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The Xina Roleplaying Game
Good roleplaying takes practice. Here are a few tips that can help you be more successful in the game.
First and foremost, take notes. Keep important facts and clues together for easy reference. Some solutions are only obvious after every character shares what he knows. Don't be the one who lost the vital clue that would have defeated your enemy. A small fact that seems trivial to you may be the key piece of a larger puzzle. Write down the names of non-player characters you encounter, along with a few important details. You may meet them again, in another episode. At the end of a game session, and again at the end of an adventure, review the facts at hand and see if they add up to anything big.
Don't assume that every challenge can be solved on the first encounter. It may be best to return later when you have more clues, power, allies, or the proper equipment. Sometimes you can't defeat an enemy when you first cross paths. If necessary, gather your resources, learn more about your foe, and wait for the opportune moment.
Remember that the GM speaks in character, just like you do. Villains may tell the truth or mix fact with falsehood. Allies may lie, withhold information, or simply be mistaken. Listen carefully. Don't assume that "good guys" are always right and villains always lie.
A non-player character (NPC) portrayed by the GM doesn't simply disappear from the universe when the story is over. You may encounter them later. You can build an ongoing relationship with them, good or bad. Some NPCs can become patrons, teachers or mentors. Others can become rivals. Treat them like real people.
There is always more than one solution to any problem. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Never fail to follow obvious leads or ask questions. The more you know about a situation, the more prepared you'll be.
Be loyal to your companions. One day, they'll be the only thing standing between you and certain doom. Distribute tools and resources to the characters who can make the most use of them. If you can't use an item, consider giving it to someone who can.
Get involved in the action and play to your character's strengths. Everyone will have his turn in the spotlight. Don't rely on the other players to do all of the negotiating, monster slaying, tactical planning, or puzzle solving. Help out when you can.
Even though the GM is the creator of the world in which the adventure takes place, there is still room for improvisation. You can add small elements to the story, so long as they don't affect the plot. For example, the GM may narrate a scene that takes place in a small hometown diner. You may decide that your character knows the waitress from high school. If you're not sure it will impact the story, check with the GM before roleplaying your idea.
Act true to your character. He should have a distinct and interesting personality, with his own set of likes, dislikes, goals and motivations. He shouldn't be a fearless automaton that feels no pain. A realistic person can be happy, sad, courageous, terrified, awe-struck and embarrassed at different times.
While the game is in progress, keep the OOC talk at the table to a minimum. Off-topic chatter can be distracting and frustrating to those people who are enjoying the game. It can break the mood of a scene. If you make a side comment, make it clear whether you are speaking as your character (IC) or as yourself (OOC).
Remember that the GM is not competing with you. His NPCs are not created simply to defeat your character. If there is a particular plot you'd like to see in the game, a scene you'd like to roleplay, or a topic you wish to avoid, let the GM know. Give him constructive feedback about what you liked, or didn't like, after an adventure.
You can speak about your character in the first or third person. Either style is fine, but it helps to be consistent. For example, you can say, "Brent dives behind cover and returns fire" or "I dive behind cover and return fire."