Back to Basics:
What new players should know, and old ones should remember....
By Kelly Bonci (Dame Twenaria) and Angela Earle Gray (Dame Phoenix of Folkestone)
Originally published in The View from Valehaven, 2nd Edition, Volume 1, Issue 1, June/July 2004.
PART I: When new players join our game there is often an emphasis on combat. The importance of learning to call blows properly and fight safely is rightfully recognized. However, there is a tendency to overlook the value of studying our in-character world, and the benefit of role-playing. Remembering the following when in-character can help you immerse yourself in the Realms world.
· There are no such things as "NPC's" (Or Non-Player Characters). Thus, "look the NPC's are coming," is not an IC (or In-Character) statement. Try to figure out what you are fighting, and call them what they are, be it Trolls, Goblins, or brown, furry beasts. It is often helpful to ask an NPC to describe what they are playing to you, and keep that mental picture in your mind. For example if when fighting a Drider you understand they have eight legs, the fact that they are immune to leg shots can add to your mental picture. You can boast. "I took off one of his hairy legs, but he stood strong on his other seven, seemingly oblivious to my blows!"
· Characters always take their shots. It is frustrating to fight against someone who doesn't seem to be taking their blows. It is an appropriate situation to go out of character to talk to a Marshal. Then try to let it go, or avoid fighting that particular person. Taking blows is an OOC (or Out-of-Character) mechanic, and focusing on if people are doing it well or not, changes your focus to an OOC one.
· Your role-playing doesn't just add to the game for you. Many people come to Realms to immerse themselves in a living fantasy world. When you are in-character, it helps others play in-character and enjoy the game more. You may be able to come up with some wonderfully creative reasons that you have cell phones, soda cans. baseball hats, and other modern items. That doesn't change the fact that the presence of these items will often detract from the experience of others.
· Having appropriate garb helps maintain the illusion for people as well. There are many simple and inexpensive ways to obtain or create garb, some are listed in the Newbie Guide, and more will be in future entries of this column. The most essential advice is to avoid clothes with advertising, or lettering.
· Ask questions. Forming a picture of the world helps make it easier to live in it. Knowing where your character is from and their age lets you know where to focus your energy on. If you've lived in an area you should know something about what the land is like and who is in charge. A sense of major events that have occurred there in your lifetime helps a lot too.
There are as many other pieces of advice as there are oldbies. Ask around, people are willing to share lots of tips. We are happy you're here. New characters add to the role-playing experience for us, and most of us would be happy to help add to the experience for you.
Just remember to catch us when we are out of character. J