Good day to you all! I’ve been a roleplayer of various sorts, ranging from MU*s to World of Warcraft, for the past nine years. Every six months or so, I re-evaluate myself and my roleplaying and conclude anew that I’ve only become any good at this in the last few months and boy, was I terrible before this.
As such, I don’t claim in any way that I’m an expert at this; more than anything else, I’m fully aware that what constitutes good roleplay is very dependent on the kind of characters that you want to play and the context in which you’re playing. There are very few hard and fast rules of good roleplay, and similarly, there are few things which are unmistakably bad in all contexts.
That has yet to stop me from shooting off at the mouth about good or bad roleplay, and I don’t intend to stop that any time soon.
The best synopsis of roleplay that I think I’ve ever heard is ‘collaborative story-telling’. We each have a story we want to tell with our characters, depending on how broadly we define ‘story’, and part of the appeal of roleplay is getting to play out these stories with the help of others, while contributing to the story of someone else at the same time. It is less about trying to ‘win’ and more trying to find an interesting end to the story – this can include becoming the most badass hero to ever set foot in Azeroth, or it could be the adventures breaking your character and them adjusting to life in the insane asylum. (Not many people enjoy playing the latter, but it’s a perfectly valid ending to a plot arc.)
I have a tendency to play the devil’s advocate and jump at chances to ramble on for pages like my opinion matters, so brace yourself.
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