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Roleplaying Tips and Etiquette

This isn't meant to be a thread for people to roleplay in, but one detailing some (unfortunately) common bad practice in roleplaying, so everyone who would like to improve is able to do so at a quicker pace. If you notice some of these bad traits in your roleplaying, then it would be in your best interest to curb them so that you and other players can enjoy the game more - a lot of them make it a real headache for other players, or the person running the game, to play with you. So, without further ado:

1. Bunnying and godmodding are horrendous offences. Bunnying means taking control of another person's character without confirmation that you can do so; this is a problem because it stops another person from roleplaying their character as they'd like and removes their chance to interact with other characters and the world from them. Godmodding refers both to having your character succeed at something without leaving a chance for him or her to fail, as well as giving your character ridiculous items, powersets, or skills that they could not believably have, especially for their age or position. Does it really make sense for your mid-teens farmer's son to be a master swordsman? Hell no, and it sets him up for a super lame "chosen one" story in what's supposed to be a group effort.

2. Metagaming is terrible. Metagaming refers to using out of character knowledge of what's happening in the RP to decide on how your character will react; for example, if you are metagaming, one of your characters may have "known" that someone intended to backstab the party all along, despite evidence in character contradicting this belief. The problems that this can cause in a game should be clear - it often ties into godmodding to an extent by making your character impossible to trick or a masterful planner if you're given any outsider knowledge of what might happen.

3. Use proper spelling and grammar when describing your character's actions, or it will be difficult to take you seriously (and, sometimes, for other people to understand precisely what you mean to do or say). The main exception to this is in the way your character speaks - after all, plenty of people speak with a hard-to-understand accent, and there's no reason to limit your roleplaying in that regard. Furthermore, do your best not to switch between tenses, especially not within a single post or biography/history section - it's poor style and can, again, confuse the other players or the GM.

4. The DM/GM/whoever's running the RP has the final say in what happens. If your character gets crippled, dies, or something else terrible happens to them, you can certainly try to appeal to the DM to circumvent that, but you absolutely cannot ignore it entirely. Carrying on with what you were doing as if nothing happened when your character just got their arm broken or something is an awful breach of etiquette and messes with the intended flow of the game.

Suffice it to say, you should follow these rules because everybody, yourself included, will have a better time if you do, and it'll avoid the most common and major causes for drama in roleplaying threads. If anyone would like to comment, discuss, or add other good ideas, tips, or tricks, feel free - I may make another post later detailing some good practice.


  • This is actually really important. Thank you for posting this!
  • Another thing that helps is if you make a character that you have no attachment to. 
    This is if you are bad at role playing because it makes it easier for you to let them die or something else happens to them. 
    This is what I use and it helps me. Just my opinion of course.
  • I'm glad that somebody's getting some use out of these tips! While they're by no means hard rules, as there are no board-specific rules, they are certainly something that is worth keeping in mind, and are genuinely some of the most egregious faults I can find with RP.

    I prefer to make characters that I am to some degree invested in and so can play "accurately" or in a way I find appealing, but I consider myself an advanced roleplayer and have a lot of experience across a variety of media. I think that getting a better idea of your character's motivations and behavior leads to developing your roleplaying skills.

    That said, it is definitely important not to overinvest into a character and get seriously upset by them dying, even in settings where death is permanent. Furthermore, making a character whose personality you can better flesh out later is a great starting point for new players, so long as you don't go into the outright bland zone and make them generic as all hell or never develop them further. Making a character to call your own is, in my opinion, one of the coolest things about roleplaying.
  • This is a very comprehensive guide! thanks!
  • edited July 2017
    When GMing I often come back to this thread to see that my players are doing I could call them out on, such as metagaming kidnapping a character while that person was away. And on the player side when I am making the sheets I come back here to make sure I have nothing really considering godmodding through op combos (Average +Grand Raven's Gift) or just through role playing actions themselves. It is frustrating to see others do it and you don't know how much help with was for me in starting off on the right foot in the forum rps. @Thallium thanks again for making this!

    Forum Necromancer Toruk out*
  • Warning to all people on this thread: Toruk is a MENACE and he must be stopped, this necromancy must not be allowed! :smile:
  • @TinyBomby
    I agree.
    *Grabs Pitchforks*
  • @Toruk Necromancy?
    You have committed crimes against Skyrim and her people. What say you in your defense?

  • That this is not Skyrim
  • @Toruk
    Touché, my Necromancer friend. Touché.
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