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Join Me for In-Game Roleplay - Printable Version

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Join Me for In-Game Roleplay - Zotis - 02-01-2024

Hey everyone, for those few who still occasionally hop in game, and are lingering around waiting for combat and missions, I'd like to organize some roleplaying.

Let me tell you about my style of roleplaying. There are many different styles, and layers to levels of roleplaying. At the deeper levels are more complex die rolls, hit location damage charts, and injury effects, but at the beginner level are the simple fundamentals of acting in character and telling a story. That's the essence of what roleplaying is, and what you should first learn to master, or at least get competent at. There are only two rules at this level, no Godmodding, and no Metagaming.

Godmodding is being overpowered, a Mary Sue character that's always good at everything without trying, or a background with a long list of extraordinary accomplishments and no character flaws. Godmodding also manifests in the form of controlling other characters besides your own, and this overlaps with calling your shots. Saying you punch another character in the face is Godmodding because it assumes the other character does nothing, but stands there and takes it. The other character's controller, player or GM, decides if the hit lands or if their character dodges it. In Freeform roleplaying it's extremely important not to call your shots, since there are no neutral governing forces, like stats and die rolls, to determine outcomes.

Metagaming is extending player knowledge to the character with no in-game explanation. It is essential to getting into character that you master this, and it's one of the most frequently overlooked elements in roleplaying. All too often roleplayers are lenient when it comes to Metagaming, making all kinds of assumptions without any in-game explanation, and it results in chaos.

In this form of roleplaying there are some things that only pertain to roleplaying in a game like an MMO. When people are typing, they're character is standing still, but no one knows they're typing. If they're response is long, and they're taking their time thinking about how to word things, the other player can begin to wonder if they know it's their turn or are waiting for them, or if they went afk. In the meantime, they may be getting bored while waiting patiently. That's why it's important to put out each idea one at a time, usually a single sentence. By posting more often in smaller increments, it prevents boredom and confusion.

The final thing to grasp at the first level of roleplaying is the one motion turn concept. I got this from the game Ninja, where on your turn you can only make one fluid motion. You can move and attack if it's in a fluid motion. If someone attacks you, and it's not your turn, you can perform one fluid motion to evade or block. How this looks in roleplaying in a game like The Matrix Online is I may type something, and have my character walk several paces, and then stop and wait for the next player to type something and/or move their character. Everyone moving in sequence like this can have overlap and syncronicity as long as everyone keeps the concept of moving in one fluid movement increments. This avoids some confusing scenarios where one character says something and walks off, then walks back where the first person is still standing because they've been typing the whole time.

Many people will be comfortable staying at the first level of roleplaying, and that's totally fine. It's a relaxing and comfortable style, free flowing, with no stress of potential long term injuries or death, and the burden of keeping track of stats and die rolls. Players come up with their own backgrounds gradually, and having a background isn't required to start roleplaying. All you need is a character concept, and you can jump right in.

At the next level we still do not add any die rolls or stats, but we write a detailed background and character concept including a physical description and personality. Here there is simply more focus on writing longer more substantial stories, and planning in-game events/missions instead of just casually hanging around or chatting in clubs.

The third level introduces die rolls. Once players are comfortable roleplaying, and aren't in that phase of still getting the hang of it, they can start incorporating some stats and die rolls. At this point we no longer rely on the in-game levelling system or combat. We can fully simulate combat with our own stats, and merely use in-game assets like mobs as tools (when combat is implemented in the game at least). Players start at level 1 (metaphoricaly, we don't use traditional levels in The Matrix), and their character concept should reflect this. In the first couple levels of roleplaying it was fine to make any kind of character you wanted, but now you actually need to start out as a novice character. Transitioning to this level can mean your previous roleplaying character would still be used as an NPC in events, and can still be roleplayed with at the Freeform level, but wouldn't be your main character for RP events at this level. Attributes are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, Faith, and Attractiveness. For combat rolls we use 2d10 instead of d20 so we get a nice percentile arch aimed at the middle. This means you're more likely to get an average result than an extreme result. There is no HP, instead we use a more realistic approach to damage and health. If you are shot in the arm, you have to roll for pain tolerance to avoid being stunned, and take bleeding and negative modifiers when performing any action involving that arm. Depending on your physical Attributes, you can withstand a certain amount of pain before being incapacitated.

Eventually things like Fatigue and armor coverage get added, but mechanics are introduced gradually so not to overwhelm players. It's important when implementing more mechanics to not loose focus of the fundamentals of roleplaying. The ideal is to have nice smooth flowing roleplay without bogging it down with too many rolls. Incorporating more mechanics doesn't mean you'll be rolling constantly, it just gives you more options.

At all levels it's important to remember the concept of taking 10. This means if you could succeed on a task by rolling a t10, it's safe to assume you can just automatically succeed at it as long as their no immediate challenge, like you're being attacked while performing the task, or there's a time pressure. This even includes attacking weak opponents. I've witnessed level 10 archers in D&D roll a 1 and fumble their attack when a goblin was charging at them. It's a goblin running straight towards them, and they're a skilled archer. Why would they need to roll to shoot it? That would literally be an effortless motion for someone with that much experience.

In all of this remember the main focus is playing your character in-character, and telling stories. I hope people will join me, and we can start making our own content and actually play together in the game without waiting for or relying on any combat, missions, or other content.

On Discord I'm Elmedain, and in-game I also have a character named Elmedain, which I've been using more than Zotis.

RE: Join Me for In-Game Roleplay - Fractal_Blade - 13-01-2024

Been forever and a day. Logged on to MxO EMU on a whim and was ambushed by a couple of neer do'wells who shanghaied onto their crew. I love the work that has gone into this, it amazing the changes since I last logged on.