Role Playing Servers/Realms are special servers for players who want to play as their characters, complete with character backstory and personality quirks.
General rules for Role Playing realms: you must pick a name that could actually be a name, not a travesty of letters; you must talk as your character when speaking in public (/s /y /emote); and never harass others.
My family and I recently rolled extremely casual alts on an RP server. We didn't want to get caught up in another bland group grind, and since our mains are horde in a cozy-wozy guild we love, we didn't want anything that would put pressure on us or that would waste our time when we could be grinding gold or mega lootz instead. We wanted relaxing.
So, since we all like to make backgrounds and/or personalities for our characters, we thought a Role Playing server would be a fun experiment.
- Myrna Birdfall (Me): Sensible, serious, to-the-point. Likes to keep a low profile. Favorite emote is /sigh. Gets annoyed by her group.
- Latoria Birdfall (my sister-in-law): Birdfall's incorrigible little sister. Loves to tease and is the only person allowed to call Birdfall by her given name. Always trying to set Birdfall up with guys.
- Zubasi (my brother): Druid hippie. Likes to smoke Peacebloom. Mellow.
- Dorqueak (my husband-guy): High-energy warlock, afraid of demons.
What to Expect on RP
I think the first question for any newbie on a Role Playing server is "What do I do? What is expected?"
- In groups and whispers, it's up to you if you want to stay in character or not.
- Speaking "out loud" must always be In Character.
- To keep people from being confused when you speak "Out of Character," put parentheses around your words: ((Hang on, I'm going to the bathroom.)) Doing this too much "out loud" will annoy people, though.
- Don't call people by their names unless you've been introduced. Some people like you to ask their name.
- In any major city, you can walk around until you find a group of people standing around talking to each other as the characters they play, not as themselves. It's a good way to see how others Role Play and how you can be expected to act. (Never interrupt these groups. It's rude to insinuate yourself on someone else's role playing.)
- General, Trade, and other such channels are not RP-required, but some people like to role play in them. The main requirement is that you stay on-topic in these channels.
- The best Role Playing addon, in my opinion, is MyRolePlay. It's the only one that has a backstory panel. (Installation: Download to desktop; Open My Computer - C: - Program Files - World of Warcraft - Interface - Addons; Unzip file in Addons folder; Restart Warcraft.)
- Role Players are very nice, helpful, and understanding of beginners. If you whisper that you're clueless about what to do but are trying your best, you'll get plenty of pointers.
- Don't make your character better than (or a descendant of) the epic heroes of the game, as this will make your role playing boring and get on everyone else's nerves. (For example, I made Birdfall ordinary: slightly-above-average rogue; dresses in plain, dark clothing; doesn't stand out in a crowd of Night Elves. It's because she's a rogue -- she wants to blend so she can do her job. It also makes her a perfect foil for her silly crowd.)