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Wallowing in the MUDs with Raslazel

A series of articles about MUDs and gaming in general, involving strategy and commentary on role-play and having fun.

Author: Raslazel

Good Roleplay and You: The Basics

Posted by Raslazel Saturday June 30 2012 at 10:19AM
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Hello and welcome to another of my roleplay articles! I'm passionate about roleplaying and have been doing it in one form or another for several years now. Most recently, I've been playing the best MUD around, Achaea from Iron Realms Entertainment. However, I've had experience roleplaying in pen-and-paper and live-action games as well. This article contains advice for beginners, veterans and everyone in between that I've picked up over the years.

Roleplay, or RP, is just what it sounds like: playing a role. It's a lot like unscripted or improvisational acting, but much deeper. You're in charge of almost every aspect of this person's life, actions and decisions. Use this bit of freedom to play out his life as you see fit.

When creating a character, it's a good idea to go in with a rough idea of his personality. It's a bad, bad, bad idea, however, to set that personality in stone. Like a parent with a child, you should let your character develop as he will with your influence as a basis. This will lead to much more enjoyable experience.

Your character, while probably sharing some personality traits, should be entirely different from you. That is, he does not know what you know. You know it's a game, hopefully. But to him, it's as real as the keyboard you're using to control him. Play your character with this in mind and you're sure to succeed.

I touched on this before, but I cannot stress enough that out-of-character (RL) knowledge is different to in-character knowledge. For instance, if you find out something horrible is about to happen to your character from someone in an instant message, your character has no idea. It's amateurish and often punishable to share knowledge like that. Also, if you have multiple characters, sharing knowledge between them is a bad, bad idea.

Sore loser syndrome is a good way to lose friends. Sometimes your character or his faction may win, sometimes they lose. It's fine for you to be upset IC (in-character), but taking it outside the game is immature. OOC (out-of-character) rage at IC events should be avoided. It's just a game, after all. Be a good sport and people will want play with you in the future.

Have fun with the game! Play your character the way you want to. My favourite character, Raslazel of Achaea, loves to stir up trouble and cause conflict. I play him that way because I enjoy it and because that's who he is. If your idea of a good time is different, then do what makes you and your character happy.

Keep these handy tips in mind when roleplaying and you'll be set and having fun in no time. If you've never tried a game where roleplay is not only encouraged, but enforced, why not give Achaea a try? It's free-to-play, requires no download (it can be played from a browser or an independent client) and has a community of players on par with any major MMORPG. Thanks for reading and take care!

Roleplaying a Beast Race: The Don'ts (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by Raslazel Thursday June 28 2012 at 12:52PM
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Greetings and welcome to my second article on non-human racial RP,  the Don'ts. I'm a big fan of playing beastmen in the games I play, especially the top MUD Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment. If you have not read the article previous to this one (the Do's of racial roleplay), I would suggest doing so now. There are several important tips there for playing a beast race successfully. It also lists your racial options for becoming the beast.

Here's a short list of things to avoid when playing a beast race:

DON'T:
- Play to every negative stereotype of the base animal. Cat-like does not mean cat. You will not go into heat; you will not have to lick-groom yourself. This kind of thing is degrading to the race and the history behind it and will only be frowned upon by serious role-players.

- Turn every conversation into a six-line emote fest about how great it is to be beast-like. One or two lines of custom emotes peppered in with coded emotes will cover it, trust me. Less is more in this situation, those occasional emotes will add just enough to let people know who you are. A good example is my favourite character's smirk: "Raslazel smirks, showing a glint of bestial teeth in the raised corner of his mouth." Short, sweet and used sparingly along with regular smiles and grins.

- Forget that your toon, no matter how feral, is still a person, too. Striking a good balance is crucial here.

- End your sentences with, "meow." Please, I'm begging you.

- Force racial RP on others. Some people like it, some don't and you can't force them to play your way.

I hope this has helped to clarify a few important points. I tried to cover the most common mistakes people make when doing this sort of thing, not just list my pet peeves. Seriously, though, nothing turns me away like a rajamala grooming himself with his tongue right in front of me. It's stupid.

Anyway, I definitely recommend racial roleplay for beginning roleplayers. If you've ever thought to yourself, "what game should I play?" Why not try Achaea or any of the excellent Iron Realms MUDS available? They're free-to-play and have established, newbie-friendly communities.  Even if you're a veteran, these games offer a deep, rich experience not found anywhere else. Thanks for reading!

Roleplaying a Beast Race: The Do's (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Raslazel Wednesday June 27 2012 at 12:06PM
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In the top MUD I play, Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment, there are four major beast races: the insectoid horkval, the cat-like rajamala, the frog-like grook and the reptilian xoran. Whatever your game of choice, if there are beast races, there are people that play them well and people that play them poorly.

Sometimes, this can be a practical choice. Maybe a particular race gets better stats to support the class the player has in mind. For others, it's a role-play choice. Maybe humans and elves are boring and the player wanted to try something different. Either way, there are good ways and bad ways to roleplay this.

For part one of this two-part series, I'll be going over the do's of playing a beastman. Let me say that I'm an avid fan of beast races. In almost every game I play, I will choose to be one if the option is available. Not just the furry ones, but reptiles, bugs, frogs or whatever is available. I enjoy roleplaying something alien to what I actually am (a human, for clarification). But I see a lot of people making a mockery of what should be a wonderful RP opportunity.

Here's a quick list of good things to keep in mind when playing a beastman:

DO:
- Play to the animal nature, especially in emotionally or physically taxing situations. For instance, a warning growl and showing of teeth instead of an insult can really turn an argument into something special. If you’re a reptilian, try flicking out your tongue and tasting the scents in the air.

- Move like a beast. How would a cat person walk? How does an insect-man reach for a mug of ale?

- Sound like a beast. Your average lizard-man isn't going to sound like a game show host. He'll probably speak with a raspy voice because his vocal cords are arranged differently to those of a human. Conversely, a frog-person would probably speak with a wet-sounding, guttural voice.

- Figure out your physical traits and use them. Do you have claws? Are they retractable or fixed? Would you drum his fingertips when bored or tap those claws?

- Figure out what your character's diet consists of based on their animal side. It may not be appetizing, but it makes sense.

- Encourage racial RP when you see it and help others to do it if they're interested.

I hope this has helped you understand a bit more about racial RP. It can be a lot of fun when done correctly. When it's bad, which I'll cover in part 2, it can ruin someone's fun and cause them to avoid you. Achaea is probably the best MUD to try this kind of thing, just for the amount of options available in an established community. Check it out, if you haven't already! Thanks for reading and I hope to see you for part two!

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