This is both for those who have never Roleplayed before, and for those who might just need a bit of help with their Roleplay- or you might be a Roleplaying Pro, in which case this might just be an interesting read. Please note this is only covering RPGs that are online and with other people.
What is an RPG?
RPG means Role Playing Game. So, what is this "Roleplaying"? It is when you take on the role of a fictional character and play as them. In a sandbox RPG ( a sandbox game is a game where you can do as you like, so a sandbox RPG is an RPG where you create your own character and do what you want to, although there can often be limits on what you do so that the Roleplay does not get out of hand. Minecraft is a sandbox game, and Odervon is a sandbox RPG.), you would create, with your imagination a character whom you would play as, you would make them as like or unlike you as you want, they might be cold and secretive with a strange past, or warm and friendly, with a fairly normal past, or anything you want.
So, What Do I Do?
Good question. There are various types of Roleplay, let's start off with text Roleplay:
Text Roleplay is generally used in forums. Often, forum Roleplay is a sandbox RPG, where you think up a character who fits in with the environment and with the objective of the Roleplay, and then you use forum posts to interact with people. Text that is within asterisks (Asterisk: *) is an action preformed by the person who made that post. Here's a quick example:
*Chops down a tree, and then I start to chase people around waving my axe in the air, and yelling my head off*.
As you can see, due to the asterisks, that person is not just saying "Chops down a tree..." but, in the Roleplay, they are actually chopping down a tree, and then chasing people about with his axe while yelling madly. You would use a combination of asterisks and text that is not surrounded by asterisks (text that is not surrounded by asterisks is generally something that a character is saying) to interact with people and things. What about brackets, though? They are used to show that the poster is saying something OOC (in some RPGs, such as Odervon, brackets are replaced by square brackets ([ ]), so that the normal brackets can be used as normal without creating any confusion). Wait, WHAT? OOC?
OOC stands for Out Of Character. Anything you say OOC is not happening in the Roleplay, you could be saying that English isn't your first language and apologising for your grammar, or saying "BRB, I'm in the middle of boiling some toast". The opposite to OOC is IC, which stands for In Character. Anything that you say or do IC is something that is happening in the roleplay.
Now, there is one other type of Roleplay I will talk about: Ingame Sandbox RPGs.
In an ingame sandbox roleplay, like in a sandbox text-based roleplay, you think up a character to play as, and act like that character.
You will also be online with other people, and be interacting with them in roleplay.
And, still like the text roleplay, if you want to show that you are saying something OOC, you surround what you want to say with brackets, or, depending on the style the people in that game/server use, square brackets ([ ]).
But, here is the key difference:
In a forum, everyone is imagening what is going on, nobody has a visual reference, you're not actually having to collect any materials, walk any distance, eat any food, etc.
But, in an ingame RP, you actually walk around looking at things, depedning on the game, you might have to collect materials, maybe even have to eat to survive. You actually see the virtual characters which other people are playing as, and you actually have to walk/run/ride/drive to places.
But What If I'm Doing Something A little More Complex?
You may, in Odervon or another MMORPG/multiplayer RPG (MMO means Massively Multiplayer Online. You know what RPG means....) be engaged in a battle, or something similar, with another player. There are various rules to remember here:
Look, Stop, And Listen.
If you see the other player stop dead, then they want to say something, and that something may have a major impact on how you should behave, so if someone suddenly stops, you need to stop too, and don't ignore what they say.
If You Cannot Loose You Cannot Win.
If you just make yourself unbeatable, or say an action such as "*kicks player through roof*" then you will be disliked, mentally marked as a noob by the other players, and ignored. This doesn't mean, say, if you beat everyone through Roleplay (To do that you need to give the other player a chance, here's a quick example:
bobtheblob52: "*Lunges at you with a knife*"
Player1: "*Leaps to my left*"
bobtheblob52: "*Slaps you with a fish*"
Player1: "*Reels backwards, but manages to kick Bob in the back of the leg sending him flying*") you are going to be banned, it simply means if you, say do this:
Player2: "*Beats everyone*" you will quickly find yourself ejected from the sever or ignored by other people.
There are also things to remember outside of battle, here are a few things:
Don't Be Rude
No one likes a rude player who calls other people an idiot, or swears at other players. Just use common sense.
Don't be a 'playstyle nazi'
Once on a (sandbox) RPG where you play as either a wolf or a human (I was a Wolf), as there was no humans in their village when I came online I had taken it over.
Someone who found this out basically said that I was a noob because this village as originally intended for humans. This showed me how little the person knew about manners or about Roleplay. As this was a fairly simple sandbox RPG there was no reason that I couldn't take over the houses. It takes away the fun you get out of Roleplay if you have very strict guidelines, and expect everything that happens in a sandbox RPG.
Try Not To Stray Too Far Off Topic
If you want to do a little bit of chatting using brackets, there is nothing wrong with that at all, but it might bug some players if you keep going on about something that's a mile away from what the roleplay is about.
Remember The Roleplay's Setting
This is important, as in a medieval setting you would not use a modern phrase such as "dude", and you wouldn't barge into houses without knocking on the door, but if you are in a modern setting you would use modern phrases, but normally still wouldn't barge through doors without knocking, if you are a Wolf then you will use plain language, and normally sleep in dens, which means that you don't always ask to come in, etc.
This guide will probably be updated in the future.