HE LAYER ANUAL
THE CONCEPT OF ROLE-PLAY
Ask almost any player of Dragonís Gate what the "point" of the DGate is, and they will most likely tell you, "Role-playing." Role-playing is the very essence of Dragonís Gate, and something that both players and staff alike enjoy participating in and expanding upon. At times, however, the concept of role-play can be overwhelming, so this guide has been made available to serve as a collection of examples and suggestions on the idea of role-playing, in order to optimize your Dragonís Gate experience!
Section One: Roleplaying Defined ...
Role-playing, in its simplest of definitions, is acting without a script. When role-playing, you assume the identify of a persona, or player character, and then interact with other player characters and respond to events in the gaming world as they occur. The key to role-playing is to remember that when interacting with the rest of the gaming world, you respond as your character would, which may or may not be as you, the player, might react.
Section Two: ...
Making Your Character Come to Life Creating your very own character in Dragonís Gate is, of course, the first step in role-playing. There are many different options to choose from, and each one will help you mold your character into a living, breathing part of the Dragonís Gate world. Each race, religion, and class (profession) has specific guidelines for the type of roleplay involved. Each individual in Dragonís Gate is different because of their choices in life, such as which god they follow or what guild they belong to. Secians all follow the same general rules of temperament and tendencies, but once you throw religion and class into the mix, several other doors become open. Just keep in mind the basic criteria for the race, religion and class of your character and you will be on your way.
Section Three: ...
The Challenge of Role-play As mentioned above, race, religion and class make up the foundation upon which you will begin to expand your character. The next step is to create your characterís individual personality. Therein lies the challenge of Role-play!
When interacting with other player characters, there is no planned script or forewarning as to what this other character may do or say. Events will often happen that are entirely unexpected and occur with no warning whatsoever. This is the great challenge of role-playing, in that you are, at most times, dealing with the unknown. In order to successfully handle the unknown when role-playing, a bit of planning can go a long way. For example, some players of Dragonís Gate take the time to understand who their character is by sketching out or even writing out a full character history. Some good examples of character histories can be found in the Library section of the website, under the characters sub-link. It is not required that you do this, and many people have led very important and world-affecting lives in the realm of Dragonís Gate without ever having written a history! A lot of people like the spontaneity of coming up with character traits and personality quirks on the spot, and this practice can be fun and rewarding for yourself, as well as the other players with whose characters you are interacting.
A few tips from Vaile:
Over the years, the biggest thing Iíve found is the difference between ďdecentĒ or ďgoodĒ role-players and the ďgreatĒ role-players is how they react when things they didnít anticipate, or didnít prepare for occur. More often than not, itís easy to role-play with your friends as you hang out and talk, go on hunts, solve quests, and interact with those you generally get along with. When your role-play puts you in a position where youíre forced to deal with characters your character may be enemies with, the difficulty in role-play raises tremendously. More often than not, these other characters will do things you didnít anticipate, they may put your own character in an awkward position or even force your own character to question their beliefs. The very best role-players are the ones able to keep in character and flourish in these situations, true role-play occurs when you are forced into situations you didnít anticipate or expect, and you find out more about the depths of your character in how they respond and act at those moments. Most people tend to shy away from these situations, but the truly great role-players actively seek them out and take advantage to allow their characters to come to life and shine.
A few tips from things Iíve found over the years that can help your character quickly establish a known identity is to develop specific personality quirks that people can easily recognize with your character. Maybe when you grin, you typically do it the same way, with the corner of your lip turning up into a sneer. Maybe when you laugh, you always hiccup after, etc. These little nuances are the kind of things that help develop a characters personality traits and make them seem a little more alive, despite being relatively small things for you to do. How your character dresses, and how they interact with their own clothing is another fantastic way to stand out. Be it through an evil mask your character wears that drives them insane, or a small mark of your God you clutch to your chest during the darkest times, items help breathe life into your character if used properly. Finally, familiars can be a wonderful way to give yourself a traveling companion and role-play partner for both when other players are around, and when youíre on your own. If you buy a pet, make sure to establish an identity for that familiar..What is its name? What is its motivation? What little quirks and personality traits does it have? All of these little steps are fantastic thing you can do easily to add a little depth to your character and give them more of a life and personality.
Section Four: ...
Projecting Your Role-play to the World While dialogue (using the SAY command) is immensely important in the world of Dragonís Gate and can help your character convey feelings and desires, there are a large number of other options available at your fingertips to help you project your characterís personality to the world. We now enter the realm of emotes!
In Dragonís Gate, emotes are special commands that allow your character to perform a specific social action in the game. Smiling, rolling your eyes, shrieking, and snarling can go a long way, but you can make them go the extra mile by tacking on extra text to these commands, thereby making them more personal and original to your character. For example, imagine you have a character named Max. You have decided that Max is a generally easy going guy with a heart of gold. Someone has said has made Max feel good. You might wish to demonstrate this by using the SMILE command. If you use it without any extra text, people will see this in the room:
If you want to take it a bit further, you can type in extra text after the command SMILE. You might want him to flash his charming, genuine smile. So you would type: smile a charming, genuine smile.
And people would see:
Max smiles a charming, genuine smile.
Doing this can be fun and allow you to bring out your creativity, and it also assists the other player characters to get a feel for your character by letting them take a glimpse into the personality of your character. One general rule to adhere to when using additional text in your commands is to not force role-play onto anyone else.
Using our character Max, if you were to type smile a charming, genuine smile that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, people would see this:
Max smiles a charming, genuine smile that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
While it may be true and some characters are just bowled over by Maxís charisma, there might be other characters in the room who absolutely hate people who smile, or someone who is so indifferent that Max smiling wouldnít affect them in one way or another. It is always important to remember that other player characters will react to yours the way their personalities allow, and nothing your character does can control the way they act or feel, just like in the real world.
Section Five: Scenarios and Events...
As you play out your characterís life, the realm of Dragonís Gate will change and shift in many different ways. These changes are brought upon by the way the people of Dragonís Gate interact, and what decisions they make with their characters. From day to day, these changes may not be very noticeable, but in the long run they will become more and more apparent. The way in which people go about changing the very course of existence in Dragonís Gate is by participating in (and sometimes creating) different scenarios within the game.
Scenarios are plot lines that have many different outcomes based on the decisions made by those participating in them. Some scenarios are small scale and only affect a few people, while others can be very large and have a great, long-lasting effect on the entire realm. It is not required that your characters participate in scenarios. In fact, your character might have specific reasons that he or she does not wish to get involved. However, if you find you and your character are interested in participating in a scenario, there are some important things to remember.
Some scenarios involve specific Elder (GM) run characters (ERCs) that are an integral part of the action. Sometimes it will be obvious that a character is an ERC, and other times it will be difficult to tell. It is important to realize that the Elder behind the ERC is interested in having fun and role-playing just as much as you are, and that these types of characters are not all-knowing and flawless. While it is a good idea to ask questions, do not assume that just because someone is an ERC, they have all the answers you need to further the scenario. Many more evil ERCís will outright lie to your characters, or even try to kill them, itís important to remember an ERC in the end is really little different than any other PC you encounter. It is also a generally good idea to pay attention to even the simplest looking people in plain clothing, for they may or may not be an important part of the scenario in which you are participating.
Asking questions and researching the histories of the realm are always a good way to begin involving yourself in a scenario. If you recall a specific piece of information about Harold the San Elf Setite Priest from 498 B.C. and that applies to the scenario, people will generally welcome you into the circle of involvement, unless they have a specific IC (in-character) reason not to.
Another good thing to remember is that there is more than one way to get involved in scenarios. In most cases, there are several different sides and views on why a specific thing is happening. There are usually many different shades of protagonists, antagonists, and objective observers, and your character is able to take whichever one on that suits his or her personality best.
Other types of occurrences in Dragonís Gate are those that fall under the "event" category. These can range from peddles, festivals, recitals, or trips to other cities, to name a few. Most of the time these things are Elder-run, but sometimes a player takes it upon his- or herself to run an event for the enjoyment of others. Keep in mind that all of these events are IC unless otherwise noted (such as OOC history and role-play meetings that take place in the OOC Inn) and require the same level of role-play that day to day life in Dragonís Gate requires. When a merchant comes to town, it is imperative that you treat them as you would another player character and not go out of character unless it is absolutely necessary (and then, only in whispers).
Section Six: ...
Examples of Roleplay in Dragonís Gate For your reference and enjoyment, below is a snippet of an old log of players role-playing in the realm of Dragonís Gate. Enjoy!
From this small office, Elindale's high priestess attends to the more mundane matters. With the goddess so much in evidence all around, those duties are few and rarely transcend into the spiritual unnecessarily.
This room is illuminated.
In the room are Tula the Noble Secian (seated and holding a flaming blue diamond staff of friendship), Ambertiger the Leuian (seated), and Yulin the Noble Fir Elf.
Obvious exits: north* west*.
Tula says, "The rain is not Aiena's doing.. It can not be"
Yulin ponders the meaning of the universe for a moment.
Tula says, "We saw that rain destroy her and her army..."
Ambertiger says, "A wave did.."
Tula says, "Brought on by the rain"
Ambertiger says, "Perhaps someone of greater magickal power.."
Yulin asks, "Does th'flerian 'ave th'power to do such things?"
Tula says, "I still think the rain is Murdach's doing"
Ambertiger says, "Kyrinne should know.."
Tula says to Ambertiger, "Good idea..."
Yulin asks, "Is that why 'e left in a huff? We "insulted" 'em by suggestin' ELindale did it?"
Tula nods to Yulin.
Tula says, "And I think he is frustrated.. I guess he has warned us for some time"
Ambertiger says, "I've never heard him warn us of anything.."
Yulin flails his arms about wildly.
Ambertiger says, "Just comment on his wardrobe.."
Ambertiger ponders the meaning of the universe for a moment.
Yulin exclaims, "Ah've never 'eard of 'em!"
Tula says to Ambertiger, "I have had little contact with him... But perhaps others have"
Tula says, "I have heard people speak of him"
Yulin asks Tula, "Yer Grace, are ye contactin' Kyrinne?"
Tula says to Yulin, "I can, if you wish"
Yulin asks, "Would she help?"
Ambertiger says, "She is the High Priestess of Sa.."
Tula says, "She will help..."
Yulin searches the room.
Yulin mutters something beneath his breath.
Tula asks, "Someone is here?"
Ambertiger searches the room.
Tula searches the room.
Tula reveals Fortunous!
Tula glances at Fortunous.
Tula frowns at Fortunous.
Ambertiger raises an eyebrow.
Fortunous bows to Tula with a formal sweep of his leg.
Tula asks Fortunous, "You spy on us?"
Fortunous asks, "Eh? Spy?"
Ambertiger says, "Yes, You."
Ambertiger says, "Spy.,"
Tula says, "Yes, you"
Yulin says, "Aye, ye thief."
Fortunous says, "I would never do such a thing."
Tula says to Fortunous, "Yet you lurk in the shadows of my office"
Ambertiger starts pulling on Fortunous!
His disguise is revealed!
Ambertiger exclaims, "ROTHER!"
Tula furrows her brow.
Rother smiles at Ambertiger darkly, as the flames of Taathian Hatred lick across his eyes.
Tula's mood is now confused.
Ambertiger stands up.
Ambertiger exclaims, "Leave!"
Rother says, "Oh, I shall."
Rother says, "I believe I've heard enough."
Tula grits her teeth.
Ambertiger asks, "How.. How Dare you?!"
Rother smirks slightly.
Tula glances at Ambertiger.
You see Ambertiger move up another 4 UDs!
Ambertiger stares at Rother.
Rother laughs at Ambertiger mirthlessly.
Tula says to Rother, "Leave us. Please."
Rother says, "Farewell, Elindalians."
Ambertiger asks, "Do you honestly think you can get away with this?"
Ambertiger raises an eyebrow.
Rother asks, "We shall see eacother again soon, shall we not, eh?"
Rother says, "Oh."
Rother says, "And Amber."
Rother returns his long dagger.
Ambertiger asks, "What now?"
Rother readies a wickedly curved hook on a chain.
Rother says, "I have a special plan for you now."
Tula gasps in horror.
Ambertiger says, "Hrmph."
Rother caresses the wickedly curved hook on a chain gently across his cheek.
Tula exclaims to Rother, "Be gone!"
Rother just went north.
Section Seven: ...
Additional Resources and Information If you want help with the role-playing of your character, players and staff alike are always willing to offer advice. If something baffles you in the game, most players will not mind if you politely whisper a question or two to them, and will normally be ready and happy to help. If a player cannot answer your question, or you wish a second opinion, the assist command is always available, and will summon a guide or GM to help you out. Contact the lead Elder if you have a serious, detailed question that you feel needs specific attention.
Section Eight: Summary ...
The world of Dragonís Gate is a diverse, multi-dimensional realm in which almost anything is possible. The most important thing you can do for yourself is have fun, and remember that everyone who plays Dragonís Gate is in it for the pure enjoyment of taking on a persona and role-playing things that are not available in the crazy place known as the "real world."
Section Nine: Additional Notes from Gia ...
1. ROLE PLAYING BASICS & ETIQUETTE
Role playing (RP) is an art form, which utilises a persons imagination and creative abilities. The primary goal with RP is to have fun, but with that fun come some basic rules and guidelines, as well as certain etiquette involved.
If you are an experienced roleplayer and notice someone attempting to roleplay, but doing a really bad job of it, try to tutor them a bit over whisper/esp, tactfully. If you are at the receiving end of this tell, don't get offended. We can all live and learn, and if you listen to good advice, you'll end up being a better roleplayer.
2. NEVER CONFUSE ROLEPLAY WITH REAL LIFE
You are NOT your character. Your char is just something you created for the purpose of roleplaying. NEVER bring RL issues into roleplay. It will also help a lot if you write up a 'Roleplay Chart', with some basic facts about your character; like age, origin, family, occupation, general disposition, quirks, etc. You can start out with just the basics, and add to it as your character evolves. It is usually a good idea to leave room for some growth. Don't start your char out as an omnipotent semi-god or super-hero, it leaves no room for development, and also might make you look rather stupid if you are a low level newcomer to the realms. Characters with some flaws and shortcomings also make for much more interesting RP possibilities, than the rather stereotype perfect heroes or extremely sexy and beautiful women you so often come across.
Below is a small Questionnaire, to help creating your own RP charts. When answering these questions, be sure they follow or remain close to the race/religion/class guidelines set up for the game. Try not to go too far outside the box bringing a new character to Aradath. Also, its a good idea to keep a running journal of your characters devlepments/knowledge and update the answer to these questions as time goes on.
1) Where is your characters home?
2) Does he/she miss his/her homeland?
3) What sort of things annoy your character? Why?
4) What things does your character enjoy? Why?
5) Does your character stand for anything? (The Destruction of something? The protection of innocents against oppression?)
6) Is your character a part of a clan, and if so, what do they stand for?
7) Are you bound by your past at all? Why?
8) Does your character have a long term goal, and if so what is it?
9) Does your character have any short term goals? And if so what are they?
10) How far will your character go to accomplish those goals?
11) Does your character have any quirks about him/her, or any faults? (For example: A limp from an injured leg, or an inability to see evil)
12) Is your character prone to alliances or friendships with others and if so, what sort of people?
13) Are there any particular things that your character absolutely hates?
14) Does your character value honesty, or the giving of oaths? Why?
15) Does your character deeply value the lives of others? Why?
16) Does your character prefer diplomacy, or combat? Why?
17) Is your character strictly law-abiding, or would they break the rules when in a tight bind? Why?
18) Does your character have any fears, or phobias? Why?
19) Does your character have any religious beliefs? Why?
20) What does your character find to be "fun" or "entertaining"? Why?
3. NEVER CONFUSE IC AND OOC INFORMATION
One of the more important aspects of roleplaying is to keep IC and OOC information apart.
Do not confuse what YOU know yourself OOC with what your character knows IC. The only ways your character can know things IC, is if they were posted on public IC boards, if you actually witnessed them happen, or if someone told them about them during a roleplay session. Everything else is OOC and, as far as your character is concerned, never happened. You cannot act on OOC knowledge, you cannot even mention it during a session. Doing so is very bad roleplay.