Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Ask Anna, Feature, Roleplay
Ask Anna – What is RP?
comment 5 Written by on October 24, 2009 – 10:51 am

One of the cool things about getting incoming links from other sites is that they bring in an audience of folks that don’t normally hang out here in my little palm-frond covered corner of the internet.

Of course – sometimes that means those folks aren’t familiar with RP, especially if they’ve been playing on a PVE-normal or PVP-normal server for the entirety of their time in Warcraft, and haven’t ever really thought about roleplay at all (other than the MMO-RPG part).  One of those folks had the courage to ask me, flat out, about RP (though he or she didn’t actually leave their name), so instead of leaving my answer buried in the comments, I’m going to tackle it straight up.

Dear Anna,

I’m gonna be frank and just ask… What IS RPing?

Is it a series of carefully planned scripts people follow ingame? Do you talk with a medieval accent? Do you wear greens and grays to role-play characters? Please Help!


Dear Unsure –

Roleplaying is nothing more than approaching our characters in game as though they were actual people living in an actual world. Rather than just being “toons”, they have personalities and histories.

  • Sometimes that means simply having a loose idea of where a character came from. If you play a Forsaken character, it might be something like knowing who they were before they died, or how they broke free from the Scourge.
  • Sometimes it means setting up big “player created” quests and events in game. These events can involve just your character or your entire guild – or even the entire server. They might just be a big party (like the one I’m throwing on Tuesday to celebrate a year since the Zombie Invasion of Stormwind), or they might be more serious.
  • Sometimes it means writing stories about them (I have a lot of those up at the Story Archive link at the top of the page). Those stories can be long or short, serious or humorous.
  • Sometimes it means that we sit around like old friends, getting drunk and telling stories in the local bar, where everyone knows us, but where we welcome and enjoy the company of new friends as well.

You should check out my sidebar of links about RP, or go check out the world of warcraft official page about realm types and RP servers to get more information.  In fact, they have one of the best short-definitions of RP I’ve seen:

If you choose to play on a Role-Playing realm, you should act and speak as your character would in the World of Warcraft setting.

However, it does NOT mean that we sit around talking in a medieval accent.In fact, this is one of the most persistent stereotypes about warcraft RP, and it is almost 100% false. I’ve met a lot of people in the last four+ years of roleplay, and I have never met ANYONE that said “Forsooth!” in a roleplay situation.

It also does not mean that we are incapable of raiding, pvping, or progressing through content. In fact, some of us even raid in a roleplay environment – and are pretty successful at it (progressing through ToC 25 heroic). Our (mostly) Fearless Leader, Tarquin ap Danwryith, wrote an excellent post on how RP Raiding works, if you’re interested.

It’s something we do in WoW – and everyone approaches it a little differently. There are as many different ways to enjoy RP as there are Roleplayers (much the same with raiders and pvpers an any other game demographic).

It also doesn’t mean that we set up elaborate “scripts” for other players to follow, like writing theater. Sometimes we have a “well, this story needs to go this way” clause for things? Kinda like a party planner usually has a list of activities or events. Those don’t define how people react to them or what the final outcome always is. They just give a basic framework to something that’s going on.

Though yes – sometimes we DO wear greens/greys or non-tier armor when we’re not out fighting. (People that wear only “RP clothes” while fighting usually get pretty frustrated with it) Would you want to sit around in a park with your friends while wearing an entire suit of armor and padding, unable to bend half way? I know I wouldn’t! So Aely usually wears pants, a shirt, and a vest, with some leather boots when she’s just “hanging out” – simply because as a /person/, it makes more sense. (Even Knights from the Medieval era didn’t wear armor 24/7)

I hope that helps as a little “basic intro” to Roleplay, Unsure.

I know that we roleplayers get a lot of grief, especially in places that aren’t populated by many roleplayers (or around people that have only ever met some notably unfortunate examples), but we’re not a bad lot!

Keep an eye around these parts early next week for an updated post about resources for a new Roleplayer!

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5 Responses to “Ask Anna – What is RP?”

  1. Amen.

    I would also like to point out that I chortled pretty hard at the fact that you say you’ve never met anyone that said “Forsooth!” in game, and then summarily link to Tarq’s post titled “Forsooth!” A smarter person than I might find the irony in that wholly amusing. 😀

  2. I’ve met a lot of people in the last four+ years of roleplay, and I have never met ANYONE that said “Forsooth!”

    …which just makes me wonder which of our characters would be most likely to say it, and under what circumstances. XD For me, probably Teu, in some kind of translation mishap; for Val’s characters, undoubtedly Vaelen the paladin, who might even say it unironically. ^_^

  3. @Arrens – that was intentional, actually. Especially considering that Tarquin is obviously being tongue-in-cheek as well 😀

    @Teuthida – I’m not sure any of my characters would Forsooth anyone – though I can guarantee you that at least three of them would make fun of anyone that said it. Aely says “Wha’ air ye, some kin’ ay poofter? Th’ hell talk is ‘at, /forsooth/?”

  4. This post made me think some more about RP, because there’s something I rarely see talked about in otherwise good “What is RP?” posts like this one.

    **Several minutes pass while I try to express it in a way that is clear and concise enough for a blog comment, and steam comes out of my ears as I fail utterly.**

    And now that I have tried to express it, I know that people leave it out because it’s hard to explain without sounding crazy. I’ll go off and try some more and then post it in my blog, I guess.

  5. Hm… that little bit about “around town” clothes makes perfect sense. I just hadn’t applied it to Warcraft and the fact that of course we wouldn’t wear our armor around all the time – how silly.

    Gives me something else to look for while leveling my baby RP rogue!

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