Emoting is the act of expressing a character's feelings and emotions in a role-playing game. The term may also be used more specifically to refer to the act of making a character's feelings explicit through narration. In this sense, it is distinct from attempting to express a character's emotion through the emotional affect of the player (such as smiling when the character is happy), which can be hard for other players to distinguish from the player's own emotions.
Although this is primarily a role-playing technique, emoting can be mentioned in game rules. For example, in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine by Jenna Moran (the game in which the term emoting was coined for this activity), the rules state that emoting must be done honestly: while characters can lie about their feelings, players can't lie about their characters' feelings.
Examples of emoting
In order to express a character's joy, a player might use one of the following methods:
- Literal, out-of-character statement of feeling (e.g. Lee is happy.)
- In-character dialogue (e.g. "I'm so happy!")
- Describe a character action or reaction that implies the emotion (e.g. I smile.)