All 4 Role Play

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By Pearllight180   |   
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In total, I've done four kinds of RP in my life. Yes, this is a very nerdy/geeky subject I want to get into.

I've labeled these four different RP styles in my own way, that should hopefully make sense.

Live Action Role Play (AKA cos-play)

Untitled by Pearllight180
The first form of RP I'm aware of is cos-play. I've been a passionate dress up kind of person for pretty much my entire life.
I've come to call cos-play (live action RP) where you the person dress up or even just act directly as the character, or role you chose/were given. Simply put, it's acting like they do in theater and movies, but for fun and usually done with friends.

In most cases I've acted as the gypsy, princess, fairy, commoner,and pirate during past cos-play sessions. And on some occasions I played myself while acting out live action Bionicle RP, which involved imagining most of what was happening in our environment, and pretending the Toa were real *cough *, yes I'm that geeky.

Vocal RP (voice acting)

Skype conversation sketch by Pearllight180

Vocal RP is where you voice act different characters over an audio devise, usually best done and enjoyed through video conversations. In this form of RP you must heavily rely upon each others voice tone and facial expressions (if you're using camera). To keep better track of where you're coming from and what's going on in a scene, be courteous and explain the details to your friend/friends so they know how to act with you and play along.

This form of RP is the one I'm most use to these days; and is the exact method I use to create Life of Lewa episodes (my Bionicle fan fiction RP story) created between me and my friend (secondary director and actress of Lewa).

Phone Call Rp by Pearllight180

Similar methods of vocal RP can be carried out via telephone, but will be more difficult. Over a phone you must rely upon explanation of scenes from each other, and tone of voice purely. This can be fun, but also somewhat tricky, and will include having to explain a facial expression or the body language of a character because you're acting can't be seen, only heard.

Text RP (dialogue script)

Chat window by Pearllight180

Text RP is, from what it seems, the most common kind of RP out there. It's normally achieved through digital formats; ranging from e-mail, instant chat, comment strands, and online notes.

This kind of RP is much like making a movie script, and is the easiest form to do when you're playing an RP you wish to keep record of and turn into a story for readers.
If you're not a good actor with your voice and face, then text RP is the perfect way to express your inner character without ever having to open your mouth or be seen.

Usually text RP is best done with a friend/friends. You can do it by yourself, but then it's more like writing a story, and not so much an RP sequence.
My methods of RP is to write the name of a character speaking, and then add dialogue after it.

Example: Character 1- “I love it when my name is mentioned.” Notice I write the character's name and then separate it with a dash before writing dialogue. This helps keep character dialogue clean and easy to follow.

There are multiple ways to act a character through text, my way is just one; and I encourage those inexperienced in text RP to try the simple set up I use for playing a character to get the hang of it. I use many different methods to act a character through text, but with dialogue also comes full on description and explanation of body language and expression. It's important to keep in account that the other player needs to see the scene in their head too, so they understand where you're coming from and how to act with it. This in turn makes it much like writing a book or movie script, with help from another player who adds in their own ideas and dialogue.

My view on the different methods of text RP

E-mail: e-mail is great for long chunks of RP sequences with included links and pictures. This method will of course have delayed response. It's good for when you're role playing with intent of writing a story from it. I find it's great for telling a story, and then leaving an opening for the other RP friend to fill in the next sequence in story format.

An example:
This tale pertains to the weary souls of a breaking ship. The captain comes up to the boy who cleans the deck and asks, “How many cracks are in the floor?” (deck boy dialogue here). As you can see, I start off a story and then leave a spot that says dialogue here, which the friend player can then fill in and add onto.

Comment strands:
I find comment strands to be a bit jumbled and messy. They are followable, but come across as somewhat tiresome, especially when you have to constantly click the refresh button. This method is sometimes the only choice you have on certain sites if you're wanting to RP, but I'm not a huge fan of carrying on with them for long amounts of time.

Online notes:
I consider online notes more bearable than comment strands. They're easier to keep track of in a saved file, and can contain large chunks of writing much like an e-mail. Again though, on some sites with notes you have to click the refresh button often. It can become tiresome, but it's another way to RP and keep track of the story played. This has it's uses when you're writing a story off the acted sequences.

Instant message: Instant message is like vocal RP, only in text form. Your play can go as fast you can type, and explanation is instant. This method of RP can be exiting and more lively in some respects, and can be read over once you're done playing.
      This method of RP is another one I use now and then for Life of Lewa sequences. Usually it's my last resort if me and secondary director are unable to use camera and microphone.

Live text RP: This kind of method I've never tried, but it came to mind. If you're in a library or place that requires silence, maybe you're too embarrassed to act in public with a friend; there is a method I would call live text RP. Suppose you have no computer or technology at hand, but have your hands on a simple notebook and pencil and are with a friend in a library. If you want to RP in silence, simply hand write what you would normally type, onto a notebook page/pages, and take turns adding in dialogue.

Personally, text RP is my least favorite of the four RP methods I know. 

Animated Still Life RP:

Hands On Shock- comic by Pearllight180

Animated still life RP, or at least that's the name I give it; is one of the rarest forms of RP from what I've observed. It's the most invigorating and magical form of RP in existence (by personal opinion that is).
It's basically a form of puppetry; most would be familiar with it as (play time) like we do as little kids with our toys.
This form of RP  is where two or more players have plastic figurines of some kind (in my case Bionicle) or any form of toy/object. You then act the characters like you would a puppet, by moving there limbs  and head around, and voice act as you move them and make body language through the figure itself.
Play time scenes can become rather complex when you start adding in furniture and accessories for your toys. But overall it's very fun acting with toys in the presence of another. The hands on interaction between both players is a wonderful way to express yourself and tell a story.
As you may have figured, animated still life RP can only be achieved in real life. There is one way to slightly play animated still life RP through the screen, but it requires for both players to have a figurine and camera. Much like vocal RP, you can play with a toy over a camera and make the toys interact through the screen (this dampens the magical qualities of ASL- RP though, and doesn't compare to actual interaction of a real life setting).

You can play ASL-RP alone, but it can feel rather dead without another player. An example of playing alone is like the comic above. It can be funny, if you're content with imagining purely by yourself, no outside influence involved.

In ASL- RP, it's more fun for real because the characters (figurines) can interact with each other. An example would be me playing one character who makes my friend's character mad, and my friend's character comes up to my character, then we move them and make them slap each other.

ASL- RP is an RP form I've been doing from the day I could talk. Acting with toys and making them interact with each other in a real life setting has always given me great pleasure; it's not till much later down the road did I start naming this form of play for fun.
At some point in time, I found others weren't familiar with this kind of play, and I passionately did what I could to teach them of how it works and show them how fun it can be. I had to give examples of the way ASL- RP functioned, and the rest was up to second player to figure out how to go with it. Some caught on faster than others, usually the ones who caught on fastest were naturally creative and somewhat gifted with acting from the start.

ASL- RP is the RP form that started it all for the LoL series, and eventually the other three RP forms listed previously, weaved into effect for continuing the LoL RP through the screen at a later time.

The only disadvantage of ASL-RP is that you can't easily record it for story records if you're planning on writing an RP story. The only way you can get around this is by writing down the gist of what happened during your play, and add in dialogue you can remember, right after you finish playing the episode. This can take extra work, but the result can be beneficial in the long run; trust me, I know.

Table top RP

There is one more kind of RP that I would slip into the ASL label; table top RP. I've never honestly done this form of RP, but an example of table top RP would be Dungeons and Dragons or any of the role related board games out there.

About the closest I've ever done to table top RP is a first time game of War Hammer, carried out with aid from side line acquaintances who taught me how to play the game. Near the end I battled and killed an entire army of aliens, with only two of my men standing at the end. The general and his second command were the only survivors in that war. Yay for a first try! :D
© 2014 - 2020 Pearllight180
This is just a fun way to tell what kinds of RP I'm familiar with, and how I've done them. grin wink
Care to know more about the black and white images in this article? Then check out RP Example Comics post.
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Mace3739's avatar
Nice, you're very active!
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Pearllight180Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. Nommy smile mini 
Mace3739's avatar
Your welcome! :D
Figmentrose's avatar
FigmentroseHobbyist General Artist
well at least my hair looks right :) :P
Pearllight180's avatar
Pearllight180Hobbyist General Artist
...Yeah, I tend to remember your hair the way it was back in the day. Sweating a little... Guess I'm getting use to the new. Shrug