Chapter 1. General info
[align=left]Alright so I'll start with explaining this guide for a bit. I know that there are plenty of roleplaying guides out there along with the basic and newcomer guides that I mentioned. I wanted to share my thoughts and opinions that I think might be very helpful if used right. As this is a community about helping each other and sharing ideas, here I will share my ideas and try to help you out on improving yourself in the fine art of roleplaying. I hope we can all grow together and share our knowledge and opinions together and I believe most of the community agrees with me.
So before I ramble on for too long let's get to our first real topic...
Chapter 2. Text chat is your best friend
This has been said before and I'll say it again: use text chat to your advantage. Even though DayZ Standalone is a fairly well-developed engine, it has it's limits. You will have to roleplay out a lot of things in the chat to make them clear to others and that way create more dynamic roleplay between individuals. I know that because I've had that problem as well. Sometimes you forget about the text chat and get too hung up on the game mechanics of DayZ Standalone. Keep an eye out on that small box at the bottom left, keep it in mind and be ready to use it at all times.
The reason this is important is because DayZ Standalone is still a very limited engine when it comes to displaying emotions, complex motions and having a limited amount of items and character customization features. You will have to describe all of these things with text RP and you must describe them in detail for others to really get into it. Emotions can be described to certain extent with voice chat but adding text descriptions of your characters face and physical reaction along with that can make them feel much more powerful.
Along with that, you should also describe your characters physical features when coming in contact with others. I know a lot of people are walking around in large jackets, loose military pants, masks and what not. But when the opportunity rises, use your characters physical features to create interesting situations. Small things like a weird walking style, posture, dirt or scars in visible places, bruises and other minor injuries might not always come up but should be described if they are clearly visible to others in your mind. Rule of thumb is that if others can see a particular feature in your character that you have not delibarately hidden, showcase it to others through text. That will get them more interested in your character and wanting to know more about him/her.
*Makes a painful expression on his face and moves his other hand behind his back*
"Oi, what's up? Something wrong?" *Asks with a concerned look on his face*
*Rubs his back for a bit, lets out some small groans and then responds*
"Yeah... it's my back. You got some painkillers or morphine to trade maybe?"
"Well let's see... what happened to your back anyway?"
[align=left]When you display these kind of things to others, you can create some different scenarios. This can switch you from the usual "Hey, how you doing?", "Heard any news?" or "So where are you headed?" kind of openers that are the stereotypical norm for starting roleplay between others. Sometimes you might get surprised by someone while "looting" and you have to come up with something. I can understand that you can't always do that effectively so don't be too hard on yourself in coming up with something on the spot. Just try to keep the situation rolling at a reasonable pace. However, if you are actively looking for roleplay try to get into your characters thoughts while moving around. That way you can have something relevant that you can do when countering other people.
Chapter 3. Correctly pacing your text RP
An essential part in relation to text RP is pacing your text in the right way. You should use long and descriptive sentences, you don't want to cause confusion in others by typing your different actions in seperate sentences. It usually creates awkward situations when others start to react to your actions before you have finished everything you want to do, causing difficulties in reacting to each other. When both parties are using text RP, you should try to have a sort of turn-based system around it. Both parties should type their actions and reactions with single, long sentences instead of cluttering the chat with multiple shorter messages.
*Takes off his hat and mask*
*Looks at the man standing in front of him*
*Briefly glances at the sky and then turns his attention back to the man*
*Lets out a deep sigh and then responds*
*Starts taking of his hat and mask, slowly turning his eyes towards the man. Then a deep sigh can be heard until he finally responds*
You'll have to type fast and at the same time think through everything you want to have in your message. DayZRP has a fast playstyle compared to many other RP platforms so you will have to improve on your typing. Don't set too high a ceiling for yourself or stress yourself because of this. And even though there is necessarily nothing wrong in the first example, it can be annoying for others. They might start to react after the first sentence you've written. That's why it's important to make sure you type all the information you want to give in a single message. It can remove the awkwardness of everyone typing in response to your action while you actually still have more to say.
Chapter 4. Use items creatively
[align=left]In-game items are important in creating immersion. However, in the world of DayZ Standalone, items are still limited. Certain items don't exist, some items are dumbed down from their real-life counterparts and they have limited in-game functions, animations and models. You're gonna have to come up with something if you want others to pay attention to your particular items, otherwise they just look like every other item found in the game. Maybe you have some interesting carvings on weapons, visible badges or patches on clothes or decorations hanging from your equipment. Describing these features can have a similar effect to describing your characters physical features, they make your character stand out from others and help you create your own identity.
Using items in creative ways is another thing. Usually items in DayZ have one function or are used as crafting material. Well, what you can do with the magic of text RP is you can turn these items into something more. Having something in your hand, doing tricks with it and tossing it around could be a motion your character usually performs when relaxing. Or just describing the functions of an item more accurately instead of just leaving it up to the DayZ Standalone animations and sound effects. Just use your imagination and do things with particular items that would fit your characters personality and strengthen his presence.
As noted before, DayZ Standalone has a limited number of items to use. But you can create new items to use for roleplaying purposes from similar looking items found within the game. You could use vitamin bottles as different forms of medication, roleplay a weapon cleaning kit in a more complex manner for consistent cleaning of your weapons or use small protector cases as a toolbox if you are an avid mechanic. That way you can get a lot more from these items in terms of roleplay.
*Sits down by the fire and takes the guitar case off his back.*
*Quickly glances at the case, having a curious expression on his face.*
"Woah, do you actually have a guitar in there?"
*Looks at the man and then back at the case, slowly opening it.*
*After the case is open, a surprisingly good looking guitar is revealed.*
"Well, there it is. I've been keeping it in good condition with the help of this case."
*Puts on a small smile on his face and then asks*
Alrighty then, how's about you play something nice for the evening?
Certainly, I'd love to. *Takes the guitar on his lap and starts tuning it.*
[align=left]There's already a quite longish scenario written as an example. Obviously that situation can lead to much more and that's why using items creatively can be a very good thing for roleplaying. When you create something that isn't within the game in a visual way, you can get others interested in you. They want to know how these things work. It might be something they haven't seen before, something they have yet to experience in DayZRP.
Chapter 5. Create balanced characters
Creating balanced characters is a key part of having others interested in you. If you constantly play as a "supersoldier" with perfect combat skills and military grade equipment readily available with a fearless personality, you probably won't get the interest of others. You should add definitive weaknesses to your character and mix them with different strengths. Others can use them to break you mentally and/or physically and it can create a dynamic relationship between players. Evil people will be interested in finding and exploiting these weaknesses and you should actively look for these kind of weaknesses in your enemies as well. Your friends might want to help you cope with these weaknesses. When something like this is discovered between individuals, your character could find a really interesting roleplaying scenario and display true emotion.
When I say weaknesses, it doesn't necessarily have to be something like having subpar combat skills or bad equipment. You should also be looking at weaknesses in your personality. For example different fears and different memories that trigger an emotional response in you. Or maybe you have a more distinct weakness, like being overly confident in yourself. Others can discover these weaknesses through interacting with your character and as stated before, they might either help your overcome your fears or exploit them to their advantage. You never know what might happen and that is the great thing about it.
Chapter 6. Act in combat as your character should
I think what most of us can agree on is that DayZ Standalone has a decently working combat system. In many RPGs, combat is usually decided with the use of dice or some other obscure ways and rules. In DayZRP, combat is clear and it's quick. I feel like the combat is a thing that truly remains from DayZ Standalone public servers. In combat situations many people get on the edge and the gameplay takes a more competitive form. And I guess that is mostly true in real life. The adrenaline kicks in as you start fighting for your life. But other than furiously fighting back, people can have varying reactions to armed combat.
In DayZRP, combat usually comes down to the same thing as in DayZ Standalone: you have to kill the opposing side so that you can keep your gear. But I would call this the easy way out. I understand that you want to fight for your character to keep yourself moving forward in the world. But you should forget about the gear that you've been able to gather and just do as your character would. Maybe your character is not as good with weapons and can miss easy shots or has poor weapon control. Or maybe he is scared of dying, ready to instantly give up when the tables turn against him. Maybe you stab your friends in the back and turn against them at the worst moment. Just choose something that fits your characters personality. People can't always be great aimers, able to measure distances and able to perfectly mow down the enemy when given the chance.
Combat can still be a way to roleplay. Making it interesting is the key thing here. Usually in combat people might stop using text chat and direct communication and turn into so called "gamers". But you always have a chance to bring something new to the mix. Look for opportunities and think before you decide to cold-heartedly shoot your opposer. I know it's a video game and when people gain KOS rights they usually just shoot their targets in the best way they can. There aren't any real rules for combat. But individuals can change that and turn it to something else.
Chapter 7. Invest time in your characters looks and equipment
This might be a no-brainer but I want to emphasize it even more. How your character looks in the game is a very big deal. That is what creates a first impression that others make of you when they see you. If you're a nice and trusting guy looking to help people but walk around in full military gear with the best weapons in the game, people might avoid you solely based on that. I'm not saying that having military-grade equipment is a bad thing, on right characters it is fitting. But try to work towards having your character dressed the way he should according to his background and experiences.
Having a different style can really make others wanting to know you. When they see that guy running around with TTsKO camo and a M4 in hand, people might just pass you off as a stereotypical combat-heavy character. Having limited weapons or walking around in daily clothes is a big thing. Try to have a picture in your mind on how you want others to see your character. Forget about the better items in the game that give you biggest advantage in combat. Yes, it can be annoying to start from beginning again when you die. But I'm not asking you to make the perfect outfit right from the start, I'm asking you to pick up items that fit your characters when you have the opportunity.
This isn't all about clothing though. If there is a special kind of item that your character has in relation to his background, you should search for that item. You should keep it with you in your inventory and use it to great effect when interacting with other people. Again, having something special like this will help you create your own identity for your character.
Chapter 8. Think outside the box
If you want to truly create something special or interesting in a roleplaying environment, you'll need some imagination. I believe that your own imagination is your greatest tool in roleplaying. Bringing great experiences for everybody is the real goal of roleplaying, isn't it? That's why you'll have to think of something you want to try and achieve within the game. When you meet people and when you get to interact with them, you will have to come up with stuff on the spot as things might not always go by your script.
You'll have to learn to do things that are beyond the games reach. Things that can't be done within DayZ Standalone. Don't just always do what everyone else is doing, do something different that fits your playstyle. These things will be something to roleplay out with others and enjoy those moments together. Some people have naturally good imagination and others might have to develop it. I can understand that using your imagination can be difficult. But try to get better at it and constantly improve on it.
Try come up with something that others might have not seen done and develop your characters backstories thoroughly. Add unique features to their personality. What I like to do is always do some research on a subject that involves my character. Building a character from the ground up can be a great learning experience. If you have a cool feature in mind but don't know how to implement it in DayZRP, do some research and think it through. I'm sure you can come up with something that'll deepen your roleplay
Chapter 9. React to your surroundings
An important part about trying to create a dynamic and immersive roleplaying environment is reacting to what is happening around you. Some people might get sucked in to a particular roleplaying scenario involving them and characters close to them. But when something that should draw your attention happens and doesn't, it can break immersion in a major way. If you don't react to e.g. sounds of constant gunfire in the distance or characters in a near death condition approaching you, it is a problem.
So what I suggest you to do is be aware. Pay attention to what is happening outside your current RP situation. I find that usually in roleplaying communities people might fall into these sort of insider groups that prioritize roleplay between each other. I want to see people have powerful reactions to different events that they see or hear in a realistic way. You don't want to fall into a tunnel vision style of playing. It will make the whole experience so much enjoyable for everyone when they are aware of what others are doing around them.
Chapter 10. Summary
[align=left]Alright so now I have listed different techniques here that I feel are very important in improving your roleplay. Others have different ideas and thoughts on roleplaying and this is my point of view. I'm sure people have many more techniques that they have developed themselves and love using them. I would love to hear from others what their techniques are in roleplaying. Let us share ideas together and improve together. Communities should work like this. I hope that this guide has brought some new ideas to your mind. I know that I have already learned a lot from this community and would like to give something back.
Lastly, the most important thing I would like to say to you:
Your imagination is your greatest tool, not the materialistic tools within the game.
[align=left](PS: This is currently the second release of my roleplaying techniques. I will add things as they come into my mind. I worked on this for a few days, having long periods of trying to think of what I want to add and what I feel is important. I will try to improve this guide the best I can in the future.)