How to roleplay as a Scientist

Thread: What forum guides should be written - #11 by LodedDiper
So, a guide on how to roleplay generally won’t work. There’s the obvious tips, like remember to use custom emotes and speak with a consistent formality or lack thereof, but in general no guide to these things will work because they’re obvious.

So, in this guide, I’ll detail some character archetypes, alongside some questions to ask your character about what they would do and how they’d react in a given situation. These are questions you should ask about your character, and hopefully they’ll prepare you for a wide variety of situations.

DISCLAIMER: These archetypes are expressly exaggerated, and aren’t intended to describe actual play patterns of any players, known or unknown to me. If you find yourself falling into one of these play patterns repeatedly, it might be a good idea to rethink or develop your character, as these are one note and were made up in 10 minutes.

SECONDARY DISCLAIMER: Experiment is, in this context, being defined as something you made that you haven’t made before. Toxin bombs are mostly consistent and thus do not count, but a sentient thing out of xenobiology, a pAI controlled circuit drone, or even just a well curated and innovative swarm of nanites would.

TERTIARY DISCLAIMER: I haven’t read Frankenstien, and haven’t read The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde for at least seven years, so portrayals of the characters may range from blurry to contradicting the source material, but hey it’s not like pop culture doesn’t do it anyway


Archetype 1:- The Parental Scientist
Archetype one is where the people who name mars rovers go. They’ll dote over their every creation, giving every ounce of love and care and attention to the experiment as they can, even when it might compromise the scientific accuracy of the experiment. When something gets out of hand, they’ll be on the front lines trying to fix their mistake, because it’s “what good people do”, even if it’s not what a good scientist would do.

Archetype 2:- The Cold and Clinical
Archetype two is your fictional scientist stereotype when the story is told from the POV of the experiment. They are cold, and detached, refusing to bond with or provide any love to their experiments. Reasons for this could vary from their belief that they have to be this distant for the purity of the data to a simple lack of care for something they don’t see as being worthy of it. Sometimes this detachment can color other interactions, with this type finding it hard to make friends or bond with other people.

Archetype 3:- The Victor Von Frankenstien
This archetype is defined by the titular character from the novel Frankenstien. They begin the novel deeply obsessed with their work, and tend to appear like archetype 2 from the outside, although the detachment is a problem of focus and not of coldness. When their experiment is complete, they might be flush with pride, disappointed with and unable to look past their failures, or simply terrified of their creation for what power it might hold. When things get out of hand they tend to bury their heads in the sand until they themselves are threatened, and then react with either denial or fiery rage, striking out at what they deem to be responsible.

Archetype 4:- The Dr. Jekyll
While Dr. Jekyll is most known for the split personality dynamic in his home novel, he makes an interesting mad scientist archetype, one not blinded by fear of the unknown. A Dr. Jekyll tests on himself as a defining trait of the archetype, which is a symptom of unbreakable faith. This faith could well translate into a charismatic personality, and Dr. Jekylls tend to crave to be around others and discuss their experiments. When confronted with a simply unworkable experiment, they tend to resign themselves to their fate, whatever it may be.


Question 1: When asked to do something for someone during downtime, how do you react?
A1 would agree to the experiment, with perhaps a struck conversation or passing remark on what it’s for if the item or task is particularly dangerous.
A2 would probably consider what they’d get out of it, with a straight up denial not being unlikely if the other party is unable to make a sufficient offering or service.
A3 mightn’t even notice they are there, and even when they do would disregard them and place focus on their own experiment, because to them it’s all that matters.
A4 might invite them in and talk them through it, or assure the person they can get it done, even if they can’t or have no plans to.

Question 2: When interrupted during a time sensitive issue, how do you react?
A1 might politely inform the person they’re busy, or allow the issue to elapse to attend to the person, depending on severity.
A2 really doesn’t care what the other guy wants, and would likely ignore them until the issue is through, then proceed to question 1
A3 does not care at all, and really only cares if the other guy is there to brag to them if this goes right
A4 would probably provide a firm “Can’t talk right now” before returning to the issue, maintaining their polite pattern, or possibly cracking and telling them to leave if things are stressful

Question 3: When presented with a sentient (player controlled) experiment (mostly via sentience potions), how do you react?
A1: that thing is your child. PROTECC
A2: “Greetings experiment. It is time for the next test. Today we’ll be testing your endurance to X environmental condition. Simply indicate when you are in distress.”
A3: “Look at what I did! Look at it! It can do X, Y, and even Z!”
A4: “Hello there Jormungandr. Would you like to hear the story of your namesake?”

Closing Remarks

I hope asking these three questions to yourself, and answering in character, will help provide a framework, and establish patterns, for creating a wonderfully fleshed out character that’s a joy to RP with. Remember that a character never stops growing, and even if a character is consistent, it doesn’t mean they’re fun. If your character is currently the job drone that toils away behind the xenobiology console all day, ask yourself why are they like that? Do they have a specific flair to what they do? What is it, and why?

What I’m trying to say is always continue asking your character questions, either mentally or in the game engine, and try and always give a consistant answer.

Who knows, maybe I’ll make this a series. It was a good idea.

Me, for writing this
Me again, for the idea for the thread at the top
@Kontaminant this guide was your idea, judge me for my sins

Fascinating takes, I’ve never seen anyone roleplay in science department. Which is why I made the (meme?) request. It’s not exactly what I expected.

Think the closest was people making thematic circuit bots, otherwise it’s just the same TTV, RND and xenobio rituals over and over. Exploration is just people clicking NPCs horizontal and getting gear/loot, like some bastard son of mining. Mostly without people talking aside from teaching new guys.

Robotics does see a lot of player interactions, goes to show how streamlined other parts have become as it becomes just a checklist.

I like to play the “exhausted grad student”.
I’m smarter than this job, but NT and Space McDonald’s were the only companies that space-called me about my space-resume.