I’d like to talk about the add-on MyRolePlay for a moment. In my view, this is an absolutely essential add-on if you plan on doing any roleplaying. You will find that people are more willing to engage you in RP and the RP is likely to be better. Further, you can entertain yourself for quite a while by reading the MRP profiles of other characters. This will give you a much better idea of who a given character is and whether you might like to RP with him or her.
Getting MyRoleplay is the first step in the process, and if all you want to do is read other people’s profiles, that’s all you need do. But to really take advantage of the add-on, you should create a profile for yourself. My goal in this blog post is to describe how to create a “Saxsy profile”, which is one that I think works well. There are certainly other ways of doing a profile, including some whose form is so popular that I think it must be described on some website somewhere. Those can certainly work; I don’t want to pretend that this is the only way to make a useful MRP profile. But, in my opinion, it is the best way.
The first two fields you should fill out in MRP are the easy ones at the bottom. The Roleplaying Style field offers several default choices which should usually be enough. Many players will also put “Mature” in this field to indicate that they are willing to engage in RP that might be beyond the PG-13 rating you could reasonably expect from any RPer. The other OOC field at the bottom right, Character Status, has several default choices that pretty much cover anything. It’s meant to let other people know whether you are open to RP at the moment or not.
The rest of the fields deal with your character information. Going through them all will help you develop your character.
Name is self-explanatory. You can change it to something completely different from your character name altogether. Also of note that for other people using MRP, this name will replace your character name in your emotes. Thus, other people see “Saxsy Ysiel’thar smiles at you” rather than “Saxsy smiles at you.” One note, as a preference of mine: if your character has a real name or a surname you would like to keep secret, don’t put it in here.
Title, House and Nickname are also self-explanatory and optional. For Saxsy these fields are blank.
I’ll skip the Currently field for now because the ones all around it are more permanently character related and thus are ones you want to spend some time thinking about. For these next few fields, you will want to have a pretty good idea of what your character looks like.
Eyes are self-explanatory; give the color here. If the eyes require more description (e.g., they’re made of glass, have lasers in them, or whatever crazy thing someone might do), save it for the description, because this field is too short for anything lengthy.
Race is also self-explanatory. As a bit of practical advice, you really don’t want to RP as a race other than your character’s unless you know what you’re doing. One exception to this is if you are playing a Night Elf mage, it may make more sense to play as a Quel’dorei than it would as a Kaldorei. Saxsy has Kaldorei in this field to distinguish her from the seemingly more common Quel’dorei mages.
Height and Weight are also self explanatory. You can either use a description relative to the norm for your race (e.g., “tall”, “short”, “heavy”, “slender”, “average”), or use an absolute description. Wowpedia’s guide to Roleplaying Stats is a good resource for getting reasonable heights and weights. If for some reason you want your character to fall outside the normal ranges specified there, be prepared to have some sort of story or in character explanation for it, because you will be asked. (Also note that extremely large human males, extremely short female night elves, and giant night elves or draenei are considered cliche. Play them at your own risk.)
Age is similar to Height and Weight, although there is room for subjective interpretation here, and a “Saxsy MRP profile” would list the age the character appears to be, not the age the character actually is. The roleplaying stats help here if you want to use an absolute number, but I find using a relative term such as “Young adult”, “Elderly”, or “Adolescent” works well.
Description is the key field to the MRP profile, and is the one most people are going to be interested in reading. There is a specific four-part structure I like to follow here that I think works well. The concept behind the structure is an acknowledgment that a lot of people aren’t going to read all of a very long description. You want to be able to give the lazy people a general idea of what your character looks like, and save the details for those that look closely enough at your character to figure them out.
My preferred method of description is objective: you should describe only what could objectively be sensed by someone interacting with your character. Thus, you wouldn’t want to say that your character is skilled, or nice, or devout, although you could describe features that would imply those subjective assessments. Other people differ in this approach, but I prefer it because I think it keeps the RP more honest.
The first part of your description should be a “twenty yard description”. Think of what your character looks like from twenty yards away and describe what you can see. These should be pretty obvious features visible not only at that distance, but at a quick glance: body shape, muscle tone, hair color, height, weight and those sorts of things.
The second part of your description should be a “handshake distance description”. Think of what a person might see standing right next to your character. You’d put things like wrinkles, scars, piercings, tattoos and jewelry here. Another possibility is the condition of your armor or clothes. You can go further than sight here and describe smells from perfume or body odor, or, in the case of a death knight or forsaken, rot.
The third part of your description should be about things that a character would notice only after spending time. These would include things like mannerisms, speech patterns (alto or soprano?), movement patterns (graceful or clumsy) and the like. You can also go into detail about things that might happen at irregular intervals here; if a ring changes color or something, that would best be here. Also, since this is your last chance, anything you want to describe about your character that doesn’t fit in parts one or two should go here.
The fourth part of your description should contain any OOC information you would like someone to know about your character. This is entirely optional. I have links to my drawings of Saxsy in this part of the description. Some people put relationship status, although I don’t like that because it’s not something that would be apparent to the eye. If you are averse to certain types of RP (e.g., erotic, combat, permadeath), here’s the place to put that.
The length of each part is up to you, but I would try to spend a paragraph on each, with the exception of the fourth part, which would just be however long it had to be. I think this method gives a useful casual description to someone who looks at you casually, and can pique the interest of people who treat it more seriously.
Going back one field to Currently: this is something you should change frequently to describe the current state of your character. Limit it to a few words that provide a description of a fairly obvious mood.
Home, Birthplace, and Motto are all optional. In my view, if your character is going to reveal these things to anyone who asks, you may as well fill them in here. Otherwise, don’t bother.
History is a tricky field, and I recommend for most people to leave it blank. My feeling is that whatever you would put here you should hold to reveal in RP, because it’s fun to tell your background in RP. The only exceptions to this that I could think of is when you would freely reveal to anyone who asks your background (as is the case for Saxsy), or when you are playing some sort of aberrational character like a mixed race or an otherwise very unusual character. Putting something in the History field in this case would be more so to assure someone who is thinking of RPing with you that you treat the hardships of your aberration seriously, and aren’t just playing a half-elf because you thought it would be fun to have a human with pointy ears.
Those are all of the fields. Also note that MRP allows multiple profiles; I know of one person who switches between four very different profiles as she switches clothes and disguises. A worgen, for instance, might have one description for human form and one for worgen form (though typically they put both descriptions in one profile).
I hope this has helped you become more familiar with MRP and how to use it!
Update: I’ve updated a few of the recommendations in a new post. Please go read it!