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–verb (used with object)
1. to assume the attitudes, actions, and discourse of (another), esp. in a make-believe situation...

Role Playing in Freelancer Discovery

As a new player and even as an experienced player, people realize they lack the knowledge to roleplay correctly and efficiently. Starting out and making the first attempt to roleplay is very difficult for this reason. It can seem that a lot of demands and complaints are being placed on those who start out and attempt to roleplay. This article attempts to encompass the main points of staying in character and roleplaying efficiently.

Faction Role Playing

In Discovery, there are factions who enforce rules of their own in their systems and expect all players in the system to follow them. This is called Faction RP. It is important to remember that it is not against server rules to break faction rules. However, breaking faction RP rules will usually result in hostilities being initiated between the faction and the character you are roleplaying.

Choosing Your Role

In discovery, your roleplaying is determined by your reputation and ID. The ID is an equip-able item in the Internal Equipment section of a ship's inventory. All players must have one ID equipped at all times. When you first create your character, the character is equipped with a Civilian ID.

Listed below are a few types IDs:

Military ID's
A military ID is usually used by police or military officers. There is often a player faction associated with the military in the area, so be ready to join up with them since military independents are generally frowned upon. Playing a military role involves a lot of commitment to high quality RPing.
Trader ID's
A trader ID is for people who want to run cargo routes with large transport ships. Traders are easy to roleplay, as one usually only ever has to deal with pirates and law enforcement. Most people tend to have one trader character because trading is the easiest way to make money.
Pirate ID's
Pirates spend their time waiting outside of trade lanes to catch unsuspecting Traders and force them to pay a toll or demand their cargo. Pirate Role Players often have some swanky accent or shout AVAST at ships which enter their cunning traps, although this old-fashioned pirate-talk is technically OoRP (out of roleplay) itself.
Freelancer ID's
Freelancer and Mercenary IDs are pilots who hire themselves out to traders for protection across inter-system space. Generally, the police take care of pirates in the deeper reaches of the home systems, but out on the edges or the boarders or on secret routes between, Freelancers are the only thing that stand between the Traders and the Pirates. Freelancers are allowed to fly transports, fighters and gunboats, although most naval forces do not like non military players to fly their gunboats.
Freelancers and Mercenaries tend to be a little overprotective, but generally ought to abide by the laws, or try to appear to at least. They'll try to get away with what they can, but will often back down when confronted by the law.

More IDs do exist in the game, many being variations of those listed above. It is recommended to find one which best suits the character being roleplayed.


Doing missions for bases of different alignments will make you friendlier with the people at that base. Unfortunately, it has the side effect of making the people you're fighting like you less. Be sure to think about what kind of player you want to be so that in the future you can be properly aligned and buy the right IDs. This is especially important to consider if you plan on being unlawful because many unlawful IDs are hard to come by once you're a friend of the police.

Your Ship

Your ship is as important as your ID. The first thing to do is to make sure that whatever you're flying is allowed by your ID. This is governed by the Tech Chart. The second thing to do before purchasing a ship is to think about whether or not your character would conceivably be flying that ship. It wouldn't make sense for a Naval officer of Liberty to fly a Bretonian gunboat or any vessel of an unlawful faction, or a lawful trader, to fly a Pirate craft. Freelancers have a bit more freedom, but still ought to think about what is reasonable for them to have.

Remember that some factions have rules governing which ships players ought not to have for their RP. If you buy a ship from a planet, be prepared to be treated as if you came from that planet by such factions (Usually these are military factions, which means battleships). Also, certain factions demand that players wishing to purchase 'their' capital ships (ie ships of gunboat-class or above affiliated to the NPC faction they represent) fulfill some requirement, which can range from simply posting the ship's name on a register, to paying a substantial fee to the faction, to actually having to join the faction and wait to be promoted to a sufficient rank, all depending on your ID and the faction who's equipment you want to use. As long as the Tech Chart allows the ship you will not be banned (or otherwise sanctioned) for ignoring these requirements - however, they are in-roleplay rules and if you break them then the faction in question can legitimately attack you in the same way as if you were smuggling or attacking their ships.

Your Weapons

Your weapons can get you in a lot of trouble. By and large, people don't care what you equip, until you start equipping powerful weapons, however, it is important to note that server rules only allow you to mount weapons allowed by the Tech Chart. If you buy weapons from a player dealer or from a planet where an enemy of the government is in control, chances are you're doing something illegal and will eventually have a run in with the police. This is OK, so long as you consciously make the choice In Character and you are acting in accordance with Discovery RP 24/7 Server Rules and the Tech Chart.

In Character Decisions

Before every purchase, before every action, always think "What Would My Character Do?" and you shouldn't go wrong. When you buy a weapon or a ship, think of all possible in game consequences before proceeding. Buying an illegal weapon basically makes you into a smuggler. Buying a ship made by enemies makes you into a traitor. Buying a ship or weapon not listed as allowable to your ID on the Tech Chart makes you a rule breaker and can lead to loss of credits or a ban. Be careful with what you do in game as it will effect what others think of you and how they act towards you.

Conversation and Chat

A commonly overlooked aspect of role playing is staying in character during chat. I like to put on accents when I roleplay (Which are hard to type) and change my attitude. Most importantly, remember to hide your true feelings of anger and frustration when you play. Screaming about rules at a pirate or a naval officer won't do you any good (and in many cases is against server rules), however staying in character and talking smooth can often earn you respect and get you out of tricky situations.

Have your story ready! When the police stop you to ask why you're flying an Order ship or why you're trying to sneak into Alaska, have a story ready. If you can't think of a convincing reason to go there, the police won't be able to buy what you tell them and they will probably assume you're evil and kill you. If you get caught by pirates and are begging for your life, it helps to have some consistent RP reason to live. As I said before, good role playing will often get you out of trouble. Good role players respect good role players, not rules mongers who scream that they're going to report everyone to the Admins (in some cases this can also be a violation of server rules). This kind of behavior spoils the game for everyone, whereas role playing betters the environment and is good for everyone.

Below a few roleplay styles are described. Feel free to use them when and where appropriate.

  • Silence is Golden: Some role players speak only when spoken to. This can be to avoid detection, or it can be out of shyness. This is perfectly ok. Be prepared that the most common people to speak to you will be police and pirates, so have some witty retorts or respectful comments prepared just in case.
  • Game only RP: Another group of role players only role plays as far as the game goes. They're a captain in space and they hail other vessels, sound like something out of a sci-fi movie and are generally quite appropriate for the setting. They'll banter back and forth, they know who their character is, but mostly how they relate to combat, trade, and other such facets of the physical game.
  • My other life is a star pilot: The final group that I've noticed on discovery takes the cake. There are some who role play everything from in space combat, warnings to friends, walking each other back to their rooms after docking, and wailing over the death of a fallen comrade. These people go above and beyond the call of duty to make the game more like a forum RP attached to a video game and less like an in character space shooter. The only thing I have to ask here is that you respect the other players and keep some of the more complex role playing to group or private chat. Nobody really cares if you're walking your friend back to the dining hall aboard Newark Station, but private chat is a perfect place to do that when doing serious role playing between two or more people.

Unnacceptable Conversation

When new pilots first jump into a Starflier they often are infected with a terrible disease thought to have come from Planet Harris' surface. Sometimes it jumps over to veteran pilots in an unknown way. Many police are wary of this disease and if they detect it, they will challenge the affected person to determine if the pilot is capable of safely flying their ship. This terrible disease is known as "Lawl's Syndrome". It often appears in conversations with variants such as "lol", ":)", ":(" and many others. There is a cure, thankfully, and this is to continually expose the affected pilot to good roleplay. Eventually the lawl syndrome will be replaced with good roleplay itself and the affected pilot will show positive signs of growth.

There have been reports of lawl syndrome appearing in private messages, but this is still unconfirmed.

Some words are expressly forbidden by the server rules and as such will incur heavy penalties from the Admins. All swear words are not allowed to be used in system chat, or in private chat. This server is populated by pilots of all ages and there are many 10-15 year olds who do not need to be subjected to words that need not be typed/spoken.

Acceptable Conversation

There are many times when a pilot needs to express themselves in RPed anger or laughter. Do not use terms like "lol" or "rofl" - write something like *laughs heartily* or Hehe.. While mild swearing (god-damn idiot) is generally tolerated and many factions have a policy of "anything goes" inside their group and private chats, remember that publicly, there's a limit - avoid profanity you won't see on afternoon TV, though feel free to substitute it with the well-known "Frak", mask it with *bzzt* *static* or come up with something entirely new. Marking out "hard" swearing with asterisks is a sanction-able offense. Don't do it. Additionally, personal insults directed at a player and not a character are a sanction-able offense.

See also