How to Generate Roleplay
There comes a time in any MU* player's experience when the inevitable happens: you can't find RP. This can occur for many different reasons. Maybe no one's online at the time, or you can't find folks on the grid or maybe you've been idling in the OOC area, bar or apartment and nothing's happening at all.
Never fear, for there are many things *you* can do to help solve this problem! Yes, you can actively do something to help generate RP, either for yourself or for others who might be in this very same predicament.
For the situation where you've had your character sitting in a bar, but no one's dropped by, check the +who or +where list to see where everyone else is hanging out. Perhaps there's something going on at the pub down the street and that's where you have to go to find the action. When logging on, even if no one is on the WHO list, don't just logoff. Chances are, a dozen others before you did the same thing. If you hang on for about 15 or 20 minutes while you check your e-mail, it's possible others might logon and stay. They might even want to RP!
Nine times out of ten, there's something that *you*, the player, can do to help generate RP. Here are some suggestions:
- Are you set UNFINDABLE? Folks can't RP with you if they can't find you. If you're not sure, typing "@set me=!unfindable" should clear the flag (if set) and make you visible on the +who or +where listings.
- Don't hide away. If you're always in your character's apartment or hiding hole, RP will likely not find you (especially if others have no IC reason to be there).
- Try to include others in your RP. Aside from just hiding away, try to limit your private RP if possible. Private scenes are great fun and sometimes necessary, but consider those on the grid looking for RP. If your scene can be a public one, why not consider moving it to a more public space to include others (if possible). If it can't, consider getting your character out in the public grid after the scene if you can. Can't find RP? Go to where the people are (again, +who and +where are your friends).
- Don't limit your RP partners. If you only RP with Dick and Jane, what will you do when you're online and they're not?
- Don't idle unless you have to. Folks are less inclined to try to find RP with someone who has been idled 47 minutes than someone who idles no longer than 5 minutes at a time, right?
- Bend your character a little if necessary. Your character isn't 'into' the bar scene, but everyone on the MU* is at the local pub? Bend the character just slightly and find an excuse to get him there. Say he's only there for the coffee, or he was looking for a friend who is known to frequent the establishment. Remember that the RP can move to another venue from there.
- Can't find anyone? Page someone. Just a friendly little page to another player to see if they're free for RP is more than reasonable (especially if everyone on the +who listing is UNFINDABLE).
- Be pro-active, not reactive. RP does not always come to those who wait. Get out there and be active. Even talk to the staffers about how your character can get more involved ICly; they might just have some good suggestions for you.
Remember that RP starts with you, the player. If you're out there on the grid, making yourself available, being enthusiastic about RP and trying to actively keep RP alive and kicking, you might actually start something. People might clue into this and follow your example and before you know it, you're never starved for roleplay again! (In an ideal world... but we can all dream, right?)
Notes About the Author:
Siobhan is the MUSH Coordinator at Online Gaming Resource MUSH and has been MU*ing since about 1993. She's only been staffing since about 1997 or so, but has been online since the days of the BBS', back when she was co-sysop and message-op on several local bulletin board systems. Now, she enjoys MU*ing, messing about with HTML and graphics, and running OGR. Aside from her online hobbies, she enjoys her involvement in the Society for Creative Anachronism, sketching, painting, listening to music, reading books and dancing.
Personal e-mail: email@example.com.
MUSH e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave +mail for her at: telnet://eccles.tzo.net:670