It doesn't matter if you and your group are just starting to raid or are old hats at it. Anywhere there is a constant gathering of folks is a great opportunity to introduce some role-play. My guild actually has requirements that we role-play during raids.
So how do you do this? How can you run a quick and efficient raid as well as role-play? It’s a lot easier than you think! There are two major categories I can see raiding role-play fit into and I think most combine the two. Like all role-play these can be morphed, modified or combined in any fashion the team sees fit. There’s no wrong way!
The group is there for the ordinary reasons any adventurer may enter a dungeon. The raid chooses to converse with each other in role-play fashion as they pass through the dungeon.
What are ordinary reasons for entering a dungeon:
- Quests to complete
- Looking for treasure (loot)
- Need to boost reputation
- Companionship and having fun with others
The way my raiding team does it is all /raid and /say communications must be in-character chat. We use ventrillo for all other communication such as describing boss fights, barking orders for specific skills, etc. It’s a nice way to keep the different communication styles separate. If you do not have a voice chat service, you could use /raid for your directives and /say for your in-character communication.
This can just be a time to discuss surroundings or other character development topics. My raid group has actually created a couple themes that are unique to our group that doesn’t have anything to do with the story we developed for the raid.
My team knows that Desdarii is terrified of spiders. Time is actually taken to kill spiders that cross our path so Desdarii will continue without complaint. The dwarf and the gnome in our group quarrel back and forth throughout the night about different topics usually pertaining to who is shorter. Our casters fight over who loves the mana totem more with the poor Shaman stuck in the middle without any say. So long as everyone is having a great time, everything is good and it makes the raid so much more entertaining.
Story Driven Role-Play
Your group has come up with a storyline that justifies their reason for entering and slaughtering the inhabitants of the dungeon. The reason could be important or silly but the group sees this as their mission. It can have an easily defined ending point or a more vague goal that may never quite be attained. Here are some example reasons for raiding a dungeon that your team could adopt.
- Boss So-and-So stole the weapon of your ancestors and you have vowed to take it back. You have gathered your friends who have volunteered to follow you into this dungeon to assist you. A fairly easy thing anyone can role-play I think!
- Some of the team members are there purely for researching purposes and the others are hired to assist the researchers through. They are studying and cataloging the creatures found in side. Of course they will need to examine their insides, which is where the slaughtering comes into play. They are interested in seeing every corner of the dungeon to obtain the most accurate records Azeroth has ever seen!
- Your guild has a ritual that each member must enter and kill X and Y before they are considered part of the team. The new member is coached along by veterans of the dungeon. If it is a new team they are grouping together to reach this goal of guild acceptance. Ceremonies and parties can take place when the ritual has been completed.
Once a story is selected, your team uses this as a focal point that they can center role-play on. Everyone present is there for the same goal and it should be easy to discuss tatics and plans so they can meet the goal(s).
If your story has an actual end you may need to come up with a continuing story for a reason as to why you still return to that dungeon. In my raid group, our raid leader came up with the storyline that Prince had stolen his banana and he was hungry and wanted it back (I told you stories could be silly!). Once we had killed Prince we needed a new goal for returning to Karazhan. As it so happens, Prince really likes fruit and has now stolen a pineapple. We aren’t too kindly to fruit stealers in our team!