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[Zakey's Roleplay Guides and Ideas] Using the environment in RP/Passive RP


Silver Member
Feb 2, 2016
This is the first part in a series of guides and tutorials about how I personally think your RP could be improving. This episode, it's about using the environment to make RP more enjoyable.

So in this tutorial, I am going to talk about how to use the environment in RP situations properly and how that can benefit your roleplay.

So, to start this guide off, I want to address why the environment needs to be incorporated inti your roleplay.

Firstly, uniqueness. The great thing about visual roleplay like on RCRP, that means that you can see the world and characters around you and can interact with them in real time, is, that you actually get a feeling for a specific situation occuring in roleplay.
If you just read about something happening, you may not grasp the atmosphere of the actual situation as much as you can SEE on RCRP for example. Environment is the key to make a roleplay situation unique. The character of a brawl does change when you are in a bar, outside, at the beach or in a busstop at a rainy day. Imagine a roleplay situation where you are passively walking through the streets of Dillimore or Montgomery at night, and it's raining, in autumn. Do you have something gathered up in your mind? A smell, a feeling or a visual even? That is atmosphere and environment. Now imagine the same situation on a very busy beach in Los Santos. The whole picture changes, and so does your mood. Truly unique situations ONLY occur when there is environment accompanying the events.

Secondly, realism. Now, of course that should be kind of a no-brainer, but it actually plays a huge part in everything roleplay related. If you are currently taking a stroll in Palomino Creek and it starts to rain, you maybe gather up under a roof and seek shelter from the rain, or you may take out your raincoat or umbrella. You can hide in a bus stop and talk to other people about the weather. It's fun and it shapes your character - and that is what the true aim of roleplay should be.

Thirdly, fairness.
So, being in the forums of Red County Roleplay, I guess the concept of powergaming should be familar to any player reading this. Not taking the environment into account can be an unfair advantage for some people, for example being in a bank or another heavily surveilled place and starting a brawl, expecting to leave untouched and unknown. Of course, making a campfire in a heavily raining spot is powergaming too - though not as drastic, it still is.

So, for the second part, I'll talk about how actually to improve your roleplay and what environmental factors can have an impact.

Firstly, the weather.
As mentioned before, try to roleplay weather as much as possible, even if it means going in an uncomfortable situation for your character. Consistency is the one most important thing to acknowledge and practice when roleplaying. If you're a strong, bulky-looking robocop-like police officer with some kind of "inner sense of justice" or something, you are most likely missing realism anyway, but even if you do, you have to have your little soft moments. If there is a very heavy rainfall, and you are out, ticketing cars all day or performing traffic stops, maybe you just seek shelter under a marquise, maybe you seek shelter in a bus stop and wait until the rain is over, playing games on your phone? Do it. Sunny weather may be very inviting to go to the beach, or maybe have a fun evening with your friends.
On a more action-like note, moving away from the passive roleplaying part, weather has a great impact on combat and driving too. Aim and accuracy is heavily reduced, pepper spray may be blown away, fog can cover your sight, rain can make you cold and nervous in a firefight. Roleplay it, you have nothing to lose.

Secondly, interiors and furniture tips.
So, you're in a bar and having a good ol' whiskey with a few friends and their friends, but somebody is acting suspicious. One thing comes to the other, and you two end up in a fight. You could just punch the other dude and do spectacular /me's explaining every single muscle that flexes in this very moment, but you know what's far more effective? Using your empty glass bottle to hit him on the head. Maybe to push him onto a nearby sofa so he can't defend himself. Maybe slam an open door into him. Use a table to build up a provisional cover for a gunfight, yes, maybe even set something on fire. Interiors shall be roleplayed differently than outsides, even in nonviolent RP. People are, for example, much less likely to make a snarky remark or sarcastic comment in a very fine and top-notch restaurant than on the Venturas beach. Also, if you are in a room which is maybe your own, and you are an angry, bitter, old man, why don't you swipe a pile of antique glasses from a shelf in rage and immediately regret it afterwards, accusing your enemy for making you break your own furniture? Roleplay that, it makes yourself realistic and developed.

Thirdly, the outside parts and towns.
There are not only interiors to roleplay in, of course. Towns and cities wait for you to reside in, and even if you decide not to be a great passive RPer and go on a stroll now and then, you can still trip over a can of soda on the floor accidently. In combat, use an unlocked trailer to hide from your enemies, pick up an old bottle from the ground (from the litter object not to PG), shove your enemies into public displays, throw things in the way of your foes, be creative.

Generally you can say the following: Watch what the environment looks like, feels like and maybe is like in general. Then picture what you, your dog, your favorite movie star or, the best one, your character would do in this situation in real life. You barely see any action movie where there is just shooting or brawling that is possible in any environment. Use it wisely.


These examples are of course not final suggestions and one-and-only guidelines, but rather ideas how to handle a situation appropriately.

Situation: It is a very cold night and a little drizzling rain starts falling slowly.
Suggestion 1: Look at the sky, seek shelter in a bus stop for the time being, making yourself comfortable on the chair. Snuggle something or get yourself another person to do the same.
Suggestion 2: Look around for quick shelter and proceed to go to a bar or a café to warm up, maybe order a hot chocolate or something. Engage in conversation.

Situation: A sunny, warm summer evening, you are walking down Palomino West as an underage gang member.
Suggestion 1: If you're bored, kick around an empty can or lean onto a fence, playing games on your phone. Maybe practice graffiti on a nearby wall or go check out the local stores.
Suggestion 2: Look for somebody to have a nice sports match with, or look for an interesting parcour course you could practice.

Situation: You are old and own a neat house, it's the end of summer and it's very hot and dry outside.
Suggestion 1: As you walk past the hedge, gently stroke its top and maybe put up an ad for somebody to care about it as a gardener.
Suggestion 2: Activate the sprinkler and water your plants, maybe sell them to the local townsfolk.

Situation: Same as above, but an angry neighbor is charging at you with a knife.
Suggestion 1: Use your book or whatever you were holding previously to defend yourself, maybe run away for a bit.
Suggestion 2: Attempt to shove your enemy into the nearby flower gardens, or quickly rip out some stinging nettles for self defense.
Suggestion 3: Use the sprinkler to your advantage and confuse your enemy by turning it on.

Sorry if I crossed the line too much and rather made a guide about passive roleplaying, but I think this is very, very important. Thanks for reading! :3

Klaas Vaak

Oct 16, 2012
The Netherlands
I just literally sat down and read through all of this, and I enjoyed it.
Reminded me of some more detailed roleplay, making me remind as of why this is called a 'heavy-rp' server.
I'll look into this more often !