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A short introduction First of all, let's make sure things a clear so that there aren't any misconceptions regarding the state of RP (Roleplay) in NinOnline. The main focus of the game is on PvP, emphasized by several tournaments and an active community creating new builds and an existing meta. And while RP is encouraged, it is not the focus. But Nin has had a track record of attracting people that come for precisely that, which is why I want to help anyone that may struggle with this unique RP environment. Index The basics of RP The RP of NinOnline 2.1. How Gameplay and RP tie together 2.2. The current timeline Your very own shinobi 3.1. Where and how to start 3.2. Goals and ambitions 3.3. Organizations 3.4. Consistency 3.5. Preventing to become a Mary Sue Tips, tricks, and examples 4.1.1. Being part of a Conversation 4.1.2. Being part of a Conversation: Examples 4.2 How to properly use the /e and /emotes commands 4.3 The chunin exam 1. The basics or RP RP, or roleplaying, is the art of socially interacting with another, or multiple, participants through writing. While this seems simple enough, achieving an exciting and enjoyable experience is much harder in reality. Several factors come into play, starting with some "rules". Now, these are not set in stone, and more like guidelines that anyone who has some experience with it will agree are necessary to ensure a smooth experience, even if some of them seem mundane or obvious. But they are the basics after all. No. 1 - Ownership Probably the most important thing, you only get to decide about your character. More often than not, you will see RP that you can't wrap your head around. Maybe it's their backstory, their behaviour in a particular situation, or so on. But no matter how major or minor your complaint is, it is their character. Dictating what someone can and can't is an absolute no go. If you dislike someones RP, walk away from it. If that is not a possibility, keep interactions with that character limited. No one else gets to decide what kind of character, fitting for the setting obviously, you can play. But more on that later. No. 2 - Writing and grammar Obviously, this is important, but people often assume that just writing proper English is all. It isn't. While being able to understand what you wrote is mandatory, given the whole social interaction through the writing part, but there is more to it. What you write can be grammatically correct, but still wrong regarding context and setting, or create a specific image for your character. It will be tough for others to perceive you like a deep and emotional character if you only ever talk like Killer Bee. And sure some people find it fun or will use the universal excuse of "That's just how I RP!" but aren't willing to live with the consequences of others not treating them in a way they would like. So always remember, not only check how but what you write. No. 3 - Focus Another point often overlooked. You must take your time and commit to the session. Leaving in the middle or not responding in conversations are big killers for RP and can quickly ruin it for everyone. And while there is casual RP, if it is clear that time is needed you've got to be ready to offer it. No one will judge you if your connection interrupts or private reasons make your leave the PC. But being hungry and ditching to make a sandwich or leaving because of your ranked match that is starting in a different game is poor behaviour and will guarantee that you won't find many people that are willing to RP with you anytime soon. No. 4 - RP =/= Normal Gameplay The title may be a bit confusing, so let me go into detail. RP makes you go into a role, and within that role, you may have friends and enemies only tied to said RP. So if you have a grudge against someone based of RP, don't carry this out of RP. It, first of all, doesn't make any sense and can fuel toxic behaviour within a community. It is fine having a rival or something similar but knowing when to stop is essential to maintain healthy relationships. But at the same time, trying to befriend anyone can cause trouble as well. The different villages in NinOnline have unique rules on interactions with members from other villages. So always keep track of the current relations between villages, or you'll quickly end up with no allies. Besides, you can't use the information that you acquired outside of RP when interacting with others. But more about that later. Now if you follow these guidelines or at least keep them in mind, it should make the whole experience better for you and everyone involved. And with those out of the way, let's get in-depth about the hows and whys of NinOnlines unique RP. 2. The RP of NinOnline The setting of NinOnline, as before mentioned, is a world full of shinobi taking inspiration from the Naruto universe. That is what we will mainly go off since NinOnline has no set story by the developer or any specific lore in that sense and is entirely run by the community. Villages and official organizations are controlled by players. Now, what does that mean for RP? A lot of people are under the assumption that "if there is nothing set, I can be whatever I want!" which is not the case. Over the several years that I've been playing, I saw scientist creating clones, war heroes seeking revenge, mafia leaders and all of them just genin. The issue that comes with this is inconsistency and a weak character that doesn't fit and won't be taken seriously. Going after the standards set in Naruto is the only way to provide a fair environment for everyone. Now people make the argument of Sasuke being a prodigy from a young age, Orochimaru was a genius scientist, and so on. What a lot of people forget is all those characters where established within their universe and were able to prove those statements. Coming fresh out of the academy boasting level 1 and claiming you are anything like them is childish at best and pathetic at worst. The gameplay of NinOnline takes a crucial part in this and helps us to differentiate the good from the bad, literally. 2.1. How Gameplay and RP tie together NinOnline is a game, with stats and levels. It has rules and regulations on how things work and interact with each other. You can certainly have a solid RP character claiming he is "the greatest Tai user" for example. But if you lose to any run of the mill Tai user, your RP starts falling apart. This is where Nin vastly differentiates from regular RP since just writing isn't enough to solidify your character. Players will test your statements, all the time, and not being able to prove your claims results in no one taking you seriously. At the same time, this opens some doors for people that are uncertain about what kind of character they want to pursue. Instead of claiming to be the best, make it your goal to become it. Now your character has a set goal with no set time of completion, which allows for natural RP that will keep itself alive. You need to be able to tie your RP with the gameplay you provide since they go hand in hand. It may seem like a burden to some since they prefer to be the protagonist, the hero, the chosen one of their own story. But this isn't your story. It is your story within NinOnline, full of people with their personal stories and goals. And obviously, that means you may never be the best but at the very least gives a reason to try and become it. Now, of course, if your goal isn't to become the strongest in combat, the gameplay still affects your RP. Don't claim to be a hardened fighter and die to a few bites of wolves, and don't claim to have jutsu that can crush any enemy and barely scratch someone in a spar. Your actions are tied to your RP, which brings both good and bad. It limits what you can do but prevents people from just making up whatever they please. And if they still do you know who to avoid. Back to the topic of how the gameplay and RP are connected. NinOnline offers different commands on how to express emotions and actions, for both casual and RP. For casual use, you have the /emotes command which will list you with several options to express feelings by showing a little emoticon above your character, shown below. (Not including the emotes /clap, /slowclap, /321, /rock, /paper, /scissors) /! /? /<3 /n /r /... /go /y /' /cry /huh /wave /grr /!! /hi /gg /owo While these are valid to use, it always depends on the people you RP with and the situation you find yourself in. That's also why I refer to them as casual; additionally, they are used by the majority of the community for regular conversations and goofing around. Now the alternative and prefered way of showing emotions by dedicated RPers ist to use the /e command. Typing /e followed by a space and any message will look like this: (/e is daydreaming, /e is feeling immense pain, /e is worried, and so on) This way of expressing yourself is not only more engaging but also allows you to go deeper with emotions and states of mind that simply can't be done with the emoticon method. It is also a fantastic way to be part of a conversation without forcing yourself in or interrupting others, but more on that later. The final part would be RP missions. Those are unique missions hosted by a higher ranking shinobi of your village and provide you with tokens that can be turned in for experience points. The host of the missions has free reign over deciding who passed the task and thus, poor RP may result in a failure. It is also an excellent way for people to get into RP if they haven't had a chance to do it before and can be a great way of showing how the RP of NinOnline works. There are currently 4 RP missions, available at level 12, 17, 22, and 27 respectively. There are also the Chunin Exams or CE for short which are advertised to be heavily RP focused, but I will make a separate section just for those. 2.2. The current timeline Even though there is no defined storyline, NinOnline had its fair share of events, official and player-made that all contribute to an exciting environment for RPers. Wars happened between villages, uprisings, rebellions, corruption, and if someone takes time to dig deep in the forums they'll find a plethora of beads to build a character on and make something truly unique. But, as per usual, this brings a lot of challenges as well. While you may believe in the corruption of a council, it is not necessarily canon unless there is empirical evidence. So while you can still RP with the idea of a corrupt council, remember that it is purely your take on the situation around you and not fact. And thus we face another problem, going back to guideline number 4. What if you find out on discord or see screenshots that prove your point? Let's stick with the council example. If you find out that council members were bribed to vote for a specific candidate through any other means than RP, first and foremost has this information to be reported IF it is going against the rules of NinOnline, that's a given. Then you can use this information, mock them, and so on. Now, if it is an elaborate RP event planned and overlooked by the staff, rules change. If you somehow got wind of anything, outside of RP, you can not use it since your character didn't acquire this information. But we are going off-topic so more on that later. So, remember that you have several options on how to perceive the world, based on past or current events. Want to be careful around the Anbu because you believe they are corrupt? Go ahead, but don't make things up. Justify it by events you read about on the forums or witnessed yourself instead. You think that the Sand village is switching leaders way too often, showing political weakness in your eyes, go ahead. Besides, if you are capable and confident enough, why not make a post yourself? Make it clear that it is for RP purposes and maybe you lead the next chapter of the timeline? It is a very touchy subject and hard to fully grasp by just reading about it, but eventually, if you spend enough time in the community, you will get the hang of it. This concludes the section about the unique RP environment of NinOnline, so let's move on the most exciting but also often the most significant source of conflict in RP. Your Character. 3. Your very own shinobi Now that we know about the basics of RP and the specific situation in NinOnline, it is finally time to start making your character to throw out there! But where to start? This section goes into detail about the basics of character creation, their backstory, and common mistakes to avoid. 3.1. Where and how to start First of all, we need to remember what we learned in section 2 and 2.1. If you are a new player and start the game, you will be an academy student at level one. And while it is pretty simple to advance to the genin rank, the fact remains that you are a greenhorn. A beginner about to step foot into this new world. So what can we do for our character in terms of RP? First of all, the backstory is always an excellent way to start. If we visit our profile, we see a tab titled Ninja Bio. This is the perfect place for your backstory since it is easily accessible by everyone. In terms of design, there are no set of rules, and everyone has their style. Always check out the bios of other players to see how they did it and get inspired. A popular method of making ones bio more unique is creating ninja info cards. Their designs also vary and can be found on a lot of profiles, but let's continue with the main topic. So you have the ninja bio tab open, excited to create something and find yourself in one of those two scenarios. 1. I got so many ideas, where should I start? 2. I got no idea what to do whatsoever. We already established, as a beginner, there isn't much in terms of achievements that you could've possibly done. So refrain from making you look like the best of the bunch. We know that our abilities in-game tie to our RP, so more humble beginnings are recommended. If you prove yourself, you can start going down that route and start pursuing RP in that direction. But more importantly, and often overlooked, is your heritage. How did you grow up? What about your family? Any rivals or close friends? What made you go down the path of a shinobi? By answering all these questions, adding some character traits, things they like & dislike, it elevates your character far above the standard and is a solid base for future additions. Once again, though, remember section 2. If you claim that you come from a village that was raided by the neo-akatsuki and destroyed, this is not canonical nor has it happened as any sort of event. If you still want to stick with it, why not be from one of the main villages? They got raided multiple times throughout the timeline by a plethora of different people and groups. Not only is a backstory like that more believable, but it also solidifies your character as part of this world despite not have taken part in mentioned events. With everything set, let's go for some goals. 3.2. Goals and ambitions You wrote your backstory, created your character, and got some levels. What now? A lot of new players face this problem when playing, and it becomes even more of an issue for RPers. Having a goal becomes tough if the "story" of the game is everchanging and dynamic. We can avoid running into this roadblock by utilizing the features given to us by the game. As mentioned before, the simplest goal would be a combat orientated one. Trying to become a good PvPer and basing our goals of that. While it isn't the most unique nor incredibly exciting path to go for, it is a reliable option and something that will never fail due to the strong presence of PvP. If you like fighting but want to have more RP becoming a teacher may suit you. Using what you learned and training the new generation is not only a fantastic way to incorporate PvP with RP but also helps the community. Getting beaten by a random ??? that jumped them helps no one and discourages, especially new players. Being able to train and improve your skills in a controlled environment is especially alluring to newcomers, and a great way of making your mark as a teacher in terms of RP. Not into fighting others but enjoy grinding and collecting? The role of a merchant would suit you best. NinOnline has several cosmetics that you can farm and sell to interested buyers. Buy joining the official NinOnline discord you also get access to the trade channel, with constant offers to buy and sell a multitude of items. Not a fighter and prefer to support? Welcome to the world of medical-nin. Being able to heal others can be a significant edge in different situations, and the unique ability to revive someone prevents the infamous battle injuries status. And for anyone afraid that they won't be able to defend themselves from threats as a medic, NinOnline made sure that if you can heal a lot, you can hurt a lot. It may sound confusing at first, but you'll understand if you play the game. With some goals for the long-term set, there are a few more things you can do to flesh out your character. 3.3. Organizations NinOnline has several organizations in the game, official and player-made. These organizations are beneficial for RPers since they allow us to find a place of like-minded individuals to pursue common goals for all sorts of purposes. Can't find an organization that suits you? Create your own! It is a robust tool to emphasize what your character stands for and create a micro-community within the world. As I mentioned before, there are official organizations like the police force, for example. Adding a new layer of rules, these official organizations are perfect for people that are still desperately looking for any sort of "legitimate" reason to RP since now, sticking with the police force, you are enforcing the rules of the village. You have a unique role in the bigger picture of that villages community. And if you prefer the more evil side of things, the neo-akatsuki is something you can strive for. 3.4 Consistency So for this section, we assume our character has a pretty normal backstory. He grew up in the Sand village, a mom and dad with no other siblings. His backstory states that he never went out of the sand territory. Let's assume he managed to reach level 30 and became a chunin sticking to his backstory. He hosts an RP mission for some genin and decides to slay some tigers with them. In RP one of the genin asks him if it is safe to go there and our chunin replies "Of course, I know that place like the back of my hand". Now if he wasn't just coky in front of his team, he just caused an inconsistency. Describing your character in one way and acting completely different is exceptionally harmful to RP since, as we mentioned before, we have to go by a set of rules; otherwise anyone can be everything, which is not what RP is. A much simpler example is, someone states in their bio that they are terrified of blood and can't stand to see it, almost passing out at the sight of it. Now they pick either weapon master or medic as their masteries. This makes little sense in regards to his backstory since both of these roles are the closest to blood, with the weapon master causing open wounds using his swords and tools and medical-nin having to tend wounded allies. This would be less inconsistent if they justify it by saying they want to overcome their fear head-on. Otherwise, the character has no reliable backstory that others can use in RP. But this applies to all aspects of a character. The way they talk, behave, react, the more specific you define this, the more attention you have to pay. The best RPers are the ones that rarely, if ever, break character and stick with it no matter what. Being able to do and say anything turns you into a Mary Sue, which we will look at in the next section. 3.5 Preventing to become a Mary Sue. Taken from Wikipedia: "A Mary Sue is a generic name for any fictional character who is so competent or perfect that this appears absurd, even in the context of the fictional setting. Mary Sues are often an author's self-insertion or wish fulfilment. They may excel at tasks that should not be possible for them [...] They may disregard previously established aspects of the fiction such as characterization and natural laws." This is important to know since many beginners tend to create characters that fall under those criteria. They make shinobi that are both open and friendly but are also laid-back and shy. They love going out with friends but are introverts at the same time. Several different characteristics that contradict themselves and make for a terrible character. Also, they tend to give them too many abilities and strengths. We already established that in terms of PvP you couldn't make anything up since you have to prove yourself against others. However, people still manage to ruin their characters by adding all sorts of skills. Great at cooking, dancing, fantastic climber, fearless, immense willpower, the list goes on and on. A lot of people want to make a good character, and no one wants to be labelled as weak or useless but more often than not are weaknesses of a character what gives them depth. No one will care for the journey of a character that is already a master of all, and no one will cheer for them in a tournament, but rather the underdog that despite his obvious short-comings made it just as far. Weaknesses do not equate to a weak character, but a well-rounded one. Now we should have our character, presumably not a genetically modified shinobi, time traveller, or the lost descendant of god knows who, but a young shinobi setting out to carve his name into history with his ambitions and beliefs, with strengths and weaknesses. With a goal in mind and a potential organization in sight, you have your very own character and the all the basics to start RPing in NinOnline. The next section goes more into depth about some topics and provides some additional help by using made-up scenarios and interactions that can help everyone, not just newcomers. 4. Tips, tricks, and examples This part of the guide will focus on a more direct approach by showing you side by side comparisons of different RP encounters and extensions of the previous topics. There are many facets to it and, especially even for advanced RPers, it is often a struggle to perform right, no matter the preparation or dedication. I'll try my best to provide examples tailored to NinOnline. 4.1.1. Being part of a Conversation While I talked a lot about the relevance of actual skill concerning the gameplay, at the very start, we established that RP is the written interaction between individuals. And we do that mainly through dialogue. It is simple enough to talk with one person only and do RP, let them finish, they let you finish. Not much to do wrong here. The tricky part starts when there are multiple people involved. So let's lay down some ground rules necessary for a smooth experience and then go into the intricacies of it. As mentioned before, allowing someone to finish their sentence is key to proper dialogue. But now, with multiple people involved, it may become quite hard to join in or get your point across. We already established that your character is not a protagonist by default. So sometimes you may slide into the role of supporting or side character, and don't let that discourage you. And usually, if the people involved know what they are doing, they will let you have a say eventually. Keeping that in mind, you may find yourself in the spotlight of an RP session. The key is not to overdo it. If you already got in that position, it doesn't make sense to hog it and makes the whole experience boring for others. And always keep in mind, you won't always be in that position, so if you abuse it, you may receive the same treatment or will be exempted from future sessions altogether. Another big problem is almost abusing the (OOC) or (Out Of Character) clause. Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you would have to break RP, you would type in brackets (). We already established that we are all humans, mistakes are made, and sometimes things are just not clear enough. You can use this to indicate to others that the sentence on display is not from your character, but the player behind the screen. What do I mean when I say abusing? A lot of players, especially inexperienced ones, will constantly break character and type a lot of messages with the (Out Of Character) method. And just like most things, it should be used only if necessary. If you don't understand and order, don't break character to ask what you need to do, but do it in character. No one will judge you for asking a question, but they will if you keep interrupting the RP since that is what we are doing. We are out of character, meaning the RP was interrupted by something else. In most scenarios breaking character is not needed, but people assume it is fine since it is precisely that, out of character but can't see that they are still a major roadblock for a smooth experience. So unless absolutely necessary and unachievable by any other means, try to avoid it like the plague. Now if you find yourself in the position of a bystander, you can still contribute. We learned about using /emotes and /e earlier. This is an excellent opportunity to put them to use and make the session more exciting. Did someone say something exciting? Show it by using an emote! Your enemy said something infuriating, but is still in his monologue? Start fuming! Maybe your emotions will lead to attention from others, and thus you managed to be a passive part of the conversation and get an active role. Now, as with everything, don't overdo it. Not every quip needs an emotional response, and overusing /emotes and /e is a common beginners mistake. Use it sparingly at the right time, and you'll make any conversation much more lively. Let's look at some examples. 4.1.2 Being part of a Conversation: Examples So let's have a scenario of 4 people involved, a specialized jonin (Saku) with his assigned team (Flame, Iskarus, Hisa) doing a simple reconnaissance mission. Name: Text like this represents normal dialouge (Text like this represents events happening in-game) Text like this represents using the /e command Saku: Alright, we have arrived, Flame and Hisa, make sure no one was here before. Flame: Sure thing. Hisa: Will do. (Flame and Hisa start moving around, investigating the area) Saku: Iskarus, you'll follow me, we will check the surrounding area. Iskarus yawns Iskarus: That sounds boring as hell. Saku: Too bad, come on, follow me. Iskarus shrugs. (Iskarus and Saku move ahead, but can't find anything suspicious) Iskarus: Great, a waste of time. Saku: I know you'd rather be sparring now, but we have a mission to do. Iskarus: Wasn't there anything more exciting available? Saku frowns. Saku: It's not always about fighting, you know? Iskarus: Tell that to the neo-akatsuki. Flame: Complaining again, Iskarus? (Flame and Hisa joined up with Iskarus and Saku) Iskarus: Ah, shut up, nobody asked you. Flame starts laughing. Saku: Did you find anything? Hisa: No, nothing at all. Hisa stretches and yawns. Hisa: So can we go home now, I'm tired. Iskarus: Yeah, we are wasting our time here. Flame: As if you have anything better to do. Flame grins wide. Iskarus: I do, beating you in another sparring match. Flame: Ist that so? Well, let's go then! (Flame enables PvP, indicating he is ready to spar.) Iskarus: Sure, I get to beat you in a different setting. (Iskarus enables PvP as well) Hisa crosses her arms. Hisa: So immature. (Flame and Iskarus get in position, but Saku runs between them) Saku: Enough already, this is too dangerous. Flame: Ugh, fine. (Flame disables PvP) Iskarus: Oh, what, afraid? You should be. Saku starts grinning. Saku: If you want to spar that badly, let's head back to the village, and we have a go. Loser has to buy ramen for the team. Flame looks excited. Hisa: Nice, free ramen. Iskarus: Anytime Teach, get ready to pay up! Saku: We'll see. (The group heads back to the village) That was a lot; let's analyze the conversation and use of emotes. I wrote it deliberately with everyone being considerate of each other and assuming no one interrupted anyone. Notice how a majority of sentences are kept short. This is very important and something you should always pay attention to. Writing too much slows down the flow of the conversation, people will be too busy reading your wall of text, and the RP quickly withers away. This applies even more to the /e command. Writing too much is counterproductive since it is meant for emotions and not conversations. On the topic of using /e, notice how I used it in a way to connect it to the previous or upcoming sentence. This is a great way to give your dialogue more punch and make it feel alive. Sometimes the /e command has been used purely for reactions, which is a clear example of the earlier mentioned method of being part of a conversation without interrupting it. The amount of /e used is also in an acceptable range, but some could argue against it. This always comes back to preference, but since the things they wrote in /e were very short I doubt anyone would have a problem with it. So this is what we gathered. -Use sweet and short sentences unless you need to describe something of importance, or it just can't be done otherwise. -Use the /e command, but keep it short and don't overdo it. Now let's look at another example. This time, with a jonin (Reign) and his team of genin (Randi, Sepu, Dominic) doing a reconnaissance mission as well. Name: Text like this represents normal dialouge (Text like his represents events happening in-game) Text like this represents using the /e command Reign: We arrived at the destination mentioned in our mission documents. Let's scout out the nearby area and find any clues that may lead to enemy movement of any sort. Randi and Sepu, you check this sector while Dominic and I will check the next one. Sepu: Alright. Dominic: Understood. Randi: What the hell, no way. I will go with you Sensei, Dominic is not ready to handle a surprise attack like I am. Dominic: What makes you say that? Randi: Sensei, trust me, you are much better off with me on your side. Dominic: Hey, I'm talking to you! Dominic gets angry. (Randi runs ahead of the group) Reign: I guess Randi and I will go. You two stay together then. Dominic: ... Sepu pats him on the back. Sepu: Don't let it get to you. Dominic: You're right. (Meanwhile, Reign runs after Randi and meets up with him) Reign: Randi, this kind of behaviour goes against everything they teach you in the academy, and I won't have a genin disobey me and make up their own mind. It is simply unacceptable, and I hope you understand the consequences of your action. Randi: Look sensei, I found footprints. And from the looks of it, they must've been from the neo-akatsuki, and they are fresh too, maybe we can catch them off guard! Randi revels in the fact that he found something by himself, screaming out loud "Soon I will get my revenge on the neo-akatsuki for attacking our village." Reign: Now hold up how can you be sure that it is from the neo-akatsuki? We have no reports of them in our mission documentation, and they haven't been roaming this area for quite some time. (Reigns message was barely sent as another wall of text from Randi is posted) Randi: Take the others to the village and warn the Kage; I will go ahead and find more evidence. Don't worry; I'll manage on my own. Reign: Listen here; you are the genin; I am the jonin. You don't give orders. Randi: What the hell, I am clearly more competent than all of you. Why would you prevent me from pursuing my destiny, my NINJA WAY! You know what, maybe the neo-akatsuki is right after all. I don't need a village to hold me down. Screw you and these other morons. I'll be back even stronger and crush you. Randi gets furious about the fact that the jonin won't understand him and proceeds to flee into the wilderness by himself. (Randi runs off into a different map, not regarding Reign or his team in any way) We will end the convo here because I am sure the majority can tell that this was an example of how to do everything wrong. I purposefully wrote it with everyone staying in character despite the horrible RP going on, to make the errors more clear. So let's dissect and apply what we already know. First of all, both Reign and Randi are writing way too much. Their sentences are long, full of unnecessary information and overall poorly executed. The most significant problem child here is Randi. Not only does he continuously write excessively, but he ignores his teammates and his higher up. He is lost in monologues and forces himself into the position of leader. This also applies to the way he is using the /e command. That command is used to express emotions and actions one takes that aren't doable by gameplay means. We established that these should be used both sparingly and kept short. He overdoes it and makes his performance even more underwhelming. These mistakes become much more problematic since the chatbox used in NinOnline is already small, and long sentences like that make it impossible to have fluent RP for everyone involved. 4.2. How to properly use the /e and /emotes commands I have been mentioning it a lot, and we are going to use this section to elaborate on how exactly you should use it without hurting your RP instead of helping it. Said several times already, but something that can't be stressed enough. Don't overdo it!!! It is the biggest mistake of a lot of people and the downfall of their maybe otherwise completely fine RP. You should keep what you say in /e short and sweet. Here are some good examples. (Someone else said something to another person.) Saku is angry. (Someone stars yelling or screaming) Saku shrieks in surprise. (A friend or ally gets defeated in combat) Saku starts tearing up. To the point, clear, not disrupting the flow of conversation, and thus, the flow of the RP stays intact. Now for some terrible examples. (Someone else said something to another person.) Randi gets infuriated about what the hokage just said, he can't believe that he heard it with his own ears. (Someone stars yelling or screaming) Randi is struck with fear, causing him to stumble backwards and fall on to his rear, resulting in his pants getting dirty. (A friend or ally gets defeated in combat) Randi suddenly realizes a wet feeling on his eyes "Are those tears?" as he quickly wipes them away with his forearm. Now we have to make it clear that, objectively these sentences aren't wrong. Some may argue they provide more information than the short versions, but they aren't taking into consideration the context of a given situation. 90% of the time, short sentences are more appropriate and just work better. So what about the other 10%? This is where you go back to the topic of context. If several people are interacting with each other, we use the short versions, but in some unique cases, we can use the more extended versions that are similar to what Randi used. Below I will list possible scenarios that may be applicable. 1. As a way to initiate RP If there isn't already any RP going on and you don't just want to ask for it blatantly, you can use a longer /e message to indicate your intentions effectively. Saku gets excited seeing his friend Flame sparring and decides to join him Saku is happy to be greeted by Iskarus, and starts grinning wide. Saku is baffled that Hisa got so much stronger since the last time they met. This is a valid use and clear sign that you are currently RPing and thus totally acceptable to be wordier than average. 2. Doing a specific action in RP Maybe your team leader asked youto look for clues in the forest where a group of genin have been assaulted. Instead of simply walking around a bit and continuing the conversation, you can use a longer /e message. Saku gets frustrated since he can't find anything useful in the area. Saku shudders as he accidentally puts his onto a bloodstain. Saku rummages through a bush and manages to find a strange-looking kunai. Scenarios like these are probably the best for longer /e sentences since they paint a picture we can't achieve otherwise. The trick is not to use this all the time and is one of the most common mistakes during chunin exams. Standing in the waiting room and using a sentence like this: Randi pulls out a scroll with plans and strategies for the upcoming exams and shows it to his friends. Let's remember context. In our first example, Saku was given a task and used the /e command to emphasize his actions that he couldn't do otherwise. In the instance of Randi, it becomes trickier. If no one asked him and he just said it for the sake of RP, it is a poor choice and somewhat of an ass-pull. It is much more graceful to talk about a plan with your team and create it right then and there. Thus, after your entire team does some RP you could use a /e sentence like: Randi writes everything down that he has discussed with his team. Now it becomes much more understandable and more exciting since it is a reaction to a prior event. If you want to insist that you were prepared beforehand make that clear to the rest of the people involved. Mention it to your team in a conversation, brag about having studied prior exams, etc. You need a set-up, or otherwise, your RP will suffer. 3. Thoughts and Passive Interaction Sometimes, you don't want to say something directly but share certain information or feelings with your peers. This is where longer /e sentences can come in handy. But be careful since this is another big problem for a lot of people, overdoing it and technically never saying anything and being mute, in an RP sense. There are generally two methods we can approach to get our thoughts across. A direct and a more narrative one. The direct way would look like this: Flame starts thinking "Why won't anyone listen to the kage during the chunin exams?" In this case, we can see what the character in question is thinking about any given scenario. The narrative solution would look like this: Flame is confused; he didn't expect the chunin exams to be so unorganized. This way makes it seem, as the name suggests, that someone is narrating his thoughts and allows us to phrase things that would be otherwise not fitting your character (throwback to section 3.4) as long as it is within reason. We can also use longer sentences for situations where you simply can't interact with but don't want your character just to stand around and be silent. So let's assume we know for certain our character won't be getting any involvement for a set amount of time, and we don't to just spurt out random lines. Now lines like ... Flame stretches and lays down on the floor, trying to get himself into a comfortable position. ... become acceptable because you won't be doing much anyway, and is an excellent way to be a passive part of the RP, of course under the assumption you won't overdo it. So what have we learned? Using the /e command is a double-edged sword. While it provides your RP with a lot more depth and can make for some engaging scenarios and conversations, using it poorly or in excessive amounts can quickly make you look like a complete tool. So always remember, when you are about to type your next /e command, ask yourself "Is this really necessary?". It is regularly better to type less. We already know that we can't constantly be in the spotlight, but we can always make a fool out of ourselves. Use /e responsibly. 4.3 The chunin exam The without a doubt biggest RP event available for players is the Chunin Exam, or CE for short. This is a tournament hosted by the Kage of a village and the primary way to advance from the genin rank. I have been part of, and spectated, several CE over the four years and was the first person to receive a higher rank because of RP. So I want to use this opportunity to talk about this major RP event and why the outcome should not discourage you from doing RP or stop playing altogether. Let's get started! Since players in the form of the Kage and the higher ranking shinobi are in charge of handling the CE, they all vary greatly in execution. Some may go more smoothly than others, and the enforcement of RP is handled differently. Already we come to a big issue with the CE. At the time of creating this guide, I was fortunate enough that a CE was held within one of the villages. And witnessing the decision making of the Kage made it extremely clear that the player run communities are both a blessing and a curse. Let us look at some examples. "Kage A held a CE. He is overall considered ruthless and harsh for his strictness and enforcement of rules, both PvP and RP related. And not doing any RP at all restricts you from receiving a higher rank, even if you would've won the entire tournament. The higher ranking shinobi overwatching his CE act similarly." "Kage B held a CE. It has just begun, and the crowd is rowdy. He tells them to be quiet to explain the rules. One of the participants, entirely out of character, constantly interrupts him. The Kage, in RP, walks up to him and warns him for the last time. He continues though, met with an emoticon by the Kage. The Kage is overall very forgiving and doesn't punish at all. His higher ranking shinobi act similarly, breaking RP regularly and fooling around, even arguing with him, but not in an RP sense." Now we have two completely different Kage and how they handle their CE. Every RPer will of course side with Kage A, since in their eyes it is the proper way to host such an event. But we established that this is a PvP focused game and community. So while it is called an RP event, since it is in the hand of sometimes people that never did any RP, you can see how this becomes a huge problem. So a majority of people prefer Kage B, since he will pardon and give them second chances till the actual fighting portions of the tournament start. This is also why I mentioned it at the beginning, don't get discouraged by the CE since Kage change as do participants, so you have a chance to be part of a decent one eventually. And some may think now "But why participate if RP isn't enforced properly?" and I can only say you are right. The CE is a big turn off due to the false advertisement and inadequate regulations in most cases, but as stated, villages are run by players. And the examples given weren't made up, but things that happened in real CE tournaments. And again, some may think now "If even the higher ranks don't care, why should I?" and once again I can only say you are correct. You shouldn't, but it is the only official way to get a higher rank within the game by RP means or at least stated that way. And maybe you get lucky and have a Kage A hosting your tournament. I realize that it sounds underwhelming for everyone that wants to join because of the RP but still do it. You need a team, after all, so get some friends together, and if everyone is just not caring, at least your team will. CE are a great way to make memories, and even a Kage B may see your RP performance and gives you a rank. And if you think that is impossible with the current leadership, try to push for a vote, or change villages. As an RPer, we are the minority, so we have to bend a lot to get the experience we desire. Some may have been looking for actual advice, but following this guide is all you need. It is a glorified RP session after all, so the same rules apply. We talked about how to be part of a conversation, consistency, passive engagement, and the use of emotes. There isn't anything else you would need for the CE. So give it your best, and obviously, try to have fun with it. Don't get frustrated over other people failing miserably trying to string a coherent sentence together. RP with your team and be the best at it and trust me, if you give it your all, people will notice you. They always do. And this concludes my guide on NinOnline specific RP. I am always willing to help someone in terms of RP regarding their backstory or otherwise so just message me. I hope I could help someone with it and can't wait to see you in-game. Afterword If anyone wonders who I am and why I did this. I'm Saku, joined this game a little over 4 years ago, only ever had this account and been a big fan of RP way before that. As mentioned already, I was the first person to receive a rank because of RP, being promoted to the first specialized jonin of Nin. That's why I wanted to make this updated guide since there is an older version pinned, but I felt it didn't represent me or the Nin RP accurately, so I reworked it. I enjoy writing, so feedback is highly appreciated. Thanks for taking your time reading this far. You're the best.