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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81
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. ...
63
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
54
votes
17answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
41
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... ...
39
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
38
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 ...
36
votes
9answers
4k 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, ...
35
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 ...
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 ...
33
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
33
votes
8answers
1k 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, ...
32
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 ...
31
votes
7answers
9k 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
880 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
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
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 ...
25
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 ...
25
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
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
753 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
1answer
3k 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?
24
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 ...
24
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 ...
24
votes
7answers
873 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
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 ...
23
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 ...
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
980 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
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
6answers
759 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
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
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
3answers
941 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
5answers
708 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
8answers
1k 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
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

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), ...
20
votes
4answers
757 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
4answers
439 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
2k 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 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
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
1answer
460 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 ...