Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Who I am as a gamer
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > General Gaming
Feel free to post a different answer. I was told on a different board that when you played games it was no reflection as to who you are IRL. I feel that it is. I am curious to see what DSF thinks, since this is by far the most outstanding group of gamers I have ever met.
A really good roleplayer, a true actor, will be able to play someone who bears no relation to who they are IRL.

Most of us mere mortals, though, will have a lot of ourselves in the character as it is played, even if the personality sketch we hand the GM doesn't match us at all.

I've never been lucky enough to play with someone who doesn't play themselves as their characters. All character personalities are the same, cause the same people are playing them. My guess is there are very,very few people who can truely step outside themselves to play their characters personality all the time.
Few who can do it completely, at least. Dunno, give me a little while before each session to get into character and I might be able to pull it off, but it's hard work, especially with long sessions, and requires a lot of focus and not-breaking-character on the parts of everyone around the table. YMMV; this is my view as an actor and roleplayer.

Well, I think pretty much everybody creates a SR character out of some facet of their personality. Maybe a character is only vaguely like you IRL, but has a similar outlook on one thing or another. Maybe the character is all of a certain tiny bit of your personality (i.e. your inner tactician, or based soley on your ability to 'McGyver' your way out of a situation, or your geeky academic side) or maybe th character is based on something you always WISHED you could do (the super athlete or genius chemist). Maybe a character has your sensitivity to suffering or your same mystical side or keen wit. Nearly al RP-ers that I've met have characters that come from somewhere inside their own psyches. The trick to playing those characters and not making them all the same thing over and over again is to not let their similarity to whatever it is in the PLAYER rule the character's personality. A good player can RP a character who comes from inside their own head and have them only remotely resemble, if at all, their RL selves. Characters like that, when RP-ed correctly, ring very true and can develop into very interesting people once you get to know them.

Johnny the Bull
I only get to play once every 3 or 4 weeks, so I go to painstaking efforts to make sure I am not playing myself in different clothes. Everything must be different for me else I might as well be playing a board game or MMORPG.
Most of my characters have ideals like mine, for some reason it's more fun for me that way. it's more natural to play something close to myself, when i try to make a character that's nothing like me it ceases being a fun, relaxing game and turns more into work. i play to relax and have fun, not test my limits on stepping outside of myself.
Hocus Pocus
when I played I'd make a character however I liked, but their personality invariably had me in it. None more so than your friendly neighborhood Hocus Pocus, he was my favorite of them all. Besides it's too hard being somebody else in a campagin game when all those voices in your head already want you to be somebody else.
Digital Heroin
I am not an emotionless killer, yet I play them. I am not a pyro, yet I've played them. I've played murderers, kidnappers, drug addicts, vandals, cop killers and plain freaked out psychos, yet thankfully I'm none of the above, nor am I inclined to be.
I'm shocked. What the hell is the point of role-playing if your character is just you with guns?
Lily's got it right. A good character will always be based on a facet of your own personality, yet magnified to such a degree as to not resemble you. Something that's too removed from you isn't going to be fun to play at all; but there's no point in playing yourself with guns.

Just playing yourself leads to the big-time no-no of roleplaying-- getting your worlds mixed up. I've seen far too many gamers go down that path, letting their worlds collide. It's not a pretty sight.

Not enough gamers have been hearing this recently, so I'm going to repeat it: gaming is only healthy as long as you can keep your realities apart. The moment you let that line blur, you're in all kinds of danger. If your in-game interactions are affecting your out-of-game relationships... put down your dice right away, and take a very long break.

I've seen too many friendships be lost because of in-game issues. Larpers can be the worst about this, but tabletoppers do it too-- I remember this huge falling out in a D&D group, because someone did something, and a 15th level mage died. It was years before everyone involved was speaking to each other again. Never, ever, forget that it's just a game; and never let your game dictate your reality.
I've had a discussion about this while talking to a Vampire-LARP Storyteller. The problem isn't that people don't want to play something else, it's that the GM doesn't sit with each player individually and create a background. Hell, I use to sit with players and help them work on getting a different 'accent' for their characters so they could even talk different. If you ask your players questions that are so simple like "Why are you in the Shadows?" "How did you discover them, get in?" "Where did you meet these contacts?" you begin to build a different person than the player. Then ask the next level of questions... "What do you do if/when...."

People play their own personalities because the other personality isn't fleshed out enough for them to visualize it. Only a GM is to blame for that.

I do not play characters too different from myself. Just as I cannot realistically roleplay Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin, I do not roleplay mass murderers or serial killers. Certain things are simply too alien.
While all my characters have obvious differences, many of them reflect my ethical beliefs. I rarely play evil characters or stupid characters (it is my ethical belief to not be stupid biggrin.gif). That is more my fault at character creation than anything else. I usually forget to write up a good background and then in-game I don't know how my character would react; so I react like I would in real life. The most important thing in playing your character is to write a good background story and then create the character. Plus, before each session review your characters background and how your character will act.
I'm missing a voting option: Both.

At times I do my best to create a character that's completely different from me, but other times I just create a character that feels right and if he bears any resemblance to me then I don't care about it.
As an actor-director, I would say that even actors are playing a part of themselves. No matter what character you play, you cannot become that character unless you understand them in some way. Most people play characters like themselves because they understand why they do the things they do.

When deciding "Do I kill that guard or not?", they have to look at what they know and who they are. Just because you kill him does not mean you would in real life though; in SR, life is worth less because there will always be new NPCs and the price of death is simply rolling a new runner.

For instance, an actor playing an addict looks to their own life. They draw on their own addictions; caffeine, nicotine, whatever. If you play a killer, you try to find that reason why you would kill someone. It helps if you have relevant life-experience, like when I played a cuckolded husband about a month after being cheated upon. (it is often terrifying to look back at how well you 'click' with some of the scarier types though...)

Perhaps I should do an article here or on my own website about basic method acting.
When I play(which I never play SR frown.gif I only GM it frown.gif ) I usually take some small portion of my identity, and skew it and amplify it. I had a hitman for a SR and a WW game. my SR character was supersuave with all the mods that make him impress the ladies(increase pheremones, nice suits, etc.) in the White Wolf Game he was a vampire with dual .50's and a sniper rifle, charismatic, and very catholic, believed his vampirism a curse, which he tried to purge everyday.

I am neither a hitman, nor catholic, so both aspects of this character were far removed. but the sense of Justice and Conviction was mine, and the sense of style as well. biggrin.gif
I null voted. My characters are neither. They each express parts of me. But pnly one is an accuarte representation of who I am. I have played the range from a foolish orc with a good heart, to a stubborn justice loving dwarf, to a passifist troll. All of them have taken me time to adjust to letting that part of me come out in full, but eventually they all do and they stop acting like me.
Neon Tiger
I guess many of my characters have some bits of my RL personality, but not that much really. And many characters are mostly completely different than me, like Maelstrom, the gekko shaman, a male chauvinist pig with horrible charisma and really arrogant and likes to call himself the "sorcery genius". Or Gato, my full cyborg troll merc, who doesn't give a frag about other people's lives. In RL, I tend to think about equality between sexes, I'm very modest guy and a Total Pacifist.

I think that because I'm me, playing myself as a character in a roleplaying game is very, very boring. So I'll rather play something completely different.
I usually play characters that have similar traits that I do but modified for that character's particular circumstances. I have a hard time being immoral even in character or even when I play any games. Its just in my nature I guess, but It does add some challenge to it.
I do both - pity that was not an option in the poll. oh well.
I'm lousy at staying in-character, no matter how hard I try. I'm improving, though. But no matter what I do, I seem to turn every character I play as into either a lunatic or a spastic freak. x_x
Darkest Angel
I don't know, I guess I try to make my characters different from me, but there's always going to be a part of me in there somewhere - afterall, everyone has their personal limits as to what is acceptable in game and what isn't.
Shadow, you've inspired me.

never a good thing for a GM in training...

my group is going to hate me >;)
Talia Invierno
It's way old, but it's just something this thread reminded me of: Your characters reflections of yourself (Plastic Rat).

I'll follow up Lily and the (much!) earlier thread and go that step further: that it is impossible to play a character which is not psychologically rooted in some part of the personality (possibly the shadow!), because it is impossible to conceive within a mindset which is not in some part yours or something you want to become. It may well not be a recognised or accepted part of the personality, however. (Please note that I didn't say "physically" or "mystically" here! That's where the wish-fulfillment aspects most often seem to kick in.)

How often does backstory seem to focus solely on cause-and-effect event almost as though observed by an outside observer? To take one common Shadowrun example, killing matters - to the individual person and the victim+family, if to no one else. There are reasons we don't normally kill in most of our societies, and law constitutes only a very small fraction of those reasons. Even in situations of complete anarchy, even in wartime and in regions where 10% or more of the total population ended up dead (the case in several WWII countries and too many more recent): the vast majority of its people won't kill, and the vast majority of its people won't end up as killers. If you're playing a character who deals normally in wetwork, do you normally choose to examine not only who the first person the character ever killed was and why the character killed them - but how the character reacted, how the character felt ... and why the character kept right on killing and how each new death continues to make them react, think, feel? It's a very disturbing place to go, but going there won't turn you into a psycho case unless you were already unbalanced in the first place.

The default is often to actively avoid going too deeply into the character psyche, often by using the tactic of avoidance through extreme emphasis on tactics (and those curious variants on tactics, min-maxing and detailed canonical environment), for reasons which should be evident!

Cause-and-effect events, tactics, canonising, min-maxing are far, far easier.
QUOTE (Cain)
*snip*A good character will always be based on a facet of your own personality, yet magnified to such a degree as to not resemble you. *snip*

Bingo. Give this man a prize. I have said it before, but thats the best charcters out there. Take something you like, or dont like, about your self, and blow it up so much that its not you anymore. And its very important that its NOT yourself anymore. Cain points out that its a quick road to self distruction. *raises hand* 'S why I dont have a gaming group to speak of anymore. Too much IG OG crossing over. Firewall brings up method acting. *hands him a cookie* Again, thank you, playing a pc in a rpg IS ACTING. I cant beat this into my players heads enough. Nither can our other GM. While I dispise metagaming, not acting in a charcters head is almost criminal. I have seen way too much of my players in my games, and not enough of my PCs... Ok, rant over.
I think the killing is just part of the territory. A new character might have a narco-ject and gel rounds for his predator but life changes them. If the enemy starts using live rounds, it becomes harder to justify your pacifism. Life is cheap. If you are SINless, your life is worth even less.

Even the IC can kill, so I suppose you start to lose your sympathy over time. You see a decker fall from his seat, brain-fried. The dwarf mage in the party gets geeked by some humanist. Someone guts the samurai just for enough creds to buy his next fix.

Perhaps we do like to play the fantasy of guiltless killing, since NPCs are not 'real' to us and even our runners are just numbers on a sheet. Perhaps not. Either way, who would play Sam Verner over their regular runner?
Yeah, but how well would Sam fit in the "usual" runner crew?

I'm with L.D..
I've played characters that have alot of similarities to my personality, and some that (seemingly) have absolutely no relation at all, although I'm certain they all have some basis in truth..
Most of my longer running characters are more similar to myself than not, but at the same time I try to play characters that are different enough when I get the chance. Not only does it help with the roleplaying/acting skills, but it keeps the game fun and fresh when you step outside of your 'typecast' characters.
My characters have distinctive personalities, but they all have a hook that lets me identify with them. It's not always something in common with me, either. Sometimes they act on my darker, suppressed impulses, and sometimes they can act in brave or heroic ways that I would be unlikely to emulate in real life. But even though they have different backgrounds, different approaches to problems, and different ways of dealing with people, there is always enough of me in there that I can talk about them in first person (at least sometimes). But every character is different.

I personally have no desire or interest in playing a character completely unlike me. At best, it would be like being a GM with one lone NPC to run. I play for fun, not to try my hand at writing a novel or being a method actor. I'm not that concerned with realism, either, other than the minimum needed to suspend disbelief. If the game gets as frustrating and depressing as real life, why bother playing it?
ok...I voted for similar ideals as myself in real life....
But I really have to clarify that as the Poll is a bit too slim on choices to me.

I was tought to play rpg's by the first generation of payers (I am really a second gen player even though I could have made it in as a first gen...late bloomer) to play in character, play in character, play in character, play in character. No matter what kind of character they are, how they think, or their beliefs, PLAY IN CHARACTER!

I think that I'm also a little luckier for GM's than some other players, as I grew up involved in drama and studying acting, directing, writing, etc...

All of those mediums inforce one concept heavily. Get in the characters head!
Figure them out. Figure out the why's, and what for's.

This, my friends, is why BACKHISTORIES were created. A week backhistory makes for a difficult character to role play.
Also, one of the LARGEST fallies I see players make when writing backhistories is that they tend to NOT write in things for the GM to use against them.
This is almost manditory!
With out the bad-shit-trail, your character is just a piece of cardboard.
Even with personality and good role playing, they are still just a pretty piece of cardboard.

The way I tell players to make characters is this:
Pretend you are writing a book. Think of the main character you want in that book. Figure out everything you can about them (then I list some assinine[sp] shit like what kind of candy they like/hate, music they like, do they hate public toilets? why?).
Usually that gets them thinking for about one full minute.
Then they bring me nothing of what I was talking I go through it and start asking all sorts of questions and pointing out every little hole, making seem like I could use it against them since they left it empty for me to fill out.
I remind them again of the soda pop preferance questions and they end up coming up with a character that has some of the greatest unique traits only a person would have the second time.

During role play I really never have to try and inforce good roleplaying because they like their character so much that they do it anyways.

I've only played with on player that NEVER, and I mean NEVER played anything but a stone cold faced "professional" (who liked to shoot every chance he could get instead of looking for another solution). He always just screwed the team out of so much good shit, and we ended up just making him our honorary dip shit dumbass fighter of the group.
Hey...that's aparently what he wanted right?

This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012