Tips and tricks to give depth to your character and things to avoid as a new (and old) RPer

Before we go into character development it’s important to look at a big misconception that new players often make: the mix-up between GTA Online and GTA-RP.

GTA Online is an online game. Fast cars, heists and shooting is the main concept here.

GTA-RP is a roleplay life simulation. The main concept here is to create a character and experience that characters life while interacting with other characters.

So, what does this really mean? It can be difficult to grasp which is why I’m here to help.

First of all: who is your character? Do you want to do crime-rp, cop-rp, casual-rp, sci-fi-rp? Or maybe you don’t have a clue.

Crime RP


Crime-RP is a lot more than shooting and gangs. Actually, proper crime-RP involves very little shooting. One thing you have to know is that IRL criminals don’t just go around shooting everyone who wrongs them, and IRL criminals don’t go picking fights with other criminals just to have a reason to shoot.

So how do you create good crime RP? By creating a good character who has reasons to do crime. Why is he/she a criminal? Why did your character resort to crime? Has your character shot anyone before or taken a life? If you imagine a person who has never murdered or shot anyone, how do you think that person would act when there might be a shoot-out? That person would be nervous and scared, probably shaking and maybe even missing their shots and would most likely hesitate. Has your character actually shot anyone before? Well how did your character react afterwards? Was it easy? Difficult? Did the character get PTSD from taking a life?

Does this mean you should never shoot? There are situations where you can shoot. Here’s an example of good crime-RP.

And here’s an example of how you do not do crime-RP. This is called RDM (random death match) and will result in a ban.

Car chases

The cars in GTA are almost invincible and you can keep driving even when the engine is smoking and the car is completely smashed. You have to be realistic or you might get kicked for “FailRP”. What would happen to you IRL if you tumbled down a mountain in a car? You might not get downed in the game, but you could get so smashed up that you would pass out or you would at least struggle to keep driving. If you’re not actually down but the RP situation calls for it press U to ragdoll to the ground and press U again to get up (sometimes you need to spam it to get back up).

Here’s a good example of horrible driving RP and failRP (yes this is me when I just started to RP).

Police RP:

Corruption within the police in PandemoniumRP is not allowed as we do not have the manpower to deal with it. If this is your intention when joining the force please change your plan or don’t join. It will result in a ban.

A lot of people who create cop characters do this because they want to help the server. Being a cop can be really frustrating and without enough proper RP you will most likely give up. My best tip to you is making your officer a character first and a cop second. That means RP on your officer off-duty to get some character development in.

When you create your cop character ask yourself: why does your character want to be a cop? Does your character come from a family of cops or did your character have a troubled childhood leaving her/him with a need and want to make a change? Did your character have a normal childhood and doesn’t really know what to do so eh, let’s be a cop? What are your characters interests? What scares your character? And what kind of people does your character hang out with off-duty?

What does your character like to do and how can you interact with the other people in the city without breaking character as a police officer? Remember that a police officer would most likely not break traffic rules when off-duty or do illegal stuff.

Mixing OOC/IC as a cop

I came to a crime-scene where I almost let my OOC judgement cloud the situation. We had an old player and a new player who had an incident and the new player seemed like a troll. However when I got to the scene there was no evidence only word against word and the new player gave as strong a case as the old. I remembered that my character doesn’t know anything about players so instead of jailing a person I assumed was a troll because of OOC knowledge I had to let him go because there was no evidence. It’s crucial that you manage to separate OOC and IC in all situations but especially as an officer.

Police RP: /me’s

There are some /me’s cops forget to do. Remember to include them in your police RP. Please go as in depth into your /me’s as your creativity will allow you.

Examples are:
/me cuffs suspect.
/me searches for ID.
/me hands ID back.

Casual RP: things to do

A lot of people depend on other people to RP. When I rejoined Pandemonium we had 3 players on at my time (AFK Seb, Bow and a random grinder). Well, someone has to be the first person to login right? Solo RP is a great way to get to know your character. Can you manage to stay in character while no one is around? With an empty server it was tempting to break traffic rules but my police character wouldn’t do it. If you learn how to properly play your character alone it will be easy to do it around people and it will be easier to not mix OOC and IC. But, what can you do when you don’t know anyone or have anyone to play with?

Empty server/Solo RP

It’s a great time to do the things your character loves to do. For example, Amanda (one of my characters) loves running and working out. Sometimes I just put her headset on and blast some nice running music and go out for a jog and explore the city. While doing so I think: what is she thinking? Why is she thinking that? What is she feeling? Why is she feeling that?

There are several secrets to the city. Do you know about the ghost? Or the haunted mines? Have you taken the lift up to Mt. Chilliad? Did you know you can craft parachutes? Craft one and bring it up to a high building or mountain and jump off!

Invite other people to work with you

For example you can tweet (/twt + message) “I hate working alone. Anyone have a job they love and want to carpool?

Create Events

You can do the things I mentioned in solo RP together with others. Just tweet out “Hey I’m going to go hiking and see if I can find the ghost, anyone want to join?”. If you already have friends: invite those!

You can host car meets, fashion shows and other fun stuff. Don’t own a bar? Rent a bar and host an event at someone else’s bar!

Should you write a backstory?

If you’re new to RP I think you should write a backstory. It’s easier to stick to your character if you know things about the character. It’s also easier to separate OOC and IC if you have a backstory because you know that your character isn’t you. A lot of new RPers go in and just have their character as an extension of themselves. If someone says something bad about your character it’s easy to take that to heart. This isn’t true for everyone, some people just like to wing it and you should find what works for you!

2 Replies to “Tips and tricks to give depth to your character and things to avoid as a new (and old) RPer

  1. Practice what you preach. Community attidude reflects leadership. When the “cool” kids hang together and plan shit out, it leaves the rest of the community on the outside looking in forcing them to “play along” with the cool kids or do their own thing. Doing your own thing leads to no where because the admins either are unable or unwilling to make simple improvements – instead choosing to control the RP with sweeping bans, removal of in game assets like cars. guns. locations. This place has so much potential but needs real leadership to realize it. Best of luck!

    1. If this is the way you view our server, then you clearly don’t understand the way we run things.

      1.) We never remove assets unless people have been misusing them or exploiting them.
      2.) We never remove cars unless they are causing issues for the server.
      3.) We always reward those who make an attempt to roleplay properly.

      As you put it, maybe when the “Cool kids” are planning things, other players could be doing the same thing with their crew.
      No one is forced to sit outside or play along, they just choose to take that path instead of being proactive.

      The main reason newer players tend to struggle is that they tend to do things such as:

      – RDMing.
      – Breaking Character.
      – Metagaming.
      – Forcing RP.

      Why should we reward such behaviour when we have people who put time and effort into their roleplay?
      I’m not saying this to be nasty or anything, but maybe the problem isn’t actually the staff but more the quality of RP that the staff is seeing from newer players? Newer players should be taking the time
      to develop their characters slowly. It took me two years to get my character to where she is and took the “Cool Kids” 3 months to a year to get to where they are.

      It’s not as if we don’t care if we didn’t care then we wouldn’t have tutorials on the website.
      We just get annoyed that people aren’t taking advantage of the tutorials and again,
      why should we reward those who are either lazy or don’t care?

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