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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72
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. ...
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 ...
50
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 ...
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 ...
37
votes
6answers
931 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... ...
34
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 ...
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 ...
31
votes
6answers
1k views

What To Do When You Just Seem To Not Belong 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 ...
30
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
29
votes
5answers
767 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 ...
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
9answers
2k 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, ...
26
votes
6answers
795 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 ...
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 ...
24
votes
8answers
622 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 ...
23
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
7answers
648 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
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 ...
22
votes
7answers
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 ...
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 ...
22
votes
10answers
733 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
6answers
672 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 ...
21
votes
12answers
861 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
9answers
779 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
590 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 ...
20
votes
11answers
1k 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. ...
20
votes
16answers
811 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
558 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
2k 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?
19
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 ...
19
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
364 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
812 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
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 ...
18
votes
8answers
894 views

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

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), ...
17
votes
8answers
757 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
2k 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
781 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
7answers
430 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
514 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 ...
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 ...
16
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 ...
16
votes
11answers
877 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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
9answers
460 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. ...