Roleplaying Tips Collection

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A List of Player and GameMaster Hints

Curated by The TownCrier for May 2021, Roleplaying Month in GemStone

Watch and share from Twitter and Instagram for the quick-takes on these tips, too.

The Collection May is Roleplaying Month in GemStone. The contest info: . Boost your chance in the RP contest with the TownCrier's list of great tips by players and GameMasters alike to help bring your RP to the next level. It will be featured all month long in the live newsfeed. If you think of some we forgot, be sure to tell us about each one so we can include it. Send in additional tips at:
Work The Line Don't be afraid to roleplay while waiting at a merchant. GameMistress Tivvy REVEALs, 'Some of my favorite times merchanting have been when spontaneous RP happens among the characters during the session. Even if I'm too busy altering to directly participate, it's fun to watch and may earn you an RPA.' Work that line, people!
HOW Do They Do That? The Reverse Verb List at our wiki is a treasure of '*How* did they *do* that?' Check this oldie but goodie reference to learn which commands gave THOSE results. 'Raises his fist' is easy to figure out, but 'scoots over in front of ...(person)' was not! Look under S for that answer! (And it isn't under SCOOT.) Reverse verb list
Say It With Gusto Speech tones are only the beginning of creative ways to SAY stuff! Look at the SPEECH VERBIAGE command to do more than SAY, ASK, and EXCLAIM. Luxelle EMPHASIZEs, 'It's pretty amazing!' Yes, you can RECOMMEND, ADVISE, EMPHASIZE, REPEAT, SUGGEST, and *many* more options when you use them. SAY all by itself will remind you of the punctuation syntax to use it.
What's Your Story? Talinvor OFFERs, 'Consider a character background! Knowing where your character came from and why they are now an adventurer can help ease your way into RP situations.' These small encounters can lead to big ones.
Let the GM Know Your Character's Inner Thoughts This tip came directly from someone who knows! GM Quilic APPROVEs, 'MYCHAR is a very powerful tool for communicating with any GMs who might be watching. It's a great way to quietly announce your character's thoughts, intentions, or opinions, and GMs absolutely watch for them!' MYCHAR (verb)
Fancy Schmancy Movement Do you WONDER how some people have such fancy, character-specific verbs and how you can have them? Look for premade SIGNATURE verb commands or SWEARs that you can purchase during Rumor Woods, and watch for raffles of custom ones at Ebon Gate and other Customization Raffles through the year. Here's the wiki link to the last premade verbs list: Summit Academy/signature verb options
No Cost, No Wait, Signature Verb Commands Expand your roleplay and spice up your verb usage with ;signature for Lich. It adds over 200 searchable verbs and swears to your roleplaying repertoire! The script features both targeted and non-targeted ACTs and utilizes proper tokens to link you and targets. You don't have to wait for that once a year chance to buy a signature verb, try them on today. ;repository info signature
When In Doubt, Read the ... Wiki GM Quilic's Tip: Don't be intimidated by the 'hardcore' RP crowd who have complete mastery of all the archaic roleplay-related verbs. Instead, use the handy Reverse Verb List to figure out how they did it! Reverse verb list or the Sylvanfair verb list:
Sing Their Praises Remember to use ROLEPLAY NOMINATE when you begin to experience those special gems of interactions! Review how to use it now by entering the command in GS.
Search For Suggestions Pukk SUGGESTs the ;rpverbs script (and its required rpverbs_data.xml) from the Lich repository to help you search for roleplaying commands!
Make It Easy On Yourself Luxie URGEs you to make your SIGNATURE verb(s) you acquired easier to type by giving them a name you will remember and putting each one into either a tiny one-line script or an alias in Lich. ;alias help. Review your StormFront script commands:
Practce, Practice, Practice GameMistress Tivvy has a great suggestion about mastering those speech tones and verbiage to enrich your roleplay. She PROMISEs, 'If the TONE LIST looks intimidating, pick 5 or so that you think fit your character well, write them down on a post-it and then incorporate them periodically into your interactions.' Brilliant!
Elocution Is Elementary Aymar COMMENTs, 'Many characters may have their own, unique style of speaking. Find yours. Stick with it.' Pro tip: Make it simple, you could be stuck typing with that accent for 20 years...
Use The Zests Some scripted/zesty items let you introduce roleplaying subtleties. Consider a fully unlocked Discreet Container that lets you stow and get without any messaging. Perfect for quiet characters, storytelling, and sleight of hand! These are also sometimes referred to as containers with 'vigilant' messaging. Discreet container
Get Involved Are you ever unsure about what's going on (like for an ongoing storyline)? GM Quilic RESPONDs, 'Find someone who's been prominently featured and ask! Almost as a rule, those players are more than happy to make time to explain everything in an in-character manner (or point you to someone who can).' Everyone can get involved.
Practce, Practice, Practice Look over the VERB LIST, TONE LIST, and SPEECH VERBIAGE LIST to pick out just a few actions and styles of speech your character would use often. Then use them until they become second nature. Leafiara CONTINUEs, 'Repeat the process and learn some more. In no time at all you'll be a more dynamic, animated character!' Which few are you going to start with?
Meet People Organization and House events are a great way to meet new friends! Keep an eye out for events that suit your character's interests (or *might*, if your character isn't fully fleshed out yet). Leafiara MARVELs, 'Get to know people and they'll get to know you in turn!' To find upcoming events use: NEWS 4 and ESP TUNE TownCrier.
Consistency Gets Noticed You don't need to jump up and down and holler and scream to roleplay effectively. GM Quilic underscored that thought, 'It's not about who's the loudest, it's about who's the most consistent. Inhabit your character, make sure you're consistent about their roleplay/interactions, and you'll definitely get noticed.' Inhabit. We like that! (And someone please make UNDERSCORE a new SPEECH VERBIAGE option!)
Next Level ACTions Did you know the ACT verb can be targeted to interact with other players, companions, familiars, items, and more? Check HELP ACT for the syntax, which is admittedly tricky at first-- Leafiara CONFIDEs, 'I suggest practicing alone until you get the hang of it. Good thing it works on tables!' Nice tip, Miss Leafi!
Spontaneous Thoughts Leafiara HINTs, 'Sometimes there's nothing like spontaneous RP! Now that the General channel on ESP is worldwide, you can join in on fun discussions over thoughts--or even start up your own at just about any time if it's a topic of enough interest!' ESP HELP for a list of all the commands.
Look For The Lock GM Quilic ADMONISHes us with this PSA: 'Tables are not private areas, and Policy still applies at one. If you're looking for a more clandestine RP experience, find a latchable room instead of the local tables!' (The other diners will thank you, too!)'
When In Doubt, Read the ... Wiki The wiki verbs category includes new commands and it lets you look up each one individually, rather than reference it on the same page. Explore various commands: Category:Verbs
Say It With Feeling Discover new and old speech tones and verbs with Ensayn's ;pt script for lich. Check it out at ;repository info pt
Say It With Style Talking is tricky! GM Quilic ADVISEs: 'The SAY verb (which is what you're doing when you just type an open quote at the beginning of your command) has a ton of flexibility. You can choose a tone and verb every time you speak, and there's keyboard shortcuts for all of this!' SAY all by itself will remind you of syntax when needed. SAY (verb)
Captured Moment Overheard in Elanthia: While hobnobbing before Lady Rohese's Library Lecture series began, Yardie and Kothos make a cheeky joke about getting on people's... nerves. Come #RoleplayWithUs at events! Instagram
Roll Your Own Soliere COMMENDs the practice of making each of your characters a notecard with: name, 'ways to say' (yes, no, maybe, hi, bye), quirks (often: drinks, eats choco, cheers, hiccups, exclaims *yay!*), loves/hates, family/friends, fave locksmiths/clerics. 'This helps make it easy to remember how to play each character consistently.' Cliff's Notes, GS Style.
Meet More People Are you having a difficult time finding people to roleplay (RP) with? Consider joining a Great House or a Meeting Hall Organization (MHO)! GM Quilic AFFIRMs, 'These organizations are specifically designed to welcome new members and engage them in ongoing in-character RP and development. It's a fantastic way to meet people and get involved.' This is a great tip!
Dress the Mood What does your character's clothing reflect about their mood today, this event, this season? Dressing is not only for the Barbies out there.
Learn From The Best Take some time to study a character whose roleplaying you admire; start a list of the things they do that you respect and then puzzle out how they accomplish each thing. Deconstructing can be very educational and reveal the simple steps to what looks stunning. When you are done, adapt the ideas to your character. It really is all done one thing at a time. (P.S. No, I am not telling you to creepy-stalk someone!)
Consistency Gets Noticed Don't be discouraged if a GM-run NPC you're trying to interact with misses your question/reaction. GM Quilic REITERATEs, 'There's often a LOT going on, and it's impossible to catch everything. Stay consistent with your RP and it'll be noticed, by the other players and the GM behind the NPC.' Just do it!
Cultural Nuances and You Maevie MENTIONs, 'Explore your race and its cultural history. These are excellent tools for character development and roleplay. Whether you are an impious Aledotter or an ambushing Grishknel Wolf, understanding cultural and racial nuances can help shape a consistent character.' Plus, it gives you a built-in lore to create upon. Culture
What Typo? Here's a really sweet tip from GameMistress Tivvy, who INSISTs, 'Ignore typos! Everyone watching can usually tell what you meant to say, and stopping to acknowledge them (even with something like a quick blush) can yank you out of character and disrupt the flow of the moment.' The Typo Does Not Exist. Be One With The Moment.
Live Out The Choices Mechanical choices can express your point of view when you emphasize them! Leafiara ELABORATEs, 'What drove your character to take up their profession? Do they prefer shooting, bashing, slashing, or burning, and why? Does your empath or bard interpret 'use your words' a bit... unconventionally? The answers are infinite and telling!' Make each answer an opportunity to RP.
Shortcuts Make The Best Cuts Use ;alias to handle complicated syntax, protect against common typos, even replace verbs: ';alias add whine = ':petulant =wheedle \?' will make WHINE work like SAY, but now with wheedles for the verb and in a petulant tone, followed by the dialogue you type after the WHINE. Or you can use ';alias add k = look \?' to help keep your lips to yourself!
Work The Line Waiting in line for a merchant is a great place to roleplay! GM Quilic NOTEs, 'Just keep in mind that the actual merchant is likely VERY busy, but you've got a captive audience otherwise. Strike up a conversation, ask about what others are getting done, sing a song, start up a bad jokes contest... you get the idea!' That's two GM votes for this idea!
Make the Most of Yourself Own your weakness, wear it with style. It may be a failing in a stat. It may be a flaw in your race. It may be something related to your belief system, training, or a particular peculiarity of your character. Make it yours.
Citizenship Has Its Rewards Calling all Citizens! GM Quilic REMINDs us, 'There are special versions of some verbs that are available to citizens of a specific town! These can add depth to your character, and play into your overall roleplay if you're particularly fond of your home town.' Go look yours up at: Citizenship#Citizenship-specific verbs
Know Thyself Give your character a weakness, flaw, or vice. These can be minor or major, physical or part of their personality. 'They could be annoying or endearing as well,' Talinvor DISCLOSEs, 'But ultimately this feature helps them become more relatable and provides more depth to the kind of person you want to portray.' Look over these suggestions: Ultimate List of Character Flaws
Next Level ACTions GM Quilic REPORTs, 'ACT is way more useful than most realize! You can target other players with it, which makes the overall effect better. It takes a little practice is all.' But there's a guide on the wiki! Verb: ACT
Zests for Effect Ycelacie likes to use the zests on her spectacles during roleplay and created a Stormfront script with waits between the put commands. (She used to type it every time, a dot script is so much easier!) She provided an example of using them: Spectacles Example
Make the Legend Legendary things rarely pop into being on their own. They are made, step by step, piece by piece, story by story. Find the one thing and begin to make it uniquely yours. It might be a piece of gear, it might be something else. In the coming years, will someone remember you and it in the same breath of wonderment?
Zookeeper Armor, Shields, and Weapons, OH MY! Do you have your own private zoo, or want one? Maevie ENTHUSEd, 'Animalistic armor, weapons, and shields all contain the spirits of various animals, from aquatic to ursine. Whether you are a ranger or a warrior, there are a lot of animalistic spirit options!' Functional items with specific scripts are excellent roleplay tools! Read more about animalistic spirit items here: Animalistic Spirit
Room For Growth A room description provides you details that can deepen your RP. GameMistress Tivvy ADDs, 'Read it and consider how your character would react to that environment. Are they in a noisy tavern? Do they shout over the din, or wait for a quieter spot? Is there a scent in the air? Are there objects in the text to interact with?' Let's make WWGMTD a *thing*!
Timing Is Everything Luxelle PLEADs with us, 'Slow down. Take a breath and slow down the pace of GS for roleplay. Combat and other things may be all about speeding zippily by, but RP is not. If you find small ways to retain engagement with others while slowing down the speed at which it happens, everyone will have a much better time.' Who has a suggestion about doing that?
Researching The Role Research your character's culture! Read up on the basics to understand the background *before* attempting to deviate from the norm. Talinvor MAINTAINs, 'Be prepared to be asked why your character is different and don't be afraid to simply stick with the stereotype, which can be unique as well!' Culture
Roleplaying and GameMasters GameMaster Xynwen INFORMs, 'Remember that roleplaying GameMasters often are running multiple non-player characters (NPCs) simultaneously -- they may miss your whispers!'
Dress In An Instant Shimmer Trinkets let you save an entire 'outfit' and change your appearance without sorting through your closet. Luxelle REMARKs, 'They are great fun, and can let you go from tricked out for an adventure to decked out for a ball in one heartbeat. Best. Investment. Ever.' They are sold at Duskruin twice a year: Shimmer Trinket
Smile, Smile, Smile Syainte Nim'Roch PROMPTs us, 'A SMILE goes a long way in conveying your positive attitude with the public. So SMILE while offering up those free chrism raises!' SMILE (verb)
Take A Chance Don't be afraid to be the first one to engage, and don't feel discouraged if someone went AFK before they could go hide their character.
Gotchas and Grace No one can know everything their character (or even a non-player character) should know. GameMaster Xynwen gently INSTRUCTs, 'Try not to "gotcha" other players (or GMs!) for what is probably the player's error not the character's (totally go for the character-driven errors in an IC way, of course, but give grace to fellow human beings for being fallible).' Less stress always makes a better time for everyone.
Fancy Sheaths and Flair Functional fluff can be excellent roleplaying tools. Fancy Sheaths offer specific messaging when girding or sheathing your weapon; whether you are brutal, clumsy, cunning, or gallant, Fancy Sheaths can add additional flair to your character. Fancy Greaves
Fancy Sheath
Character Cultivation Learn verbs, there are so many. Stay in character; it helps others engage. Don't force it, go with what feels natural. Characters *can* and *do* develop and change.
Hungry for Roleplay Food and beverages can be superb roleplaying tools. Maevie MUSEs, 'Are you celebrating something? Bust out the champagne. Have a sweet tooth? Head to the baker for some tarts. Don't forget to get extra to share!' Extra credit for remembering someone's favorite ones.
Whisper OOC and Roleplay GameMaster Xynwen DECLAREs, 'WHISPER OOC is your friend if you are looking at escalating some in-character matters and you are not certain how the other party will respond.' Communication channels are important.
Lich Lookup Script Calael PRODs, 'Do you need help figuring out that tricky verb during RP month?  ;repository info wannabe.lic for a searchable index of the 3rd person messaging for many verbs in the game!' It's another great Lich resource.
Fluff It Up Fluff is plain good fun. Find an item or two (or two hundred) that can add to your character's depth. But you don't need fancy items or an extensively researched background to play a believable and enjoyable character. It can be fun to have those things, but not necessary.
React and Act With Others No matter how big or small of a role you're playing in a GM storyline, listen to and consider the input of other characters and their players. You'd be surprised at the turn around of a story. Nobody likes to RP a script, & nobody enjoys a spotlight with deaf ears. Be kind, not rude or boring.
Absorb Your Surroundings GameMaster Xynwen SUBMITs, 'It's okay to sometimes just stay in character and absorb your surroundings; don't feel badly if you aren't up for the whole shebang.' Breathe. Absorb. Respond when it is time.
Special Recognition Balantine PROPOSEs, 'Use props or a group's closet items to deepen roleplay opportunities, especially to conduct ceremonies or granting recognition to individuals within a group (e.g. like awarding a medal or item). This can also tie into the House history, or deeds in remembrance of others from the House or from history.' Be inventive, special efforts will be remembered a long time.
Extra Style Points Aymar SUGGESTs, 'Don't forget about race-specific verbs! As a dark elf, I've long RAISEd my EYEBROW at deserving customers. You might have your own special set of verbs to use!' Check them out here: Race-specific verbs
Keep The Perspective Try to remember in-character vs. out-of-character. Even if someone's character is roleplayed as not so friendly, their player could be the kindest person you'd ever meet.
Stepping into Roleplay Events and Storylines Roleplaying events and storylines can feel insular and hard to break into, even while everyone truly is open to it. Gamemaster Xynwen INTERJECTs, 'Just stay in character (IC), seek out opportunities, ask for advice on Discord/forums, and stay open and positive!' Every single person involved today was new at one time, too.
Just Do It GM run storylines are wonderful: they are not everything. Make things up, go off on a whim. Make your own damned stories and be wonderful.
Avoid A Late Smile Would you like to avoid those awkward moments where you SMILE at someone who's already left the room? Leafiara sent in this great tip: Using SMILE @NAME or SMILE ::NAME will prevent the command from going through to be seen by others if the target of your smile has moved on! SMILE (verb)
Conversation Starters Use another characters actions to strike up a conversation. Syllik ENCOURAGEs, 'If someone is twitching, laughing, gazing about, sneezing, coughing, or doing handstands, glance at them and ask what's up? You're not only being nosy but you're also inviting someone to talk to you.'
Another Vote For MYCHAR GM Kenstrom STATEs, 'I have MYCHAR messaging highlighted in Stormfront. I always encourage players to use MYCHAR when they can, it's a great way to get your thoughts and feelings seen in a big crowd too! It also helps the NPC's play off of characters sometimes too.' MYCHAR_(verb)
Sage Advice for Large GM-Led Events GM Kenstrom OBSERVEs, 'Be patient in big crowds during roleplaying events. Sometimes it's 40, or 50, or more players in a room and one GM NPC. Personally I never try to ignore anyone, it's just a lot of scroll sometimes so some dialogue is lost. Never hesitate to repeat yourself, or even whisper! Never take things personal.'
Collect Them All! GM Kenstrom PREACHes, "Buy deeds."