RP Etiquette Guide - Food for Thought

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TinweSaa
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RP Etiquette Guide - Food for Thought

Post by TinweSaa » 12/12/13

Reposted from the KoF site with Lyah's blessing...

I am presenting this as general food for thought and a reminder. We have roleplayers of all levels of experience from the brand new to veterans. I am on the veteran end. I have been roleplaying for 30 years. I started out with D&D table top and progressed from there. I have roleplayed in many systems and a variety of ways. I have run and been a participant in table top games, online text based, storyboards, LARP, MMORPG’s... You name it, I probably did it. I have roleplayed with all sorts of people from all walks of life. At the core of everything that happens, there is an etiquette to roleplaying that should be obliged. I am not talking about a person’s chosen style, presentation, voice, etc… I am talking about basic courtesies that should be extended to everyone regardless of the rp environment you are playing in, the style you use, and the other people you deal with. Etiquette has everything to do with respecting yourself, your fellow players, and the game.
  • COMMUNICATE!!! This is the single most important thing you can do. As a matter of fact, it is the backbone to all good rp. The lack of effective communication is the reason RP goes bad. Be respectful and considerate about it even if you are upset and angry. You have no idea what the person on the other side of the screen is thinking, doing, dealing with, etc. You or the other person could be misinterpreting something. You can always call a time out to the rp and take a few minutes to speak OOC’ly. This solves most issues before they begin. It is important that both sides be clear and direct in what they have to say. Don’t beat around the bush or be ambivalent. Clearly and respectfully communicate what you have to say. It is also important that both sides listen to one another. Make sure you understand what the other person is saying.

    Respect, Responsibility, Accountability and the Ethics of Reciprocity. These are the primary rules of my life and my household. I apply them to everything. Respect yourself and others. Be Responsible by being reliable, dependable and following through. Be Accountable for your choices, actions and words. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated.

    Ignore the Rumor Mill. It is an unfortunate fact of life that people will get upset, rightfully or not so rightfully. They will rant, rave, complain, and vent to anyone who will listen. However, this is just that person’s point of view regardless of facts. The important thing to remember is that all situations have more than one perspective. More than likely, no one has all the information. Just because your best friend says Player Soandso causes all the drama, does not mean that is true, accurate, or a fact. Just because you witness one episode of something, does not mean it is a pattern of behavior. Quite often, this information is erroneous and the source is whoever can garner the most attention for their plight. Over the years, I have found most often the loudest voice is usually the one that is the source of the drama not the person they are pointing at. I try not to aid the rumor mill and destruction of people’s reputations by not fueling these things. I may take into consideration what the word around town is about other people, but I do not let it color how I deal with people. I give people a chance to show what kind of person they truly are then I make my choices based on that. Holding on to one instance of a behavior that I have little context, background, or information about, or holding on to situations from x amount of time ago involving people who are not around or were not involved, helps no one and only perpetuates negativity. RP’ing is supposed to be fun and an escape from RL. Perpetuating rumors, half truths, airing dirty laundry, and holding on to negativity makes the game unpleasant for everyone including yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. People worth being around will make an effort to correct the mistakes, learn from the mistake, and grow as an individual. However, they can only do that if others give them the opportunity. When in doubt, remember Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate. Talk to the person and move forward.

    Assure You Have All the Facts. There are many sides to the same story. The truth is always at the center and the facts have nothing to do with people’s feelings about the situation, assumptions about the situations, or assessments based on partial information. Honestly, most issues boil down to miscommunication and misinterpretation. The solution is to go to the source and remember Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate. This will resolve most issues quickly.

    Know when not to RP. If you are in a negative mood of some kind, it is probably better for you and others around you if you decline rp. It is perfectly acceptable to let others know that you are not in a good place for rp at the moment and would rather wait. We all have RL going on. We all get in negative moods. We all know ourselves well enough to know when we should just be OOC for a while. By the same token, if someone tells you they are not in a good place for rp, do not take it personally. Respect the fact your fellow player is in a bad place. You certainly would want the same courtesy. Remember, Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate.

    Respect RP limits. Everyone is different in what they will tolerate. This goes back to Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate. Take some time to open some dialogue oocly so boundaries are not crossed and people are not offended. Find out what the other person feels is acceptable and is not. Over the years, I have discovered people will run the gamut. There are those that will roleplay without hesitation. There are those that have specific limits for specific types of rp. There are others that want it implied rather than rp’d out. Then there are others that would rather discuss it without detail OOC’ly and come to an agreement. Then there are others who want nothing to do with it.

    Also, over the years I have discovered, some people are not effective at being clear and direct with what they will and will not accept for their characters and in rp. It is important to consider what a person is saying and how it is being said. If the person is being ambivalent, unclear, or seems unsure, you probably should back down what you are doing a little. Not everyone asserts themselves well. I personally use the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating system to guide things. It is clearly defined, people are familiar with it, and most people can grasp what you are talking about.
    • G – General Audiences. There is no content that would be objectionable to most parents. These films may contain beyond polite language but no swearing. As with violence it must be mild, if any, without any blood or gore. This is one of only two ratings dating back to 1968 that still exists today.

      PG – Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children. These films are generally appropriate for children age 10 and older and may contain milder swear words, brief smoking, crude or suggestive humor, short and infrequent horror moments and/or mild violence. Usually no drug use is acceptable in this category. Topless men may be present but topless women are not usually acceptable unless in an educational or scientific context or if the nudity is only shown briefly. A few racial insults may also be heard. Before the creation of PG-13, many "PG" films (e.g. Jaws and Watership Down) included explicit bloody violence. Content such as this helped lead to the creation of the "PG-13" rating.

      PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. These films may contain sex references, up to four uses of explicit language, drug innuendo, strong crude/suggestive humor, mature/political themes, moderately long horror moments and/or moderate action violence. There are usually no restrictions on non-sexual nudity. However, extreme bloodshed is rarely present. This is the minimum rating at which drug content is present; with the exception of Austin Powers and Click. Marijuana smoking is the only illegal drug use that can be depicted in a PG-13 film, with the exception of Forrest Gump, in which a brief scene depicts an actress snorting cocaine. While PG-13 films usually have more profanity than PG films, this is not necessarily the case. A film that is given a PG-13 rating due to profane language and/or racial insults is given this rating because it contains more of these elements than a PG rating would permit, or the film contains uses of stronger profanities than a PG would permit. A film rated PG-13 for "intense violence" is given this rating if blood is present in a violent way. The films Gremlins and Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom are well known as the movies that PG-13 was created for. In recent years, this rating has been used for the majority of American films released. Some films that have received a PG-13 rating have a director's cut with an R rating. Daredevil is just an example of this practice.

      R – Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent Or Adult Guardian. These films may contain mild or implied sex scenes, prolonged nudity, strong violence often with blood and gore, strong horror scenes and explicit/illegal/prolonged drug use. A movie rated R for profanity often has more severe or frequent swearing than the PG-13 rating would permit. An R-rated movie may have more blood, gore, drug use, nudity, or graphic sexuality than a PG-13 movie would permit. Some R-rated films have an "unrated" DVD release with scenes of violence, sexual material, or profanity that have been edited from the original cut. At its inception, the R certificate permitted patrons aged 16 and older to attend unaccompanied, but this was raised to 17 in the 1970s.

      NC-17 – No Children 17 And Under Admitted. These films may contain strong graphic violence with loads of blood and gore, sex scenes, depraved, abhorrent behavior, sexual nudity, or any other elements which, at present, most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children and teenagers. It is rare for a movie to get rated NC-17 due to swearing or drug use. NC-17 does not necessarily mean obscene or pornographic in the oft-accepted or legal meaning of those words. For example, the movie Robocop had to delete a few exceptionally violent scenes to avoid receiving a then-X rating. The Board does not and cannot mark films with those words. These terms are legally ambiguous, and their interpretation varies from case to case. The NC-17 designation implies that the Ratings Board has determined that due to the content of the film, it should be intended for adults only. NC-17 replaced the X rating in 1990. Many films which received X-ratings prior to the 1990 change received a re-rating of NC-17. Many theater companies and local operators will not play NC-17 titles and some newspapers and magazines will not run ads for these films. Most NC-17 titles have limited theatrical release, usually in smaller theaters, or are released directly to video or DVD. Most NC-17 titles also have an edited versions released on video and/or DVD that are either unrated or R-rated.

    Ask before doing. If you are about to do something to or against another character, group of characters, or guild as a whole, stop and open some OOC dialogue. Make sure the other player, players, or guild is ok with what you want to do and finds it acceptable. This applies to everything from a basic fight scene to a major plotline. We have all made this mistake. We have all gotten into what we are doing and forgot to ask if something was ok or not. It is important to be mindful though especially if the action being taken has a negative impact on the character, group of characters, or guild in some way. Most people are very open to ideas and will roll with it, but there are times when people simply do not want to deal with certain things. This applies to one on one interaction and to multiple players being involved. This also leads back to Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate.

    Understand the Rules of Engagement. If you are about to get into an rp that will become “physical” from the character’s point of view, remember you call your action first then roll the dice. You are ATTEMPTING an action not doing. For example, Joe and Bob are ready to thrown down and fight. Joe ATTEMPTS a right hook to Bob’s face. Joe rolls his attack dice, usually a d100 for this game. Bob rolls his defense dice, again a d100. The higher of the rolls wins. Bob then needs to emote the result based on the die roll. Let’s say, Joe rolled low and Bob rolled high. Bob feints back avoiding the hook. Bob ATTEMPTS a left cross at Joe’s face. The rolls continue from there. Of course, use Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate. Make sure you open some OOC dialogue so the rp goes smoothly.

    Never Act or Speak for another character. This is common courtesy. You would never speak or act for someone in your real life without express permission from that person. Do not do it in game. You have no idea what the player will decide to have their character respond or react to a given situation. Certainly, you would not want someone else speaking and acting for your character. By the same token, do not get upset or frustrated if you get an unexpected response or reaction. Be flexible and understanding. You do not necessarily know what that character or the player might have just recently dealt with or what information they have. When in doubt, remember Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate.

    Have patience. All our rp is text based. Everyone’s typing skills and presentation styles are different. Some people type 95 words a minute and others hunt and peck with one finger. Some people post up simple, short response and others type 2 or more posts for a responses. Other people have a three ring circus going on in their RL or are in tell hell. Still others give careful consideration before responding while others can just flow with the RP. Also, the other person may be confused or unsure. When in doubt, remember Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate.

    Avoid the Big Three: Do Not Power Game, God-Mod, or Meta-Game! These are three worst things you can do in RP and will garner you a not so pleasant reputation and people will cease to rp with you. There are generally two types of people who engage in these approaches to rp; those who do not know any better or have been shown wrong and those who do not care because it is more important that they have the upper hand or “win” from their perspective. Etiquette Guideline 1, Communicate is the best way to handle these situations. It will also clearly and quickly tell you if the person is doing it unintentionally or not.

    I have found over the years the terms are used interchangeably and many people do not have a solid grasp on what the terms means. It is important to define all three terms so we can avoid doing it ourselves and we have a common language to converse in:
    • Power Gaming: This utilizing the rules of the game to be the best at winning while sacrificing enjoyment of play and roleplaying potential. A power gamer weaves everything within the rules to be the best and does not like or want to “lose” even if that is simply a perception on their part. No matter what anyone else does, they are never affected by it while not breaking any game rules.

      In the world of EQ2, these people usually give their characters abilities and characteristics that are outside the realm of the game mechanics and/or draw on out of game lore sources. However, these abilities give them a distinct advantage in roleplay and leave those around them at a significant disadvantage. Their character does not suffer from any disadvantage or weakness, but has all the advantages. For example, Bob the son of the deity, Soandso. While there is nothing implausible about the concept, people who present these concepts never present the mortal side. They always present the wondrous demigod like powers and abilities including opportune moments of divine intervention. Yet, there is no presentation of the mortal weaknesses that would normally balance that out.
      • Example:
        Hercules was the son of Zeus and a mortal lover. Yes he was incredibly strong, but he was mortal and had serious anger issues. He was subject to all the same struggles a mortal would have to wrestle with. He was also being tormented by the goddess, Hera. In the Classical Greek presentation, you see the struggle of the mortal man as he comes to terms with whom and what he is. Yes, in the end he triumphs, but he does not stomp through the world with impunity. Certainly, by the time he achieves demigod status, he has learned his lessons and come to terms with his reality. This component is missed by power gamers. They ignore the mortal failings and focus solely on the strengths and benefits. All the growth and potential to present the concept is found in his life’s story not the conclusion when he is elevated to demigod status.
      God Modding: This is similar to power gaming and usually goes hand in hand. In this case, a character can do anything without limits or boundaries. There is nothing that can affect the character or hurt the character. This frequently involves overpowered emotes that allow them to do anything they want without regard for the other character at all.

      In the world of RP, online and table top, this usually involves emotes and actions that do not take into consideration the other person(s) in the scene. The action emoted not only describes the actions of the player emoting, but describes the response of the other people forcing them to accept an outcome which is always to their detriment and the god modder’s benefit.
      • Example A:
        Bob emotes attempting to punch Joe in the face.
        Joe emotes dodging the attack, grabbing Bob and throwing him across the room. Joe hops up on a table and does a flying elbow attack connecting with Bob’s throat and incapacitates him.

        Example B:
        Bob emotes casting a fireball at Joe.
        Joe emotes the fireball dissipates on impact. Joe swings his sword and decapitates Bob. Joe watches Bob’s head roll across the floor and his lifeless and now headless body slump to the ground.
      Meta Gaming: This is the use of out of character knowledge in an in-character manner. The knowledge used by the player is not actually available to the character, but is used to make decisions and effect situations.In the world of RP, lots of conversing goes on and many of us have more than one character. It becomes important to keep separate what a player knows personally from what their character knows. Most often metagaming manifests as someone gleaning information through magical or opportunistic means or via alternate characters. This information is then used to alter courses of actions to the advantage of the metagamer. Frequently these alterations are not in line with the character concept being presented.
      • Example A:
        Bob discovers oocly of a plot to kidnap his character and shake him down for some information. This kidnapping will happen when he is on the way to a tavern he frequents often and he has plans to meet Jane there that night. Bob has been talking about meeting Jane at the tavern for a week now.

        Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Bob ceases to go to the tavern or Bob decides he needs an entourage of powerful bodyguards that he has never had before so he can go to the tavern.
        Had he not known this information, he would have happily gone to the tavern alone to meet Jane just as he always did.

        Example B:
        Henry discovers icly that there is a plot to kidnap his alt Bob. ICly Bob and Henry have nothing to do with one another because Henry is evil and Bob is good. However, Henry is given a thinly tied together reason as to why he would tell Bob of this plot. Bob then alters his course of action.

        Example C:
        Bob is a powerful druid and all of nature speaks to him. His tried and true nature friends help him out though. Conveniently, the bunny named Lollipop happens to have a den under the house where the plan was being made to kidnap Bob. Lollipop hops all the way from Greater Faydark to the deepest recesses of Skyfire to tell Bob this. OR Lollipop uses his powers of telepathy generously bestowed upon him by Bob to let him know what is about to happen.
poArq

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Yezra

Re: RP Etiquette GUIDE - Food for Thought

Post by Yezra » 12/12/13

+2 (For times when +1 isn't enough.)

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Mahamari
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Re: RP Etiquette GUIDE - Food for Thought

Post by Mahamari » 12/13/13

This is really well done. Great stuff!

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Slipps
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Re: RP Etiquette GUIDE - Food for Thought

Post by Slipps » 12/13/13

This should be stickied.

Everywhere.

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Kennin
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Re: RP Etiquette Guide - Food for Thought

Post by Kennin » 05/14/14

There are different kinds of RP too.

A huge difference is the one between "PVP RP" and "PVE RP".

I enjoy the latter, where all players involved are on the same side. All opponents are either mobs or other players who act like an NPC. They play their dedicated role, just like characters in a LARP, and they act accordingly.

The first one is the well known "good guild vs evil guild" concept, for example. The players play conflicts between two groups of PC's with whatever rule available to their disposal.

The PVP RP causes real discomfort in many cases. The winning team gloats, the losing team feels bad. I've witnessed this a kazillion times and it does not make me feel happy about the game, no matter on which side I am. I will no longer take part of PVP RP, because of this reason, as well as for the god modding, meta gaming and power gaming that happens a lot too.
In the PVE RP, everything is somewhat clear to the opponents. They know what is supposed to happen, and they will do so, which is a lot more satisfying to everyone.
These "player NPC's" for the lack of a better word, might be sock puppets of the GM's, or they might be members of an "enemy guild", whereas the term "enemy guild" refers to another guild who enjoys the same way of playing.
These will be able to call upon your own guild if NPC's are needed.
These NPC's won't be considered to be the same persons as the player's real characters.

Bear in mind, though, that I do not think that PVE RP is superiour to PVP RP. I just personally like it much more.

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TinweSaa
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Re: RP Etiquette Guide - Food for Thought

Post by TinweSaa » 05/14/14

The issues of PVP RP vs PVE RP and Free Form RP vs Cooperative RP are different discussions altogether. Ultimately, with reasonable application of some etiquette, especially COMMUNICATION most issues can be avoided or resolved regardless of the style of RP a person prefers.

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