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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21
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11answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
4k views

How can I encourage my D&D Encounters group to do more role playing?

I'm a new player to D&D 4e. I've been participating in D&D Encounters since Season 1 and have even run a couple of sessions in Season 3 when the regular DM couldn't attend. I don't play in ...
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 ...
21
votes
8answers
2k views

Would the alignment of a character with multiple personality disorder change? [closed]

A character has a certain alignment that in general defines how he acts. With multiple personality disorder or other similar disorders (maybe bipolar disorder with severe depression/severe mania), ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

How can combat be de-escalated once started by a player?

In a D&D 5e game, a player rushed into combat with an NPC that wasn't particularly hostile. As a player, I wouldn't have started that combat immediately and the character didn't seem too hostile, ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Sacrificing character integrity for the gameplay? [closed]

Allow me to share an example, so that we can all be on the same page here: Player A Is playing a paladin character that believes in always doing the right thing. And Player A loves to RP as this ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

How to become better at descriptions of what your character is doing?

A (very) common GM question is "What is your character doing?" How do you, as a player, describe effectively what you character is doing? What techniques do you use to evoke wonder and spark ...
20
votes
1answer
685 views

How to play a character that has an alien mindset and thought process?

I have a character that I am currently portraying who is not human, and I would like to increase the obviousness of his non-humanity ( mainly through dialog and actions ). The character is a ...
20
votes
4answers
562 views

How to run an encounter where PCs have different observations of the same events?

Some of the discussion in this question got me to thinking about an encounter design that sounded fun but I couldn't figure out an elegant way to pull it off: In some situation where one or more PCs ...
19
votes
12answers
3k views

What to model the behavior of D&D's chaotic evil Orcs on?

Instinctively, I find myself modeling a tribe of Dungeons & Dragons Orcs as similar to Klingons from Star Trek, or Vikings, or even a gang of bikers or skinheads. But none of these models truly ...
19
votes
8answers
3k views

How to justify my thematic spell selections to other players saying they're underpowered?

I'm fairly new to D&D and tabletop RPGs in general, but recently I started an extremely charismatic and hardy (high constitution) Tiefling Sorcerer. I took primarily fighting cantrips, but all my ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I deal with high speed, blunt action declaration outside of combat?

Here's an example from a one-on-one playtest I've had, to better illustrate my question: My rogue player got a minor quest from a blacksmith to retreve an item. He instructs her that the road to ...
19
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I explain the concept of “staying in character” to a newly starting player?

I've always had difficulty trying to explain the concept of "staying in character" to newly starting players. Typically, what we end up doing is just start playing the game. Sooner or later (often ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

How can my character coerce uncooperative player characters?

Occasionally in games we find ourselves in a situation where the player characters might not want to co-operate even if their players do. How do you handle the party coercing those characters into ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

How to roleplay languages that none of the player characters know?

Imagine a Dwarf meets an Elf. Both speak common, but the Elf doesn't speak Dwarven and the Dwarf doesn't speak Elvish. The Elf is in a bad mood and decides to speak to the Dwarf only in Elvish instead ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

How to easily come up with improvised dialogue

I'm a new GM, working with a few friends in a sci-fi campaign that I wrote using GURPS 4e. I think its going well, but the glaring flaw I've noticed in my work is that I can't come up with good, ...
18
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I motivate my fellow players?

Although I'm very much enjoying the one of the games I'm in, the other players seem to be flagging and losing interest. This is a bit disheartening as their lack of enthusiasm is bringing down the ...
18
votes
10answers
779 views

How to handle knowing more than your character does

I've read the rules. I know the math. I know, as the player, that X monster is vulnerable to Y damage and if I move through the door 4 squares into the room, my burst 2 will catch every baddie there. ...
18
votes
7answers
646 views

How do I roleplay getting used to violence?

So I just rolled up a character for a game (D&D 3.5 if it matters) and looked around table to see we had two ex-soldiers, a professional bodyguard, and a 'famous' adventurous. (A level 1 bard with ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I let players know that not every encounter has to be hack and slash? [duplicate]

My players kind of have a habit of, "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, WE MUST KILL IT!" Recently they came across a small goblin camp and one of them (who speaks goblin) verbally ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

How to introduce and encourage role playing in non-roleplayers?

I'm going to be hosting a game at the end of the month. Myself, I am a semi-experienced DM but I will be playing with those who know only the basic mechanics of the game or have never roleplayed ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Please stop giving the town sheriff a noogie!

Related to this question but more closely related to this question. How can I get my PCs to not cause a single or small handful of characters to become the butt of a joke when that humor could easily ...
17
votes
7answers
3k views

Playing a loyal character without it being boring

I've been playing a character in a long running campaign (2+ years) that consists of a relatively large number of players (approx. 6 regulars and another 2-3 semi-regulars). Due to the number of ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

How to get players to care about their and each others characters and play them like they are actual people

This question made me think about a problem I have been having that was brought up last night during a session. This session was the first of a new campaign I was running, with the party meeting ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some resources or tips on dragons as PCs?

Our DM is preparing a new D&D (3.5) campaign in which we all have to play as a (True) dragon. We're all going to play non-evil dragons (we're allowed to pick chromatic ones and change their ...
17
votes
4answers
480 views

How to role-play serious characters?

In my last campaign I tried to play a druid. I made quite a detailed background story that involved him being rejected from his dwarf clan and had travelled the world after that without too much human ...
17
votes
3answers
890 views

How do I switch from combat-based play to roleplay-included play in D&D?

I have played a few RP games at this point, but the vast majority of the gaming i have done has been my solo (read: playing several char's at once but being the only player) campaigns Brian ...
17
votes
2answers
446 views

Differing expectations on fight or flight

Last night, I joined a D&D 3.5e campaign. The two other characters in the party were on their way to a grove, inhabited by friendly druids, when they discovered it had been converted to a quarry. ...
16
votes
20answers
2k views

Which RPGs primarily reward roleplaying your character?

In what games (either in-print or out-of-print) are the rewards for playing your character's role or depicting your character's behavior the primary means of character advancement, as opposed to ...
16
votes
11answers
856 views

How can I strategise IC with the other players when my PC is stupid?

I have a very strong preference for keeping discussions in-character and avoiding out-of-character table talk. The trouble is that my PC is not very smart (an Int 8, Wis 13 half-orc barbarian) but I'm ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

How to voice an NPC?

As a GM should I put a different voice if, for instance, the NPC is an old sick man, or if it's a kid or even a member of the opposite sex? What advices can you give me to enrich NPC acting?
16
votes
3answers
9k views

How clever is a base Intelligence of 10 in D&D 4e?

I'm playing my first ever D&D character and he has an intelligence of 10. Several members of the party have higher intelligence (the mage, etc). Is my character supposed to be a bit stupid? Or is ...
16
votes
3answers
618 views

Techniques to improvise and run interesting social and mundane scenes

Last session (I GM Traveller, a hard science fiction rpg) I realized my lack of skills when I found myself willing to spend some minutes in playing a scene involved a 3 years old child causing trouble ...
15
votes
9answers
779 views

Does GMing diminish or detract from being a player in games? [closed]

I started playing RPGs last year with the Pathfinder Beginner Box. I have been GMing and writing a campaign, but have also encouraged members of the party that are interested to run a one-off Beginner ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Are there D&D rules for encouraging non-optimal activities?

That is, characters doing frivolous stuff like drinking too much ale at the tavern and getting drunk. Spending gold to see a minstrel show. Gambling and brawling. Patronizing the local house of ill ...
15
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I GM a character immeasurably more intelligent than myself?

In the near future I am likely to have to GM God. Part of the difficulty I perceive I am going to have in this is God is immeasurably smarter, wiser, more creative, etc than I am - not by a ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How to help a player to roleplay the character he created?

When we first met to create my players' characters, the first thing I asked was to create normal characters (e.g. no freaks/depression/obsession/psychologically disturbed, etc). Normal people with ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

How should we thematically deal with failed skill checks?

Is there a specific ruling or generally-accepted-practice that determines how players should handle failed skill checks? Does it depend on the skill? Specifically, do PCs know when they failed a ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I get new players to explore more?

I'm DMing using the 5E Starter Kit and, after DMing the first few encounters, the players aren't exploring the environment sufficiently to learn all the actions they can take. Before our next session ...
15
votes
2answers
454 views

Spell casting phrases to improve roleplaying

This is the first time I'm going to play a spell caster, Cleric specifically, and some of the spells and cantrips have 'V' for 'Verbal'. I'm not awesome at Roleplaying, but I'd like to get better. ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What Should I Bring To My First RPG?

So, I'm playing my first tabletop with other people this weekend, and I have no idea what I need to prepare or bring with me. It's an event for newbs like me at a local store (it's a Star Wars RPG if ...
14
votes
9answers
864 views

How do you make a new NPC likable?

The players in my campaign will soon rescue a woman who's been trapped in an awful dimension (think Jumanji, if that helps) for ten years, and bring her home. After 2 sessions, they'll realize that ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How should one properly roleplay a Kender?

For my first campaign ever, we are playing 2E DragonLance. I, not content with my usual lot, chose to play a female kender handler. The first playsession went well, but reading up on kenders (from ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

What does Drow Speech sound like?

I am about to play a Drow Rogue-Fighter and I want to roleplay my character well, and this includes doing a voice. What is the proper voice for a [charismatic] Drow [Rogue-Fighter]? I was thinking ...
13
votes
6answers
619 views

How should a neutral character focused on balance be presented?

In many RPGs (or at least the ones I've heard of) the alignment system tends to have two definitions of a true-neutral character. Generally, they are something to the effect of what follows. ...
13
votes
4answers
756 views

How do common townspeople identify and react to unusual creatures?

It is clear that most people in Golarion can identify an elf or a dwarf on sight, but what about more unusual creatures such as a drow or succubus? Do normal townspeople identify them on sight? If ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

How to create and run a realistic cult?

I am starting a new campaign in D&D 3.5 using Forgotten Realms, and the main antagonist of the campaign will be the Cult of the Dragon. I have been reading the "Daily D&D" by Ed Greenwood ...
13
votes
3answers
968 views

An insomniac character, how could that work?

I searched the player's handbook a while ago for the sleep deprivation rules but I don't remember finding anything, even though I recall having been told about such rules. Apart from asking if any ...
13
votes
2answers
656 views

Are there any good guides on how to roleplay, regardless of system?

I noticed a few weeks ago that I don't know of any good guides (books, podcasts, whatever) on how to roleplay. I've searched around for a bit, and couldn't find anything worthwhile. I'm looking for ...