[GUIDE] Tips to enhance your character & roleplay.

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[GUIDE] Tips to enhance your character & roleplay.

Post by EffPee » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:40 pm

Disclaimer: The majority of my experiences have been around illegal gang roleplay, so this may be more tailored to that. Feel free to reply with any feedback regarding other types of roleplay.

I posted a simplified version of this a while ago but I feel it went unnoticed amongst the other replies in the general discussions thread it was in. For that reason, I've put this in the guide section so more people can be made aware of it. I will link the thread here as some other good points were raised. Thread

Just to clear up a common misconception; having good quality screenshots doesn't automatically mean your role play is as good as can be, there's always room for improvement. This guide will hopefully encourage people to make their character the best they can be.

A great character exists when every aspect of this character is taken seriously and given a good amount of substance. Of course, people role play to have fun so the idea of taking something so seriously may be daunting, but it just makes for a better experience for you and the people you role play with. Below is a list of things you can do to make your character better than it already may be.
  • Attributes, traits, personality.
    Keeping in touch with who your character is and letting that affect the situations you find your character to be in. It's all well and good roleplaying that your character has certain attributes (i.e. a lisp, disorders, strengths, weaknesses.) but if you aren't keeping up to date with these attributes they aren't being used to their full potential. An example, let's say Person A has a crippling anxiety disorder. You start roleplaying this character as an anxious person who may be unsure of most of what they do, but eventually as time goes on, you may forget this was the original way you were roleplaying your character. Someone might question it, why is Person A this way? I thought they were like that before? Consistency is key, and you'll see that alot in this guide, but you should be consistent with your characters traits/emotions. To add to the original point, and it's been said countless times before whether that be in other threads or just between friends, role play scenes and events should be the main driving point to your character development. You should definitely have some sort of blueprint of how you want your character to be and possibly how they will evolve, but none of this will feel authentic if you don't allow IC events/scenes to affect your characters development. Another example; Person B is known to be a hard-head, they always pick a fight where it doesn't belong. One day, somebody comes along and gives them what they deserve, they get beat down and humbled. Person B may now still be a hard-head as before, but they will know when they're crossing a line and may think twice before doing it again.
  • Experiences, lessons, mistakes.
    This is a continuation of how you should let IC events affect your development. You should pay close mind to the things your character experiences, the mistakes they make and the lessons they learn from these said mistakes. Your original character blueprint may lead you in a certain direction with your roleplay, and because of this, some people are reluctant to let anything get in the way of this original plan. By letting your character's experiences affect their direction, your character is growing as you play, they are changing as a person and that's okay. After all, humans change. Experiences give your character more substance, the less you follow a pattern the more your character will stand out. An example of this could be; Person C is created as an experienced hustler, he's been doing it for a while and he's good at what he does. This could be going well for a while, your character runs into little resistance and they continue to be how you tailored them to be. One day, someone comes around and does it better, Person C gets jealous, upset, angry. This encourages Person C to take time to sit back and study his opponents, to see how he could improve what he does. Or, on the flip side, they could completely give up, try to sabotage this other person to thin out the competition. The choice is yours, but most importantly, it should be done in accordance to the experience.
  • Taking losses.
    In the age of DM videos and constant arguments about who has better aim, you need to be content with taking losses. In some peoples minds, they see this as a loss OOC, they jump straight into pms or /b and start unnecessary beef with the person/people who bested them. This doesn't just concern shootouts, it just means losses in general. if something doesn't go your characters way, take that IC. Don't jump straight to /b or OOC PMs whining that it didn't go your way. By doing this, you are restricting your characters development and growth, you're not giving yourself a chance to learn from it. Let this beef escalate through in character means, make it the best conflict you can fathom. Too many people miss out on great realistic beefs between factions and are left to create inner-faction beef to make up the difference, there will be more on this later. Let your character learn from their mistakes, if your character is akin to throwing tantrums, have them get angry over their loss, But keep it In Character.
  • Consistency.
    Some people decide to roleplay injuries or roleplay a certain defect for a few days/weeks and just give up because they're bored of it. Referring to the first point, remain consistent with your traits, make your character unique by keeping them unique. As mentioned before, consistency also applies to pretty much every aspect of your character. Don't give others the satisfaction of being able to point out that you're not roleplaying the same person that you were months earlier, despite being the exact same character. Consistency allows your character to grow but not lose a sense of self. It allows you to draw back to old situations within your roleplay, you can reminisce with your peers that you have achieved so much despite the obstacles you've faced.
  • Details.
    This doesn't mean typing a three-sentence long /me or /do. Be detailed with your roleplay, show emotion and actions in a concise but well-informed way. The best part about great roleplay is when the atmosphere is constantly being altered, helping you to feel immersed. Some people may see your emotion as minimal to the roleplay atmosphere, as well as the actions your character does. They only do the absolute essential /me's. I find that showcasing almost everything your character does, as long as it remains relevant to the task at hand, is one of the best ways to create an immersive roleplay atmosphere. Picture this; you're sat in a stakeout waiting for somebody so you can press them into a fight/robbery/kill them. Most people would just do a quick /me is visibly shaking or /me seems nervous. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with simplicity and in some cases it's better to be simple than elaborate. However, you could spice up the situation by adding more detail to this. Your character is shaking, they are nervous; add some more detail to this. For example, you could say /my lips tremble as he sits anxiously in the passenger seat. /me holds a loose grip of his weapon, his leg taps the foot-well consistently. These aren't the greatest /me's I will admit, but they certainly add more atmosphere to the scene. Some people believe these are just for show in screenshots, I personally enjoy seeing more detailed /me's if possible so I can feel fully immersed in the situation.
  • Be unique.
    You'll hear this alot, but it's still important. Some of the least exciting characters you'll find are clones of whatever is the stereotype of their style of roleplay. A clone gang character is a tough no-bullshit gangbanger with crackhead/absent parents. A clone LEO character is a no-fear robo-cop who wants to make the most arrests without giving a damn about what type of person they're arresting, they don't even try to interact with the criminal as another person, just another number to arrest. Making your character as unique as possible without overdoing it allows your character to outshine others, more people will be interested in their story as they will feel more attached to the character, just like any form of media. A more unique character means more personality, more substance, different traits that may be lesser known.
  • Character background.
    Having a story to start your character off of is crucial in keeping to a good storyline, and helps keep development on track. You could also refer to it as a blueprint, as I have been in previous points. It acts as a reference point to go back to so you are always up to date with your characters personality and happenings. This can also benefit a group of people. In our faction discord we have character profiles (credit to Topiyo), somewhere to write about your character's story up until you start roleplaying on them, and you can update them as you go along with necessary information. This helps the people in your faction to know what your character is like and how much they'd know about them prior to roleplaying with them. This isn't at all metagaming in my opinion, if you roleplay as a community, you would know these things about your peers. Of course, if your faction isn't a community this may not be as useful as you would be completely new to these other people. However, writing up a character story still allows you to better plan out your character and remain consistent. I've had nothing but improved interactions after we employed this in our discord server, friends and roleplayers alike become attached to their associates, and it discourages unrealistic CKs and anything along those lines (my next point will be about this). People that sign up to the server usually crack out a story as quickly as they can, and rarely stick to it. By keeping to a story you are able to keep your development in line, but as I said earlier, you should also let IC events affect your story; don't be one-note with it.
  • Don't jump straight to violence.
    This will be my last point. I've been part of the gang roleplay scene for the 4 years that I've been on this server. Arguably one of the most frustrating things about this sect of roleplay is when disputes happen, and one or both parties first thought is to get a weapon and kill the other. This can either be within factions, or between factions. Some of the best roleplay you will have in the gang scene is a long-term beef with another person/group. By hopping straight to gunning the opposite party down, you are limiting yourself and others, not allowing them to experience the full extent of hostile roleplay between groups. Perhaps even worse, in inner faction tension, is when you end up CKing someone you have ICly known your entire life. You've grown up with the people around you, been to parties/funerals/weddings with these people, met their families etc. Unless there is a direct threat to your life, or your organisation (i.e. snitching), a CK should be your last resort. There are even countless examples in real life where even in serious circumstances, they still don't kill someone as this is someone they treat as family. I'll put a few examples in a spoiler.
    Spoiler: show

    Listen to what he says in this video, "I respect you, you my brother"

    "I love this guy, man"
    Sure, CKs are good for overall faction stories and development, but if they're not realistic, not to mention unfair, where's the fun in it?
I don't consider myself perfect by any means, everyone has room for improvement. These are just points I try to stick to when roleplaying my characters, to help make a better roleplay environment for myself and those I associate with. Like I said right at the start, feel free to give feedback and if you disagree, give me some constructive criticism.

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Re: [GUIDE] Tips to enhance your character & roleplay.

Post by zalenac » Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:19 pm

Great read.
Very overlooked fundamentals that can bring your roleplay to that next level.

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Re: [GUIDE] Tips to enhance your character & roleplay.

Post by Meduza » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:00 pm

Nice guide, good job.

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Re: [GUIDE] Tips to enhance your character & roleplay.

Post by Hamza P. » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:46 pm

Great job with making this guide!
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Re: [GUIDE] Tips to enhance your character & roleplay.

Post by Martin_Busato » Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:31 pm

Applicable to all genres of roleplay; I will be sharing this with my faction. Thank you for writing this.

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