Today, I'm pleased to bring you TheHumanFloyd's newest article, visiting a topic I'm sure we're all familiar with but seldom think twice about - 'Solo RP'!
With The Elder Scrolls franchise being primarily a single-player haven up until this point, this is particularly relevant, as many players for TESO will probably have explored this concept, but may not be familiar with roleplay within a larger community.
No, that's not when you roleplay an intergalactic space smuggler. Solo
RP is simply roleplaying alone. I would argue that this is by far the
most commonly practiced form of RP. It requires no rules, no
organization, no OOC chat, nothing but simply you imagining being your
character. I'd say anyone who plays RPGs has done this at some point,
whether they realize it or not. These days, video game worlds are so
vivid, so lifelike and so believable that you can't help but get lost in
them. The single coolest thing about RPGs, in my opinion is seeing the
different characters people make and play as. There's almost always some
thought behind a person's character, even from the people who shun
RPers in MMO communities.
Playing your character in your head is a great creative experience, as
well as a wonderful way to wind down. But if everyone in an MMO setting
were to roleplay in their heads all the time there wouldn't be much of a
point to playing in a multiplayer world. So we make storylines, appoint
GMs and organize in guilds. We type out our characters' actions and
dialog and interact with one another through this. Now, that doesn't
have to mean we stop Solo RP. In fact, I think an MMO is one of the best
places for Solo RP.
Rather than keeping their roleplay-y thoughts to themselves, some RPers
choose to type out their character's actions even when there's no one
around to see this narration. Instead of thinking to themselves, "My
character is going to eat an apple off that tree" they would type and
emote "Soandso Mcwhatever plucks a fresh, bright red apple off of the
tree and examines it for worm holes before taking a massive bite."
It's a useful and interesting way to start RP and meet other RPers. When
you keep these IC actions to yourself and other RPers pass you by they
think you're just another person questing or whatever. They don't know
that you're down for some RP and feeling creative. People who have
played on RP servers in MMOs before will tell you that other players
will stop dead in their tracks to watch a RPer walking through the
wilderness, just to see what they're doing.
Putting yourself out there this way shows others your intent to RP and
draws them in. You'll already be in the right mindset for RP and find
that it's really easy to get and stay in character during such
encounters. This is Solo RP's other big boon. In my experience (and
others' I've talked to) roleplaying alone and taking the time to type
out what's going on really helps me get into my character's head. Even
simple, everyday things like eating or starting a campfire can help you
develop your character. No one does everything exactly the same and
personality shows in every action one does. Use this to your advantage
and a simple emote about skinning a boar can reveal deep insights into
your character's mind.
Finally, Solo RP can help new roleplayers get used to emoting and
develop some ideas for their character. Those who are afraid to approach
other players and engage in roleplay might find it easier to emote by
themselves in a city or whatever and wait for someone else to approach
them. Playing a quiet character who stays in the shadows most of the
time is great, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't emote what you're
doing. People are way more likely to approach someone who is emoting
than someone who is just sitting there silently.
Wouldn't it be cool to step into the world of Tamriel and see everyone
narrating their characters all the time? Think of how colorful it would
make the world.
Everyone roleplays differently so I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts
and experiences with Solo RP in the comments! Thanks for reading!