Role playing or Rping as most of the community calls it. Almost everyone's done it one way or another whether they realize it or not. Remember those days when you'd pretend you were a movie character or a prince/princess or a pirate or whatever. You were role playing in a since. Now days when you hear the word role playing you probably think things like War Craft, Star Craft, Nights and Dragons, Toontown, etc..
Something you've probably never figured however, is rping in relation to writing. Writing, that's all rping basically is. It's just writing a collaborative story from different points of view and interacting.
Rping pre-established plot or not can be a lot of fun and very productive. Especially when writing, you can create a place and really get a feel for the setting, a character, or even play with plot ideas. Through rping I have fleshed out- make a character more realistic or 3D. Numerous characters in half the time. You can place them in numerous settings and think about what they would do. You can literally be inside your character's head do what you think they might would do, say what they might would say. Learn a outcome you've never figured before.
Rping allows you to persue things with your character like a senario. Say there is a zombie attack would your character be more likely to stay where they are or help. Would they argue with everyone or get something done. This one character I have was designed for the 30's. He was a basic cop with a German Shepard dog who lost his parents when he was 12. After rping with him in the present day, the 1850's and the future in a variety of scenarios. A cop, a former Federal Marshal till a zombie attack, a soldier, a retired special forces officer teaching. From those experiences I have picked the best traits I feel to stay consistent with him. One he's either a cop or a man of the military or both. Two he lost his family when he was 12 though now he lost his parents and four siblings. Three he has a trusty German Shepard dog that found him. I have several others I'll mention later on.
If you have something basic like I listed above a cop and his German Sheperd for example or just a teenage boy. You can come up with a past and a since of who they are. Like I'll use my cop. Undercover Detective Edward Dillinger and his dog.
After just a few months of rping him. I now have for character traits and general knowledge that makes him human is.
Edward has a temper and has been known to punch a person or a wall if he gets in a bad enough arguement. Attack him or his dog with words or physically it equals a fight. Due to his ruff childhood and career. Having had lost his parents and four siblings as well as his best friend/partner. He has PTSD- Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and has been known to drink heavily. His dog being one of the only ones that can calm him down. He's a hero, the type that would take a bullet for a complete stranger and he has bad survivors guilt morphed into the PTSD.
See how much I have there in so little time... Another character I have named Jack Rains all I had was the name and that he was in the 17-18 range. Just after a few hours of rping I established. He's a jokester he loves to wise crack and be sarcastic and pick on his elder friend Boris Chaney. He had a little sister-Lizzy and a mother. He can be a bit clumsy at times and he doesn't always know when to shut up. Also I learned that he's terrified of snakes and was in a knife fight in high school where he was the only one without a knife.
What can you learn from your characters?
A character I long had established named Fang. I learned even more from. He has a temper but, he'll stand up for what he believes in. He's only had his spirits partially broken in his life time and he payed weapon x back for it in the end. He was born in 1912 and is as of 2013 101 years old though he still looks like he's around 14-16 range. His claws had a rare metal bonded to the bone cells themselves and I've managed to figure out how long it might would take for hm to heal. His memory was erased in the mid to late 60s. He is a chimera. If his wings get wet he sinks and his healing ability functions off of protein. He also has PTSD and is a natural born instigator. Only if you start with him of course unless your a prison guard.
Originally all I had was his name was Fang and he was a mutant born during WWII in a secret government test facility and he went and joined the X-Men years later in the future. Wolverine was his father by DNA. His memory was erased and he had adamantium claws, wings and a healing ability.
as I stated and explained above
-creating a world.
I have this battle academy that went from your basic school that allows weapons to... A school with secret passageways, that exists on a island made up of multiple terrains. That has a gymnasium that can creat any senario.
You can do research as you go and ask others if they know for instance. I had a doctor in the 1850s and a character was drowning. Well CPR hadn't been officially invented yet. I found out about the Sylvester method that was used. My friends didn't realize it and I taught them something new. Once I had a character that could heal. A friend helped me make it more realistic like it can take between a hour and a week for major injuries but only seconds for scratches and instant for bruises.
. You can come up with your character's choice weapon and find how useful it would be to them in a somewhat realistic way. For example in a steampunk one my character uses a Winchester but also a bow and arrow that folds up. Another example is my character has found during a zombie apocalypse arrows are better than bullets cause it's harder to run out of them and it isn't hard to make them. One of my friend's weapon of choice is a shovel.
There is always something to improve on so why not try rping it's easy and fun and you don't have to do a video game to do it. All you need is a forum thread, an idea, a character and at least one other person to join you. Being a Rper for 2 years now I can say its one of my favorite things and it could easily become your favorite.
I think I'll take some time to explain some basic terms and rules first though before you stop reading this article.
First of all ask to join unless it hasn't already started.
Don't spam it till you get an answer sometimes Rpers rp while the one that started it is offline and they will get back to you. Just check often.
-No meta gaming or god modding, which basically means don't over power anything and don't use information that your character would otherwise not know.
-no bunnying or no bunnying without permission, means say you and a person are talking say in Camelot. They aren't online and you want to talk to someone in say Glasgow. You can't say the person went with you unless you got permission from the person.
-no one liners, pretty basic means make your response more than one line and make it descriptive. For example:
Bad idea. Joe walked up to the castle.
Good idea. Joe walked down the winding path to the castle. He looked up at it. The walls were ominous black eroded stone. It looked like a place Dracula would get along well in. Joe swallowed and prayed that Dracula didn't live there.
-OOC, Out of Character, I means like talking person to person versus character to character many use either (()), ,() or some other version of those to explain they are Talking out of character. I prefer (()).
-bump, means moving the thread up in the recents so you don't have to search for it. Also it can be used to bring something to mind.
-abide by other thread creators rules
-if there is a character sheet fill it out before you jump in it lets them know about the character your using you usually can modify the sheet and add a field or remove it though the fields in the original sheet generally is required
-Open rp, means anyone can join at anytime
-closed or private rp, can't join or you have to ask to join
-be nice to others and don't take the stuff seriously. Don't get in a fight fight and take it hard or as a personal attack. It's just character to character fighting
-cursing, most prefer little to none
-sex, usually prefer fades to black or going to messenger to do it then return back to the thread
-read the entire first post before joining. Each rp has a different plot and style you may not want to join the first one you click on only ones like the 'Coffee house' are threads where any character can join. I don't always join a rp I look at based on what the first post says. For instance there was one that was one called Camp Half-blood it was Demi-god based and I don't really care much about Demi-gods so I chose not to join.
-join as many as you can handle you need to join enough you can keep up with and still get real life tasks done, sleep's important too
-do your homework. You want a schizophrenic character? Research it. People get offended when you use a movie portrayal.
-don't make your character unbeatable, in other words make them human
-make your responses open ended. For example
Good idea:Fang threw a punch at Victor.
Bad idea:Fang threw a punch at Victor breaking his nose.
-NPC, non personal character, means they are just there usually not referred to by name
Ex: the guard walked up to Fang and ordered"move!"