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Kieran

How to get RP on an anti-social character?

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I've been RP'ing for a long time (EQ Ruins of Kunark for a time reference) and I have always RP'd characters that are rather outgoing or who could actually hold a conversation with new people.  

 

Enter Kieran.

 

While not exactly anti-social, going up to someone he doesn't know to hold a conversation just isn't going to happen.  Nodding is about all you'll get out of him on the first meeting in a social setting.  Now as you'll expect, not many people want to RP after that (which I completely understand).  Kieran is a very complex character and will warm up to people in a social setting but it takes time and getting to know the person...or rum, lots and lots of rum.  Which is how he has made the few friends/acquaintances he currently has.  Once he actually knows someone he is a rather enjoyable person to be around and acts fairly normal.  

 

So my question out to the masses is, how do you get a character like this involved in the RP scene?  

 

I have thought about double boxing and RP'ing my own wing man, but I'm not too keen on having to RP with myself to this extent.  Have RP'd my own villains, long long siblings, etc. in the past, but the 'wing wo/man' position would be someone Kieran has gotten close to.

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I suppose the two best options I can think of is:

 

a.) Portray your character in a way that makes people want to approach them. Keep in mind, this doesn't have to be positive things. Gogon actually received quite a bit of attention at the Runestone by ragging on the fighters from the sidelines, and he's pretty anti-social. You'll still want your characters to be doing some sort of INTERACTION, still, otherwise you'll have that wallflower issue of sitting around emoting hopefully interesting solo RP and banking on someone picking up on it.

 

b.) OOC communication. Throw out a Making Connections thread for the guy if you haven't already, get in touch with people. It may feel a little bit like staging the meeting, but it might help broaden the character's acquaintance pool if you and the other person can figure out OOCly how the two would bump into each other and ultimately end up interacting.

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Adding to what Gegenji said, you can try and come up with situations where your character is forced to interact with others. Maybe he accidentaly bumps on someone and breaks something valuable, maybe he's injured, maybe he's selling something. 

 

And emoting. Emoting is very important if you have a non-verbal character. By showing through mannerisms and expressions what your character feels and thinks you can get people interested without having to necessarily break out of character.

 

Getting to know other people can be daunting even to social and easy going characters but don't give up!

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Personally I don't think, if you're questioning how to make it work, the character will suddenly start working for you. While advice can be given, they are so generic, and you seem to be pretty well-versed into said generic advice judging from the little snippet you posted.

 

Some people are great at portraying shy, socially awkward, antisocial, introverted characters. Others do better with the loudmouth outgoing type of characters. While I think it's amiable to give it a shot, I'd have a good look at yourself if you seem to enjoy this type of roleplay to begin with, because it sounds you're struggling with him.

 

That said, I know quite a few people who play quiet, reserved characers, and some, including on of my closer RP partners, roleplays a character who really, really doesn't do well socially due to the character's reason. However the players behind these character, nearly always, are social butterflies who are super creative. I'm not saying you're not one of those people in real life, because how could I possibly know?

 

What I'm trying to say is that some characters just don't work for certain people due to whatever reason. Perhaps I'm reading a bit too much into what little you posted though, but I'd just ask yourself whether you're enjoying this character/character trait first and foremost. Because to me it sounds pretty drastic that you're considering to create another character and dual box in order to make the original character work.

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Thanks for the suggestions, both of which I'm afraid I have been doing/have done (emote actions instead of words and threw up a making connections post) for that very reason of not wanting to be seen as a wallflower nor do I want to RP one.

 

I have also toned down his attire to try to be more inviting as the below is a comment made from someone in a random Leveling Duty Finder (I found it hilarious so had to SS it!).

 

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I didn't want to double post but wanted to reply to what Virella wrote.

 

"What I'm trying to say is that some characters just don't work for certain people due to whatever reason. Perhaps I'm reading a bit too much into what little you posted though, but I'd just ask yourself whether you're enjoying this character/character trait first and foremost. Because to me it sounds pretty drastic that you're considering to create another character and dual box in order to make the original character work."

 

 

I think you may be onto something however for some reason I keep coming back to Kieran as I really do like the character, just as you said, struggling to make it work.  I have this bad habit of making alts in an attempt to try out a different character and this is a stab at myself, but these characters are whims and thus shallow.  Which I think is why I keep going back to Kieran.

 

 

And umm, the wing man has already been created, I just haven't actually done it yet.  I had a 'WTF' moment at the last minute when I realized I was about to RP with myself to this extent.

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I find that having a social character to start off with is the easiest way. Get to know people and their characters in a method that's straightforward and easy! Once you've found a good group of people where you all enjoy interacting with eachothers' characters, that's really the time to let an antisocial character fly. From an OOC standpoint, it's a lot easier to get a person to interact with an antisocial character if they already kinda know the player. It also helps with starting a scene instead of wishing/hoping a random interaction will somehow happen. But antisocial and unreactive are different things, which often get grouped together. If you are trying to go for an antisocial character in a social setting (like say the Quicksand), react to then environment. Throw some RP hooks. Message a person OOC if you need to. Ask a friend with a social character to come in and cause a spectacle if they can.

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I would recommend making RP hooks. Here's what that means: In real life I'm not going to walk up to a stranger and hold a conversation. But sadly for me my work requires me to do that. So think of something that would require your character to socialize or speak to a stranger even if he/she doesn't want to.

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I would recommend making RP hooks. Here's what that means: In real life I'm not going to walk up to a stranger and hold a conversation. But sadly for me my work requires me to do that. So think of something that would require your character to socialize or speak to a stranger even if he/she doesn't want to.

 

^ This.

 

I have a habit of making quite a few characters who are stunning in some situations, but when it comes to random, walk-up RP, they struggle due to untrusting natures or social awkwardness or extreme megalomania. The best way I have found to combat this is to design situations where they will have to interact with other people.

 

Obviously, this will take a bit of work on your part. I would suggest writing out a small plot or series of events where your character would need others to help. Maybe he's in a bad way with an Ul'dahn loan shark, or maybe he's lost out in the Black Shroud and doesn't know which way to go to get to Gridania. If you attach a story to it, give it a little advertisement in a linkshell (or even just in game via party finder or /shout), people interested will come to you. It kind of cuts out some of the awkwardness of "what would my character say to this stranger, he hates strangers", as you have the starting point to create that forward momentum in RP.

 

Don't get too discouraged if it takes some time! Onion characters with layers that are hard to crack and get through to are, in my opinion, some of the best to RP with.

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I find that having a social character to start off with is the easiest way. Get to know people and their characters in a method that's straightforward and easy! Once you've found a good group of people where you all enjoy interacting with eachothers' characters, that's really the time to let an antisocial character fly. From an OOC standpoint, it's a lot easier to get a person to interact with an antisocial character if they already kinda know the player. It also helps with starting a scene instead of wishing/hoping a random interaction will somehow happen. But antisocial and unreactive are different things, which often get grouped together. If you are trying to go for an antisocial character in a social setting (like say the Quicksand), react to then environment. Throw some RP hooks. Message a person OOC if you need to. Ask a friend with a social character to come in and cause a spectacle if they can.

 

I'll add on to this too... perhaps reach out to a friend ooc and see if you can set up some sort of "known each other (off camera) for a while already". Lots of RPers are open to setting up existing relationships. That way you don't have to play two characters just to have a foil for your quiet dude.

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Here's a technique I started doing with C'kayah (who's hugely social). When I created Setoh (who mainly speaks to strangers only when he wants to mock them), the technique enabled me to get a lot of RP with him, despite how antisocial he is.

 

Here's my technique: Find people who are roleplayers and send them tells.

 

That's it, really. If I'm bored, I'll hang out somewhere where there are a lot of roleplayers. The Quicksand is good, because so many people are there looking for RP. I'll examine people and look for some sort of search text that confirms that they are, indeed, roleplayers and that they're open to meeting other roleplayers. When I find someone, I'll send them a tell, usually "Hi! I saw your search text. What sort of RP are you looking for?" About half the time they won't respond. Maybe they're afk, or they have tells turned off. About half of the ones that respond assume that I'm looking for erotic roleplay - it is the Quicksand, after all. But that last quarter of them will tell you something back, and you can start seeing if you can develop a hook, like desmond28 said.

 

Over the years, I've gotten a lot of interesting RP out of this, and I've met a lot of interesting RPers. But I've also met a lot of people that I never ended up even RPing with. Or RPing more than once. It's a shotgun approach, and it takes some time, but it does work.

 

One piece of advice I will give, though, is this: Be specific. When I send someone a tell asking what sort of RP they like, and they say "anything", it tells me nothing. There's no material for a hook there, and chances are they really don't mean "anything", so I'll have to either press them for more specifics or simply drop it. But at the same time, when I send someone that tell, I make sure I have at least something in mind that I'd like to do. That doesn't mean that you should fixate on your character only doing one thing ("My character is a member of the Ul'dahn Dental Hygiene Lobby, and wants to spread the good word about flossing"). You want to be flexible, so that you can work out a hook with someone else who also wants RP. But you do want to have something as a starting point.

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My character is a bit on the anti social side. In most situations she's dragged to events or forced to go from some other force when she'd rather be doing nothing better than working at the forge and getting her orders taken care of. Her job alone forces her hand in being social and entertaining her clients (even if she would rather strangle them for the poor condition some weapons or armor comes into her shop in..).

 

I worked out ooc things when I was first starting or just pushed the idea out there of what my character did or hung out at. Maybe even find quirks to add like they may become chatty or more open to conversation if such and such topic came up or some odd amount of drinks were consume. Some folks get way more chatty if they hung around the bar for a few hours or if a topic they really held knowledge of came up in passing. 

 

Even if it's just correcting someone like "No it's pronounced this way." (maybe asking someone if it's ok to butt into a conversation first though to be polite about it ^^). This of course would draw attention to your character and whoever you were addressing would likely react or at least the character would to the situation. 

 

Shoot.. I tried to avoid going to events just because ooc I didn't like trying to keep up with the walls of text. Yet somehow my blacksmith was dragged to everything from the large dances hosted to the summer swimsuits.. Once you get a few characters who put up with or are attached to your character things may very well be easier. Most of my contacts I met either on the road in some small rp meet and greet or in the drowning wench. The other handful were probably clients ic'ly and tried to get her out of the shop whenever possible due to her work-a-holic nature. 

 

Also I second what C'kayah  said. Put down what you really enjoy. I normally said simple things like common rp or small adventures, blacksmith work etc etc. Just give them some idea about what your character would talk about, do or be interested in. Some little catch. ^^

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Characters who are withdrawn, reserved, or otherwise disinclined to participate in social activities generally require external factors to spur them on. Either there needs to be some kind of external conflict or events that force their participation or there needs to be other characters present who are willing to sort of wheelbarrow them around to a comfortable place for interactions.

 

I've roleplayed plenty of characters who are asocial or anti-social, but generally I only do such when I am engaged in a plot; by their nature, these kinds of characters generally don't care to be involved in things unless they are forced to, or unless they are directly affected. Otherwise, they don't really work in slice-of-life situations except as background.

 

So I'd look to getting involved in a plot or engineering one yourself first and foremost, to get the best possible use of such a character.

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You might do well to find a group that's actively RPing and ask OOC if you can get involved. Then, perhaps work with the group to find ways to draw your character in.

 

I play a marginally anti-social character myself, and I basically went to someone and said, "Hey I wanna get involved, but I don't know how. Any ideas?"

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Thanks for all the suggestions and sharing what has and hasn't worked for you in the past.  I took Liadan's suggestion and reached out to a rather social friend of Kieran's OOCly and things are in the works.

 

Thanks again!

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