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Server time (UTC): 2021-10-21 05:26

A few tips about "In Character" actions for those who need them


Mace

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I'm seeing it more and more lately, and I understand a lot of people are new to the game or new to role-playing in general and I'd rather not get a reputation as the guy who reports everyone who fails to RP after being warned so I thought I would try to help educate people and give what advice I can about how to be In Character in a medium that isn't exactly built for it.

Voice vs. Text:

A big issue that a lot of people have is that voice seems to be considered an Out of Character (OOC) channel and text is In Character (IC). Now there are a lot of people who aren't comfortable role-playing over voice, either because they don't feel like they can do it, they may be embarrassed. Another issue might be that you feel you must match your voice to your character's exactly, which isn't the case.

If you play a grizzled Russian mercenary you don't need to speak of wodka and bears on unicycles comrade. As long as people understand that it is you who is talking you can stay In Character over voice if that suits you.

Personally I try to keep most of my work to text not only because it allows me to emote actions I may need to do just to enhance the RP, but I can add brackets around OOC text like ((This)) or //This, so that people know when I am being out of character.

If you need to say something OOC over voice, a good way to do so is just to mention it as a minor caveat. Simply say "Excuse me, hate to break up the RP, but I have a quick OOC question." That way people know you aren't trying to RP a psycho who can't figure out how to open his backpack or why he can't lift his gun up to his shoulder.

Typing Etiquette

I feel this requires a bit of explanation, and TrilbyAsh already has something about it in his own guide to role-playing (Found here: http://www.dayzrp.com/t-a-basic-roleplaying-guide ) but I feel it deserves to be reiterated and focused on for a lot of people. Emoticons are not In Character communication. If you type you can emote, or write out actions, surrounded by asterisks, for short actions.

For example:

Mace: Wow, thanks for that clip. Much appreciated. *The clip is slipped into his belt pouch with a grateful nod.*

Now not exactly the best RP out there, but it is something, and it adds another dimension to the game. It allows you to do something that is beyond the scope of the game to help with immersion.

Compare this to:

Mace: Thanks for the clip. Much appreciated. :D

I don't know about everyone else, but this comes off clunky, and is an obviously Out of Character comment that, while it isn't inherently damaging, still draws you out of the moment as a role-player. It's discordant and jarring for a lot of people and should be avoided unless you're making an OOC statement and then, remember your brackets.

Identification

Now this has been the topic of a few debates, and I'm going to offer a solely IC perspective about it. If someone asks you to state your name, you should do so because we are in a zombie apocalypse and no matter what people are going to be cautious. With the multitude of outfits and a very small amount of character customization, you may be asked to identify yourself by members of your own clan or people you know well enough, and this can be played off as simply as stating that nerves are getting to them or they didn't recognize your voice from a distance.

As for the identification itself, remember this is still an IC action and if you choose to announce yourself in text it should be with your name and any other information you wish to divulge.

Generally when I introduce myself I say something along these lines:

Mace: Hello, I'm Mace, a recruit for The Outpost Rangers.

Now with my [T][TOR] tags this is obvious, but you wouldn't know that unless you heard about my position or (When Clan Skins are released) you notice my badge and see that there is a recruit or some other trainee indication with it.

What you want to avoid, however, is something I see a lot of people doing when asked to identify themselves. This.

Mace[T][TOR]: "."

You could argue, however feebly, that it is you saying your name, but it shows a lack of effort. Try a little bit harder and make it something you will be proud of, something that people will remember.

How to Enhance your RP

Weigh your actions based on how your character would act. I know there has been at least some cracking down on people for not role-playing, especially in the more bandit-oriented parts of the game, and I agree that it needs to be done. DayZRP is about RP. If you play a bandit, have a reason for your banditry. Hell, if you're asked OOCly try to give a bit of reasoning about why you're robbing this particular person, and think about the risks versus the rewards.

Would you really want to risk your life in a zombie apocalypse ambushing someone who may have friends nearby when they don't have much visible, or when you yourself don't need much in the way of gear? What is it you're looking for? Do you raid simply because you don't have the ability to do anything else to sustain yourself? Marksmen should at least be able to hunt so unless it were a desperate situation food wouldn't be a major concern.

Are you robbing simply because you want to try to amass some great cache of weaponry? If that is the case, why? There are plenty of questions that you can ask yourself to help flesh out your character, and this is just a tip for those of you who may need a bit of help getting your RP together so you can continue to play the game the way you like.

As for the non-bandits or the bandits-only-when-absolutely-necessary, the same goes for you. If you refuse to rob people, why? Is it simply because of an association, like myself with TOR? The Free Medics vow pacifism and refuse to fight unless their lives are in danger (Or so I've heard) but why is that? What spurs your character to make the decisions they've made, to form the factions they have?

Here are some good questions to ask yourself about your character if you need some help filling out a personality:

What is your character's background? What did his or her parents do? Grandparents? Is there a particular profession that "runs in the blood" for them? Are they breaking out of that mold and trying to strike out into their own venture before the apocalypse?

What kind of education does your character have? Most characters in DayZRP from what I've seen are above 18, but did you finish school? Did you drop out to work and help support your family, did you simply fall in with a bad group in high school and get expelled?

In line with education, what were your character's aspirations before the apocalypse? Not everyone is (or should be) some form of military, and even if they were enlisted, did they always want to remain in the service? What did your character want to do with their life and, more importantly, how might that have an impact on their skills now that they're here?

Finally, and probably most importantly, what are your character's flaws? Think about the physical and mental areas in which your character suffers. My character, for example, has bad night vision which helps, in part, to explain why I am so horrible at navigating at night and constantly find myself lost or needing to be dragged along by group members.

Is there anything your character is simply horrible with? Some people play unable to properly fire a gun without training. Perhaps your character isn't the best driver, or is easily lost, small things that can easily be ported into the Arma2 experience and while they may not make you the number one asskicker in the game, help to give your character a bit of depth beyond "Supersolider #271."

Meta-gaming:

This deserves quite a bit of dedication, and thanks to Alpha for bringing it up so I can try to expand upon it and hopefully make it a bit easier to understand what this is and how to avoid it.

To put it simply, Meta-gaming is using OOC information for IC means or giving OOC information to others so that they can use it ICly. Now there are some instances when OOC information is going to be used ICly like if you know the server is going to be going down and you want to make sure you take the valuables out of your vehicle since it might not be there the next time you log on, but these are the exception and not the rule.

One of the big things that allows Meta-gaming to occur is the dedicated TeamSpeak channel that the server has. I say this because I've seen that people use this as a way to consolidate their items or control other people from a strictly OOC standpoint and while it may not be against the rules to do so I think that if you are going to use TeamSpeak you should try to make it IC. This falls into the same rules as using voice in the game, you're simply using communications equipment to discuss position or strategy with your group mates who are all keyed in to a specific channel/frequency.

This isn't to say that all your time on TeamSpeak should be spent IC of course, not at all. Quite often I just chew the fat and talk about random things with people I meet, or discuss OOC matters with people. I'll also say I'm guilty of meta-gaming in this way and am in no way trying to elevate myself. It is something that should be changed by everyone in order to help foster better role-playing.

It's going to be tough because, well, meta-gaming is easy, but from the quality of people I've seen here by and large I think the transition is possible and while it'll sting it should be mostly painless.

Other methods of meta-gaming include the Shoutbox though the rules are a bit more lenient as Zoarial himself has said that things which foster community-building among players are allowed, such as asking for a pick up in a certain spot. Trying to ruin another group's play, even if it is a group of bandits, is not though, and should be avoided at all costs.

Let me know if these tips help or if you find yourself needing any more help. If you have tips of your own that you'd like to have put into the main post and be given credit for, then PM me or post further down and I'll look over them.

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+1

Thank you for taking the time to write this. I know recently, we got plenty of new players and with the new rules, it is very important to stay in character all the time. I think this subject deserved explanations and tips.

For my part, I prefer doing RP with text chat. I use also alot of voice chat but I noticed my RP is way better with text chat. I also try to always use these "(( ))" when I speak out of character.

And thank you for the idea here ->

This -> Mace: Hello, I'm Mace, a recruit for The Outpost Rangers.

And this -> Mace[T][TOR]: "."

I did that mistake a couple of time, now I will be more careful. It's maybe quicker but it is alot OOC.

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  • Legend

Thank you Mace!!!!!

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Guest Alpha

The guide is very useful and I agree 100% with what you have said. Although there's something else I'd like to bring up as well.

What we need in-game is a /me command and perhaps a /do command, or an /action command. No clue if this is possible to script at all in a game like ArmA II, but with a /me command I mean a command that makes your name appear in a different color from the chat with your own custom line behind it, which would indicate an interaction with other players, objects or environment. /me should be used for things which can not be seen or done trough the game engine. Like, getting inside of a car wouldn't require a /me because it's already in the game, you can see someone stepping in a car, it does not require any out of character elaboration in order to understand what you are doing in characterly.

However, let's say you are roleplaying repairing something or doing something which isn't actually scriptwisely in the game such as mimics and emotion, they can be done trough a /me. I.E: "/me cracks a broad smile." The output of that would be "** [Name] cracks a broad smile. **" So for me it would be "** Rick Porter cracks a broad smile. **" This elaborates what you are doing or how you are feeling or looking in some certain situations and might make roleplay much more colorful and extensive, which makes it in my opinion way more interesting. Ofcourse you can just use the regular chat to indicate that such as *smiles* or *laughs* but that is a little bit characterless if you ask me.

Then there is the /do command, used on a lot of roleplaying servers along with the /me command. They both play an important role.

The /me command is used to indicate something your character does, something your character is interacting with, what your character's appearance is like or to explain the current mimics of your character.

The /do command or the /action command is to explain something happening or occurring within the environment or perhaps something character related you cannot explain from a first person perspective. Such as "/do Several noises can be heard in the background." Which would come out as just "** Several noises can be heard in the background. **". It might sound unnecessary but on long terms you will notice it is vital to make some roleplaying scenes more colorful or more elaborate.

Also what I have noticed a lot is people mixing in character with out of character. I have seen many people roleplaying so far, both on in-game chat and voice over and I personally prefer to use voice over because then people can hear the tone of my voice and recognize in the tone of my voice what kind of emotions I'm feeling or what mood I am in or how I want them to interpret it. (That's the pro of using voice that, it requires less /mes because people usually understand how you are meant to say something, you don't need to explain it over /me). But what I noticed is many people talking about OOC functionalities ICly. I see them roleplaying perfectly well but what happens is that people are going to mix up OOC things ICly and are going to say things such as 'use the mouse wheel and click this to do that' etcetera. That's what I see many people doing and that is, according to them, in-character, but it is not. You are talking about the outside world, the real world when you are talking about the controls of ArmAII. They're out of character, they have nothing to do with it in the actual IC world itself, because you are a living person, a character, IC-ly, nobody controls your character. It lives, it eats, it breathes, it shits, it sleeps, it talks, it feels, it loves, it hates, it thinks, it ponders, it runs and it memorizes. It is h owever up to you from an OOC perspective to develop your character and roleplay it as your own unique character. That's what you control, but you can absolutely not take anything from the OOC world into the IC world just like that. That is what many people tend to forget and what bothers me from time to time.

What I'm trying to say is that I think people should draw a clear line between IC events and OOC events. Think of a thick line between them. Keep everything that is out of character strictly to out of character chats, and don't go around saying things like people aren't fit for a clan or anything because of their out of character personality or behavior because that is irrelevant. What is relevant for your clan is how your character behaves and what your character's personality looks like. (Ofcourse his OOC personality is also important, if someone's being a total cock I can understand you don't want him to be apart of your clan) but it shouldn't be the main thing you're focusing on.

So to keep the story short, two things:

- People have to draw a clear line between IC and OOC; indicate everything that's out of character with double brackets in the CHAT, and preferably don't go OOC over voiceover.

- Suggesting a /me and a /do command to be added to make roleplay scenes more atmospheric and more elaborate.

Also here is two abbreviations and it's definitions of which I am convinced every decent roleplayer should be aware of.

Metagaming

Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.

In simple terms, it is the use of out-of-game information or resources to affect one's in-game decisions. (Source: Wikipedia)

Powergaming

Powergaming (or power gaming) is a style of interacting with games or game-like systems with the aim of maximising progress towards a specific goal, to the exclusion of other considerations such as (in video games, boardgames, and roleplaying games) storytelling, atmosphere and camaraderie. Due to its focus on the letter of the rules over the spirit of the rules, it is often seen as unsporting, un-fun, or unsociable. This behaviour is most often found in games with a wide range of game features, lengthy campaigns or prize tournaments such as role-playing, massively multiplayer or collectible games. (Source: Wikipedia)

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  • MVP

Honestly, I haven't read the entire thing, its a really long post :D

But it looks like really good info and you've obviously put a lot of effort into it. With the emphasis on staying IC these days, its great to have resources like this available. Good job!

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Alpha, some good points there. Also, in addition, people,killing RP with metagaming is not a good idea, really.

For example, I'm properly RP'ing patching a guy up, " *stitches the wounds, sanitize it with alcohol* and then someone is coming along with : "Yo brah, mind bloodbagging me?"

WTF DUDE. Imho things like blood bags are something like shortcuts for the situation that is "really" happening. And it can be interprated in multiple ways, blood bags can be stitching a wound, making a transfusion, taking a bullet out. Morphine can be used recreational, or to numb pain, or even as putting a leg into a splint.

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aint enough props in the world mace, good post mate.

couldn't agree more with the points made about banditry, and reasons for it. so easy to say "im taking whats yours cause theres no judicial system anymore and i can.." without actually incorporating that ethic into your characters psyche. action and reaction, cause and effect, real people have a reason for doing everything that they do, and your in-game charracter should be no different.

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I'll be updating the post later with topics of Meta and Powergaming with props to Alpha, and try to focus a bit on how to role-play things out that may seem a bit difficult to new role-players.

I agree a /me command would be great but I'm not sure if Arma2 can handle it honestly. I know for people who are used to it, asterisks are the devil and usually a sign of bad RP but it's become a necessity here.

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Great post man. I appreciate the clarification!

However, should I be saying "I'll just put this mag here" or should I just let it slip by in VOIP? I feel that would be... weird.

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Stone, I think part of it depends on the situation. Say you're in the Trading Post, which usually has a few people in it and you want to be sure whoever you're telling knows so they can pick it up. In that situation I, personally, would type it and remain knelt by the loot pile or the tent you use to hold it so the know where to get it.

If it's just a bit of IC flavor either way is fine really. Just remember that VOIP does have a longer range than text and sometimes if you're typing things to people who are particularly far away they may not catch it and you may need to use direct chat to communicate with them.

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  • Emerald

Rule #83 of Zombieland: Don't be cliche.

Sorry to inform most of you, but there are a lot of combat medics, loads of veterans, etc. I was even surprised that there wasn't a drug syndicate when I got here, but with my plans and backstory I feel the Employer is unique enough.

But please try to find a character or a path of development that gives your character some interesting motivations that aren't just the objective hero or predictable bandit. Have specific goals behind your actions. The Employer isn't a drug boss because it is his belief system or canon religious code, but it is a means to an end that I will not spoil. Be creative, be original, and don't be afraid to google some writing workshops or practice basic voice acting.

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Double kudos for the "How to enhance your RP" bit. Not everyone can drive a bus. Or replace a car wheel, let alone fix and pilot a helicopter... Some characters might be a horrible shot, some might be good with a rifle, but useless with the recoil of Assault rifles...

In my case, it's good with cars, food and rifles, bad with pretty much everything else... Which makes him surviving by himself barely viable, but he'd need help for medical stuff and such, and he'd be toast in firefights, or even getting swarmed in cities. He /was/ also a bit naive, but his first week in the region took care of that...

It's great fun when you're with other people, and you're useless at something... And great thrill when you're forced to cross bandit territory, and hide from cars, while looking for help.

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  • Emerald

I agree, too many cliche military soldiers! But the problem is honestly this, everyone has something they want to do. Whether it is military soldier, or conniving bandit or kidnapper, or even a smuggler, since the Injected have their thing, people may want to smuggle stuff through their territory, but all of these things have been done before. Nothing is not cliche anymore, just an uncommonly used Cliche, originality is truly a myth, just experiences people have not been exposed to, but those experiences have been created already by someone else. Everyone can add a "unique twist" but those have also been done, now an individual, those are all unique, truly unique, I agree with the Employer about that at least, that every character as an individual can bring their own unique flavor to their specific cliche.

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In the year 2013 only one man can stand up against the zombie outbreak of Chernarus. No. One machine.

Actually it's a hybrid Bear/Tiger/Lion/Shark/T-Rex/Human/Cyborg from the future who has been sent back because he has to obtain a sample of the disease in its original form, not the mutated strains that are found thousands of years in the future where not only humans, but animals and plants both succumb to zombie-itis, as it is formally known.

This Bear/Tiger/Lion/Shark/T-Rex/Human/Cyborg from the future, built without emotions, isn't going to suddenly find love and cry. Fuck that noise. He doesn't even have tear ducts. You know what he has? He has god damn MISSILE DUCTS. If he so much as tries to squeeze out some weak purely biological indicator of sadness he fires micro-nuke clusters in front of him so that whatever is making him act like such a pussy is obliterated or at least in for a painful life of concentrated future radiation.

Now I could go on about the physiology of the Bear/Tiger/Lion/Shark/T-Rex/Human/Cyborg all day, but the delicate blend of nanofiber meshes and impact-absorbing "fur," not to mention the shiny chrome cyborg parts that totally look like they're from thousands of years in the future, would probably be more than any layperson could handle who doesn't have an engineering degree in Parazoologicalcybermancy.

What matters is that he is here now. A time-traveling saint from ages not yet realized who wields in his might paw-fin-hands the secret to the eradication of the zombie outbreak. In his furry, sharkskin-textured superdigits he grasps the delicate balance of the world, the choice to doom it or to reclaim it.

His name...Is Super Secret Agent Richard Strongthrob.

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  • MVP

I am the only terrorist in the game, I hope I am. If I'm not i'm gonna kill the other one.

but seriously, I try to be different from the others. Too much "military" etc.

I agree. While I have nothing against roleplaying a(n) (ex) soldier, I don't get why everyone wants to be a killing machine so badly. My character is pretty similar to me, which means he's not a hero. He would, however, do anything to protect those he loves. And he's better at following orders than at giving them. The lack of initiative makes him a bad leader, but the loyalty and discipline makes up for that.

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  • Sapphire

Side-Question: What's the range on direct chat?

My character is also very similar to me. Raised with survivalism in mind (in my case, great grandparents that grew up in the depression and understood how important stockpiling and self-sufficiency was), outdoorsy upbringing, exposure and experience with firearms, and a one-day-at-a-time outlook. No former military, no special training. My character can change a tire, but repairing the engine or fuel tank of a car just isn't going to happen.

She's a former coffee shop owner that went camping and shooting on a regular basis, not some former special operations badass.

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