Even the Best can Fall into Them
The main key to role-playing is, of course, staying in character. It may be necessary to go Out-of-Character (OOC) briefly when explaining a technical aspect of the game to a new player, or when pinning down a standard time to meet. It is important to remember that every time you go OOC your character credibility and the role-playing atmosphere suffers. Be careful not to fall into some of these OOC traps when playing the game:
- Blatant OOC Occurrences: This includes mentioning real world events and items. Beepers, Star Wars movies, Oompa Loompas, mace (not the dreamer, the spray), Gumbi, and spell checkers do not belong in Underlight. This both violates the Underlight user agreement, and contributes to the disintegration of the
- Information Separation: Player A chats with his buddy on ICQ: "Oh man, Sorsha just totally dissed Dreamer B in the dream! She made him cry!" This sounds like an interesting thing for you to see, but wait! How can you? Your character does not know what has transpired. You want to go ask the questions that will get you the answers, but you have no IC reason to do so, even though it would make for interesting role-playing. information separation issues such as multiple character info. In game information learned through OOC means is still just that — OOC. Separate it. Even though you do want to comfort poor Dreamer B. Of course, the same goes in the opposite direction: if you know someone is playing multiple characters, respond to each character independently.
- Tasks as Work: Sometimes Teachers will demand a long and detailed task from their student, and it seems more convenient to relay its completion in an email. Avoid this, as it contributes to character confusion. Bring the completion to the game and use that information to incite role-play.
- Playing with Toys: Spacing down to the next line, then typing in the dreamer name, followed by a colon, then more text. The names we see with the colons following in our text box is out of character. They are not some-thing your character would be aware of to imitate. If you wish for your character to imitate someone else, use an emote. But this is intended to fool the player, if only for a short bit.
- Logs: Logs are Out-of-character. Does your character truly make a detailed account of everything that is said and done in every room she occupies every moment she is in the dream? If so, how does she find time to talk and collapse the very mare she is writing about? Not only that, but also this logic fails when someone doesn’t keep logs. Does this mean the character has no memories? Hardly.
- Newly Awakened: You create a second avatar, you find your buddies to teach you quickly, and you join a house on your second day of playing. (This one is irrelevant for the moment, but it is the principle that it illustrates that is important) If you do not feel up to playing the awe/confusion/ wonder that the dream would most likely provide to a newly awakened, then don’t make another character. Or at the very least have a very good role-playing reason your character would not go through it.
- Stick to your character: No matter what... Is your character truly more concerned with turning in his latest task to his teacher than finding out why his house crumbled? If so, why? Does the dream truly seem so uninteresting that the best thing for you to do at all times is sit in thresh? If so, why? Do you make a habit of ignoring people that seem distraught and confused? If so, why? Always the driving question is why. Why would my character do this or think this? Why? If you can not answer the why, then it is not an IC action or thought. Why would Bledsoe flatter her? She is a woman. Why would Dreamer B be nice to Dreamer C? He wants her cloak.