We've already discussed how your character should speak and maybe the actions they use in conversation. But how do you start a conversation? How do you let others know you'd are looking to role-play? Once started how do you keep it going? Today I am addressing these questions.
Starting A Conversation
It really isn't any different than starting a conversation in real life. If you're already friends with that person you walk up comfortably and start chatting. If the person is a stranger to you, you introduce yourself first. Start out with normal ice breakers such as asking how they are doing or commenting on the weather. If the person is there for the purpose of role-playing they'll most certainly respond to it.
You should be careful about using the character's name before being properly introduced. People don't really go around wearing their name above their head so addressing someone you've never met by name is a bit of a faux pas. Same goes for the pet or companion the character has. It is possible to turn names off in the user interface menu if you catch yourself doing this often (or if you are like me and just like the clutter removed from the screen).
Another way of opening a conversations is to question or comment on something about the other character. On of my favorite things to do when I meet a new hunter is ask if their pet is friendly enough for me to try and pet it. You can mention you love someone's robe and inquire where it was purchased. It is also possible to comment on some emote they've done. For example, Desdarii's character likes to scribble notes into her journal. If you see her emote, you could inquire what she likes to write about.
Lastly look to see if they have FlagRSP2or MyRoleplay add-ons. If they do (and you do as well) you can see if they have marked themselves as looking for contact. That means they are searching for a good role-play experience. You can also read their character descriptions and perhaps find something to comment upon there.
The bottom line is starting a conversation is as easy as just saying, "Hello. My name is _____".
Showing Your Desire for Conversation
If your character is shy or if you simply want to announce that you are open for other role-players to approach and talk with you there are several things you can do to show your interest. Here are some things you can quickly accomplish to announce your desire to find other role-players.
- Use one of the role-play add-ons and mark yourself as "Looking for Contact"
- Change from running everywhere to walking. (this is the / on the numpad)
- Emote different actions you are taking through out the city
- Don't be afraid to talk to the NPCs
The last two may seem a bit strange. Why would I emote something or speak to an NPC when there's no one else participating? Doing so will not only announce your desire to role-play but also give surrounding role-players some topic to initiate contact with you. Announce the sounds of metal clanging about as you search through your bags for something. Ask the flower shop sales person what flowers they have that are the freshest. You'll find even non-RP folks get curious enough to ask what you are up to.
Keeping a Conversation Going
It's pretty uncomfortable for conversations to drop flat and then live in that awkward silence that follows. I recently read an article by called "How to Think on Your Feet" by Gail Blanke that really got my head spinning. The writer had gone to an acting school to learn tricks on how to improvise in conversations so you are at better at speaking in situations that are unscripted. I couldn't help but think on how these techniques could also help in keeping role-play conversations as well.
I specifically want to point out the technique called "yes...and". It works by first acknowledging the previous statement in some fashion (yes) and then adding or elaborating on the topic to continue the conversation (and). It keeps the story moving and gives the next person something to comment on.
Desdarii: I'm glad I chose the jewelcrafting profession.
Keste: Yes, jewelcrafting is great and the gems you create are very useful!
Desdarii: They are quite handy for sure and they can be quite profitable in auction.
Answering with just "Yes" or "No" can stop a conversation in its tracks. This is a great way to keep a conversation going or try to steer conversations to a topic you would like to discuss. I recommend you read the article and then give it a try!