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Shamelessly Begging for Backstory Help...and Seeking Connections!


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Greetings, community!  As I mentioned in my introductory post, I have a problem child in Ajianne.  As you tell from my naming history, I've actually bounced around quite a bit racially!  I started out as a Xaela Au Ra, before moving to a Roegadyn, then a Lalafell, then a Hyur, then to Miqo'te when I rediscovered this community and changed my name to reflect it, before ultimately changing to an Elezen.  When I was Treaphine de Shaulain, I wanted to RP as an Ishgardian Paladin, even going so far as to try to gain entry into a Temple Knight FC.  However, the backstory I had come up with wasn't correct from a lore/timeline perspective, and I was denied entry until I revamped it.  Hearing that crushed my budding interest in Ishgard RP, so I fantasia'd again into a darker skinned Duskwight, and came up with another story, but it was missing several elements.  I name changed when I transferred to Balmung, as I wanted an easier to pronounce name, and just changed the name in my backstory to fit.  Here's what little I've done for her backstory:

"Ajianne is a Duskwight Elezen, with a neglectful at best matriarchial line that is and was fanatical about Gelmorra and its loss. Her mother and grandmother tried to instill their rabid fanaticism within Aja, but it was countered by her kind-hearted nanny who taught Aja right from wrong, compassion, and empathy for others. She never knew who her father was. Aja has since been disowned by her mother's line for her lack of hatred for those responsible for the collapse of Gelmorra. She has since wandered the world, looking for respectable work, and picking up a variety of skills along the way. Aja has a love for sewing things, and also enjoys gardening and botany. She's handy with a lance and gun, preferring them to the Bow she was taught to wield by her mother. She has also grown fond of the Troupe Falsiam dance style, apprenticing herself to their dancemaster in order to learn their art. She is fascinated with swordwork, specifically the styles shown in the Gladiator's Guild, in the Ishguardian heretic Dark Knights, and by the Sekiseigumi of Doma, and would eventually like to learn those styles as well."

I know the first thing that people will tell me is that I have too many jobs on her, and my rebuttal to that is that they are jobs that she no longer has interest in, among other reasons!  I like to include my starting job and any notable milestone jobs in my RP backstory, as a means of showing where she's come from, so her skill in Archery and with the Lance are key points to me, and would probably stick around.  The sewing and Gardening/Botany are what I view as her hobbies, and ICly, she does dream of opening a florist's shop when she's done adventuring.  Thing is, I kinda prefer to have my main class OOC be my main RP class, and I unfortunately haven't decided on a main class for Ajianne, which is why I'm so late in starting Shadowbringers content!  Everything I've listed in the final two sentences of Ajianne's current backstory are what I'm considering Maining for ShB: Dancer, Paladin, Dark Knight, though Samurai just got taken off the table recently and I just haven't revamped the story to reflect it.  In addition to those, the "skill with a gun" I mention opens up Machinist to main, and I also really enjoy playing a Black Mage!  However, I play solo, so I'm not sure of open world survivability with some of these classes.

The way I see it, Ajianne's current story has her "painted into a corner".  Since the only concrete thing that I've got for her is that she dreams of opening a florist's shop, she can't relate in slice of life RP FCs because she doesn't lead an adventuring life.  I don't know how to take Archery and Lancer and move her from them to becoming a Paladin, Black Mage, Dancer, Machinist, or Dark Knight in her backstory.  It just feels like the ideas I have aren't good enough, which could be a holdover from the crushing of my Ishgardian RP hope.  I want to stay Elezen, as I like the race's aesthetic look, but I am totally open to fantasia-ing back to Wildwood, as I happen to have one lying around on her.

So, this is me begging the community for help.  If you have a suggestion on what to main OOCly, I'm happy to hear it!  If you have a suggestion on how I can take her Archery and Lancer skills and move her from them to becoming a Paladin, Black Mage, Dancer, Machinist, or Dark Knight, I'd love to hear it!  I heard mention in one of my RP Discord servers that someone loved Blue Mage RPers, and I think that would also be a viable Main Class to RP, as I enjoy playing the class, but again, I don't know how to move from Archer and Lancer into it.  I will say that I don't plan on maining Lancer in Shadowbringers, as I've begun to find the class somewhat stale, and am seeking out something new.  Feel free to also let me know if you think I should Fantasia again...I do have a cobbled together work in progress backstory for a Wildwood going that I'll add in the comments below.

Thank you for taking the time to read my wall of text and thank you in advance for any thoughts, advice, or help that you provide!

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Potential Wildwood Backstory:

"She's elegant, dedicated, brave, loyal, cheerful, and perhaps a little too stubborn. But this is all just a facade, a mechanism to deal with her painful past.

She was born in a middle class family in a developing capital, where her parents taught her skills with the bow and the lance. She lived out of trouble until she was about 14? years old, but at that point life changed.  (Age will be changed to reflect Elezen teenage years age) 

She lost her parents and home when they died after a food shortage and her home was sold off to pay debts. She was rejected by all in the neighborhood, forcing her and her brother into an orphanage. Life in the orphanage was bleak, and she did what she could to survive, learning gardening and weaving. With her talents and determination, she managed to reach full potential and face all obstacles, eventually leaving the orphanage's care and taking her brother with her. This has turned her into the woman she is today.

However, she is currently still finding her right place in the world. While haunted by memories of the past, she now works on helping people, as she once helped her brother realize his dreams. Also powerless to change the past, she now works perfecting her skills and talents. By doing so, she hopes to find a place to call home and finally find a purpose to her life that she has never had."

Either way I go, be it Duskwight, Wildwood, or Ishgardian, Ajianne is still very much alone in the world!  ICly, she has no friends, no free company to support her!  If you find my ramblings of interest to you ICly or to your FC, please reach out!

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Well I'm still learning the lore of this game myself, but I could be of some small assistance in helping you weed through those desires of yours. So what we have here is a character whose upbringing wasn't the greatest and lived a very bleak life, while looking to take herself and her only living family member and find a new home elsewhere.

 

As a lancer and archer she could've found her origins from Ishgard or Gridania. Either location would require grit and no small amount of intelligence and skill to survive given their hostile environments. Ishgard is a cold bleak place so knowing how to survive is essential and the politics and cutthroat nature of Ishgard's nobility isn't something to mess with either on top of their zealous devotion to the goddess of war. Gridania is a more verdant location and looks more peaceful, but the darkness within the Shroud and the elementals make it very terrifying especially if you piss off the forest and get blighted or whatever and have every monster keyed in on you. It's definitely a more primordial location that's for certain and its denizens are very protective and adherent to the wishes of the forest and the elementals that call it home.

 

Both locations have also been heavily involved in wars between Ala Mhigo and the Garlean Empire which could give rise to your character's interest in firearms to become a machinist (maybe even a gunbreaker if you wanted). Either way, she could've seen the effectiveness of the Garlean military and the creations of Cid in Ishgard and his sky lances and became intrigued with the idea of wielding such effective and decisive weaponry in place of a cumbersome bow and arrow.  Blue magic study could come from an interest in learning about monsters and their abilities, seeingi their power could drive your character to want it for themselves so nobody would ever hurt her or her brother again. Paladin and Dark Knights are thematically the same save for some key details. Paladins are no longer strictly beholden to the Sultan of Uldah and there are now free paladins wandering the world looking for their home. They're also very much like Jedi in that they're protectors and stand firm in their dedication to their cause whatever that may be. 

 

Dark Knights are almost the same thing except that they are hunters and seekers of injustice and take a much more proactive role in protecting the good and innocent...by directly attacking the source of corruption or danger. This is why the Ishgard nobility and the Holy See had most of them routed because these guys are the ones that directly threaten them. Dark Knights also learn to tap into darkness (not necessarily the Void, but their darker emotions) to channel their magic. Greatswords are an attempt to merge swordsmanship with the reach of a lance if that helps as well.

 

Whether you wish to go Paladin or Dark Knight is up to you, but it may be best to begin as a tutor or say she was squired to one to learn swordsmanship and their magic.

 

If you wish to become a black mage, I'd warn you that apparently these mages tap directly into the Void and as such are seen as wielders of dark and terrible magic. As such you may be hunted or shunned by some players *shrugs*, but I can't be certain. Still, maybe you wish to feel more intune with the elementals so you seek to wield the awesome power of the elements yourself much in the same vein as the blue mage. Or you tapped into such magic to combat the dragons during the Dragonsong War. 

 

Dancer maybe you wanted to be employed by a troupe of performers that travel the land in order to support yourself and your brother, while maneuvering your way through the traps of civilization in order to etch out a place for the both of you. 

 

As for Duskwright or Wildwood.....Duskies have better than average hearing, while Wildwood can see a damn field mouse scampering through the grass leagues away. Pick your poison P. Wildwoods left Gelmorra though in order to find better lives on the surface and made a pact with the elementals. Duskwrights stuck to the shadows and shunned the surface world.

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I'm sorry if this advice isn't very helpful, because I know it's a little vague and not really helping to direct you to any particular choice--but I am sensing a decent amount of indecisiveness, and a lot of it seems to be centered around uncertainty from a past rejection and worry about how others will receive your RP. And it's valid to some degree, of course. Everyone wants to feel accepted and not overly restrict the pool of people willing to RP with them, and RP is a social activity where we need to make sure we're keeping not just ourselves but all our RP partners entertained and comfy. I totally get it because I have to fight through those feelings of insecurity regularly, and I see a lot of RPers struggle with it, especially ones who tend to flip-flop a lot with their characters and ideas.

So my advice? Play what you want to play. It's okay to ask for advice and listen to input from others, but ultimately, whether it's what class to main or what RP character to roll, trust your own gut and do what interests you without too much worry for what others will think or say. If you worry about pleasing others above all else, I think you're just keeping feeling stuck, and once you do make a decision, it may not long before you go back on it and fantasia and change your character again, whether it's because you are feeling dissatisfied yourself in an idea you aren't really that invested in, or because you may begin to second guess your choice if you start to feel like it's not well-received. There will always be naysayers, and no concept will ever be everyone's cup of tea, so find what you like and stick with it, and eventually you'll find your people. It sounds like you've got A LOT of possibilities here, and it's going to just take some soul-searching to narrow it down enough that others can really help you settle on an idea.

I do think it's best to start with a simple and streamlined character concept, not because our characters can't do a lot of things, but because those things tend to happen organically throughout the RP, so if you start your character off with her fingers in a lot of pies, she may end up overloaded once you've been steadily RPing her for a while. That being said, unless you intend for her to be very young (and Elezen do live a touch longer than other races, so that's easy to avoid), I don't think the ideas you have for her are outlandish. IRL a lot of people do a lot of things--especially all the crazy talented and inspiring people out there--and RP characters tend to be larger than life, anyway. I think it makes sense for characters to have many skills, hobbies, and occupations, especially if they're not all to the point of mastery.

Also remember you don't have to overthink things! There doesn't have to be a grand reason for your character to pick up a new skill. Maybe she made a new friend who offered to teach and mentor her? Maybe a weapon fell into her possession and she decided to make the most of it? Maybe a negative experience made her realize that archery and/or a lance isn't the best way to thwart every threat?

(And a small correction from the post above--Void magic is its own thing that black magic can cross over, but doesn't have to. Black mages don't draw their power from the Void but from within themselves, which is why without possession of a black mage soulstone, a black mage will inevitably end up killing themselves from the inside. Black magic is, much like white magic, considered heavily regulated if not outright illegal following the War of the Magi when war between black and white mages almost destroyed the entire planet. I'd suggest thaumaturgy may be easier to pursue IC than black magic.)

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15 hours ago, Fancy Pants said:

Well I'm still learning the lore of this game myself, but I could be of some small assistance in helping you weed through those desires of yours. So what we have here is a character whose upbringing wasn't the greatest and lived a very bleak life, while looking to take herself and her only living family member and find a new home elsewhere.

 

As a lancer and archer she could've found her origins from Ishgard or Gridania. Either location would require grit and no small amount of intelligence and skill to survive given their hostile environments. Ishgard is a cold bleak place so knowing how to survive is essential and the politics and cutthroat nature of Ishgard's nobility isn't something to mess with either on top of their zealous devotion to the goddess of war. Gridania is a more verdant location and looks more peaceful, but the darkness within the Shroud and the elementals make it very terrifying especially if you piss off the forest and get blighted or whatever and have every monster keyed in on you. It's definitely a more primordial location that's for certain and its denizens are very protective and adherent to the wishes of the forest and the elementals that call it home.

 

Both locations have also been heavily involved in wars between Ala Mhigo and the Garlean Empire which could give rise to your character's interest in firearms to become a machinist (maybe even a gunbreaker if you wanted). Either way, she could've seen the effectiveness of the Garlean military and the creations of Cid in Ishgard and his sky lances and became intrigued with the idea of wielding such effective and decisive weaponry in place of a cumbersome bow and arrow.  Blue magic study could come from an interest in learning about monsters and their abilities, seeingi their power could drive your character to want it for themselves so nobody would ever hurt her or her brother again. Paladin and Dark Knights are thematically the same save for some key details. Paladins are no longer strictly beholden to the Sultan of Uldah and there are now free paladins wandering the world looking for their home. They're also very much like Jedi in that they're protectors and stand firm in their dedication to their cause whatever that may be. 

 

Dark Knights are almost the same thing except that they are hunters and seekers of injustice and take a much more proactive role in protecting the good and innocent...by directly attacking the source of corruption or danger. This is why the Ishgard nobility and the Holy See had most of them routed because these guys are the ones that directly threaten them. Dark Knights also learn to tap into darkness (not necessarily the Void, but their darker emotions) to channel their magic. Greatswords are an attempt to merge swordsmanship with the reach of a lance if that helps as well.

 

Whether you wish to go Paladin or Dark Knight is up to you, but it may be best to begin as a tutor or say she was squired to one to learn swordsmanship and their magic.

 

If you wish to become a black mage, I'd warn you that apparently these mages tap directly into the Void and as such are seen as wielders of dark and terrible magic. As such you may be hunted or shunned by some players *shrugs*, but I can't be certain. Still, maybe you wish to feel more intune with the elementals so you seek to wield the awesome power of the elements yourself much in the same vein as the blue mage. Or you tapped into such magic to combat the dragons during the Dragonsong War. 

 

Dancer maybe you wanted to be employed by a troupe of performers that travel the land in order to support yourself and your brother, while maneuvering your way through the traps of civilization in order to etch out a place for the both of you. 

 

As for Duskwright or Wildwood.....Duskies have better than average hearing, while Wildwood can see a damn field mouse scampering through the grass leagues away. Pick your poison P. Wildwoods left Gelmorra though in order to find better lives on the surface and made a pact with the elementals. Duskwrights stuck to the shadows and shunned the surface world.


Thanks for your reply, Fancy Pants!  You've given me some ideas to work with!

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5 hours ago, Faye said:

I'm sorry if this advice isn't very helpful, because I know it's a little vague and not really helping to direct you to any particular choice--but I am sensing a decent amount of indecisiveness, and a lot of it seems to be centered around uncertainty from a past rejection and worry about how others will receive your RP. And it's valid to some degree, of course. Everyone wants to feel accepted and not overly restrict the pool of people willing to RP with them, and RP is a social activity where we need to make sure we're keeping not just ourselves but all our RP partners entertained and comfy. I totally get it because I have to fight through those feelings of insecurity regularly, and I see a lot of RPers struggle with it, especially ones who tend to flip-flop a lot with their characters and ideas.

So my advice? Play what you want to play. It's okay to ask for advice and listen to input from others, but ultimately, whether it's what class to main or what RP character to roll, trust your own gut and do what interests you without too much worry for what others will think or say. If you worry about pleasing others above all else, I think you're just keeping feeling stuck, and once you do make a decision, it may not long before you go back on it and fantasia and change your character again, whether it's because you are feeling dissatisfied yourself in an idea you aren't really that invested in, or because you may begin to second guess your choice if you start to feel like it's not well-received. There will always be naysayers, and no concept will ever be everyone's cup of tea, so find what you like and stick with it, and eventually you'll find your people. It sounds like you've got A LOT of possibilities here, and it's going to just take some soul-searching to narrow it down enough that others can really help you settle on an idea.

I do think it's best to start with a simple and streamlined character concept, not because our characters can't do a lot of things, but because those things tend to happen organically throughout the RP, so if you start your character off with her fingers in a lot of pies, she may end up overloaded once you've been steadily RPing her for a while. That being said, unless you intend for her to be very young (and Elezen do live a touch longer than other races, so that's easy to avoid), I don't think the ideas you have for her are outlandish. IRL a lot of people do a lot of things--especially all the crazy talented and inspiring people out there--and RP characters tend to be larger than life, anyway. I think it makes sense for characters to have many skills, hobbies, and occupations, especially if they're not all to the point of mastery.

Also remember you don't have to overthink things! There doesn't have to be a grand reason for your character to pick up a new skill. Maybe she made a new friend who offered to teach and mentor her? Maybe a weapon fell into her possession and she decided to make the most of it? Maybe a negative experience made her realize that archery and/or a lance isn't the best way to thwart every threat?

(And a small correction from the post above--Void magic is its own thing that black magic can cross over, but doesn't have to. Black mages don't draw their power from the Void but from within themselves, which is why without possession of a black mage soulstone, a black mage will inevitably end up killing themselves from the inside. Black magic is, much like white magic, considered heavily regulated if not outright illegal following the War of the Magi when war between black and white mages almost destroyed the entire planet. I'd suggest thaumaturgy may be easier to pursue IC than black magic.)


Thanks so much for your reply, Faye!  I did get some ideas out of it and found it a bit helpful, so no worries on that!  (And my research into RP already had me in the mindset that I couldn't ICly be a black mage...I'm just used to calling it that because of the OOC in game mechanics!)

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