Q:
When you use a PB, do you need GIFs if you're roleplaying on Tumblr? Say you don't make GIFs of the PB and thus decide not to use GIFs at all, would people still want to roleplay with you? Also, is there some sort of unwritten rule about what kinds of pictures of the PB are appropriate to use? (asked by Anonymous)
A:

Good question!  In all honesty, you don’t need anything for roleplay (especially if it’s something that specifically inconveniences you, like learning to make .gifs just for the sake of using them for a character) - it all depends on what you want, and what is most convenient and useful for you.  If people won’t roleplay with you on the basis that you don’t use reaction .gifs of your character (which seems strange, but to each their own, I suppose), then it might just be that their comfortable format for roleplaying might not mesh well with yours.  And that’s okay!

Some people prefer to roleplay primarily using reaction .gifs of their playby back and forth, while others will use icons interspersed with text, and still others won’t use any media at all, only text to convey their characters’ feelings, actions, etc.  What kind of roleplayer you want to be is dependent entirely on you, and what makes you most comfortable!  Also, more often than not, if the person with the character you want to roleplay with is someone who has a different roleplaying format than you and the two of you just can’t seem to make your roleplay work, you can (almost) always (unless you’re dealing with a one-of-a-kind OC blog) find somebody else who plays the same or a similar character who can and will roleplay with a character who does not use reaction .gifs as part of their posts.

As for what pictures of your playby are good to use, I’d recommend anything that looks like it could possibly be something happening in-character for your character (for example, if your character is living in a snowy climate, beach snapshots are probably not a good idea unless they’re visiting a warm climate IC for some reason).  Also, while it’s not necessarily taboo to use pictures of them from award events, release events, or what have you, it might have the propensity to jar the character out of context by showing the actor out of a character (unless your character is some sort of celebrity who might attend those sort of functions, in which case go for it!).

Though, it’s worth noting that it’s always fun to find event photos with your playby interacting with someone else’s playby, so not everything has to be taken seriously in context for it to be a good photo.

Mostly, just use whatever photos you personally find to be reminiscent of your character (so long as they are not OC-specific edits somebody else has made for their personal character/blog, or if they are, make sure you have gotten permission from the person before using them for your character), and you can’t really go wrong!

Hope this helps! :) <3


Q:
How does one roleplay a funny character without looking like they're trying too hard to be funny? (asked by Anonymous)
A:

So you want your character to be casually funny, rather than a comedian who doesn’t always hit their mark?  First, you should ask the people in your roleplay what they think is really, really funny, and then play off of that (unless it’s something that you, yourself don’t find to be funny at all or can’t relate to, in which case, you are not obligated to be unfunny to yourself for the sake of being funny for other people).  A couple of suggestions for things that have the propensity to make a character funny are:

  • Clever puns!  Clever puns are always funny (sometimes they’re terrible, but they always garner a reaction, either way), so any time you get the chance to make a pun, go for it!

  • Shocking people every once in a while with a risque (not harmful, though - there is a big difference) joke can be funny, but don’t overdo it, otherwise you might just come off as offensive.  If this is out of character for your character, though, you shouldn’t feel obligated to include it.

  • Hyperboles can be funny.  Pop culture references can be funny.  Don’t abuse either, though.  You don’t want to turn your character into a hyperactive pop blogger (unless they are actually a hyperactive pop blogger, in which case, go ahead).

  • Occasional slapstick involving your character, or, alternatively, making your character the butt end of a running slapstick joke.  Not an EVER-running joke - he’s not going to be slipping on banana peels and tumbling over his own feet at every opportunity, or else he becomes cliche, repetitive, and obnoxious - but if every once in a while the same thing happens to him (at random or seemingly at random), that can be funny (think about how in The Emperor’s New Groove they used the gag about the lever twice - same joke, but funny both times).

  • As mentioned before, making your character the butt end of the joke (slapstick or verbal jokes) can be funny in itself.  Best of all, it only targets one person - the person making the joke in the first place - so it’s non-offensive!

These are just a couple of suggestions - like I said before, the best way to determine what will be a big hit, joke-wise, is to ask for a point of reference.  Don’t forget, not everything that is funny onscreen is funny in text, so it’s possible a few jokes that seem like they would be really funny in your head may fall flat on paper - and that’s okay!  Roleplay is a learning process, and humour is a tough mark to hit, especially consistently.

Hope this helps! :) <3


Q:
How can a mun that is quiet and reserved in nature, and frequently has trouble coming up with a lot to say, RP a character that is loud, talkative, and outgoing? I can't keep up a conversation, I can't talk much, but I want to play what people would describe as a "motormouth", basically the polar opposite of what I am. What strategies do you have? (asked by Anonymous)
A:

Good question!  Divorcing yourself from your characters can be tough, and generally when beginning to play a new character, regardless of roleplaying experience, we all run the risk of encountering something akin to same voice syndrome, wherein all our characters sound similar or even identical because we’re so used to writing one sort of speech pattern (probably one similar to our own).  Before you can write your character’s voice, you first have to find your character’s voice (not necessarily literally - e.g., a voice cast rather than or in addition to a facecast - though if that helps you can definitely do that, too!).  Your character is not you; they’re their own individual person, and as such they have their own characteristics that are completely independent from your own.

First of all, you need to decide what sort of character you are making in the first place (are you making a motormouth who talks because he enjoys talking, one who talks because he doesn’t know any better, one who talks too much when he gets nervous…?).  Once you decide that, another important thing that may help develop your character’s unique way of speaking/communicating is to first decide on a few basic facts about them: what unique speech patterns they have, if any (does the character stutter or falter when they speak?  Do they use run-on sentences?  Do they mix up their words or phrases sometimes?  Do they talk so much so as to not give the other person time to think, thereby giving themselves an advantage in the conversation? etc.); and what unique phrases or words they might use (for example, do they sometimes get flustered and sub in words from his native language?  Does he casually drop profanity without even realizing it?  Does he sometimes accidentally use the wrong word when he’s speaking quickly, and if so, will he go back and correct it, or keep powering forward?)

Other fun exercises that may help even more can be to decide exactly how your character’s voice would sound (is it deep, nasally, breathy, etc.?), and how their laugh would sound (silvery?  Robust?  Hissing? etc.)  Whenever you start to have trouble thinking in your character’s voice, you can always talk to yourself out loud as your character (I know this sounds strange, but trust me, it’s fun and it works!) to get back the feeling for their speech pattern(s).  If you want, since you say you are shy, you can do this somewhere private where you know people won’t listen in on you - while driving, in the shower, anywhere you feel comfortable making noise.

Another thing you can do, when it comes to conversation (I’m a terrible conversationalist, myself, so I feel your pain) is to have your character be the person to drive the conversation forward.  The entire dialogue doesn’t necessarily have to be about the issue at hand, as long as it eventually comes back to what’s being talked about, for example:

Partner: “Are you doing all right?” Liz asked.

You: “I’m excellent,” Abe answered.  “Couldn’t be better.  Had a bit of a rough time the last couple of days… don’t really want to talk about it, though.  We could, if you really wanted to; but I’d rather not.  It’s not important currently.  Either way, I’m fine now.  Better than fine.  Good.  Excellent, as I said before.  And yourself, Liz?  How are you?”

You can impart as much information as you want while your character is talking, and if it helps, dwell as long on one thing as you want, as long as what you’re having the character say has some relevance, importance, or weight.  Don’t spend six paragraphs talking about the weather, of course (unless the weather is VERY important at present), but if you want to keep the conversation moving and you see an opportunity to impart some information relevant to your character and the situation at hand (as long as it doesn’t harm the story in some way, i.e., give away or blow someone else’s plot), don’t hesitate to do so!

Some people might question why characters would spill a plethora of information without being specifically asked about it (because we muns don’t generally like to share information unless specifically asked, I guess?), but that’s the fun of characters.  They’re not us.  They get to do stuff we would never believably do, or say things we would never actually have the nerve to say.  And also unlike us, they generally have larger-than-life places to go, or things to do, and they often need a little push in helping them to get there, which can more often than not be helped along in the form of a relevant dialogue.

So to sparknotes this long answer:

  • Find your character’s unique individual voice
  • Don’t be afraid to let him use it as much as he wants!

Hope this helps! :) <3


Q:
What do you do when someone starts following your RP blog? Is making a welcome post necessary? (asked by Anonymous)
A:

It’s entirely up to the discretion of the player!  Some people like to greet every new person who follows their blog, and some of them will sometimes even manage to double the greeting as an introductory post if the new person following is also a roleplayer/roleplaying blog, i.e.:

strikereurekachuckhansen started following you

"Chuck!  Long time no see, buddy!"

However, if you don’t want to greet every new player who follows you or automatically start roleplaying with someone who has started following you as soon as they follow you, you don’t have to - that’s your prerogative.  Sometimes we simply just don’t know what to say, or don’t have anything relevant to plot with the person who just followed us at the moment, and that’s okay!  All in good time.

Hope this helps! :) <3


Q:
Are there any browser (Chrome or Firefox) add-ons, apps, or extensions that you recommend for a roleplayer on Tumblr? (asked by Anonymous)
A:

I would definitely recommend getting xKit!  Not only does it have a bunch of great extensions for regular Tumblr, it’s available on both Firefox and Chrome and it has some fantastic functions that will quickly become your best friend in roleplay, not the least of which are Read More Now (which allows you to expand “read mores” on your dashboard, in case your roleplay gets a little steamy and has to be put below a cut) and Wrap Tags, which lets you see all of your partner’s tags in a conveniently arranged manner (in case you’re one of those roleplayers who puts OOC chatter or additional notes or comments about the current roleplay in the tags of your posts). C:

Does anyone else have any other suggestions for Anon, as to add-ons that are beneficial for roleplaying on Tumblr?


Q:
How can I roleplay a character that doesn't speak English when I, the other characters, and their muns are English speakers and don't speak my character's native language? (asked by Anonymous)
A:

Oh, I love this question!  I play multi-lingual characters myself frequently, and I’ve come to realize that generally (unless there’s a native speaker in your group who can translate accurately for you), if you and your other group members don’t speak the language the character is speaking in, it’s usually okay to go with a generic internet translator, like Stars21, Babelfish, or Google Translate.  That way you get to have the character speaking their native language IC as well as a basic feel for exactly what they are saying (and since it’s just roleplay, it doesn’t really matter that the autotranslated bits be painstakingly accurate, grammatically).

If you want, you can format your posts to put the dialogue from another language in their normal line of dialogue in italics with an asterisk (i.e., “Het enige een gesien my vader?”*) and then put the translation at the bottom of the post as an addendum, in smaller text if you so choose, like a footnote (i.e., *”Has anybody seen my father?”).  Or, if you wanted to, you could just write the dialogue in English with specification that it’s in a different language in the non-dialogue parts of the post (i.e.,”How are you?” he asked in Arabic), or use different punctuation around your “non-English” English (i.e., “I am fine” for English versus <I am fine> for Russian).

Hope this helps! :) <3


Q:
I'm stuck on ways to get my character from the future to the past when she has no motivation to time travel. However, I don't like the idea of the character getting sucked into some randomly appearing time portal unless she or another character does something to make it appear. Any ideas? My character is a celebrity in the future, if that helps. (asked by Anonymous)
A:

I’m not sure whether your time-travel story is meant to be more fantasy or science fiction, but some cause and effect methods for time travel I can think of off the top of my head would be:

  • Following someone else through a time rip (natural or artificial) in order to retrieve something, in an attempt to question them, or by accident (see: Kate & Leopold).

  • Exploring, utilizing, or even accidentally finding her way through one (possibly of several) naturally-occurring rips in time (like a wormhole) that only a few people know the location of or how to properly use them (see: THOR: The Dark World).

  • An enchanted, cursed, or otherwise otherworldly-type object (an amulet, a book, etc.) that, once picked up (and opened, if it’s a book), transports the person who found it back to the time period/place wherein the object was cursed or enchanted to try to resolve the issue tied to its enchantment (see: John Carter of Mars).

  • An object like the aforementioned, but one that’s specifically meant to transport someone to a different time/place if picked up and chanted to/used a certain way (see: Harry Potter or MIB3).

  • A naturally-occurring phenomenon (i.e., a comet) that causes an inexplicable connection between the last time it occurred and the current time of its occurrence, allowing communication or even travel between those two given points in time (see: Frequency).

  • She participates in an experiment having to do with FTL travel (currently deemed impossible, but this is roleplay, maybe it works there!).

I don’t know how common time-travel is in your roleplay, but here are some if there is such thing as casual time-travel:

  • For sport (see: A Sound of Thunder).  Something could go wrong with the contraption and it could leave her stranded in a different time period, though, completely unprepared, if you want to go that route.

  • As part of a larger investigative project (see: Timeline).  She could be there for a purely press-related reason (“the first celebrity to time travel” or something to that effect) and then something goes wrong with the machine and she ends up stranded back in time.

  • A copy of her from the future (distant or not so distant) comes to tell her that unless she changes something at a set time in the past, something horrible will happen in the future (to just her or to a larger group, depending on your preference).

These are just a couple of ideas (since I’m not sure of the whole story behind her time travel adventure), but if there is another member of your group whose character seems to be more inclined towards time travel than yours (or at least the science or study of it) perhaps they will be more able to help you to figure out what would be viable for your current roleplay setting depending on their character’s current level of skill?  Who knows, with luck, maybe they’ll even be able to help her get back to her current time in one piece!

I hope this helps! :) <3


Q:
When you make an original character and you're starting out, how much of their history should you post on their info page? (asked by Anonymous)
A:

Oh, good question!  When making an original character with a completely original history, you should post as much of their backstory as is relevant in explaining where they came from (their circumstances, not necessarily the exact location they came from, unless you want to) and what circumstances or events in their life up until now made them the way they are today.  This helps to build them into a more believable, three-dimensional character!

In actuality, there is no right or wrong length when it comes to character history.  If you want to post a novel-length, in-depth history for your character that explains every little possible thing about them up until their current situation (and constantly update it as they finish threads/arcs), great!  If you would like to leave a few things out or ambiguous for the sake of revealing them at some later date as part of a character development plot, that’s great, too!

If you would like to say something to the effect of “nobody knows what his/her story is, or where he/she came from”, then you’re perfectly within your rights to do that as well!  This sort of ambiguous background inspires the greatest sense of mystery about the character, but at the same time it sometimes runs the risk of backing the character into a corner of being ~that mysterious vagabond~.  Remember, even Strider had something of a backstory when he was first introduced!

Remember, not everything you put into your character’s history has to be taken as gospel when it comes to their history - you can “spice it up” at any time with little headcanon factoids or detail alterations as long as the changes do not completely change the character at his/her base.  If you would like to rehaul your character completely, however, you are perfectly free to do that as well, of course - just be sure to tell your partner(s) that you will be doing it so they will not be surprised by the sudden and unexpected change of characterization!

Hope this helps! :) <3


Q:
I want to create a separate Tumblr account, instead of a sideblog, for my RP character. So that means I have to get a new email address. I anticipate to play more characters, but I don't want to have to create a bunch of email addresses that I won't be using other than for account confirmation. Would using a disposable address, like those ones that expire after 10 minutes, for a Tumblr RP blog be a good idea? Or do you recommend using a permanent address like Yahoo or Gmail instead? (asked by Anonymous)
A:

Whatever would be preferable for you!  I don’t think you need to log into the e-mail account after initially using it to make your Tumblr account except to verify your account firstly (and maybe not even then?  I haven’t created a new Tumblr account in ages) so it doesn’t really matter which one you choose (unless you anticipate having to reset your password at a later date).

Personally, I’ve always used Hotmail addresses to create separate RP blogs, since they’re easy to register and free, and while they might expire if you don’t use them actively, I believe(?) the account name will always be registered/reserved and cannot be taken over by someone else if you fall inactive on that e-mail account.

Also, only marginally related to this Ask (since you know what you’re doing already when it comes to this) - while it might seem more convenient to make character blogs as attached sideblogs, sideblogs cannot independently follow other blogs!  So unless you want your characters to all be following the same blogs, this idea of creating different e-mail accounts to register each character under is probably for the best.

Hope this helps! :) <3


Q:
I've never used a playby before. The first one I want to use doesn't have any GIFs except for ones that would be useless for roleplay; it's a singer and all he has are tiny GIFs of him singing on stage. He does have a lot of interviews and a couple music videos on YouTube, so I want to make GIFs using that footage. The problem is, I'm not sure what expressions or actions to look for when making GIFs that will be useful. (asked by Anonymous)
A:

Good question!  Some useful expressions for a character’s reaction gifs (off the top of my head) are:

  • Anything that looks like the character existing in a normal setting, or like something he would do unprompted that (ideally) doesn’t involve talking (like smiling, an intimate shot of them playing an instrument (if your character plays an instrument), etc.).  This is useful for his “at rest/generic” appearance/character .gif.

  • Grinning, frowning, shrugging, nodding, shaking his head, any extreme emotion (horror, amusement, etc.) - anything that could potentially be used to answer a forseeable question asked of the character.  It’s always useful to have multiples of these, if at all possible.

  • If you want to include text in your .gifs, you could make .gifs of parts/quotes from your playby’s interviews/stage performances that you feel represent an aspect of the character accurately (for instance, if your character is a foodie and your playby does an interview where he says “I love food” - that’s great!  Use that.)

  • Bedroom eyes.  Bedroom eyes are always fun.  Or any other .gif you feel might be useful should your character find his way into, er, sexier situations (doesn’t necessarily have to be NSFW, could also be things like lip-licking, the once-over look, a particularly smarmy smile, etc. - these can also be used to answer questions asked of him, so it’s not necessarily only useful for those “specific” situations!). c;

  • Emotional moments, if at all possible (I don’t know who your playby is so I’m not sure what sort of material is available in his music videos) - laughing/happiness, crying/sadness, anger/frustration, etc.  These are useful for in-context reactions (i.e., during the course of a roleplay, as opposed to for the sake of answering individual questions asked of him).

These are just the bare-bones basics, as I’m sure you’ll come across the need for more, different reaction .gifs as your character continues to interact with others and grow as a character, but for now, if you can get these, I think that will be a good place for him to start!

Hope this helps! :) <3