New Roleplayers

Welcome to Encore and, if you're new to roleplay in general or just GTA roleplay, we hope this page sets you up for fun and success.

Table of Contents

Have fun!

Roleplay is not something you master - you learn something new every day. This guide isn't meant to be the end all be all, and we also don't want you to feel overwhelmed by it. Simply asking the question "how do I become a good roleplayer" means you're already in the right mindset to begin roleplaying. So dive in, have fun, and begin your journey with us.

What is roleplay?

You can think of roleplay a lot like improv theater. Roleplay is about portraying a character and living vicariously though them, creating storylines that you, the player behind the character, might not ever have the opportunity to out in the real world.
Roleplay comes in all forms - some people enjoy playing as a police officer, others a hardened criminal, some a hard-up drug addict, others a millionaire.
Grand Theft Auto V provides a great opportunity to create these stories with it's realistic world and deep lore to build new stories on.

Serious roleplay

Roleplay comes in many forms, and so do roleplay servers. Encore is a serious or realistic roleplay server, meaning we strive to create stories and scenes that are grounded in reality. This means we don't have superhuman characters, vampires, or other supernatural type roleplay.
Serious roleplay also means we try to behave in realistic ways when we play. Launching a car off of a cliff isn't something you would survive in real life, so we don't do it in Encore either.

Creating a character

Creating your character is one of the hardest parts of getting into roleplay. It's very easy to fall into the trap of self-inserting, meaning just playing an exaggerated version of yourself. While there isn't anything explicitly wrong with this, the spirit of roleplay is creating something and someone unique - like writing a fiction story not an autobiography.
While creating a character can be really hard, it's also one of the most fun things to do. When you're not limited by your own life circumstances or background, you can create whatever you would like.
When creating your character, think about their fingerprint. What makes them unique? Do they have a penchant for plaid button-downs and work boots, or are they a surfer bro? Where do they come from? Do they have a southern accent or are they a Brooklynite?
Close your eyes and transport yourself into the mind of your character. What do you see? Notice what types of cars they drive, where they live, who they associate with. Write all of this down and as you start your roleplay journey reference back to it frequently and think about how this character you have created would behave or react to the various situations they come across.

Character development

Things in roleplay rarely turn out the way you plan - and that's a great thing! Think back to our improv parallel. Sometimes it's your turn to write the next chapter of your character's story, and sometimes it's someone else's. All day every day we go back in forth in roleplay with each participant writing the next chapter. The best thing you can do is embrace it and use your character's experiences to shape their story and their future.
Did you take a right hook from a really unhappy customer? Embrace it and make it part of your story! Talk with a lisp for a while because your lip is swollen, act like you're experiencing pain when you try to eat or move your jaw.
Did you accidentally find yourself in the middle of a shootout between police and a criminal? Go back to your notes - how does your character react to this? Does it terrify them and make them afraid of weapons, or does it cause them to get serious about personal defense and become an expert in weapons?

Keeping it in character

If you're a fan of Disney Parks, you'll know that they call their employees Cast Members and train them that the entirety of Disneyland is a stage that they're all actors on. Roleplay is exactly the same way - the entire map (or "city") is a stage and it's important we stay in-character at all times.
Immersion is very important for our members - when you're in roleplay mode you're immersing yourself in this virtual world and the expectation is that everyone in this virtual world shares that immersion with you.
Avoid talking out of character and saying things like "my game is busted." As you play more, you'll begin to pick up on the lingo we use to communicate issues in game. For example, "scuff" means something is buggy or broken, and "head popped" means someone's game crashed. These code words help keep the story and the immersion flowing even when things outside of our control happen.

Keeping it realistic

Just like staying in character is important to immersion, so is acting realistically. Nothing is more of a buzz-kill than seeing someone randomly shoot someone for the sake of it, or keep talking like nothing happened after getting stabbed in the throat.
Always try to behave as realistically as possible. If a gang gets the drop on you and has guns pointed at you, you're probably going to comply and not try to run away. If you're in a police chase, you're not going to be launching your 2002 Camry off the top of a freeway overpass. If you were just shot in the chest, you're going to be in immense pain and acting that out verbally.

Keeping it fair

Perhaps the most important thing you can learn about roleplay is that there are no winners and there are no losers. The goal in roleplay is to create stories so no matter what happens or what the outcome is, everyone benefits.
It's also important that we don't mix our characters and ourselves. Meaning, just because you the player knows something - like the location of a certain resource, or how to do a certain crime - doesn't mean your character does.
Don't take things you learn out-of-character and bring them in character. If you see someone committing a crime on their Twitch stream, that doesn't mean your character suddenly knows how to do that. Your character still has to discover that through gameplay and story development.

Make mistakes

It's ok to make mistakes! It takes years to become a great roleplayer, and not a single person on earth has mastered it yet. Jumping in can be nerve-wracking and stressful, but don't sweat it too much. Every single person on Encore was in the same place you are at some point. Act in good faith, assume everyone you meet is acting in good faith, and go have some fun.

Ask for help

Don't be afraid to ask for help! If you're unsure of something, you can use the in-game /ooc (out-of-character) and /nbooc (nearby out-of-character) chat commands to get immediate help, or post in Discord - everyone is happy to help!
If you're not sure about an interaction. Perhaps you felt it wasn't fair or fun, or perhaps you're worried the other person felt that way, feel free to reach out to them in Discord and ask about it. Communication will only make everyone's roleplay better.

Tips from our members

The best way to consistently enjoy excellent roleplay is to adopt a mindset where you are a part of everyone else's story. If your aim is to stimulate other people's stories and contribute to their narrative by asking questions and helping them elaborate, you will get the same in return. No one in this city is the main character. The more you give and the more you enable others, the richer your stories will be. - A_Ragged_Rascal
Just breathe - take your time to think about what you want to say/do. No need to rush, this is a marathon, not a sprint. - Mosaik
Really take a moment whether that be a day or two and feel the city out. Unless you know how things work or are ready to face the consequences with grace going full balls ahead could get you into trouble in-character. - Shiro214
Find what defines your character and blow it up. If your character is just average, they'll never stand out. Find what makes them unique and expand on it; make it a defining trait. - Odin
Relationships in RP take time, don't expect to be walking into the city being best friends with everyone immediately, but stick with it don't be afraid to say hello or ask for help. It could take a week or two or longer and if it doesn't work out on your first character change it up and try something else. - Blind Peaky