With the new patch already out, there’s a lot of potential RP in the works to deal with the upcoming world event for Mists of Pandaria. I know on Feathermoon there’s at least a (doomed) peace summit, plus myriad other RP opportunities that will crop up as the tensions increase. Which, of course, means trying to figure out where I fit into the bigger scheme of these events – often large events that are being run by other people.
I’ve said before (and Falconesse has said) that RP happens WITH you, not TO you. But it can be hard to figure out how to make yourself fit into a one of these events (especially one that you didn’t organize).
Obviously in any large group event (even one with “only” 10 people), there are going to be a few people who take center stage, just as in a theater production. But even the extras have “parts” – and if you find yourself as a member of the peanut gallery at an event, it’s not the job of the organizer to make sure you personally feel like you’re involved.
You end up having to make your own participation.
This is, of course, way easier said than done. When the chat reel is flying by at the speed of gnats on crack, and your character is potentially out of his/her element, and especially if you’re in a group of people you don’t RP with every day, it can be easy to just let your eyes glaze over and zone out.
Which is fine – some events you’re just there to be a warm body, and it takes a number of warm bodies to have a good crowd.
But when you don’t WANT to just be a warm body, and you’d rather not be chatting over RealID while you idly watch the chat scroll by, how do you get yourself involved?
Remember the golden rule about RP happening WITH you, and work on creating your own experience of the event.
See if you can create a side conversation – in whispers or a small party – to have a little bit going on that’s related just to your character.
Try not to make a disturbance unless you clear it with the organizer first – obviously at pub night, this doens’t matter, but at a large event with some level of scripting, if your character busts out the Macarena in the middle of someone giving an empassioned speech, you end up looking like a total doof.
React in character in an appropriate way. /boo and /cheer, stay involved in what’s going on. Everyone loves a supportive audience! (/burp and /fart not recommended)
Try not to get sucked into side conversations that don’t necessarily have any input from your character. Remember that in a noisy bar or a big crowd you can only hear the people nearby to you, so while it’s good that everyone works in /say, you don’t have to respond to everyone. You’ll have a better time if you can have some personal interaction instead of constantly shouting ME TOO across the event.
And in all cases, remember that if the big actors at an event don’t notice your character specifically, it’s not because they hate you, are ignoring you, or think you smell/have cooties. The big players HAVE to be keeping up with that chat roll, and they may simply not have time to react to outside conversations and still be participating in the overall story that’s playing out.
Most of all, have fun. Big group RP is as much like going to a theater as it is like active RP. You can make your own fun on the sides, but there’s a big, hopefully plot-advancing story going on in front of you. A story that you want to include in the bigger story that you’re building for your character.
Keep the big picture in mind, enjoy the little RP, and you will still have fun.
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