Articles - A Roleplay guide

Anarchy Online is a Massive Multi-player Online role playing game, a fact that seems to be forgotten by many players of the game.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking the way people choose to play the game, if you want to play this game socially, i.e. with out role-play, that is your choice. This is here for people who may be interested in adding a unique direction to their gaming experience. I personally see role-playing as a way to add extra depth to the game and a way to increase the enjoyment over all.

This is here for those newer players and younger players that may not have really had exposure to role-play and may not really understand it. Its actually kind of easy, you just need a bit of imagination.

The following stuff is info I have pulled from many places about role-playing, other games both online and pen and paper, like dungeons and dragons. Look it over, give it a thought or two, and if it isn't for you, that's cool, you don't have to use it. But if you read it over and go, hey this could be fun, use it as a guide only. Nothing here is a really a hard rule about role-playing. It's all just a springboard to give you an idea to jump from.

Sadly, you will meet players in AO, as in other game of similar scale, who's only goal is to prevent you from having as much fun as you can. These "grief players" are a tiny minority on the overall players, but they have a widely disproportional effect on the rest of the game's population. Fortunately, they tend to either be thrown off by the GMs, or become bored with obnoxiousness and either shape up or quit playing.

Unless you have the misfortune to be one of these socially malformed misfits, you will find it's strongly in your best interest to maintain a certain standard of curtsey while playing AO.

First of all, it generally pays to be polite to others. It's basic human nature - if you treat others well, they'll treat you well and help you get ahead. Of course, there are valid role-playing reasons for a certain level of in-game "rudeness" - when your party meets members of a rival faction or organization, for example, or if you're just playing a rather unpleasant character.

The important thing about role-playing discourtesy is to keep it with in the context of the role. Avoid obscenity and profanity, and never, ever, address real-world sexist or racist statements to another PC - such behavior tends to draw extreme reactions from the GM's. If another player seems to be getting upset at your taunts, don't hesitate to send him and out-of-character private message and let him know it's just part of the character. (Even then, you can only take "It's my character" so far before someone else's character smacks you upside the head - totally in character, of course.)

In the end, the main thing to ask yourself whether you're making the game more or less fun for others. Competing against another player will probably make the game more fun for him, even if you come out on top. Systematically trying to frustrate everything he tries to do will ruin his fun, and is not defensible behavior.
And just do everybody a favor and don't mess with the newbies, regardless of what your character concept is. Nobody likes a bully. There is no lower specimen in the whole online gaming multivers than the joker who ruthlessly uses exploits to make noobs and other defenseless types as miserable as possible, and then defends his actions as "role-playing evil"

Note - Keeping your caps lock off, unless you're SHOUTING. Nobody expects perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation, but try to use real words and sentences. tYpInG lIkE tHis or using numbers for letters [D00D, L33t] is not clever, and will get you marked as someone to avoid.

The secret to role-playing is not coming up with a complex back-story listing your character's parents, sisters, and second cousins, and how a bizarre toilet-training accident resulted in a lifelong paranoid hatred of rhinomen (although if you enjoy that kind of thing, go for it). The real secret of role-playing is just fitting into the world of the game.

Figure out what your character wants to be, and why, and just go for it.
Dose he want to be the best hunter on the planet, or dose he just want to be the best known? Or the richest? These goals will affect the direction of your whole character.

Use your breed and profession and even your appearance, as a springboard to role-playing. An Opifex engineer will probably have a very different outlook on life than an Atrox Adventurer.

One of the best elements of the game for role-playing inspiration is faction.
Don't just pick a faction based on whether you prefer cool Omni-Tek stuff to cool rebel clans - think about the choices your character made to bring him where he is, and let him react accordingly. How dose he feel about rival factions? Does he thing that everybody should really just get along, or is he more the shoot-on-sight type?

Which brings up the subject of quirkiness.
It's possible to make a character so oddball it's just annoying, but a little bit of whimsy in role-playing can make the game more fun for you and everybody around you.

Establish "trademarks" that set your character apart from all others.
They could be as simple as always wearing the same color and style of armor, or giving away money and useful items to less experienced characters, unless they ask you for them.

The ability to create scripts from speech and emotes is one of the most valuable tools for personalizing your character.
You can give him a little "theme song", complete with appropriate dance steps.
If your character is long-winded and formal, script out a few stock speeches, to save wear and tear on your typing fingers.

Who are you?

How old are you?
A person's age will greatly determinant several points of their personality and outlook on life.
This is not always the case however but as a person ages his or her experiences will shift and color
what he thinks and believes.

What kind of upbringing did you have?
"That kid had a good upbringing? How many times have we heard something like this? Often our actions
will reflect on our upbringing, and our upbringing helps shape our actions. Will someone born to a position of
wealth and privilege react the same way as some one who went threw life with everything being taken away from him?
No, they would not.

What kind of relationship did you have with your family?
A loving family will always produce a different person than an abusive one, what kind of upbringing did you have?
Were you loved by parents around all the time, pushed to be something they wanted, loved by parents who did all they
could for you even though they were not around?

Where is your family now?
Is your family on rubi-ka? Another planet? Do you visit them or have contact? Were they killed in a meaningless way?
Did they die fighting for what they believed?

What are your parents like?

Were they around allot or did their need to give you what ever chances they could give you keep them away, working
or fighting? Were they warm and loving, cold and distant?

What are your siblings like?
Did you even have brothers and sisters? Were you all close? Drifted apart? Have you taken opposing stances in the
current conflict?

Who trained you in your profession?
This is rather obvious, who trained you? Why did they? Are they still around? Was it threw a mentor in a one on one
environment or were you another blank face in the crowd of trainee's?

Where did you get your starting equipment?
Was it issued to you? Did you buy it some how? Where did the money come from?

How did you get to Rubi-Ka?
Did you get here by OT paying for your ticket? A clan sponsor? Were you born on Rubi-ka?

Why did you come to Rubi-Ka?
Did the thrill of a new, wild land call you here? Was it a transfer from OT? Are you some one who was faceless in
the struggle against OT in another place thinking that you could make a name for yourself here? Are you running from
your past? Are you a bounty hunter come to make it rich in collecting bounties offered by any faction? A mercenary
that is going to sell your service to any who will pay your fee? Or were you born here?

Why did you join your faction?
This is straight forward, the why and the how you became clan, omni or neutral.

What motivates you to fight?
Why do you fight the clans? or is it OT? Are you here instead to here to make some break threw invention or discovery?
Is there some wrong you wish to right? Revenge for a death? Raging against the machine or putting the upstart rebels
in their place? Just want your little patch of land to work and wont give it up to anyone? A victim of the Borealis

What is your view on the clans?
How do you feel about them? Misguided? Violent misanthropes? Kindred spirits? Do you envy them for the courage
they have in doing what you wish you had the courage to do? Despise them for the violence they bring?

What is your view on Neutrals?
Fence sitters? omni-lite? Clan sympathizers? Brave for their determination to make it on their own?

What is your view on Omni-Tek?
The legal authority on RK? Violent oppressors? Another thing to worry about in your struggle to make a living?

What do you hate?
Not simply a faction but other things. People who kill children? Leets?

What do you like?
Again not simply a faction but other things. Scenic views? Exploring? Research? Helping others?

What is the worst thing to happen to you in the past?
People are shaped by their pain, what has hurt you in the past? Are you lucky in the fact that nothing has yet or
have you witness or have had misfortune rain down on you over and over again.

What is the best thing to happen to you in the past?
Just as pain shapes a person so do the better things in life. What is the shining moment in your life that you can
look back at and feel good about?

Do you have any goals?

When all is said and done, what are you struggling to achieve?

What kind of personality do you have?
Look below for a few ideas, there are quite a few of them and by no means is this all of them. Also people are
not always just one thing. Inside they would be one thing, their core, and the other would be the face that others
see. And even then it could be a mixture of many things that you are inside and out.

Personality types:

Architect - The architect has a sense of purpose even greater than herself.
She is truly happy only when creating something of lasting value for others.
People will always need things, and for the Architect strives to provide at least one necessity. Inventors, pioneers, town founders, entrepreneurs and the like are all Architect Archetypes.

Autocrat - The autocrat wants to be in charge.
He seeks prominence for its own sake, not because he has an operation's best interests at heart or because he has the best ideas (though he may certainly think so). He may genuinely believe others are incompetent, but ultimately he craves power and control. Dictators, gang leaders, bullies, corporate raiders and their ilk are Autocrat Archetypes.

Bon Vivant - The bon Vivant knows that life is shallow and meaningless.
As such, the bon vivant decides to enjoy her time on earth. The bon vivant is not necessarily irresponsible. Rather, she is simply predisposed to having a good time along the way. Most bon vivants have low self-control as they are given to excess.
Hedonists, sybarites and dilettantes are all examples of Bon vivant Archetype.

- The bravo is a tough and a bully, and often takes perverse pleasure in tormenting the weak. To the bravo?s mind might make right; power is what matters, and only those with power should be respected. Naturally, physical power is the best kind, but any kind will do. The bravo sees overt threats as a perfectly reasonable means of gaining cooperation. The bravo is not incapable of pity or kindness; he just prefers to do things his way. Robbers, bigots, thugs and the insecure are all Bravo Archetypes.

Caregiver - Everyone needs comfort, a shoulder to cry on.
A caregiver takes her comfort in consoling others, and people often come to her with their problems. Nurses, doctors and psychiatrists are examples of potential Caregivers.

Celebrant - The celebrant takes joy in their cause.
Whether the character's passion is battle, religious fever, foiling her rivals or reading fine literature, it gives the celebrant the strength to withstand adversity.
Given the chance, the celebrant will indulge in her passion as deeply as possible.
Unlike the fanatic, the celebrant pursues her passion not out of duty, but out of enthusiasm. Crusaders, hippies, political activists and art enthusiasts are Celebrant Archetypes.

Child - The child is still immature in personality and temperament.
He wants what he wants now, and often prefers someone to give it to him.
Although he can typically care for himself, he would rather have a caretaker-type cater to his bratty desires. Some child archetypes are actually innocent rather than immature, ignorant of the cold ways of the real world. Children, spoiled individuals and some drug abusers are child archetypes.

Competitor - The competitor takes great excitement in the pursuit of victory.
To the competitor, every task is a new challenge to meet and a new contest to win.
Indeed, the competitor sees all interactions as some sort of opportunity for her to be the best-the best leader, the most productive, the most valuable or whatever.
Corporate raiders, professional athletes and impassioned researchers are all examples of Competitor Archetypes.

Conformist - The conformist is a follower, taking another's lead and finding security in the decisions of others. She prefers not to take charge, instead seeking to throw in with the rest of the group and lend her own unique aid.
The conformist is drawn to the most dynamic personality of the individual she perceives to be the "best". Being a conformist is not necessarily a bad thing - every group needs followers to lend stability to their causes. Groupies, party voters and "the masses" are conformist archetypes.

Conniver - Why work for something when you can trick somebody else into getting it for you? The conniver always tries to find the easy way, the fast track to success and wealth. Some people call him a thief, a swindler or less pleasant terms, but he knows that everybody in the world would do unto him if they if they could. He just dose it first, and better. Criminals, con artists, salespeople, urchins and entrepreneurs might be connivers.

Curmudgeon - A curmudgeon is bitter and cynical, finding flaws in everything and seeing little humor in life. He is often fatalistic or pessimistic, and has very little esteem for others. To the curmudgeon, the glass is always half-full, though it may be damn near empty when other people are involved. Generation Xers are Curmudgeons.

Deviant - The deviant is a freak, ostracized from society by unique tastes that place her outside the mainstream. Deviants are not indolent rebels or shiftless "unrecognized geniuses"; rather, they are independent thinkers who don't quite fit in the status quo. Deviant archetypes often feel that the world stands against them, and as such reject traditional morality. Some have bizarre tastes, preferences and ideologies. Extremists, eccentric celebrities and strait out weirdoes are Deviant Archetypes.

Director - To the director, nothing is worse than chaos and disorder.
The director seeks to be in charge, adopting a "my way or the highway" attitude on matters of decision-making. The director is more concerned with bringing order out of strife, however, and need not be truly "in control" of a group to guide it. Coaches, teachers and many political figures exemplify the director archetype.

Fanatic - The fanatic has a purpose, and that purpose consumes his existence. The fanatic pours himself into his cause; indeed, he may feel guilty for undertaking any objective that deviates from his higher goal. To the fanatic, the ends justifies the means - the cause is more important than those who serve it. Players who choose fanatic archetypes must select a cause for their character to further. Revolutionaries, zealots and sincere firebrands are all examples of fanatic archetypes.

Gallant - Gallants are the flamboyant souls, always seeking attention and the chance to be the brightest stars. gallants seek the company of others, if only to earn their adoration. Attention drives the gallant, and the chase is often as important as fulfilling that pursuit. Nothing excites a gallant so much as a new audience to woo and win. Performers, only children and those with low self-esteem are often gallant archetypes.

Judge - The judge perpetually seeks to improve the system.
A judge takes pleasure in her rational nature and ability to draw the right conclusion when presented with facts. The judge respects justice, as it is the most efficient model of resolving issues. Judges while they pursue the "streamlining" of problems, are rarely visionary, as they prefer proven models to insight. Engineers, lawyers and doctors are often judge archetypes.

Loner - Even in a crowd, the loner sticks out, because he so obviously dose not belong. Others view loners as pariahs, remote and isolated, but in truth, the loner prefers his own company to that of others. For whatever reason, the loner simply disdains others, and this feeling is often reciprocated. Criminals, radicals, and free thinkers are all loner archetypes.

Martyr - The martyr suffers for his cause, enduring his trials out of the belief that his discomfort will ultimately improve others' lot. Some martyrs simply want the attention or sympathy their ordeals engender, while others are sincere in their cause, greeting their opposition with unfaltering faith in their own beliefs. Many inquisitors, staunch idealists and outcasts are martyr archetypes.

- The masochist exists to test his limits, to see how much pain he can tolerate before he collapses.
He gains satisfaction in humiliation, suffering, denial and even physical pain.
The masochist defines who he is by his capacity to feel discomfort - he rises each day only to greet a new pain.
Certain extreme athletes, urban tribalists and the clinically depressed exemplify the masochist archetype.

Monster - The monster knows she is a creature of darkness and acts like it.
Evil and suffering are the monster's tools, and she uses them wherever she goes.
No villainy is below her; no hurt goes uninflected and no lie remains untold.
The monster dose not commit evil for its own sake, but rather as a means to understand what she has become.

Pedagogue - the pedagogue knows it all, and desperately wants to inform others.
Whether through a sense of purpose or a genuine desire to help others, the pedagogue makes sure his message is heard - at length if necessary.
Pedagogue archetypes may range from well-meaning mentors to verbose blowhards who love to hear themselves talk. Instructors, the overeducated and "veterans of their field" are all examples of pedagogue archetypes.

Penitent - The penitent exists to atone for the grave sin she commits simply by being who she is. Penitents have either low self-esteem or legitimate, traumatic past experiences, and feel compelled to "make up" for inflicting themselves upon the world. Penitent archetypes are not always religious in outlook; some truly want to scourge the world of their grief they bring to it. Repentant sinners, persons with low self-esteem and remorseful criminals are examples of the penitent archetype.

- Perfectionist archetypes simply demand the best.
A half-hearted job gives the perfectionist no satisfaction, and she expects the same degree of commitment and attention to detail from others that she demands from herself. Although the perfectionist may be strict and exacting, the achievement of the end goal drives her - and often those fro whom she is responsible. Prima donnas, artist and conceptual designers exemplify the perfectionist archetype.

Rebel - The rebel is a malcontent, never satisfied with the status quo or the system as it is. He hates authority and dose everything in his power to challenge and undermine it. Perhaps the rebel truly believes in his ideals, but it is just as likely that he bears authority figures some ill will over a misunderstanding or "wrong" done to him in the past. Teenagers, insurrectionists and nonconformists all exemplify the rebel archetype.

Rogue - Only one thing matters to the rouge: herself.
To each his own, and if others cannot protect their claims, they have no rite to them. The rogue is not necessarily a thug or a bully, however. She simply refuses to succumb to the whims of others. Rogues almost universally possess a sense of self-sufficiency. They have their own best interests in mind at all times.
Prostitutes, capitalists and criminals all embody the rogue archetype.

Survivor - No matter what happens, no matter the odds or opposition, the survivor always manages to pull through.
Whether alone or with a group, the survivor's utter refusal to accept defeat often makes the difference between success and failure.
Survivors are frustrated by others' acceptance of "what fate has in store" or willingness to withstand les than what they can achieve.
Outcasts, street folk and idealists may well be survivor archetypes.

Thrill-Seeker - The thrill-seeker lives for the rush brought on by danger.
Unlike those of arguably saner disposition, the thrill-seeker actively pursues hazardous and possibly deadly situations.
The thrill-seeker is not consciously suicidal or self-destructive - he simply seeks the stimulation of imminent disaster.
Gangbangers, petty thieves and exhibitionists are all examples of the thrill-seeker archetype.

Traditionalist - The orthodox ways satisfy the traditionalist, who prefers to accomplish her goals with time-tested methods.
Why very your course when what has worked in the past is good enough?
The traditionalist finds the status quo acceptable, even preferable, to a change that might yield unpredictable results.
Conservatives, judges and authority figures are all examples of traditionalist archetypes.

- The trickster finds the absurd in everything.
No matter how grim life may become, the trickster always uncovers a kernel of humor within it.
Tricksters cannot abide sorrow or pain, so they strive to lighten the sprits of those around them.
Some tricksters have even higher ideals, challenging static dogma by exposing its failures in humorous ways.
Comedians, satirists and social critics are examples of trickster archetypes.

Visionary - The visionary is strong enough to look beyond the mundane and perceive the truly wondrous.
Visionaries test accepted societal limits, and seek what few others have the courage to imagine. The visionary rarely takes satisfaction in what society has to offer; she prefers to encourage society to offer what it could instead of what it dose. Typically, society responds poorly to visionaries, though it is they who are responsible for bringing about progress and change. Philosophers, inventors and the most inspired artists often have visionary archetypes.

Guide written by Twistshot. Originally published on the AO Forum.

Last updated on 12.07.2011 by Khuri
Article written by Twistshot
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