Found this article, really hits the nail on the head on some stuff. It's about tabletop gaming, but pretty much all of these except for #5 apply pretty well to Achaea too, imho.http://lookrobot.co.uk/2013/06/20/11-ways-to-be-a-better-roleplayer/
Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?"
Most roleplaying advice is pretty nebulous and hard to put into practice. That book has extremely concrete advice that dramatically improves roleplaying. My tabletop games have never been the same since I read it and I try to give or lend a copy to everyone I play with.
I've never been clear on whether the authors are okay with it, so I won't link it, but there's a PDF copy floating around that's pretty easy to find. Definitely a book worth owning though and an author worth supporting.
As for this article itself, I feel like an awful lot of Achaeans would do well to remember points THREE and FOUR (and TEN, to a very slightly lesser degree).
The amount of effort I've seen over the years by people trying to stop other people from doing interesting things and the hours and hours spent bikeshedding is astounding. If I could drill one thing into every player's head it would be the "Say yes (or 'yes and')" principle.
And the number of times I've seen people respond "My character wouldn’t do that" is likewise really disappointing. Look at the most interesting sagas in the game and that's a commonality to a lot of them - they're about characters that ended up in situations and making decisions that they didn't expect to be in/to make. I think this also ties really nicely into his point TWO - a lot of players have this mental picture of their character and they feel like anything they do that contradicts it, even if it would be more fun and more interesting for everyone involved, is a sort of betrayal. But characters aren't set in stone. They can change, but even more importantly there is no fundamental essence to a character - a character's actions don't indicate a singular personality, but a range of possible personalities. Take all the things that a character has said and done and even thought and you still don't have a perfect prediction for what they might do next or in a new situation. People, and by connection characters, are dynamic and complex. There are a range of plausible responses to any situation for any character. Your job is not to pick the most plausible one, but to people the most interesting one while ensuring that it still meets some minimum plausibility (and coming up with a way your character is thinking about the situation that makes the response even more plausible).
Stop thinking in terms of the thing your character would do in a given situation and start thinking in terms of a thing your character would do in a given situation.
I also really, really enjoyed the Stanislavski vs Brecht article he linked at the bottom, especially the discussion of "metagaming", which is really pertinent to Achaea I think. Really insightful stuff. Great find!
Seriously, Mother Courage is pretty much the best play ever.
I picked up the Play Unsafe book and have been reading it on breaks, looking forward to checking out the improv books referenced in Play Unsafe as well.
These issues have been on my mind a lot lately as I've been developing Aereidhna's motivations and internal conflicts more deeply. As much fun as I have with ooc clans and Skype, I'm beginning to really treasure the interactions she has with a few people who literally never break character, not even for a tiny ooc tell. My RP has benefited tremendously from resisting the temptation to fill in the gaps or explain where she's coming from ooc to the player behind the character she interacts with, and actually doing the work of showing it ic instead. Ooc chat can be fun and occasionally for logistical things like leadership meetings, discussing times ooc and stuff can be helpful, but I'm trying overall to move in the direction of more immersion.
The storytelling techniques referenced in Play Unsafe and the yes and factor reminded me of something I learned in a writing class once about building conflict and momentum in a scene using "but" and "therefore" as transitions - from the creators of South Park, actually. I love slice of life RP and sometimes RPing things just because is fun, but this really helped me understand the mechanics of good writing - basically, to quote them, "if the words and then belong between your beats, you're fucked" - everything should be connected by a but or a therefore - this happened but this happened, or this happened therefore this happened, always establishing a causal or conflict-based relationship between elements. The video is here: