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Cooperative Roleplay Tips and Tricks!

Five Rings Online is a cooperative storytelling site. The keywords there are ‘storytelling’ and ‘cooperative.’ We all know that our characters are part of a larger story. The role that they take in that story is up to the player’s choices. As STs, our job is to provide you all with a highly malleable plot that you can explore and shape with your actions, but also to make sure that you’re getting a story you really enjoy.

It’s everyone’s job to make sure that we’re all having fun together. To that end, we have created a guide to help facilitate cooperative roleplay among players.

This is a guide of examples and advice for players to help make it more enjoyable for everyone. You don’t have to follow this guide, but in general, this kind of play will not only help to connect players and characters more easily and meaningfully, but it is also the kind of consideration and attitude that helps to decrease drama and improve cooperation OOC, too.

Activity IC

  • Example: While everyone wants to have their own niche, and certainly have an area where they particularly shine, there is often overlap in skills, abilities, and concepts. The most cooperative attitude towards such overlap is that it provides a wonderful opportunity to have backups in case a good dice pool just has a bad day, as well as the possibility of a beautiful friendship and/or bitter rivalry.
  • Example: Sometimes a person wants to go in character, but sees there is no one in the room they would like to go to, but people are in character elsewhere. While no one is obligated to go to a room with other players, it is a more cooperative style of play to join in, and more likely to lead to new connections for one’s PC.
  • Example: Oftentimes when working on a particular plot, players may find that other players who they don’t necessarily get along with are also working on that plot. A cooperative player will still make the effort to include others, especially those who have likewise put in work in.
  • Example: Another character disagrees with your PC, and perhaps even says something that could be construed as an insult– if you chose to take it that way. A cooperative attitude to have towards this is to consider the positive interpretation of those words, rather than immediately assuming the worst.
  • Example: Real life can often get in the way of roleplay, and sometimes players will disappear for extended periods of time. This may even happen without notice, and can be very disappointing if one has ties with their character. However, the most cooperative way to deal with such disappearances is to ask the other player what their PC has been up to during that absence, rather than assuming anything. Their PC is theirs, and they might decide they have simply been doing business as usual, or that their PC has been away for some reason.
  • Example: A great way to cooperate is to spread information around with other PCs, especially in-sphere. Nothing will suddenly leap out of the shadows without you at least getting a PM of “Investigation/Perception check, please!” and it will be obvious there’s an ST in the room with you before that!
  • Please Note: Good roleplay is just as important as good rolls. If you roll a 15 Courtier but have excellent and compelling arguments despite lots of noisy mouth-breathing, you may find that some people who are better-spoken than you understood the wisdom of your words, and would be happy to help articulate it better. Conversely, an 80 Courtier check to convince the audience that the speaker is in fact a flying shark will convince them that they are a very well-spoken nutjob


  • Not everyone can commit the same amount of time to game, and if an issue or plot is time-sensitive, don’t worry about the IC and OOC time matching up. If need be, scenes can be ‘bubbled:’ that is, they’ll officially happen when the scene or plot is completed, rather than leaving characters in limbo until the scene can end.
  • Sometimes players know more about a subject due to professional or educational training than the STs! We do try to research things thoroughly, but a nurse will know more about medicine than a Meatloaf, and an engineering student will know more physics. If you notice something is being portrayed inaccurately and aren’t certain as to whether it’s meant to be a clue (“but the blood wouldn’t spatter that way if it were a stab wound!”), ask OOC.
  • Different STs run different plots. While we do have many plans for crossover plots, those will be marked as such up front. Even if two plots look pretty similar, if different STs run them, don’t assume they are connected unless otherwise noted in OOC tagging. IC, this can be as simple as saying “I have a strong feeling these incidents are unrelated.” Heck, roll Divination and the spirits might tell you!
cooperative_roleplay_tips.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/31 14:20 by Jinsei