Friday, November 6, 2009

Roleplay Conversation Starters and Introductions

Today I would like to discuss roleplay introductions and conversation starters for use in game.  One thing I see too often in roleplay, is the generic "How are you today?" introduction.  It's not that there's anything wrong with it, it's just...well, boring if you let it sit at that.  Not only that, it generally leads to the same conversation every time and goes nowhere.  You know those conversations you feel stuck in when someone is trying to be polite, so you don't want to excuse yourself? That's what this leads to...

So what are some unique and interesting ways to greet someone, or introduce yourself without being so vanilla? Think of some greetings and introductions that don't leave the character your playing with in a box, with limited responses to reply back with.

When you start with the "How are you?" for instance, most people will simply say "fine, and you?".  From there it usually goes to "Lovely/Horrible weather were having".  It doesn't give much freedom to you or the individual your roleplaying with.  In random, walk-up roleplay encounters, freedom can lead to better conversations and more interesting roleplay.

The most important tip is take your surroundings and character's attitude into account.  Your location alone could open up many conversation starters that will lead to roleplay, and be more memorable for both of you.  I advise roleplayers to aim for quality over quantity.  You can walk around RPing with people a few minutes here and there all day, but how many will remember much about you, or go out of their way to speak with you again? Aim for better more memorable RP than just getting seen.

Lets start with some basic, non-location specific openers:

"Hello, you look familiar, where might I know you from?" 
This leaves the person your interacting with more choices.  They have a chance to introduce their character to you here by bragging about their accomplishments, or staying somewhat quiet and reserved, or any number of responses.

If they are dressed in roleplay attire, a good opener may be something like:
My that's a nice | insert item of clothing here | may I ask where you got it from?
They may respond with a story of how they took it off the corpse of a woman they just killed, or tell you about their favorite shop. You will also get a glimpse of their characters persona here.

If your character is not from the area, or has been away awhile:
"Hello, I am | name |. I have been away from | city |  for quite sometime. Could you perhaps show me to the best tavern in town? I am quite parched."
They then have the option of simply saying no, and not roleplaying with you, or taking you up on the offer.  Some find a tavern a good place to meet and get to know other players.  In taverns there are many emotes you can use, you can talk about food, drink, travels and any number of things.

Now for location.  What kind of introductions can be made in various locations?

Are they in Cathedral Square? Spark some Azerothian religion conversation! For instance:
"I just love the services they hold here, don't you?"

"I am not too religious myself, but I find myself drawn here due to the beautiful archetecture"
If your character is a bit of a law breaker...
"Just here to confess my sins, how about you?"

Are they in a tavern? If so you could try...
"Hey, I'll have what he/she is having...umm, what -are- you having?"
"Can you/anybody recommend a good drink?"
"Would anyone care to join me for some fine ale and conversation?"

What if I, or my character, is shy? A good way to overcome your shyness may be to start RPing with NPC's.  Sometimes, others will notice and jump in without you having to make the first move.  In this case, you could start talking to the barmaid, or a patron at the bar.

If your character is clumsy, they can keep spilling their drinks and having to buy more.

If your character is a more quite, introspective type, buy a drink sit down and occasionally emote something like "stares into his/her mug of ale" to let others know your available and up for RPing

What if they are fishing?

Strike up a conversation about the little known use of murloc eyes as bait.

Ask if they have any tails of fishing, or what is the most interesting catch they have had

Discuss your most interesting catch!

What if they are somewhere like a bank?
Lean over and whisper that the looks a bit shady, you might want to keep an eye on them.  This can lead to a conversation about "rumors" you have heard.
What about meeting someone inside a shop?

Window shop!

Walk in angrily and demand a refund

Talk up the shop owner..."You'll find that old | name | here sells the best | product | for the price!

Maybe your meeting in another type of Square or park?

"Oh hey! Did you see that?!"
They are bound to ask what, you can make up anything here, a pink squirrel ran that way! Get them to follow it to a tavern where you can buy them a drink!

Also don't forget actions, if you are walking into a building you can set the mood for your character.  For instance, does he/she storm in? Peek their head in and take a step inside? Walk in, looking a bit lost? Try to take your characters attitude into account when coming up with some emotes and show off/introduce who you are!

There is a lot you can do to begin a unique roleplay session just based off what other characters are doing, or your location! Next time you wan't to walk up to someone and start some roleplay, take a moment to think about what they may be doing there, what are you doing there? Most importantly, consider your character and what they would be likely to do and how they would do it.


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