At some point, it will happen – you will be in character and someone will talk to you. Or, you need to ask a question or introduce yourself ICly, or just “break the ice”.
How do you approach this ICly?
Borrow from real life and “filter” it through your character.
- How would he/she greet someone?
- How would he/she react to someone talking to them?
- Does your character talk with with their hands?
- Use a certain dialect or broken form of the native language?
In some situations, just saying “Hello” is fine if it’s what your character would say. Just be consistent (or try to be) when interacting to people. Think how your character would react as the conversation progresses.
Separate IC from OCC
While in character (IC), avoid out of character (OOC) speech, game terms and slang that does not exist in the game world or genre. For example, in a fantasy game, you don’t necessarily have to use “Thee” and “Thou” – but don’t use the latest slang word or phrase. Learn what style of speech is native for the game world and use that as a point of reference.
What does your character talk about or bring up?
In role-playing, as I said earlier – borrow from real life and translate it through your character’s backstory. Even a simple conversation about going to the marketplace or what happened on the way to town can be used to add or start a conversation. Listen to what others are talking about and see if there’s anything interesting your character can toss in. Even “small talk” can be good RP. Just see it through your character’s eyes and express it.
Pace yourself when speaking
It helps other players to digest what you are saying.
Grammar and Your Character
Use the correct grammar for your character. Complete sentences and punctuation when it makes sense, based on your backstory and the game’s genre.
Holding your cards
Resist the urge to give out your life story at one sitting the first time you RP. It’s always a good idea to try to play your cards one at a time, developing interest and letting the character’s backstory come out naturally.
Dealing with antagonists
Some players create characters to “stir the pot”, cause drama (in a good way) as an antagonist. Examples include thugs, villains and anti-heroes – even player-controlled monsters. Always try to respect the player, even if he/she is playing a gruff or unlikeable character. Even though “Vlorgak the Charred” has a bad attitude, it doesn’t mean the person playing him has one too.
When problems arise
Be cool and try to work it out.
If a player ICly ticks you off, handle it ICly, not OOCly. If you really can’t tell if the player is being an jerk, ask him/her nicely out of character. If a player is actually and blatantly being a jerk in and out of character, try to settle it OOCly and ICly leave the scene. If it goes worse, talk to someone overseeing the game about the issue.