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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71
votes
19answers
3k 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. ...
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 ...
47
votes
16answers
3k views

How do I roleplay an intelligent character?

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 ...
57
votes
10answers
9k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

What are some of the major challenges in playing an Evil Character?

What are some of the major challenges in playing an Evil Character (whether that's a formal alignment or not) in a co-operative party game, and likewise, what are some of the reasons many groups ...
37
votes
6answers
929 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... ...
33
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
720 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
746 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
11answers
872 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 ...
40
votes
14answers
3k 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
618 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
728 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 ...
29
votes
6answers
695 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
773 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
790 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
808 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
0answers
278 views

As a GM, how can I create and role-play diverse NPCs better? [duplicate]

I am new to GMing (and role-playing in general, for that matter) and I am having a somewhat difficult time making plausible and interesting NPCs. This is especially true with NPCs who are not "typical ...
32
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
15answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
12answers
852 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
363 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
584 views

How do I encourage player-GM storytelling collaboration without “breaking” my game?

I've DM/GM'd for several gaming groups, young and old, and have found that one of the things that separates my younger players from older players is their eagerness to elaborate/collaborate in the ...
20
votes
4answers
545 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 ...
16
votes
20answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
576 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
407 views

Role playing with powers, solely for the effect without damage

Certain abilities have very interesting effects, but are accompanied by damage. In combat, this is no problem. But say you want to use the ability outside of combat, for role-playing reasons. Can you ...
6
votes
4answers
245 views

Are there any groups that use role-play games as performance art?

After listening to podcasts of the Penny Arcade folks playing D&D, I've been wondering, has anyone else tried to turn their role-playing sessions into performance-art pieces? Are there any ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

What is a good way to explain the difference between a Chaotic Neutral character, and a character who is just crazed?

When I first started playing with a group of completely new players, one of the first things I did was to explain the alignments as best I could at the time. When describing Chaotic Neutral, my exact ...
8
votes
4answers
315 views

Are there any problems with spies amongst the players?

As GM, I'm planning to, at some point, invite a friend from out of town who plays RPGs, to join our game with a appropriately levelled character. This character (and the new player) is actually a spy ...
6
votes
8answers
561 views

How can I encourage role playing in a custom setting?

Since creating a fully living and breathing world for the players to inhabit is a time-consuming process, I have been feeding them background info as often as possible as it is relevant to the story. ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Is a Racial hatred to all Humans enough for an evil alignment?

I have a Strix Character that I am building. In Pathfinder, all Strixes HATE Humans, and even get a racial attack bonus against them. Since they hate humans so much, they see no issue with harming ...