Kaliope KarasI have been roleplaying for quite some time, from chat room rp’s, which were fast-paced and text-only, to now, Second Life, which can be a mixture of visuals, actions and text, but by no means do I believe myself an expert, nor do I believe my style to be the one and only correct way to do it.

With that said, I will add that most of what is here has been gathered not just from my own experiences but from what I’ve learned from others too, and I have tried to put together something as in-depth as possible, even if I only mean to give the reader a good foundation to spring from and a bit of confidence to go ahead and take that leap, create their own style and have fun.

Like with many things, roleplay evolves, it changes according to the environment and medium.  Every time I give a basic RP Workshop I learn something new, get a new point-of-view on a topic, or discover a new topic to discuss here.

In the end, it is mostly my OPINION–and I am pretty opinionated, which  you will note in my Rants pages– and in no way do I mean to say that its the ONLY way to RP or the best style, comments, suggestions, and new topics are welcome!


Allow me to introduce myself!

Kaliope Karas is my Second Life Avatar’s name.   I’m not going to go in depth now about what is Second Life – if you don’t know, look it up, download it (you know you wanna), and come join us for some fun!  Click here: www.secondlife.com

There are a few things I like to do in Second Life, and one of them is RP – role playing, roleplaying, rp’ing, etc.  This is where a bunch of us nerds get together, create GREAT looking characters and spend all day typing out stories and living in fantasy worlds.

I do love text role play.  I grew up devouring books and attempting to write books, but never finished writing one.  I had so many great first chapters, or even got as far as four chapters once, but the mind is faster than the typing.   Most times by the time I had the first chapter done the story was completely told in my head and I had lost the drive to finish writing it.  Then another theme or story spark would come along and I was already starting another one.

So one day I bought a computer with the full intention of writing the “Great American Novel”.  I swear it was what I was going  to do!  I was going to sit down for so many hours a day and write (AFTER I played another round of solitaire or minesweeper).  So there it is, all set up on its desk, waiting for me to type my days away.   Now I had learned all bout DOS, WP and LOTUS (yes… THAT long ago!) in school, but never anything about the “internet”.   I’d seen the commercials for Prodigy (^5 for those that remember!), and the computer did have Windows and AOL icons on the screen, but I had always thought a modem was an external thing (like in “War Games”), I didn’t even know where to buy one (not like I could go to Amazon.com), and what-the-hell-do-I-need-that-for? I just want to write.

Months later I was sitting at my dining room table and, for lack of something else to read (I was done with the cereal box), I picked up the computer’s manual.  There it was, clear as day on the diagram–a phone jack on the back of my computer.   Really?  Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was true?  I could barely contain my excitement as I ran to the storage room to hunt for a longer phone cord to be able to connect to the computer.

Now imagine how amazing it was when I heard that screeching connecting sound and the first  ”You’ve Got Mail!”

I forgot to cook dinner and load the dishwasher–I later learned to load it after clicking connect.  If  I was fast enough I could get it done before the machine said “you’ve got mail” –it was that slow.

I discovered a whole new world, and it was full of chat rooms and websites to post stories on.

And that was the hook: the chat-room role-play.  I started with Star Trek.  It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a fan of ST at the time, I was so excited about the thinking out a character part and truly watching this thing I wrote take shape and grow and learn.  I loved the interactions with others, the relationships developed, the bit of research I did for my roles, THE STORIES!

Oh and the twist to the stories!  I no longer had control of all the characters in the book — only one, MINE.  Everything was improvised and acting and reacting.  I could no longer finish the story in my head because I had no idea what was going to happen!  All the other players were such great writers too!  I was so hooked.  We met once a week and I could not wait for the next meet up, and found myself writing little personal stories for my character between the once-a-week-chat-room rp’s, and even role-playing with other characters in IM’s.

It’s been a while since the days of AOL Chat-rooms.

Now I do it in Second Life.  It’s no longer just chat, we have visuals to go with it, so it’s more movie-like, and I have found that there are a lot more people involved in it than you’d think.

And a lot of people that need a little help.

I joined Second Life in 2005 and have had the pleasure of giving many workshops on role-play since.  I do call them “workshops” because most of the time they are more of a collaborative jam-session as opposed to someone standing there lecturing.  Every time we have one I learn a little something.   Role-play is different for everyone.   I intend to give you the basics, to explain things the best I can, to give a new role-player a good foundation to spring-off of and find their own style.

So here goes.


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