A lot of feedback on "How to RP" seems to exist in the extent of developing a preconceived character and then remaining within the limits of what you've determined that character to be.
What about spontaneous RP? Where you react to those around you instead of trying to "fit-in" with a narrow character outline you drafted.
I see posts constantly about This is Who I Am. And not everyone is into that. How does the community on these boards feel about this? Meeting someone who one day gave you the impression was flirty, for example, but then the next is prude (this is example).
Would that be provoking OOC behavior?
(I hope this made sense)
I believe it is necessary to have a least a vague character concept sketched out. I find myself in the minority because I don't care to overly develop a character with a complex backstory and tons of details about likes/dislikes/friends/enemies/keys to her heart/weaknesses/spiritual preferences/favorite kind of ice cream, because I prefer to let the character tell ME what all that stuff is as it kind of develops organically.
One time I had a character refuse a common food offering, because everybody else was just being so dang obedient about eating and drinking everything offered. Just a stupid, random thing I did to stir the pot. When questioned, I just fleshed it out with a bit of backstory, but it ended up becoming very central to her ability to engage in social dinners and sparked a surprising amount of rp for the year I played her. Something I might not have felt free to do, if it wasn't in her "Introduction" thread, y'know? ;)
However, I do think you should have a vague idea of who your character is and how they would generally see the world, respond to interactions, etc... just to maintain character integrity. Unless the goal is to portray an individual with disassociative identity disorder. ;)
If I ran into someone one day who was super flirty, and then the next day they were super prudish, I'd probably make the assumption that there were extenuating circumstances. Like, maybe they were flirting because they were drunk. Maybe I offended them so they're not interested anymore. Maybe their husband is in the corner now so they can't flirt today. Plenty of reasons. My character's assumption would probably depend on how she saw the world - something I know because that's the sort of thing I flesh out in advance. =)
I would advise getting a few details all set before hand. Don't have to go into crazy detail cause I have found a lot of them get changed on the fly or eventually ignored, but a few bullet points are good to have ahead of time.
I tend to make up a lot of my character on the fly, but I like to know where she came from, who her parents were, why she left home to be come an adventurer, things like that.
how I set out my characters, is so that they have a believable and usually understandable personality and behavoir. I want both myself and those that interact with me to feel that my characters are actual people separate from me, even if they aren't real. Just to feel immersed. So I will create and develop a set of basic borders. Do my characters go out of those borders? Sure plenty of times given the right circumstances and events. They aren't going to react the same way to things, just like I wouldn't IRL. just like most people wouldn't do irl. but the base is there to channel a particular person with many facets.
Making a character is easy, making a behavior and personality for them is the difficult part for those that aren't used to creating them.
as for spontaneous rp? bring it! I welcome it the most above all.
I dream of a IC community where everyone has various opinions and interactions with various individuals an it creates this whole world in the game that you can be a part of. confliction, romances, rivalries, wars, alliances, friendships, businesses.. so on!
Walk down the street an a few that you have done business with before know you and might even spread the word if a friend of theirs knows that friend needs a particular service.
We're all here to tell a story and the more people willing to get involved with everyone else as a whole will an can definitely find more development with their character that way :)
I'm not quite sure what you're asking, Digress. Can you clarify a bit? It sounds like you're saying you may have a character named Jane, for example - and you play her a lot; but she's never the same actual character on a day-to-day basis. Is that accurate; or did I misunderstand?
I 'believe' she is referring to a bio or background character reference. Without it, a person who is RP'ing is not prefaced on any possible demeanor or info about the said character without having to explain everytime to a new person why someone is the way they are.
It is surprising when mmo's who have RP servers don't have a bio section on the character panel for a player to make editable notes on. Any novel a person would read in RL is prefaced on characters introduced into a story before they ever speak their lines.
It's nothing new, it is one of many vital mechanics that authors like R.A. Salvatore have said mmo's need if they ever want to become as competitive a medium for storytelling and RP.
To be fair, most people who have- and read - bios don't actually use that information when interacting with a character until when/if it is presented to their character in an RP context.
The purpose of a bio, then, isn't so much to tell people about their character in order to influence that character's initial interactions - but it is, instead, often used to give other players a general idea as to what the character is like so that they can decide if it's the sort of character they might want to interact with. It's good for 'bubble' Rpers - people who like to keep their RP interactions to a limited pool of people they get along well with.
It's also good, for example, for people who like me whose RP style may clash with what someone else enjoys. I tend to use the bio space as both a brief character primer (and to note ant differences between the in-game model and the actual character) - and as a space to warn other players that I Para-RP and play futa/shemale/transgendered characters. To me, it's a simple courtesy to other RPers who might be offended or might not enjoy either of those aspects - so they don't have to invest time and effort only to discover that these styles of play aren't horribly compatible.
As a whole, though, Tera seems to be shaping up to be a mature RP community overall - I could handily do without a bio space and use some sort of central Tera character website in it's place; just because Celesial Hills, so far, seems to have an unusually consistent style of RP across its playerbase.
This is how I role play, I don't write up manuals for myself, I just run with a concept.