The whole point of Role playing games is to play someone you are not. This is why a lot of people like to play Fighters or Wizards. Me I like to role-play asshole character, you know those people who you rather not spend any time with. T
he problem is that a lot of the players like to do carbon copies of the “Wolverine” basically an asshole. But they do this in a way that makes the other players not want to play with them.
When playing an asshole give them a reason
“Logan” has been done to death. Friends don’t let friends play another Logan. I say this because most of the time the people that are attracted to playing a Logan character are not really thinking about their character backstory beyond the whole orphan with no memory and claws bit.
Having a good backstory about why your character is an asshole is important because it not only makes your character more interesting but will give you more to draw from.
For example Jaro my Wood elf Ranger is not a likeable person. He was in the last Orc war and had seen a lot of bloodshed. He saw the forest that he loved being burnt to the ground to gain a tactical advantage. And while he did fight the Orcs he never blamed them for the bloodshed. To this day he will treat an orc with the respect they deserve (They did not order the burning of the forest)
Jaro does not like people or cities and is really grumpy when he has to deal with either. He is happiest when he is resting in the forest with his Mastiff Sono
Now that we have his backstory this gives me a reason for his actions. Generally I make him grumpier when in the city and more relaxed in the forest.
But how to keep the other players from hating you?
I have seen this a hundred times. Someone decides they are going to play and asshole so they can get away with being a total jerk to the other players. No not their characters but the players. And the moment someone calls them on their bad behaviour they say “But that is what my character would do” (In other words I’m not going to be accountable for my behaviour and fuck you) Then be grumpy when they are not invited to other games.
Some players also have a hard time separating the difference between someone and their character .. here are some tips.
Let other players known the difference between me as the player and my role-play as an asshole character
Part of what I do is make a general announcement to the gaming group that I am playing an asshole character and he will insult other characters on a regular basis. However I as the Player is not an asshole.
By declaring this to the other players they can see a difference between me and Jaro.
Use a different voice
This sounds silly but anytime you do something as your character use a different voice or accent. This will clearly mark that you are acting as your character and not your self as a player. This is very important when there is anything having to do with an insult
Accept feedback without fighting back
This is a hard one. The difference between you an a real asshole is that the real one will not accept feedback from the other players. If someone says that what you have done or said is “Not cool” you need to accept that and apologise.
If you take it personal you are not playing an asshole you are one. You need to accept the feedback.
Find another character to hate and get permission to do so
IF you are ever in the room with me and my wife when we play together as players you will know our character will almost always hate each other. We do this because I can always be an asshole toward one of her characters without fear of actually hurting her feelings as she knows my true nature.
While some people think this may sounds silly there is a good reason for this. It allows you to play your character to its fullest and have another player you trust play off your characters personal traits
Have a redeeming value
While Jaro will insult anyone who walks near him he tends to be very kinds with animals and will go out of his way to be their champion. While he has no problem hunting (Have you ever tried to keep a Mastiff fed … yeah that is a lot of meat ) he is always humane In his hunting methods and never hunts for sport.
That said while he will insult any of the party members he will always ..Always have their back and will risk his life to save them. Grumbling all the way.
This is an underused method of role-play asshole character without actually hurting any of the players feelings. When you are asked to do something your character goes on a monolog about how the idiots are in command and you need to do as you’re told . OR find some reason to complain.
Jaro: “What the hell why do we always need to go into town. (In a baby voice) Look at me I am a bard I like cites because because I need attention blah blah bal . Fucking bards .. why do I need to babysit a bard who is just going to piss off the towns guard … again ”
While this is funny it is also clear that my character is bitching about something and is still being useful .
So this is how torole-play asshole character without being a real jerk yourself