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Thread: Heavy Roleplay

  1. #1

    Heavy Roleplay

    I had a question, I see many people that roleplay claim to be "Heavy roleplayers" I am curious on the definition of "Heavy". To me it means a descriptive roleplayer that does not rely on the game generated graphics to describe where they are. Immersive roleplay with in depth, charchters who do more then simple conversation. I know my definition differs from some and would be interested in hearing what it means to other roleplayers out there. I would also like to know what people consider, Light and Medium ...thanks in advance for your replys!

  2. #2
    Here's my loose definitions.

    Light: Rp chat in an inn and around town.
    Medium: Some actions done IC, about half the time, may be involved in events
    Heavy: Played IC most of the time, may do quests IC, range from RPing in kinship & alliance events to a full-immersion RP

  3. #3
    Drink!

  4. #4
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    The kinship to which I belong, Daro a Maetho, considers itself a Heavy-RP kinship.

    Members are expected to be In-Character especially at events. Members are also encouraged to engage in RP whenever kin-mates are encountered. Kin chat is OOC as well as fellowship chat. Members generally have extensive biographies developed which place them in context of Middle-Earth. Grandiose liberties with the Lore are generally frowned upon, and characters quests and adventures in Lotro do not necessarily follow their back-stories. Our web site is also something of a database for recorded histories and developments regarding the kinship's mission and subdivided purposes.

    Some who consider themselves role-players really only enjoy utilizing emotes and they hardly seem to have any invested interest in their characters as vehicles (for lack of a better word) which can inspire free-thinking and generate an impromptu session of creative writing responsive to engagement with other 'role-players.'

    I hope this is helpful.
    Last edited by Breeon; Jul 24 2013 at 12:49 AM.

  5. #5
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    heavy roleplay & lore

    Quote Originally Posted by Breeon View Post
    Grandiose liberties with the Lore are generally frowned upon
    I would second this with regards to 'Heavy' Role-players. You could be utterly devoted to your character doing everything 'In-Character', down to stopping to tie your bootlaces every hour, and you could have an enormous backstory that could be its own novel, and you could do everything humanly possible to 'heavily' role-play your character but if that character is a lilac-skinned fairy princess, sister of Legolas married to Faramir... this isn't Heavy Roleplaying. And I think I just died inside.

    Nevertheless, I would also suggest one does not need to study and memorize every detail of Tolkien's lore either. Most heavy roleplayers seem to stay within what they know, and when they find they don't know something, they ask before jumping to conclusions. A good start for someone who doesn't know too much would be choosing to make a character who shouldn't know much in the first place! A poor farmer from Staddle might really be clueless about certain things, and may need to admit, "I know nearly nothing about these Haradrim you speak of."

    And I've found, though most heavy role-players are very dedicated to the art of it, generally they are not heavily judgmental or dismissive of others. If at any point you'd like to learn how to get more involved in this way, most are friendly and very happy to help beginners.

  6. #6
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    Very interesting.

    I have considered myself a light RPer on my main, but given the descriptions given above, I could be considered a medium-heavy RPer.

    Thanks for the enlightenment.
    Last edited by Alcor; Jul 12 2013 at 02:20 PM.

  7. #7
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    Role-Playing Should Be Enjoyable:

    I agree with Faengalith... well put, though I myself never wanted to be a 'lilac-skinned fairy princess, sister of Legolas married to Faramir.' Not to drown out the topic, but here are some additional thoughts...

    Role-playing can and should enhance the LotRO experience. Role-play is an exercise in free-thinking, free-writing, and storytelling. It is based, at least in part, on the art of improvisation, and uses visual and written cues as source materials from which to expound and expand upon.The intermingling of various backgrounds, situations, and sub-plots, offers endless opportunities for further character development and fuller immersion into the world that is Middle-Earth. There is no goal ultimately. Like life, it takes place in real time.

    At its worst role-play becomes an excuse for players to spy upon other characters and question the loyalties of their alternate characters to various kinships, a cosmetic application by which characters are clad in white text instead of the standard dull yellow, or simply a means for alleviating boredom.

    That being said, role-playing at its BEST is the natural continued development of a character's imagined personal struggles and story within the vast parameters of Tolkien's universe. Playing out these materials can become a thought provoking exercise which has a way of continuing to inform your characters with renewed life and commitment while allowing for a better understanding and feel for Middle-Earth. Whether through the format of a scheduled event, or via random encounters with others, role-playing can and should enhance one's appreciation for all aspects of the game.
    Last edited by Breeon; Jul 24 2013 at 12:51 AM. Reason: format
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  8. #8
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    Edit: Breeon and Faen basically touched on my points as I was writing this post (I had a break in the middle of writing :P) and more or less summarize my thoughts much less rambly than I do. Still I'll let my post stand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elben View Post
    Here's my loose definitions.

    Light: Rp chat in an inn and around town.
    Medium: Some actions done IC, about half the time, may be involved in events
    Heavy: Played IC most of the time, may do quests IC, range from RPing in kinship & alliance events to a full-immersion RP
    Totally disagree about doing quests IC as a category for heavy, and your light definition IMO is way too narrow.

    So many of the quests are completely unrealistic and, if you considered most to all of them IC, you'd be more or less committing genocide on every race in Middle-earth. What if your character is a non-combatant? What if they don't believe in killing if at all possible? Questing doesn't allow such things.

    I put quest RP in 'medium', because you're still using whatever story Turbine throws at you, you just reply to whatever text they give you with your own character. Exceptions to this are those who go... really, really far into it, so far as to walk from quest to quest, and walk to the locations given. That's heavy. But many I know who RP quests don't walk, myself included, so that would be medium RP.

    Heavy RP I think requires you to actually come up with your own plot rather than using something Turbine gave you and act from there. If you use some Turbine texts to support your own plot, it's still heavy.

    Using the category 'IC most of the time', if you mean during questing, is also a poor qualification for the level of RP. I want to get to 85 on a character. My character does not wield any weapons ICly. 72 levels have been spent thus far leveling OOCly. All RP has been heavy, with original text and dynamic plots.

    As for light, some tavern RP falls under this, but certainly not all. The one category that is almost always light is concert/dance RP. You very, very rarely see an emote that is not a generic one in dances or music playing. Instruments often pop out of thin air. Dialogue is light-hearted for the most part. Game mechanics are heavily used in the RP, such as using a fast travel stable horse to get from Moria to the Shire in one night and mentioning it as IC. Game mechanics that cannot be logically incorporated in Turbine's Middle-earth (for instance, the music bug in Bree in June) and, instead of using something even somewhat logical (mayor banned it) you say something that could only happen in a game world (all strings are broken!) and they don't make new ones out of cat gut as they were made from in the old days, because they're talking about a game mechanic. This is light.

    Some of my most deepest, character developing conversations and moments have taken place in Bree. Some of my most light-hearted conversations and moments happened in the wild on the shore of lake Evendim. Assuming that all tavern/town talk is light and trivial is a silly assumption.



    So I suppose I consider heavy roleplay the sort of roleplay that takes realism into thought as it applies to Tolkien's Middle-earth as adapted by Turbine and largely ignoring any game-side features (no, you cannot get to Moria from Bree in one day. Middle-earth does not have rocket horses. That is a game feature for ease. No, LMs and RKs cannot magically shoot lightning. No. No. No.), as well as deep, thought out characters with real, believable personalities and layers of depth-- motives, pet peeves, favorite things that aren't identical to the player's favorite things, things they're good at things they're bad at, believeable reasons for what they say and what they do.

    Most importantly, a good heavy RPer has a good, thick wall for IC and OOC actions. None of my characters are me. They may share some quirks with me (character A does this, and character B does this, and I do both of those). None of them are me in personality or 'me in Middle-earth being awesome' or 'superhero fairy princess warrior who doesn't look like me but is everything I idolise and she is amazing'. That's a Mary Sue. That is considered bad writing by many. If you're light and not doing it because you're a writer looking to work their craft (and enjoy it as you do), but simply do it because it's fun for you, that's fine. You're not looking to build a living, breathing character with their own thoughts and feelings. Not all RPers have that goal in mind. But if you want a stand-alone character, it's a terrible trait to have.

    One of my.. dozen... characters is a jerk. That jerk of a character just insulted your character. That does not mean he was insulting you. He was insulting your character. Heavy RPers, or those who want to be considered heavy, in my book realize this and act accordingly. If you do not most of the time, you're not a heavy RPer. While this is NOT true all the time, there is a section of light RPers that play themselves. That is where this person would be categorized.

    Whether this character never adventures or is out and about all the time does not matter. It's about actually attempting to give some form to your original character. If you do it poorly, or it's all a big walking laughable cliche (but you still have a decent IC/OOC barrier and aren't playing 'me in Middle-earth!'), it's still heavy RP-- some might just consider it bad heavy RP.


    You can be a mostly heavy RPer and engage in medium/light RP-- and vice versa, for all options-- too. I've dabbled in all sorts of RP, but I am definitely a heavy RPer... just one that likes to dance or play music without worrying about where on earth I pulled the harp from all of a sudden.
    Last edited by Laire; Jul 12 2013 at 06:43 PM.
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  9. #9

    Question Problem with roleplay as a female

    I have only just started play Lotro and I am a strong Tolkein fan and a very mature woman. Were I to roleplay in this world I would not be playing because women in Tolkein's world didn't do anything. In fact the only woman who took an active role in the story was Eowyn who wanted to fight but had to pretend to be a man to go into battle.

    So any female player who wants to play a female character has problems if she wants to follow the lore of the book. I was experimenting with a female elf hunter when I was asked to join a heavy roleplaying new kin on Laurelin. It sounded interesting but then it struck me that to roleplay my character I would not fit the lore of a female elf who would never leave home so I had to invent a bizarre bio to make it work and now I am wondering if I should just play a human from bree as that is much more likely than an elf.

    This idea of following the lore of the book would severely limit female players. How do others handle it?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharra1 View Post
    I have only just started play Lotro and I am a strong Tolkein fan and a very mature woman. Were I to roleplay in this world I would not be playing because women in Tolkein's world didn't do anything. In fact the only woman who took an active role in the story was Eowyn who wanted to fight but had to pretend to be a man to go into battle.

    So any female player who wants to play a female character has problems if she wants to follow the lore of the book. I was experimenting with a female elf hunter when I was asked to join a heavy roleplaying new kin on Laurelin. It sounded interesting but then it struck me that to roleplay my character I would not fit the lore of a female elf who would never leave home so I had to invent a bizarre bio to make it work and now I am wondering if I should just play a human from bree as that is much more likely than an elf.

    This idea of following the lore of the book would severely limit female players. How do others handle it?

    To say that women in Middle-earth did naught is not what we can see and learn in the books. There were a very many other roles in the world that women (but also men who did not go to war due to various reasons such as being too old, lamed, or/and being one of those whose mind turned to learning and matters of wisdom than war) took. To give some that now come to mind: healers, servant-folk at meal times, spinners, weavers, minstrels, scholars, poets, artificers. And also there were the Wise-women (and men) who had much knowledge concerning their people and tales of old.

    As for Eowyn it seems that she was trained to wear armor and use weapons, and if I remember aright (as it has been some time since I last re-read the book) we see her saying this in LotR. Also I remember reading that when Tolkien first imagined Eowyn’s character she was introduced with her cousin Hild, Theoden’s daughter and they were described as shield-maidens. She rode in disguise to Gondor because she deserted her post (to stay behind and be responsible for the women and children and eldery folk), which in M-e (or at least in some places and groups of people as we see throughout the different books and in LotR with Beregond for instance) was an unlawful act punishable by death.

    Furthermore in the appendices of LotR, in the part devoted to the House of Eorl, the professor notes that ''Many lords and warriors, and many fair and valiant women, are named in the songs of Rohan that still remember the North….'' Likely enough the ancestors of the Rohirrim were often attacked in their homes and the women had to defend them and their child/ren valiantly.

    And then there is also this from the Unfinished Tales (but I believe there is a brief mention of these women somewhere in the Silmarillion too):

    The Folk of Haleth were strangers to the other Atani, speaking an alien language; and though united with them in alliance with the Eldar, they remained a people apart. Among themselves they adhered to their own language, and though of necessity they learned Sindarin for communication with the Eldar and the other Atani, many spoke it haltingly, and some of those who seldom went beyond the borders of their own woods did not use it at all. They did not willingly adopt new things or customs, and retained many practices that seemed strange to the Eldar and the other Atani, with whom they had few dealings except in war. Nonetheless they were esteemed as loyal allies and redoubtable warriors, though the companies that they sent to battle beyond their borders were small. For they were and remained to their end a small people, chiefly concerned to protect their own woodlands, and they excelled in forest warfare. Indeed for long even those Orcs specially trained for this dared not set foot near their borders. One of the strange practices spoken of was that many of their warriors were women, though few of these went abroad to fight in the great battles. This custom was evidently ancient; for their chieftainess Haleth was a renowned Amazon with a picked bodyguard of women.


    Therefore a woman bearing arms and weapons -while surely not a common sight- it is not unheard of in Middle-earth from what we can see. It seems to me that the weight here lies more on the reason and cause rather than the act itself. So for example if a woman finds herself in a perilous case where she has to defend her child, it does not work against the lore if the player rp her fighting in order to save her son/daughter (and herself).

    Last but not least, Tolkien said in one of his letters: "I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama..."

    As long as the background and stories of our original characters (which can be concidered as some of the Free Peoples who though are never mentioned, they existed nonetheless) are not involved (or directly so at the very least) with the epic story and the well-known characters, we as role players can still rp in a way that does not damage/change the lore.


    And welcome to LotRO and to fair Laurelin! You chose wisely. Well done!

  11. #11
    *cough* no come to Landroval! lol

    I disgree with Light being just standing around the Pony. There are some very heavy RPers that rarely leave the walls of the town.

    Light RP - little character development. Mostly just attends concert events and fills the chat box with a spam flood of simple emotes such as dance. Maybe RP game quests.

    Medium RP - Further character development. Makes slightly longer emotes and begins to describe things better. Likely to use some in-game quests as part of the character. Either a noob with a lore-breaking bio, or a more experiance fellow who just doesn't have time to be on regularly, or are just getting started and havn't fleshed out their character yet. These people get involved in several events and storylines, but because they are often unconnected, it does little to develop the character.

    Heavy RP - Very developed character and bio. Longer and more descriptive emotes. Fully involved in many deep plotlines. Character grows over time as they make mistakes and overcome obstetrical. Might possibly tie a portion of a game quest into a bigger story once in a while. Many of these people even record their RP's then edit and blog them. Also often work oocly to organize community RP plots or among friends to come up with great plot twists for individual characters. And of course their bios are the most lore-abiding.

    And lastly no one ever becomes a Heavy RPer without at least passing through the Medium stage, so there's nothing wrong with that.

 

 

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