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RP Guide
Do's and Don'ts of Roleplaying by Cymaru of Laurelin

The Do's

Do: Accept

To accept or to respect the other's choice to be that given character is a guarantee for fun, as long as it's mutual. This has got a lot to do with taste. If you meet a char claiming he just killed three balrogs for breakfast and he can prove it too, it's up to you to accept it. If you feel awkward in a given situation, bail out (send a tell 'sorry, not my cup of tea! better luck next time!'). But be prepared to move to your fellow RP-er as well.

Do: Offer

Offer your fellow RP-er a chance to react. Avoid power emotes, and offer a chance to respond on a given situation. A simple addition of the word "attempt" in "waves the broadsword in an attempt to slice his head off". Offer an escape to your opposing player. Offer, also means offering your interest. Show a little interest in the other. Ask a question. A simple question about where's he from, where's he heading to, what's his business in Bree etc. You'll be surprised!

Do: Add

Let's assume all goes well, both parties show interest, and are willing to start a conversation. Add! Add something of your own. Show initiative. Simplest way to do so is to ask questions. A good way to get used to the atmosphere is to contribute to it, even if you aren't particularly talking to anyone in-character, in other words, being active! Your character doesn't just stand there and stares at something as if they are hypnotized and are about to devour that wooden beam next to that charming elven lady, no, they look around, scratch, sneeze, change facial expressions, react to others' actions around them; your character is there, even if they are not directly included in chatter or activities. If you make your character stand out and type out interesting idle emotes, detailing what they are doing, there's a very high chance someone will be interested in them and approach them.

Do: Be organic

Being organic means that you not only adapt to the environment, but that you also have eye for small every-day details and that you dare to express your characters current emotion, which is surely to change over time.

Do: Dare to take a risk

Here's an example. You carry a box, wrapped in paper. You offer the box as a present to someone. Let's wait and see what happens! Risky business . Because you left out the size of the box, the weight etc. the participant is offered a chance to accept the given situation, to add his own ingredients, while you dare to take a risk. This is one of the most important aspects of roleplaying. The undefined. Free-form RP. All that was described was a box. The size and contents of the box were left open, which allows the other player the opportunity to perhaps surprise you. They have to make up what's in the box, and you have to react accordingly.

Do: Emote

Emotes are the icing to the cake. Type /e and make some descriptive line. These little authorial additions enhance the atmosphere:

*Cake leans against the tree with a slightly curious frown, observing the woodsmen, as he prepares his pipe. He curses softly in Rohirric as he accidentally drops his pipe weed pouch*

Here we can learn a few things, Cake is curious, smokes pipe, and might be Rohirric, offering people standing nearby to respond.

Do: Be patient

When you ask a question don't expect an answer within 5 seconds every time and it can be problematic if you go off onto some other topic of conversation if you don't get a reply (or have your character make a comment about why they are being quiet etc). Some people can be slow typers, typing something very long or have had to go afk for a minute or so without saying. So just give them a chance to reply, equally if your character isn't replying to a question on purpose try to let the other person know in an emote e.g. "/e glares at Cake, staying silent."

Do: Check bio

Try to read peoples biographies, sometimes these can contain important information that your character could know such as scars, bits of jewellery, age, missing limbs/eyes, whatever, that can't be represented in game. You can get some good points of IC discussion out of what people have written there.

Do: Offer a chance to react

Cake attempts to grabs Jelly by the arm to force him out of the room

Jelly is offered a chance to react by simply adding the word 'attempt'.

Do: Accept consequences

If you get involved in an emote fight, and your char gets stabbed in the tummy, then don't expect people to accept it if you drink a pint of ale five minutes after the stabbing. Try to keep it realistic.

Do: Adapt

Be flexible and willing to change the way you show your character. Accept a challenge on occasion. Okay, it's mostly a matter of different tastes. It's not obligatory to accept everything! You're here to have fun! If someone tells you in character he has slain several balrogs, and it's not to your taste, step away? But Respect the fact the balrog slayer is having fun being a balrog slayer! Please Don't be the arrogant Lore Expert Elitist Snob dismissing his way of fun. Realize it's not your type of fun, but don't dismiss it . Step away, but stay friendly. If ye start barking you will get it right back at ye

Do: Respect Line of Sight

You cannot see through walls, or around corners, nor can you see what's going on behind you. If an Orc is sneaking up on your character, do not just turn round and challenge him. Instead, you might *sniff* - orcs are notorious for their lack of personal hygiene - and then turn around. You might hear voices from inside a building if you are standing right in front of the door, but you will not hear silent people, or see people in an upstairs room. If you want to know what's going on around the corner, then walk round it. If you stand behind someone and emote things like *waits patiently*, you are likely to get no reaction. But if you *coughs impatiently* or *clears throat* you probably will.

Do: Accept

Acceptance is important. Sometimes, your fellow RP-er has a different view on realism, most of the times a matter of taste. It can't hurt to draw a line at some point, going to OOC and inform your fellow RP-er, explaining why you can't follow his story any longer. Then you either work out a solution, or separate ways. Communicating is bliss, and helps the general good mood. Ofcourse it won't help if you start shouting 'Hey you idiooot. that's not realistic!' you have to accept the fact your fellow RP-er seems to enjoy himself being 'unrealistic' in YOUR eyes. Who are you to to call him deranged for it? Live and let live, and draw a line to keep it enjoyable for yourself.

Do: Respect fellow players

We play for fun. If you take the RP in a direction that could make the other player feel uncomfortable, it is better to ask OOC first. Role-playing rape is forbidden under all circumstances.

Do: govern your wisdom

Your character didn't read the books. Your character doesn't know how the war will end. Your character doesn't know E=mc2. You have to 'erase' your memory when you immerse yourself into that character, to prevent your commoner peasent character lecturing a Second Age elf about the great battles of <<fill in any legendary place in long forgotten times>>. It enhances your experience and is an important element to become a likely character.

The purpose of this topic is to help start the new role-players. It's not meant as a rule book, but friendly and well meant guidelines. This thread is the culmination of a brainstormthread, where a lot of people contributed to help create this simple guide. It contains a list of obvious and less obvious "general accepted" do's and don'ts. "General accepted" doesn't mean it is The Law, ok?

The Don'ts

Don't: Power Emote

Cake thinks Jelly is an ignorant noob with rubbish armour

Jelly can't respond unless admitting to meta game (being telepathic)

Cake grabs Jelly by the arm and forces him out of the room

Jelly is not offered an escape.

Don't: Meta Game

RP-ers try to approach things as realistic as possible, to stay immersed. In Real Life (RL), no name tags are hovering over people's heads example:

Cake says 'Hey Jelly babe how ur dooin'
*Jelly blinks, surprised and slowly turns to Cake, obviously annoyed. Examining :Cake's face, there's no recognition whatsoever*
Jelly says 'Have we met before? How do you know my name?'
Cake says 'It's hovering over your head n00b!'

Or incorporate a char's combat roll unasked:

Cake says: 'So Jelly, what's a runekeeper doing in a place like this?' It would be totally different if Jelly had emoted in precedingly he was playing around with his big stones (ooh the innuendo )

Don't: God moding

Always offer your fellow RP-er a way out, so he can add his own reactions at his own will.

*Jelly pierces Cake's heart with one simple stab*

Cake has three options: (1) die, and delete the char, or (2) die, pay for a name change, or (3) disregard what just happened (meaning, the end of an RP session for both Jelly and Cake )

Don't: use OOC information

There are things in game which you can do, but which your character can't. Resist the temptation to use game mechanics to give your character information he or she shouldn't have, this spoils the fun for the other players. Act as if you don't know, but it can help you choose the .. 'correct' line of questioning

Don't: spam

Are you sad? Type /cry. Hmm. That animation looked cool! But it didn't last long enough. Hey you know what, I type it again! /cry Wow!

/cry /cry /cry /cry
Jelly says 'Hey Cake, what's wrong?'
/cry /cry/cry /cry/cry /cry/cry /cry/cry /cry/cry /cry
Jelly slaps Cake on the chin with a cold fish
/slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap /slap

Don't: harass

keep in mind, RP has to be agreed by both players. Any life changing actions must be agreed upon. IC (In character) insulting or violence is very very risky business with strangers. You might play the role of a rude violent type, but you must accept the fact that there are people around who don't enjoy getting killed or insulted. Always keep in mind there might be people around who take things personally. It's a challenge to keep RL emotions away from IC emotions. You should try to separate the game from your emotions, but immersion can take its toll. Insults and non agreed interaction is forbidden in the Code of Conduct, valid for all LOTRO servers, not just restricted to Laurelin-RP. So you won't get away with insulting by stating you were in character! Read Codemasters Code of Conduct.

Don't: using information from IC posts on the boards

Information posted on message boards should be treated as OOC information, unless you have an IC reason for knowing it (i.e. you were there, or it's an IC letter addressed to you). You can of course use OOC information from the boards to let you ask the right questions, so that you do find out about what happened in game.

Don't: abuse the Leave House option

Be careful when using the option, if you do use it make sure it's realistic and that you don't over-use it. How many people do you know who can jump instantly from the roof of a building to the ground unharmed? This would also apply to escaping from somewhere when you know you've been locked in, e.g. Trinsic's secure jail.

Don't: do not to walk though people.

It's easily done, but it's polite to try not to push through people. Particularly if they're armoured guards trying to block your way

Don't: Avoid OOC in the /say and /emote channels

Keep all OOC talk in party or other chat channel. Brackets should only be used as a very last resort. And no chat abbreviations please. Don't be lazy m8, use da keyboard!