There are some roleplayers that I have come to respect and enjoy working with, and there are some that make me hesititate to join a new RP. What sets them apart? Here are 11 tips to improve your roleplay:
While no one will hold the occassional slip up against you, it can be hard to take someone seriously if they don't have any regard for spelling. I can remember completely ignoring posts because I could not understand what was trying to be said. I myself have some trouble not pointing out errors made routinely. If you do say something, don't be snotty about it. So please, take a moment to reread posts before submitting them.
When joining a new RP, don't just scroll down to the bottom and start filling out a sheet for a replica of your Skyrim character. Many times, valuable information can be found in the first post. A quick scan through some of the thread can tell one much about the tone of the RP, and that can translate to making a more appropriate character. It can be very annoying when some Dawnguard warrior randomly joins a Thieves Guild roleplay. Other characters are also important to consider, so think about how you want to fit in with certain participants.
3. Be Dynamic
When characters change throughout the story, everyone feels more like they are witnessing it firsthand. When the behavior of a character evolves, it adds a whole new level of complexity to the narrative. Emotional events can obviously change a character, and romance is also a very strong catalyst for change. Also, try to vary your characters. Do not play the same character more than four times. I have long since ran out of Skyrim characters to use as models, and it can be hard to make the up on the fly. With my upcoming roleplay I will have made a character of every race (except Argonians-- they creep me out). Some where duds, but some were awesome.
4. Be Patient
If you want constant action, go play Skyrim. Roleplaying often has little action. Things tend to turn out better if you are patient than if you go out and try to do your own thing, no matter what effect it has on the plot. They say good things come to those who wait. While that isn't (always) true, it applies to roleplaying.
5. Don't Try to be Funny... Alone
Teamwork gets it done. The best RPs are full of cooperation-- and all are give-and-take. If you try to take control of the RP, you give up any respect others have for you. If one tries to go all cowboy, others might get quite annoyed. There is strength in numbers, and skills often complement each other. Blah blah blah.
Everyone wants to have success. However, one has to pull his/her head out of the clouds from time to time. If one is being desperate and shifting the laws of Spacetime Continuum and ballistic physics ('Fridge Magic', to some), the GM is likely to kick you out. In the adventuring line of work, sharp objects tend to lodge themselves in one's flesh. I hate it when that happens, but characters need to smell Death every now and then. It also can help with character development.
7. Be Flexible
Goes hand in hand with #6. If you disagree with something, it's okay to mention it but don't stop the RP and debate over some trivial thing. Sometimes, things don't happen the way you want them to. Just try to roll with the punches. If you can let things go now and then, the ride is smoother for everyone.
Let people react. Multiple times have I found my character in a sticky situation because he/she was not given any opportunity to get out of it before it got where it did. If someone is a master archer, don't go from 100 yards away to up in his/her grill in one post (trust me-- it's annoying). However, many times combat between characters degenerates into "I try to hit you." "You miss. I try to stab you." "You miss." and so on. In those situations, see #6.
9. Don't Be a Jerk
Pointing out issues with #10 is fine, but when one starts calling out every discrepancy it can be quite a drag. If someone spells some small thing incorrectly, don't feel the need to point it out. Give benefit of the doubt when it applies, and try to use a friendly tone when dealing with others.
10. Don't Try to be Awesome
Also know as being OP, this issue is fairly obvious. There are not usually winners and losers of RPs, therefore you do not need to make a character stronger than everyone else's. Pick one skill to specialize in, and two others for secondary. This isn't Skyrim, so don't try to walk around in Dragonbone armor with a legendary Daedric Warhammer that does over 9000 damage slung atop your shoulder and a cloud of titles floating above you. Even leading one guild can be considered overpowered.
11. Be Mature
If I told you my age, it might suprise some of you. I try to be as mature as I can. However, I find myself on the mysterious Internet-- a place where maturity is largely nonexistant. I shudder to think about some of the comments made every day. Thankfully, the vast majority of Wikians aren't here for 'lulz.' Some roleplays are more comedic in nature, but many others require some thought and patience. When someone jumps on an RP and tries kill to everyone as a "joke," my upper lip twitches a bit and I snarl. Some of us here take role-playing seriously, and it's a basic courtesy to respect us.
If you took the time to read all the way down to here, then I'm guessing you already employ these little tips. Regardless, thank you for reading.
- Special thanks to Irish Sheogorath for giving me kind words, but it appears comments aren't allowed anymore.