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 Basics of Interaction

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Skullchime
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Join date : 2010-09-23
Age : 25

PostSubject: Basics of Interaction    Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:10 pm

Personally, I think this is easily the single most important part of a roleplay.

In a roleplay, there are the basics - knowing the classic rules and using decent grammar. You should know the rules. No perfect characters, no controlling other peoples characters, no killing other peoples characters, etc. Decent grammar is second hand or in some cases incorporated into the rules as a must. Although aesthetically pleasing, as long as you can make clear what your character is doing and saying, it's not entirely important.

But I'm not here to lecture you on grammar (that's Kohr's job). There's the one thing that not everybody realizes is so important, but is the CORE of roleplay. If you know how to use it just right, roleplaying should be much funner and more satisfying for both people.

First, what makes a roleplay a roleplay? It's different than writing a book or a story on your own. In such case, it's only you, your characters, your stories. In a roleplay, it's two people and both of their characters. Not just you. So in order for everything to fall into place, you have to interlace your characters and your ideas with the other peoples. Without interaction, a roleplay dies. You can be a great writer but a horrible roleplayer because of this, or a great roleplayer, even if you're not great at writing in general. Interaction is what separates roleplaying from writing. Example time.

A bad roleplay will be where one person tries to push their way into the roleplay and the other person makes it hard. Lets use Jet and Ash in this case (because Bob and Fred are overrated).

"Jet walks up to Ash. Jet says hi."

"Ash says hi, then walks away."

So now Jet's roleplayer is going to have to chase after Ash. This makes it all work, no game on Jet's RP'ers part, while Ash's roleplayer is getting all the attention.

Pause. Alright, I know some characters are a little more secluded then others. This is alright, but DON'T OVERDO IT. Especially if said character is the only character in the roleplay. Nobody wants to spend several replies just trying to get your character to "open up" to them. Coming from someone who knows (a roleplay a very long time ago - lets just say I had to quit because it was like roleplaying with a BRICK WALL, and the reason I want to see more interaction in roleplays), this is extremely frustrating. Lets try again.

"Jet walks up to Ash. Jet says hi."

"Ash smiles at Jet, and says hi back."


Now we're getting somewhere. Verbal interaction. This is important. The trade of questions, the simple friendly hello, everything. You have to keep the ball rolling. There are times, I understand, when you come to a block and you don't know what to do or say and that's to be expected, but the better you get at interacting the easier it'll be to get past that. Sometimes, you have to get into the other roleplayers mind and think, "what do they expect me to do, what would they want me to do if I was them?". Which brings me to another point.

Physical interaction. This is the icing on the cake. You can make a roleplayer really happy with the simplest things. It's not hard. Things like ruffling their characters hair, pulling them into a hug, whispering in their ear, you get the idea. Do the unexpected, surprise them. It's doesn't have to be all the time and it doesn't have to be friendly either. Starting a brawl is always one way to interact physically. The more you get use to doing little thing like that, the easier it'll be to find new ways to keep physically interacting.

Another part of interacting, which it actually goes hand in hand with, is giving the other roleplayer something to work with. By interacting more, you give them more to say in their reply, which makes it easier for them to reply. No interaction means an awkward, short reply that may take longer to think up, despite being shorter. And really, it can quickly becomes boring for the other roleplayer. So by the end of your roleplay reply, make sure there's something for them to work with. There will be cases where you'll draw a blank, and that's alright , just do what you can.

Now, again, the characters play a LOT of impact on the amount of interaction done. Lets split this into, ah, roughly about four groups of characters. There are many more and many combinations of characters but I'm just going to go over the basic persona's I see used.

There are the spastic/silly characters
There are the neutral/happier characters
There are the quiet/unhappy characters
There are the cruel/sadistic characters


Spastic and silly characters (also included air headed) seem fairly easy to use and because they're so eager to please and tend to talk a lot, they can give you a bit to work with. Still, if you're using one of these characters there's a line between it being amusing and it being annoying. If they don't know when to cut it out and be serious for a minute, they're going to start to get frustrating for the other person. There needs to be some balance and as fun as they are, if they're not serious every now and then it can get old quickly, especially if they're your primary character in the roleplay.

Neutral and happier characters are probably your best bet as a main character. Outgoing and friendly enough that they're not going to back out of a chance to be around another person right away. You should have at least one character that fits this category.

There are the quiet or unhappy characters. A character doesn't have to be smiling all the time to be a good character, and they don't have to be the type to approach someone out of the blue and hit up a conversation, but again, you can't overdo these traits. And if your character doesn't have a fair reason to be seriously unhappy, then it's time to overhaul their personality. Nobody wants to spend ten replies trying to comfort and feel sorry for them. Which reminds me - characters with bad pasts are common and they're OK, but keep the sob stories toned down. When I see a sob story that's poorly presented, I think, 'desperate attempt to get attention'. I'm sorry, but after roleplaying with a roleplayer who had SEVERAL suicidal characters, several characters that were made for the sheer propose of having pity poured down upon them, and several characters who made me spend several replies just trying to get said characters attentions, I pretty much promised myself I wouldn't roleplay with people like that anymore.

If you're going to roleplay a quiet character, they need to have traits about them so they're not just standing around all day and shouldn't be used as main characters unless you can get them open up pretty quickly. Maybe something that catches their personality. My character, Xeii, for example, is usually pretty quiet but won't hesitate to stop a fight if it looks unfair. And he's usually more talkative around children, but otherwise it takes a lot to get him involved, which is why I avoid using him as much as possible.

Cruel, including hot headed, and sadistic characters are fairly easy to use as far as interaction goes. Sadistic characters like to inflict fear and pain, which is a good source of interaction. Cruel characters the same. Hot headed characters, the ones that get upset easily or take everything as a challenge are good if you're the type of roleplayer that likes to start fights, plus it's a fairly decent basic personality as long as there's balance.

I'll stop for now, but may add on more later if anything else comes to mind. Feel free to ask questions!
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