OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Roleplaying Focus – What would you do?

Hello there!

Leon Archer

Leon Archer, GM of Spellbound

I hope everyone has had a grand Christmas  Personally have been introduced and discovered the wonders of Sodastreams. Equally, I hope New Year was great – my latest ambition is to move into a new four bedroom house come March, which will be nice and a MASSIVE improvement over where I am now, although the train journey may or may not be a welcome change. Sorry I’ve not been able to post recently, my excuse is that I may of had a digit severed and reattached recently – kinda makes typing a little on the difficult side! I certainly didn’t do what most of the heroes I’ve written about would have done, namely shrug it off and continue on like nothing had happened. No, it was a case of wincing in pain and feeling a bit ill at the sight of my bone. Which brings me to my topic for this time.

What would you do?

This time, I’d like to discuss roleplaying in character.It is an important aspect to roleplaying, be it play-by-post, tabletop, or humble literature. Playing your character, or rather – how you decide to play him dictates how believable and ultimately, how good your roleplay is going to be. Many a character has undergone complete turnarounds in their persona, leaving the audience confused and disengaged.

Now you CAN do this, for example:

“I was simply acting all along to win your trust so I could achieve my ultimate goal.”

It’s probably the only time where it’s acceptable to completely change how a person acts suddenly. There are other ways of course, an epiphany, a devastating loss, or a betrayal. These are all common ways that a character would change, but I tend to steer clear of them. In my humble opinion, characters who have these kind of events happen to them end up being confusing to read. Why? Your writing becomes disjointed, and for a reader, a character they may have been able to relate to suddenly gets alienated from them.

What would you do if you found out a close friend was actually a completely different person than you had thought?

Now, we all like writing our characters in various ways, being an evil mastermind, a shy friend, or a heroic spirit. The key is to keep putting yourself into their shoes, into their roles and ask yourself this simple question:

“What would I do?”

The evil mastermind is never going to help kittens while the shy friend is never going to go erotically dancing in front of the crew! Think what your character would do, how they would react – and you’re well onto your way of writing a great piece of roleplay. Look deeper at them, how would they feel. If the shy friend is put in a social situation, he’s not going to feel happy about it, no! He’s going to feel uncomfortable, nervous, worried, maybe a bit sick. Perhaps these emotions effects how he moves because he’s knocking over items and stumbling to get away. Perhaps he can’t get a sentence out because his thoughts are…are…are all a flutter!

Some of the best advice I can give when it comes to writing a character is this:

“Who are they? How would they feel? What would they do?”

Hope this helps, and I’ll see you next time. For now, I fancy a soda…

How do you write your characters? Have some helpful hints and tips? Ever coincidently cut your finger? Are Sodastreams the way forward for the future? Write in the comments below.