For a beginner roleplayer, reading all the articles we've covered on character development, descriptions, history, time lines and everything else can be pretty intimidating. Of course, I happily talk about writing character descriptions and history, but if you're just starting out with roleplay, you may not know where these things fit in to the roleplaying experience. The answer to that, of course, is addons!
There are a ton of different addons crafted specifically for roleplayers, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We'll be going over several over the course of the next few weeks and showing you how to use these addons to full advantage. Today, we're going to start with one of the simplest to use: MyRoleplay.
MyRoleplay is an addon that integrates almost seamlessly with Blizzard's default UI. After installing and enabling the addon, you'll notice an extra tab on your character pane labelled MyRoleplay, as shown in the screenshot above. Clicking on this tab will take you to the MyRoleplay interface, which will give you pretty much everything you need to get started.
In your MyRoleplay tab, you'll notice several blank sections to fill out. You'll also notice a dropdown bar. You can create several different roleplay profiles for the same character with this addon and simply switch between them as you want them to be displayed. This comes in handy if your character is a master of disguise or simply has a different look about them when they wear different outfits.
What you place in these tabs is what people with roleplaying addons will see when they target you. It lets them know you're a roleplayer, and it also lets them know a little bit about your character.
The first section is for your name. This does not have to be the name of your actual character; it can be whatever you want your character's full name to be. Next to the name slot is the slot for a nickname -- and again, you can make this whatever you wish. If you named your character something that could be considered a nickname at character creation, you can by all means fill out a "real" name for that character and put the nickname in the nickname field. If not, you can fill out one or the other as you wish. The name field also allows you to put in a last name, if you'd like one for your character.
Underneath that are the basics -- eyes, race, height, weight and age. Plunk in the standard basics for your character, but be wary; if you are going to place a race in that racial slot that isn't the race of your character, you may run into roleplayers that don't really care to roleplay with you.
If you're wondering how old you should make your character, that's a really good question, and you should definitely check out our guides on the different races of Azeroth and where they fit in the Warcraft timelines for reference.
The next section is a little more lengthy to fill out. First, there's the Currently slot. This is just a quick one-off of what your character happens to be doing at the time -- what anyone who takes a quick glance at your character will see. If you're reading a book, put that in there. If you're staring off into space, that works too. Creating potions, walking with dire intent, picking your nose -- any of these things fit into that slot. Just keep it brief!
Next is the Description tab. The description isn't a slot for your character's history -- that's later. What it is for is to write a quick paragraph or two of what someone would see if they looked at your character -- how tall you are, the expression on your face, the way you stand, whether you look old or young or somewhere in between, if you have any noticeable scars or markings, that sort of thing. For more information on filling out a character description, we've got a full article on that, too.
The next slot is for your character's Home -- not where you were born, where you are currently living. If you don't have a place you call home, you can simply leave it blank.
Honestly, if there's any section you don't wish to fill out, you can just leave it blank; there's nothing that says you need to fill out everything if you don't wish to.
Next to Home is Birthplace, and that's where you'd fill in where your character is born. After that is a space for a motto. If your character has a catchphrase, something you say often or something that you live by, that's what you'd put in the motto slot. "For the Light," "Lok'tar Ogar," or even "What's in it for me?" all fit in this slot.
And then we come to the History tab. You can also choose to leave this blank if you wish. Character history is considered out-of-character information; the characters who speak to your character will not know his history, but the players behind those characters will. This is where the information about your character goes -- not what you look like but who they are, where you've been in the world, and why you're out in that world in the first place. If you don't wish to make this information common knowledge, you can simply leave this space blank.
However, if you'd like to give people a glimpse into the life of your character, this is the space to do it. This is also the part where you really want to make sure your facts are accurate in terms of where your character has been and seen of the world. If you're looking for inspiration as far as current topics for the various races and organizations of Azeroth, take a look at our series of character plot points, which covers a lot of information that may be pertinent to your character, whatever your character happens to be. We've also got a guide on creating a solid character history available as well.
The important thing to note with both the character description and the character history tab is that if you do choose to fill them out, you want to keep them short. People who read your roleplay description and history don't really want to read a novel. They just want the synopsis so they can get the facts and start roleplaying. In addition, you don't really want to give away every last bit of information about your character; doing so takes all the mystery out of getting to know you.
The last two sections are for your roleplaying style and your character status. Both of these slots have drop-down tabs with several selections to choose from. The roleplaying style tab is simply your style and speed of roleplay. If you only roleplay casually and usually spend your days doing other things, select casual roleplayer. If you roleplay pretty much everywhere, but with a few exceptions like Battlegrounds and instances, select normal roleplayer. If you roleplay everywhere, all the time, every second of every interaction with other people, select full-time roleplayer. And then of course, if you're a beginner to the world of roleplay, mark yourself as a roleplay beginner to let people know!
For character status, this is simply to mark whether or not you're currently available for roleplay. If you're out of character, that means anything you say to other people is being said out of character and shouldn't be taken as something your character is saying. In character means that you are speaking as your character would speak. Looking for contact means that you're not only in character, you're also looking for people to chat with. Storyteller means that you tell stories, of course!
Once your done filling it out, your work is done. Anyone with MyRoleplay can see your character's profile and check it out -- and you can see other people's profiles, too! You'll notice when you target people that they will sometimes have a small icon next to their player frame, a black circle with MRP on it. Click that circle, and you'll open their roleplay profile for viewing. The basics and character description are on the appearance tab, and their age, home, motto and history are located on the biography tab.
MyRoleplay is a really easy addon to use. And as an added bonus, it blends right in with the existing UI, so you don't have to worry about extra buttons or bars on your screen when you don't want them there. Roleplay addons like these are the best way to see who is available for roleplay and who isn't, and they're great for broadcasting your interest in roleplay to the rest of the roleplayers out there as well.
All the World's a Stage is your source for roleplaying ideas, innovations and ironies. Let us help you imagine what it's like to sacrifice spells for the story, totally immerse yourself in your roleplaying or even RP on a non-RP realm!