One of the hardest things about being in an established RP group is dealing with people that obviously want to join in… but who are so clueless as to toe the /ignore line because their behavior is egregiously annoying. This goes whether you’re new to the group, to the server, or new to RP altogether. As a whole, RPers like new people. They bring new ideas and fresh perspectives into a group that’s sometimes so well established as to be a little bit boring.
Each new RPer is a risk though, because sometimes you run into a bad egg. And some nights, you get lucky enough to have a not-so great experience with one new person and a fantastic experience with another one. Last night was one such evening and was the inspiration for this post.
So. Things to beware of.
The Bad! (And sometimes Ugly)
- Repeatedly stating things in /say, but using ((OOC BRACKETS)) is really annoying. Particularly if what you reference in say using brackets is bitterness at someone who didn’t read all of your RSP flag. (see point #2) A casual ((afk a few)) is fine, every once in awhile – though there are in character ways of dealing with afks as well.
- RSP mods are great, but not everyone has them. If your description is seven screenshots long? Nobody is going to read it. Pretend it doesn’t exist and RP from where you are.
This is particularly true if you have, in the past, chewed people out in general chat for having what you deem “bad RSP descriptions”, only to have yours contain the information that you are a DK but you’re not really a DK, and that your bust is exactly such and such size. If you have to break it down into sections like “Physical Appearance” “Armor” “Is Not a <Class>” and each of those sections is more than a paragraph? It’s too long. Which is fine, just don’t demand that people who are busy in the middle of several conversations around a bar-room table stop what they’re doing to read all of it before they RP with you.
- Long, passive aggressive emotes will only annoy the people you are talking to. Things like “/me sighs and stares pointedly at everyone at the table who is ignoring her attempts to stalk them.” aren’t going to make you any friends. In fact, if even YOU think it seems like you’re stalking them? They’re probably not real keen on your being around.
- If you want attention, and you keep doing attention hogging things to get it, people aren’t going to be keen on giving it to you. It’s the equivalent of ignoring the three year old running around with a shipping box on her head. When everything you do screams PAY ATTENTION TO ME I’M SPECIAL… it’s not conducive for a group RP setting. If you come across as trying to be the center of attention, you’re probably going to be unsuccessful (or at least get a negative reaction)
- Point #4 also goes for Elune Stones. Standing around in spotlights and then ignoring anyone that tries to ask you if you’re putting on a show? Not a good way to have people want to spend time RPing with you.
- If, when you get frustrated with a group of people’s refusing to acquiesce to your demands for attention, you stand on the table, dance, strip naked, make sexy emotes, or do other behavior usually found in the sphere of griefers…. you seem like a griefer. Even if you aren’t trying to be one.
In short, demanding – either outright or through your actions – that you MUST be the center of attention because your character is somehow amazingly special isn’t going to make you any friends. If you were going into a real life bar or coffee shop for the first time, and a large group of people who obviously know each other were there, how would you act? Those same kinds of guidelines work for your character as well. Real people don’t like emo, passive aggressive behavior, obvious ploys for attention,
Now, not every new RPer does this.
In fact, last night at the Pig we had the pleasure of RPing with someone new both to our circle and our server. And this young paladin, in short, got it right.
- Use emotes to your advantage. Emotes are a great way to let a group know that you’re there, and that you’re interested in RP. Talk to the bartender, order a drink, make a face at an NPC (Aedis and Brom are particularly good for this, if you’re in Stormwind). In general, let people know that you’re there… without demanding any response from them.
- In an active, busy group, know that you might have to try a few times to get noticed. Especially when the chat window is flying by at the speed of sound because there are four conversations going, a single emote from /anyone/ can get missed. (In fact, they frequently ARE missed. It’s no big deal, just roll with it).
- Offer something to the conversation. If someone is talking about something your character knows, or doesn’t know, or doesn’t believe in, or thinks is a bunch of hooey – respond. Conversations are not limited to the people holding them, and sometimes expressing an opinion is a good way to break the ice. Just be wary of being overly creepy. If your opinion is that you enjoy necrophilia… expect characters to be somewhat revolted.
- Be present enough to participate without forcing all attention to be on you. Going AFK is fine, especially during long nights of RP – but if you emote once and then just sit in the corner, people don’t know whether you want to have interaction or not.
- If a particular character interests you, see if you can strike up a conversation. Whether that’s asking about an accent (Aely gets lots of those!), a particular item of clothing, a non-combat pet, or just something someone said earlier, little things that make your character go “huh?” or pique their curiosity are good ways to break the ice. Sometimes by focusing on one character that seems particularly friendly, you can find an “in” with the rest of the group.
In short – be a courteous part of the group. Is it a fine line to walk? Sure, and it takes guts too. But people are very willing to forgive a few flubs if you’re obviously making an effort. It’s only when someone starts to force their way into the RP that a group will be less likely to overlook things.
As a side note, you’ll notice that nothing in the list of “do’s” is related to backstory. After speaking with this person OOCly to invite him to our usual RP night last night, I found out he doesn’t really have one. All he has is a loose character concept – and that’s all he needed.
We had fun, he had fun, and maybe Aely will have a new protégé to look after. Who knows?
So go forth and RP. Be patient and courteous of other RPers, and they’ll return the favor!
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