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!