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Taboos in FFXIV RP


Ahri

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tl;dr: how does the community (or even just you as individuals) feel about the inclusion of traits/characteristics/etc. that may be morally wrong and even triggering for some people?

The long version, with warnings for incest if that really squicks anyone:

 

Hello! While I'm very much new to FF XIV, I've been roleplaying for several years now through forums, messengers, and Tumblr. The idea of carrying over that hobby into video games is admittedly a little daunting, and I'm still a little bit confused on the details of how it's carried out, but I'm very excited to give this a shot, especially since I've never made an OC before.

 

So, here's my dilemma: character creation.

 

I've in mind a Xaela Au Ra female who has been in love with her twin brother for a very long time. Her feelings are unrequited, of course, and her handling of the situation is ultimately what drives an ugly wedge not only between the siblings, but between her and her clan as well. In short, the Empire's expansion is what drives her clan out of its lands; the stigma is incest is what forces her away even further, despite belonging to a people/clan who are known for their tightly knit groups. 

 

Obviously, while this won't be the sole defining feature of this character, I hope to make it an extremely impactful one that shapes some of her developing traits and philosophy. With newer interactions that are shallow at best, her issue will be largely irrelevant and thus go unmentioned. Even deeper relationships will scarcely hear her talk about this issue, as it's rather obviously something that she's extremely ashamed of. However, it's something that most definitely will be brought up in thoughts and descriptions, and also something that I hope to develop further if she ever makes meaningful relationships with others.

 

Ultimately, my question is this: would you say that this sort of material is too triggering/disgusting/etc. to include? While I personally enjoy exploring moral ambiguity, I also understand that this isn't the sort of content that everyone will necessarily be okay with.

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I actually roleplayed a character back on WoW who dated and eventually married her older brother who had completely changed his identity over the years due to being a rogue who took very dangerous jobs and required him to do such. 

 

What me and my RP partner usually did was that we kept that they were siblings under wraps until we got to know the people we were roleplaying with. Some people are accepting and willing to go along with taboo themes, but some people are not. You need to be sensitive of the people who are not. So yeah I wouldn't spring the whole incest backstory thing on them right away, take some time roleplaying with them first. 

 

It also doesn't hurt to ask and discuss things about your character's backstory OOCly. See what they're okay with and not okay with. And if they're not okay with it I'm sure they'll respectfully let you know.

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You know, I think that there are a lot of people who might shirk at it, but that's if it's done in a way that is...how do I put this...fetishizing it.  If it's something that your character is struggling with, and is a critical part of your character, I think that you're less likely to get people turning up their nose at you. But if you're giving your character this "quirk" because it's something that gets you off, and doesn't really have a stroy driven reason, then that's when you'll get people avoiding you.

 

How do you convey that? I'm not really sure. I think it would make for interesting story, but I also think something like this is a tough line to straddle. Be thoughful in your portrayal of it, and I think that fewer people will take issue with it OOCly.

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I guess it wouldn't be too different from RPing in forums, messengers, etc? I mean, I kinda have the rule that if I'm unsure of something, I give my RP partner a heads up that my character is involved in this or that and it's ok to not want to participate in that if they don't want to. OOC communication is key in these situations in making sure you don't upset someone or get involved in something you don't want to. 

 

But overall, there is definitely a scene for darker, grittier and even taboo subjects in FFXIV roleplay from what I've seen in the community. Your character backstory appears to be well thought-out, I appreciate that the feelings for her brother have had heavy implications/consequences for her. (And like Alothia mentioned, portraying it as purely a story element and not as something fetishized will definitely help in making the character more appealing to others.)

 

You will meet people who will dislike it, maybe even insult you for it, but it's fiction at the end of the day. But people dislike people for doing things like playing a lalafell, or a voidsent, so don't let it get you down if it happens. Roleplay what you enjoy. Different strokes for different folks and all that! Good luck. :)

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As always, I think communication is going to play the biggest role in this. As Saph mentioned, it's probably best to keep it on the down-low for most casual conversations and interactions where this tidbit of information really doesn't... well, matter, I guess? However, if a situation comes up where it would be revealed or pointed out or otherwise brought to the attention to the other people in the RP situation... I'd either ask them before the RP starts or before the information is presented if they're okay with dealing with that sort of thing. That way, if they're uncomfortable with the situation, you can steer clear before any problems are caused.

 

EDIT: Slightly beaten to the punch and also...

 

But people dislike people for doing things like playing a lalafell

 

:(

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As always, I think communication is going to play the biggest role in this. As Saph mentioned, it's probably best to keep it on the down-low for most casual conversations and interactions where this tidbit of information really doesn't... well, matter, I guess? However, if a situation comes up where it would be revealed or pointed out or otherwise brought to the attention to the other people in the RP situation... I'd either ask them before the RP starts or before the information is presented if they're okay with dealing with that sort of thing. That way, if they're uncomfortable with the situation, you can steer clear before any problems are caused.

 

EDIT: Slightly beaten to the punch and also...

 

But people dislike people for doing things like playing a lalafell

 

:(

 

Sadly so, Gegenji. :C How dare you roleplay a race in the game!!! /s

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I regret nothing! Lalas are fun.

 

But a good point is made regardless - some folks are just have things they don't want to deal with in RP. Whether it be certain topics, races, or even degrees of seriousness. Some even have preference to how much you write in your RP posts!

 

However, Balmung is so chock-full of RPers (and pretty openminded ones at that) that the super-picky ones are ultimately in the minority.

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Thank you for all the great responses!

 

To start, and maybe an oversight on my part, fetishization of this never quite occurred to me. What interested me more was the exploration of "love" -- how, in its broadness, it's both easy and common for people to say things like, "you love who you love" and freely extend it beyond vague borders; how, when dealt with in specifics, it becomes a much more nuanced idea with sudden situational "can" and "can't"s; and, of course, how lessons learnt from emotion affects one's logic. Of course, just as most people don't go up to strangers and start talking about their personal problems, I'd little plans for the issue to be very much talked about through the character herself! (That would kind of be awkward in that "guy won't start crying about his ex at a bar and now the bartender and everyone around him knows more about his love life than what kind of hard liquor they want to drink next" kind of way.)

 

I guess my concern was, more specifically, the general feel of the community on moral ambiguity just because I haven't seen much of it myself. (And not just the "sin for righteous reasons" kind of struggle, as much as I do enjoy that sort of thing myself.) But I guess the answer really is communication, as it very often is! That's actually kind of reassuring to hear, haha.

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Ultimately, my question is this: would you say that this sort of material is too triggering/disgusting/etc. to include? While I personally enjoy exploring moral ambiguity, I also understand that this isn't the sort of content that everyone will necessarily be okay with.

 

As mentioned previously, some people will turn their noses up at such a notion and you might get some heat from doing it. However it's already within the lore that such a thing happens, it's just not thought of in that sense. I know right? Head scratching... But might I point out the Miqo'te race, Seekers specifically, for those that are scratching their heads? While it's not a "defining" characteristic of them, it is something that does happen when you think of how seeker tribes are structured.

 

 

 

I guess my concern was, more specifically, the general feel of the community on moral ambiguity just because I haven't seen much of it myself. (And not just the "sin for righteous reasons" kind of struggle, as much as I do enjoy that sort of thing myself.) But I guess the answer really is communication, as it very often is! That's actually kind of reassuring to hear, haha.

 

There will be those that don't mind, and those that will mind as with everything. The more you communicate, the less issues you'll have normally. Never feel you need to justify yourself either, characters are want to do what they want at times. A lot of people forgot IC =/= OOC.

 

I think I have a character that might enjoy your character's company all the same though. :D

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Honestly? I think who your character is/isn't attracted to shouldn't come up in a lot of RP interactions. If it's getting pushed that hard that it comes up in the first or second interaction then people are probably going to assume you're fetishizing it.

 

This would be the sort of thing I'd really only RP in a close circle with people who I know won't flip and I'd tell them before about it anyway but that is my opinion.

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The community on Balmung is surprisingly accepting about topics, for the most part. In casual RP the fact that your character has romantic thoughts about her brother doesn't even need to be brought up, so most would be none the wiser. Once you find a good group of people that you interact with you will start to get a good feel for what they are comfortable with. As long as you stay within the bounds of game defined lore, most people won't care at all. 'You do you, enjoy rp!' is very much a common mentality here.

 

Personally it sounds like an interesting topic to explore from an outsider's perspective. It could even be something that isn't all that uncommon depending upon how you play it - ie keeping bloodlines pure or wanting to pass along the strongest traits possible. As Nodem mentioned, this type of relationship could be fairly common in Seeker Miqo'te tribes. It's all a matter of personally lore interpretation as it isn't specifically spelled out anywhere.

 

I wouldn't turn you away for RP at any rate :)

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Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Have you seen the kind of messed up things that have happened in the FFXIV world? The Corpse Brigade straight up rape an NPC, to give one example. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that someone might have a crush on their brother. As long as you're not pushing it in everyone's face and using it to somehow appear special and different, I don't see what the problem would be.

 

I think it's important with anything like this, whether it's a mental illness, a crippling injury or something else that would seriously affect a person's personality, to respect the kind of effect it would have. You see characters all the time that have mental issues that only seem to come up in convenient times when they want to create drama or some other equally crappy reason. As long as you don't carry a big sign saying "Incest ftw!!" and seriously think through how your character would act differently because of this, you'll be fine.

 

As someone said, there's always gonna be muppets out there who won't RP with you, but that's the same for pretty much everyone. Anyone with serious 'triggers' will know how to deal with them already and I don't think you need to worry about them when coming up with a RP character. You do you.

 

tl;dr: Don't shove it in anyone's face, think it through well enough, and you'll be fine.

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What I would say that hasn't been said before, is also if your story is able to find the right rp partners that can bring out what you're looking for.  Like any interaction worth its salt that is just gonna take time and patience. 

 

Don't be afraid to look at all possibilities as far as how "characters" might react, as long as the "players" work with you to make the best story and vice versa.

 

Who knows, you just might be able to make the next great tale of romance, or comedy, or tragedy.  :thumbsup:

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I think it very much depends what sort of taboo it is. To be honest, I think your character story is on the relatively tame side of things. The stuff which you should stay far away from though is stuff that could get you persecuted IRL for having digital interactions about. 

 

But yeah, setting up a story where love for a brother got a bit too far is..tame. IC you'll probably get a lot of hate for it though. ;)

 

Stuff like organized crime is mostly fair-game too I think. For example, my character was a Loanshark who tortured people when she didn't got her Gil back. And the Gil she paid out to people..was fake. *giggle*

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Honestly? I think who your character is/isn't attracted to shouldn't come up in a lot of RP interactions. If it's getting pushed that hard that it comes up in the first or second interaction then people are probably going to assume you're fetishizing it.

 

This would be the sort of thing I'd really only RP in a close circle with people who I know won't flip and I'd tell them before about it anyway but that is my opinion.

 

This. RP whatever you want, but as Alothia mentioned, if it's going to come up in public RP, you need to treat it earnestly as a problem/flaw and not fetishize it by playing it off as some "cute" or nonconsequential quirk, or a hook for kinky ERP. The latter options fortunately don't seem to be the case with what you're going for, anyway. I will say there is a chunk of people in this community, as there are in most, who will decry you for giving your character a flaw they don't agree with or find gross and assume it's there for some sort of OOC justification or fantasy-fulfilling, but ultimately, the onus of accepting that role-play fiction and that the intended trait is a flaw (it just, of course, has to be treated as one by the RPer of the character at hand) falls on them, and you shouldn't be too hesitant to RP a concept just because others may blur IC with OOC.

 

As Teadrinker said, it shouldn't be something that comes up often in RP, and doesn't need to be something you need to bring up OOC with most people. I don't imagine it's something your character would want to or should be forthcoming about, and OOC it would probably be best to only bring it up with people you trust and believe won't mind. Basically, not that many people should be learning about it that you need to fear annoying or upsetting many people.

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I would be extremely wary about bringing this up in roleplay casually. I'd make sure people were comfortable with it first (darker themes), before dropping it on them. Some people may be extremely uncomfortable or even upset being exposed to this, and understandably so. I would bring it up privately OOC well before ever attempting to do anything like this with anyone. No matter how well-thought out you feel it is for your character, I'd be pretty careful with this, because of the very real risk of harming someone unintentionally as a result.

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I can't really imagine why it should be a problem at all. You didn't describe anything that isn't a popular concept in mainstream media productions whose names go without even mentioning. It's meant to be taboo, disgusting and something that quite uniquely has an odd "appeal" in fiction for the very reason that it's so strange and inappropriate in reality. This really doesn't seem like anything that needs to be tip-toe'd around. The only person that deserves any actual forewarning is the brother whom I assume already knows - and only if they're someone you don't know well.

 

In short, if anyone was that sensitive to a topic that is - quite frankly - rather tame then they should be making an active effort to make a point of wishing to avoid mature RP in the first place.

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I, personally, don't shy away from darker themes within my own role-play. FFXIV is a fairly gritty and dark setting across the board and it doesn't really shy away from them either. I do think some people are a little too keen to throw darker themes around without warning but on the opposite end of the spectrum there's individuals who are a little too quick to be offended - such as when there was recently a rather bizarre demand by a vocal minority to remove a specific set of vanity gear for supposedly being 'cultural appropriation'.

 

I think there's room for all manner of dark themes within role-play so long as those involved are on the same page. Mature themes shouldn't be forced on anybody - but I feel like that goes without saying. In my experience those individuals who do try and force such things on people unexpectedly tend to end up being shunned anyway.

 

So I don't feel like there's much need to censor the inclusion of dark/mature themes within a role-play environment altogether.

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I absolutely agree with K'nahli on just how taboo OP's setup is. Unrequited love with her twin brother that she rarely, if ever, brings up? It's not as if she's being forced into an incestuous relationship by her brother/father/uncle, etc. It's not exactly common, no, but as far as 'mature themes' go it's pretty tame.

 

OP, you seem to have a good head on your shoulders and have a pretty good idea on how to handle this. Like others said, so long as you don't turn it into a Japanese Light Novel, the few people that do find out about it ICly/OOCly should have no trouble rolling with it, and those that do... well, screw 'em. You've already seem to have given it a lot of thought in how you are going to handle/present it and what impacts it will have on your character, which sounds golden to me. Godspeed.

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...but on the opposite end of the spectrum there's individuals who are a little too quick to be offended - such as when there was recently a rather bizarre demand by a vocal minority to remove a specific set of vanity gear for supposedly being 'cultural appropriation'.

 

:thumbsup:

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Just had to pop back in this thread and thank everyone for giving awesome advice, and being super cool about everything. Sometimes threads like these become a breeding ground for comments that are...a little less welcome. So reading this thread and the advice given herein makes my heart happy.

 

Carry on!

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