World of Harry Potter
  About Roleplaying

As children, many of us sought to take our favorite cartoons and create characters based in their world, running around and playing these fictional creations with our friends. Whether it was the cowboys and Indians of one generation or the Power Rangers of another, we created a character based in a world wrapped around certain rules. Cowboys used pistols and wore boots and hats and defended themselves from the onslaught of the Indians. The red Power Ranger transformed into a Tyrannosaurus Zord. Often, hours might be spent debating (fist fights?) these rules and the worlds in which they exist.

Conjur ClubThis is roleplaying in the purest sense. As children, we had no inhibitions in our roleplay. We got completely "in character." We didn't hold back. Roleplaying is the process of developing a person who is not ourselves and acting as that person in whatever situations arise. We place our character in an environment, in a situation, and among other people's characters, and act and react as our character would.

Now, there are two very key parts to this, which can be done to any extreme we wish. In the World of Harry Potter, we tend to prefer a very nice middle ground, leaning toward more rather than less. First is this "development" thing. Basically, "Who is my character?" Developing the background and personality of your character is key to roleplaying them. There are a variety of ways to do this, and no one way is best. One might come into the game knowing only that your character would be in a certain House (perhaps even because you, the player, like that House) and perhaps a one-line description. "Friendly kid from Scotland," or "Troubled youth from a broken home in London." Everything else, then, would be developed in game, based on what you and your character learn as you go. You'll both grow from interactions with other people and from situations that come up. Perhaps he'll have a strength of will and spirit he draws from his reliance on himself through his harrowing experiences of the first few years. Meanwhile, you as his player may still be learning the module, and be having difficulty here and there. But, by working those experiences into your character development, you build the character as a person. If there is a way to roleplay something, do it!

QuidditchThere are also many people who come into the game with a character completely fleshed-out, with pages and pages of history and background and personality. Perhaps you already know what the first eleven years of your character's life were like. You know that she grew up on a farm near Manchester and that she's a tough girl. She's been through a myriad of experiences that you have detailed and you know her inside and out. You arrive at Hogwarts already knowing she'll be a Hufflepuff who likes to get dirty and who will like certain kinds of people and hate others.

There are those who champion one way of doing things over another, but if you are in doubt, choose a nice middle ground...leaning this time toward more openness to development rather than elaborate pre-planning.

The other key part to roleplaying is the "acting" part. First, what is all this "OOC" and "IC" business? "Out Of Character" speech is, quite simply, speech that you say in game, but are saying as you the player. "In Character" speech is said by your character. We use a variety of conventions for this in our module, most commonly using double slashes "//" to precede OOC text or double parentheses "(( ))" to surround it.

So, how do we actually play this character we've made up? Some people would point to the limitations of the Neverwinter Nights game and say that it hinders roleplay or gives us too few options. To those people, I point to the text-based adventures of yesteryear. Neverwinter Nights gives us a chatbox, which we can use to all variety of levels in "emoting" what our character is doing. The convention most often used is to put a series of asterisks (*sits on the bench and sips from a mug of coffee*) around what is being *done* as opposed to what is being "said." In our module, we also have other tools provided to you. Various "emote wands" give you many options for your character's avatar, or figure, to move in certain ways in the game. Our custom-scripted "/e" emote command system provides you with many options for emoting your character right from your chatbar. Just type "/e" to see your options. We have master-scripters who have layered many fantastic systems onto the NWN base to bring you to our world—one of the most customized and entertaining of all the NWN mods. Being a Dungeons and Dragons-based game, we also use dice-rolling for many character actions. Both the emote wands and the "/e" system provide you with options for rolling dice to enhance the roleplay of your character.

Remember, any convention, system, item, or visual in the game exists for one purpose: to facilitate the roleplay of the characters. A very old saying goes nosce te ipsum - "Know Thyself." For roleplaying purposes, in our world we would say "know thy character." And to thine own character be true.

In the World of Harry Potter, we are children. Everyone starts out as an eleven-year-old student newly arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We progress through the years of study—doing homework, having adventures, sneaking out at curfew (don't get caught!), making friends, making enemies, and being kids. Enjoy being a child again, and welcome. Welcome to the World of Harry Potter.

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