Specifically relating to the process of depicting a character in an RPG. Do not use as a general marker for any question.

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87
votes
20answers
5k views

How do you help players not focus on the rules?

Background - My Group's Gaming Style When I GM, I run games loosely from a rules standpoint, and do not feel bound to adhere to what the rulebook says when it doesn't make sense in a given situation. ...
66
votes
9answers
14k views

As a man, how can I roleplay a woman better?

I rarely play characters of the opposite sex, and I find that I'm not very good at it, at least in my own estimation. This is hampering when I GM because it limits my range, and makes things hard ...
58
votes
17answers
6k views

How do I roleplay a character more intelligent than I am?

What are some strategies and techniques for role playing a character that is more intelligent than you actually are? It's pretty easy to pretend to be someone who is less intelligent, but the reverse ...
48
votes
9answers
5k views

How can I roleplay a character more manipulative than myself?

In a game of Maids RP (don't laugh) right now, I'm playing a character significantly more 'cunning' than me. I don't have a problem playing intelligent characters - I consider myself fairly smart, ...
48
votes
7answers
5k views

How can I DM a character with more social skills than me?

I'm not particularly charming (thank you, you're very kind, but I know my limitations). If a non-player character with excellent social skills interacts with the PCs, what can I do beyond ending the ...
43
votes
6answers
2k views

What is role-playing, and where do I start?

I have been told that roleplaying is great fun. I've looked and looked and it all seems so complicated. Could anyone tell me a good place to start, and what sort of things you end up doing in ...
42
votes
7answers
1k views

What is a good way to become a better NPC/monster actor?

One of the biggest problems I have as Game Master, (going on 30+yrs) is in portraying NPC and Monsters in any RPG. Is there a good resource for becoming a better 'actor'? Instead of just saying... ...
41
votes
14answers
4k views

How can I play dumb?

I have a half-ogre character at my local larp group, and one of the roleplay-enforced restrictions for half-ogres is that they have low intelligence. I often find myself biting my tongue not to say ...
40
votes
9answers
2k views

How do I avoid clichés while improvising?

Tropes are not bad, but clichés usually are. Sadly, when I need to come up with something on the fly it's much easier and faster to use clichés: if I suddenly need a barkeep, he's probably fat with a ...
40
votes
6answers
2k views

What to do when you seem like you do not fit in with a group?

I'm looking for some advice and input on a situation I've found myself in as a player. To give a little background, my gaming group (4 men, 2 women, between the ages of 25 and 32) is about to end a ...
39
votes
5answers
5k views

Why wouldn’t I just run away from the eldritch horror?

I am struggling with character motivations in Call of Cthulhu or similarly investigative horror settings. For some reason I seem to have issues imagining the reasoning behind characters who really ...
37
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you handle verbal exchanges between NPCs without taking the PCs out of the spotlight?

One of the assumptions I make as GM is that the players should always be in the spotlight. Sometimes the players find themselves in a situation where they watch NPCs speak to each other. I don't ...
37
votes
8answers
5k views

As a girl how can I roleplay a male character better?

I am one who wants to play both female and male characters. Up until now I have played two male characters but only for small quests (5 sessions max). At the moment we are playing "Shackled City" and ...
34
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I get better at narrating/storytelling as a GM?

Personally, I've always had difficulty telling coherent stories, even from my own experiences. My wife has even coined a term (jokingly) for the type of story I tell, one that either makes no sense, ...
33
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I play a quiet, lone wolf character but also engage my group?

I've recently gotten into a custom D&D-like role-playing campaign and have developed my character to be a quiet, contemplative rogue who has a backstory that mostly represents a lone wolf. I've ...
31
votes
7answers
10k views

How can I play a lawful rogue?

I wanted to try something new in a Pathfinder campaign, so I created a lawful good cleric/rogue. Problem is, I have no idea how to play a rogue as lawful, due to this: From the PRD: Life is an ...
31
votes
10answers
5k views

Does roleplaying inherently put you at a disadvantage?

My friend is going to be DMing DnD 3.5 with me and 4 other new players. I want to be the best player I can be. One thing I have always struggled with is roleplaying. I am an analytical, competitive ...
31
votes
6answers
1k views

How to maximize the opportunities of roleplaying military rank in a PC group, while minimizing the limitations on the players

Some games come with a predisposition toward the characters having military rank. This is typically an element of the setting material, and is intended to aid immersion, and produce interesting social ...
30
votes
5answers
4k views

How to reward players that come prepared for non-combat, non-RP situations? I.e., real life

For example, players who either spend their starting gold on combat gear, but not items like bedrolls and rations; or who, at char creation, simply ignored the equipment packs and just loaded up on ...
30
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I learn how to negotiate as an NPC?

I'm a new GM in D&D 4e. I've quickly found that I perform very poorly when I'm portraying a negotiation between the PCs and one or more NPCs. Even when they have common ground and could easily ...
30
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I emphasize role-playing during combat?

Right now, the group that I GM for is very, very tactical-combat focused. To some extent, we may as well be playing a dungeon crawl board game for all the role-play we manage. Now, in and of itself ...
29
votes
9answers
2k views

Suggestions for decreasing metagaming and increasing player immersion?

This question is posed in a great way over on the Paizo boards, where I hang out since I play/run a lot of Pathfinder. Immersion is one of the key parts of the RPG experience to me, so I loved the ...
28
votes
12answers
1k views

Do any newer D&D versions grant experience for exceptional role-playing?

Do any of the newer D&D editions' books (most likely the DM Guide) have guidelines for granting experience for exceptional role-playing? I once played with a professional DM (there's a job I ...
28
votes
7answers
1k views

Acting role vs Player personality

I am new to RPGs and can't figure this out: should I act as my character or should I be me - in the sense of thinking and making decisions? For example, what if I am a senior cop involved in ...
28
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the Stormwind Fallacy?

In the context of another Question here, the Stormwind Fallacy was brought up. What exactly is the Stormwind Fallacy and how is connected to optimization?
27
votes
5answers
1k views

When confronted with a situation with no seeming honorable resolution, what does a samurai do in Rokugan?

During a L5R game, the players ended up in a situation extremely complicated from an Honor point of view. While running after a suspected murderer, they stumbled upon the Empress' brother, buying ...
26
votes
5answers
6k views

A fellow player does not want me to roleplay, what do I do?

I have a little problem. One of the guys I'm playing with does not like roleplay. What I do now is like: I'm talking to the dog: Good dog, good dog Reciting it as a hypnotizing mantra ...
26
votes
10answers
3k views

How to make magic items more interesting?

We all read about the little person finding a magical ring and the GM basing his whole plot on that little ring. That was a cool example of a MacGuffin. Earthdawn has a system in which characters ...
26
votes
9answers
3k views

Tried all the existing advice, but players still never roleplay fear

I've read some other posts on here about how to telegraph danger to my PCs and how to make them flee. The problem is, I believe I am actively using all the strategies in both of the posts and my PCs ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

How to encourage a player's creativity without breaking the game?

I've just started a new D&D 4e campaign with a new group of players. One of my players came straight from 2nd edition, and has never played 4e before. She doesn't seem to grasp the layer of ...
25
votes
13answers
3k views

How do you deal with a drunk player who refuses to participate?

Say that a player (she's drunk) has decided that a particular die roll is a no-win situation for her (she's really drunk), and is obstinately refusing to roll the dice. What options do I have for ...
25
votes
7answers
3k views

Staying in character and taking it all seriously

I have always liked the idea of a roleplaying intensive campaign, where everyone strives to be in character, and everyone takes the story seriously. I try to set a good example for everyone when I'm a ...
25
votes
8answers
908 views

Creating emotions

In the group that I GM, I ran an adventure a few months back that was generally considered very good by everyone involved (Including myself, which does not happen often). It included a little girl ...
25
votes
7answers
919 views

How to add a player who joined after the campaign started?

I started running a game, and then a friend of mine expressed interest in playing, so I invited him to join us. He created a character and came along to the next session. As the rest of the party was ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

How do you deal with a player that's determined to play the game in a way that is detrimental to the advancement of the story?

I GM a Dresden Files campaign, and I have a first time role-player that has become a problem in terms of advancement of the story. At first I chalked it up to inexperience, but its become more and ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

Difference between a Tabletop RPG and Computer RPG?

How can I briefly describe the limitations of contemporary Computer Role Playing games comparing the traditional Tabletop Role Playing games. I am working on a presentation and I need to highlight ...
23
votes
10answers
1k views

How do I transition my players from roll-playing to role-playing?

The context for this question is the same as this related question about spending time in town, but I am looking for sufficiently different advice so I thought it warranted its own question. I've ...
22
votes
14answers
2k views

I am looking for a game to ease my friends into role playing

Let me start with saying it's been many years since I played D&D. I have a group of friends that meet every week to play board games like Descent, Heroquest, etc. The thing is, none of these ...
22
votes
5answers
832 views

How do I use God as an NPC while being sensitive to players' real-life religious beliefs?

I'm currently running a 3-year long campaign that is coming to an ending in which God is likely to appear as an NPC. Since this is the end of the campaign I won't need to manage it for very long, but ...
22
votes
6answers
863 views

What are some character development tools?

I have a character that I want to develop slowly through the campaign. By this I mean I want him to slowly mature and change his personality through the sessions. What tool or trick can I use to ...
22
votes
5answers
837 views

How do I learn to do accents?

I've always enjoyed playing in games where the GM/DM/ST makes use of a variety of accents to differentiate between NPCs. I've always wanted to learn how to do that, but I realize that I'm not ...
21
votes
11answers
2k views

How to roleplay a PC torture scene

How should a GM role-play a torture scene for a PC? In one of my games, one of my PCs will be captured by the enemy who wishes to get information from him, using... less than ethical methods. ...
21
votes
9answers
3k views

Experience Awards For Role-Playing; Should I keep it?

When I GM, I award bonus experience for roleplaying. My intent is to promote roleplaying from my players, who occasionally fail to remember that it's a 'roleplaying game.' It's generally a small ...
21
votes
12answers
1k views

How can you encourage players to role play in line with their culture?

How can you encourage players to role play in line with their culture, either fictional or realistic? For example in a campaign with American players playing mainly European characters, I've noticed ...
21
votes
7answers
8k views

How can I roleplay my evil character properly?

I have started playing as an evil character in a group of neutral and good characters. We are traveling in a caravan through an undead-ridden world. No teleportation or plane traveling possible. We ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Dealing with players smarter than me?

I'm next in line as DM so that the current DM can take a break after a campaign that has gone on for a year and a half. Our current DM is one smart cookie, throwing puzzles, role-playing, and combat ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Roleplaying a Dragon Better

So I'm DMing a very Dragon-Heavy campaign that my friend gave me, but I seem to have trouble roleplaying dragons. I don't want to stop the campaign and find a new one because I'm having difficulty ...
20
votes
11answers
1k views

How can you find a balance between effective/optimised characters and creative characters?

When creating characters, I often face a dilemma between making a character. It feels like they can either be optimized so they can "pull their own weight" or having a character I think is creative ...
20
votes
10answers
1k views

How can you encourage players to portray a “realistic” reaction to in-game stressful/traumatic circumstances?

This question came to me while I was thinking about killing people in pen-and-paper rpgs. When a character starts his career, in most systems, he is somewhat young. As an example, when you are first ...
20
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I make downtime interesting?

My group is running a set of published adventures, so there's a pretty linear path between them. But between modules, there is the opportunity to go back to town, spend some money, and get some good ...