Roleplay Tips Mega List

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Roleplay Tips Mega List

Post by Clarence_Tillman on Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:29 pm

The following is a list of issues which I notice often enough, or suggestions I have for anyone who wants to improve on their prison roleplay. You're not expected to master this entire list but considering the new standards by which all members are going to be appraised, this could be viewed as a list of things to work on in order to ensure you're always improving your roleplay. Start with what you consider to be manageable, or points that you understand well and think you could work on. Some of these major and some are minor but they're all important.

PM myself or any of our other more experienced members for elaboration on certain points. Personally I'm more than happy to answer questions and I honestly don't think people ask enough of them. If you're a more experienced member and you're asked a question by somebody, I expect you to answer it to the best of your ability. Don't be a dick about it. Such attitudes aren't welcome here.

I may expand this if more points come to mind. Aside from no. 1 definitely being the most important, they're not in a particular order.


  1. Roleplay a character. One of the most fundamental aspects of quality roleplay and if you're not doing it, you're not roleplaying well. I feel it should be repeated as much as possible because it's so important. This is an area upon which all faction members will be judged. Character should be the most important aspect of your roleplay, above literally everything else. It is the foundation of everything. This is from another post:

    Always strive to roleplay a character. When thinking about what to do/how to act/how to react, consider what your character would do instead of what you would do. Your character has opinions, emotions, thoughts and family, he feels pain and he can be intimidated. He might have some sort of mental issue or learning difficulty, which is common among gang members. Think about your character's circumstances and don't hide behind the fact that the events taking place on screen can't affect you as a person. It'll give you more to talk about if you think out your character's background, history, family, mental state, experiences etc. It'll also make your roleplay far more enjoyable and less predictable. The 'best' roleplayers tend to be character roleplayers. You don't have to write out essays about your character but have a good idea of their background and experiences so you can use it to react to certain situations. Your character shouldn't just be an empty shell who's 100% committed to the car and being a soldier. Your character might be pressured into a kamikaze attack or a stabbing but then he might start bawling his eyes out when he's put in isolation. There are major things you should consider, like the effect of long term isolation (it's designed to break people. Those who aren't broken by it are usually sick individuals, sociopaths, psychopaths etc.) or the effect of stabbing and killing somebody. Even if your character has shot and killed somebody on the outside, a prison killing is far more intense and personal. Consider these things and you'll have more fun.

    Once again, if you're not doing it you're not roleplaying well. Somebody who's 100% down for the car, or for their gang, and has no motivations whatsoever is a weak character. Even if you do want to roleplay a hardcore gangbanger who's deep into the politics, there are dimensions to it. They're usually bad people, even by criminal standards, and are no fun to be around. Your character should have a personality and should make decisions based on actual considerations. Personally, if you're not roleplaying a character, there are other people I'd rather be roleplaying with. Start with this point and it'll go a long way toward making you a productive member of the faction and more importantly a better roleplayer.

  2. Related to roleplaying a character, find where he fits in with the Zulu Tribe/Kumi Nation. The Kumi Nation is deeply feared, which accounts for a lot of the reason why their orders are often followed immediately, and there are some gangsters whose goal in life is to join. However, there are also some who think Kumi Nations are leeches and don't really get down for the black cause, so deference to the Kumi Nation isn't absolute. However, even those individuals definitely fear it. Youngsters usually fit in this category, and their respect for the 415 is minimal until they get to prison. If you're roleplaying a really young character who's completely fresh to the system, this might be something to consider. Determine where your character stands.

  3. Don't treat every black inmate equally. They might technically all be your homeboys in a broader racial sense, but in reality your character's homeboys are the guys from the same neighborhood as he is. Faction leadership has been trying to encourage an informal divided 'car' system in which the black car car is divided into cliques by neighborhood (South Central, East Los, South Los, West Los etc.) (Crips, Bloods, Hoovers, etc.) but it's proving difficult to catch on. This is how it is on real yards - you clique up with the people from the same area and gang as you, for obvious reasons. It's not as formal as with the other races, but it's definitely prominent in the Black car. We might work out, fight and eat as an entire race but we socialize in cliques. You should be cliquing up with your homeboys when you're on the yard, or even in the pod. It's far more realistic than pretending we're all one big family, and it stimulates interesting roleplay and a little internal beef, which is a good thing from an OOC viewpoint. Don't take it too far, because the car is technically supposed to be united, and it is more united than most other cars, but in practice there are very serious unofficial divisions.

  4. Don't treat segregation like it's no big deal. Seg sentences are months long, and can really affect an individual in negative ways. Don't brush it off as the minor inconvenience it is in practice on LS-RP. Roleplay it out and you'll find your character develops better. By that I don't necessarily mean that you should spend two OOC weeks in the SHU whenever you're assigned there, but you should certainly experiment with extended stays occasionally and always roleplay around the seg sentence once you return to the mainline. It's a big deal. On the other hand, there may be certain instances where you just shouldn't roleplay a seg sentence as seriously, such as if you have to assault a troll just to continue roleplaying. It's up to you to determine what to take seriously and what not to.

  5. RESEARCH. This is one of the most important parts of roleplaying in prison, period. It's a complicated environment to get your head around and if you don't do a fair bit of research you're just going to make a fool of yourself for far longer than you should be. This forum is home to resourceful guides - use them. External research is strongly encouraged too, because our guides barely scratch the surface if you're interested in a truly deep understanding of prison roleplay. There were a lot of people in prison and our faction who I simply wondered how they even enjoyed being with us because they did no research and had no idea how prison worked. It should be noted, however, that it takes a long time to become proficient. It took me about a year to become confident in what I was doing, typing and saying. This would vary between people, though.

  6. Related to the above point, one of the more important concepts to research and understand is the mentality and behavior of an inmate. It's so fundamental that if you're lacking in this area it really shows. Inmates have a particular way of thinking about things. The significance of respect (and disrespect) is amplified in prison, for example. The slightest thing can set somebody off if they feel they're being disrespected openly. There are certain behaviors which are specific to inmates. Wiping down your sink after using it (even just to pour some water into a mug) is an example. Wiping your feet outside a cell or on a floor towel is another example. Keeping your back to the wall is yet another, as is approaching cells from the side and not looking inside if you're not invited to. It's all about respect (for oneself and others) and safety. Consider those motivations and pay attention to the micro-behaviors roleplayed out by experienced prison roleplayers.

    Consider your character's experience in county jail here. Your character spent time in county jail before coming to SACF (a state prison) during his trial. A typical stay in county can be as little as 3 months or as much as 2 years+. Any stay in county is long enough to pick up on the basics of inmate behavior, as well as basic inmate rules. If you're roleplaying an absolute fish who knows nothing, in a state prison, you're making a bit of a fool of yourself.

  7. Take the initiative. Another incredibly important one. Waiting around to be spoonfed roleplay and only providing the bare minimum interaction (basic boring conversation, only doing something when ordered to) makes you an unproductive member of the faction, and will no longer be tolerated. Go out and hustle. Interact beyond your comfort zone. Roleplay with random black inmates who are just serving time (this actually produces some of the most interesting roleplay if the other person is capable, and it encourages more black gangsters to want to roleplay with us). There are plenty of threads on this very forum which provide you with ideas of things you can do. Getting a cellmate and actively roleplaying with them is an easy way to start. Cell roleplay has a lot of potential, is really easy to start and it'll encourage you to experiment with other roleplay.

  8. Commissary is not a corner store where you roll up, buy some stuff and roll out with an armful, despite it being set up that way in the script. Commissary orders are placed and paid for, and the items are collected or delivered later (depending on institution). There's requisition forms and receipts - quite a bit of paperwork relatively speaking. The lines are also pretty long, like they are for anything in prison. You shouldn't be walking up and buying random shit if you're interested in a realistic prison environment. There are actually hustles which are only possible if commissary is being roleplayed around realistically, so you should care about it for everyone else's sake if not for your own.

    The 'store hustle', for example, revolves completely around the idea of a realistic commissary. A guy with a lot of money on his books will purchase stacks of commissary goods and store them in his locker until the middle or end of the month, when people start running out of commissary. He then charges extra on top of the commissary goods' original prices to sell them to inmates from his cell. On LSRP, you could also roleplay around this by roleplaying that your character can't be bothered waiting in line, so pays a little extra and buys food directly from the store guy (only practical if he has a fair bit of money), or that it's evening time and commissary is closed. If people start roleplaying around commissary realistically, this hustle becomes available for somebody in our faction (and it's a common and huge hustle IRL). Another commissary-related hustle is being paid to wait in line for somebody else. Another is being paid to purchase another person's commissary (usually a shotcaller) because that person has reached the commissary limit for that month (usually about $400-500).

  9. Tone down the racial slurs. Seriously. Even if you're roleplaying a character whose gang was always beefing heavy with sureño gangs on the streets, and is pretty racist, no inmate is open about it. Being overheard using a word like 'spic' is potentially a cause for a race riot. You'd be regulated for it, so don't do it. This goes for basically any racial slur about any racial group. Restrict slurs to private settings only, and only with homeboys your character trusts. Even in a seemingly private setting, a shotcaller might still slap the shit out of you just in principle.

  10. Experiment with substance abuse in your roleplay. Most inmates are addicted to something, or dabble in drugs at the very least, and it's underrepresented in LSRP in every single prison faction. Statistics indicate heroin and Marijuana is by far the drug of choice for Black inmates in the south west, so it's safe for almost everyone in this faction to just roleplay around heroin & other drug substances. Remember to roleplay around it carefully, as IC serious addiction is considered a weakness. Drug debts may get your character killed. However, it's all great roleplay. Just be aware of what you're getting yourself into. At the very least, if you don't want to roleplay a tecato, at least experiment with recreational drug use. Any drug use roleplay is welcome, if it's done right.

  11. Consider experimenting with sign language when your character becomes more experienced. Sign language is another interesting form of communication that's almost never used, but is fairly common in prison. Sign language allows you to communicate silently, which is obviously great for privacy. It also allows you to communicate over distances (across a yard, through a fence, across a unit, through glass). Many gangbangers and inmates are at least fluent in very basic American Sign Language and are able to sign out each letter to form sentences. This takes a long time though, and IGIs can easily understand what you're signing, so higher level inmates (especially at the STG level) study proper sign language. It's common for Kumi Nation members to be able to communicate with proper signs. Consider experimenting with sign language (to a realistic level depending on your character's age and experience), it can be interesting. If nobody else is roleplaying specifically watching you (and nobody is close to you), you can roleplay signing to somebody else with privacy. PM them what's being signed. When somebody roleplays paying attention, and if their character understands, they must be included however.

  12. Design and follow an individual program. Every inmate has one. A program just refers to how an inmate lives and goes through his day (his routine). Every inmate wakes up at a certain time, does certain things in the morning (ablutions [brushing teeth, shaving]), works out at a certain time (and has his own workout program), does other chores at set times, goes to bed at a certain time etc. Roleplaying around a program will make your character feel deeper and more human. Don't just log on and follow the faction/car program. Work out on your own. Do your own thing. Your character is an individual who's still living a life, he just happens to be behind bars. Don't be a hollow shell and just roleplay around the faction. This links back to not being 100% for the car. Program roleplay can easily be incorporated into cellmate roleplay too, as cellmates often align their programs (for obvious reasons) and live in a similar way. If they don't program well together (which actually is kind of common), they won't be cellmates for very long. You can roleplay around this too.

  13. The Black car is your character's car. It's his race. He takes pride in it. It represents him, just as he represents it. He has a vested interest in making sure it's a steady, clean, solid car. What I'm getting at here is that you shouldn't do things just because you're ordered to, or because it's in the rules. Some things an inmate just inherently believes in, or does. A good example is keeping the car clean of sex offenders. Sure, it's in the rules and he's expected to report sex offenders to the shotcallers, and murder them if he's ordered to. But he no doubt has his own reasons too. A paedophile is a paedophile. There's a good chance he wants to see him dead to keep his car clean, not just because it's in the rules. This also applies to things like workouts, war-readiness, the way other blacks carry themselves etc. The car isn't just the shotcallers' car. It's not their sole responsibility to keep everybody in check. It's your character's car too. He doesn't want to program with lames, snitches, rapists, lazy dudes etc.

  14. Clique up. The Black car isn't officially divided into county cars like the White car is, but the same divisions still exist at an unofficial level. In prison, you clique up with your "homeboys". This has already been covered in regards to not treating every black inmate equally, but I feel like everybody should be specifically encouraged to divide their characters into cars and clique up together. It's way more interesting.

  15. Hustle. Your character should have at least one. How else is he making money? Links to family don't last more than a few years usually and his homeboys from his the hood dropped off after the first six months, so he's not getting money sent in. This is linked to the point about taking the initiative. Even in prison, a man needs money to survive. Canteen meals only provide basic nutrition, and even then that's only on paper. The guys in the kitchen skim off the meals, so you're really probably not even getting sustenance. Beyond that, it's boring. At the very least you want to be buying noodles (soups) from the commissary so you can mix it up every now and then, not to mention the proper luxuries offered at the commissary. To fund a decent lifestyle, your character is going to need money and for that he needs to hustle. Gambling, store, alcohol, drugs, coffee, tattoos, art, weapons, prison gadgets. There's a huge list of possibilities. Hustling will provide you with a lot of roleplay (as you're now running a business). And when you're hustling, you can roleplay properly around a personal budget. Roleplay a steady level of income, and not being able to afford everything you want, and your character will be deeper.

  16. Fish for links with the outside world OOC. Try to have somebody roleplay a wife, girlfriend, relative or homeboy. This is easier if you roleplay being part of a gang that's also an active faction, as they'll be around more. Being able to roleplay out phone calls and mail exchanges is a really nice human touch. However, this isn't always easy to set up. Something to think about and definitely worth asking around if you're well-connected in the black roleplay scene.

  17. Spread out in the black-claimed territory, both on the yard and in buildings. This will be easier with the upcoming new yard map, which is laid out much more realistically and will allow for better yard movement, but it's still worth touching on. Make use of the space we have right now. We have two bleachers and almost an entire third of the yard but hardly anybody moves away from the southern bleacher. Seeing separate groups of Black out in the yard turf, possibly related to cliques, all engaging in separate activities and conversations, would be really nice. It'd make our section of the yard feel more alive. Consider spreading out with some people next time you're on the yard with a large group. Also consider posting up on the outskirts - in pairs or even on your own. On real yards you'll see every big group has its own lookouts. Experiment with this to mix things up.

  18. Roleplay with random black inmates. I've already touched on this but it does deserve its own point. We all know it can get stale when you're constantly roleplaying with the same half dozen people. An easy remedy for this is to roleplay with random blacks whenever you can. Introduce them to the car and get them set up. There's other benefits to this as well. If they enjoy what we have to offer they might even stick around for a while, which I've seen a fair few times. It'll also get good word of mouth spreading about this faction and will encourage others to want to roleplay with us, which is always good. If they're capable roleplayers they can provide good, interesting roleplay for you as well. It's always nice to speak to a new person in this regard. Consider logging on even if you know other people from this faction aren't around. Even at off-peak times you might find a black or two lingering (I speak from experience). You may also find people who are specifically looking to roleplay with us (this has happened to me several times). Aim to do this once or twice a week and you may find yourself enjoying it.

  19. Refer to A1 as the intake or reception unit. 'Fish block' is disrespectful both to new inmates and to those who choose to live there. Alternatively, and probably more preferably, just roleplay it as another building. Personally I refer to A1 and A2 as 'building one' and 'building two'. This is more respectful to those who wish to live there. It is worth pointing out that there is no expectation that anyone from this faction will live in A2. It's perfectly acceptable to live in A1, and allows us to spread out more realistically (a car is never in control of a whole building, the administration sees to that). I personally am trying to expand our roleplay to include A1 a bit more, as I feel it's been neglected. Remember that in real life the prison decides where you live. You rarely get any say in at all, let alone being able to outright choose like you can OOC on LSRP. Don't roleplay that we 'control' A2, it's just unrealistic and a bit foolish.

  20. On a somewhat related note, be careful with your usage of the term 'fish'. It's pretty disrespectful and is a definite 'go word' (you fight if you're called this, or you're a punk). You should really only use it to describe new inmates who you genuinely don't expect to last long, think are punks, or are acting really foolish. Know what you're saying.

  21. Pretend every race has an organized presence and realistic numbers. Real demographics for a Sureño-controlled prison (i.e. Sureños are the dominant Mexican race), like SACF, are: Sureños and Blacks tied in majority - taking the number one spot from each other all the time, Whites and Asians are both about a quarter or a fifth of the size of Sureños and Blacks, and Norteños often have no presence or a very limited one, possibly competing with the Whites. Even when there is no active Sureño or Norteño car, pretend there is. It's far more realistic than talking about those races "suddenly getting organized" or some bullshit when a faction opens. Don't go too far with these numbers, though. For example, good White roleplayers will roleplay that we outnumber them even if that isn't the case, because it's realistic, and we can reflect this if you're talking about inmate numbers IC. But don't act like the Black car really does outnumber them like that and go stupid in your actions. Be immersive and realistic but also be sensible.

  22. Refer to different yards to give depth to the facility. A-B Yard is general population. B-Yard 2 is Protective Custody. Do not mix B1 and B2. B1 is a general population housing unit. Optionally you may refer to non-existent yards as well (D yard and E yard, for example), if you wish to be more immersive. Events can happen/characters can come from non-existent SACF yards in the same way that events can happen/characters can come from non-existent prisons. Refer to the yard we roleplay as specifically 'A-B Yard' or 'A-Yard' rather than simply 'general population'. Other yards would exist realistically. It'll make your conversation slightly more immersive if you give depth to the facility like this.

  23. On a similar note, roleplay around different facilities in the state of San Andreas. County, state or federal. There's a list of facilities that are commonly accepted among the prison roleplay community here. Again, it'll make your roleplay and conversation a lot more immersive and it'll make San Andreas seem more alive.

  24. Learn how to roleplay around currency in prison. This will help with hustling and drug abuse roleplay, but it's useful in general. Commissary items have inherent value and can be traded in small transactions. For larger transactions, PayPal or other e-commerce transactions can be used. With PayPal, for example, you can have prepaid PayPal cards bought on your character's behalf and sent in. Each card might be worth $50, for example. These can then be used just like money to purchase things (usually drugs). The PayPal card has a reference ID on it which can be checked over the phone by calling PayPal in order to confirm the balance. Once the balance is confirmed by whoever is selling, they accept that PayPal card as valid currency and hand over the purchased goods. They then transfer that money to their own PayPal account over the phone. From there, it can be used in other transactions or transferred to a bank account and withdrawn to become actual cash. An alternative method for even larger transactions (several hundred, or in the thousands) is to have hard cash sealed in an envelope by someone on the outside and mailed to an inmate's P.O. box, where they have it collected by somebody on their behalf. This is a common method of currency exchange for the prison organizations (drug transactions, kickups etc.) and is definitely a higher-end method.

  25. Utilize the yard for burying weapons. Simple one but it's not done enough. Bury weapons in the sand. Cars do this all the time so that there's always weapons nearby in case of a riot. Roleplaying digging a knife out of the sand and using it on somebody is pretty fun too.

  26. Don't roleplay offline times as sleeping. Don't log in and roleplay "waking up". Don't roleplay "going to sleep" when you log off. Only do those things if the times actually match up. Sleeping during programming hours will get you checked, and expect this to be a thing IC from now on. It's lazy and looks bad. Find another IC reason when you're logging off.

  27. Be more realistic with your IC language around mundane topics like yard movements, officer presence, eating etc. Use language like "yard release" and "yard recall" if you're entering or exiting the yard. In real prisons you don't have free reign over coming and going from the yard. Don't roleplay that there's no officers around. There would be IC. Don't ask questions like "if canteen is going to be opened today". You eat three times a day. Try to make the facility feel more alive in your language. It becomes more enjoyable. This has already been touched on but it's important.

  28. Consider doing laundry in your own cell, in your sink. This is how Sureños do it in real life. I've been hesitant to encourage it, as it takes away from the activity/usefulness of the laundry facility for SADCR, but I'd like to experiment with it.


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Re: Roleplay Tips Mega List

Post by Clarence_Tillman on Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:29 pm

Full credits goes to E.Berrea. I merely translated some of the points that were brought up by him.

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