So you want to roleplay? Maybe you’ve never done it before but want to learn, or perhaps you’ve only done things on other games such as Guild Wars, or in DnD. Whatever your background, this handy guide should help you out!
Preface: What is roleplay?
If you have no idea what this wonderful thing is that people do on roleplay realms, I suggest you scroll down and read the second post by Gwendolena, which gives a rather lovely explanation as to why you should want to do it! In short, roleplay is creating a character, and then acting as though you are that character - e.g. an adventurer, a civilian, a mage with a drinking problem - the possibilities are endless.
1. Roleplay Addons
First and foremost, you’re going to want a roleplay addon. It’s a personal choice which you use, and some choose to use none at all - however, they are very good for allowing you to share extra information about your character - for example, an accent, walking with a limp, or a trinket your character carries with them that doesn’t show on the model like a necklace or a particular weapon. It’s also useful for adding a full name - i.e. surname and first name, or a title, to your character (which will then appear instead of your OOC name in the chat box, and you can also set a custom colour for your name to appear in. The main two are MRP and TRP3, and both transfer data to each other, so it doesn’t matter which you use.
TRP3: www.curseforge. com/wow/addons/total-rp-3-classic
MRP: www.curseforge. com/wow/addons/myroleplay-classic
There are also other addons you can use to help facilitate roleplay. A lot of them haven’t been translated to Classic yet, but I’ll add them as they are.
Misspelled: www.curseforge. com/wow/addons/misspelled
This is a great addon that acts as an in-game spellchecker! Very helpful to grab those pesky typos.
2. Slash commands
Slash commands are the bread and butter of your roleplay. Here are all the commands you can use in Classic, and what they do! The command will be in italics, and what appears in the text box will also be in bold.
/s - your basic command to say something. For example:
[Arletta Pritchett] says: Hi!
/e - this is your basic emote command. It comes up in a brownish colour, and is useful for describing your character’s actions.
/e walks into the bar and looks around.
Arletta Pritchett walks into the bar and walks around.
/y - this is the same as /s, but the text will be read and visible to people who are very far away. In general, you do not want to use this (expanded below).
- if you use these in /s or /y, it makes the text appear brown, like an emote - an example being the infamous /y gunshot.
There’s also a long list of commands you can do which will have a different result if you target someone else, or if you target no one. I won’t list both results, only the one for if you are targeting someone. These are very useful as to the person who is being targeted, the emote will say “you” instead of “insert name here”, which is the result for everyone else. It makes it obvious who you are talking to and is often a lot faster than typing out the full emote.
/peer - Arletta Pritchett peers at you searchingly.
/poke - Arletta Pritchett pokes you. Hey!
/hug - Arletta Pritchett hugs you.
/laugh - Arletta Pritchett laughs at you.
/giggle - Arletta Pritchett giggles at you.
/kiss - Arletta Pritchett blows you a kiss.
/glare - Arletta Pritchett glares angrily at you.
/stare - Arletta Pritchett stares you down.
/blink - Arletta Pritchett blinks at you.
/cheer - Arletta Pritchett cheers you.
/smirk - Arletta Pritchett smirks slyly at you.
/gaze - Arletta Pritchett gazes longingly at you.
/pat - Arletta Pritchett gently pats you.
These are the main ones I can think of for roleplay, a full list can be found here:
3. Dos and Don’ts
You’ve got your addons, you know how to talk. Now, what can you say? In roleplay, there are many abbreviations, as well as dos and don’ts. I’ll do a brief definition of the major ones below.
IC - In character. This refers to events that have happened in roleplay, or just the fact that you are currently ready to roleplay.
OOC - Out of character. This is events that happen out of character.
Metagaming - taking knowledge that you, the player, know; but that your character likely doesn’t.
Godemoting - this is when you make your character overly powerful, also known as being a Mary Sue. For example:
Sir Berengar casts a divine shield on himself and hearthstones away.
Cyrus calls down a meteor from the heavens, flattening Stormwind.
Anna calls on the power of the Light, and resurrects her friend.
Poweremoting - this is when you create a situation that another player can’t respond to as it doesn’t let them respond. For example:
Arletta Pritchett stabs Anna in the neck, causing her to bleed out.
Mary Sue - this is a character who is perfect in every way. An expert in all kinds of combat, Archmage of the Kirin Tor, otherworldly beautiful without a single flaw, while being only twenty years of age! This is generally seen as bad and overpowered by other roleplayers. It also isn’t very interesting to roleplay with someone who has no flaws. People who roleplay Mary Sue characters often end up poweremoting or godemoting as well.
ERP - Erotic roleplay. This is sexual roleplay and should never be done in public. Keep it in whispers, or out of the game entirely. Keep it PG-13, folks! This also refers to roleplay profiles, which can be seen as ‘ERP profiles’ if they have overly sexual descriptions of the character, for example describing breast size, kinks and other things. New to roleplay and horrified that this happens? Believe me, it does. Don’t do it. Remember, children play the game as well.
So what can you do as a roleplayer? The general rule is, anything you want. However, do remember that the vast majority of people on Azeroth have little more power than the average citizen. Basically, use your common sense. If your character draws a sword in a tavern and starts a fight, they will likely be arrested. However, if you are on a campaign and killing murlocs, this is completely acceptable. The same applies to magic. A good guideline is to think - would I be arrested if I did this in real life? If the answer is yes, and you are not roleplaying a criminal character (not recommended for beginners), then you generally shouldn’t do it.
IC and OOC, or Metagaming - this can often ruin someone’s roleplay experience. You should never use out of character information in roleplay, for example knowing that someone is a warlock when they haven’t told you so themselves. This can also be as simple as knowing a character’s name when they, or another person, hasn’t told it to you in character, and should never be done. Can’t remember if you know someone’s name? Assume you don’t and ask again!
Levels, class etc - these are often ignored in roleplay and have no bearing on your character. With roleplay addons, you can also set your class to be different to your in game class, which is very useful, especially if you rolled a gnome warlock, undead holy priest etc. and have no idea how to roleplay it (or other difficult race/class combos). Of course, you may well want your character to be a priest or a mage, and you are welcome to leave your class the same as in game if you wish to - you can also get creative with it. Have fun!
4. Roleplay Basics
This section is basic roleplay etiquette. In general, follow these guidelines.
Running - in general, unless you’re in a hurry or you’re being chased, you don’t want to run. Have a look in your keybinds if you are unsure of how to make your character walk - the keybind for most is / on your numpad.
Weapons - make sure they are not unsheathed if you are not in combat and using them. For most people, the command to put them away is z.
Clothing - you may have heard people mention “roleplay sets”. This refers to clothes you wear when you roleplay. In general, your character likely wouldn’t walk around in full plate all the time. It would be very uncomfortable! Just use your common sense and think; ‘would I do this in real life?’ if you are unsure. In general, most people choose simple clothing and weapons (no Ashbringer IC!) as in character, detailed and flashy armaments would be very expensive to craft and buy.
Typing emotes - make sure to use proper punctuation when you type emotes. I am not talking about spelling - we all make mistakes, and some people are dyslexic - however it is considered good form to end each emote with a full stop. You should also, if addressing a particular character in an emote, use their character’s name or other descriptor instead of ‘you’, as everyone will see this and think you are addressing them! Third person past or present tense is recommended (usually present tense is used). Also, never use smilies such as in your emotes or in /s. While we are on the topic, in general you don’t want to type entirely in capitals or in /y unless you have a very good reason to do so as it can be annoying for other roleplayers. Also, try not to swear excessively. If you want extra immersion, try using in-game references, such as, “Light damn you!” or “For fel’s sake!”.
In game actions - Another thing some people do is claim relationships with or to major characters in Azeroth, or that they have killed them. What you do in quests and dungeons is generally not what your character would have done and you should not do it. Of course, you can take part in these things, e.g. you were part of a regiment to deal with a gnoll infestation in Elwynn, however you wouldn’t have dealt the killing blow to Edwin VanCleef etc. If everyone claimed this it would get very confusing, as you can imagine! If you are a regular citizen, you may not even know that VanCleef is dead. You should also not claim to be friends with major characters, such as Mattias Shaw, Thrall, etc. Your character was not trained by Malfurion to be a druid, he was busy sleeping in the Emerald Dream!
Classes - in general, if you are a beginner, it’s not recommended to roleplay a non-playable race, or a warlock, as these are both very difficult for someone who is new to the lore.
Fighting - often, people use emotes or /roll to decide the outcome of a fight instead of using duels. This means that a low level character can beat a high level one if it makes sense for them to do so, but maybe they haven’t had luck grinding gear, levels etc. As said before, your level in-game should not be representative if your ‘power level’ in roleplay.
I’m not going to explain the full lore of World of Warcraft, as I’d be here all night. If you want to know more, I’d recommend you check out youtube videos, such as nobbel87, or check the wiki pages to find out more! These places are very useful for researching lore on your race or class as well, which is very useful for creating a backstory.
I hope this guide has helped some of you out! Please don’t be afraid to ask other roleplayers for help if you are unsure about anything, and remember to have fun!
If you have any feedback or suggestions, please do let me know on discord - Charlie#7263 - or comment below.
Original guide: docs.google. com/document/d/1XEylgIT_F_WcAVPKi9Gtoad6QlXU7s8ropo0NtKvdAQ/edit?usp=sharing