Author Topic: Resources for Good Roleplay  (Read 3267 times)

deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Resources for Good Roleplay
« on: April 02, 2018, 03:18:16 PM »
Hey guys! I'm scouring the forums and I've noticed it's always been a worry of mine to portrait my character as best as possible. We play a game where you need to have the skill to do so in quick amounts of time. Sometimes, you are in the middle of character-losing combat and need to nevertheless throw a line or two. Sometimes, you are OOCly tense about the awesome, PC-threatening RP you are having and need to throw a think/feel. This is a roleplaying game and there are many ways to roleplay, but...

...I have noticed there's a lack of roleplaying discussions on this topic in itself. There's no organized topic with ways or ideas you use things like thinks/feels, or change mood, or change goal. I've seen them discussed in passing, but not in the nitpicky detail things like sneak/hide or combat are discussed.

So do you guys have any forum topics / books that have helped you improve the craft in this hobby we all love? I'll throw a few ones myself and update the list based on the best suggestions or tips.

Books
Building Great Sentences - really fitting for a workshop on emoting. It gives specific tips that are good either for aspiring writers or emoters. Sure, not all your emotes need to be prosy, but still the tips here are fantastic.
Emotion Thesaurus - Great for feel/thinks, but also for hemoting reactions to those feel/thinks.
Life in a Medieval City - When I read Game of Thrones had used this book as some manner of source, I knew it would help me in my roleplaying abilities. I haven't used this book in a while, but it helped me a lot in emoting VNPCs and roleplaying the environment of a poor, crammed city.
Life in a Medieval Village - The same as above but for villages. Be very wary about some of the advice here and consider you're playing a DESERT village, but still some of the information here IMHO fits.
The Psychology Workbook for Writers - Fantastic write that combines psychological knowledge with the intention "to create conflict." Great to develop your character's mindset and how they react to things.
Emotion Amplifiers - Short book that seems sort of like a sequel to the Emotion Thesaurus. Instead of things like very specific emotions, this also includes things like 'stress' or 'boredom.' It's less detailed than the Emotion Thesaurus, despite being published by the same authors.
Positive Trait Thesaurus - A really fantastic resource for all the positive traits your character can have (great with the Emotion Thesaurus and the Negative Trait Thesaurus for balance). Suggested by Nao.
Negative Trait Thesaurus - See above. Great with the Emotion Thesaurus and Positive Trait Thesaurus. Suggested by Nao.
Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets A Novelist Can Learn From Actors - Pretty good book on method acting applied to writing.

Threads
Old Armageddon RP Guide - Recommended by Nauta.
Creative Feels Workshop - Recommended by azuriolinist.
Behold the Power of Hemote!  - Recommended by azuriolinist.
Rhonda Peters Guide - Recommended by Nauta
Biographies and How To Use Them - Recommended by azuriolinist.
Bios Aka the Biography Tool - Recommended by azuriolinist.

Web Resources
Spring Hole - Recommended by azuriolinist. Website with tips, some for forum RP but also adaptable to Armageddon.
Sixteen Personalities - The sixteen most common personality groups (according to scientific studies). As a roleplayer, beware of cliches.
OneLook Dictionary & Reverse Dictionary - Dictionary search and reverse dictionary (search a definition and get the word you are looking for).
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 02:49:07 PM by deskoft »

Riev

  • Posts: 5177
Re: On Good Roleplay
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2018, 03:26:33 PM »
One thing I almost -never- do, but always want to? (I think I'm stealing this from Miradus)

Come up with 3-4 "common" behaviors. What you do when you lie, what you do when you're attracted to someone, what you do when you're scared, etc.

Come up with how that emote would look, and alias it.

alias fear emote @ shivers, noticeably, and shrinks into himself.

Its more noticeable, you can play off it, and other people can play off it if they notice it, too. Make them hemotes, if you want!
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

nauta

  • Posts: 2335
Re: On Good Roleplay
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 03:27:22 PM »
Here's some tips from the old website as food for thought (and some blasts from the past):

http://old.armageddon.org/rp/

And way back in the day we used to link to Rhonda Peters' guide, which now is defunct, but can be found here:

https://web.archive.org/web/19980109184636/http://fly.ccs.yorku.ca:80/mush/rp.html

« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 03:28:56 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: On Good Roleplay
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2018, 03:32:30 PM »
I try to come up with constant hemotes so that whenever I do give a little quirk about a lie or attraction, people can't tell if it's true or not. It sets up a nice pace. Also, nauta, I added your links. Those are great -- I remember scouting the old website and stumbling upon it. The second one I hadn't read before!

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 418
Re: On Good Roleplay
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 12:57:49 AM »
I love the suggestions posted so far! Here's another. This website is practically overflowing with a plethora of articles on roleplaying (and writing!) that I've found to contain plenty of useful tips:

http://www.springhole.net/

While many of the articles are clearly meant for the type of roleplay you'll find in forums or other such websites, there are still a generous number of tips that can be taken over to Arm.

Besides that, I've found writing biographies and even character reports helps anchor my roleplay to my character's personality. Admittedly, they can be tough to keep up with. Especially if you barely have any time to spare playing the game, itself.

Regardless, I try to write bios when a notable event arises. Going over events to summarize them helps me think through what my character did, went through, and felt and whether or not any of it was true to my PC's personality.

At the bottom of my bios, I've been working on analyzing my PC's actions and reactions and appending these as OOC 'notes'. These notes often consist of...
  • ...further elaborations on why my PC did this or reacted that way, often referring to little nuggets of their personality and backstory to expound on my roleplay;
  • how or why what I did in game was definitely not in-character (tell me this doesn't only happen to me);
  • and whether the events led to any sort of character development.

Other threads:
Feels
The Creative Feels Workshop
Hemotes
Behold the Power of Hemote!
Bios:
Biographies and How to Use Them
Bios!! aka the Biography Tool

deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: On Good Roleplay
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2018, 01:11:54 AM »
Fantastic resources, azuriolinist. I had read the bios ones, a tool I often use to keep myself in character. I have been in use of hemotes, and my feel game is definitely lacking. The two resources you posted on HEMOTES and FEELS are definitely top-notch. I am also scouring Spring Hole now! Thank you. That is great.

The main topic is updated with these links.

ShaiHulud

  • Posts: 221
Re: On Good Roleplay
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 02:15:58 AM »
Really good stuff. Helpful and thanks. Should be stickied somewhere.
The problem with leadership is inevitably: Who will play God? -Muad'Dib

So let's all go focus on our own roleplay before anyone picks up a stone to throw. -Sanvean

Calavera

  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 606
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 07:54:35 PM »
Stickied and gave the thread a minor title change to reflect what the OP now is. Good suggestion and great resources. :)
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deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2018, 02:55:55 PM »
Added The Psychology Workbook for Writers: Tools for creating realistic characters and conflict in fiction. "Writers know that their characters and stories should be multi-layered and believable. Now here’s a simple workbook that uses the same knowledge that gives therapists insight into human behaviour to create fiction that hits the mark. Each chapter outlines an aspect of psychological theory as it can be used for writing and provides two worksheets to translate it into action – one to develop characters, one to develop the story."

I just found this book and wow. I'm a little bit disappointed it is so short, so the advice is quite summarily. I expect a writer reference book to be a little bit longer. The advice has documentation on psychology -- which immediately gives the read credibility. The author has studied both literature and psychology. He combines both to help you create conflict with realism. So good.

Cind

  • Posts: 1634
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2018, 05:20:47 AM »
I make my character a person and just go with it, but if there's one thing I've done extensively in my life it is write stories.

Occasionally you could bake yourself an 'almost perfect' person or an 'almost completely evil' person. I really don't believe they get more extreme than that, but in books and real life these sorts of people do exist, you just don't run into them very often.

I remember one guy in first grade. I have some things wrong with me on a psychological level (never dated, never wanted to, for example) but this guy, John or Josh or something, he was the worst person I ever met. The rest of us were making friends and playing and doing normal stuff. This guy spent his recesses tormenting anyone who was in his path, and he went out of his way to do so. It was the only thing he seemed to want to do. He eventually got to everybody at least once. I was among the last, on the last day of school he spat in my eyes right before I got off the bus.

There was one girl in fourth grade who seemed to want nothing more than to improve other peoples' days. Jasmine, I think. I also remember that her skin was surprisingly dark compared to other African-Americans here. Even when I offered her stickers one time, she took the one no one else wanted. That's some god damn willpower for a fourth-grade girl offered sparkly stickers. I don't remember other ways she was nice, I just remember how extremely kind she was.

You could totally make a guy like that--- really good, really evil--- who has a sexual preference for Templars. If you're low on inspiration, do something fucking funny. Its been at least three years since I've seen a guy openly berate the Highlord in the Gaj.

Be sexually into something weird or random. Make up a quick Mad Libs for a friend's character or have them do it one for you. For example, "My character loves 1.noun, hates 2.noun and has a penchant for 3.noun that once led him to 4.verb 5.noun."

If you've never played mad libs, asking your friend for four nouns and one verb without letting him see your paper would then lead to something like this:

elves, dwarves, silt hawks, hate, templars:

"My character loves elves, hates dwarves and has a penchant for silt hawks that once led him to hate templars."

Or

My character loves dwarves, hates salt worms and has a penchant for gortoks that once led him to kank an aide."
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

Dar

  • Posts: 1369
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2018, 06:29:29 AM »

My character loves dwarves, hates salt worms and has a penchant for gortoks that once led him to kank an aide."


That's a lesson to you kids. You pet one too many gortoks, who knows whose bed you're going to end up in next.

deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2018, 11:56:22 AM »
Hey, guys.

I just want to say I've been rereading "The Psychology Workbook for Writers" and there's some really solid advice that really fits our game. For example, it tells you (with the psychology foundation quoted), that everyone has inner scripts that they follow (and they will ignore everything that isn't in their script), thus if you believe that you cannot enjoy things "until" you do something to achieve them you will ignore any instant gratification or might even feel that getting things without effort are not really worth it. It's a really cool read. Every page is worth the price to develop a multi-dimensional character. There's a particularly useful section that tells you about how every person has mini ecosystems in their personality (imagine you have a character that is stubborn, loyal, and intelligent). If their patron tells them they are stupid, their stubborn part might click in and tell them that this is not something someone you have so much loyalty should say. Their loyal part would say they are your better and they know better than you. Their intelligent part would remember every time they solved a problem over the noble. Depending on which trait is more powerful, and which part wins in this inner clash, they will take a decision and have an inner conversation. Which is really 10/10 advice for thinks/feels.

Totally recommended!

Cind

  • Posts: 1634
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2018, 03:56:14 AM »
Maybe your character refuses to do X until Y has been achieved. Doesn't matter what else happens, except the world exploding of course.

Maybe your character just doesn't trust aides, and/or soldiers, three options there. In a place like Allanak where people understand that there are hidden agendas, rather than in Tuluk where loyalty played a larger role than fear (in general, and according to the docs) not trusting a group in the government makes sense.

To stay on topics: seventhsanctum.com, although the majority of the resources there are ideas and names. They do have a few generators for things like personalities and plotlines, including multi-subject generations.

Someone should play a conspiracy theorist, though. Someone who doesn't trust the ground they walk on.
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

stoicreader

  • Posts: 135
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2018, 03:02:58 PM »
This is a GREAT post.
Meh

Nao

  • Posts: 1962
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2018, 04:41:32 PM »
Books
Emotion Thesaurus - Great for feel/thinks, but also for hemoting reactions to those feel/thinks.
I got the Positive Traits Thesaurus and the Negative Traits Thesaurus along with those and wish I had had those already when I created my character. They list a number of possible personality traits, how these might have developed, how they are expressed, associated emotions and how they might change, if ever.
A rusty brown kank explodes into little bits.

Someone says, out of character:
     "I had to fix something in this zone.. YOU WEREN'T HERE 2 minutes ago :)"

Grapes

  • Posts: 416
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2018, 08:51:24 PM »
I played a character who ended up a conspiracy theorist once... except maybe sometimes it was closer to fact than theory. Hang out in Red Storm long enough and get in good with the crazy double, sometimes triple agent types and you'd be surprised what you might hear.

Whenever I roll up a character, I try to make them just stubborn enough to vehemently resist anything that clashes with their world view, but not suicidal. There are no hard lines. I try not to say "Well, my character would NEVER do X", unless it's to say, "My character would likely never do X, unless Y and/or Z happens."

I like the point about the inner dialogue, but there's nothing to stop the character in the example from reacting with all three at once, without really thinking, such as, "Don't be calling me stupid! You remember two months ago, when aide Amos was trying to blackmail your house, untouchable, and he stopped? Yeah, you know who did that? Me. You need me like I need you. You have your strong suits, but when it comes to hands getting dirty, and I do mean DIRTY, I'm there for you, and don't you forget that."
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If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

azuriolinist

  • Posts: 418
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2018, 12:23:33 PM »
Books
Emotion Thesaurus - Great for feel/thinks, but also for hemoting reactions to those feel/thinks.
I got the Positive Traits Thesaurus and the Negative Traits Thesaurus along with those and wish I had had those already when I created my character. They list a number of possible personality traits, how these might have developed, how they are expressed, associated emotions and how they might change, if ever.

Those books look absolutely amazing. TV Tropes has a Character Flaw Index and a bunch of Characterization Tropes that are, while likely not as well-written and extensive as the Traits Thesaurus books, pretty great for brainstorming ideas on a PC's personality (flaws, strengths, and all).

Sorry

  • Posts: 216
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 05:29:25 PM by Sorry »
"And in her long nights, in her long house of smoke and miller’s stones, she baked the bread we eat in dreams, strangest loaves, her pies full of anguish and days long dead, her fairy-haunted gingerbread, her cakes wet with tears."

deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2018, 05:41:42 PM »
Added the Positive Trait Thesaurus and the Negative Trait Thesaurus. I'm checking the rest of the resources, but those two books are great! I love the description of each trait. As a drawback, I find some of them described very unidimensionally, but it's not hard to notice that traits are not black and white. It's great as a brainstorming tool (which the book doesn't lie), but also it's not one of those master list books that are researched in a rushed way. Every trait seems to have a very thought-out description, with references to REAL fiction characters, with a comprehensive list of behaviors and causes (remember, nothing is black and white, so you don't have to follow every behavior listed there or have all the causes there, but perhaps just show one or two).

Thank you for the resources! I'm checking the other ones posted!

deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2018, 05:46:29 PM »
Sorry's MTBI charts remind me of the Sixteen Personalities website which I used a lot in the past to define my PC's personality. I found that sixteen personalities was too constraining in the end and I moved on to a traits-based system. I mean, it's a scientific study that renders sixteen personality groups, so it cannot get more precise than that, but in the effort of roleplaying, it's easy to fall into sixteen niches. So it's a double-edged sword.

I have added this resource.

Nao

  • Posts: 1962
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2018, 12:01:14 PM »
As a drawback, I find some of them described very unidimensionally, but it's not hard to notice that traits are not black and white.

I agree that some of them are - I think one of the drawbacks is that the authors are trying to fill a double page for each of them, even when it might be more appropriate to write more, or less.

Your character would have multiple traits, though, so even if you end up with multiple one-dimensional ones - your character wouldn't be. Or you could just use this as a starting point, and end up fleshing the traits out a bit more.
A rusty brown kank explodes into little bits.

Someone says, out of character:
     "I had to fix something in this zone.. YOU WEREN'T HERE 2 minutes ago :)"

deskoft

  • Posts: 355
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2018, 02:20:55 PM »
English is not my first language. I learned it through practice and I joined roleplay to better my writing (and because I really love character development and honestly its a great way to kill time). A tool that has helped me a lot develop my vocabulary and find the words I want to use when I don't know them is OneLook Dictionary Search and the Magical Reverse Thesaurus. The dictionary search is a good dictionary. When you search a word, it gives you and endless lists of dictionaries, from Merriam, to Rhymezone, to the Mnemonic Dictionary. Additionally, it gives you a link to word origin, similar words, usage examples, popular adjectives describing this noun, words that often appear next to it, rhymes, and invented words related to it.

For example:

WALK
Origin: c. 1200, "a tossing, rolling;" mid-13c., "an act of walking, a going on foot;" late 14c., "a stroll," also "a path, a walkway;" from walk (v.). The meaning "broad path in a garden" is from 1530s. Meaning "particular manner of walking" is from 1650s. Meaning "manner of action, way of living" is from 1580s; hence walk of life (1733). Meaning "range or sphere of activity" is from 1759. Sports sense of "base on balls" is recorded from 1905; to win in a walk (1854) is from horse racing (see walk-over). As a type of sponsored group trek as a fund-raising event, by 1971 (walk-a-thon is from 1963).
Similar Words: walkway, paseo, pass, base on balls, manner of walking, walk of life, stroll, wander, run, ride, trek, march, crawl, leave, come, drive, traverse, stand, marching, climb, journey, get, take, enter, jaunt, move, trip, turn, fly, running, marches, promenade, step, gait, boardwalk, steps, hiking, going, follow, proceed, work, hike, outing, tread, happen, path, jump, way, escort, sidewalk, browse, route, stalk, travel, accompany, tour, stair, feet, waking, foot, preach, pedestrian, thon, tick, driveway, borrow, leg, cross, exit, spend, make, plodding, pied, road, camp, advance, mall, lap, guide, inspect, betcha, approach, around, trick, toe, jive, deal, parkway, place, out, through, free, spin, spiritual, temple, marche, circumference, touring, floe, progress (see more...)
Popular Adjectives: long, short, random, minute, little, brisk, daily, mile, pleasant, slow, easy, front, solitary, nice, longer, hour, usual, quick, broad, christian, fast, side, quiet, lame, delightful, lonely, favourite, rapid, beautiful, brief, narrow, closer, concrete, hot, lovely, day, gravel, favorite, paved, block, patient, leisurely, steady, straight, shady, customary, charming, graceful, circular, longest, silent, peculiar, wall, worth, foot, stiff, gonna, weary, gentle, holy, min, east, steep, pretty, sheep, half

You get the idea.

The reverse dictionary is crazier. Imagine you aren't sure that walk is a word. You can type "move on foot" and it will show you as a result all the words that have "move on foot" as some vague kind of definition for it, with the most relevant and closest results highlighted. "Move on foot" gives me "walk" as one of the first results.  You can add filters like the result must starts with a specific word, it can be related to something ("move" and "person" returns walk as a first result), etc.

The reverse dictionary is great when my PCs have some kind of mental disposition to use certain words. I have had characters (in other games) that would speak really really fancily and use words in the way that Vendetta sort of did. I am not as smart as Vendetta and I don't have the power to hire myself a permanent script-writer that will make perfect, complex, almost-hard-to-understand sentences. With reverse dictionary, you can make your sentences rhyme, be fancy, complex, find the hardest words, etc, on a blink. Great tool.

Bebop

  • Posts: 3770
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2018, 05:41:00 PM »
I really like the Good and Bad Traits Thesaurus and this thread in general.

Since I love to write, one thing I enjoy doing is writing short stories as memories for my character and adding them to their bio.  It helps me to have real virtual (oxymoron I know) memories to kind of know how to play off of them.  Also after many years of playing it helps me distinguish them as individuals.

Cind

  • Posts: 1634
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2018, 05:27:38 AM »
Aborigines believe in the Dreamtime, which is the keystone of their belief system and Wikipedia apparently had a very hard time explaining it to me with their british words and phrases.

Wikipedia is a good source for the beliefs and practices of different groups: inuit, Shawnee, Cherokee, amish, mennonite, and ones we know of that don't feel that mysterious to us, but you might know next to nothing about them, like bavarians, Russians, maybe American groups like Mormons, lousianians, the bible belt/deep south, prairie dwellers.

What struck me is that there's fossial evidence that the aborigines up until british colonization were thought to be the most isolated people on the planet, with practically no interbreeding in the southern ethnic group (there are the north, central and southern cultural groups, and they believe they are a mixture of thirty ethnic groups; I guess so, why not, its a big place. After surviving amongst the kind of extra-deadly snakes and spiders that they've had to live with, armed with nothing but three trees and some rocks, I'd give them whatever conversational length of rope they wanted.)

Wikipedia can be kind of stingy on the cultural facts, though. The library might have some good stuff, although they may not have any particular cultural group for you. There are these four really chunky books about native americans, inuit and pacific islanders in our library system that has everything people have ever found out about them from a cultural, dietary and familial standpoint. Every individual group gets around 30 pages, at least the inuit did, they were the only ones I really looked at. They even mentioned that little tidbit about the inuit using bone, ivory and driftwood for small carvings which they then carried around with them as part of their few possessions, since they were a nomadic people who followed their prey around (I assume seals.)
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 05:35:00 AM by Cind »
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.

Cind

  • Posts: 1634
Re: Resources for Good Roleplay
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2018, 05:33:57 AM »
Groups from different time periods, as well. If it wasn't that obvious I was meaning mostly inspiration for tribal peoples, but there's enough holes in the settled culture to allow for bits like this, which I know no one is going to find:

"Pottage" is a soup from medieval Europe which is basically whatever you throw in the pot, not necessarily on the same day, over time, adding as the soup is eaten, and reboiling it to make it safe. If you've ever had soup boiled five or six times over the course of the previous week you either are stronger than I am or understand this was a soup of economy and necessity, something people did in order to conserve calories and something I think would fit well in the game.

People have also gotten away with the concept of halal, which is basically the Islamic food code for what to eat, how can the food be slaughtered, what not to eat. I don't know what actually goes into it except for the absence of pork products, buts its more complicated than that. (I was a sociology major, so this is something I can easily pull out of my ass and get carried away with on a thread that doesn't mention the word 'Idea' in its name.)
Look, a petting tregil.  So silky...Feel him.