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.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
- 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).
- Ask (in-character) about the backstories of others. Every character at the table has a story – be inquisitive about those stories.
- 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.
- Keep a goal in mind. Know what your character wants right now, and what they want for their life.
- Give your character sore spots and weaknesses. What do they get touchy about? What do they hate to be reminded of?
- 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?