How do you roleplay?

Whether personally or as a group -- how do you roleplay, either as player or DM?

I'll start off to give people an idea of what I'm thinking of.

As a player, I talk to the NPCs as if I'm my PC.


  • To NPC: "Can you describe the person who came in to your shop this morning and bought the black tunic?"


I also address the people around the table in their characters' names.


  • "Hans, want to see if you can distract that manticore over there?"



I know others who describe what the PC is doing.


  • To DM: "Chris asks the shopkeeper to describe the person."


Still others will sort of combine the two.


  • To DM: "I ask the shopkeeper to describe the person."



I describe to the DM a particular thing I want to do.


  • To DM: "I'm aiming at his wrist. I want to cut off the hand that's holding the evil dagger." or "I use the handholds I can find to scale the wall to the roof."



As a DM, I have two ways to interact with the PCs. If I have an NPC really well fleshed out and I know what his attitude is and how he fits into the storyline, I just answer questions "in character" or hand out information that I've planned out. If it's a random shopkeeper, I usually roll his reaction to the PCs before I answer the question in character.

For actions the PCs are taking, I'll often roll (or have the player roll) to see how well it works. But sometimes it's just so perfect for the scenario that I don't bother with a roll. If it makes the story better, it happens. However, if it's too farfetched, it won't succeed, but that is very, very rare.

How about you? In character, talking about the character, roll or no roll -- what's your style? There are NO wrong answers here, so please don't criticise others' posts. I'm just curious how others do things.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Mostly no rolls. In character conversations with comical accents and reactions.

Cuz ppl is funnay.
i go third person with rolls as appropriate

to DM: steve points down the alley and says to the guard "they went that way" *rolls bluff.
It varies.  Some characters you just feel more than others.  My Dwarf players in our party sound like drunken pirates, and bring bottles of actual rum to game nights.
Drunk.
I tend to do a lot of voices I don't know why, I just love them.
My two copper.
I've never felt completely comfortable being 100% in character. So frequently it's "I tell the bartender about the reward" instead of "you! Wench! There's a reward for Blackbeard".
I come up with a character concept and personality.  Then I will put myself into that persona and roleplay is if I am that character.  When I come to a situation, I ask myself, "How would this character act/react?" and then I give my response.  The longer I play that character, the quicker I can respond.  I will also make a decision that is to the detriment of the character/party if my character would not know better and there is no in-character reason not to make that decision.  I don't metagame. 
As  DM I love doing voices...I'm terrible at them but its still fun and my players seem to like so w/e...as a player I ususally speak in the first person it helps me get into and stay in charcater...I'm really bad about switching out off characater without specifying but no one seems to mind.

For monsters or what not if they have intelligence I like to try to have battle cries and sounds of pain when their attacked.

I probably ussually get players to roll most stuff but with good enough roleplay they can overcome even a 1, combat wise is more strict towards rolls though.
As a DM, I talk in the third person as to not confuse myself and others of who is doing or saying what. I only do voices when switching accents in infrequent.

As a player, I speak in the first person and describe actions in the third person. I do their voice and accents as I only have one part to focus on.

DM Orzel: *rolls* Lord Catton says "I cannot commit a force of that magnitude on such a risky endeavor without an extreme reason for doing so,"

Player Orzel: Hack flips the table. "Paperwork? The eldest male member of the McSlash lineage has no time for paperwork at times of war! Send this to my brother!" And Hack uprights the table to flip it again. I'm rolling to intimidate the bureaucrat. *rolls*

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

As a DM, I talk in the third person as to not confuse myself and others of who is doing or saying what.

As a player, I speak in the first person and describe actions in the third person.

DM Orzel: *rolls* Lord Catton says "I cannot commit a force of that magnitude on such a risky endeavor without an extreme reason for doing so,"

Player Orzel: Hack flips the table. "Paperwork? The eldest male member of the McSlash lineage has no time for paperwork at times of war! Send this to my brother!" And Hack uprights the table to flip it again. I'm rolling to intimidate the bureaucrat. *rolls*



That was worded much better than how I tried to say it...although if there only a few NPCs or if its an important NPC i tend to do it in first person
Ends up being a mixture. I like to talk in character, I usually play with a mix of different types of players. I talking to some of the the other players and DM in characters, but others I'll talk to other people at the table about my character in the third person. I don't try to do fun voices too much, but I like to add verbal ticks and different voice inflection for different characters.

When I describe a physical action I am normally all over the place. I'll use first, second or third person decide mostly at a whim. Afterwards, I'll give a more mechanical description for the DM if they ask for it.

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How do I RP?

I simply take decisions and behave based on what my character would do, taking in consideration what he/she is aware of the situation in question, her personality, background/story, etc...

Me and my character are separated entities...

This also include NPCs when i DM, skill checks such as diplomacy, bluff and intimidate only came into play when i am in the fence of not sure what the NPC in question would decide to do taking in consideration the current situation
Ends up being a mixture. I like to talk in character, I usually play with a mix of different types of players. I talking to some of the the other players and DM in characters, but others I'll talk to other people at the table about my character in the third person. I don't try to do fun voices too much, but I like to add verbal ticks and different voice inflection for different characters.

When I describe a physical action I am normally all over the place. I'll use first, second or third person decide mostly at a whim. Afterwards, I'll give a more mechanical description for the DM if they ask for it.



Yup...same with me.

One thing I noticed when I used to play using OpenRPG (about 6 years ago) was when I was playing a character, and I had to type my responses, I really felt absorbed and started to think much more like the character I was playing.  The anonymity of typing in a game rather than looking at players/DM face to face, probably added to the imersion, and since I can type pretty fast, and the games generally ran much slower than in-person games, I'd have more time to think, which made it easier for me to really play a character as a real personality.

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I talk in character too, both playing and DMing. I'll do voices too 'cause they're fun and it lets the players and DM know when I'm narrating or when I'm speaking in role. The vocal cue eliminates the need for me to say whether I'm in role or not.


Dice tend to be prompted by the DM, especially in social situations. So I might go off on a rant or something in character and tell a few blatant lies in the process and the DM will tell me to roll bluff or somesuch. The result of the roll is important but it never negates the roleplaying in our games. So I might fail the roll but the quality of my rant will inform the manner in which I fail and the reaction I get from the NPCs. Players initiate rolls of that kind all the time, but before the roll there is always roleplay and the effects are determined on the basis of that roleplay as I described.

I speak in-character, often with voices(or text colors, for online games).  I roll, without breaking stride, if I think one is going to be needed, but I often err on the side of not rolling, and letting the DM ask for one.
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I speak in-character, often with voices(or text colors, for online games).  I roll, without breaking stride, if I think one is going to be needed, but I often err on the side of not rolling, and letting the DM ask for one.


I'll ask question about what is or isn't common knowledge; things like how well my character know someone that I, as a player, just met. This almost always leads the DM asking me for a roll. I try to avoid asking for roll, However I haven't been able to think of a way to work sense motive/insight in without come right out and asking for a roll.

Big Model: Creative Agenda
Love 4e? Concerned about its future? join the Old Guard of 4th Edition
Reality Refracted: Social Contracts

My blog of random stuff 

Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke
I come up with a character concept and personality.  Then I will put myself into that persona and roleplay is if I am that character.  When I come to a situation, I ask myself, "How would this character act/react?" and then I give my response.  The longer I play that character, the quicker I can respond.  I will also make a decision that is to the detriment of the character/party if my character would not know better and there is no in-character reason not to make that decision.  I don't metagame. 



Pretty much this.

Generally, its strengthened by my propensity to take an aspect of my personality, and exagerate it/make it a centerpiece of the character's personality. For example, in my Arch-Militant in my current Rogue Trader game, my knowledge of military history and tactics manifests in my character (a former Stormtrooper) using force in all his plans. As in, the start to all his plans are, "After the artillery bombardment is completed..." or "after the strafing runs have finished...."

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Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

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"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

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57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.

As a DM, I describe the scene to the players, including details relevant to the resolution of that scene. The players usually come up with questions about what they think is important for their characters to resolve the scene. If necessary, skill rolls for knowledge etc are conducted. I also often use the passive variants of skills. When playing NPCs I use in-person language and sometimes different voices. For a lot of scenes (and always for combat scenes), we use terrain and props (Go WorldWorksGames, go!) and miniatures. In the end I find it very important that the players know what the scene is about.


As a side note, I find that a lot of published adventures do not include a good flow of information. A lot of times, at least in my view, a published adventure offers relevant information about the back story to the DM, but does not include advice on how to pass this on to the players. This is, I find, also true for the Paizo APs that I know, which are a good read as a book, but need work in this regard as a playable adventure. So while I find reworking the combats from 3rd to 4E to be pretty easy (sometimes also rooms have to be changed to accommodate the non-static combat-style of 4E, but that is okay), I have to think about the info flow a lot, especially in situations when the players resolve any scene in a way that I did not envision beforehand. A linear adventure setup can be time consuming to change to fit our playing style, since basically the players decide where the story is going.


The players use in-person language. New players have quickly adapted to that kind of style. Players resolve the scene through their characters and decide where it is going. I do not railroad them. If asked, I point out what the consequences of the PC’s actions could be, if the characters can make educated guesses about this.


I present all information to all players at the same time, even if only one of the characters has access to it at that moment. We expect players to base their roleplay only on what their characters know and 95% of the time they succeed. The metagaming that is required for this some of the time is not a problem for us, I think we rather consider it a roleplaying challenge. The same is true for discussions about where a scene resolution “should go”, if one or two players come up with something interesting that they want to surprise the others with. There is a great deal of trust at our table, which I find very important.


In combat, players describe what their characters are doing and I describe the effects of hp loss and status (dazed etc). I describe what the opponents are doing and the players describe the effects of hp loss and status, since I do not keep track of hp or any other character stats at all and hp loss IMO can only be narrated in relation to the actual amount of hp. If I need to know anything, I ask. The break of immersion this sometimes creates is not a problem for us.


I very rarely ever fudge. The players never fudge.


After the scene resolves, the character’s actions lead to a new scene, which I describe again and the circle starts again. Scenes are never neutral to what the characters did in the game we play, but always modified to challenge the characters motives, decisions etc.


Players have total control over their characters. They choose appropriate magic items, paragon paths, feats and skills or themes for their characters and can retrain. Fluff is changed on a regular basis. If there are implications on a roleplay level, this is played out and always leads to a new scene, which is described by me in the abovementioned manner. If players want to introduce new material for the campaign world that is vital to their character, we talk about it and usually I let them. Actually, thinking about it, I cannot recall a situation in which I had to say “No, you cannot use that”. I guess that is because reframing stuff in 4E is pretty easy to do.


And this is how we roleplay (almost) every Wednesday.

As I mainly DM I normally try to gain an understanding of the character (normally NPC or Monster) and what their motivations are. For each NPC I will think of their basic personality (I am thinking of adding something like Myers Briggs to this to try and continually give consistence to a characters personality) and what their underlying motivations are. Personally I have found that assigning alignment to NPCs is actually detrimental to roleplaying them. Mostly though I find it exhausting especially if you have a large number of NPCs that the PCs are interacting with. I have found it is best to stick to the stereotypes and overexagerate them in some cases. I find normally most characters gain their own voice and that may not necessarily mean that they have a different voice but more of a difference in how they speak. I think that part of the role playing is painting the picture with word in the minds of your players - I think that is probably about 70 -80% of the roleplaying I do. It is not necessarily actual "roleplaying" as such but it gives the players an idea of who they talking to.  

Finally, another topic about roleplaying... =)

¡Great!

I come up with a character concept and personality.  Then I will put myself into that persona and roleplay is if I am that character.  When I come to a situation, I ask myself, "How would this character act/react?" and then I give my response.  The longer I play that character, the quicker I can respond.  I will also make a decision that is to the detriment of the character/party if my character would not know better and there is no in-character reason not to make that decision.  I don't metagame



I third this. Always in character, unless i'm DM and describing a situation. Voices and corporal expressions are a must for helping my group to get in the mood and have greater immersion. Avoiding at all costs useless or unnecessary rolls, they just appear when doubt is huge enough to validate it. Rolling a die is a great way to stop seeing the magnificent imaginary fantasy world were D&D stories are told, and becoming a bunch of people sit around a table.

The bolded phrase is the key. A well developed character always a clear line between what he/she knows and what the player knows. When background/personality/motivation is neglected during character creation, the result is uncertainity of that line, which becomes blurred.