Do you role play in RPGs?


And by role play, I mean creating a background for your character (that fits within the confines of what the game allows), giving them personality traits, and opinions on issues within their world. I never used to, back when I first played KOTOR, ME, and other Bioware and Bethesda games, but playing DA2 a second time changed that.

The first time I played it, I usually picked to good/nice options and ended up with an incredibly boring version of Hawke. I also found the game to be very disappointing for a variety of reasons. I went back to it a second time later on and had a much better experience. This time, Hawke was a total asshole to everyone, but still cared for his family and close friends. He was also a mage, but very pro-templar and pro-circle. Just making choices in the game that aligned with these traits made Hawke and the game significantly more enjoyable.

I now do this with all RPGs that allow it, even going back to the Mass Effect trilogy, trying to headcanon things that would make my Shepard a more interesting character. Part of why I couldn’t get into ME:A is because the game doesn’t really allow this. No matter what options I picked, Ryder still goes back to his generic “Nathan Drake” persona, saying things that the version of Ryder I was trying to play (serious and professional) would not.

So do any of you play RPGs like this?

An Ode to Exploration

Yes. I always try to have a character in mind, even when it’s a game like Dark Souls where you have no real personality or history. I think it helps me better inhabit the space, or whatever.


I did that with Dragon Age: Origins, which left me with a Dwarf Commoner Warden who was determined to Disregard Nobility Help Everyone Else because she could get away with it. The fact that I could do that, and that the game gave me options for doing things with dwarves has actually kept it my favorite installment (as well as the fact that I could seriously customize my character’s fighting style to make them a dual-wielding warrior).

I tried playing 2 with a friend using a character we named Dwayne the Hawke Johnson, but 2’s gameplay and level design made it a slog so we never finished.

I put down DA: I after a while because everything was about the elves and I didn’t see it changing anytime soon. It was hard to RP as a Carta Dwarf Accountant-type when they were throwing me very little bones, but it did lead to some pretty ruthless decisions regarding lyrium that were interesting.


I try to, but I slip up sometimes and either start picking the option that I think will get me the best loot or just choosing what I would do. For me it’s the hardest in Bethesda RPGs, where I kind of want to do all the quests I can and end up being the leader of what would be conflicting guilds


Outside of what is given to me as the player character, not really. I try to think about what the character would do given the world and their circumstances but I don’t create backstories out of nowhere.


I try … but I betray myself a lot minmaxing to the detriment of my enjoyment of the games. Also many games just don’t help giving you options that are no-options like Fallout 4, “Chose between this four equally horrible factions, but once inside follow the line son”.


i find it really hard to roleplay as a character I made. I always end up making decisions I would make.

I like to settle in to other people’s characters, and explore their psyche, rather than dig in to one of my own making.


i only roleplay as myself


In a recent playthrough of Fallout 4 I tried to do this and was generally successful (minus the dumb outfits in that game, grr). I created this stereotypical 50s housewife that by the end of the game would become essentially Furiosa from Mad Max. I had hairstyles and outfits in mind and had built a decent narrative in my head around it. That was pretty fun, but the outfits were kind of a sticking point as I couldn’t really get the look and feel quite right.

In Dragon Age: Inquisition and most Bioware games I do this, too, but not to the extent I did in Fallout 4 or the other Bethesda games.

If the game has dialog choices like “aggressive” or “sarcastic” I’ll pick one and generally stick to it unless the dramatic moment requires something else.


Often before I start a game I’ll look into character builds and whatever storyline there is at the start, so I have something to base my backstory on.

As an example, in Shadowrun: Hong Kong you start as an orphan with no shadowrunning experience, so if I had headcanoned my character as a hardened runner that would have felt really out of place. Because I had that context, I worked within what I was given and the story felt like it fit my character because I started in the right place.

I keep a list of all the custom characters that I’ve created over the years, and while I don’t write backstory for every one, I try to have different names and personality traits each time because I enjoy have varying experiences.


I’m a little impressed you pulled that off! I tried to RP in FO4 but the game never makes it so that you can imply anything other than being a woman who was happily wed with a baby, so I found it really hard and just ended up ignoring a lot of the plot in favor of base building.


Well, a lot of that involved ignoring story stuff as it happened and at least allowing that at the beginning I was happily wed with a baby, and then change after some time in the wasteland.


I was trying to go for a sort of futch lesbian character. Difficult.

I had way more luck in Skyrim, where I played an Argonian on a quest to amass enough power to take back the Black Marsh and make it a free state again.


I generally prefer RPGs, or appreciate RPG trappings in different types of games, because of the ability to author a character. Affording me the ability to own a part in a game’s universe as an agent in whom I can identify and exert change is something I am sad to see absent in any game.

I have a ridiculous amount of hours in Skyrim because of that vaguery of character in a world that is beautifully realized and crafted upon thoughtful, balls-to-the-wall bananas lore that provides a context for me to exist and ‘act.’


A decent amount, to varying degrees. I find third person/isometric rpgs and games where your replies can really add color and tone to be much more evocative of roleplaying–ie Bioware, not Bethesda. Which may honestly be part of the reason Dragon Age and Mass Effect games do so much more to draw me in and make me care about the setting than Elder Scrolls or Fallout: I feel like my character is a living part of the world, rather than a minimally characterized self-insert.


My femShep in ME was definitely roleplayed out. Especially with regards to romance - she was not interested in dating anyone, because insubordination is bad, but did flirt with Garrus once or twice


I roleplay in RPGs. The more I replay a game the more intricate my roleplaying will be. In Mass Effect, for example, I will create a Shepard who is weary of aliens and as more aliens join the crew, they become less prejudice. I also pretty much roleplay in any game that allows it. When I play Madden’s franchise mode I’ll deliberately play poorly if my quarterback is bad.


Yes and I have the fanfics about my OCs to prove it.


I wish I could be an ass in RPGs.

Every time I start a play that allows me that (The Witcher, Fallout, etc.) I try to, but then I look at the benefits of being the good guy and fail myself :disappointed:


do i RP in RPGs? hah haha, why would i ever do that… i definitely don’t have folders full of screenshots of all the characters i make in games… that would be wild huh…

but yes, i definitely do if given the opportunity. only exception is when i want to play mean characters, i generally have to play the game with a nice character first to make myself not feel bad about it because i’m a sucker.

also, going back through DA2 and playing humorous asshole hawke was the best. the queasy crow flies at midnight :bird: