Hello TORWarriors! We here at TORWars orbital command are constantly looking for new and unique content to keep you, our loyal followers, entertained. Meet Ace who is a Star Wars: The Old Republic role-player (RP’r). We have found a need among our content and that is in the RP arena. Ace has agreed to help us out by writing for you a primer of sorts. Some of you are avid RP’rs and really don’t need this basic primer, but many players are interested in the idea of RP and are afraid to try something out. If you need a place to start, then listen to Ace.
I would love to make Ace a regular here at TORWars. So, give him a nice big welcome. – Signed, The Editor
Hello TORWarriors, my normal internet/gaming handle is Ace but within the TORWars guild you may find me as Xal’Griz, the evil Chiss Powertech, usually playing with my constant companion Keladrie, the true blue Imperial SIS Sniper. This is my first piece for TORWars and I just plan on keeping this first article simple, starting with a few common-sense guidelines I have found during my time as a Role Player in SWTOR, along with an overview of the different kinds of RP. I would also like to introduce myself as well in this first article, and that sounds like as good a transition as any.
I have been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic since pre-launch, and have enjoyed it immensely, though I have never been able to put the hours I would like into it. But, that in turn has helped me from getting bored with it and suffer from many of the problems people had with the game early on, allowing me to still be as excited and exuberant as I was at launch about most things. As well as being a RP player, I take great pleasure in Operations, though I never get to do it anymore due to my scheduling, something that I hope can be fixed when I get to fifty with my Powertech with the new guild. And most importantly about me, I am a literal Star Wars super fan, collecting and owning roughly 80 percent of the written books and starting in on the comics, but that’s just a primer on me, now on to the purpose of this article.
Two Ways To RP
There are two ways to RP, both satisfying and for the most part, still fall under the same general rule set and etiquette.
The first way, and the most predominate by far, is what I call Cantina RP, because as the name implies, this type is most prominently found in the various cantina’s within the SWTOR universe. It is almost always fun, relaxed, and has no meaning other than spur of the moment enjoyment. Most RP guilds I have seen tend to subscribe to this form of role-play since it is easier to manage, doesn’t require as much time and effort and is also the way that most people meet up for RP. So, if you’re looking for a guild or if a guild is looking for recruits this would be the best place. Nar Shadda, Hoth, and Tatooine being the most predominate cantina’s I can think of besides the Fleet to sell your guild to potential RP recruits.
The second way is actually my personal favorite, so I apologize if it seems like I go into more detail with it since it is my preferred style. This is also very intricate and requires more in depth explanation for you to really understand. If I had to try and put a name on this style I would call it Arc Role-Playing, but if there is another name for it please feel free to comment below so we can all learn. Basically, Arc Role-Playing is where you, the player, write a back story for your character within BioWare’s story (known as canon) within the game.
People often wonder where a good place to start their own story is and I would say that before your character’s class story actually starts is a great place. This is so you differentiate yourself from BioWare’s original story canon. So, using your character as a portrait for your imagination, write your own story out, this is also known as head canon. Now that is just a simple way of putting it, the finer details are a lot more challenging and for me personally gratifying. The best example I can give of this style in practice is what my old guild (not founded by me for the record, though until its implosion I was a high ranking member) did which is, the guild founder RP’d as the Emperor of the Sith, and he elected a Dark Council which were RP’d by the high ranking guild members with administrative authorities. The rest of the guild RP’d their characters within the story that was being created by the guild leaders.
Obviously in each characters story they become some person of importance within the game’s story and galaxy, and given the number of players it isn’t exactly feasible for every Sith Warrior to be the Emperor’s Wrath (for example) so that is why the guild created its own story arc that started with the overall situations that the galaxy is in at the end of the main story, eliminating any of the plot specific elements that each class has. This allowed us to not be hampered with down time in the RP while BioWare created more content, and we incorporated the Operations and Flashpoints that came out into our Arc as one-off events for actual RP. Of course we still ran them weekly and daily, but they could and did only happen once in the canon of our story.
When my guild first started on this style of RP, there was a surprising (to me at least) amount of backlash from the server community against us, mostly stemming from our guild leader proclaiming himself as the Emperor. I would like to think that most of this was from the community not understanding what we were trying to accomplish, but due to the events that ended the guild it was more we had too polarizing of a guild leader (but that is totally off-topic and a tale best left in the dirt). I would also like to point out this is an example of how a guild would operate this style of RP, but it still has the same values when you are using it for personal pleasure as well, by removing your character from SWTOR’s storyline and creating your own.
Those are the two most common types of RP that I have found in SWTOR so far, but even those very different styles tend to follow and have the same set of guidelines for the actual role play.
I do not have a particular order in which these should be followed because I believe they are all important and of equal value, so I will just dive right in.
When in character (also known as IC), it is proper to use the /say channel, so that you are not spamming world chat, and hopefully when we have chat bubbles it will be how you activate those as well. It also adds realism for me because it shows up as “Xal’Griz says….” so it looks nice in the chat box. I also recommend configuring at least two if not three channels in your chat box. I have one for normal use, one for RP, and one for Operations, in order to make sure I can see what I need to see when I need to see it in any of those situations.
Also, for the sake of consistency, even if you don’t plan to be in a guild, it is nice to have a back story typed or written out that you can refer too when RP’ing. It also helps you to predetermine your characters attitude and demeanor, and keep track of your successes and failures.
When role playing I would recommend dismissing companions and mini pets. With only four classes to choose from (each subtype has the same companions for each class), you could potentially end up with the same companions out and I personally find that to ruin immersion for me. I would also venture to say that a good RP doesn’t feature the games companions at all, since, like I’ve said, they are interchangeable with someone who has the same class. The mini-pet thing is probably not so much an issue other than it wouldn’t be practical to have TaunTaun in the desert on Tatooine, and so on and so forth.
Probably the most important tip I could give is this, never make a choice for someone or corner them IC into a choice that would hurt or harm their character without at first talking to the other player about it and making sure they are okay with it. Also, in order to make dueling as fair as possible I always recommend having an empty modded suit that looks the way you like. Of course, this only works if the other person has the same thing, so this would be more of a guild rule than random RP. Still, looking the part you are trying to RP is always a good idea, so I find having multiple sets of armor to be both practical and helpful.
This concludes all I have for this article; I hope that you all liked it and please leave comments and questions down below. Also, if there is an aspect that you would like me to cover or go into more detail about let me know and I will be more than happy to do that. Until we meet again, stay frosty.