I do admire people who can role-play well. I'm not really one of them. I get embarassed when I try to get deep in character. I like it as a plot hook. I have a Testament supplement. In it the Isrealite characters are expected to marry. Romance doesn't really need to be part of it though. Kind of like Fiddler on the Roof. :)
I always tell people who get embarrased about rp'ing to take it in four easy steps:
1) roleplay your character just like yourself, what you would do in that situation.
2) roleplay yourself turn to 11. exagerate all of your natural reactions.
3) roleplay yourself drunk. no inhibitions and think at the top of your mind.
4) roleplay the opposite of yourself. The hardest part and the one that requires acting skills.
I also advise to speak normal. NO "thee" or "prithy". just talk normal. like in forgotten realms or something. this is how i learned to roleplay anyway.
As with most things, it's going to vary between groups. Best thing to do is talk about it as part of the pitch, or as part of a new player orientation, before *any* of it hits the table.
I really like romance in games, though the last one that had it as an active part of my character's interactions was ... a while ago. The last two D&D characters I had (paladin, bard) didn't directly deal with the subject, though the paladin had it as part of her background (the ending of that relationship is why she went off adventuring). The bard, well, she was a bard stereotype - all the motions, but no substance (the "lover, not a fighter" poster girl :p). The last character I had in a stable, healthy relationship was in a Shadowrun game, of all places. What amused us about that bit was how long it took for her 'Runner partner to realize she was gay, as it wasn't openly stated in-game; the player figured it out early, but it took the character the whole year of play.
I'm not sure playing your opposite requires acting skills, any more than the other steps. Unless you're in for character immersion (which is a separate ball of worms). Of course, this advice (which is excellent, by the way) only addresses one form of roleplaying, the play-acting style. Other styles (such as author style, how I play) aren't as focused on defining the act as first-person performance.
Originally Posted by fr49200
Would you be able to explain Author-style to me? I've never heard of that style of roleplay before.
Originally Posted by Sascha
Where the 'traditional' model is framed like theater (GM as director, other players as principal actors), this is more like a writing team on a series (GM is head writer, other players are the staff writers) - the role everyone is playing is one step up the meta-chain. "In-character" can be first- or third-person narration, rather than strictly first-person. It really gels with games where everyone at the table has a greater form of narrative control than in the traditional setup. Under this model, the GM is a specialized player, rather than auteur storyteller and the non-GM players get more world manipulation ability, as well.
Originally Posted by fr49200
Fate-based games (Spirit of the Century, Dresden Files, etc.) are good examples of this type of roleplaying, baked into the design, though it can be done with any game.