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Roleplay Quality Standards

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Standard of Roleplay on LotC

Quality & the backstage handshake | Feb 11th, 2020

 

 



A charming and defining quality of our server has always been the way we blend a serious take on roleplay with a laid-back and friendly attitude.

From the moment that we sign on after our first application, we acknowledge an unspoken duty—to preserve this experience and to help each other enjoy our time here. To support a stimulating, encouraging, and jolly place—a community that you can grow and develop in.
 
Together, we write a story. We write it in such a way that no single person owns a chapter, or even a full page. Gradually, as we discover more of this tale it reveals the exceptional appeal of our server: Thousands of people contributing verses to a grand narrative—simply by playing their own character.


 

These standards set the bar for the expected quality for roleplay, they are a set of rules and guidelines which help cultivate an environment of sincere and cooperative roleplay. So without further ado, let’s begin!


When Do We Follow Standards?

In general you should adhere to the standards unless you’ve all agreed to ignore them for the time being. If the quality of your roleplay is raised into question then it’s time to sharpen your behaviour and preserve the quality of the story. But, if there is no complaint then there is typically no concern. So if all parties are just having fun without breaking any rules or lore, nobody’s going to come knocking.


Give & Take

The principle of give & take is simple: if you take from another player then you must give in return. If your roleplay is the equivalent of tossing free bread and clowning on royalty then you’re not really taking anything (unless you’re interrupting official affairs or a genuine story).

 

But let’s say you are taking something from the other player, for example minas or loot, what then? You don’t pay the other player in items—you provide them with a rich story and character development!

 

The frequent example that we run into is if your character stops and frisks someone on the road—then following up by killing them would murder any chance for genuine character development. You will have to be creative in the way you promote the story if you don’t let their character go. Otherwise you are simply taking the easy and uncreative way out of the situation.

 

What stops players from kidnapping you 24/7 with this concept of Give & Take? The kidnapping itself is not sufficient for character development as the story behind the kidnapping must be thrilling or actively engaging in some way. Roleplaying with prison guards behind bars is mundane and wastes everyone’s time. So is “we are kidnapping to provoke a war.” If players are found to only be “taking” there will be consequences.

There’s no way for me to give anything in X scenario.

Anything is fine if you both agreed to RP beforehand. But even if that did not happen—there is a way 99% of the time! For example: take thievery and stealing property. You can leave behind some mud tracks and maybe a personal handkerchief with an emblem. Maybe a sign detailing broken glass? The point is, there is always the option to create a rich story. Perhaps your character is the handkerchief-thief who always leaves one behind? Maybe your character always carries one such handkerchief hanging off their breast pocket… and one day they are recognized?! Who knows! Logical? Probably not—but definitely exciting.

Emotes & Dialogue

Keep dialogue lore-appropriate and your emotes open-ended. There should not be any modern cursing in character speech, so picture something funny and creative instead!

Open-Ended Emotes

Good emotes open the outcome to the other player! Write your emotes with the action in mind and not the consequences. There are several ways to do it, and I’d like to suggest a few examples.


 

What Not To Do:
Bob punches Billy in the head with his fist.
or
Bob would pulverize Billy’s head with his hammer.

 

What Could Work:
Bob swings his fist toward Billy’s head, trying to crack him good.
or
Bob tries to swing his hammer toward Billy, trying to crush his skull.

 

What Works Best:
Bob curls up his right hand into a ball, his left leg swinging forward to give him some momentum, and launches his fist toward Billy’s head.
or
Bob lets out a loud grunt, straining as he raises his warhammer over his head before he lets the hammer fall forward, arcing down toward Billy.

 


Fundamentally, I suggest you keep your emotes concise, present-tense, and active voice. The easiest way not to influence the outcome or avoid manipulating the result is not remove the desired “end result” from your emote. Character thought is metagaming, so if you plan your character to think in an emote then instead translate that meta-thought into action!

 

Bad: Bob thinks Billy’s action was quite stupid.
Bad: Bob feels angry that Billy did such a stupid action.
Good: <no emote at all>
Best practice: Bob’s lip curls as he observes Billy horsing around.

 

Show the action. Think about how you would react when you feel certain emotions. Do you subconsciously ball up your fists at your side when you’re angry? Do you nervously laugh when you land yourself in an awkward situation? Don’t be afraid to make your characters emotions shown through genuine actions. And consider keeping emotes short! (Every moment you spend writing is time the other player waits on your response).

Effort & Grammar

Trollplay        Using roleplay to mask out-of-character messages and intentions, especially in low-effort content and “laffs, goofs, & gaffs”. Trollplay, a form of concealed metagaming, pulls your personal self into the in-character world and often in a manner that undermines the story.


The advice here is to follow grammatical best practices and respect the coherency of the story and the quality of roleplay. The standard is not hard to meet: pass the bare-threshold of a serious emote and you’re fine. If you’re in good company a joke or two is no problem, as I’ve said before—no complaint, no problem!

Balancing Conflict & Roleplay Quality

It is undeniable that conflict is a large part of Lord of the Craft, and many people are very hesitant to get involved with it. This is primarily because they feel that there is a disconnect between Roleplay and PvP. While this can be the case, it doesn’t have to!

The Role of PvP

PvP can be a logical conclusion to many RP situations. It may even be better suited for large scale conflict resolution. There comes a point where emotes became too flooded and it is too difficult to keep track of everything going on. However, engaging in PvP does not mean you should throw RP to the wind. Before any situation has the chance to escalate out of control, there should be a clear trend of good RP.

“Just Vibing”

Something that happens in many PvP fights is that one side gets bored waiting for another to push out of their castle, or simply just want to taunt their enemies. Groups turn to shouting or emoting trolly things just to get the other groups goat. This has taken the form of people mass-emoting ‘*just vibes.’ or shouting thinly-veiled OOC memes or insults “IRPly”. This type of behavior is unacceptable, and will earn you a timeout ban or worse. A good policy to adopt is that once the PvP starts, keep the RP to a minimum or stop it completely until the battle is over. 

We won. Now what?

Once your PvP fight is over there are several avenues for you to go down. We won’t sit here and spell them all out for you, it is your RP after all! Just keep in mind the general guidelines of “Give & Take”. Is the choice you make going to provide something to the other person or group? We understand that in some situations it may be “Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t”, but you should always be trying your best to act in good faith. 

Resolving Poor Roleplay

When you find yourself in a sticky situation and subject to poor roleplay, you will undoubtedly be thinking “How do I get myself out of this situation?”. Fear not, that’s what this section is for. First things first though...

Assess the Situation

The first step to getting a Roleplay Quality situation resolved is to be honest with yourself. Is this really bad roleplay, or is it just roleplay that I don’t like? There is a very big difference between objectively bad roleplay, and roleplay that you might put your character in a difficult situation. You don’t have to like all forms of roleplay, but you have to respect it as long as it adheres to the server rules. 

N00b Status

We cannot expect everyone who logs onto Lord of the Craft to be a god-tier roleplayer. We have players for a large variety of backgrounds, age demographics, language demographics and experience levels. If you find yourself in a poor roleplay situation, see if that person is a new player. Do they have that pretty pink name? Did you see their whitelist application recently? If that’s the case, they’re probably new and don’t know any better.

 

Do your best to help them out and if they don’t cooperate, that’s alright—just send them over to a staff member with /creq “Heya, I have a new player here who I think needs to be shown the ropes of RP standards. Thanks!” A staff member will claim the ticket and get in touch with the player in question. In the meantime, you may have to head your separate ways.

Teamwork makes the Dreamwork

You and the Moderators both have one responsibility in common. You are both responsible for resolving conflicts and creating fair compromises. If you see someone breaking a rule, now is the time to let them know and offer them a chance to undo their damage. If they refuse, you should hold them accountable and file a forum report. If you are in a tense situation, you really may have to just file a report and head your separate ways.

 

Why not call a moderator? Unfortunately, it is challenging for a moderator to fairly mediate a complex issue on-site without long delays, bias, and misjudgement. For this reason, it is in your best interest to either record their wrongdoing and present a case for report, or head your separate ways. Only if we hold one another accountable can we build up the quality of this community and experience, and it is an important duty for every single player.

Pursuing a Report

We can all be hard headed at times, and it is very possible that you won’t be able to come to an agreeable resolution with the other party. It is at this point that we ask you to make a forum report so that the situation can be reviewed and addressed by Moderation. For more information on how to file a forum report, please check out this link. Missed a screenshot or two? Don’t fret! Moderators can and do access chat history and other logs to verify the contents of each report and investigate.
 

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