Huge Character and New Players
-by Ryan Omega
So here are my tips to playing huge powerful characters that encourages more roleplay:
I’ve had to cultivate a style of roleplaying that accommodates this and is very conscious of new and other players. It does mean that you can’t always do what you want, but you are supporting the framework for a community of players.
1. Giving someone a “permission to RP” helps. So I gave the codephrase “I heard you are a person to get to know” and so we end up talking about common things that THEY are able to share from their own story, giving them the advantage to feel confident as their character.
2. Delegate small but meaningful things. It gives new players a sense of importance, and a clear mission with a single task. Then you thank them. That makes them want to do more.
3. Abuse your privilege to give someone starting out the world’s eye view. Like if I meet with a new player in an exclusive, restricted place or have someone escort me everywhere with weapon in hand, it makes them feel special and it costs me nothing.
4. Get on their level and be silly once in a while so you have things to bond over with human experience that don’t require lore of the world. I play a character that drinks because it’s an easily relatable activity and people understand that.
5. Take a sincere interest in one of their goals and boost them up or direct them. If they are looking for underworld things, I direct them to a few secret contacts. If I know they are healers, I tell them where to get training, etc.
6. If someone has news, don’t interrupt their excitement by saying “I already know.” Say “thank you, this CONFIRMS what I know,” so their words are still useful.
7. When dealing with new characters that are creating potential conflict, give them warnings IC, and don’t start by making them examples unless they are clearly trolling you. One character told me she had a tendency to harm people she didn’t like and I told her, “it’s a very bad idea to tell me because now I have to do something about it!” Let them propose an alternative so I don’t have to feel like I’m sentencing them.
8. Ask them for their opinions at times. You don’t have to take them if it doesn’t work, but they may have an insight that is fresh and you may not see having played your character in your world for a long time.
As a huge influential character, your actions affect the ENTIRE GAME, no matter how small you think your actions are. People will have entire conversations about you which actually have nothing to do with you, so a huge part is letting that go and that you need not respond to rumors so quickly if it doesn’t affect your ability to get things done.
At the same time, you have to balance things with your own desires and wishes. You shouldn’t be community minded 100% of your game time because you’ll feel deprived or worse, resentful, even if you are in charge.
This is not a comprehensive list. But if this helps other veteran players on how to be more inclusive of other and newer players, it will keep player retention which brings about more satisfying roleplaying for everyone.