In today's edition of my humble blog I'd like to bring to the table a few tips for those interested in roleplaying in their chosen game(s). I will go over the DOs and DON'Ts as I see them and hopefully you'll find it both helpful and interesting.
DO - Pick up the tongues of the world around you. Find out the accents, where they come from and what they're based on. Do not be afraid to go all out with your slurs and remember that grammar doesn't play as big a role here as it would in normal OOC chatter.
DON'T - Use the old-English tongue in any scenario unless a) your character is in fact an englishman from that time period or b) the entirety of the world you're in IS set in medieval (or slightly pre-medieval England).
DO - Look for things happening in the world and use those things to create new lore. Choose your own path and write about it for the rest of the world to see.
DON'T - Make up lore that does not fit in the current world you're playing in. For example: if you're playing a game like Everquest, don't say that you're a cybernetic space alien come to dissect the beings of the world. It doesn't work.
DO - Try to look for conflicts and take part in them. Use your character's uniqueness to aid or rebel against the situation. If the castle is burning, run to the river for water or alternatively cast fire balls into the inferno and watch all hell break loose.
DON'T - Run around killing every single person you see because it's your character's style. A carefully planned "serial-killer" type character should be smart enough to know that he'd be caught quicker that way. Alternatively, if you're a good guy, don't act like you are the end-all be-all hero of the world. Nobody likes a show-off, unless you're Arthas.
DO - Take part in romantic roles. Is your character the proverbial lady's man? Find a tavern, bar or pub (whatever you have in your game) and work the mojo! Leave real feelings out in the cold, and remember it's still a game!
DON'T - Find the nearest hot-looking toon and start openly expressing your lust for them, graphically and explicitly. Sex is private and it should be no matter where you go. Sure, you can be an exhibitionist, but it doesn't mean she/he is too. Erotic roleplay can be fun but it doesn't have to be actual cyber-sex.
DO - Involve yourself in the politics of the game. Do it in character and enjoy it for what it is. Politics in some games can be extremely fun and deeply immersive.
DON'T - Claim that your sword can solve every problem regardless of if the Mayor's cat is stuck in a tree or a clan of Orcs is feeling diplomatic. Anyone can be civil, even in a war-torn fantasy world. Men make decisions behind closed doors before they unsheath their blade.
DO - Be the jack-of-all-trades. Be a warrior who mines for precious ores, who knows how to build bird houses, who can drink 23 ales before passing out, who can do magic tricks, and anything else you can think of (within the game's own mechanics).
DON'T - Be absolutely good at everything. Nobody is perfect and you're no exception (sorry folks).
When all else fails, wing it. If you're smart enough to want to roleplay and you've done a bit of research, take a gamble and see where it takes you. After all, mistakes can be made but they can also be fixed.