Author Topic: Tips on how to roleplay?  (Read 2550 times)

Steelhelm

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Tips on how to roleplay?
« on: July 04, 2015, 04:56:40 AM »
Hey everybody. With Paragon Chat arriving soon, I thought I'd try roleplaying for the first time since I never did so when CoH was still up. So I wanted to ask you experienced roleplayers about the basics and whatnot of roleplaying.

Tipsy

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 06:42:37 AM »
Roleplaying is at its best a collaborative shared storytelling where players invest time and creative energy into developing a character, and then sharing that with others.  It typically works better with familiars, so that ongoing stories/connections can form and grow.  The following is just my opinion, not gospel.  Also: rambles.

First thing, spend time on your character concept. Ask yourself, "what would be an experience that I, as a player, would enjoy, and could sustain for hours and hours with others?" -- I've found that this comes down to 'archetypes'.  Not the Combat/Powerset meaning of the word, but "what kind of character" (e.g. "The angsty loner").  In other words, personality and premise of the character.  I would argue that the dialogue--their words--and the situations a character finds itself in as a result of that personality--is the true essence of a character.  It's why powers don't *truly* matter, and why, I believe, powers are more like a device or metaphor. I would advise anyone coming up with a new character concept to consider what sort of actual social and plot-driven experiences they'd like--before picking 'powers', or even appearance.

After you nail down archetype, personality, looks, and abilities/skills... you write.  Answer the following questions: What will this character be DOING? What kinds of stories will I be able to write and share with others?  Where did they come from?  What's their background and origin?  What do they love? What are their flaws?

Another good idea is to do a few 'test runs', practice sessions, so that you can get a little head start on finding a character's "voice" for dialogue & interacting with other players.  The best way to do this is to write dozens of paragraphs, short story style, where you tell a tale of moments in the character's life.  If that seems too solitary, I recommend throwing the character into a place with 'randoms' (Like a public gathering place) and talking up total randoms just to get your feet wet.  Doing this will have you more familiar with the character so that when you do get the opportunity to engage in tangible plots & storylines with other players, you'll have the basics of your character figured out.

BUT: to talk about the Roleplay Experience In General, here's some thoughts I have that seem important.

-- Immersion is important for creative and more fulfilling experiences.  Like an actor playing a part, we do better when we really try to imagine the experience, and the emotions connected with them, and try to experience them ourselves...at least a little bit.

-- Roleplaying, at its core is IMPROVISATION.  If you are the worst at this, don't bother RPing.  You don't have to, necessarily, spit out ingenious new story lines on the turn of a dime, but you *do* have to, at the very least, be willing to work and adapt to what other characters in your environment do.  A creative spirit--and a willingness to be flexible and change--really help.  Roleplaying is a WRITER'S sport.

-- IC is not OOC!  This, to me, is the most important lesson for having a sustained, positive experience.  In COH, traditionally, Out of Character (OOC) chatter is done with double-parenthesis ((that look just like this)).  In other words ((if it's like this)), that means it's the player speaking and NOT the character.  Likewise, no matter what a character does, however asinine, annoying, or boring--other characters should interact with them as characters.  This also means that characters *do not know* what their player knows... at all.  Most importantly, it means that if a CHARACTER is a jerk, it's inappropriate for another PLAYER to have deep feels about it.  Characters interact with characters, and the "meta" level of players is kept on a different channel of communication.  Don't mix the streams, Egon.

-- Bring something to the table, and let others do the same!  RP is @$#@ pointless if everyone is standing around with no ideas of what to do, say, or experience.  Come to sessions with a few ideas, even if they're just little ones... like jokes or feelings.  Don't be a wallflower.  The other extreme is even worse, where some players absolutely assume that their stories are always more important than other players stories--and constantly take over every gaming session.  This is meant to a collaborative experience... to do that, there must be balance.  A byproduct of the extreme self-centeredness is what people refer to as being a "munchkin"--which are both essentially treating RP like its competitive.  It's not.  In RP, *every player* is supposed to "win" by having an interesting creative collaboration session with others, i.e. Telling Good Stories Together.  This also means that no character should be perfect, have all the solutions for all the problems, etc--this kind of character is called a "Mary Sue"--and they're considered hack. Lacking depth.

-- Consent matters.  I myself have bent these rules in small ways in my RP life, but as a general operational rule of thumb, anything that might affect another character, it's considered appropriate to ask the player.   For example, you can attempt to shoot a gun at another player...but it's up to the other player if they get hit by it.  Even better would be to ask the player before even starting the action.  Consent is mature behavior, and avoids a whole host of drama.

Anyone else want to chime in?

-Tipsycakes

FloatingFatMan

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 08:10:44 AM »
^ I think you covered everything so just to add to the consent thing. Not doing this is called "Godmodding" and will get you ostracised from just about every RP group going. Not a thing you want to do!

Photon Cannon

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 05:24:55 PM »
Grammar is also appreciated, in many cases. Otherwise, I think that Tipsycakes covered everything.  :)
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Steelhelm

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2015, 09:12:03 PM »
Thanks Tipsycakes! Everything you said has made me even more excited to try ropleplaying. I used to write little bio's for all my characters and I still have them saved in my brain, so that will help me develop a character before launch. I saw the double parenthesis in CoH before and wondered what they were but now I know! :D Thanks for the advice again.

Tipsy

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 12:29:29 AM »
Thanks Tipsycakes! Everything you said has made me even more excited to try ropleplaying. I used to write little bio's for all my characters and I still have them saved in my brain, so that will help me develop a character before launch. I saw the double parenthesis in CoH before and wondered what they were but now I know! :D Thanks for the advice again.

No problem. I've never posted anywhere about this before, but this seems especially important with the potential of a new wave of characters and groups forming on Paragon Chat. Hopefully some people will read that and be influenced.

Look me up when PChat is up and running.  Both my mainstay characters are off-beat weirdos (since that's how I like 'em), but I'd happily RP it up.

-Tips(y)

Rotten Luck

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 01:31:31 AM »
I would also add to let your character change and don't force things on your character.  Often I start with one idea, and the roleplay changes them into something else.  When that happens it's even more fun.

If your character normally wouldn't do something don't do it.  I been roleplaying for a very long time, met many friends, some wanted our characters to have romantic interest.  Okay question being a guy roleplaying with a female friend and our characters are both male and female... what could go wrong?  Answer everything.  The emotions on the characters are forced there was no easy flow of attraction, issues between me and her rose up and not only did the characters split.  The friendship ended as well.  I didn't listen to that feeling that it felt wrong and it blew up.
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Kheprera

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 01:44:34 AM »
Along the lines of consent...

Please be concientious that the player of a male or female character may be male or female. Do not try to use RP as a way for cheap thrills without explicit consent from the other party, and then please take it private and do not be offended when you find out the RL gender is opposite of the character they play. I am RL female, but have characters of both genders.

Note that your RP style will not mesh with everyone else's, but keep at it. Eventually you will find a group of people you fit in with. Sometimes it happens right off, and sometimes you start off with one group and end up migrating to another as you find your own RP style. Your style will also change the more you do it and learn what you like and dislike, or from experiences from good and bad GMs/SG leaders.

RP IS improvisation, as was said above. Keep that in mind and keep your ideas fluid and open to change. If you have a character with a specific flaw (damaged vocal cords, for instance, so they can't speak), then expect someone to want to try to find a way to fix you. If you don't want the flaw fixed, then you'll need to find a good explanation on why they can't (and trust me, after 34+ years of RP players WILL find a way). In the same vein, don't try to tell another player how to play their character.

FloatingFatMan

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 05:00:19 PM »
Grammar is also appreciated, in many cases. Otherwise, I think that Tipsycakes covered everything.  :)

Grammar is irrelevant, as is spelling. Not everyone is a native English speaker, so allowances must be made for the level of English used.  As long as they're trying, and don't act like jerks, it's all good.

The only thing NOT acceptable as far as language goes, is using "leet" or smilies in RP'd text. Do not do "'Hey p4l!' :)"   Do "Super-dooper-man smiles in greeting. 'Hey pal!'"

Photon Cannon

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Re: Tips on how to roleplay?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2015, 07:05:32 PM »
Grammar is irrelevant, as is spelling. Not everyone is a native English speaker, so allowances must be made for the level of English used.  As long as they're trying, and don't act like jerks, it's all good.

The only thing NOT acceptable as far as language goes, is using "leet" or smilies in RP'd text. Do not do "'Hey p4l!' :)"   Do "Super-dooper-man smiles in greeting. 'Hey pal!'"

That's pretty much what I meant. "Grammar" may have not been the best word for it, but I honestly have no better word.
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