Roleplaying 108 – The Inner Actor

Here is the update at last! My apologies but life got in the way as it does from time to time. Regardless, feast your eyes upon the fruits of my labours! Or not, it’s up to you.

My recent posts have been focussed more on helping the GM/DM to prepare for games but today I thought I would switch back to offering some player advice.  The last post I made for players was about character creation, following on from that this post will deal with how to role-play as that character. All the advice and information is based on my own experiences and your own experiences will probably differ, so do NOT take everything contained here as the gospel truth or set in stone.

The first thing you should really decide is how you wish to role-play. Usually there are two options; you narrate everything that a character does from a third person perspective or you narrate everything from a first person perspective.

The former can offer more comfort for people as it allows you to distance yourself from a character (if you want/need to) and buy yourself time to think things through. On the other hand though, you might find that approaching the game in this manner limits your immersion into your character.

However, the latter offers chances for greater immersion but can leave you feeling somewhat on the spot from time to time, struggling to react appropriately to the situation. Because of the pros and cons of both approaches, I try to mix the two. Usually I will narrate my character’s actions in the first person and will break character to narrate in the third person when I know that I want to buy some time to think about how that character would react.

In addition to these two approaches, there is also a more physical one. I find it far easier to role-play and become immersed in my character if I act out what they do to some extent. Whether this is walking across rooms or limiting yourself to gestures and facial expressions, you’ll find your own comfort level but I cannot tell you how much my gaming enjoyment grew when I started to do this. Not only does it help with immersion but by ‘inhabiting’ the character, I found I began to react to things in a more instinctual and less planned manner.

When it comes to reacting to things in character, or just acting in character, you should (I’ve found) base your actions on knowledge that character would reasonably have and do it in a way that agrees with your character’s personality. If it does not agree with your character’s personality, either work out if you can incorporate that reaction into your character going forwards, or see if your group is happy to allow you to change your response.

I know my post is a bit short today (I’m still quite tired from ‘life’) but I may revisit this subject matter in the future. In the meantime, if you want to offer any of your experiences, feel free to do so in the comments section below.


– Bubbles / Ryan


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