Getting Into Character

Now that you have your Backstory, this will help in how you get into your character’s head and interact with the game world and other people role-playing in it. A simple way to approach this is borrowing from everyday life and “filtering” it through your character. Think how he or she would act, say and do as your role-play the character. Over time, you can develop a “feel” for the character and it will be almost second nature to you.

IC vs OOC Information:
The hardest part some people have is separating IC (In-Character) and OCC (Out Of Character) information while RPing. While you, the player, know a lot about the game world and other related game things – your character may not.

Example: Unless your character “knows” another – you are strangers ICly. You don’t know their character name, even if the game mechanics (like in MMORPGs) have the option of displaying it. You basically have what your character perceives or “sees” to guide him/her.

So, you have to “fence in” the OOC information and say/act ICly as you would think your character would. It blocking out the RL distractions and focusing on your character, what’s going on with him/her and other role-players you come across.

The main thing to remember here is that your character is not “you”. He/She has different upbringings, experience, skills, attitudes and goals. You may have tossed in similar traits or things to make it easier to role-play, but when was they last time you fought a real group of Orcs? :)

Game mechanics vs Your Character
There will be times where game mechanics say one thing and your character’s backstory will say another. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, there could be a compromise – but try to lean towards the backstory. Even being somewhat true to your backstory is better than ignoring it altogether.

Example: A game mechanic says using a crossbow does more damage and is “better” for your character. Your character likes and uses bows. To be true to your character, go for the bow and role-play it out. Now, if your bow is damaged or your character is talked into how the bow is good to know ICly – you might use one if the situation calls for it.

Props and Costuming:
Another way of getting into character is through using props and costuming. Depending on the game, this may be problematic – but even having a small prop at a Tabletop/Pen and Paper game can help you focus.

In LARPs, the use of props and costuming are well used. MMORPGs have armor and clothing in game that can help “dress the part”, including weapons and off-hand items to help pull off the “look” you may want.

Growing Up
Don’t be afraid to “evolve” as your character gets “wiser” or experienced. Your motivations, character “direction” and mindset can/may change in some way during your character’s story. Makes for interesting rp, and great times with great people.