You are here: Home Roleplay Roleplay 101 Advanced Roleplay

Land Of NoR

Roleplay 4: Advanced Roleplay

Now that we're all well on the way to understanding basic role-playing, I'd like to add a few things that can really help you to become masters at this most difficult yet rewarding pastime.

Let's start with a recap. When first you arrive in the world, you are but a child, a newbie, weak, poor, with nothing but your starting skills and a few possessions, you learn how to interact with other players, you learn the game mechanics, you learn what actions get you killed, what actions get you not killed. Eventually you get to the point where you feel safe, where you understand how to play. Once you get there, it's time to really play.

Develop a background for your character within the confines and precepts of the world. This all helps to explain why you, are where you are. What does your character know about? Well, whatever skills you chose to start with, plus some miscellaneous stuff. Don't try to make it too complicated.

Now, PLAY as that character. That character does *NOT* know how much strength is needed to fight an older player, that character knows only whether he/she is strong enough to fight one, and only when he or she has TRIED to fight one. That character does not know that he/she has 49 points of strength and needs only one more (or whatever, same for ALL other skills, and all other stats). YOU, the player, you know this stuff. You as the character do not.

So, when in conversation, and someone asks you "How many Buffs do you have?", DO NOT SAY [insert number here], try answering "I myself have never had to enhance my strength more than once, but I am quite strong", or "I think I’m pretty strong now, but I fear I had to train for a while to do that!".

If someone goes out of character, pretend you don't know what they are talking about. Note, sometimes you have to go out of character, if that's the case, find a place to stand where you don't spoil the game for everyone else. There's really no fun in sitting in the tavern trying to converse with that mage you just met who said he might teach thee a little of magic when there's two people standing nearby comparing notes about their computers or modem speeds.

You the player know many things that you the character may or may not know, if you are a clever player, you KNOW how many hit points that neko has, you the character only know whether it's alive, dead, or somewhere in between. Don't yell out "Hey, it's down to 3 hit points, hit it again", instead try "I feel this neko is soon destined to perish". (In actuality, you do neither, you don't have time in battle, if you agree with your companions to speak 'battle-talk' when in a fight, that's ok)

An easy way to role play is to simply be yourself, especially when you first start out. Imagine you've travelled to a far land, where the people are different, where they don't quite speak the same language as you. (It helps if you've actually been outside your home town, and even better if you've been to another country where the native language is different than yours).

So, be yourself, but back at the age of 16-17, having travelled to a far and distant and strange land, and learn to get along. That's easy role playing. The challenge, the fun, comes from allowing your character to develop as their skills increase. One would expect that everyone at adept level in anything other than combat would have HAD to have learnt to deal politely with others. If you play the noble Prince, take the time to truly understand what a Prince is.

Set up goals for your character, short term, medium and long term. Have your character work towards them. If your goal is simply to have fun, that's fine too. If you want to be the scourge of the land, hunted by all that is good, PLAY the part, and play it well. Otherwise you're just another faceless murderer.

Remember, your character does NOT know all that you know, so, for example, the character Meg, a young lycan, does not know that Dean Singer is an evil character. Why? Because the character, Meg, doesn't read the chatgroup or the forums at the website. So, should Meg ever run into Dean, she will treat him as he appears, because that's what she would do. Maybe she won't survive the encounter if it's away from the protection of the city. Afterwards, now that she knows that Dean is really evil in disguise, she might decide to make her medium goal the extinction of Dean. (Hey, remember I said take on a challenge? Taking on Dean would be a major challenge! But it would be a lot of fun, because Dean knows how to PLAY the part!). That's a purist point of view however, and not everyone feels that it's the right way. If you interact on a chat zone as you character, decide for yourself if there's any overlap between that and in game. The web based forums can be an excellent place to meet and get to know other roleplayers.

Suppose Meg has never fought a Neko, so Meg doesn't know if they're tough or not. So, the first time she encounters one and gets in a fight, she will go for overkill, hurling exploding potions, casting spells, and finally closing in for the kill, when she has learned about them, she will know the quickest, safest and most efficient way to deal with them.. (Meg does not know that an neko has xx number of revives, such and such a skill, or any of that stuff.)

As a character, Meg is not a mighty martial arts fighter, but she is intelligent. She's also patient and studious. She constantly underestimates her own skills, acts kindly towards all whom she encounters, and studies and studies. She has no way of knowing that she might use an offensive skill before a supportive skill, unless she encounters that information in GAME terms.

See the difference? By playing the role of the character, you can share in the wonder, in the joy, in the sadness, and all the other wonderful things that your character has the potential for.

Some thoughts on character behavior. As your character develops, his or her skills increase, and the character begins to take on his or her own life. As Meg develops, having gone from neutral to a force for either good or bad by being kind, nasty, generous or egoistic and thoughtful of others or not, she has become those things. It's a feedback loop, she meets people and interacts with them, they reward her with their behavior towards her, she becomes more and more what she is playing. In this way she develops. She has seen evil characters, but as a character, is aware that the truly evil do not always appear so.

Taking on the part of actually playing the character turns the simple mechanical game play from merely clicking the mouse and keys in the right places fast enough, "Want to spar?" into something that is much more of a challenge. After all, becoming a power player is easy. It's too easy. Taking on the part of a 'real' character is far more of a challenge, you learn a great deal more, and something else. Do it well, and you will make friends. You will make friends for life.

Now, a word about playing evil characters. There's nothing wrong with playing evil characters, if it's done well. If it's simply build up a power character and kill newbies for you, then this is the wrong game. Stick to Nintendo. If, on the other hand, playing an evil character is for you, then PLAY the part. The most evil characters are not obviously evil. The biggest pain in the ass does not say "Dean Singer, professional asshole" when you look at them. An evil character, most definetely doesn't use that name.. Playing a truly great evil character, instead of just another power player killer is much much harder to do , and extremely hard to do well. After you become a master at playing a regular character, try being a truly evil one if you find that the challenge isn't there any more.

Above all, don't spoil the game for everyone else, because that way lies madness and chaos. Because that way you will find your self playing in the sand-pit, and it will be full of scorpions and snakes, and none will hear your cries for help, nor will they come for you.

The disadvantage with being a purist roleplayer comes when combat ensues. In a fight with skilled Combat Junkies, the roleplayers usually end up losing, simply because they don't have a combat-trained character.

Roleplaying alone is hard, and finding a group of roleplayers can be hard. I strongly recommend reading the web forums to find out where the roleplayers gather. Check out the faction info in the Community Center and just explore as well to find roleplayers.

Character Classes/types and play styles.

As a new roleplayer, or a new character, when you approach a 'group' always remember that you are a stranger. I've learned that 'patience' should also be a virtue, since if folks are involved in a 3-4 way conversation, coming up and joining in can take a while before they can respond. First impressions count for a lot, just as they do in real life. People also have long memories.

There's no absolute way to roleplay, and even the more experienced roleplayers have different opinions on what's considered good roleplay. For me, it's like improvisational theatre, or interactive story writing, where I'm playing the part of a character with a personality that's similar, but different, to myself. A character that has matured, over five months, but one that is still maturing, still learning, and still slowly changing. A character that is consistent in her behavior and how she interacts with others, one that her close friends know quite well. They know how she will react, what her likes and dislikes are, where to find her in a hurry, how to make her laugh, how to make her cry, how to make her sad or angry. Thus, she has become, a true character.

For me, that's the main goal of roleplaying, to forge a distinct identity and character, a unique individual with a rich background, rich experiences, and lots of friends. It takes a great deal of time, patience and thought. Some planning helps, from the perspective of being able to play as that character, the rest comes with time. Time spent playing, time spent interacting, time spent having fun. Some folks think that roleplaying is nothing more than standing around in town chatting, but in fact, that's only a part of it. Not all roleplayers do that, just some of them. Some roleplayers write stories, based on the in-game experiences, and that can not only be fun, but it can help with understanding the character.

As an example, think of James Bond, secret agent 007, he's a character with a distinct identity, a broad background, and his personality can be seen to change as a result of his experiences. Now, imagine yourself as the young James Bond, freshly retired from the Navy, and about to embark on a career in Her Majesty's Secret Service. You have certain starting skills, a personality, but little in the way of real experiences. Imagine your first mission. If you can picture yourself as that character, talking in a soft scottish brogue, impeccably dressed, with a taste for vodka martini, shaken not stirred, a penchant for gambling, particularly good at baccarat and 'chemin de fer', with a dislike for balding villains with pet white cats, a taste for very good looking women, and carrying a 9mm Beratta pistol. If you can not only imagine that, but also act the part, then you are roleplaying.

Of course, there is no James Bond in the Land of NoR, but you can be a 'hero', a 'villain', or, just a person. Jayden isn't really a hero, and she's certainly no villain, but she has saved many lives, healed many, helped many, trained some. She's not now, and never will be a Grand Hero. She will never own her own castle, or even tower, she will never wear expensive weapons. (She's not quite strong enough, and she much prefers chain armor anyway.) She will never kill a vampire single-handedly, but she has stood back and healed her friends as they fought toe-to-toe against enemies and won. She's fought and died at the side of her friends.

More thoughts on character development and contingency planning.

In those idle moments when you're waiting for the servers to come back up, take a few notes, make some plans.

Write down all the things that happened, in the game, to your character last time you adventured. What did you like, what did your character like, what didn't you like, what didn't your character like.

Think about how these experiences might effect your character. Whether the bad things are a result of someone else's actions, or a result of game bugs/features, would they have an effect on your characters personality? On your characters behavior patterns? If so, and only if you are comfortable with that, allow your character's behavior to change slightly.

If you, playing as your character, encounter something entirely new and unexpected, think about how your character would react. (It's also permissible, after you've fleshed out a personality, to look back on what might have happened to your character earlier in life to explain various aspects of that personality.)

Jayden has changed as she progresses through the game, she's older now, and no longer behaves like a teenager all the time. She hasn't lost her sense of humor, but added refinement to it, she's learned to be more wary of strangers, and more open with 'friends'. She's seen some of those that she's helped go on to helping others, and thus improved the chances for me to role play her

For a totally new character, it's worthwhile to write down the likely reactions to the most common in game situations, 'contingency planning'. It's also worthwhile to do this for an established character. As the player, if you play smart, you read the other stories and articles (chat, forums etc), where other folks post of their experiences. Extrapolate how your character would behave in those circumstances, you don't HAVE to react that way, depending on the situation, and the level of 'danger'. What it helps with is to make your character unique and developing, instead of stagnant.

Examples are the common ones:

You get stunned, and some Combat Junkie starts taunting you before finishing you off.. Do you taunt them back, thus ensuring a really quick death? Do you curse them? (kind of pointless, but at this moment in time you might want to vent a little steam). I know what Jayden would do, assuming she has the time to say it or do it, you decide for yourselves, (I don't want the world full of little Jayden’s running around, it would be incredibly boring, not to mention sickening...)

Even though when the situation arises, it's a surprise to you, if you've already thought about how the character would react, then you can stay in role even under adverse circumstances.

I already imagine some severely adverse circumstances for Jayden, at the hands of my fellow role-players, and I already have a pretty good idea of how she's going to react, consistently with her personality, in character, when faced with one or more of certain death, abandonment, entrapment, torment, or a broken heart. All in a very general sense of course, since I can't predict any exact encounter, only the general and likely nature. Neither can I predict when, so her exact reactions (my contingency plans) will change as time passes and she gains skills and capabilities.

All of this takes time, a lot of careful thought, but it has the major payoff that if done properly, it allows you to stay in character when something unexpected comes along. You should temper this by understanding that running away is also an option, play carefully, play smartly, don't get caught in a corner, or trapped in a room, don't walk into the middle of a battle imagining that because you're role-playing, the others will leave you alone, they won't. Don't imagine for one moment that anyone else cares either, because most don't. Expect it to be very difficult to do any real role-playing, unless you know where to find the role-players, or how to recognize them. Even if you know their names from elsewhere, don't assume that they're going to be role-playing while walking around, or when fighting in a big war. Role-playing is like the icing on the cake, an added bonus for a little more work, it's NOT the same as simply keeping your character alive and out of trouble you can't handle.

Play balance, encounters, the reality.

As a new player, especially as a new roleplayer, my advice is this. Treasure those roleplayed moments, because unless you know where to go to meet other roleplayers, most encounters are not going to be pleasant. Develop a healthy sense of paranoia, they are out to get you.

As I've previously stated, my personal preference is towards a co-operative play style, although there are always some conflicts, whether because of 'personality' differences, or other reasons. Conflict can be healthy, it can present a challenge, and killing your greatest enemy can be a real thrill. Death won't be permanent in the Land of NoR. That enemy will be back tomorrow, as powerful as ever.

If you plan on being a long term player, I would strongly recommend keeping yourself up to date with how the 'rules' of the game are changing. By reading the updates, and monitoring the web based forums.

Those are also the best places to find out where to find other roleplayers, and I'd recommend reading them, becoming familiar with who plays on which side, whether they play good or evil, whether they play co-operative or competitive, and try out a few characters, do some interaction, see which particular style you enjoy.


Roleplay Menu

Roleplay 101

Land Of NoR RolePlay

When you're new to Roleplay, or when you need some more ideas for it, this section could be usefull for you. While we like to Roleplay in the Land of NoR, after all; that is what LoN is about, we dont expect it to a certain standard.

Everyone should play what they are comfortable with. Whether you like to put a lot of emoting into your roleplay, or just stick to spoken text; all is fine, nothing is demanded from you.

Your fellow NoRians are more than willing to either help you with questions or to roleplay with you. We also have OOC meetings to discuss this, next to the Forums. The website of the Land of NoR provides information as well and players post their roleplays there as well, which you can read for your reference.

The Land of NoR uses UCE

The UintyCore Engine is used in The Land of NoR.

UCE is a feature-rich roleplay & combat system like no other. You can use this system in the Lands of NoR to engage in epic battles!

We enjoy our Second Life!

Second Life is a free online virtual world imagined and created by its Residents. From the moment you enter Second Life, you'll discover a fast-growing digital world filled with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity.

More information

If you need more information, do check these:

  • UCE Support Forums
  • Second Life Marketplace
  • What is Second Life
  • Second Life Community

This site is created by Joann Carver. Artwork kindly provided by Zaria Benoir and Cheryl Hancroft.