9 Ways to Rock at Role-Play

Great role-playing moments can add depth and emotion to a campaign like nothing else can. Whether you’re playing a wizard with a dark backstory in an intense Critical Role style D&D campaign, or a bear in a silly hat in Honey Heist, really stepping into your character for a few moments makes a huge difference to the story. Here are nine practical tips that will help you add awesome role-play to your next game.

  1. Know how your character feels about the rest of the party. Maybe you feel a close bond to the bard, but are a little suspicious about the warlock’s motivations.
  2. Give your character habits. A tiefling who practices the flute every day, a gnome who finds a tree to sleep under each night, an elf who takes a moment each morning to refill their flask of alcohol…
  3. Draw out the emotions of others. Have your character take time to ask someone how they’re feeling, console a friend after a difficult battle, or pick a fight with a party member.
  4. Create a unique “voice” for your character. That doesn’t have to mean an accent (although it could) – it could also be a frequently used word or phrase, a quieter or louder voice, or movement (such as stroking their beard, fiddling with their hair, or talking with their hands).
  5. Ask (in-character) about the backstories of others. Every character at the table has a story – be inquisitive about those stories.
  6. Move with your character. You don’t have to act out everything your character does, but match your body language (tense, friendly, angry, relaxed) to your character’s emotions.
  7. Keep a goal in mind. Know what your character wants right now, and what they want for their life.
  8. Give your character sore spots and weaknesses. What do they get touchy about? What do they hate to be reminded of?
  9. Let your character apologize. Opening up your character by admitting to a mistake automatically creates a vulnerable role-playing moment that can be incredibly powerful.

Role-playing can be scary, but it can add so much to your gaming experience. Why not try out some of these tips in your next game?