In the Shadow of Kings
Fredrik's roleplaying tips
Tip #1 – What makes you special?
Find some character traits or habits that make your character different from yourself as a player. Make it so that it is crystal clear to everyone around you when you are roleplaying, and when you are talking as yourself.
Example 1: Legion is a Thri-Kreen, and speaks with “We” instead of “I”.
Example 2: Aniwar the Fool’s mouth is never quite able to follow his line of thought, causing him to speak slowly (or with wrong words!).
Example 3: Nambesi the Judaga is not so good with the Common language, and speaks with an accent and bad grammar.
Tip #2 – Remember who you are
I always try to single out three to five of the most important personality keywords, and write them down on my character sheet so that I always have them in front of me. Whenever I face a decision, I look at these written keywords, and think not of what Fredrik would do, but what Bjarve the Bard (or whoever) would do.
Example: Gullible, always bragging, always with a reference to an old story, wants to be like the fairytale heroes but is easily scared.
Tip #3 – Character progression
In books and movies, the heroes always learn or experience something that changes how they act and react. In Lord of the Rings, Legolas and Gimli are initially grave enemies and rivals, but as they face dangers together, they become better and better friends and are finally prepared to die to protect each other. In Star Wars, Anakin Skywalker goes from a naive little boy to a reckless and arrogant youngling, to become the terror of the Empire, but finally embraces his humanity to save his son. In the Matrix, Neo is initially skeptical to what Morpheus is trying to teach him, but finally comes to insight and starts to kick the ass of the agents. It is the change that makes the story!
You will play your character for a very long time, and your journey will not only take you over a big part of the face of Athas, but also far within yourself. Plan your personality.
Example 1: You are initially wary of your companions, to slowly relax more and more in their presence.
Example 2: You are gullible at first, always trusting the word of strangers. But after a while, you have been fooled so many times that you start to become more careful with on whom you place your trust.