How do I get better at roleplaying?
I've had weekly online game sessions for years, and I just can't get into the mind of a character who isn't myself.
Aside from getting general social skills which are always useful, learn writing.
Read some books that have different points of view, write up some anecdotes or backstories. Take a character you like and imagine them living in a different setting.
A big part to roleplaying is learning to see things in a different contexts. You like vanilla ice cream, the guy down the street can't stand it because that's what he ate when he saw his father die of a heart attack, for example.
Look up some general exercises on acting, writing or other performance art, or whatever it's called. Get some different perspectives and don't be a judgemental prick about it.
Take all the advice you get with a pinch of salt. Roleplaying is a very personal thing, and there is no right way to do it. Think about what aspects of roleplaying games you find interesting and engaging, and focus on them.
Getting inside a characters head is one method, but it isn't the only one. Some players see themselves as writers, building a story for their character and influencing their actions from a different perspective. That's just one example, and listing others could take forever.
If you've been trying one particular method for a long time and it isn't working for you, try something else. Experiment, play around, and do what you enjoy. The point of an RPG.
Oh, and one last thing. Never listen to people like
I distinctly remember the unhelpful platitudes and insults I got last time.
Look at this post. >>44717269
Sure thing Shia Leboeuf, I'll get right on doing that thing I have no idea where to start. After that I'll just cure cancer in an afternoon, because clearly the only reason it hasn't been done yet is because no one tried.
If you haven't already, try playing some text-only games. I find it makes RP easier, gives you more time to think of a response and you feel less on-the-spot.
I also got gud from
MMOsbut don't do that too much if you can help it, it'll make you lazy.
Right, so, the most important thing about a character is that they are a person with goals.
If they aren't fundamentally a person, they're very hard to relate to. That's why most fantasy races are just "human with exaggerated traits."
If they don't have goals, that means there's nothing that they want. Having a goal gives you direction: you consider what you are doing in terms of how well it advances you towards your goal.
If you feel like you need even more direction, consider sub-goals. These are smaller goals that usually accumulate you power (money, fame, connections, weapons, whatever) that you can use to resolve your main goal more easily.
So, we've got direction: what you want to do. But how do you do it? There are two really important components to this.
The first of these is what your character is like. Go for a basic visual description (pick one thing that really stands out). Then add a basic social mannerism - pick a character from a movie you love, and if you're ever in doubt about how to act, imagine how that character would act and do that.
The second of them is that your character should not exist in a social vacuum. You have a family, friends, a mentor (the person who taught you your professional skills), and preferably a rival.
Try to view situations in light of these other characters. In tough times blame it on your rival and go to your friends for help. Try to trade the people you know the things that they need and you can provide for what they can provide that you need (goals).
So, summary. Have a goal, this tells you what to do. Base your personality on a character you like, so you know how they would do it. Know what you look like, and try to mention it when you do things to stay in your character's headspace. Make use of social connections to others.
That's the basics. There's a lot of practice in getting good at those, though.
>The board that literally is so anti-roleplaying that they will argue for 300 posts how even the most autistic sperglord should be allowed to play suave, well-spoken socialites who never have to actually string together a single in-character sentence.
>Giving roleplaying advice
My advice is "try". You'd find it works wonders.
>I'll get right on doing that thing I have no idea where to start.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT
YOU COME UP WITH A SITUATION
AND THEN YOU DECIDE HOW THE CHARACTER WOULD ACT IN THAT SITUATION BASED ON THEIR PERSONALITY, EXPERIENCES, AND BIASES.
THAT'S LITERALLY IT. THERE IS NO OTHER ANSWER.
>If you haven't already, try playing some text-only games. I find it makes RP easier
If the dude has been playing for a year and still can't comprehend what roleplaying is, why exactly would text games suddenly change that?
>AND THEN YOU DECIDE HOW THE CHARACTER WOULD ACT IN THAT SITUATION BASED ON THEIR PERSONALITY, EXPERIENCES, AND BIASES.
Technically, actions aren't too hard for me, but dialogue takes a lot of time to think about. I struggle to find the exact series of words to convey my character's personality consistently in every situation.
For example, say my character has the following personality traits:
Social: Very solitary
Emotions: Fairly stable
Now when the time comes to make a meaningful decision, I refer to whatever two or three traits are applicable and I usually know which of the options presented my character would go with. What really slows me down is choosing each word coming out of my character's mouth.
Put yourself in the mindset of your character, and answer as them. You made up this big ass list, but what are your that's just how he acts. Where was your character born? Was he a rich or poor kid? Is he literate? Think of how he would react to certain situations, and just talk man
>Put yourself in the mindset of your character, and answer as them.
That sounds a lot like "just do it" to me.
Even if I had all the information you ask for, even if I had a day-by-day log of his entire life, I don't know how to CHOOSE EXACT WORDS for another person's dialogue.
>This whole fucking post.
Dude, you're so far down the autism spectrum that I don't even know what the fuck.
You really just need to give up, because you are physically incapable of understanding the concept of a character. Fucking surprise, it doesn't require you to make a long-ass list of personality traits and then scan through it to pick which ones are applicable to a situation.
There's nothing anyone can do here, you literally just don't understand how social interaction works. You are not fixable.
>it doesn't require you to make a long-ass list of personality traits
What DOES it require? Saying "just do it" won't help.
Knowing my character's personality traits has got to be better than nothing, right?
Dude, holy fuck. You know your character, you know their personality. You know what they value and what is important to them, because YOU FUCKING MADE THEM UP.
If you literally need to consult a long fucking list of traits to remind you what kind of character you're playing every time you need to say something, it's because you're a fucking idiot. Especially if you can't remember any of it and need to spend 10 minutes thinking over which adjectives on the list might combine to determine how you put together a single sentence.
No one can explain the concept of having a conversation to you. You don't need to think over everything about your own personality every time you say something. "Grim, angry man who doesn't like being bothered" is descriptive enough to come to a decision about how said character would interact with other people, because it involves thinking "Hey, how would someone who is grim and angry and doesn't like being bothered react to this?"
I feel so sorry for everyone who has ever had the misfortune of playing with you.
Hey OP. I understand where you're coming from and I have some advice in the form of personal experiences.
Every time I or someone I know has roleplayed, they've always taken the idea of the character from themselves or another established personality. It can be very tough to embody something you have no precedent for and no experience with. Often times, players will treat their characters and roles as personalities which are relative to their own and often quite similar. Most of my own characters come from inside myself. Nothing is made in a vacuum, as they say, which might be the source of your trouble.
Try describing your character in terms of yourself and I'll see what else I can offer.
I want you to rewrite that entire, post, keeping the intent of it equivalent, but supposing you're a different person, with your Ambitious, Nurturing, Trusting, Sympathetic, and Optimistic traits all reversed from whatever they are in your actual personality. What words does that change?
>it involves thinking "Hey, how would someone who is grim and angry and doesn't like being bothered react to this?"
I kind of do that already, it just takes a lot of time.
>I kind of do that already, it just takes a lot of time.
Because you are inbred.
No, sorry, I'm not going to help you because you are actually too stupid to help. I hope you get kicked out of every group you try and fake your way into and quit the hobby altogether.
>Try describing your character in terms of yourself and I'll see what else I can offer.
Well, I'm not using a character at the moment, but I sincerely thank you for that advice.
If I understand correctly, instead of trying to set each of my character's personality traits on an objective scale, I should compare them to my own or someone I know very well. That might work.
He should have said psychopath, which is what a lack of empathy actually points towards.
But yeah, is it really that hard to just imagine yourself as shorter, hairier, and living underground? If you can't think of YOURSELF that way then just imagine how a fictional character in a book would act and tell the GM and rest of the party what that character does.
Distance yourself from the character and report his actions. Think of it like writing a story with a character of your own choosing, but you can only write what that character does, not the actions of the world and people around it. You don't have to actually place yourself in Urist's shoes to roleplay him.
Jeez there are some really bitter people in this thread... Though I think it might just be one guy. But whatever.
OP, getting into your characters' heads is something of a skill that just develops as you do it. You can't really just make yourself better, you just do it as best you can and get better with practice. Don't worry too much about messing up, it happens and most people won't mind too much if they even notice at all.
Personally, I learned through freeform roleplaying online. Just text and shit, making up worlds and having characters do whatever. I started with basics, making a dick. I looked at my character in a situation and thought to myself, "What would a dick do?" and had my character act like that. From there, I considered his origins and figured out why he was a dick, what it stemmed from, what he liked and disliked, all that. It took time and thought during periods where I wasn't playing him to really make him form as a character. It took a longass time for one of my first characters to turn from some racist elf dick into a determined hardass that was very slow to accept other people as people, especially if they weren't elven. The more you do it, the easier it is to figure out backstories and what makes people develop their personalities and understand how they react to things. When people say they "just step into it" it's generally because they've done it long enough or just started with a good grasp on the concept that they don't need to think about the specifics and can do it naturally. You'll get there, but until then just ignore the dicks that forgot how they got started.
>see, young one, it all begins with a penis
Surprisingly lucid advice, though. Start with one thing, and slowly develop your character and your understanding of them from there. You don't have to method act (please don't), just have an idea of what the guy/gal might do and report it. Maybe come up with two or three traits to get started and keep to them.
You give me hope, foreverGMbro.
Wait... does this mean that the only people on /tg/ that give a fuck about roleplay are GMs? That would make a lot of sense, but it'd still be a bit troubling...
I think you're being too systematic in your aproach, OP.
People aren't robotic, the idea of a personality is a social construct, it's not a solid, tangible hard fact.
Just do whatever you want with the character, no one has the right to tell you you're roleplaying it "wrong" because guess what: you made that character, you're the one who decides what is right or wrong. There is not out-of-character action if you decide it is in-character.
The character is an introvert and never talks, but maybe he's feeling chatty today, because you decided that he is.
Just do and say whatever you feel is right for that given situation and the character will end up building itself.
First, we have to differentiate what people *mean* when they say roleplaying, and what roleplaying *actually means*
As long as you're taking on a role and playing it, guess what, you're roleplaying. In this regard, the only difficulty associated with it is fleshing out a clear role for you to step into, and being able to make decisions as if you were were the role you have selected to portray.
What people usually mean, however, is what amounts to method acting. Acting out speeches, adopting mannerisms such as accents, making cool lines, or what have you.
Frankly, this is not required of gaming, at all, in the slightest. It adds to the entertainment but is hardly a worthwhile endeavor for its own sake. More importantly, it is not something that can be forced. It is something that naturally springs from your heart once you understand how your character thinks and what he might say. Interesting lines only come to mind when you successfully get into the mind of your avatar, and thus this is what must be accomplished first and foremost. To try to method act before you build a proper framework for your avatar is to try to build a house before it has a foundation; doomed to failure.
If you find yourself frequently acting "as yourself" and find that it spoils the enjoyment of the fiction, the most basic steps to remedy this is to establish a baseline personality for your avatar. To do this, ask yourself four or more questions.
First, how does he normally act? Would he be described as jovial, solemn, wise, egotistical? Try to ascribe a singular word to it, and approach this from the perspective of how he conducts himself normally.
Second, what does he wish to accomplish? Establish a goal he desires. Perhaps he wishes to accrue vast amounts of wealth. That's fine, go with it.
Third, *why* does he wish to accomplish this goal? A goal is what you wish to accomplish, but a motivation reflects the underlying rationale of why it is worth doing, and motivation is what this question seeks to get at. There is a great deal of difference in the man who wishes to accrue a fortune to live a life of luxury for the rest of his days, and the man who wishes to do so to ensure his *family* may live a life of luxury. Similar goals and similar rational, but one lives for himself whereas the other lives for his loved ones. It is possible to go deeper than this and ask the question again and again, but once is usually enough to provide a basic structure for your avatar's priorities.
Fourth, ask yourself how your avatar would judge another character in the party. Greedy adventurer who Wants To Accrue a Fortune because He Must Provide for his Family is paired with an Aloof adventurer who Seeks to Perfect His Swordsmanship because He Wants to Discover the True Philosophy of the Warrior, then the former may judge the latter as too introspective and not focusing enough on familiar matters. Or perhaps he finds himself inspired by the swordman's higher ideologies. This provides a basis for not just fleshing out what your own character thinks by putting it to words, but a chemistry through which you may interact with other avatars. You should repeat this fourth question for at least two other party members.
In short, to properly "roleplay," by which most people mean to method act, you must first understand how to construct a persona to act *as*. To construct such a persona in enough detail to give you a basis to act while leaving it vague enough to allow the holes left remaining to fill naturally as you play the game and "figure out" your character as you go, you should be able to answer at least four questions; What emotion does this avatar typically display, What goal does this persona wish to accomplish, Why does he wish to accomplish this goal, and What does this avatar think of his fellows? By answering these, you will have the foundation required that will allow you to more easily step into the role, and "improve your roleplaying" as you so desire.
>Roleplaying is a very personal thing, and there is no right way to do it.
That's very nice to say, but there's definitely many wrong ways to do it and tons of people are fucking awful roleplayers.