Character- Breaking Out is Sometimes Hard to do..

I was on vacation last week and caught up on a bunch of movies that I have wanted to watch for awhile. I also finished Dragon Age: Origins for the second time and continued on my second play through of Mass Effect 2 as well. Best Damned Vacation I’ve had in awhile.

While I was watching movies it hit me how often people who role-play want their characters to partake in some truly epic moments on the development side like those in books and movies. However I think that there is a barrier there that many players hit in accomplishing this. And that is actually “role-playing.”

I’ve seen many players who get embarrassed or uncomfortable with the prospect of actually talking like their characters or even just “saying” things as their character, instead delegating to, “my character tells Person A this”, or “I ask this.” Etc.

I am not knocking this approach if it is what the player is happy with. Whatever makes them comfortable. I just think that it removes the player a degree or so from the action.

Looking at character development in movies like Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, hell even the Dirty Harry series shows that there is something to be gained from putting yourself in your character, rather than outside of it.


“Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes and he saved 800 lives. Including your mothers.. and yours.” –Captain Pike (Star Trek).

I think that it really is up to the GM to step up to the plate and BE in character to get his players to do it. Conversing as a character rather than telling them what is going on will encourage the players to do so, and they’ll feel less foolish.

Encourage your players to do it by pressing for it (without bullying) is also important. If a player says, “I tell him to let the girl go” you be positive by nudging them. “Ok.. Then say it.” Your players, as have mine in the past, may get squeamish and even plead, “Do I have to?”

Yes.. You do… And what do you do when they actually do it?

Reward them! Give Bennies, Action Points, Fate Points, an extra d6 to their next roll, etc! Also ham up the Role-playing! Not to the point of ridiculousness, but really act up the person(s) they are confronting. Make the players feel that they are really having an impact on the NPC(s), which will encourage and get the players more excited to “step inside” their character.

What do you do as a player or a GM to get your players to take that plunge into role-playing their character?


About wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn. View all posts by wrathofzombie

2 responses to “Character- Breaking Out is Sometimes Hard to do..

  • Anarkeith

    I don’t reward my players enough when they role-play. But to get them into it, I sometimes make offhand comments when playing NPCs. Little remarks that people might make in passing. Not story related.

    I resolve to hand out more goodies for good rp-ing in 2011.

  • wrathofzombie

    I honestly didn’t either and it is something that I have had to make myself do. It is something that I could still do better honestly. I think part of the problem is that my mind is going a mile a minute and I’m trying to react to what the players are doing, remember my plot ideas, alter stuff, remember monsters, etc. and recognizing their RPGing can get lost in the fray.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: