How should I deal with a player whose roleplay cuts into other players enjoyment of the session?

I’m a very new DM running a homebrew campaign for a couple of friends.

One of my players, who is by far the most experienced, plays a bard who is definitely optimised for roleplay, and that seems to be the part of the game she enjoys the most.

This is fine, of course, but lately I think it’s been derailing the rest of the party’s experience. The rest of the party is made up of players who either struggle with roleplay or have optimised their character for combat. This player has spent 15-20 mintues interrogating an NPC in a zone of truth (even after I made it clear that there was nothing else to gain from the NPC) while the rest of the party has no idea what to do. She also interjects into other player’s rare roleplay moments to describe what her Bard is doing. The rest of the party gets tired or disengaged when the session is too roleplay-heavy, so I’ve been trying to reward any plot-progression they achieve with big, exciting combat encounters.

Then last session, as I was very clearly building up to a big encounter, the Bard player decided that she would rather try to reason with the angry, weapons-drawn guards. A couple of lucky persuasion rolls later, and the whole encounter (which I’d spent hours lovingly prepping) was circumvented. I understand that players messing up planned events is a natural part of being a DM, but I’m bothered by the fact that she didn’t give the other players a chance to decide for themselves whether they wanted to fight.

I don’t want this one player to feel like she’s being strong-armed by the DM or railroaded into certain outcomes, but I also want to give the rest of the party a chance to do what they love best –beating up some bad guys. How can I manage the roleplay needs of this player while also making sure that the rest of the party gets to experience the combat they want?

How can I balance slightly erotic roleplay and story based roleplay?

I know this question makes me sound like a pervert but especially with the epidemic me and my girlfriend ended up unable to have much contact.(Not even calls since her roommates are always in the house and it would be really awkward with them.) As a result we have been exploring new avenues and in the end as we are both TTRPG fans we decided to run text based solo games for eachother where we could at least feel a bit close and flirty.

Now the problem is I am not particularly familiar with the concept of running games with erotic features and as a result I am not sure how to balance the NPC’s flirting as a substitute for our actual contact and actual story. Neither of us want the game to essentially be a glorified erotic roleplay. Now my question is how can I keep myself from including too much relationship stuff without fully avoiding them altogether.

How to deal with tension created between characters after role-play session?

I am the DM for a long running game, we are going on 2 years, and while there was a rough start and a few changed characters, we have been in a good place. There was a Tiefling Barbarian (original), Dragonborn Paladin, and Human Fighter/Warlock. About 2 months ago, we added a Dragonborn Wizard to the party, and it has been a welcome addition thusfar. Tonight we had a relatively long roleplay section, first a meeting with a prominent NPC who has been around for a while, and then the characters discussed stories and backstories around dinner in a tavern. During this roleplay session, the wizard, fully within his character, used suggestion to entice backstory from the Tiefling (who has given basically nothing up until this point). This has created tension within the party (in game only), and has the potential to completely derail the campaign. I want to respect player agency, and I trust the players to not blow this out of proportion, but I also don’t want to throw away an entire main quest due to this. I am conflicted, and thus am requesting some differing views on the matter. Thanks in advance. Please feel free to request any information, I am happy to help.

How to I roleplay a confident character when I’m not one? [closed]

I am not a super confident person IRL but wanted to make a soldier character that doesn’t start confident, a bit childish and as he moves up the ranks he matures. I was wondering how to rp the fully confident part of him. For example, other characters being able to rush up to one another and demand information from them aswell as people being able to speak and not worry about the consequences or being able to reprimand people.

How do I roleplay animals that are able to communicate thanks to the Speak with Animals spell?

Unfortunately as the DM, I’m not the creative type, so I’m having trouble with responding as the animal when the ranger uses Speak with Animals. It seems that their only motivations, from insects up to larger mammals, are eating, avoiding injury, and mating.

For example, what kind of a response would the ranger get when he asks a sparrow if the sparrow knows where the local dungeon is? Or a spider?

How should one properly roleplay a Kender?

For my first campaign ever, we are playing 2E DragonLance. I, not content with my usual lot, chose to play a female kender handler. The first playsession went well, but reading up on kenders (from kencyclopedia, for example) I found out that I roleplayed my character very flatly and un-kender-like. I wasn’t curious, I was unreasonably cautious for a kender, I didn’t ‘handle’ much (though that might have been because we didn’t have much interesting stuff either), I didn’t get into trouble.

For the second session, I want to improve this, but I’m also wary of falling to the other side: playing a ‘realistic’ kender might mean ‘being a pain in the rear’. Many of us in the group are new to RPGs. I’m assuming (and could be wrong) that having to race to bail me out of troubles because I always go “Hey look, a big red dragon, cool! Let’s check it out!” would not be fun. Dying because they decided not to help me would not be fun either.

What would you recommend I do to play a better kender but not be a pain to my group?

How can I learn a large roleplay group’s norms?

Well, long story short I recently joined a newly opened living world server for Mage the Ascension, though the system itself feels a bit irrelevant as when this happened the roleplay hadn’t started yet. Regardless, I called my girlfriend to the server as well, and we occasionally flirted a bit. I made jokes about nibbling her neck when vampire blood was mentioned.

Then I was told that I had gone too far, especially with that nibble thing, and there would be a kick if I didn’t cool it as it was supposed to be a 16+ server, so teens could be there (this felt weird to me as it was in a world where vampires were a common thing, and one player had been constantly talking about blood). Then it was added that me calling in friends to create a thing of our own was also a bad thing to do. I said sorry and stated that I wouldn’t do that again and went to bed. When I woke up, me and everyone I invited was banned.

I am aware that this sounds like I am criticizing them for being intolerant, though this is not the case. The people there already knew each other, and I believe that there was a cognitive dissonance between us. What I considered to be NSFW and acceptable was not the same as them. But there were no corrections because they felt I was doing it despite it being a bad thing, while I simply didn’t think it was something bad.

Now what I wish to ask is how can I learn the norms of a large roleplay group, whether it be what they consider to be a terrible thing and what they consider to be an acceptable and funny thing?

As a side note. There was no NSFW thing happening between me and my girlfriend from my perspective. The fartest it was me joking about being the only one allowed to nibble her neck and the only person she can nibble the neck of. It is one of the reasons I think there was a cognitive dissonance as to me NSFW is when you openly start sexual roleplay.

Likewise the listed rules were no help in that regard as they simply said ‘No metagaming,No NSFW stuff and obeying the character creation rules and the lore.

Just to clarify. I am not asking why I was banned or how they could have perceived it. I am asking how could I learn how they perceived it before it was too late.

What online guides are there that can aid someone to start a forum roleplay? [closed]

I am not sure if this is the right exchange to ask and I am not sure if the wording will be correct but here it goes.

I am quite fond of Post by Play forum roleplays where I can post whenever I feel inspired however my partner says that she had several negative experiences with them. As such as a gift from me to her I was planning to start a forum roleplay where it would be our world so that she felt like she could contribute and fix things that otherwise bugged her.

The setting itself is a fantasy setting that focuses on exploration with a small system similar to roll for shoes slapped into it to simulate character advancements(Lacking such a thing has always been one of the biggest problems for me in most places.)

Now while I have some experience playing in forum roleplays with an unified setting my experience is severely lacking when it comes to administrative department.

As to what I wish to ask(And I’m sorry for what appears to be a rant. I just wanted to clarify what kind of experience I have with forum roleplays,what I have in mind and for what purpose I am creating this.) I am in dire need of sources I can read in order to prepare an inclusive environment that doesn’t feel toxic or overly restrictive so I’d like to know where I can read up on sources that can be of aid to me.

How to Roleplay a Sapient But Only Borderline Self-Aware Character? [closed]

I’m interested in portraying a character who is both sentient and sapient, and even reasonably intelligent and capable of initiative, but is relatively low on the scale of self-awareness. (Some may recognise the combination; yes, it is heavily inspired by Peter Watts’ Blindsight and Echopraxia, and by some recent neurological R&D whose implications are occasionally described as disturbing.)

Through a mixture of reading and my own experimentation, I have already added a few techniques up my sleeve for this role (and tested some of them, but it’s only been one mini-session so far, so it’s too early to judge them). But of course I’m interested learning more and improving what I have.

I’m generally seeking hints that would help emphasise the following peculiarities:

  • An almost complete lack of ego despite presence of what some would describe (not quite accurately) as personal goals (more accurately: programmed priorities).
  • Alien, inhuman ways of thinking. Not necessarily inhumane, but rather indifferent to usual concerns that people (human or otherwise) have. At least until either the factory programming or the owner’s orders require inhumane actions.
  • Separation and distinctions between mental phenomena that people tend to conflate.
  • Subversion of expectations (regarding mental phenomena and intelligence) that people tend to take for granted.
  • Evocation of the ‘uncanny valley’ reaction. (I don’t think I as a player have ever experienced or understood this one, but evoking it in others would be appropriate for the role.)

Roleplaying approaches that I picked up for this role (but am looking for more):

  • A public-service-announcement-like delivery of most informative lines.
  • When giving advice, always attribute it to someone else, e.g. ‘[Software company] recommends [doing so-and-so] for best results!’ and the like.
  • Never describe personal experiences, properties or actions directly; attribute agency to the character’s parts that are normally considered an inalienable part of the individual. E.g. ‘Frontal cameras have spotted [phenomenon]’ or ‘Rotor assembly beginning ascent’.
  • Similarly, try to phrase order requests in a way that shifts agency onto the owner. E.g. ‘Would you like to shoot the critter using the on-board turret?’ rather than ‘Would you want me to shoot the critter using the on-board turret?’
  • I’m reluctantly thinking that ‘this device’ and ‘this software’ should be used as a last resort when a self-reference is unavoidable, but it looks like protesting too much to me, so I’m seeking alternative approaches.

Perhaps some things can be used as inspiration for improvements in this department? Some inspiring works and concepts that I am already familiar with:

  • Peter Watts’ Blindsight and Echopraxia, of course. Primary inspiration for the portrayal style, though I find the books themselves to focus frustratingly little on the inner workings and finer nuances of such creatures, despite these creatures nominally being a major focus of the stories.
  • Sarah Connor Chronicles, which has some very interesting moments related to the mentalities of programmed guardians, human unreliability etc.
  • The Chinese Room, P-zombies and qualia.
  • Four Noble Truths, though they mostly lead in a different direction despite some similarities.
  • The Mycon from Star Control 2 and 3.
  • SOMA and Prey 2017, though they barely touch the subject and are mostly included for completeness.

Finally, by now it’s obvious that I’m talking about an AI character, but I’m sure there can be some portability of similar peculiarities between the portrayals of different entities such as bioroids, uplifts achieved through cybernetic means, or even aliens with a sufficiently different evolutionary path (such is in fact the case in Blindsight). If you happen to have techniques, inspirations or ideas that were originally not meant specifically for an AI, they’re still welcome, as they can still give new insights or otherwise be of use.