With Deadwood being recently featured on Second Life's Destination Guide, we've had an influx of newbies to the sim -- and I mean noobies!
Among those a day or two old, tromping through to try out their free guns and hot pink penises, have come some who have been around long enough to like Second Life, but who haven't had much experience with role playing. Some find it a foreign sounding term (and in fact, for some, English is not their first language). I also ran across a really nice fellow in Berlin who thought that role playing was some exotic thing he couldn't / wouldn't / shouldn't do - which of course is nonsense!
Those of us* who have been role playing for awhile - and particularly who are set on one style of role play - can turn newcomers away, I think, as we run around whirling our IC and OOC terms, and whipping out our excellent and oh so superior role play, not because we're mean but simply having forgotten what it's like to be new to the sport!
No expert on role play, I've learned a lot simply by playing in Deadwood for the past nearly 3 years! So, I have pulled together to hand out, if wanted, a really Basic Roleplaying in Deadwood notecard - most probably it applies elsewhere, too, so I thought I'd post it here. We have offered RP 101, but I think this is PRE-RP 101, meant to put those who are unfamiliar with it at ease. It really isn't as fancy as it sounds, and we really aren't that superior to the rest of the world. Honest.
*by those of us, I mostly mean ME :)
What is roleplaying?
Roleplaying is a form of acting a part, pretending to be someone else. Most people in Second Life are doing a little role playing. Some are doing a lot.
The role play we do in Deadwood is different from what you will see day to day in Second Life.
What kind of role playing is done in Deadwood?
In Deadwood or other historical roleplaying sims, we are doing historical re-enactment, or immersive roleplay.
How do you do that?
You begin by creating a rough outline of a character for your avatar from the 1870's who is in Deadwood South Dakota.
Don't worry too much about this! Male/female? Old/young?
People came to Deadwood from all over. You can come and watch others for a little while before deciding - you can even decide to change your character after watching, but you need to be someone to start.
Characters and relationships usually develop slowly - just like in real life. So it is OK not to have a storyline yet and it is very OK not to reveal it right away to people. Just like in real life, people will have to find out as they get to know the character. Don't worry about not having a full story yet!
You will get to know your character too!
I have my rough character, now what?
Try to be as authentic as possible, dressing like and becoming that character.
Historical clothing is important. It's also important to talk like your character would have in the time period they are in, and to remove yourself from the 21st century.
When you are your character, you speak for them. You think as they do.
It isn't really as hard as it sounds to pretend to be someone else.
~ You only know what you can "see" -you can't read the thoughts of others (even if they type them!)
You can't hear what people are saying if you could not hear it in real life in the same setting.
You can't see around corners, behind doors, inside buildings (even if you can cam around in Second Life)
~ You do not know anybody's name unless they tell you or you overhear it. They can't know yours either!
~ You speak in full words, whenever possible (no IMHO, lol, roflmao brb, afk!)
~ You don't refer to modern things or things that haven't happened yet. No President Obama! No airplanes, automobiles,telephones, televisions, microwaves!
~ You always speak IC in Deadwood, we don't speak OOC, not even in parentheses! ((***see below for what OOC and IC mean -- basically, we don't say: "have to let the dogs out, brb!" or "wb, Alvin!" or "sorry I crashed, wow!")
~ Speak ONLY for your self - otherwise you are said to be god-moding!
(Example: you can raise your hand to strike someone, but the other player knows if they were hit.
You can respond to being hit by someone, but only you knows how hard the blow affected you).
~~Terms You May Hear~~~~
***OOC is Out of Character - speaking as yourself, the typist.
***IC is In Character - speaking as the character you are playing.
When in Deadwood, we stay In Character. If we need to talk Out of Character, we switch to IM's.
Think of watching a Shakesperean play and suddenly one of the characters turns to another and says something like,
"How about those Red Sox?" or "Hey, Joe, I forgot my lines!"
Talking OOC throws the feeling of make believe/pretend/being in a play off and can ruin the moment for others.
God-moding - Playing god. Hearing through walls, reading minds, making things happen for others without their permission. God moding can get you banned if you keep doing it!
Emoting describing what your character is doing
If you don't want to talk much, especially at first, you can do what is called "emoting". This can be used to let people know what you are feeling (emotions) or just to let your presence be known.
You might want to have your character stand to the side and watch quietly.
Doing this lets others know you are there, so you aren't just a silent body! Sometimes others may respond to you if you do this!
Joe Smith steps back from the two gunmen, his hand resting on his Colt.
Sue Smith looks curiously at the group of people, and steps up closer to listen.
Sally Jones looks around, slightly confused.
~~Some styles of typing used ~~
Here are a few ways you can type this in:
type in /me will give the results of
Joe Smith stands to the side and quietly watches.
You can also use an *
Joe Smith: *stands to the side and quietly watches*
Joe Smith: ~stands to the side and quietly watches~
There's nothing right or wrong, or fancy about this, it just gives a different look to your typed text. Try it out and see which you are most comfortable with!
**Talking OOOC - Out of Character
What if I need to ask a question Out of Character?
Ask another character in an IM - if they don't answer, ask someone else or ask an admin - if one isn't nearby, use /99 admin
What if I need to leave in the middle of a role play scene?
Your character can excuse themselves and leave - use your creativity! Maybe you hear someone calling you, remember an errand, have to go make or eat dinner, or -if you are going to leave your avatar there - gaze off in the distance.
handling a return of yourself or others can be done in the same way - work it into the scene if you have to. Often, though, nothing needs to be said unless you were a major player in the scene.
NOTE: some role play directions tell you to disable meters, group tags because they are distracting -- in Deadwood, you need to wear your meter and group tags at all times, unless told otherwise by the admins (sometimes in OOC group meetings).