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Immersion problems

SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 30
Hello fellow gamers!

For the last couple of months I've been trying (for the first time ever in over 15 years of playing RPG's -.-) roleplaying as opposed to powergaming in a couple old school RPG's including Baldur's Gate, Morrowind and Fallout 1.

Part of the reason I enjoy RPG's is because you can experience certain things you'd never be able to in real life without some serious consequences. So obviously I tried playing as evil in all three games, but smart evil, not the psycho raving murderer kind :)

My playthroughs in all 3 games started really well but I've come to a disconcerting conclusion, which basically boils down to this:

The best and easiest way for me to immerse myself in the game is to play a human male character. It doesn't have to resemble me in real life or have the same traits as I do or anything like that, it just has to be human male, otherwise it becomes really hard for me to get into the character. Now the issue is that whenever I start doing evil things as my character, I start to feel really bad. It becomes personal, kind of feels like that I (not the character) am actually being an evil douchebag and I simply can't play anymore after that happens.
I also tried playing characters that were very different (such as female dwarves and whatnot). That made playing evil very enjoyable because it felt like it wasn't me doing the bad deeds. It however completely broke immersion as I felt totally disconnected from a character, not knowing how to roleplay it.

Has anyone else had a similar conundrum and has managed to find a way to resolve it?

I'd be happy to get any advice at all :)

Thanks!

ThacoBellRavenslight

Comments

  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,409
    I think you explained the problem yourself.
    You try to immerse yourself by making someone like you (human male) and then try to force yourself to play the EVIL path.

    Naturally you're struggling with it because you feel like you're doing it and feel bad.

    You shouldn't try to make a character that feels like you but then force yourself into the Evil path.
    Make the choices you would make in real life as well if you're going for a personal/immersive run.

    ThacoBellZaghoulRavenslight
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,008
    I agree, the best way to start getting into roleplaying is to play yourself. What choices would YOU make in these situations.

    ZaghoulRavenslight
  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 30
    @Archaos It's not that I really force myself to play evil as such. I generally enjoy making evil decisions, it's only later that I start to feel bad. But I guess it's still forcing in a sense :/

    @ThacoBell That's the conclusion I've come to recently myself. I tried it too. Started playing Morrowind as myself (a pragmatic true neutral) and I couldn't really join any faction except mages guild. I felt like I was missing so much of the game that I just couldn't continue :/

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,201
    edited November 2017
    I disagree with the above.
    When I enter the world of e.g. Baldur's Gate, I enter a world and a setting with problems and decisions that are already far remote from my real life. In BG1 for example I 'm an orphan hunted by a faceless foe and I just lost my foster father. While in real life I would make decisions taking into account a number of factors and consequences, none of them are present in the game. I decide on what my game situation is.
    In BG, I have nothing to lose but my life and my sword, there is no family, no job, no property etc that influence me. I can be male, a dwarf, a fighter who kills - nothing that has to do anything with me. I don't need to copy my real personality into the game. That's part of the fun. Even crossing boundaries between so-called evil/good on a whim is no problem - it's not me doing it. I would always feel guilty to kill - my dwarf not, he's forced to do it, he's in a war and defeats himself. Luckily I've never been in such a situation myself.
    I'm sitting warm and cozy in my armchair while he fights on the swordcoast. Still, I see and feel the game from his perspective and I decide from what he would do to survive - not from I would do with my armchair morals.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,362
    From my own runs I find it is helpful to develop as detailed a backstory as possible for the choice I make first, then try and see the world through their eyes. Reading beyond (or into) what is just right in front of me on the screen helps as well. In other words, adding (and seeing) more to the story than what is written on screen. Often this leads to changes in character behavior in the game as the character reacts to world about them, sometimes good and sometimes bad. If I do not have that story behind the character and base his reactions to the adventure as it progresses it feels like the character exists in a vacuum and I feel lost, with no real feel for playing the character.

    We all have different styles of play and our ability to role play something very different from 'us' (morals, values or whatnot) varies as well. If it doesn't feel right, nothing wrong with that, play what feels 'right'. In the end if it isn't enjoyable, come up with another story, cause feeling good about the run, at least for me, is what it's all about. B)

    PaulaMigrateThacoBellRavenslight
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,008
    I want to add to what I said above. Its not that you can't rolepaly any race, class, or morals. I often play female characters in games and in BG I tend to go half-orc bard most of the time. I simply find it easier for my FIRST ROLEPLAY ATTEMPT to put myself in there. That gives me a grounded foundation in the world of the game, and then I go hog wild with concepts for all subsequent playthroughs.

    ArdanisZaghoulRavenslight
  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 30
    Great advice you all :)

    I think Zaghoul got the thing that just might help me the most which is to flesh out the character so that it doesn't exist in a vacuum (which is exactly the issue I've been having).

    Time to try again now!

    ThacoBellZaghoulRavenslight
  • I'd suggest, imagine it was real life and...

    Every time your character gets in your battle, if it was real life, it would hurt a lot. I stub my toe and I get in pain and pissed for 10 minutes till the pain calms down and sometimes my toe is injured. But in the game you get magic healing spells.

    But before the healing spells, every injury hurts. You fight people with swords and get down to almost no hit points, so I assume you get stabbed through your body many times with swords and limbs cut off before magically healed. That would hurt a ton and make people not want to do that.

    Also you don't get the smell. Like if you see an image of someone with a fire in their fireplace, it looks all neat. But in real life, well it's near winter now (late November) and in every town and even in the country everywhere stinks like burning garbage. All these fireplaces make things stink a ton. There's no escaping it. I have a giant air filter in my home right behind me but hmmm well you do have that Zone of Sweet Air spell, but you can't keep casting it. Also any mission in the sewers well you know. I just couldn't stand it. And smells linger.

    So you gotta imagine what your character would do if he felt pain from every attack and smelt every bad smell.

    Ravenslight
  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 30
    Hehe, nice. You make a good point though. I started playing Fallout I some time ago and I approached combat with the same mindset each time. I never asked myself if I have enough hit points to survive this fight if the enemy manages to head shot me. Instead I always asked myself if there was a chance at all to get shot. If there was, I avoided the fight. So definitely a good point to immerse yourself :)

    Ravenslight
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,462
    If I have to add something to what others have already said, it to explain how I see roleplaying - maybe this will turn out helpful for you.

    When I roleplay character in a game - be it Baldur's Gate or Fallout - I never create characters like me. Because that would be boring. Instead, I'm coming up with a character in my mind - almost as if I was writer and was creating character for my story - then generate the character in the game, possibly as accurately as I have thought out of him/her, including flaws. Then I start the game and when making vast majority of my decisions I think:
    "What would this character do in that situation" instead of "What would I do?".

    That's my approach, and if someone will somehow find it helpful, then yay.

    RavenslightThacoBellZaghoul
  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 30
    Yeah, I've realized I will have to do the same basically :)

    So definitely sound advice!

  • TawmisTawmis Member Posts: 92
    edited December 2017
    Syndaree said:

    Hello fellow gamers!
    Has anyone else had a similar conundrum and has managed to find a way to resolve it?
    I'd be happy to get any advice at all :)
    Thanks!

    It will be different for everyone... In most cases, I play similar to @PaulaMigrate (depending on the situation of the game, and what it presents to me)... but there are some games, like Legend of Grimrock, where there isn't much context (you're simply dropped into a dungeon, and control 4 characters - a typical dungeon crawl). While I enjoyed LoG, early on - I found myself not being too into it because I had no background for the characters. So I made a background - I literally began writing a story about how the characters ended up in their situation of being imprisoned and thrown into Grimrock. (I kept writing the story, based very loosely off the game, just because it became fun; and it helped me also enjoy the game more).

    ZaghoulRavenslight
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 2,362
    Tawmis said:

    Syndaree said:

    Hello fellow gamers!
    Has anyone else had a similar conundrum and has managed to find a way to resolve it?
    I'd be happy to get any advice at all :)
    Thanks!

    It will be different for everyone... In most cases, I play similar to @PaulaMigrate (depending on the situation of the game, and what it presents to me)... but there are some games, like Legend of Grimrock, where there isn't much context (you're simply dropped into a dungeon, and control 4 characters - a typical dungeon crawl). While I enjoyed LoG, early on - I found myself not being too into it because I had no background for the characters. So I made a background - I literally began writing a story about how the characters ended up in their situation of being imprisoned and thrown into Grimrock. (I kept writing the story, based very loosely off the game, just because it became fun; and it helped me also enjoy the game more).
    Yup. I find actually writing it down or typing it, either in game or on paper, helps a great deal.

    TawmisRavenslight
  • TawmisTawmis Member Posts: 92
    O_Bruce said:

    If I have to add something to what others have already said, it to explain how I see roleplaying - maybe this will turn out helpful for you.

    When I roleplay character in a game - be it Baldur's Gate or Fallout - I never create characters like me. Because that would be boring. Instead, I'm coming up with a character in my mind - almost as if I was writer and was creating character for my story - then generate the character in the game, possibly as accurately as I have thought out of him/her, including flaws. Then I start the game and when making vast majority of my decisions I think:
    "What would this character do in that situation" instead of "What would I do?".

    That's my approach, and if someone will somehow find it helpful, then yay.

    Heh - it's funny, because I take the opposite approach. I make a character, I'd like to think is me (sometimes, it's an elf with long hair; not just human) - and I look at it as "What would I do if I was immersed in this world in this situation?" So it's "me" in a different world, interacting with a world and people that I'd never otherwise be able to be a part of.

    RavenslightZaghoul
  • XorinaXorina Member Posts: 37
    RolePlay is a bit like acting I guess.

  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,498
    edited April 4
    Try writing a custom biography. It becomes easier to make the character someone else, if you have their backstory down, motives, and the type of person they are. Otherwise you almost can't help but imprint yourself on the person you are playing somewhat.

    ZaghoulThacoBell
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