to rub their jaw.
Now, I do use details like : rakes her hand through wind-tousled tresses, the strands wisping back about her high-boned face. But that's just a bit of desc'ing detail, not intricate emotes about every little move you make in one motion. Of course, it's each to their own, but I prefer detailed yet not overdone emotes.
I also use () during says, talking and tells. The difference between a friendly hello and a sour one can be defined that way, as well as actions while speaking. When I eat, I often include swallowing as I talk or nibbling on something.
Include your objects! I can't stress this enough! Those little ~ a nd % are there for a reason! Taking the time to read the table of emote symbols can really help. Until recently, I was still doing his and her while emoting to someone else!
Make characters that also include facets of your personality. Not full-hog you, but pick a trait about yourself and work from there. I usually include stubbornness in my characters because I have that particular fault. I also add one of my likes to a character, or dislike (a little hard sometimes as I prefer to run commoners, and commoners can't read) but it can give you something to relate to in your PC.
Basic things like grammar go down well with me too. I'm a bit of a traditionalist with the adjective, adjective noun short descs, but I try to use unique or rare keywords that aren't ridiculous or subjective, like beautiful, handsome, etc... I have used words like drab, night, laugh-lined, merry-faced... I also try to avoid eye colour, though I've broken this taboo more than a few times, with unusual or striking eyecolours.
I don't make bed-me PCs that often. Most of my characters (all female, I'm uncomfortable playing the opposite sex) have been striking, even attractive, but they have flaws like asymmetrical features, callouses and other common things. I've only made a couple of 'ugly' characters, I must confess, but I prefer the attractive but not perfect type.
Pick a rp'ing style you're comfortable with. If you like exotic words and emotes, hey, that's your choice. Also refer to your background constantly, and keep tabs on any info you make up about your character. John's idea of keeping a MS Word file was a good one.
Fancy emotes do a lot to make the world more pleasant for those around you - for example, who would not prefer:
:Shuffling forward with downcast eyes and hunched shoulders, @ bends in an awkward bow to ~templar.
But the essence of good RP has nothing to do with grammar, and little to do with the detail level of emotes, and everything to do with consistency. Copious, descriptive emotes often are associated with good RPers, but staying true to the character is what makes them good RPers, not their facility with prose. Good RPers create characters who are obviously products of their culture, with the usual prejudices and beliefs of that culture. To borrow a quote from someone I know on this subject: "Making your character an exception does not give you an exceptional character". Prejudice should be handled intelligently; it is very unlikely that a normal Allanaki human would go into the Rinth to hunt and kill random elves for sport, despite the feeling against them in the city. Treating them as beneath notice, or being condescending, or snide behind their back, or even contemptuous to their face are all much better ways to demonstrate bigotry. Prejudice also is often mingled with a measure of fear - this would be especially the case with magickers, and it seems unlikely to me that many would go out of their way to offend them to the point where there might be reprisals. Similarly, reverence for nobility and the Sorceror-Kings would likely be ingrained in the majority of law-abiding commoners' psyches; submission and respect should come naturally.
Doing things that have no OOC merit but ICly make sense is another distinguishing mark of good RP, as is allowing your character a usual allocation of flaws. A hunter who has a liking/respect for tregils and will let them pass without attack in all but the most desperate circumstances. A gambler who just can't keep a poker face. A House advisor who's a secret alcoholic. All of these are believable characters with realistic quirks and problems and are much more fun to RP than the stereotypical "perfect" character.
It never hurts to use the "think" command to detail to yourself what your character is thinking and feeling; I find it helps keep my character's thought processes separate from my own. This is especially useful for characters who are governed by opposing internal forces (half-elves are a good example). Sessions of solo RP allow you to examine your character's motivations and better define his or her personality. Coming up with emotes that react to your environment helps you immerse yourself in the game world; adding detail makes the immersion deeper and enables you to visualise your character more clearly in your mind. Given the clumsiness of "look" echoes, I don't see anything wrong with including aspects of your physical description not echoed in your sdesc as well as the manner in which the movements are made, as a courtesy to other players:
:A muscle in @'s gaunt cheek twitches momentarily, then his thin lips align into a nervous smile as he turns to face ~human.
It doesn't hurt to exaggerate your character's eccentricities, especially in the first few days of play while you're getting under their skin and adjusting to them. The more vague and amorphous your character's personality, the more danger of them just becoming a clone of you as a Zalanthan. If this happens to you often, it's a good idea almost to view your character backgrounds as caricatures, where you sketch with stronger, bolder lines than normal in the knowledge that some of the oddities will be eroded over time; hopefully enough will stick to make your character a distinct, different personality from yourself.
The most important thing for me is just good grammar, correct spelling, etc. I prefer detailed poses, but if someone sticks to one liners, then to at least make them interesting, thoughtful one liners. Otherwise, I can get bored easily...
I really like it when people are aware of the nuances in their environment or appearance and incorporate that into their RP. Create the world around you so to speak rather then making it into a glorified AOL chat room.
The most important thing probably is to as someone else said, decide on a RP hook for your character and play up to it. You should know your character.
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