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Old 01-05-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
js_wilson
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Question Encouraging Roleplaying

I am in the beginning stages of working on my MUD, and I am wondering what I can do to encourage role playing, without necessarily requiring it. How is this handled on those other MUD's out there that are listed as "role playing encouraged". Some of those that I have played don't really seem to be doing much of anything, aside from listing themselves as such, and then hope people role play. I also have run across MUDs that have systems set up where certain staff members or senior players can reward people for good role playing. The default rules involving nobles in the Dawn of Time codebase come to mind. Please share your thoughts and ideas!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

Frequent optional campaign events would give people stuff to do and then later talk about.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:03 PM   #3
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

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Originally Posted by dark acacia View Post
Frequent optional campaign events would give people stuff to do and then later talk about.
This is something I was planning on doing. I also trying to decide if I should offer some kind of incentive for participating in events, and what these incentives should be. For example, characters could be award quest points for event participation, and could have the opportunity to be awarded even more quest points for good role-playing during the event. I haven't decided how quest points should be used in the MUD though. I don't know if I am going to set up quest point vendors, or use quest points in some other way, but if I can use them to reward role playing and participation in campaign events, that would be ideal. I just don't feel like quest point vendors fit the setting I have in mind. If I can justify it within the setting, great, but if I can find some other way to use the quest points that fits with the idea of them being a role-playing reward, that would be even better.

I could just make a somewhat ambiguous statement in my documentation the number of quest points a person has accumulated will be taken into consideration by the staff when awarding positions of responsibility, and that the best way to accumulate quest points is through good role-playing. Does that make any sense?

Ultimately, I feel that role-playing should be it's own reward, and well planed and executed campaign events should be interesting enough on there own that they don't need extra intensive to encourage participation. However, this is not a role-playing enforced MUD, and I am looking for gentle ways to coax players who might not have much role playing experience into trying some role playing.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:37 PM   #4
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

I try to encourage roleplay by creating it, even if it's something little like possessing a mob and talking, so on, it gets the players working to develop how they respond to a variety of situations. In my former MUD, we had an entire program for this. In my current MUD, it is required that staff do this to encourage and promote roleplay on all levels. We also have regular quests run for the players on a larger scale.

We also have a reward system for roleplay involvement.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:10 AM   #5
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

The only real way to enforce roleplaying is to mandate of the players to play a virtual character.

Ideally only one, at least as a main character, and the others without falling into the multiplayer-trap.

You need to give players the freedom and the tools to roleplay and portray their characters in ways that are fit.

Strive for maximum consistency within the game world and have the tools encourage this.

Be story driven.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:25 AM   #6
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

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Originally Posted by Odd Raven View Post
I try to encourage roleplay by creating it, even if it's something little like possessing a mob and talking, so on, it gets the players working to develop how they respond to a variety of situations. In my former MUD, we had an entire program for this. In my current MUD, it is required that staff do this to encourage and promote roleplay on all levels. We also have regular quests run for the players on a larger scale.

We also have a reward system for roleplay involvement.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
This can be useful for retaining new players. When I tried Arantha about a week ago, someone played as a bartender and commented on my character's nakedness (though that was because character creation there dumps new characters into the world with no pants on) and it was kind of funny. Then I went off somewhere, got lost, died, and took a break and never saw anyone on again but the admin. But still.

Anyway, I figure a good rule to determine whether rp is stagnating in your world is the amount of private in-character romances going on.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:26 PM   #7
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

"Roleplay-encouraged" muds are a bit of a myth. What most mud admins mean by this vague descriptor is that they want a mud where players are allegedly expected to roleplay, but not where they have to roleplay if they don't want to, i.e., "We want our players to rp, but we're not going to police the mud to make sure they do or ban people who don't. And if people don't feel like it today, we still want them to log in, kill stuff, and chat."

The end result, unsurprisingly, depends on the players the game attracts. If a game attracts mostly non-roleplayers, they just chat and bash all day, and more serious RPers don't hang around because they don't like the atmosphere. If it attracts mostly roleplayers, they have a way of making non-RPers feel alienated and less welcome.

The first post in this thread makes it sound like the OP wants people to roleplay, but doesn't want to have to police it or force it. He wants a system where people will just do it naturally because the system favors it. How do you do that? 1: Make the game interesting. If I don't have anything to talk about with anybody, and nothing to do roleplay-wise except chat about the weather or group with someone to bash big mobs and hunt gear, I'm not very encouraged to roleplay. That means lots of content, events, and special attention. 2: Reward roleplaying substantially. If I get experience points or some kind of award for using say and emote commands in front of other players, or actually stand to grow in power and influence if I interact with other players, I'm encouraged. If I go up a priest rank and learn five new spells for converting another player to my fire religion, I'm going to spend my time online preaching the word of the fire god instead of killing kobolds. If I get some vague collection of "roleplay points" that don't really benefit me, or am just expected to RP for fun, it's a waste of time I could be getting gear and going up levels.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

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Originally Posted by dark acacia View Post
This can be useful for retaining new players. When I tried Arantha about a week ago, someone played as a bartender and commented on my character's nakedness (though that was because character creation there dumps new characters into the world with no pants on) and it was kind of funny. Then I went off somewhere, got lost, died, and took a break and never saw anyone on again but the admin. But still.

Anyway, I figure a good rule to determine whether rp is stagnating in your world is the amount of private in-character romances going on.
I'm glad to hear that you came to take a look at us--we're in the midst of a huge server change over and making a lot of changes--including a newbie at-will-and-your-own-speed tutorial. That includes not entering the game without pants, haha. I hope we'll see you back when we get all of the new additions in.

As for judging the game based off of in-character romances, I think that actually and oddly enough sounds like a good idea. Not necessarily sordid romances or things like that, but also deep friendship-type romances--in my previous MUD, my character was in love with a character it never would've worked out with, so they were very close in friendship terms.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:51 PM   #9
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

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Originally Posted by Odd Raven View Post
I'm glad to hear that you came to take a look at us--we're in the midst of a huge server change over and making a lot of changes--including a newbie at-will-and-your-own-speed tutorial. That includes not entering the game without pants, haha. I hope we'll see you back when we get all of the new additions in.

As for judging the game based off of in-character romances, I think that actually and oddly enough sounds like a good idea. Not necessarily sordid romances or things like that, but also deep friendship-type romances--in my previous MUD, my character was in love with a character it never would've worked out with, so they were very close in friendship terms.
I'm going to have to add your MUD to my list of MUDs to check out. One thing I definitely need to do in order to help me achieve my goal of building an RP friendly MUD is to play more MUDs that have a style of play like I am trying to achieve. This seems like common sense to me.

Part of my difficulty in knowing how to run an RP friendly MUD comes from the fact that the vast majority of my MUDing experience is on more H&S style MUDs. Even with the H&S MUDs I have played though, the ones that keep me coming back are the ones with a good social atmosphere, well written areas and quests that get me sucked in to the game, and cleaver dialog from MOBs and players alike.

Basically what I need to learn as an implementer is what rewards are appropriate for me to give for good RP, and if that means I should lesson the rewards for non RP activities like crafting and monster bashing. By default, in the codebase I was originally going to use, non-combat activities like crafting and resource gathering could generate XP, and non-combat quest could be used to gain XP, but there was no built-in mechanism for rewarding RP. I feel like this would be best handled by staff members in person. I just need to get a little more experience with this type of thing so I can put together some guidelines for any future staff members who might work with me.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:51 PM   #10
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd Raven View Post
I'm glad to hear that you came to take a look at us--we're in the midst of a huge server change over and making a lot of changes--including a newbie at-will-and-your-own-speed tutorial. That includes not entering the game without pants, haha. I hope we'll see you back when we get all of the new additions in.

As for judging the game based off of in-character romances, I think that actually and oddly enough sounds like a good idea. Not necessarily sordid romances or things like that, but also deep friendship-type romances--in my previous MUD, my character was in love with a character it never would've worked out with, so they were very close in friendship terms.
I meant that if people are getting into romance role play and that's all they're doing for role play in your world, it means that nothing interesting is going on and your game's rp scene is stagnating.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:20 PM   #11
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

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Originally Posted by dark acacia View Post
I meant that if people are getting into romance role play and that's all they're doing for role play in your world, it means that nothing interesting is going on and your game's rp scene is stagnating.
Oho! I see. I still stand by what I said, though! People putting time and effort into personal roleplay without needing to have something huge going on is a big marker in my book!
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:34 PM   #12
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

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Originally Posted by js_wilson View Post
I'm going to have to add your MUD to my list of MUDs to check out. One thing I definitely need to do in order to help me achieve my goal of building an RP friendly MUD is to play more MUDs that have a style of play like I am trying to achieve. This seems like common sense to me.
We would love to have you come give us a look. I always enjoy seeing new players. Bear with us in our time of construction! As for that one thing, I agree--always make sure you're unique in your ideas, though! One of the major companies in muds draws a little bit of ire from me due to their copy-format on their different muds. They're. So. Similar.

Quote:
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Part of my difficulty in ...
I can understand that. Arantha is always in a very versatile stage, changing and evolving into something new and more awesome. We always endeavor to get players involved in roleplay, if it's something little or something huge. In every MUD I've played, I encourage players to roleplay in little ways--it leads to roleplay in a big way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by js_wilson View Post
Basically what I need ...
I think it is imperative to let the playerbase do what -they- want to do, but if you specifically want roleplay, give them what they need for it. Keep your area in-character (No silly or outlandish signs, OOC mobs, so on) and make sure they're allowed to pick. If they want to bash for ten hours, good for their endurance for mind-numbing behavior. Spring a boss on them or something and get them to roleplay out some big bad guy dialogue or whatever. The big thing with roleplay is that -everyone- does it differently.

As always, good luck!
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:31 PM   #13
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

The only way to have good roleplay (whether encouraged or otherwise) is to have a rich, quality, inspiring history and background to your game and allow that as part of the creation of your players or part of their growth in the game.

For example, to encourage roleplay you have quests or histories or requirements that reward players that show roleplay. You and your game are the example. If you and your game show it, others may follow that style and lead.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #14
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

I think that trying to "encourage" role-play is basically a waste of time. You either make a game where everyone is expected to role-play and plan accordingly, or just let people do whatever they want.

If you're going to require role-play then you need to be clear about what you expect from players and do your best to support their efforts. You need to give them all the theme and setting material they need to create characters and stories, as well as any coded support they need. Frequent staff run events and interaction helps too.

I'm not a fan of rewarding role-play with points or loot or whatever. I've yet to see a system that wasn't either highly susceptible to being gamed or riddled with accusations of favouritism. Most of these systems seem to be an attempt to force role-play onto games that are more about levelling or loot and IMO this is the source of a lot of the frustration some people have with these types of games.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:56 PM   #15
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Re: Encouraging Roleplaying

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I'm not a fan of rewarding role-play with points or loot or whatever.
I would agree if the reward was only loot or points. But if the reward is political power, social prowess, status, and symbol, it can be a great thing.

For example, in NWA nearly every guild requires intense roleplay to join, then roleplay to gain status, then roleplay to gain positions of authority. The only exception to this is the Rogues guild which has no leadership, no (or very little) requirement to roleplay to join, and is basically a loner type guild. The purpose of this guild was for players who were up and down alot, perhaps playing from school or work and couldn't guarantee they would be available for long discourses in roleplay or interaction. Or for players who just don't want to have leaders enforce rules.

It is a grand concept and has worked beautifully, however, the downside for these carefree, lawless group is that they have social, political, and personal disadvantages. This is the check and balance on roleplay reward.
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