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The Big Roleplay Guide Thread
#1
Throm'ka, Tribemates!

I was rather surprised when I realized we as a guild have been around for so long, but we haven't posted up a central thread or 'collection' of sorts that would contain RP resources for those in the tribe that may actually be beginners to RP (or perhaps RPers new to the MMO setting). Therefore, I've compiled this thread for those that may find it useful, or perhaps just those that might want to get a refresher course, so to speak.


Table of Contents

Roleplay Tips/Guides
Tips for Improving Your RP Game - Characters
Creating Characters You'll Love to Play
Understanding Alignment

What to Avoid
Mary Sues
Godmoding
Metagaming
Character Creation Warning Signs
How to Avoid OOC Drama
Mind-Reading RP

Other
Ten Commandments of Character Descriptions
The History of Azeroth - Lore Resources
Kretol Earthshaker

Army of Alts:
Karthrok, Kevarn, Kamran, Skoln, Mothok, Madoc, Mordruk, Krotahk
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#2
Tips for Improving Your RP Game - Characters
By Grakor (Source)

I am here to provide you with a myriad of tips and things to think about when constructing, conceptualizing, and actually roleplaying characters. First off, I'll point you to Qaza's thread on the subject, "Creating Characters That You'll Love." Qaza does a good job of creating warning signs and making sure that you'll make a character you can grow attached to. Instead, this thread is designed to help people make characters not only that they'll love, but also give these characters a greater level of depth when you are actually RPing them.

This post assumes that you already have a basic concept in mind. A concept, of course, is just a basic idea of what you want the character to be...race, class, and general alignment and temperment. Once you have that, you can go even more in depth.

Speech

The basics of this heading are obvious. Different races and people of different upbringings have different manners of speech. Trolls, Dwarves, and Draenei all of their specific accents, and naturally someone who has grown up in the slums would have more slang incorporated into his speech, while a noble would use less slang and more intellectual words. However, the consideration about a person's speech doesn't stop there.

Often, the way one talks can tell you something about that person, including how he was raised. It can, however, also tell you a bit about his personality. Though I hate to use my own characters as examples, I think it is appropriate in this case. Grakor, for example, uses a highly relaxed form of speech, constantly shaving off sounds he feels he doesn't need to make so long as he believes his point is being put across. This not only reflects his simple upbringing, but his general impatience and, to a degree, laziness, due to his unwillingness to put forth real effort into his words. Garrok, by stark contrast, is the opposite. He purposefully avoids the use of contractions and speaks in an unusually verbose manner. This speech distances him further from the common masses, as he does not use colloquial speech and can give off a "disconnected" or "off" feeling due to his unusual manner of speaking.

Do not just think about how the characters say what they do, but also think about what they do *while* they are talking, and why that is and what it can reflect about that character. A dramatic character may make pronounced hand gestures while speaking, while a perpetually nervous or paranoid character may rarely focus his gaze on his conversation partner as he wishes to constantly keep an eye on his surroundings.

Strengths and Weaknesses

This isn't just a topic on one's strengths and weaknesses in combat or in the nature of skills like crafting, but also out of combat, simply in the social world that we live in. We all have our weak points. Perhaps there is a particular type of food that you simply have a hard time resisting. Perhaps you get angry easily and hold a terrible grudge. Perhaps you are weak in resisting sexual advances and are easily seduced. One thing you want to do when creating a realistic character is ensuring that he has a weakness even outside of combat.

One thing that you may want to consider is looking up the "Seven Deadly Sins," and then picking one of those to embody your character's particular weakness, or the sin that character has a particularly hard time resisting. It is a simple solution that works well, and has been used in games such as White Wolf's "World of Darkness."

However, when you set up a weakness, also think of a particular strength. Perhaps your character is particularly unyielding in the face of adversity, or perhaps your character is adept at inspiring hope within himself and others. Think of a particular virtue or positive trait that your character is particularly strong with. Just as the Seven Sins are a good place to find inspiration for weaknesses, the Seven Virtues are a good place to find inspiration for strengths.

Goals and Motivations

Think for a moment about what your character wants in life. Does he want to become a powerful fighter? A charismatic leader? Does he want to be rich? Famous? Does he simply want to get by in the world, make a nice family and settle down? Or perhaps he wants to just have fun every day, and not worry about anything else?

Every person has a goal, and while not everything that character does has to revolve around this particular goal, this goal should reflect in many of the character's actions and motivations.

Speaking of motivations, it's good to think about *why* a character is doing what he is doing. A good example is an evil character who allows a monster to rampage through a town. Is he doing it because he hates the townsfolk, or is he doing it by some belief that he's doing good, that if the town survives the assault that it will become stronger as a result?

Symbolism

Symbolism often refers to a literary device, where a particular *thing* may represent another *thing.* This could be anything, and while this concept may be used in a narrow and specific manner in certain works, there are also cases where symbolism work in a larger audience.

Color symbolism is a good example. Many colors have many associations with them. Black and white are often colors associated with death, red is often associated with passion and anger, while blue is often associated with sadness. Characters may not make a conscious decision to incorporate these colors to create some underlying statement about themselves, but some symbols everyone recognizes, even on a subliminal level.

If you want to incorporate symbolism into your character design or roleplay, it requires a bit of thought, but also gives that character an extra layer of depth. Why does your character wear that particular color? What can that hint at about the character? What object does the character carry around, and what does it represent to himself? Does it also represent something else, something on a higher level?

Conclusion

I hope this article has inspired people to take a closer look at their characters and come up with ideas to deepen their personalities. As always, discussion is more than welcome, if you managed to actually wade through all of that text!

Show over!
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#3
Creating Characters You'll Love to Play
By Qaza. (Source)
(Minor editing done - bear in mind this was originally written for a smaller community setting)

Just some things I have noticed that seem to be regular hang-ups. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the character creation warning signs, but this is much more general. And trust me... I've learned these all from experience, heh.

-- Know your alignments. This can be very difficult, especially if you aren't in the "extreme" alignments like Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil. The most misunderstood alignment seems to be Neutral or Chaotic Neutral. These characters are not intentional turncoats or complete madmen, they simply don't put a lot of thought into the repercussions of their actions, whether they end up being to the benefit or detriment of the people around them. Most characters of this alignment are animalistic (not the romanticized version of beastly nobility, but actually relying on the fight-or-flight response and being mainly motivated by food, shelter, and continuing the species) and unreliable. They don't really want to lead, and it would probably be a bad idea to follow them.

-- Play your character! Sounds like "well duh" advice, but consider this: if you post a character profile or background story before you have played the actual character, how will you know if you like playing that class? If you don't RP with them ahead of time, how will you know if the class, alignment, personality, and history actually fit what you enjoy playing? I always recommend roleplaying through the first few quests in a starting area and determining how your character solves problems and reacts to different situations. You'll learn a lot!

-- Don't spread yourself too thin. It can be really tempting to act on every character idea you have, but again I refer to the tip above. Play with your ideas, go ahead and create them, and give them a week or two of play and see if you actually like playing them. Having more than two or three characters is really difficult to maintain, especially as they all get involved in sweeping storylines and suddenly you end up with two events you need to be present for (or two sides of the same battle!), or if you end up with characters that are conflicting with each other for your time.

-- There are at least three sides to everything. Don't believe me? Watch a really good lawyer work. Keep in mind that always doing what is right (or alternately, always doing what is wrong) is nearly impossible, and will result in large headaches. Not only that, but characters who are without a little gray around the edges (an evil-aligned guy who NEVER feels compassion or empathy and is ALWAYS hateful and selfish, or a good-aligned guy who is NEVER hateful or selfish, and is ALWAYS compassionate and empathetic) tend to feel very flat and limiting. In other words, you'll play them for a few weeks and then abandon them or have them fall off a cliff.

That's all I have for now, although I encourage others to offer lessons they have learned over the course of roleplaying as well!
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#4
Understanding Alignment
By Grakor (Source)

I've been noticing a lot of people have been having trouble getting their alignments down on their character profiles. There is a page on the Wiki discussing it, but I didn't find it particularly helpful and I doubt most read it. As far as alignment goes, Law-Chaos can be especially confusing because its definition has varied from time to time, and Good-Evil can be confusing because people tend to take them to wild extremes. Below is how I understand the system to work, and how I believe it was originally intended to be interpreted.

Good-Evil is best to talk about first, because it's probably the "stronger" alignment axis for the average character, and fully understanding Law-Chaos requires you to know what Good-Evil really is. The best way I tend to find to determine Good-Evil alignment is to ask myself how the character views others (particularly strangers) versus himself. A character that places others before himself is usually Good, and one who places himself before others is usually Evil. Those that try to be "fair" and balance between favoring themselves and favoring others are usually Neutral.

Good

A Good character is characterized by being (generally) selfless and having a high regard for life. A Good character puts others, even strangers, before himself, and would gladly let himself starve if it helps someone else eat. This degree of selflessness is what defines being a Good character.

Good characters may enjoy fighting, but will usually only kill if they have to. Good characters are far more likely to show mercy to enemies than those of other alignments...they are people too, after all.

One of the problems I've seen is people putting up a "Good" alignment tag on a character that should probably be Neutral. Think very carefully before you label a character as Good.

Evil

An Evil character is characterized by being (generally) selfish and having a low regard for the lives of others. An Evil character thinks about himself first and foremost, and will only worry about strangers if it helps him in some way. That said, it's not impossible for an Evil character to care about others, particularly those close to him.

While Evil characters are more likely to murder others (especially if it can save their own skin,) not all Evil characters are killers. Indeed, not all Evil characters are expressly out to make the lives of others miserable. Evil only represents a strong degree of self-motivation, and it's rarely beneficial to harm others just for the pure sake of it when these same people could help you out later.

People who make characters that are Evil tend to bring it to a strong extreme...characters that are out to harm others, take over the world, psychopathic, and so on. People forget the more subtle, less destructive Evil. A truly convincing Evil character is one that cares about himself and his own position, and will do whatever it takes to get himself up to the top. That said, Evil characters can work together, provided it helps everyone involved. A group can do things that an individual may not.

Obviously, Neutrality represents a balance between the two. Characters that balance their own needs with the needs of others, who have a regard for life but may be willing to compromise it if their own are in direct peril, and who may have ambitions without willing to step on others to reach them.

Law-Chaos is next, and probably the harder concept to understand. Just as Good-Evil represents a character's views on others versus himself, Law-Chaos represents one's views regarding society versus the individual. It's important to note that Law-Chaos has very little to do with Good-Evil...a Chaotic Evil person is no more Evil than a Lawful Evil one...they're just evil in different ways.

Lawful

Lawful characters believe that certain individual freedoms may need to be given away in order to strengthen society as a whole. These characters tend to view themselves more as an individual part of a greater plan or machine that drives their lives, and as long as everyone does his part, everything will turn out fine.

Lawful characters tend to be methodical, predictable, and orderly, and tend to highly value the power of teamwork. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and Lawful characters are more likely to join and be faithful to factions and organizations. They tend to value the successes of the faction/organization as a whole, rather than attributing them to any particular person. They are far more likely to listen to the advice of others and cave into peer pressure. They also are more likely to stick to tradition and what has been proven to work already.

Despite the name, Lawfulness does not actually mean to have a strict adherence to the law. For example, a vigilante that brings corrupt politicians to justice for the better of society may be Lawful, even though his actions are actually outside of the law.

Chaotic

Chaotic characters believe that the rights of the individual outweigh the benefits of society. These characters view themselves and others as individuals first, and members of an organization after. They are often the first to criticize the government or seek to rebel.

Chaotic characters, as individuals, tend to favor unpredictability and spontaneity. They may recognize laws and join organizations, but usually they do so for fear of punishment, the rewards for doing so, or because it fits their moral beliefs anyway. They can see the benefits of teamwork, but more highly regard the actions of the individual. A certain degree of fickleness defines Chaotic characters, but they are also free spirits and unlikely to cave into peer pressure as they go their own way.

Chaotic alignment doesn't represent insanity (though most truly insane characters tend to be Chaotic due to their natures.) Chaotic characters instead represent a willingness to forge one's own path instead of the path of tradition or society. They tend to be the spark of imagination, creating new ideas and ways of thinking.

Neutrality, naturally, represents a balance between the two. Characters who understand both the values of society and the power of the individual and try to balance the needs of both.

And that's a wrap.
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#5
How to Avoid OOC Drama
(Source)

A lot of avoiding OOC (out of character) drama starts with YOU.

Here are some quick tips on avoiding messy situations:
  • Respect: You don't have to like everyone, but showing respect right off the bat in OOC situations will earn you respect in return 90% of the time.

  • Take a break: If you've been playing a while (over an hour or two), get up and walk around, read a book, watch TV... take a break from the computer.

  • Take a deep breath: If someone says something that offends you, don't fire off a response right away. Take a deep breath, re-read the comment, and make sure you aren't reading it incorrectly. If you aren't certain, a polite, "I don't think I understand you, can you re-state that?" will usually suffice. If you're absolutely sure it was intended to offend, get up and do something else for a bit.

  • Don't encourage: If someone is being rude, ask them politely to stop. "I'd appreciate if you don't use that language/term" is often enough. If they continue, DO NOT RESPOND TO THEM. This includes stating "I'm putting you on my ignore list". Take a screenshot (usually the "Print Screen" key) of the inflammatory remark, your request for it to cease, and the secondary remark, if it exists. This can be PMed or e-mailed to a GM. (See What to Do About OOC Drama.)

  • Don't hang around: If you're having trouble with drama-mongers in a certain area, find somewhere else to be for the time being.

  • Separate IC and OOC: Not every character is going to interact with yours in the way you expect. Realize that this is not the character's player making an attack on you, it is simply part of the diversity of characters. Just because their character is harassing yours doesn't mean you might not like to sit down to lunch with the player.[/list:u]
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#6
Godmoding
(Source)

Godmoding is a term used in board based role-playing games to describe two behaviours of players. The term comes from the "god mode" found in many video games, allowing a player to activate features such as invincibility, unlimited ammunition or lives, or similar power boosts. It is sometimes incorrectly spelled as "godmodding", perhaps from the powers of message board moderators. It is almost always frowned upon by other members of the game, because it is regarded as a form of cheating against the game's tacit rules.


Passive Godmoding

Godmoding can occur when a player describes an event or a series of events his or her character has taken against another character or interactive object, most often with the purpose of rescinding negative effects previously encountered or granting some other effect inconsistent with an objective view of the narrative. For example, a character may be afflicted with a disease only curable by rare ingredients, yet another character is "lucky" enough to find these ingredients in ten minutes. Godmoding is thus often used like a "Get Out of Jail Free card" when things don't go the way a player wants, rather than working with previously unfolded events.

It is also used to describe the act of creating or playing with an invincible character or using "perfect" equipment (such as unbreakable armour), or possessing limitless power, etc. Some players will create a brand new character, and that character is automatically gifted with skills, and nearly impossible to take on right from the start. In many cases, this happens when a newer character goes against an established one: the newer player may roleplay his or her character as if it were equal in power and rank to the more experienced one.


Active Godmoding

Godmoding can also refer to the case where a player definitively describes the outcome of their own actions against another character or interactive object. For example, if player A states, "A strikes B and B takes damage", they could be considered to be godmoding. Another example of this might be where a character is facing multiple enemies, and they redirect one foe's attack onto another. For example, Player A states, "B misses A completely, and strikes C instead."

Similarly, controlling characters that belong to someone else is also a form of godmoding.
  • Player A: Character A throws a punch at Character B.
  • Player B: Character B dodges the attack, grabs Character A and throws him out of a stained glass window. Character A flies at Character B, who warps behind him and slashes Character A in the back.[/list:u]

    Unusually, this version of godmoding is encouraged in the d20 system game WWE: Know Your Role; while players will select a professional wrestling maneuver to use on an opponent, the entire sequence is dictated by the winner; the above scenario would be accepted (assuming a slash in the back were an appropriate maneuver). The game itself recommends that players be reasonable in this, as the player who decides on the sequence is determined by die rolls in the game.


    Powermoding And/Or Autoing

    Godmoding can be sub-divided into two similar categories commonly found within different areas of Play-By-Post Role-playing Games, which usually revolve around areas of external roleplay as in such diverse sites that range from Myspace to Youtube and to IMVU and so on. Although godmoding is often used to describe unfair rules within the realm of role-play, there are proper names for such things.
    • Autoing: The act of making decisions and/or actions for the target of your roleplay. Example: U dye now *kils u an waches blod shot from ur arm*. Acts such as this are highly dishonorable and possibly the worst form of godmoding that can be acted upon. [/list:u]
      • Powermoding: The act of constant regeneration and/or dodging of attacks and actions. This is commonly found in battle-situation role-plays. Classifications such as these are usually only used by the more experienced roleplayers, usually to be only used after a certain level of experienced is reach. Acts such as this are not entirely dishonorable, for they are hard to notice, however this classification usually halts the storyline from advancing any further, making the story both unfair and simply 'not fun.' Example: After being struck by the blade aiming for his jugular 'name of preference' would immediately use his anti-matter shield to regenerate within a matter of seconds. This would repeat throughout the storyline halting it completely.[/list:u]
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#7
Metagaming

Snippet from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metagaming -
In role-playing games, metagaming is a term often used to describe players' use of assumed characteristics of the game. In particular, metagaming often refers to having a character act on knowledge that only the player has access to (such as tricking a medusa to stare at a mirror when the character has never even heard of medusas and should not be aware of their petrifying stare). For instance, a player might adjust his character's actions if the player has some foreknowledge of the long-term intentions of the gamemaster, or, more commonly, the GM's tendency to have (or not to have) mercy on players whose characters do things that would cause them to fail at their objectives.

And more from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metagaming_...ing_games) -
In role-playing games, metagaming is the use of out-of-character knowledge in an in-character situation. A character played by a metagamer does not act in a way that reflects the character's in-game experiences and back-story.

Examples of metagaming include:
  • Adjusting a character's actions if the player has some foreknowledge of the long-term intentions of the gamemaster.
  • Using certain types of attack or defense based on the strengths and weaknesses of a monster/other characters the character knows nothing of, for example a weakness to fire-based magic.
  • Acting on technical and/or scientific knowledge that the character is not or could not be aware of (such as creating gunpowder in a dark ages or middle ages setting).
  • Adjusting a character's behavior towards other player characters based on real-life relationships with other players.
  • Using knowledge of the game's mechanics to gain an advantage in the game.
  • Assuming that something that appears to be wrong or unlikely in the game world is a mistake of the gamemaster rather than something that could be investigated.
  • Assuming that if an item (often a chest, desk or book-case) is mentioned by the gamemaster during the initial description of an area, it must have some relevance to the storyline, and immediately searching or examining it (while ignoring other furnishings or objects that are most likely there as well).
  • Deciding on a character's course of action based on how the game's mechanics will affect the outcome.
  • Any action that is based upon the knowledge that one is playing a game.
  • Another form of metagaming occurs as a form of powergaming during character creation, when a player takes flaws or liabilities that they know the gamemaster is unlikely to fully exploit, thereby acquiring extra creation options without paying a corresponding penalty.[/list:u]
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#8
Character Creation Warning Signs
By Qaza (Source)

READ THIS CAREFULLY:

--IF ONE OR TWO THINGS APPLY TO YOUR CHARACTER, OR A CHARACTER YOU ARE PLANNING, IT DOES NOT ABSOLUTELY MEAN THAT THEY ARE A POOR CHARACTER!--

...On to the original post. : /

Keep in mind, if one or two things apply to your character...
DON'T PANIC
just keep in mind that they are warning signs.


So...
Warning Signs That Your Character May Not Be Appreciated or Work Out Like You Want Them To:

* You already know that you will need much more powerful gear.
* Your character is somehow related to a prominent NPC.
* You character is somehow related to an NPC that leads a faction.
* Your character requires a certain weapon/mount/piece of armor/whatever before you can roleplay at all.
* Your character has declared war on more than one faction that you are NOT NORMALLY AT WAR WITH. (ie, an orc that is at war with Stormwind, no worries.)
* Your character is full-or-half any type of creature that is normally much more powerful than player characters.
* Your character hates everyone/almost everyone.
* Your character loves everyone/almost everyone.
* You know that your character is the prettiest/most handsome (whatever race).
* You know that your character is the best (whatever class).
* You know your character isn't the best-looking or most talented, but you are sure they're in the top ten.
* Your character can control other characters (priest MC aside).
* You know right off the bat that your character will need something more than a hotel room, hut, or tent to occupy.
* Your character depends on always having another character (either NPC or player) around.
* Your character was created to be (insert other character here)'s significant other.
* Your character was created to be (insert other character here)'s significant other, and the other player does not know it.
* Your character has amnesia, and therefore you do not have to write a history.
* You intend for your character to be adored.
* You intend for your character to be hated.
* You intend for your character to be popular or at least well-known.
* The idea of your character being harmed bothers you.
* You describe your character's personality as blank or nonreactive.
* Your character is very powerful or influential.
* Your character is very powerful or influential, and always has been.
* Your character is going to take over the world.
* Your character is going to save the world.
* Your character is going to destroy the world.


Feel free to give feedback and suggestions, and the list can be modified as needed.

REMEMBER: If a few of these traits apply to your character, don't feel offended, just be aware of it and carefully consider your reasoning behind it.

This, of course, doesn't cover things that happen during RP, just your concepts when creating your character. If it turns out unintentionally that, whoops, your character leaned on that button and now Azeroth is a smoking wasteland, but you didn't set out with the intention of destroying the world, well... alright. (That's a HUGELY exaggerated example, of course.)
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#9
Mary Sues

A Quick Explanation

Today, the term "Mary Sue" carries the strong connotation of wish-fulfillment, and is commonly associated with self-insertion, the literal writing of oneself into a fictional story. However, a true self-insertion is a literal and generally undisguised representation of the author; most characters described as "Mary Sues" are not literal self-insertions, though they are frequently said to be "proxies" or stand-ins of some sort for the author. The negative connotation of the term comes from this very "wish-fulfillment" implication: the "Mary Sue" is regarded as being a poorly-developed character, one who is too perfect and lacking in three-dimensionality to be accepted as realistic or interesting. Such proxy characters, critics claim, exist only because the author wishes to see himself or herself as the "special" character in question.

The term is also associated with over-the-top and clichÃd character features, such as exotic hair and eye colors, mystical or superhuman powers greater than those of the other characters, exotic pets, possessions or origins, or an unusually tragic past. These features are commonplace in examples of "Mary Sues", though even a character who lacks them may be labeled a "Sue" by some critics. The term is more broadly associated with characters who are exceptionally and improbably lucky. The good luck may involve romance ("Mary Sue" always gets her man); adventure ("Mary Sue" always wins a fight or knows how to solve the puzzle); and popularity (the "right people" seem to gravitate towards the character). These characters confront very few significant problems while attempting to achieve their goals. "Everything goes her way" is a common criticism regarding "Mary Sues", the implication being that the character is not sufficiently humanized or challenged to be genuinely interesting and sympathetic.

Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue for the full article.

---------------------------------

Another source, from http://www.subreality.com/marysue/explain.htm:

Mary Sue is any original or deeply altered character who represents a slice of his/her creator's own ego; s/he is treasured by his/her creator but only rarely by anyone else. More negatively, a Mary Sue is a primadonna (usually but not always badly-written) who saps life and realism out of every other character around, taking over the plot and bending canon to serve his/her selfish purposes.

However, to be fair, even the most trite Mary Sue serves a psychological purpose for his or her creator...and sometimes, believe it or not, the best can wind up being lauded as legitimate characters and gathering fans beyond their original scope. You never know...

---------------------------------

Some general examples of Mary Sue player-characters:
  • The grizzled high warlord orc warrior who's the personal advisor and best friend of Thrall, who has slain more Alliance than anyone else. Put together. He also owns Kargathia Keep in Ashenvale and is the leader of the Warsong Clan forces in Azeroth. In addition, his massive battleaxe is three times as large as he is (he's 8'11" tall), yet he can hold it with one hand quite effortlessly.
  • The mysterious forsaken warlock who's second-in-command only to Grand Apothecary Putress, who's privy to every secret the Royal Apothecary Society has and is one of the prime developers of the 'new plague.' This fellow is also one of the most powerful warlocks in existence, not only from the combination of his unmatchable skill in the warlock arts and alchemical knowledge but also due to the countless powerful artifacts he's picked up in his travels, each of which would contain as much power as one of the highest-ranked Dalaran mages.
  • The sneaky troll rogue who has never been caught by anyone he's stolen from or sneaked by. No-one even knows his name or what he looks like for sure, as he has a different disguise any time he goes out. This fellow makes Rokhan horribly jealous with his supreme stealthiness, and in the past Rokhan and him always competed to see who was sneakier. The troll rogue beat Rokhan every time.
  • The blood elf magister who owns half (or all) of Silvermoon. And it's surrounding areas. He surpasses even the Regent Lord Lor'themar in power, although he allows him to rule Silvermoon anyway because he tires of the petty politics. His arcane knowledge is nearly unmatchable, though Kael'thas provides a good challenge.[/list:u]
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#10
Ten Commandments of Character Descriptions
By Grakor. (Source)

1. Thou shalt not force actions or thoughts upon the viewer.

If at any point you make the assumption that a character is going to do something or going to think something, such as stare at a certain part of our anatomy, drool, vomit, wave, cower, or whatever, you're doing something wrong. Not all characters behave or react in the same manner, or they may not be capable of reacting at all.


2. Thou shalt not put your own actions in a description.

Similar to number one, your character may not act the same way. Giving a coy wink to someone your character finds hideous is fairly nonsensical. On that note, your character may be distracted or not capable of giving actions at all.


3. Thou shalt not call thyself beautiful.

...or handsome, pretty, cute, ugly, or anything else of that nature. What is beautiful to one person is not beautiful to another, especially in the world that is Azeroth (case in point, the Orcs in WC3 called quillboar prettier than humans!) If you want your character to be attractive, describe traits that you find attractive in a person. The best descriptions can make a person sound beautiful without ever using the word.


4. Thou shalt not describe anything about your character's body as "angelic."

...or demonic or something equally nonsensical. As angels are something your average person likely has never seen, this is fairly silly to use as a description of a physical quality. Similarly, this bears the exact same problem described in #3: what might be "angelic" to one person would not be to another.


5. Thou shalt not recreate Mary Sue.

If you do not know what a Mary Sue is, I suggest you look it up, as you may be a culprit. Mary Sues are, in brief, characters made purely for wish fulfillment. While this is often done in RP and writing situations, it can also be done in descriptions. As an example, creating someone with what is described as flawless grace, unearthly beauty, young age with extraordinary abilities is most likely a Mary Sue. The male version also exists, someone as handsome save for a scar, strong with perfected fighting abilities and lightning reflexes, usually in black leather or something equally "cool." Such characters are not only idealized to an extreme, but are also as a result wholly unbelievable.


6. Thou shalt not describe a character not fitting with the Warcraft universe.

This includes, but isn't limited to, characters that are half-dragon, half-demon, god-children, or something of that nature. As these characters cannot even exist in WoW, there's no sense in describing them now is there?


7. Thou shalt consider thy race and class in your description.

Certain races favor certain builds. Certain classes favor certain builds. If you're an Orc, you're going to at least be muscular whether you like it or not. If you're a Blood Elf, you're not a body-builder as much as you might wish you were. Warriors tend to be more muscular than other classes, cloth casters tend to be weaker. Also, don't go outside of the normal skin/eye/hair colors that your race allows.


8. Thou shalt not describe clothing in your description.

Clothing is what equipment is for. On top of this, there may be times where your character is stripped, in a different outfit, or whatever. You can, however, describe things that are likely always there or aren't visible on the character, such as jewelry or tattoos.


9. Thou shalt not describe personality or background in a description.

That is what character profiles are for. Descriptions are, in general, things used to convey what a character would know ICly.


10. Thou shalt proofread thy work.

...as there is nothing worse than a typo everyone is going to see. Also, people do sometimes miss typos in their description. If you spot one, let the person know so he/she can fix it.

This was written as some people are using FlagRSP...and already I'm noticing some people doing strange things with it. :p

- Grakor
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#11
Mind-Reading RP
By Grakor (Source)

No, I'm not talking about characters literally reading each others minds. I'm talking about players posting emotes that go into great detail on their character's thought processes.

Let me first start off by saying that this is not an attack on anyone. I'm not intending to insult the RP of others. I do, however, think that it's a topic that should be brought up, because I've been seeing it with increasing regularity over the past few months, and it's something I personally dislike.

I had always been taught that emoting out one's thoughts was poor RP. Even Priests, who have a great deal of mental abilities, cannot read minds, and throwing out such thoughts always provides the temptation of metagaming on the part of the other RPers. On top of this, delving too deeply into one's thought processes in a single emote can lead to a lack of action, which can make it very difficult to formulate a good response. To provide an example to illustrate and show people what I'm talking about (names completely made up on the spot, sorry if they're close to anyone):

"Jordan turns to look over the sea. Of course, he is angry that Lilian had betrayed him so, and he fully intends to get revenge on her. He isn't going to simply attack her though...no, that isn't his style. He instead decides to bide his time, waiting for the appropriate moment when he can truly make her suffer. Oh, how he would enjoy that moment!"

Now, all of this is well and good, but to someone RPing with Jordan, what do we have to work with? His turning to the sea was the only action he performed. As far as we know, he's not displaying his emotions, and we can't read minds, so that is the only thing we have to work on. Compare, instead, to:

"Jordan turns to look over the sea, gaze fixed on the distant horizon. His brow furrows angrily, and his breathing comes out loudly and heavily, the man fuming indignantly. He fails to acknowledge or speak to those around him, instead alternating between clenching and relaxing his fists, muscles tense."

Now this gives us more to work with, even if the emote itself is a little shorter. We can tell Jordan is angry. There is significantly more description here and we can act on it. On top of that, there is no extra information here that we aren't allowed to use, and thus less chance of metagaming ("Oh, this is about Lilian, isn't it?")
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#12
The History of Azeroth - Lore Resources

For those of you interested about learning more in depth lore. Here are some resources to start you out and give you a guide. This is from the World of Warcraft Community Site but linked here for convenience. Compiled by Chiabella!

Timeline of Warcraft Game and Book Lore

Chapter I: Mythos
The Titans and the Shaping of the Universe
Sargeras and the Betrayal
The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth
Charge of the Dragonflights
The Waking World and the Well of Eternity
The War of the Ancients (10,000 years before Warcraft I)
The Sundering of the World
Mount Hyjal and Illidan's Gift
The World Tree and the Emerald Dream (9,000 years before Warcraft I)
Exile of the High Elves (7,300 years before Warcraft I)
The Sentinels and the Long Vigil

Chapter II: The New World
The Founding of Quel'Thalas (6,800 years before Warcraft I)
Arathor and the Troll Wars (2,800 years before Warcraft I)
The Guardians of Tirisfal (2,700 years before Warcraft I)
Ironforge - the Awakening of the Dwarves (2,500 years before Warcraft I)
The Seven Kingdoms (1,200 years before Warcraft I)
Aegwynn and the Dragon Hunt (823 years before Warcraft I)
War of the Three Hammers (230 years before Warcraft I)
The Last Guardian (45 years before Warcraft I)

Chapter III: The Doom of Draenor
Kil'jaeden and the Shadow Pact
Rise of the Horde

Chapter IV: Alliance And Horde
The Dark Portal and the Fall of Stormwind (Warcraft I: Orcs and Humans)
The Alliance of Lordaeron (Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness)
The Invasion of Draenor (Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal Expansion)
The Birth of the Lich King
Icecrown and the Frozen Throne
The Battle of Grim Batol
Lethargy of the Orcs
The New Horde
War of the Spider
Kel'Thuzad and the Forming of the Scourge
The Alliance Splinters

Chapter V: Return of the Burning Legion
The Scourge of Lordaeron (Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos)
Sunwell - The Fall of Quel'Thalas
Archimonde's Return and the Flight to Kalimdor
The Battle of Mount Hyjal
The Betrayer Ascendant (Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Expansion)
Rise of the Blood Elves
Civil War in the Plaguelands
The Lich King Triumphant
Old Hatreds - The Colonization of Kalimdor

Chapter VI: World of Warcraft
The War of the Shifting Sands (Opening of Ahn'Qiraj)
Road to Damnation (Opening of Naxxramas)

Chapter VII: The Burning Crusade
The Story so Far
Shamans/Paladins
(Basic overview and introduction of the Draenei and Blood Elves to Azeroth)



Other Reading:
Unbroken (The story of Nobundo, a famous Draenei Broken)
Troll Compendium
Murlocs
WoWWiki Lore Resources (Be aware that it is a Wiki and double check the info, though it's generally pretty good)
Warcraft Encyclopedia (Not overly developed but the information within is good)
Warcraft Novels and Roleplaying Guides & Games
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#13
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