Mythbusting RP

You may hear -alot- about RPers and role-playing. Some parts are true, others are uniformed “labels” and stereotypes. Here’s some common and not-so-common “myths” and generalizations associated with role-playing, RP Servers and RP’ers:

General RP Myths

  • RPers ALL have to use “thee” and “thou” (olde/middle english)
    No, we don’t all do that – some borrow from it, but mainly we use complete sentences and decent grammar based on the type of character we play and the game’s lore. The wording may reflect another time, but it’s not always Shakespeare or Chaucer.

    The language, dialects and slang are determined by the game, it’s lore and it’s ruleset.

  • RPers are (all) elitist snobs.
    Another label applied to many (if not all) role-players. Most RPers are cool with other role-players. It’s a mixed lot of different styles, mindsets and attitudes. Some are “perfectionists” but most do (and should) treat everyone equally, regardless of style. Some are shy, believe it or not, which sometimes gets seen as “snobbish”. Remember we are all human, and are not just pixels out there. :) Some appear “exclusive” or cliquish – there is a good reason for that.
  • RP’ers are all thespians (actors) and RPing is “stage acting”.
    Not really – while actors/actresses could play, most of us are just like any other gamer. Some do RP as escapism, some like pretending, and others like the feeling they are like characters in the books they read or the movies they watch. Imagination and creativity on a different level with gameplay basically, but everyone has their own reasons why they role-play.

    Role-playing is not like stage acting, though they could be seen as similar. There’s not a real script or casting and is free-form gameplaying. Some of us are just role-playing just regular townsfolk or adventure-types.

    Character interaction drives the game-style, with (healthy) drama and storylines and relationships. There is no overall director, though we have our personal backstories and boundries to keep us in character. We have our roles and ways of doing something in that particular character/persona. While RPing is impromptu, don’t ask us to “perform” (unless we are actually rping actors, jesters and performers – then it makes sense. Otherwise, it’s like a asking a chef to do brain surgery.

  • Role-Playing is “evil”
    What some people can’t understand, they fear or hate. That goes for many other things besides RP. Dungeons & Dragons got a bit of bad press from people not really understanding what the game was. It’s all imagination, creativity and storytelling. Heck, Gary Gygax, one of the great creators of D&D, was a Christian.

    There’s no “real” spellcasting being performed or actually hurting anyone in RPG games. The chance of getting killed is about the same % chance of dying while playing checkers. Most RPGs will tell you “moderation is key” when playing their games. Don’t get obsessed with the game to a point where it hinders your real life.

    Just play responsibly (like in any other game or hobby) and explain to you parents (nicely!) what’s going on. It’s better than letting them get the wrong idea and calling a witch hunt. :)


MMORPG RP Myths

  • RPers are (all) elitist snobs. (Yes, it bears repeating for MMORPGs)
    Another label applied to many (if not all) role-players. Most RPers are cool with other role-players. It’s a mixed lot of different styles, mindsets and attitudes. Some are “perfectionists” but most do (and should) treat everyone equally, regardless of style. Some are shy, believe it or not, which sometimes gets seen as “snobbish”. Remember we are all human, and are not just pixels out there. :) Some appear “exclusive” or cliquish – there is a good reason for that.

    But wait! There’s more:

    For some reason (either for spite or just bad form) small groups of people set out with no better goal than to harass or hurt others. This includes making fun or ruining role-playing and role-players. People with this intent really need to get help or get a good dose of the golden rule. Sadly, behavior like this does form a wall or barrier for others wanting to role-play. That is what some people “see” when they encounter some role-players – a defensive reaction. This is not the norm for all RP guilds or groups, but you can get an idea if a group or individual seems skittish to new RPers.

    A couple of ways to counter this is to be cool and play in character – walk up and RP, just make sure to respect the group and also do not force yourself into the mix. Another way would be to send an OCC whisper to a member of the group and ask if it’s ok to join the scene. That way, nothing is escalated and thing are handled with maturity and respect. If for some reason it’s not open, be polite and make your way someplace to a more responsive group. Remember not all RP is found in towns, you could encounter a group or someone almost anywhere.

  • RP’ers can’t Raid or PvP. RP Servers are “weak” servers, compared to PvP and PvE.
    Role-players can Raid and PvP, it’s just not a high priority to some players. RPers can be very PvP and Raid-minded too. We just make time to RP as well, since it’s why we are on a role-playing server. We can like to bust heads and kick bosses just like you – really. RP servers can be just as “deadly” or successful as other types of servers.
  • RPers walk… everywhere.
    While some think that is the “norm”, it’s not. Think of it this way – In everyday life, do you run everywhere? No. There are times and places where running and walking make sense to do. Hear an alarm in town, and wish to see what the deal is? You run. At a gathering and mingling? You walk. Two very clear example, but you can apply the logic to any situation by thinking of how it would be done in everyday life.
  • “All” female characters on RP Servers are guys.
    Though that worked and was normal in Shakespeare’s time. It holds little water here. Just like on any server or game, female gamers do exist and play. Some females do pick male characters so they don’t get preyed upon by “over-zealous” types. :P

    Some guys do play female characters or roles, but it for varied reasons. Some like the challenge of a female role. Some role-play women well and like doing so. Another valid reason is this: They are guys. Some guys think if you have to play a character for hours and play a game, you might as well have something “good” to look at. It’s the Lara Croft/Tomb Raider way of playing, which is nothing new to the gaming world and not confined to RP servers or RPers. :)

  • You -have- to be in character (IC) from login to logout.
    You will find there is alot of different types of role-playing and different ranges. From very casual role-play to full-time. While staying in character (or blending in if not a role-player) is important, you have to remember that everyday life takes the higher priority.

    There will be times when you are not IC or really want to be, depending on the situation or what’s happening in your life. If you are not up to RPing that evening cannot for one reason or another – it’s fine. Let your RPing group or friends know if your are burned out or just not in the mood. Seriously, they should understand.

  • You -must- RP if you are on a RP Server.
    Not all players on a RP Server role-play or seldom do due to one reason or another. Some think they will make a mistake and embarrass themselves. Most have friends that do RP or they either chose a RP Server because they wanted to get away from “normal” servers. Some just picked the server at random based on Server Time and did not know it was a RP Server to begin with.

    You know what? It’s ok.

    The “RP Police” will not break down your virtual door. Honest. Most games focus little on making sure that players know what a RP server is, and that you should follow the policies therein. With a little respect and understanding, we can all get along.

    What I am also getting at is there should not be witch-hunts on RP Servers. I do believe, however, that Non-RPers should respect the policies and try to blend in at least. This means knowing some of what RPing is about. This site can be a great aid towards that.

    Whether or not we are role-players or not, we are all still people. Think about that.

  • RPers -must- get nekkid and dance on mailboxes, tables and in starter areas and towns. (Especially Night Elf Females)
    Er… no. *grin*
    Nine times out of ten, it’s someone who…
    is a griefer from another realm, trying to get attention
    is someone really, really needing to get help.
    is someone very bored.
    cannot role-play and/or does not understand what server/realm they are on.

    Unless they are role-playing, best bet is to ignore them and move on – you got better things to do. :)