This section is best read after you've gone through and got a character approved for IC play. However, if you're biding your time until that approval, then this is a good place to read up on what the admins of ST:R consider good RP. :)
First, we're going to cover the difference between IC and OOC and go over a few points that may help you become aware of that difference. We're going to assume you are aware that IC = In Character and OOC = Out of Character.
The first thing a good roleplayer should do is begin thinking of their character as a completely separate entity. While you may have included some of your own personal qualities into your character, they aren't you, and they will have at least /some/ different sorts of attitudes and reactions to things around them. For instance, you may love chocolate in all varieties, but your character might hate it and prefer jelly beans.
While that may be a simple difference, having more and more of them will make it easier for you to separate your IC self from your OOC self, and this is a very important sort of detachment that all players should have.
If detachment is lost, IC unpleasantness could be mistaken for OOC unpleasantness. So, the first thing is to try and hang onto that detachment. Don't take negative IC actions as being OOC negative actions toward /you/, the player.
On the other hand, it is possible that someone /does/ act in a manner you, the player, feel is more OOC-related than IC. In that case, you should check out 'news resolution' and follow the steps there. Whatever you do, don't take that OOC feeling and translate it back into IC.
One thing to remember at all times is that you, the player, may know /far/ more about certain players than even they themselves know. This is something that you should be very careful about, especially as you read the logs (see 'news logs'). Things posted to the Rumors or Federation News Service boards are to be considered public knowledge, but personal logs should not be, unless it's clear that the event is one that was publicly attended (such as a a party in 10-F.). This is something called 'misuse of OOC information ICly'. The only times this is permitted is when someone posts a log, and the admins direct the command staff to act on it, such as someone causing a scene in a public location. This is an IC act that merits an IC response. Command staff would have caught it and punished the offender, so we have someone on the command staff handle that.
The three primary commands used for RP are 'say', 'pose', and '@emit'. Most RP is done via the latter two.
Say allows you simply to say something to the people around you. For example:
Gandalf says, "You shall not pass!!!"
Pose allows you to include actions in your RP, such as the following example:
Gandalf lifts Glamdring the Foe-Hammer in his hand and shouts, "You shall not pass!!!"
@emit allows you to put a word other than your name in front of the pose. However, make sure you put your name in the pose. For example:
After racing after the Fellowship, Gandalf lifts Glamdring the Foe-Hammer in his hand and shouts, "You shall not pass!!!"
Pose-length varies from player to player. Sometimes you may see something as brief as 'Legolas nods.' More often, however, you may see something that's at least 3 to 7 lines long, including what the other person says and does. On occasion, when certain characters are giving some sort of speech or rant (Picard is famous for the first one, Cartwright for the latter), or there is a ton to react to, it may be far longer.
However, it is recommended that unless your character is having one of the huge long 'how in the world does he manage to breathe' speeches, or he's in a huge scene with a lot to react to, poses shouldn't be much longer than 7 lines, as too much stuff is considered spam. Basically, some people have trouble reading huge long blocks of uninterrupted text, so they'll skim over it and maybe miss bits of it.
Naturally, there are exceptions, generally when an staff member is running multiple characters that need to have something said or done in a given pose; but for the most part, poses shouldn't be the Great British Novel. :)
When considering your response to someone else's pose, think like an actor. So, make your pose not just a response to whatever the other person gave out, but give them something in return. Ask a question, offer information, perform some action they can react to. This is a perfect time to show the others in your RP session what your character is doing.
The best kind of RP is a give-and-take. If you give someone else stuff to react to, they're more likely to give you stuff back, and they're more likely to come back to RP some more with you.
Remember, RP is acting, it's not like reading a book. People cannot read your character's thoughts, so pose things they can /see/, or /hear/, or /smell/. Basically, go with the five senses.
Commentary is the catch-phrase for RP that includes a lot of stuff about a character's thoughts, feelings, background, or anything intangible that the other people in the RP session are unable to ICly react to.
On some occasions, commentary can be a good thing, especially if it's a one-on-one scene where one character is normally quiet.
For the most part, however, and especially during scenes where there's more than two or three people in it, we recommend avoid using commentary. Stick to stuff that the others can ICly react to, and they'll be more likely to do the same for you. /Do/ stuff, don't /think/ stuff, and you'll come up with more interactive RP.
There are always a few things to remember whilst RPing on ST:R…
- Take your time. Unless it's a huge spammy scene (such as a battle or another equally large event), you'll have the time to think about what your character is going to do or say. You should prepare all the stuff your character is going to say and do in that one pose in answer to whatever's being directed at him or her.
- Pose orders can be a good thing, especially in those large spammy scenes. Just keep an eye out for the pose of the person who posed in front of you last time.
- Please remember that not everyone is a speed-demon typist. Some are unable to touch-type, either because they never learned, or they may have a physical disability, or they broke their arm last week and shouldn't be on a computer at all. Give everyone time to pose before tossing in another one of yours. If they're taking a bit of time, gently prod them through the OOC command to make sure they're not just idle, but don't do that two seconds after you posed. :)
- Please refrain from using ANSI color or indentations in your poses. Due to varying specifications on monitors, some people may find certain colors hard to read. And some people may be using different clients and react differently to indents. If you need to make a word or phrase stand out for emphasis, try using * or / for that. (Example: Johnathan stands up from the chair. "Sir, I /really/ need to go.")
- For the most part, we have the time to read our poses before we hit enter, so it's always a good idea to spell-check yours before you send it through. The occasional typo is fine and dandy, but if your spelling frequently looks like it's been through a blender, it's possible that others won't RP with you. Some people don't read English as their first language, or have reading disabilities that make it more difficult to read non-English words, or they may be blind and are having a piece of software read the text to them. This is mostly a courtesy issue.
- This is the same reason why we prefer people do *not* type out their accents. Everyone else should just /say/ what their accent is.
- RP is an interactive venture. Don't just RP with your best friend. Go out and RP with everyone with whom it would be IC to RP with. Most people like to come out and RP with new folks, and the dynamics that new characters bring to a scene can be quite interesting to watch.
- Please keep your poses IC (In Character) at all times when in an IC room. The Backstage and associated 'beginning' rooms are considered OOC and are exempt from this. If you need to say something OOCly, please say it on a channel, via page, or if you're RP-coordinating, you can use the OOC code to state your comment to the whole room. OOC is not to be used for chattering (the channels are! :)
- Emoticons are not IC and shouldn't be used in RP poses. If you'd like your character to wink, just say they're winking, for example.
- If you'd like to emphasize a word or phrase, most people will use /, -, _, or capitalize the word or phrase. I.e. /Nice/, -Nice-, _Nice_, or NICE. However, the internet convention of all-caps being a form of shouting is generally how someone will regard the last version.
- When typing, please use proper capitalization and punctuation, as if you were writing an essay or a book. Some people regard the inability to find the shift key as a sign of laziness and may not RP with you. English teachers everywhere will thank you greatly. :)
- Wait for someone in the room to do a scene-set pose before posing your entry into that room. It may be on fire, or there may be an infestation of spiders, or everyone's dancing to 'YMCA', but you'll probably want your pose to be in reaction to what's going on there.
- Conversely, it's not a good idea to pose /to/ someone entering the room you're in. They may be running with scissors, and for the most part, you probably wouldn't think this was normal behavior and greet the person as if they'd just come in and looked around. The best thing to do is do a scene-set, basically a brief summary of who is where in the room and what they're doing. An example of this would be:
Smythe peers out over the members of the party in Ten Forward. His dark green eyes glance over a small group of engineers sitting in a table near the wall, and then to a group of medics at the opposite end of the bar.
- Sometimes, you just can't stay online for whatever reason. Thus, you should find some IC excuse to leave the room and put your character away. For most situations, it's really simple to find an IC excuse to leave. Everyone's got to answer that darned call of nature from time to time. Or they might need a bath. Or there's something else to be done. It doesn't have to be much, just a little something to explain where your character has gone.
- Once that quick pose is done, please do *NOT* disconnect in that room (unless that room /is/ your 'home' ;). Try to get out of that room without disrupting the rest of the RP around you.
In summary, RP is an interactive event, but like driving, there are rules of the road. Most of these are based on common sense and courtesy, and the admins of Star Trek: Redemption request that you adhere to them to the best of your ability. However, we suggest you have fun while doing so. :)