Roleplay Guide

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This page is intended mostly to help newbies settle in and learn some of the conventions of MUSHing. If you've roleplayed on any other MUSH anywhere, what you'll read below is unlikely to be news to you. But do please take a moment to read it anyway, in case some small point herein is without precedent in your experience.

Contents

Style Guide

  • We none of us have exactly the vocabulary of the 12th century; but do please take care to avoid obvious anachronisms in your poses. Breaking the fourth wall is acceptable sometimes in narrative, but not in dialogue.
  • For the sake of uniformity, please write in the present tense. If you include the occasional accidental past tense, no one will shun you for it, but it's distracting to see frequent switches of tense within a scene.
  • Poses on OutremerMUSH tend to be longer than on many another MU*. If you're writing an extended pose, please make judicious use of paragraphs, with %r%r between them for double-spacing, to ensure it's easy for everyone to read.
  • Please do not, however, indent your paragraphs.
  • Our MUSH has an option to insert automatic linebreaks between poses. To find out more about this and how to turn it on or off, see +help +autospace.

What to write and when

  • In crafting your pose, try to focus on actions, descriptions, and dialogue, rather than thoughts: remember, other characters can't read your character's mind, and thus can't respond to the private thoughts you may include in your poses. The easier it is for other players to engage with you, the more they will.
  • Stating or even just assuming another character's actions in your poses is what's called power-posing. It is not considered polite. Over time you may enter into reciprocal agreements with other players about power-posing one another's characters in minor ways; but as a rule, if you want to include something about another PC in your pose, you should page first to ask permission.
  • In scenes with fewer than four players, pose order (i.e. taking turns to pose, in strict order) may be observed or not according to their wishes. In larger scenes, we usually use the Three-Pose Rule, or 3PR, under which you write your pose, wait for three others to pose, and then you can have another turn. The idea is to keep the scene moving along swiftly, without any one particularly fast writer monopolising the action.
  • Some players don't like a lot of OOC chatter during a scene, others don't mind it. As in all matters of etiquette the most delicate sensibility carries the day: if you feel the OOC talk is making it difficult for you to follow a scene, please just ask the players who are chatting to take it outside (i.e. to a channel or to private pages).

How to get a scene

For new MUSHers the question of how to generate a bit of roleplay for yourself can be a daunting one.

But it often happens that if newbies make themselves known, they are practically swarmed by established players eager to meet the new blood; and, failing that, there are several ways in which you can seek a scene.

  • The command +where will show you which players are currently IC versus OOC, and where they are located upon the grid. If you see a scene in a public place, and it would make sense for your character to be there, you may just stroll right in — though it is thought polite to say "Do you mind if I pose in?" and wait for someone to tell you what's going on first. Scenes in private or semi-private rooms should be approached with more caution. It's all right to page the participants to check how private it really is, whether there might be room for you, but please don't be offended if the answer is in the negative.
  • To let people know you're available for RP, you can go to an IC location and set +rpsearch on yourself (see +help +rpsearch). This will show up next to your name on +who and +where, for everyone to see.
  • You can also just ask for roleplay on the +public channel. Someone may be quite happy to log in an alt to play with you.

Further reading

We highly recommend this collection of articles on such subjects as fundamental MUSH concepts, fleshing out your characters, and giving your roleplay the extra sparkle which makes other players yearn for more.

And for detailed information on MUSHing and its history, the classic of the genre is Amberyl's MUSH Manual.

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