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Columbus Rayburn

Tips for writing character backstory without spoiling the MSQ for myself?

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I really want to get into RP, but I'm intimidated by the idea of writing a character before I've finished the game. There's so much lore I don't have access to. I'm afraid I'll mess up and look like an idiot. And even if I don't, I'm more used to writing characters to suit the RP than the other way around. With no idea of what to RP, I'm lost at both fronts. At the same time, I'd rather not spoil the MSQ for myself by reading the wiki for lore...

 

I've already messed up a bit during character creation-- my main is an Au Ra with an Elezen name who worships Halone. Oops. Should I fanta/name change to make it more consistent, or try to write around it?

 

If I fanta to Elezen, I'd mostly know the lore and it'd be consistent. But I really like how Au Ra look, and what little I've seen of their relations with other races seems like it'd be a fun conflict to write for.

 

Changing to an Auri name would also be consistent, but I'd be mostly in the dark lore-wise and wouldn't really know how to write for it.

 

As for trying to make my current mess make sense... would it be feasible to say she was adopted by Gridanians? The Garleans import their slaves for work in their outposts. Would it be plausible to say that her mother escaped from Castrum Oriens while pregnant, had her, and then gave her up for adoption to go back and help the resistance? That's the only way I can think of that an Au Ra would have an Elezen name and be generally ignorant of Othard/Doma. And searching for her birth mother would make a good motivation for an adventurer.

 

I don't know. I'm just speculating based on limited information. Without too many spoilers, is my idea workable? (If it's not, a blunt "no" without game screenshots is fine. I don't need an explanation, I just don't want to make a fool of myself.) Should I just change my character into something easier to write?

 

Thanks for reading. This game is so much fun, and I'd like to get into the RP scene!

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This is just my opinion, and since I'm new to FF14 lore I guess you could take my advice with a grain of salt.

 

But in my experience with other MMOs and RP worlds, sometimes you can pass off your character's predicament as a "truth is stranger than fiction" kind of situation. If you can think of a reason why your Au Ra has an Elezen name and worships Halone---even if those reasons are farfetched--and if those reasons are consistent with what COULD work within the boundaries of lore, I think your character's backstory is good to go. In fact, it might make her even more interesting to interact with, because people will wonder "Well, how the heck did you end up this way??"--and SHE gets to tell them how XD

 

Keep in mind also, the people you meet for RP don't necessarily know everything about your character's backstory. This leaves you a little wiggle room to change things behind the scenes so that things make more sense. If you think your backstory has a few kinks, and then if you learn something interesting about the game's lore as you play that could fit better than what you had in mind before, what's stopping you from changing it if no one else really knows yet?

 

Anyway, that's just my two cents' worth. I have a habit of creating misfit characters (a demon child in an angelic community, a half-elf with glowing eyes and an inner-city accent, etc.), so I find myself having to leave some backstory elements open to adjustment--which I think is fine if I'm the only one who knows what's changed ;) Hope this helps! 

 

Also, I see that we're both on Mateus, so hit me up sometime if you wanna RP! I just joined a small casual RP group too if you're interested.

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You can always hold off on writing a full backstory and Fantasia into a different toon if necessary. 

 

If you choose elezen, I would hold off until playing through at least Heavensward. The life experience of a duskwight from Gridania can be entirely alien compared to a wildwood raised as a knight in Ishgard, for example.

 

If you choose au ra, I would hold off until playing through Stormblood. The difference between the tribal life of a xaela and the isolationism of the raen is like night and day.

 

Interracial adoption also has precedent if you choose to go that route, as demonstrated by Pipin and Raubahn. Sid from the DRK quests also shows that while certain races might be considered an unusual sight in certain cities, it's not impossible for it to occur. 

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1 hour ago, Columbus Rayburn said:

I've already messed up a bit during character creation-- my main is an Au Ra with an Elezen name who worships Halone. Oops. Should I fanta/name change to make it more consistent, or try to write around it?

My first question is: does your Au Ra worship Halone because you RP them as worshiping Halone? Or do they "worship" Halone because their chosen deity in character creator is Halone? If they worship Halone because you want them to worship Halone, that's totally fine! If it's just a character creator thing, you can consider that irrelevant for most characters who were raised outside Eorzea, as they don't worship the Twelve. In the case of the Raen, they like most other Othardians, worship the kami. If you want your character to also worship the kami, that's totally cool too!

 

1 hour ago, Columbus Rayburn said:

As for trying to make my current mess make sense... would it be feasible to say she was adopted by Gridanians? The Garleans import their slaves for work in their outposts. Would it be plausible to say that her mother escaped from Castrum Oriens while pregnant, had her, and then gave her up for adoption to go back and help the resistance? That's the only way I can think of that an Au Ra would have an Elezen name and be generally ignorant of Othard/Doma. And searching for her birth mother would make a good motivation for an adventurer.

The only flaw in this is that it would cap your character's age at about 15 or younger.

 

Otherwise this or a similar backstory would work just fine, but it doesn't need to be too complicated! Without MSQ spoilers, Raen (judging by your profile picture) are found in small doses throughout the Far East. And like the Hyur, they tend to adopt the culture and customs of the areas or cities they've chosen to settle in. Eorzea has traded with the Far East for several decades now. It's not too farfetched that your character's parents might have come over as traders. Maybe they got sick, maybe your character got separated from her parents on one such trip, maybe the circumstances of your character's birth made them want to leave her behind where she gets raised in an Elezen-rich environment like Gridania or Coerthas? Or maybe your character's mother was brought to Eorzea as a Garlean conscript and she escaped to Gridania/Coerthas?

 

 

But don't worry about making mistakes! We all do! Make the kind of character you want to make and then fiddle with the 'hows' and the 'whys' as you continue through the MSQ, brainstorm your character, and even when you start breaking into RP! Characters are always a work in progress, and the more blanks you leave open, the more you can fill in later as needed. 

 

Hope this helps!

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5 hours ago, Kieron Lohengrin said:

If you choose au ra, I would hold off until playing through Stormblood. The difference between the tribal life of a xaela and the isolationism of the raen is like night and day.

 

Minor nitpicking for sure but Sui-no-sato is a unicorn, like many  ingame examples. Most of the Raen communities are NOT isolationist, and are actually part of doman and hingan societies.

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True, but Yugiri - being the first and most prominent raen visible throughout the MSQ - is likely to inform players' general overview with the story of her banishment/exile. The Sharlayan Mikoto is the next most worldly raen you encounter, but you don't meet her until the Ivalice raids. We can see them living spread out across Othard, but Sui-no-sato currently remains the primary example of a raen society. 

 

On the other hand, the crafting delivery quests do deal with Sui-no-sato opening up and becoming less isolationist, so you can write a raen as xenophobic or as open-minded as you see fit. Especially if they grew up somewhere else more cosmopolitan, such as Kugane. 

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Thank you all for the help!

 

@Kaizyr : That's a good perspective to have! I tend to write a lot simpler but that perspective certainly helps ease my anxiety a bit. I think I got too worked up over the details.


I'd love to RP sometime! It'd be great to have more Mateus friends :D

 

@Kieron Lohengrin : Ah, alright. I wouldn't really want to put off RPing until I finish the game, but I guess the detailed backstory can wait. I also really appreciate the spoiler-free examples of what Raen are like in-game.

 

@Sounsyy : Your perspective is also very grounding! You called it right- religion isn't a primary characteristic as yet (honestly, I don't have any primary motivations or personality traits yet). I just picked Halone at the beginning because the game told me it matched the birthday I'd picked. Good to know it doesn't really matter!

 

Thank you also for mentioning the age restriction. I'd definitely like to play an older character for now.

 

7 hours ago, Sounsyy said:

Otherwise this or a similar backstory would work just fine, but it doesn't need to be too complicated! Without MSQ spoilers, Raen (judging by your profile picture) are found in small doses throughout the Far East. And like the Hyur, they tend to adopt the culture and customs of the areas or cities they've chosen to settle in. Eorzea has traded with the Far East for several decades now. It's not too farfetched that your character's parents might have come over as traders. Maybe they got sick, maybe your character got separated from her parents on one such trip, maybe the circumstances of your character's birth made them want to leave her behind where she gets raised in an Elezen-rich environment like Gridania or Coerthas? Or maybe your character's mother was brought to Eorzea as a Garlean conscript and she escaped to Gridania/Coerthas?

 

 

But don't worry about making mistakes! We all do! Make the kind of character you want to make and then fiddle with the 'hows' and the 'whys' as you continue through the MSQ, brainstorm your character, and even when you start breaking into RP! Characters are always a work in progress, and the more blanks you leave open, the more you can fill in later as needed. 

 

Hope this helps!

 

This was super helpful, thank you! From Yugiri's introduction I'd assumed that that was the first instance of Raen ever coming to Eorzea, and that I'd have to jump through logical hoops to establish another Raen as a (semi-)native. But knowing that trade has been going on that long makes things so much simpler. And it seems like Raen try to assimilate into wherever they integrate pretty well, so maybe taking on a Gridanian name wouldn't be too weird either? Hell, my real great-grandpa changed his last name when he immigrated to America-- it probably wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say her family did the same, and then gave the kids Gridanian first names so they'd fit in.

 

From how the Au Ra I've interacted with in Ishgard have reacted, I don't think that it would be possible for her to have settled in Coerthas unless she was super young. From what I've heard from Sidurgu and Alaqa, it seems like they were "kill on sight" status until recently.

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