A New & Returning Player’s RP Info Sheet
Anarchy Online has a rich and immersive backstory where players can get involved. If you’re a new player interested in finding out more about this community, or a returning player looking to jump back into the story, this thread will fill you in on some of the basics, and where to find more information.
What is roleplaying?
Roleplaying (aka RP) is the act of taking on a virtual character in an artificial environment and portraying them in their environment as a fully immersed, living participant of that world. Over all, it’s like improvisational theater and something done for fun to add a bit more adventure, story and commentary to the game we’re all experiencing.
Basic Info for Roleplayers New to AO
- Rubi-Ka time line – A collection of news bites referencing in-game storyline events and pre-game lore history.
- The Story So Far – A summary of the events leading up to what we see currently see taking pace in AO. Background on the Xan civilization, Earth and Rubi-Ka.
Prophet Without Honour – The Anarchy Online book, loved by some and hated by others, it’s a great source of AO history and lore. Download the book and give it a go.
Note: In case the above linked information is removed, these articles can also be found in the RK Knowledge, Timeline and News thread.
Forum threads of note:
- All in one info – A handy one-stop info list of player characters, RP orgs and events.
- LTC Listing – A listing of all the ARK played long-term characters and the basic guidelines for interacting with them.
- Beginners Guide: Storyline and Events - Old RP info thread on previous AO forums, still contains a great deal of useful information even if it’s somewhat outdated now.
- IC Connections & Contacts – A more detailed list of player characters, their skills/services and how to best contact them.
In-Game chat bots:
- RKrole – a player-made IC-only roleplaying channel. Lore wise, it is an open communications channel/frequency that anyone on Rubi-Ka can connect to regardless of faction. Do remember that it is a public channel, so anything you say or do will be heard by everyone tuned in as if you were talking on public radio. To join use: /tell rkrole !join
- RKRoleooc – Out-of-character chat channel. Social channel for any and all out of character chatter, getting to know people and keeping in-touch. To join use: /tell rkroleooc !join
The =Roleplayer= In-Game Tags:
- /rp – This is a function in-game that allows you to flag your character with = marks around the name. It indicates that you are a roleplayer, either currently in-character or looking for contact and available for in-character interaction. Hitting /rp in-game will display your name as = Charactername =.
A regular RP Meet-up takes place on Saturday and Sunday at 18:00 GMT in Newland City, outside of the Neuters R Us bar.
Basic Info for Players New to Roleplaying
The following is a summary / FAQ for those interested in RP but at times uncertain of the why and what for all that’s happening. Most of this information is based on the ARK RP Class held a few years ago.
OOC – Stands for “Out of Character.”
If you need to say something ooc, use brackets around your text to indicate you are speaking out of character. People most often use ((…)) or […]. Example: ((Phone’s ringing, brb!))
IC – Stands for “In-character.”
When playing your character, most communication is assumed to be IC unless bracketed. Vicinity is always in-character while roleplaying; team chat varies, usually in-character unless the group agrees to use it as OOC.
LTC – Stand for “Long Term Character”
For the most part, this is an Anarchy Online specific term. The LTC’s are ARK or GM controlled characters who populate the world of Rubi-Ka and take part in its ongoing story. You can identify them by the blue name and are likely to run into them walking around the cities or the grid. Most tend to wander through the same areas, which makes them easier to find; many LTC’s also use the RKRP chat channel.
LTCs will never go out of character, which means they will reply and react to everything from the point of view of that character (including shooting player characters with minimal warning.) They can’t answer your questions about game development and they usually don’t give quests or hand out / drop phat loot.
For more details on LTC’s see the Long-Term Characters: Information & LTC List thread.
Communicating with others:
It is usually accepted that a character’s name, faction and other information does not publicly exist floating above their character. That notion is bent a bit in AO where some people will play as if the information was available in a HUD overlay since the game mechanics provide us with name and faction. In general though, it’s polite to introduce yourself, and ask the other person their name and political affiliation.
When speaking in character, try to use formal English as much as possible. Avoid internet abbreviations and leet speak; that means no lol, brb, “how r u?” or emoticons such as : D.
/say - Will communicate in a “normal” volume speaking voice heard by a group of people around you. Using the Cup as an example, it usually reaches across half the room or so. This is the voice used for most in-character communications and is always IC unless bracketed.
/shout or /s - Will shout out and reach a wide-spread group of people, usually can be heard across the whole room. Often used when dealing with a large, widespread group assembled in one space. Also IC unless bracketed.
/whisper or /w - A quiet vicinity comment where only those more or less within an arm’s reach of your character can hear you. This is at times buggy and can be affected by the items and game geometry of the space you are in. For instance, the person next to you on a bench can hear you, but the person sitting the same distance away on a table in-front of you will not. Again, IC unless bracketed.
/tell < character name> - Will be a private message sent only to one specific character. Tells being IC or OOC often depend on personal preference. Best practice is to indicate in some way if the message you are sending is IC or OOC.
/me - Describes an action performed by your character. For the most part, a good emote involves only actions and details other people can see or observe.
A good emote would be:
/me looks around, his expression confused, as he checks under chairs and tables.
This emote gives a slight insight into the character through an observable feature, his expression, and describes what he is doing without answering why or stating what he is thinking while doing it.
A poor emotes of the same situation would be:
/me thinks this is all really stupid as he looks under chairs and tables for the Yalm keys he dropped an hour ago.
This emote allows another player to gain mind-reading insight into a person’s character. It tells them what the character is thinking and details the reason behind why they are performing the action.
The Big No-No’s
Powergaming, Power Emoting or Godmoding is when an action against another character does not give the other character the freedom to react on their own. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Declaring another character’s actions without that person’s permission.
- Stating what happened to another person without the person’s consent.
- Presuming that your own attack or physical action against another person was successful without giving the person the chance to dodge or otherwise react.
- Imposing emotional reactions or thoughts on a given person, thus giving that person no chance to react for themselves.
- Declaring that all actions taken against your character have no effect.
An inappropriate powergaming emote would be:
/me punches and breaks <target’s> jaw, then throws him to the ground and knocks him unconscious with a kick to the skull.
A better way of emoting the action so it allows others to react would be:
/me tries to punch <target>, aiming a right hook at his jaw
When emoting actions that involve another character, it is best to use expressions that give the other player the opportunity to react. Things like /me tries to… or /me attempts to… will help open up the emote for others to react to the action as fit for their character.
This is when you take IC action based on information gained through OOC means not accessible to your character. As a player, you might know something but that does not mean your character knows it. This may include information gained through:
- Character story posts. These are usually not public background information that let your character know another character’s deepest secrets and motivations.
- Social conversations about characters on an ooc channel.
- Information given IC to one of your alts which you then use on another alt.
Your Clan character learns of a plot where the Clans are planning to attack an Omni Research facility so you get on your Omni character and warn people that this is about to happen.
This would be considered meta-gaming since your Omni character would have no way of knowing the same information as your Clan character. Also, it’s usually considered in poor taste to use your own alts as cross-faction spies.
Of course, there is some leeway in using OOC information IC.
You read an In-Character News article on the forums and it talks about a character you recognize in-game. Since the articles are posted in-character as a public piece of informaton, you can assume your character read the same news article on a grid-feed and use it as a basis to initiate conversation with the other character. In this instance, the main issue is not whether you use information gained OOC, but how you use it.
Jumping Right In
You don’t need a meticulously detailed character background to start roleplaying. Often you can start with nothing more than the basic information, like “What’s your name, how old are you, where do you live.” Interact with others and let your character grow from there!
Full and elaborate backgrounds are great if you enjoy writing them. They’re also usefull if you’re roleplaying as part of a group of characters who are supposed to have known each other for years.