Guide to Actual Play

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Actual role play consists of a lot of things. Once a person has found a role play scene or partner, it is time to actually role play. First off, all characters need to be introduced into a scene (or the game as a whole). Starting, introducing a character within, and playing in a role play requires communication out of character as well as considerations about consequences in character, how to collaborate out of character to make role play happen.

Inserting a Character

We have a guide on Character Introduction for Blazing Umbra already, but that is more centered on how to assist someone with introducing a character within the Blazing Umbra Setting specifically. However, even after a character is introduced there is a period of time where they are not really part of the existing role play. Players have to be outgoing enough to insert their characters into the play. Have characters walk over and respond, become part of the conversation. In other instances, a player can ask another player if they mind their character joining. The two players can then work out and communicate about what is going on and what should happen.

This is why we have OOC (out of character) channels where communication can take place easily. Never be afraid to ask to join a role play (RP). When trying to join an RP it is impossible to do so when just expecting someone to follow your character, that will end in disappointment. Players must communicate what they want to do, not everyone is going to want a new character in an active plot, but that doesn't mean that additional plots can't be developed.

This is part of the server rule (see Site Rules) about speaking up for yourself.

Player Communication

Communication between players is key! I cannot stress this enough, when trying to join into the game, if a player wants to do something with their character, talking about it is necessary. To be part of a plot, one has to talk to the player(s) in that plot. To come up with a new plot between characters, again, talking about it is required.

Players should always be respectful of each other, but should also realize that players don't owe each other anything. There is no obligation to play, there are some players who are busy, who cannot come on often, or who have anxiety about new situations. It doesn't matter, if a player isn't into a role play, don't hold it against them just, try to find a new role play.

Collaborative Role Playing

Collaborating on a role play is the same as collaborating in writing. Usually there is a person from whom the idea originates (the person who had the big idea) and this person usually expects to have some amount of control, that being said all parties in a collaborative setting should try to collaborate. That is to say, build a consensus of what should happen, integrate opposing ideas where possible.

The idea is that all parties have something to say about where the role play goes. This diverges significantly form the standard focus of role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, Rifts, GURPS, and similar models where a GM / DM (Game Master / Dungeon Master) has the story and presents it for the players. Collaboration requires a lot more work, it is much easier to just hang out and come along for the ride than it is to be apart of the creative process. Even so, we encourage people to be apart of the creative process here.

Active Participation

During a role play no one party wants to have the burden of keeping a role play happening. It is incredibly frustrating for any role player to get involved and invested into creating a scenario and then to have to do all the work of maintaining that scenario. Scenes take work, what is going to happen, why, when, how to NPC's react, how many NPC's might there be, etc.. All of this goes into making a game fun. No one wants to do this by themselves, so every player should strive to actively participate in a game.

Tips

  • Make suggestions on what should happen next (the immediate next part of a scene)
  • Give insight into where to direct an RP in general (fight, talk, romance, etc..)
  • Get / offer clarification (especially for how one see's their characters place in a scene)
  • Offer to help play NPC's

Consequences

Generally speaking most games try to keep PC's in the game, even defying consequences for actions to some degree. As if by some unwritten rules of normalcy, most players try to keep characters from doing certain things that would get their charters removed from the game. When a player considers actions for their character, they should consider if there is any real possibility that their characters will be removed through death, prosecution, imprisonment, etc..