Roleplaying Etiquette & Tips

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 15:30

The following roleplaying guidelines will help you get into roleplaying and make the experience not only better for you, but everyone else! This list was developed by Rowina, Celoneth and other Waterdeep roleplayers.


Stay In Character!
By staying in character (IC) you help make the roleplay immersive and help other people stay in character as well. Don't talk about sports or your dog while in LiveRP.


When LiveRPing, Ask Questions Privately.
Use alternate forms of communication to ask questions, clarify someone’s intent with an action or reaction to avoid breaking the flow of the RP with OOC questions. Example: You're not sure about another character's race? Avoid asking OOC questions publicly - use a non-public mode of communication like a tell to that player, or the finger command.


Take Turns, Go Slow.

Wait for people to react to your action.  RP is all about action and reaction so give your RP partners time to respond. Not everyone types quickly, either. A lot of roleplayers develop an order to determine who acts next and they stick to it.


Turn Off Your Triggers.
It distracts from the flow of the session and breaks the sense of immersion when someone randomly blurts something ("Quest time!") or casts things because of triggers. Example: you have created a trigger that responds to hunger messages by casting the spell 'create food' - turn it off, please. This may seem like a small thing, but in larger groups the actual roleplay can be drowned out by all the extraneous actions.


Be There, Be Focused.

Keep focused on the action, if you can’t BE there to think and respond then excuse yourself.

If something comes up and you have to let the dog out, take a bathroom break, then let your partners know so you aren’t holding up the RP waiting for a response that will take forever.


Be Courteous.

If you walk into an RP and you have no interest in joining, be courteous. If you want to watch, watch quietly, if you don’t want to watch, please don't distract or denounce the roleplayers, as that's considered abusive behavior.


Avoid "GodModing".
Don't dictate or assume the reactions of others. Describing yourself tackling, overpowering or declaring another character's outcome or reaction is considered rude unless you've worked it out in advance. A good rule of thumb - phrase everything as an 'attempt' to do something to another character. This gives the other character the chance to play along, or reject the idea. This also follows for written stories -- if you intend on including someone else's character in your story, good etiquette demands that you let them proofread your work so that feel comfortable with how you characterize their character. At a minimum, discuss how you want to portray their character in your writing.


Know Your Partners.
Knowing the class, race and backstory of the other characters will help you respect their work and interact with them. If you know that your RP partner is undead and your character is a child of nature, they should act accordingly to an unnatural being.


Keep OOC Knowledge Separate From IC Knowledge.
Don't react to a character with knowledge your character doesn't actually have.
Example: You may have read that another character was recently imprisoned -- but would your character actually have that information? If not, then your character shouldn't act on knowledge they don't actually possess. So you know a character's  name from the who list, don't assume your character knows the other character -- let them respond IC as if they do not.


And Finally...


Be Patient With Others.
So you're a pro roleplayer? That's great - use your experience to help others get better at it.

Example: A LiveRP partner reacts as though you are a class or race that you aren't -- be patient, explain the mistake gently, and move on. This list is not meant to be used to bludgeon newcomers who don't know any better yet.