Many people have asked how they can become a better RPer, or have commented on how others have RPed in the past, and I decided to write an RP tutorial for those who would like to learn how to RP better. So for those of you seeking to become better role-players, or simply want to know how to get started, you've come to the right place.Step One: Character
You must have at least a basic idea of your character and his/her background and history, and maybe even a bit of their personality. For me, I best flesh out the personality of my characters when I RP as them. I try and get into the head of my characters and imagine how they would think in a certain situation, or act/react to certain things. Merely role-playing as a character that models yourself is fun, but the thrill of getting to think as someone else is much better.Step Two: Details
This seems to be an obvious concept, but some people don't completely grasp how details play into an RP post. The more you describe your actions and how they affect the surrounding atmosphere, the better. You may understand what your character is trying to do, but if you do not use enough details, the effect is lost on other players. Be as detailed as you can be without going overboard. Long posts are great when they are written well, but long and unspecific posts become tedious.
On the same note, grammar and syntax are very important. It helps the reader more clearly understand what you are trying to say in your post, and gives your posts a more professional look. If you have trouble with grammar/spelling, try sending your post to someone ahead of time for them to look over. Good grammar in a bad post is almost always better than bad grammar in a great post.Step Three: Interaction
The point of a role-play is interacting with other players; if you simply only have conversation between your own characters, readers get bored and will simply skip your post. Try and seperate your characters' storylines and have them go different places so you are not tempted to have them speak to each other. Avoid as much as possible conversation between them, and use only
A good role-playing post involves action and dialogue: what your character is doing while they are speaking. For example:
John walked over to the cup of water and grabbed it in his left hand, bringing it to his mouth for a soothing drink. "Mmm, that's great water," he said, setting the cup down.
This is a good post. It helps the reader understand the context of what John says; simply posting "Mmm, that's great water" would confuse the reader.
As you may have noticed, many players use colors in their posts. This helps to distinguish when different characters are talking, and adds a little bit of your character's personality in color choice. For example, a young-hearted girl may have a vibrant pink speaking text, while a dark sadistic man may have gray text. While the color only has a minor role, it helps to add flavor and professionalism to your posts. You can find hex color codes by searching for them online.
Another thing that adds flavor to role-playing is thinking. Type out your character's thoughts as they would think them
; it helps the reader to better understand the motivation behind what your character does. If you make a post where your character kills a random man in the street, it might not make much sense. But, if you write "That man looks like my father. I hate my father", it makes a little more sense to the reader (Given, my example is a little far-fetched. But you get the idea). Try and think of a very distinctive way to seperate your character's thoughts and spoken dialogue. Most people use italics
when their character is thinking, and "quotations" when they are speaking aloud. Nothing is more confusing to a reader than when they cannot distinguish between thought and speech.Step Four: Avoid God-Modding
The quickest and fastest way to make other players hate you or your character is by god-modding. God-modding is controlling another character without their permission. Avoid this at all costs.
Players are very protective of their characters, and when you try and control them, they tend to lash out. Try and word your post in a way that avoids god-modding. For example:
Gene walked up behind Shermie, grabbing her around the waist and slicing her throat open with his knife.
This is an example of god-modding. You have not given the other player a chance to react to your attack. Rather, try wording it like this:
Gene walked up behind Shermie and grabbed her waist, making a motion with his knife to cut her throat.
Also remember that your character is not all-powerful. They cannot hear other characters' thoughts, they should not have supernatural powers, and they aren't impervious to attack. Try letting your character get hit once in a while, it makes them more believable.Step Five: Have Fun
I know how cliché that sounds, but I mean it. If you have created a character that you do not enjoy role-playing as, ask a mod to make them inactive and create a new one. There is no easier way to lose motivation in an RP than to continue role-playing as a character you do not like. Be mindful of this when creating your character's personality; if you can't think like a liar and thief, don't create a brigand who lies and steals. Its simple logic, but it goes beyond some people.
There, that's basically it! It was a long post, but I assure you if you follow these basic things, your role-playing will begin to get better. There are plenty of other things about role-playing not covered in this post, but you will have to seek them yourself. Now get to role-playing!