Helpful Tips for Authentic Roleplay
by “Sabrina Stockwood” (aka Lynn)
1. Background Story and Personality
We encourage our roleplayers to come up with a background story for their character. Where are you from and who is your family (parents, siblings, cousins)? Are you single, married, betrothed, or widowed? Why are you here in Tyrhampton—are you looking for the love of your life, or at least the stability of a sensible marriage? Are you traveling and just passing through Tyrhampton, or are you looking for a new place to settle down? Are you on a particular mission, or are you a wandering soul? Are you rich or poor, young or old, good or not-so-good? Allow your backstory to work its way into your conversations with others so they get to know you (as you would in real life).
In Ever, Jane, personality and character traits are very important. Are you like Marianne Dashwood who prefers happiness over duty? Are you like Fanny Dashwood who deems status more important than kindness? Work to improve those traits that are in line with your character and the personality that you’ve chosen to play, and weave them throughout your roleplay experiences.
The beauty of roleplay is that you can create your own adventure, developing your story as you interact in other players’ stories. Other than the confines of the Regency-era culture and etiquette, there is no limit to the possibilities except one’s own imagination.
2. “In Character” (IC) and “Out of Character” (OOC)
We are working very hard to create the look and feel of Jane Austen’s world during the Regency era of the early 1800s. It is our hope that as you immerse yourself in roleplay, sharing gossip with other players, attending any number of social events, participating in the quests, etc., that you will begin to feel that you are actually in Tyrhampton during the early 19th century. That is, until someone walks up to you and says, “OMG, did u hear what happened? IDK what’s up with that. Oh well, c u l8tr.” Neither Jane Austen nor her contemporaries knew the language of texting, and if she had learned of it, she probably would have fainted. Even if you are not well-versed in the manner of speaking of Austen’s day, you can simply speak using proper English grammar and standard spelling.
So as not to spoil the experience for any other players, please do your best to stay “in character” (IC) at all times when in the game, unless absolutely necessary. There may be times when you do need to go “out of character” (OOC), such as if you need to ask a question that is not part of the roleplay scene or you’re about to go away from the keyboard (AFK) for a few minutes and you want the other players to know that you’ll be right back (BRB). For any chat that is OOC, please enclose it in double parentheses so that the other players will know that your chat is not part of the roleplay scene.
Example: ((Is anyone else having trouble clicking Mrs. Hatch’s handkerchief?))
3. How to Emote
In a virtual roleplay environment, it is important to learn how to emote properly in order to create and sustain an interesting and authentic scene. No one can see an avatar’s facial expressions, emotions, or body language, so those must be “emoted.” A roleplay game is so much more than simply moving an avatar from place to place; it’s about creating and interacting within a story and expressing how you feel about what is going on around you.
Emoting is simply a form of narration, in present tense, and it is set apart from the dialog by asterisks. For example, if you have received sad news and want to let someone know that you are crying, then you may type something like this: *After reading the letter, she is overcome with grief and tears begin to roll down her cheeks.* Or if you want to emote an action, such as a toast at a dinner party, you might type this emote and brief dialog: *Lifting his glass, he clears his throat before leading the toast* To the New Year!
The general rule of thumb is that anything you want the other players to know about what you are doing, or what facial expression or attitude you wish to get across, let them know through emoting.
4. Mind Your Role Play Etiquette and Avoid “God-Moding”
See and hear only things you would be able to see or hear in real life. It is important to remember not to use certain information in the game if it would not be realistic to do so. For example, no one has a name tag floating above their head in real life. So, before calling someone by name in the game, if you had not previously been introduced, seek that information through a roleplay conversation.
In addition to refraining from using information that has not been given in roleplay, you also cannot decide what happens to another roleplayer by describing their thoughts, emotions, reactions, or what happens to their body or possessions. You can set up a scene, but then you should allow them to respond for themselves.
Bad example: *Anger welling up inside, he pushes Thomas and watches him tumble into the river*
What if Thomas were light on his feet and stepped aside quickly as you reached out to push him? Or what if he decided to put up his hands to attempt to block the push?
Better example: *Anger welling up inside, he reaches out to push Thomas, hoping he will tumble into the river*
Thomas can now decide what happens to himself in this scene.
Better example: *Jealousy overtaking her at seeing the two of them dancing, she eases her way up to the couple and sticks out her foot, hoping to trip the girl*
Then the other player has the opportunity to decide if she actually will trip and fall to the floor, or if she will miss your foot and then perhaps cast a smug glance at you over her shoulder as she continues dancing.
5. Finishing a Roleplay Scene Before Leaving
Because one cannot disappear into thin air in real life, if you are involved in a roleplay scene in the game and must leave, it’s best to roleplay your way out of the scene and then walk off to a discrete area (e.g., inside a building or around a corner) before logging off. Or if you wish to take a shortcut to the parlor, or elsewhere in the game, you should walk away from the scene and then click the shortcut to teleport to the other area.
6. Be Respectful of Others
Even if your character is an unsavory cad IC, please don’t carry that into OOC. Let’s be respectful of others, and remember that there is a real person with real feelings behind every avatar. Stay mindful of the Golden Rule, and let’s seek to have fun and enjoy the game!