how do you roleplay?

Discussion in 'It's Galley's Turn' started by Deresto, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    sorry if this isn't the right place to ask, but it seemed on topic even if this isn't a game or discussion of a game.

    i realize i might be asking too broad a question, or maybe too obvious a one, and very likely the reason i don't get it is a me problem and not one that can be worked around, but i'll ask anyways.

    how do y'all roleplay? like, how is it done? i don't really get how to do it because when i try to pretend i'm a character instead of me, no matter how much i think i know about characterization or how they would act, i panic. it feels like someone has grabbed my stomach and given it a sharp twist. i want to roleplay because it looks really fun and there are a lot of games i'd like to try that involves it (like DnD) and i've played rpgs with set characters and the like (like borderlands, however loosely that fits into the category) but when i try to go from my own character and try and come up with dialogue (for instance) i panic and run away. i'm not sure if it's the fact that i'm interacting with real people or what. even when i play skyrim my character is essentially me, avoiding npcs as much as possible and hanging around picking interesting flowers instead of actual playing because following the story is avoidable.

    is there any way to work around that, or a different way to think about it so i don't freak out? or is roleplaying just not for me?

    btw if a mod wants to move this that's fine.
    • Like x 2
  2. oph

    oph There was a user here, but it's gone now

    Do you know why you have that panic response? Figuring it out may help you also figure out how to stop it or work around it

    Have you tried easing into role-playing different characters? Start off playing as a character who is basically yourself, then try a character who is basically yourself but with a minor difference -- do you still react negatively to that? Work up to characters that are even more different.
    • Like x 3
  3. blue

    blue hightown funk you up

    I'm curious - do you write fiction? if so, do you have the same problem there?
    • Like x 1
  4. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    It's basically acting for me. I get into a headspace for the character and just kind of roll with it. I usually have music associated with particular characters or moods too, so I can basically force myself into the space I need quickly. Also helps with keeping me calm and distracted? It's a very natural thing, where I kind of leave my actual self hanging on the wall. So it's not so much my thinking about what I know about the character or how they would act as it is, I am now that character. This is how I would act and how I would think. When I get the panic response and freeze up it's because I haven't let myself fully become that other person yet. There's still too much Aon hanging around. But that is just me.

    Anyway you could try some acting exercises maybe? There's a lot of those, in part because this thing works differently for everyone. Some people really can't stand the whole "literally become the character" thing or can't do it for whatever reason. Some of them are really goofy bullshit too, the exercises and games. Which I feel is helpful for getting over the anxiety of the thing. It's kind of hard to feel stupid when everyone is yelling about cats at someone on a park bench just like you.
    • Like x 1
  5. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Can confirm to times of panic and inability to do anything but be myself, and I've been roleplaying on and off for more than half my life.

    I find that I have the easiest time with somewhat-whimsical characters that others created, like Papyrus. I rely on the ability to look at canon for similar situations, and get a sense of "how did they react to a similar thing? was that a situational reaction, or is that their general pattern of reacting? okay, adapt that reaction to this situation."

    With characters that I create, that's way way harder! I have to have basically written a couple of books worth of brainstorming and stuff before I get them to having enough sense of history and priorities and drives, different than mine, before it feels* like anything but* putting a puppet over my hand and sticking it somewhere dangerous.

    I specified whimsical because Papyrus is very self-involved, and doesn't listen very carefully to what others are saying if he's not interested, and puts things out of mind quickly... so if I realize I'm getting upset and need to reset, I just write as if he's obliviously indifferent to the things I'm upset by, until either the situation or my mood resolves.

    *eta made a very important revision to a sentence that reversed its meaning
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
    • Like x 2
  6. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    i dunno, it's sort of like i feel like i'm going to get caught as something i'm not, even though logically i know there wouldn't be any ramifications or harsh consequences + nobody really cares. pretending to be something i'm not has been a very real necessity at different points in my life, so jumping in and doing it for fun is sort of intimidating, i think?

    i used to when i was in my tweens, but all my characters were very similar to existing ones (basically the written versions of sonic lineart recolors with identical backstories and all) so i started drawing more. i can draw an oc and give them a basic backstory and characteristics and quirks no problem, but i can't really play them.

    i haven't thought of trying either of those, but i will definitely look into it! that actually sounds like it might help.
    • Like x 2
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