[Discussion] Tips For Roleplay Improvement

NIAH

Secretly Elz
Retired Staff
#1
This will be a community Q&A intended for addressing roleplay issues and tips on how to fix them! I know there are some really great roleplayers out there. And I know there was an attempt at making an RP Academy Mentorship program. I suppose this is the best I can come up with right now.


So- Ask your questions. Let the community help! Examples:

"I find that I always struggle with _________. What's the best way to fix that?"
"When I'm making a character, I can never decide _________."
"How do you keep up with all the things that have happened?"
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Keep it nice.
Keep it friendly.
Use only CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.

This is not a thread intended to tear someone down, or to make them feel inadequate. This is intended to be a thread that new players can come to for tips of the trade. Or a thread that veterans can come to brush up on a few things.
 

NIAH

Secretly Elz
Retired Staff
#2
List of Questions Asked:

  • How to deal with inconsistency?
  • How to play different types of characters and to change up roleplay style?
  • Tips for improving how to write
  • What makes a good villain?
  • How to do you become a better roleplayer?
 
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NIAH

Secretly Elz
Retired Staff
#3
I'll go ahead and throw my two cents in. I find that I struggle with consistency in characters. Particularly Aracena. I know she's a little unstable, but even with that in play, I don't always keep her consistent. How have you guys dealt with it in the past? Tips for that? Someone mentioned that all of their characters have at least one trait that is central to the character and that sticking with that one trait helps keep them straight. What do you think the best way to deal with inconsistency is?
 

Tarron

Lord of Altera
#4
At this exact moment, I only have one proper suggestion for how to deal with that kind of thing. The rest is babble.

When you RP, make sure you're in a good/normal mood. I absolutely get into consistency issues with my characters when I'm trying to RP when OOCly I'm annoyed with something. It makes it hard for me to focus on how my character would behave, and as a result they tend to act differently.

In Aracena's case, there are (probably) at least one or more personality characteristics that will remain in place regardless of her mood. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, of course. I'd drop those things in a post it note on your computer, and maybe add different levels for her. So perhaps you'd have a title being "Fully Stable" and a couple adjectives after that to describe what is central to her when she is in that state. And just give those things a look every now and then, probably before an RP you have expect to last a while.

I try and do both of these things, but they might only work for me, dunno.
 

dogbew

Lord of Altera
#5
I myself always tend to play the same type of character, on previous servers and when i was first on this one i played basically the same kind of person. Since i've returned i have tried my best to change up how Urza and Aeson Hawklight act, but i feel like i still end up doing the same thing again.
 

mokwar

YĆ« Yi
Retired Council Member
#6
I always find that I have a problem that roots from my bad writing skills, and the fact that english was not my first language.

My writing always seems boring and grey, cause I use the same terms for a lot of things. I want to improve my roleplay, by being better to express my actions with a colourful and variated language, any hints?
 

samsam223

Lord of Altera
#8
A villian? Someone whom entwines many schemes together for one overall goal. These schemes should be so tightly entwined that it reveals no goal nor related schemes in general; but does link vaguely with each other towards whatever large event they have planned for themselves- whether it's dominance, power or riches. Someone who doesn't aim to hurt anyone- and is mainly greedy in their schemes. But also quick to get away if the tide turns against them. Relying on many contacts or thugs to do the dirty work, also leaving themselves anonymous.
 

MaelstromPuddle

Lord of Altera
Legend
Brexit_
Brexit_
Legend
#9
A question:
How do you make a good villain? And I don't mean a character that kills people, because their evil.
You need motivations for it, then it just coems naturally. Perhaps your character could of being left at the night before his wedding and he wants the world to feel their pain?
 

Ratchat620

Lord of Altera
#10
A villian? Someone whom entwines many schemes together for one overall goal. These schemes should be so tightly entwined that it reveals no goal nor related schemes in general; but does link vaguely with each other towards whatever large event they have planned for themselves- whether it's dominance, power or riches. Someone who doesn't aim to hurt anyone- and is mainly greedy in their schemes. But also quick to get away if the tide turns against them. Relying on many contacts or thugs to do the dirty work, also leaving themselves anonymous.
I think he's saying you should be like him......
 

Mitch

Daydreamer
Mystic
Dayshark
Dayshark
LegendMystic
#11
My writing always seems boring and grey, cause I use the same terms for a lot of things. I want to improve my roleplay, by being better to express my actions with a colourful and variated language, any hints?
Best thing I can suggest is when you have a word you already know (such as one of the 'same terms' you use often), open a tab in whatever search engine you use. Easily enough, enter in "other words for ___." You'll get a list of synonyms for that boring, grey term and add some multifariousness detail to your actions!
 

Magiik

Lord of Altera
#12
A question:
How do you make a good villain? And I don't mean a character that kills people, because their evil.
Come up with a goal that isn't inherently evil, and a character with a few bad traits. They don't have to be "kill everything" evil. Maybe they hold themselves above the good of others? Or maybe they anger quickly and take everything personally? Or perhaps they have someone close to them they want to protect and can't do that unless they forcefully make the world safe.
The villain doesn't have to be evil, they just have to have a goal and be willing to do dark things to reach it. I mean, world peace could even be evil if you march over the corpses of all who oppose you to attain it.
 

Jstar

Exitus acta probat
Legend
JstarGames
JstarGames
Legend
#13
A question:
How do you make a good villain? And I don't mean a character that kills people, because their evil.
DO NOT BE STEREOTYPICAL
Sure, you can take ideas from other characters or whatever but a unique villain will be 10x more interesting than the "I want to rule the world because lol" or the typical "I'm a badass who has no time for peasants, I must go slay some people due to my cripplingly horrid past"
 
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Solus

Solzilla
Staff member
Server Owner
#14
Incoming wall of text- Just my viewpoints and what I've learned and I am faaarrr from an expert.

Inconsistency: The issue with my viewpoint is that I avoided making a Human.. The best way I handled my two completely different characters in Altera was to follow the Lore of their cultures. One being of completely different nature than the other. For me- the Lore was the best guideline for building the basics of my characters- temperament, appearance and such. Both having their own groups of people to roleplay with as well as their reactions and responses. It helps giving them different goals, different family dynamics, different character alignments, different statuses in nobility, and especially the age and height. Example - they would react to someone insulting them differently based on their temperaments, and all those listed before. One is cool-headed, but short-tempered. The other is prideful but sheepish. But- I don't revolve my characters around specific traits all the time. Having a character-sheet is a good guide to have to keep consistency with the progress your character makes.

When falling into inconsistency- or hearing that your character isn't acting like it should be and getting complaints- double check the character sheet, recall major developments your character has gone through, relations as well, their goals, mindset- in my case, the Cultural Lore- and continue on if you feel that this is how they should be acting or adjust yourself to the current mood of the roleplay. Be open to criticism. The most important thing is to be open, but not forced to, change as role-playing brings willing character development.

Writing Hints: Extend your Vocabulary based on the nobility of your character. Not a noble nor educated? Don't worry about. Educated Noble? A long term process is to read lots of books- look up the difficult words you come across when reading, and remember it for future use. Short term process- I avoid it in roleplay and let things progress naturally- but when forum story writing- I do as suggested above and google "Synonyms for __ ". Sneaky sneaky.

Making a Villain: (I re-re-scanned the character tropes for Evilness whilst writing this- hue.) Not too big an experience in this but the basics would be to start off secondly with character alignments depending on your character's goal. Villains revolve their goals around their wants and needs, their purpose. They want something to change or they want something to stay the same, and it's usually large scale when they're in leadership positions. Though some fall to small scale workings as henchmen and such. Lawful Evil villains borderline on observing the universal or 'moral?' laws while still keeping to their goals and paths. Neutral Evil Characters bump the whole selfish trait of Villainy. They're in this world for themselves and they'll do anything to survive and keep their characteristics/goals and will most likely delve to lawful or chaotic workings to do it. Chaotic Evil characters are the most risky. They are- as the trope page terms it- 'Free Spirits" that will do anything and everything at anytime for any reason. True nutcases that have a goal in mind and don't mind hurting others to do it. These characters die the fastest and understandably so- and under my recommendation, should be avoided if you're just planning to make a serial killer, because frankly that's overdone so many times I'd like people to try something different. The thing with Altera, though, is that you'd have to start off small or attempt this in a slow build up process as people like to come in and kill your character before letting you actually begin to develop this. So be sneaky or get a few trusted group together and attempt this for a big effect. Hint- Evil doesn't always revolve around killing.

And in all cases of Villainy or Heroism- Expect an end in someway.

Edit: Extra hint- Have a look through character tropes and alignments for a basic view of what your character temperaments could be. Not all characters are blocky and triangular to be shoved into one trope/alignment- but it helps for starters.
 
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Scardrac

o7
Retired Staff
#16
I always find that I have a problem that roots from my bad writing skills, and the fact that english was not my first language.

My writing always seems boring and grey, cause I use the same terms for a lot of things. I want to improve my roleplay, by being better to express my actions with a colourful and variated language, any hints?
Be descriptive. Even the little actions that most people would not even notice in real life add flesh to the roleplay. Try using pronouns and adjectives a lot. Two or three long actions are never fun.

Such as rather than:
*Sits down*

You could go for,

*She sits down in the chair, her legs stretched out with crossed ankles.*

I could explain futher if you're still not grasping it. :heart:
 

pyrocide

The Mogul of Cromarcky
#17
A question:
How do you make a good villain? And I don't mean a character that kills people, because their evil.
Villains come in many forms, and unfortunately there isn't enough material out there that explains a well-designed villain. Despite this, I highly suggest researching through media villains that interest you - specifically why they interest you, and try to incorporate that into your character without blatant copying.

For example, my favorite villain of all time is the Joker. A great deal of why I like the Joker is because after watching/reading enough material on him, I don't believe he is crazy. He's most likely antisocial, but he's certainly not the looney and random Joker that most people think he is. He's instead so incredible at manipulating people and the way they perceive him to the point where everyone, most audience members included, thinks he's crazy. I might then take that aspect of the Joker and apply it to a character, using similar manner of manipulation to make other players/characters see him as little more than a homeless man, for instance.

Throw that advice in with getting deep into what the different kinds of evil alignments there are, maybe focus on one of the seven deadly sins, and above all remember they are still human(oid). A great series to watch to understand this is the Netflix show "House of Cards." Frank Underwood is by all definitions an evil person, but you can see "good" sides to him when he is talking with his wife, or his friends. An evil person can still love, laugh, enjoy leisure activities, ect. They simply have the determination to do what it is they want/need to do, regardless of any law, morals, or bystanders that get in their way that most "Good" characters do not.
 

Gaby

Lord of Altera
#19
how do you like.

stop from tearing your hair out in frustration because it feels like its completely impossible to roleplay with people you have to roleplay with?

(not about hollowworld)