Roleplaying is one the most entertaining aspects of Ultima Online. If you are growing tired of the "see monster, kill monster" attitude and wish to do something new, roleplaying might be what you are looking for. This article will give an overview of roleplaying from my experiences on Chesapeake (Woo Haa!!) and all the things that come along with it. Remember, roleplaying might not be for everyone but it is a great alternative once you grow weary of killing monsters, hunting or whatnot. I have spent about 10 months roleplaying and my experiences have led me to write this article.
Roleplaying can be defined in many different ways but there is one example that probably sums it all up. Imagine that you are an actor in a movie. You first need to have a background for your character, then build on it. Your character might speak with an accent or maybe he/she doesn't speak at all but uses motion *emotes* instead. Your character might also dress a certain way, as well as act a certain way when a situation comes up. Roleplaying is not just this, but that is a quick example. Roleplaying is really only limited to your imagination.
Now, let's say you wish to try your hand at roleplaying. You ask yourself, "Who/what should I be?" Well, there are many choices available. You might want to be a "good guy" that will rid the world of all evil or you wish to be an Orc that goes out with his warparty and "clomps de humies". It all depends on what you wish to do with your character. The possibilities are endless. But before you go out and make a new character for roleplaying, you should go to one of the many websites to see how to make your character, how your character should act, what skills you should have, or even what language your character is supposed to speak. When roleplaying, it is a cardinal rule to stay in character, which means as if you were that actual person. It keeps the atmosphere roleplayish as well as make it interesting.
RolePlaying Tips From the Pros:
I spoke with a couple of the main people of roleplaying on Chesapeake and got a couple of comments from them concerning aspects of roleplaying.
When I interviewed Korin the Scribe, from the City
of Haven, I asked him, "How does one come up with
quests and run them efficiently?"
He responded, "Well there are several ways to "make up a quest". You can use an existing place in the game and "build" your story around it. And make up a history and reason for that place being there. Provide a reason for others to interact with with this place. Give them a goal and provide a final outcome to it. Or you can create an event or a chain of events around a person or persons. Like for instance a person is poisoned by a rival and the quest must be to not only find the antidote in time but to find the poisoner as well.
Or you can bring in fiction totally unrelated to the 'setting'. Such as being the only being of your elfish race to yet live. Or a Dragon trapped in a mortals body. There are several possibilities here. There are of course many ways to make a quest and these are but a few I have briefly touched. Mainly to be a good quest maker you have to have two things.
#1. A VERY good imagination and the ability to translate that into something that other people will like.
#2. You have to be a good organizer. You cannot believe the small details that some people overlook when making a quest. And it is these small details that can make or break your quest."
I then went to see one of the darker, evil figures of roleplaying, Uziel of Ungol, the Dark Father of Caitiff. After giving him a couple of blood vials to spare me, I asked him, "What do you think are the key elements in roleplaying an evil character?"
After finally taking his eyes off my neck, he said "In my opinion, presence makes an evil roleplayer. If you radiate an aura that makes others fear you without having to say a word, you have an advantage. One thing that's important is that your character shouldn't really be aware that they are evil. It's kind of like how only sane people question their sanity and the insane would refuse to believe they are insane. If you are portraying evil and your character believes what they are doing is right, it may seem even more diabolical to observers."
a shudder I left ... quickly. I headed towards the Orc Fort
of the Olag Hai Clan. I encountered an Orc Guard named Mu'grak.
I decided to try to ask him a couple of questions but as
I was fumbling through my notes, he said "Yub mi
tink dat lat iz smelie agh tuupid. Huw cumz lat looz quztuns?
Wud humie ebur du dat? Smelie! Bedur git dim quztuns!"
Now, my Orcish is not great and I could not hold back
my laughter. Seeing that I was laughing, Mu'grak retorted
"Tuupid smelie. Lat tink ebryting iz funy! Ib nub
funy! Lat smelie wid dat nub gruk eenyting agh blah lyk
lat gruk tingies. Lat nub eben gruk wud mi blahn!"
*note to self* Orcs do not like Elves. :)
Usually among roleplaying groups, there is a place that they call home. This might range from a small house to a full fledged city that spans beyond the horizons. There are a couple of major places on Chesapeake that stand out amongest the others that are home to roleplayers of all types. There is PaxLair, undeniably the most popular player town on Chesapeake. It has had GM/Seer support for quite some time and will keep getting it from the looks of it. A new city, the City of Haven, is home to the UBB of Chesapeake as well as being the craftsmen's heaven. Dragon's Bay is also a new city, with it's emmensly popular provision shop, the Falconer's Inn. The Olag Hai Clan'shome is based within the actual orc fort north of Britain. The Clan of Vampires control Gehenna, the Last City, northwest of the dungeon Wrong which is a city with an evil atmosphere to it. The Marrach Lir, just south of the UOSS Shard Center of Chesapeake, is home to the murder mystery parties as well as anything else they come up with (which is quite a bit and fun too). The Village of Humilty, on the Fire Isle, is home to the Tower of Gathering *smiles* which is known for it's extensive goods and Wyvern's Tavern on the roof of the Tower. And last, but defiantly not least, is Corwyn, the City of Virtues which is home to the Black Rose Brewery. These are not all of the establishments, there are quite a bit more, but these are the ones that stand out to me the most. All these places have their own crowds and roleplayers, but are also welcome to anyone out there.
Quests are a major part of roleplaying. They are the stories and events that happen for some reason that will lead to another quest at a later date. There are two types of quests: Seer Quests and Player Quests. There are very big differences between the two.
A Seer Quest is a quest that is run by one or more Seers
(go figure). Seers are the light green robed "counselors"
but they sometimes play as other key people in the quest.
Seer quests are usually more wide scale then player quests
because almost anything
can be done by a Seer. An example of a recent Chesapeake Seer
Quest is the quest of Dragar. Dragar was the ruler of Dragons,
as he had many at his side when fighting. He was in search
of the Ice Armor (pictured here) which would make him invulnerable.
There were many different people and guilds involved in this
quest which make it a lot bigger than Player Quests. There
were also many exotic places made to be part of this quest,
such as Dragar's hideout, the cave of Skorr, and much more.
All this adds to the feel of these types of quests.
Player Quests are much different then Seer Quests but this is when you see people's imaginations at work. Most player quests revolve around a battle between good and evil or a search for some lost artifact. There are also certain guilds involved that come out during certain parts of a quest. These quests can take place almost anywhere, have plot twists, and so on. In one quest for example, the "bad guys" might be searching for jewels that control people's minds that were created a long time ago but the only people that know the present location might not be so willing to give up the information without having them do/get something for them. Player quests don't have the nice, authentic scenery that some Seer quests have but the people running the quests come up with certain places that play a role in the plot. Some favorites are the inside of the Terathan Keep, the Hedge Maze Mansion, Player-run cities, or any other place that can be used.
Types of Roleplayers:
With all these different aspects of roleplaying, there are also different types of roleplayers. These roleplayers are the ones that "get into it". Below is a brief summary of the types of roleplayers.
Literary roleplayers are people that get deeply involved in stories. A good example of this is can be found at the Marrach Lir. These literary roleplayers use tales and stories in a setting that enhances their experience. Most of their time is spent in a small group or one on one interactions. They take their character and allow in-game events and interactions to mold and shape the character. This type of roleplaying is probably the toughest but most enjoyable because you immerse yourself within a story line that can keep folding into something new and exciting.
Battle roleplayers are the people that specialize in PvP but use it in a roleplaying sense which usually is the struggle between good and evil. But unlike other types of PvP, roleplayed battles have rules which all sides abide by. There is no looting of corpses, no killing blues unless they interfere, no giving murder counts, and when someone dies, they must be resurrected as soon as possible and can not be attacked again unless they wish to continue fighting. This roleplaying type is for those that enjoy fighting yet wish to get involved in roleplaying.
Questing/adventuring roleplayers enjoy the story line of a quest and follow it till it's end. They are kind of a like a mix of literary and battle roleplayers. These people fight in battles, interact with characters, and try to accomplish a goal set by whomever is running the quest.
I hope this guide helps you out on your way to roleplaying. It is probably the funnest time I have had in UO. But remember, it is not for everyone but you should still try your hand at it. This guide was written from my experiences on the Chesapeake shard, so some things might be different on other shards. Now, go out there and roleplay!!
I would like to thank all the people that helped me write this article, as well as all the people that have supported me in my UO life. Special thanks to the City of Haven, and you know why. :) Also thanks to Pfredd, whom without him, I wouldn't be here.
Narga Saiyen of the Saiyen Elves, Wynd Tribe
Adept Roleplayer :)