Roleplaying: a brief introduction
(originally posted by Liorae on the Rangers' Forums)
What is roleplaying?
Roleplaying, quite simply put, is playing out the lives of your character inside the world of LotRO and acting on the events and inputs that happen around you in the game. Roleplaying does not require you to know every page of the Tolkien series by heart, as it will be unlikely that your character inside the game knows these by heart as well. It does help to have some knowledge about the worlds background however, so that when someone tells a story about slaying a Nazgul you know he is not talking about a pink elephant with earrings, but one of the undead creatures that roam these lands.
Some terminology for new players out there
Most important is probably the difference between 'In Character' (IC) and 'Out Of Character' (OOC) roleplaying, this basically describes the border between what you as a player know (OOC) and what your character knows inside the game (IC). One of the hardest things for new roleplayers is perhaps separating their OOC knowledge from their IC knowledge.. there is however a big difference between the two, as your character is not privy to the information that you as a player know. One of the most occuring examples is the name of a character you have never met before: as a player you see it floating above the head of a character, but your toon doesn't have that information.
The Rangers and roleplaying
I think it is good to point out that the Rangers are a medium Roleplaying kinship, this means basically that we do some roleplaying but on a less strict level then some of the other kinships out there. In practise, this means we encourage IC communication only in the /say and /emote channels. The kinship and fellowship channels are free for any OOC chat. This has the advantage that you can get to know the player behind the character as well, downside is probably that the chats spill over into other channels and characters sometimes seem to be 'daydreaming' while they are engaged in an active chat.