Ten Tips for a Positive RP Experience

From Masq

The trick to finding consistent and enjoyable RP is to make sure that you, yourself, are a force out there creating enjoyable RP! Be the change you want to see on the MUSH, and don't be afraid to take charge and make things happen.

The trick to finding RP is to assume that no one is going to make it happen except for you. It is always better to be a proactive (not reactive) RPer. How do you become a proactive RPer? Glad you asked! Here are some hints:

1. Sitting all by yourself in a private room is not a good way to get RP. You are wonderful, it's true! But for the most part, people are not going to page you and ask you to RP. It is up to you to leave and start searching for RP partners.

2. Sitting all by yourself in a public room is not a good way to get RP. Yeah, the bus stop is pretty awesome, and I would want to hang out there too! But when three people are in three different places (all of the players ready and waiting for a scene), RP is usually not occurring. If you want to RP, head out of your public room and go join someone else's. Sometimes you get lucky and someone else will be the room-joiner, but you can't always depend on that!

3. Passively joining a scene is sometimes not a good way to get RP. Say whaaaa? Nope, I'm not kidding! Once you join a scene, it's up to you to involve your character in the ongoing RP. If you enter a bar and two people are sitting at a booth, it is up to you to find a reason for your char to interact with that booth. It is nice if the booth-sitters will help you with that, but again, you can't depend on it.

4. If you have IC limitations, you are going to have to work a little harder. Sometimes, your char's IC circumstances do hinder RP -- your vampire char is not going to join the sunny company picnic scene. But if you catch yourself thinking "that wouldn't be IC for my char," think it over again. Who is in control here? Is it you, or your character? If you wrote up a character who is aloof, shy, unfriendly, anti-social, timid, reserved, Has Issues, or etc, then it is still up to you to find ways to engage your char in RP. You're here because you're a writer... you can do it!

5. Don't be shy. If people are in a public room, it is safe to assume you can join them. Don't worry about whether you're "interfering" with or "bothering" anyone. Just page the players or stop by, ask if there's room for one more, and most of the time they will say yes!

6. Not all RP is going to be great, but that's okay. Sometimes you try your best, you give people a million things to respond to, and they still won't do anything except smile and nod. It happens! Don't worry about it... it's the nature of the beast. Vote 'em anyway and move on to the next RP, or take a break and come back later.

7. Cliques do exist... don't let them bug you! The natural course of RP is for people to meet in public social RP, befriend each other, and then move their RP to places of increasing privacy as more and more of each character's secrets and story appear. That's just the nature of MUSHing: people make friends and then they want to RP with their friends. Most people have limited RP hours and sometimes New Friend Outreach gets put on the back-burner. If you're part of a tight circle, try breaking out of it now and then! You might meet some awesome people, and the MUSH will be a happier place for your effort.

8. Don't be afraid to RP outside your sphere. Masq is a small mush, and sometimes your character's sphere might not be able to supply all the RP you'd like. Try meeting some new faces, and see where it leads! You may find some interesting characters and plots you wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to.

9. There's nothing wrong with social RP. Social "bar room" RP tends to get a bad rap, but it's the gateway to most other forms of RP -- you have to meet people somewhere before you can get into action, romance, mystery, drama, or whatever other style of RP you prefer. If you're bored in your tavern or Starbucks scene, think up some ways to liven it up. Ask unusual questions, get NPCs involved, spill wine on someone, whatever it takes!

10. Take pity on staff. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't their job to make fun happen for you! It's great when they do, but they don't get paid and they have stressful lives just like you do. If you're annoyed that there aren't any staff-run plots, it is up to you to suggest one and to offer your help in its implementation. Everyone's character has a story, and staff will help you tell yours if you ask. But they aren't going to write it for you.

Like every other hobby, you will get out of a MUSH what you put into it. So next time you hit the grid... ask not what your RP can do for you, ask instead what you can do for your RP!

Good luck, and have fun!

-- an anonymous Masq player.