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Role-Playing Tips, Tricks & Guides

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Role-Playing Tips, Tricks & Guides

Through my expansive time role playing characters, I've compiled a cheat sheet of sorts to help those who may be looking for ways to improve their current skills or for those who have always wanted to give it a try; but, were never quite sure how or where to begin. This is an open list as well a thread for discussion, where others may share their own tidbits of wisdom and tips of the trade that I may have forgotten, only briefly touched on or missed completely.

With that said, let's begin!


There is nothing more important or rewarding than creating your own character. While many tend to duplicate characters or portray those based on various forms of media, there's a certain glee to be gained by starting from scratch and building your character from there. You want to make sure to read over the rules and setting of whatever role play you're interested in participating in before you begin the character creation process. You want to gain an idea of what the setting is (fantasy vs modern/realistic, a vampiric character would not fit in a realistic setting and your stereotypical, run-of-the-mill modern day action hero may not work in a fantasy setting set in the deep expanse of space.) Make sure that you determine the age range allowed, what sort of background your character must have, etc.

Basically, you need to make sure that you know a loose outline of the 'box', we'll call it, that your character needs to exist in. That box can be as massive as the GM (Game Master) allowing anything under the sky or as restrictive as archetypes the GM has provided that you have to pick from (usually limited and the slots are filled quickly). Make sure to probe your GM for any additional information through PM or in the OOC threads to make sure that you're in the clear. Usually most RPs will require the GM to approve characters before beginning to make sure that everything fits.

So you've got an idea of what is allowed and isn't; but, you're not really sure what to do next? Don't worry, hopefully this guide will help. Just follow the list of steps below and expand from there as needed.

1.) Pick a name - This can be something as dumb as Bob (comedic) or something as deep as Ryu'Tgash (barbarian tribesmen). It all depends on the idea of your character you've formulated. The name can play a pivotal role in your interactions with other characters as some players may be too lazy to include you in conversations if you go the lazy route or may stray or abbreviate if you make the name too long or may skip the name entirely and refer to your character simply by their title or profession; i.e. Doc, Chief, General, etc.

2.) Pick an origin - This can be the trickiest part of the entire process as I mentioned before, when you are restricted by the parameters set by the GM for the direction and flow of the RP. The origin story can influence the name or be influenced by it, think a surname for a member of royalty or a simple name for a roaming vagabond establishing themselves as a vigilante. Remember that the origin will also heavily influence the skills your character will exhibit. A privateer or mercenary would have great combat skills; but, they may lack the more subtle queues of the social scene that a jester or court attendee would catch or excel at.

3.) Physical appearance - So you've got a name for your character and an origin, now comes what could be considered the most enjoyable part of the whole process - the physical one! You get to breathe life into your character by providing a physical description of your character. Be wary though, your character's physical description can be influenced through their origin depending on the setting. A blacksmith or farmer would be stockier than say a street urchin or thief. Try to be as descriptive as you possibly can during this part. The more detail you provide, the more life you bring to your character and the more information you provide to your fellow players to work with.

4.) Personality - This can be one of top three important things for when making your character. The personality can be as descriptive or as bland as you like. You could have a small list of quirks or traits that you expand on later. Try to keep from making the stereotypical Mary Sue and Gary Stu, as these are commonly overdone and could cause your fellow players to lose interest in interacting with your character. Remember, the more detail you put into your character now during the creation process, the less frustration you have later when trying to remember this or that about them. Your character is dynamic, make sure to be prepared to adjust their personality as they evolve and interact with others and events occurring in the role play.


When creating a thread there are some very important details you need to remember to try to provide so that everyone who is participating has a clear and concise understanding of what's currently going on. Here's a basic list of some things I recommend you try to include and more than likely, your fellow players will thank you!

TIME: When is this taking place. Date, month, year.
WEATHER: What's the weather currently like? What's the season? Is it summer, fall, winter, spring? Is it raining? Is there a light fog or other visibility issue?
SCENE: What's your character currently doing? What's their goal?

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