Articles - ArticlesThis entire guide is written Out-of-Character, meaning it is from an Anarchy Online Player's point of view, and not the character he plays.
Hello fellow roleplayer. Most roleplayers look to join events for fun, or just to watch others perform, both enjoyable. However it seems many think that to run an event takes weeks and tons of work and preparation. That is...not quite true.
Yes, you need to work and prepare for an event, but anyone with a few minutes a day can write, produce and direct a RP Event, all you need is the desire to make a fun event!
Here I will hopefully show you how to get an event done from start to finish.
Step One: Writing the Event
Well, you need to write a background for an event, or at least a basic layout of that the event is meant to be. You can make it a bit vague, or very detailed depending on how much effort and time you wish to put into it.
Part of writing the event is to include feasible locations for it, in case it attracts a lot of people. Big open places or large buildings like Reet's Retreat are excellent places for a social event, if fighting is involved, then you'll have to do a little research to find a 25% zone where participants can engage in combat.
You will need to write a basic story for the event, i.e. "An Omni-Pol Lieutenant is arresting people and wants a bribe to release those he has arrested" or "A clanner has planted a bomb and authorities are asking for help to find it".
Once you have the basic plot, what you need is start with temporary names of characters, which will be NPC-like (temporary characters that may be deleted or reused in other events) and which would be for players to perform, in other words...a cast of actors. Try to avoid casting more than 6 people, because you need to consider that players may live in different timezones, they got jobs, etc...everything that could slow down or stop a production must be considered. And you may need 1-2 people as backup.
Don't know many roleplayers for your event?
No problem! there are hundreds of roleplayers in the community, and I can guarantee you that most would be happy to participate!
Check out the Atlantean and Rimor Buzz boards at the Official AO Forums, all the organizations listed there are roleplaying in nature, post in their websites or contact an org leader or an advisor/general and they will spread the word within their org that you're looking for people for an event. I recommend contacting players from your server, you want to have the community within your server involved. You can also try posting at our Roleplaying forum here at AO Universe.
Alright, with the basic plot and say...5 people to play your story out, now you'll need to decide what type of event it will be. It will either be a scripted one with little room for improvisation, or a free-form in which players are just told what they are expected to do and react and then...they can just go with what they feel their character would do. The scripted kind of event is far easier to direct, however from experience I've seen free-form events...and roleplayers usually shine at it (if they are experienced).
By now you should know where the event will take place, the basic story behind it and how many players will act in it as well as how the event will be run (scripted or free-form). With that you can start to write a more detailed story the players can follow. Don't be afraid to change the story a bit, but don't expect roleplayers to keep changing roles back and forth, actors like to know what role they will play.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that some roleplayers already have a 'persona' and they won't change their in-character behavior unless there is a good reason for it, so asking a player who plays a pacifist to become a lunatic murderer...would require a good story to explain how he changed...illness, hypnosis, mind control or a mental shock for example.
Also, will your event have a pre-determined outcome, or will you leave it up to your actors and the roleplayers that may interact with them?
To be honest with you...even with a pre-determined outcome, other roleplayers may just change that...by reacting unexpectedly, by saying or doing something that you did not count on, in other words...you wanted to go left...and you end up going right. Be prepared for this, do not fear it, it is common and it's the wonder of roleplaying at it's best...you never know what could happen.
Step Two: Production
Part of this is to go to the place which you've picked, and do a 'test' of the event. I suggest making a temporary chat channel which is private, and practice that way. If the place is too crowded, you may want to practice elsewhere, for more privacy you may prefer to invite the cast to your Rubi-Ka or Shadowlands apartment (of course froob participants can only go to RK apartments, don't forget!).
You can exchange ideas with your actors, maybe to improve the event, or just change it a bit if something is not working (or just doesn't make sense when you see it being acted).
Discussing what to wear should be brought up, after all characters should look good. Most roleplayers have a few sets of Miiir clothing, and they are not expensive. Use of 'props' is rare, since anything that you drop on the ground would disappear. But use of a 'bomb' has been used before quite successfully in the past, as well as other items such as lamps, plants, etc. to enhance a place even if is temporary...but keep in mind that things that disappear from view in the middle of an event...are not easy to explain in-character...10 plants going poof!...some may ignore it, some may ask 'where did the plants go' and that may lead the event in a different direction.
Encourage your players to do some improvising (even if the event is scripted), and if free-form, heck...tell them the sky is the limit, as long as they remain within the boundaries of their place in the event.
It is at this time when you should also discuss when it would be the best time for everyone to participate, weekends are usually preferred, but having an event in a weekday is not bad, you will probably get less people attending your event, but with small or big crowds...remember, this is about having fun.
The last step of production is to put the word out, through the Official AO Boards, like 'The Buzz' or 'Life on...' (Atlantean or Rimor boards) with an in-character post, with a little hint about the event, with the date and time (I suggest you show different timezones, specially GMT), and do not forget to contact us here at AO Universe and we will put it in our front page!
Step Three: Showtime! or...Directing
Well, you wrote it, you produced it, promoted it and it's ready to go. It is the day, and it's time...you'll probably be a bit nervous. Be sure to have drink and food nearby, since it is unlikely you'll want to get off your chair or leave your computer.
Create a temporary chat channel with all your actors, this is in case something needs to be changed on-the-fly due to reactions from other players who are interacting with your actors.
If you're playing a role in the event, it may be a bit harder to keep track of things, but with some experience, this is not a problem. If you're not playing a role, act as part of the audience, as if you have no idea what is going on and you just walked into the event...it is nice to be behind the curtains watching your creation unfold.
Get a good feel of how the event is doing, is there something or someone (you never know with ARK and their *LTC) that could be changing the predetermined outcome of the event? or maybe an actor is no-show? (never assume it was intentional, real life can throw a wrench in the most efficient machine on Rubi-Ka). Be ready to change things and adapt to what is happening around you.
Now here comes the 'x-factor' as I call it. You event ends in a way which you did not expect. Good or bad, the event comes to an end.
First, lay back...and just say 'Dammit, I did it!' and have a sip of your drink, relax for a minute. Then start talking to the actors, get the feedback, it's important that you learn what went well, and what didn't (if that happened). Also if it did not end as you planned, it is likely you could continue the plot and write a 'sequel' to it, depending on how it was changed. Be sure to thank all the actors who participated, they usually spread the word and others will be more open to work with you in an event.
In the end, you will be more experienced not just as a roleplayer, but as a writer, producer and director!
Look at yourself and be proud!
There you have it.
Have a great day, and may your role-playing experience be as fulfilling as mine.
* = AN "LTC" is a "Long Term Character" controlled by ARK with blue names, they will not answer or act out-of-character. They can appear at anytime, anywhere in any server running their own event, or joining a player-run event.
Article written by Windguaerd
Do you have questions about this article or found an error? No comments yet - Please login first to post a comment.