Role Play Basics

What is good RP?

  • First and foremost - RP that others will enjoy. If you have a fairly good grasp on your character, can convey that in your pose and you can engage others in your poses, you will have a head start.
  • Your pose creates a word picture for others - what are they seeing/hearing/smelling/feeling/tasting when your character does something?

What isn't good RP?

  • Continual one-liners that are vague and miss RP hooks others pitch to you.
  • Passive RP (no one wants to carry the entire scene all by themselves).
  • Steamroller RP - if you can write your next pose before getting any responses, that's a bad sign.
  • Chronic misspelling, typos and glaring grammar mistakes (we all do this occasionally BUT really if you want to be sought-out for RP or Searched to Impress, you need to use a spell check and proof-read scan your pose before hitting enter).

Below is a more in-depth help how-to:


During the course of candidacy at Xanadu, one of the primary ways that the SearchCo, candidates, and other members of the Weyr get to know you is through your role-play. Getting out and about to scene with people is one of the best ways of showing you are active, enthusiastic, and ready to be involved around the Weyr. However, activity isn't the only thing that we look for from Candidates. We're looking to see that you have a well developed character and that you can interact according to some generally accepted role-play guidelines.

This page is meant to give Candidates and other members of the Weyr an idea of the basic rules to follow when being involved in role-play here on Pernworld (as well as many other games).

NOTE: This is a work in progress by the SearchCo/Staff of Xanadu. Pardon our dust.

Creating a Good Character:

Creating a good character is a key starting point to having fun, engaging role-play. If you haven't already, take a moment to think about the character you've created and what brought them to where they are today. Delve in to the past and seek out those little events throughout their lives that made them see the world in that unique way every character has. Consider such things as:

  • Your character's relationship to his/her parents.
  • Your characters dreams and aspirations.
  • Your character's skills and hobbies
  • Your character's quirks and odd habbits.
  • The people who have influenced and continue to be a part of your character's life.
  • How your character came to the job/profession they have.

Keep these things in mind as you begin to role-play. They will serve as good guidelines for how your character will react to things. Think of your characters as if they were a real person - by the age of twelve, they have already had plenty of events that have shaped the way they see the world. Friends, enemies, loved ones, happy and sad moments - all these things come together to round out the character.

Role-play Etiquette

Part 1: Starting/Joining a Scene

  • Ask before jumping into a scene already being played. There could be any number of reasons why players might want to keep a scene small or private. Sometimes a scene is set to handle some personal relationship between two characters. Other times, a scene is already large and a player may have trouble handling another addition. Be polite if they don't have room for you, and be polite if you have to turn someone else down.
  • When joining a scene, be aware of the current setting. Take a moment to observe the scene or ask the players if they would mind adding a new scene-set so you can have an idea of what's going on.
  • When looking for RP, ask politely. Check the command: xaw .who rp to see who is set as available for RP. When you page or ask on the channel, do so nicely. Refrain from quips about being 'bored' or commenting on people being holed up in their weyrs. Ask no more than once an hour, and be able to accept that there won't always be someone able to RP at all times of the day.

Part 2: Pose Guidelines

  • Pose order. In smaller scenes, it's good practice to talk to others and follow some sort of pose order so that everyone gets a chance to be involved. This usually means waiting until others have had a chance to pose before you do. In larger scenes, usually pose-order gets tossed out in exchange for quick-fire poses usually in small groups or in response to certain events (like at a hatching).
  • Spell/typo check. While not everyone has access to a spellchecking client, you should at least make an effort to fix as many typos and spelling mistakes as you can before sending your pose.
  • Give others something to play off of. While it's understandable that there might be a sullen or unsociable character or two out there, keep in mind that other players need something to interact with you about. Try not to force others to be the ones to carry the scene. If your character can't show interest in others, at least make the circumstances interesting to keep things moving.
  • Read thoroughly. Take time to read the poses that others are giving you. Often times, there are plenty of interesting things in their poses that you could hook on to for additional role-play opportunities. If you read and react to them, they will do the same for you, and that makes for far more interesting scenes. If you miss entire sections of someone's pose, especially ones aimed at you, the player is likely to think you aren't paying attention.
  • Avoid thought posing when possible. There might be people who can hear dragons' thoughts, but there are none who can hear people's thoughts. No character is a mind-reader. Your character's internal thoughts are not something any other player can 'read' or respond to, so try to avoid entire sentences or poses made up of thoughts alone. If you need to include a thought, consider how it might be visible to the outside eye: His brows furrow with a worrisome thought. She raises an eyebrow with an expression that questions your sanity.
  • Avoid powerposing. Powerposing is the act of performing some act that forces another character. As many games are consent based , it is important to give others the chance to react. This usually falls into play with combat - where you should always leave poses open ended. However, there are more simple variations as well. A hug or a hand on the shoulder might not seem like major things, but it's important to ask first just in case.
  • Avoid powergaming. Powergaming within the setting of Pern usually means having a character who has some excessively high level of skill or physical prowess than what they should for their age. A fifteen year old apprentice shouldn't be outshining a journeyman, and a waif of a girl shouldn't be out-lifting a physically trained smith. No character should be good at absolutely everything, and every character should have faults.
  • Keep general rating in mind. If your language or behavior is going to go above a PG-13 level in a public area, you may want to ask if people are bothered by it. It's also important to note this when logging so that no one has to deal with anything they aren't comfortable with. Anything rated R/NC-17+ should be taken to a private room so no one accidentally walks in on it and candidates shouldn't be engaged in at all.

Part 3: Leaving a Scene

  • Please pose out. Sometimes real-life comes up and you may need to leave a scene suddenly. Try to at least manage a short pose. If you can't, at least let the players involved know that you have to go OOCly so they aren't left waiting for you thinking that you got disconnected.
  • Let others know you appreciate their RP. It seems like such a little thing, but it's important to let others know that you enjoyed sceneing with them.
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