What is Roleplaying?
This guide has been compiled by Leofrald

What is roleplaying?
Roleplaying (or for short 'RP'), quite simply put, is playing out the lives of your character inside the world of LotRO and acting on the events and inputs that happen around you in the game. Roleplaying does not require you to know every page of the Tolkien series by heart, as it will be unlikely that your character inside the game knows these by heart as well. It does help to have some knowledge about the worlds background however, so that when someone tells a story about slaying a Nazgul you know he is not talking about a pink elephant with earrings, but one of the undead creatures that roam these lands. 

Some terminology for new players out there
Most important is probably the difference between 'In Character' (IC) and 'Out Of Character' (OOC) roleplaying, this basically describes the border between what you as a player know (OOC) and what your character knows inside the game (IC). One of the hardest things for new roleplayers is perhaps separating their OOC knowledge from their IC knowledge.. there is however a big difference between the two, as your character is not privy to the information that you as a player knows. One of the most occuring examples is the name of a character you have never met before: as a player you see it floating above the head of a character, but your toon doesn't have that information.

If you want to do serious clean-cut roleplaying, you stick to these basic rules:

1. No OOC in /say
Anything typed in /say should always be In-Character. There are plenty of other channels for Out-of-Character messages. Even if it's something as innocent and simple as ((Whoops, typo)), you can just as easily put that in /tell, /f, /ra, /k, or /ooc to the people you are RPing with. Do not put OOC messages in /say, even bracketed, unless it is an absolute and justifiable emergency, as not doing so is rude to others.

2. IC Actions = IC Consequences
Newton's Third Law of Motion also applies to RP: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Always be prepared to accept the logical consequences of your character's actions; if you attack and rob somebody, do not be surprised if they and their friends come after you with a vendetta, and do not take this personally.

3. Keep OOC and IC Seperate
Do not use OOC excuses to avoid IC repurcussions of your character's actions. Conversely, do not take IC action against somebody for something that was OOC, or vice versa. That evil villain who wants to kill your character is not also an evil player who hates you as a player. Don't hold grudges OOCly for things that happen in RP. If you are unhappy or unsure, send them a /tell to clarify things.

4. No power-emoting
Also referred to as "god-modding". This means dictating another character’s actions to them, or not leaving room for them to respond to a situation. An example would be an emote such as “Frodo punches Sam in the face and knocks him out cold.” The correct way of doing this would be phrasing it as “Frodo throws a punch aimed at Sam’s face, trying to knock him out” or something similar which leaves room for the other player to react and respond how they choose. A couple of words can make all the difference. Power-emoting also includes actions which are totally unrealistic or unfeasible for your character to perform, such as parrying and dodging the blows of half a dozen swords from people attacking you simultaneously from every angle. This is LOTRO, not The Matrix.

5. No meta-gaming
“Metagaming” is using knowledge of IC things you have as a player, but which your character does not, in roleplaying. The simplest example is your character referring to somebody by their name without having been told it previously. You as a player can see the name above their heads, but your character does not. Larger problems can occur if a player uses their OOC knowledge of a story or plot to give their character an IC advantage, for instance.

6. Be Courteous to Each Other
We are all here for the same reason: to have fun RPing. Respect your fellow players, and respect their right to have fun. Always remember that there is a human being on the other side of the character or forum post, and treat them with dignity. If something they do annoys or agitates you, go take a break, calm down, sleep on it. 

7. OOC Consent
Some players are sensitive or less accepting to some kinds of RP than others. Before you start any kind of complicated or extreme roleplaying which could seriously change or adversely affect another person's character, it should be talked over OOCly and agreed with the other player. Things like beating, torture, romance, serious wounds, and death are examples of such RP.
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