Useful threads: setting, story, & roleplay.

Argent Dawn
The purpose of this thread is to collect and advertise useful threads and sources, for any player looking to find out more about the setting, or about roleplaying and story-building. These may be useful whether reading the background just for interest, creating a new character and wanting to see how it fits into the setting, or looking how to enhance our own roleplaying techniques. Some of these websites are on the wider internet, but most were written by players on our own server Argent Dawn.

A parallel thread, "Useful threads: community and events," is no longer stickied for some reason. It can be found at
and looks at the Out Of Character history and community of the server, to introduce the server to new players, and to give help to players in creating, advertising, and maintaining events and guilds.

What is roleplaying according to Blizzard?
--The Blizzard Community reps have a look at roleplaying, from Blizzard's point of view.

[Guide] Why RP?: or Why we talk funny by Adnaw
-- A former MVP explored the history of role play video games, including WoW, and looks at how to get started.

RP Tips by Dwoozle, posted again (again) by Tardon
-- How can I hook the interest of the roleplayers around me?

Guide to Roleplay by Lirena of Earthen Ring
-- A brief look at some of the core skills which underpin successful roleplay.

The concept of the "Character Toolkit" by Fyne
-- How to use the tools provided by the game to express your character to those around you, the way costumes, props, etc, are used in theatre and film.

[Guide] Newcomers guide to roleplay by Zugrah
-- A tongue-in-cheek but thoughful and helpful guide. The Zugrah Arrowsplitter School for Kids Who Can't RP Good and Want to Do Other Stuff Good Too.
You'll find another, even shorter effort to provide a newcomer's guide at
as well.

OOC in say and the dreaded (( )) by Adnaw
-- Our own bad habits, and why we're in charge of them rather than anyone else taking the blame.

How to use /wargame for RP by Tsathoggua
-- A look at the /wargame feature from Cataclysm, and how it can be used to enhance and assist roleplay, including but not exclusively RPPvP.

The Conversationalist's Handbook by Azhaan
-- Inspired by Eyildr's post on constructive and civilized debate, this guide is intended as a guide to those who wish to increase their conversational skills within their roleplay, to make their characters better conversationalists, more charming, or more socially graceful.

On the Application of Power (in roleplay) by Dampierre
-- A look at the social dynamics of power, and how to use them in roleplay to craft interesting and entertaining stories with verisimilitude.

RP Props/Gear List posted by Aerandul [credit to Maxden of Moon Guard US, and Ouren]
-- Like any theatre, WoW roleplay can use a well-placed prop or costume piece. A listing of how to duplicate the costumes of various NPCs found in the game. Very extensive.
Also, at Zugrah offers assistance in attaining crafted Transmogrification gear for your wardrobe, and at Bacon explains the Garrison feature's transmogrification uniforms.

Sue Me? [Guide] Avoiding Mary Sue Tendencies in RP by Danellos
-- How to avoid being a bit TOO much what you wish you were. A look at the "Mary Sue."


Roleplaying an Orc by Tazkram
-- A concise look summarizing the fundamental elements of the timeline and culture of Blizzard's orcs on Azeroth.
See also "Orcish Clans - a helping hand" flowchart by Gorrka at
and a look at the Blackrock Clan specifically at

A Guide to Blood Elf Role-Play by Sorathiel
-- The advent of The Burning Crusade expansion brought a very popular new playable race with a long and complex history. This thread includes a good background to the race, taken from a variety of sources, as well as some opinion and suggestions.

How to roleplay tauren by Caerake
-- This is a guide written to help new players start out with Tauren roleplay. It is largely a compilation of information provided by other sources. The guide is not meant to represent the ultimate - one and only - way to roleplay a tauren.

A Guide to Roleplaying a Night Elf character by Celegil, Aldrannath, and Kestrel of Steamwheedle Cartel server
-- This is a guide written to help new players start out with night elf roleplay. It has had contributions from a wide range of players over numerous servers, and has been updated to include the events of the novel Stormrage. Also, Barlowe of Earthen Ring has a strong look at night elf politics at

Howling Oak: a guide to worgen in Cataclysm by Adnaw
-- Howling Oak: a guide to worgen in Cataclysm is a look at a lot of the information available thus far on the worgen of Gilneas, principally including in-game information.

Time is Money: a guide to goblins in Cataclysm by Adnaw
-- Time is Money: a guide to goblins in Cataclysm is a look at a lot of the information available thus far on the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel, principally including in-game information.

[Guide] Goblin Roleplaying by Nazzix
-- A useful and thorough guide for those looking to add even further depth to their goblin, or to discover how useful goblins are for roleplay.

Dwarf Roleplaying: a guide by Thunderbraid
-- In Thunderbraid's first guide, he gathers and presents many different perspectives and possibilities for playing a dwarf.

[Guide] The Great Draenei Compendium by Nhadira
-- So you've chosen to play a Draenei! This is an exciting race, with richly deep and immersive lore, that spans back all the way to...way back when. Draenei have both a lot of history, and little cultural explanation by Blizzard. Here is a look at how to both use and overcome those challenges.

Pandaren? Pandaren. A guide by Xanhu
-- A guide written before the release of the Mists of Pandaria expansion.

Gnomish Roleplay Project. by Meepy
-- A listing of gnome guild recruitment threads, of guides to gnome themes, of inspiration for gnome characters, and discussion of gnome roleplay both light-hearted and full of pathos.
And of course there is the Undead's guide to gnome RP by Mharla, at


Roleplaying a Death Knight by Koránith of Steamwheedle Cartel server
-- Opinionated and direct, this guide is however solidly sourced and comprehensive.

Classy Roleplay: Mage by Creic
-- An exploration of in-game texts to understand magic and mages in the setting.

Classy Roleplay: Monk by Creic and Xu
-- An exploration of in-game texts to examine the role and training of the monks of pandaria.
You can also find a [guide] to roleplaying a monk, by Zen, at

Preservers of the Balance - A Guide to Druid RP by Thornroot.
-- Quoting in-game text and the novels, with a listing of citation sources in post number six of the thread.

Dark Intent: A Guide to Warlock Role-Play by Arlemont
-- A guide which seeks to clearly distinguish between canon lore, non-canon lore, and speculation by players regarding warlocks and demonology in the setting. Considering playing a warlock and want to know what themes might suit? What race will best support the style most appealing to you? What phrases might spice up the emotes you use to describe your spell-casting?
Additionlly, Vredd has gathered up information on the sacrificial and often-dark Blood Magic in the setting, which you can find at

[Guide] Blood Knights by Aerilen
-- A look at the canon sources of information on the history and current themes of the Blood Knight paladins of Silvermoon.
Archetypes and themes:

Healing in Roleplay by assorted players
-- Excerpts from various discussion threads, exploring various aspects of Healing [both magical and mundane] and how it impacts on roleplay, and can be used in roleplaying scenes.

Violence in Roleplay by Colton and Eweger and others
-- Does violence have a purose in narrative? How can it be used to its greatest effect in your character's story? When should you reach for a blade and when should you use cutting words instead? An excellent discussion.

Light, Lore and Roleplay by assorted players of Argent Dawn
-- A discussion thread exploring the interpretations and implications of the Philosophy of the Light in the setting, and what it means to various types of characters. You may also be interested in:

Order and Justice by Anastre
-- A guide to Argent Crusade roleplay in Cataclysm and beyond.

Power of Voodoo by Tsathoggua
-- Troll religion in the game might seem daunting, as it has been expanded upon at great length throughout the history of the game setting. This is an introductory guide for those seeking to explore troll culture.

A Sailor's Walk: a "guide" for nautical roleplay by Scurvy
-- From Kul Tiras to South Seas pirates, merchant sailors to naval marines, there are a wealth of opportunities for role-play in WoW that turn about the sailor's life. Using both in-game sources and real-world history, this thread looks at how to use the nautical to spark stories.

Roleplaying a Criminal by Shifte
- - alongside other guides/posts.
-- Criminal roleplay is exciting, but also a challenge. Shifte puts his experience down on the forum, to point you some options if you choose this path. Found as part of the archival thread on criminal and lawkeeper rp at
since the demise of its original home on the pre-WotLK version of this forum.

Walking from concept to character by Nisvarin, and by Gorrka
-- A few ideas and thoughts about making the leap from a character concept, to a character itself. Whilst not everything in it will be useful or correct for everyone, many players may find some elements of use in each of these two threads.

Peons: A roleplaying guide by Safli.
-- Yes, that's correct. Peons. A simple but well-thought-out guide to making use of peons either as regular characters, or as temporary characters for an event.

[setting] Moolah and Macaroons by Assorted players
-- An archive of discussions on the role of money and commerce in the story of the setting.

[setting] Technology in RP by Assorted players
-- An archive of discussions on technology as represented in and as relevant to the setting, different cultures and their technological level, and so on.

"Death shall cleanse the world!" - Necromancer RP guide by Vredd
-- Necromancy and necromancers as antagonists and protagonists, how to effectively represent one in the game.

RP tool: Governmental Systems of Azeroth by Drevv
-- Exploring the political systems of the various player character cultures.

[setting][guide] FERANOS's guide to Metals and Minerals by Feranos, table of contents by Fyne
-- For miners, blacksmiths, jewelcrafters, engineers, enchanters. For those who wear plate or mail, or use weapons. Feranos has trawled through canon lore sources for information on the metals, minerals, and materials which are crafted into so many of the items our characters use.

[setting][guide] FERAL's guide to Quest Herbs by Féral of Defias Brotherhood
-- For alchemists, herbalists, surgeons, medics, apothecaries, enchanters. For those who use potions or first aid. Féral has trawled through quest text sources for information on herbs which appear in potions, poultices, and more, that our characters use.

External sites and resources

All the World's a Stage
-- The blog hosts a regular article series by a number of authors on elements of roleplay-in-WoW, ranging from why people explore different character types, to how to build a good villain for your guild. The topics covered are surprisingly broad in overall scope, and are generally well thought out, without seeming preachy. A good series for both experienced roleplayers and people new to the hobby.

A Guide On Why RP: Or Why We Talk Funny!
-- A player with professional insight into the history of the gaming hobby posted a thread answering where roleplaying came from, and why we do it. It also helps to explain why you might want to do it too, and gives some pointers on how to get started.

The Argent Archives
-- Part story and artwork collection, part character and event archive, the Argent Archives gives you a way to tell everyone what is going on in YOUR character's world, and see what is going on in theirs. Definitely take their tour at
You can also find [Argent Archives] The Missing "Users' Manual" at

Beginner's Guide to the Races
-- Blizzard's own introductory guide to the themes and histories for roleplaying the various races in the game. Each is concise, and thorough.

Eleven Ways To Be A Better Roleplayer
-- The bloggers at Look, Robot have written a useful list of reminders for roleplayers experienced and new.

Transmogrification sites
-- Full sets only, but gives a visual of each set for your chosen race/class/sex combination.
-- Visuals on individual items as well as sets, organized by class and source.
-- A blog exploring outfit-building, with a sense of humour [though not all humourous].
Reposted dwoozles guide:
Added a few "guides" that seemed of note.
Here is some useful links about goblins

hope they will be helpful
More most recent content updated. In particular, a nice guide on conversing with flair.
Updated the Blood Elf roleplay guide link, sadly losing all those very considerate direct links provided by the Blue folks. Sorathiel's guide includes more opinion and theory than did the old library on Blood Elves by Tari, but is quite well put together nonetheless.
Could someone give me some more info about RP-ing a Death Knight? I know they are specific, and I suppose they should be a bit cut off of their former race behaviour. Seeing how complex the Kaldorei RP-ing is, it would be nice to get some advice about starting a Kaldorei Death Knight character. :) is a not-bad look at role-playing a death knight. Most useful, of course, is to closely watch and read everything you can of quest text and environment whilst doing that starting zone, and whilst doing Northrend. is a good follow-up.

There are many very vehement opinions on death knight role-play. Yes, this includes realizing that I have my OWN vehement opinions too. That said, when we see a solid guide written on the forums which does not seek first and foremost to advance an agenda of personal interpretation, it will be added here. No, none of the ones I have written are good enough either.

So, start with these two wow insider articles.
An interesting resource site posted in another thread by Mathan:
RP Made Simple was started to help folks understand a little more about RP – what it is, why we do it and how to try it, since the whole “role-playing” thing can sometimes be cryptic and intimidating.
Sullivan (A) | Shaw (H)
Earthen Ring (US) Server
Thanks, Tazkram! Replaced the long-missing-with-the-demise-of-the-old-forums previous Orc Guide.

A link to RP uniforms and sets from Moon Guard, thread made on these forums by Aerandul.
Putting it here, cause the thread will be lost again soon, probably, and I want an easy way to find it again. (Plus it is useful!)
Updated and added a link to further information and discussion on night elf culture.

A link to RP uniforms and sets from Moon Guard, thread made on these forums by Aerandul. Putting it here, cause the thread will be lost again soon, probably, and I want an easy way to find it again. (Plus it is useful!)

That thread is so useful, it has been linked in post number two since May of 2011 [grins].
Added the guide "Avoiding Mary Sue Tendencies" by Danellos.
Thanks Fyne. :)
Danellos also in another thread reminded me of the following: The "Informative and useful threads for roleplayers" sticky from the old forums, and its relevant threads, has been archived elsewhere:

Similarly, the original "Useful threads: setting, story, & roleplay" thread has been archived at:
Updated the link [hurrah! Archives!] for Roleplaying a criminal, by Shifte.

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