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LilMomoshi

How Special Are We?

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So, this is something that I've talked about at great length with guilds in the past, most recently with my last guild in WoW before my eventual retirement from the game, and I'm naturally very opinionated about it, but I'll be reeling that in for the sake of an open discussion.

 

How special should a character be?

 

I still remember the early days of RP for me, all those years ago. I was, beyond a doubt, a Sue. I was bad. My characters were overpowered, broke lore like toothpicks, and absolutely had to be the center of attention. The story was all about them, from my perspective. Over the years I've mellowed significantly, of course, having come to a realization early on that what I was doing just wasn't fun for anyone, including myself.

 

Now, I'm all for living the fantasy. Of course I am. I'm a roleplayer, and that's exactly what we do. After this point though, during my first year of RP, I started to take a new direction as both a roleplayer and a writer. I began to seek out simplicity in my characters. The first success, from my eyes, was how I reimagined my dwarf. He was no longer special in ways that didn't fit the world. I actively read the lore, delved deep into the world he was a part of, and sought to make him a character that fit into that world and lore well.

 

My attention turned from "what attributes make my character special?", and instead looked into the character himself, as I would any person I may meet in reality. What about this person makes him special?

 

Years down the road, I stand by my decision. I've had many characters since then, from a simple farmer turned soldier, to an assassin in a harsh world, struggling with her job and relation to the people pulling her strings. I look at my characters since that choice, and I feel pride in what I've created, and the stories I've told. However, I've also had people challenge my approach.

 

These people look at my characters, often having not interacted with them often, and ask me what really makes them special? They have no special powers, no distinguishing features, and all generally tend to fit in with their culture and peoples as well as I can manage. I always answer the same way: How is this fantastic character, as they are, in this world, not already special? Maybe you're an elf wielding incredible arcane power, or a wandering human hunting wondrous treasures lost to time. You already are special, so what beyond that defines you? What makes your character interesting as that person?

 

Of course, everyone has their approach, and as roleplayers (and furthermore, nerds) I think it's kind of our duty to be accepting of each other, whatever views we may take, or however we may choose to find our enjoyment of the things we're passionate about.

 

So! Little ranty thing done with, discuss! I want to know what the community thinks on the subject!

 

Also, here at the bottom, a little link I've often used through the years since my Sueish days. I don't follow it to a "T", as sometimes you gotta have a little freedom, but I've always felt it makes a fairly decent gauge of the Sue situation.

 

http://www.springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm

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Firsty, that 'Sue' test was fun!

 

As this has some spoilers up through about the 'big level 20 story fight' stuff I'll hide the rest :P

 

I'm somewhat with you, in that I try to have my characters 'fit in' more than 'stand out' due to inherent awesomeness or whatever. In FFXIV, I did decide to make use of echo- not because 'hey look it makes me special,' but rather because I could potentially see my character ICly coming up against Primals in the future (it turned out to be a good thing I did, since my FC leader decided to 'test' some of us against a manifestation of Ifrit, having forgotten (oocly) about tempering! Wound up being the perfect way for her to find out, 'hey this could have gone really badly, lucky you it didnt.' Having the echo was also the final 'nudge out the door' to get her from being a stay-at-home mom type to taking up adventuring. Before, she had agreed to help out her friends but wasn't really into it, but being one of 'the few' who can stand up against Primals and not get scrambled egg brains gave her the feeling that she has a responsibility to do more. But she's also a Seeker who actually adheres to Seeker cultural norms for the most part, who has made some poor decisions and actually has IC negative consequences to go with those (as opposed to somehow turning those consequences into perks, as I've seen done before).

 

To me, a character needs to have some way to grow. They can be talented, sure- that's another facet to add, after all- but if they're good at everything then where do they grow? If everything's gone right for them and they've never made a poor choice, what do they have to overcome? To me a big part of enjoying a character is overcoming adversity, not showing off how awesome they are. And if you do it right, you can be awesome in the process of overcoming adversity, without coming across as the Sue of doom :)

 

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I agree wholeheartedly that a character has to have room to grow. Of course, I'll also say that there is such a thing as too much adversity. I've seen characters with backgrounds so messed up that it just seems overboard. Or their damages, whatever they may be, are played off in unrealistic ways, or used to excuse behavior out of the norm (sometimes in way that people who have actually suffered might find incredibly offensive).

 

Hence why I stand by the "realistic" approach. These are people, and they should act like people. No one emotion or reaction should define them, just as no one moment in their past should define them. It's a story, even if each of us is a small part of the whole. All of it matters.

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I've been roleplaying for awhile not, and my first real foray into MMO RP was on DAoC.  I didn't actually participate much, but it seemed okay -- then I got into WoW, and boy, was I blown over by the ridiculous characters people played.  Now, granted, I know that every character is likely to fall a little into the mary sue spectrum, and everyone wants a hook to make their character interesting, but I find no matter your character's past, purpose, or what-have-you, the manner in which you play them is more important than anything else.

 

I've seen plenty of characters with eyerolling backstories that were played with enough nuance and subtlety to make them good characters, and I've also come across characters with aggressively boring backstories that play their characters as if they're meant to be the stars of the show.

 

Which brings me to another part of this whole mary sue special equation.  You have your mary sues, you have your ladies who move like darkness or dudes capable of taking out 20 mooks with a toothpick, but on the flipside you have your characters who're slightly tubby and couldn't fight if their life depended on it and would rather spend their time cutting the crust off sandwiches because that's what "good" roleplay is to them.

 

So really, I'd advise people to strive for a happy medium.  Make your characters entertaining, give them hooks, but don't make them the equivalent of a psychotic high school kid with superpowers who wants to shoot up the local school and has offensively stereotypical multiple personality disorder, and don't push your character too far into the other direction that there's nothing to them.

 

And realize you're sharing the stage.  I mean, this is Final Fantasy -- how often is the main character really the most interesting?

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My characters don't tend to be special. The things that are important to them don't need to be important to the rest of the world, just like how real life works (and yet they are the absolute protagonists in my mind, as it's logical). I, however, also enjoy playing with other characters who are so perfect or powerful or anything you can come up with, for those can make the story move forward! It doesn't matter if they want to be the main stars; a main star needs a public, and thus their stories can and usually will get other characters involved.

 

That's my experience, anyway. I played in a community where, one day, the new masters decided to have a huge control over what kind of power or plot everyone could have, preventing people from making any sort of special character. The result was that the RP suffered a lot because nothing much happened any longer.

 

Summarizing, even if I have my own ways to RP, I enjoy meeting and playing with many kinds of characters ^^

Freedom is important.

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If your character has particularly powerful traits then you can balance it out with terrible drawbacks. You don't necessarily need to be normal or just slightly above average to avoid transforming into a Mary Sue.

 

My char here as an exemple has an incredible amount of aether running in her body compared to other thaumaturges, making her spells devastating and giving her a greater mana pool than some of the better thaumaturges.

 

Sounds OP right? Yeah well have a look at the drawbacks.

 

Her power is too much for her body to handle, weakening it so much that she has a lot of troubles doing everyday activities, an exemple would be carrying supplies with her, or walking long distances or going up slopes. Even holding a pen or a fork for too long is tiring.

 

Everyday she has to use up a lot of her mana to avoid horrible headaches and muscle pain.

 

Obviously she's forced to find partners for every mission she takes on to make sure she doesn't get killed and manage to complete her mission without losing whatever the objective was (items the client needs back and the like).

 

Thus she's powerful but still extremely dependant of the help of others.

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I got a 23 on that test, which is apparently middling dependent upon how I handle it.

 

It was a useful link, especially with the descriptions of why things could be considered bad, so thank you :)

 

I may re-adjust one or two things though, understanding a bit better how bad they can seem (Or pointless), so she should improve.

 

I didn't run through it with my DnD character, but I think he'd score quite a bit lower, since he's not as good as he could be and fairly useless when it comes to a lot of things :D 

 

For my own thoughts, I do believe that some specialness is great, but without people who can play "normal" being special isn't at all. I've always understood the need to temper greatness with weakness.

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I personally believe that people shouldn't limit themselves when they create their characters, so long as they don't force others to feel certain ways about them (I know a case of a girl who let everyone know that her character was the prettiest person they might have ever met). Give them whatever past you want, whatever power you want, then see where it takes you. Other characters will react accordinly and the RP will flow.

 

To each of us, our own character will always be the most special one, after all.

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Summarizing, even if I have my own ways to RP, I enjoy meeting and playing with many kinds of characters ^^

Freedom is important.

 

Definitely this. I don't tend to play overly powerful or special characters myself but they can generate some interesting RP for you to bounce off, if played well.

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To each of us, our own character will always be the most special one, after all.

Yeah, this most definitely. Too many times do I see people, who may even be great role players, forget that they are sharing a stage and think that their's is the only one worth understanding and getting to know. Everyone loves their own creation the most, because they spent time and soul weaving this character. It's remembering that everyone else feels the same way, and being flexible is how we make great stories and communities.

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I think, like anything else, going to extremes on 'specialness' one way or the other is bad.

 

On one hand, yes, the overpowered wunderkind, master of all disciplines of war, magic, land and hand is not a good thing. Even if that's actually possible in game (And in fact, some people approach this as time goes on, game-ability-sie).

 

On the other hand, playing an inept, dull, untalented drip with no redeeming qualities or special abilities is equally bad.

 

It's all about challenges. What makes characters interesting is the challenges they face, and how they surmount them. It's about how they change and grow as they make their journey. And so, for the Sue and the Drip, both boil down to the same issue: Neither grows or changes. The Sue because there is no need, because any challenge the world presents is trivial, and the Drip because they are simply incapable or improving themselves. Challenges are meaningless if they're not a challenge, or if there is zero hope of overcoming them.

 

Also... no one goes into the world, thrusts their fist into the sky and yells out "I'm going to be average! I'm going to be the most average adventurer there ever was!" No... everyone is striving to be something, to be the best at something, or at least the best they can be.

 

Adventurers ARE special. They have something that elevates them above the standard refugee, be it starting position in life, martial skill, determination or drive... determining what lifts your character above the throngs of ordinary citizens should be a core part of creating that character.

 

I personally don't think this special quality should be some plot MacGuffin, such as an ordained destiny, or blessing of the crystal, or summat. Those do come into play, but they should not define your character. Your character is chosen by destiny because they are special, not special because they are chosen by destiny. And what makes them special should endure even if all that destiny or magic or whatnot was stripped away. If your character was pulled from Hydaelin and dumped in the real world, that quality should still exist.

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There's nothing wrong with portraying a powerful character so long as it is done tastefully. Though the key words in that sentence are 'portraying' and 'tastefully', since all too often I've seen role-players take all the possible perks for their chosen role and very few of the drawbacks.

 

If someone is going to claim that their character is an excellent combatant or a powerful hero/villain then I expect them to actually be out in the game world quite frequently instead of lingering in taverns socialising every other night. It's also not an excuse to be able to order someone else's character around without their permission. I don't care how often someone claims that their character is a 'Lord-Commander' or 'General' -they have no authority over someone who isn't serving under them.

 

As for my own character, I tend to prefer to portray them as being able to handle themselves but more on the anti-hero side of the fence. They're usually flawed, even if they're intentions are pure. I find it much more interesting than being a flawless hero who can do no wrong. I guess it's why characters from the 'Game of Thrones' setting such as Jaime Lannister, Catelyn Stark and Cersei Lannister fascinate me so much.

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My character scored a whopping 0 on the Mary Sue test. *does happy dance* :cactuar:

 

 

It has been my experience that ideals might be what we think we want, but there's generally nothing more boring than a perfect person. Because everything about them is just as it seems. There are now shadows lurking beneath the surface, no secrets or hidden motivations. Everything they do, they do out in the open, because they have no reason not to. They have been written specifically to never be wrong.

And I understand the appeal of being able to write yourself the way you wish you were. But that person is never interesting to anyone other than you.

 

Flaws are fun, they colour the characters and make them unique. For instance, perhaps my Miqo'te points and laughs when he sees a Roegadyn accidentally kick a Lalafell underfoot. It's an asshole thing to do, but it adds depth to his character. Depending on your perspective you might construe it as a fundamental lack of empathy. Now why would he do that? Does he consider the Lalafell weak, and thus deserving of a kick? Does he just not give a shit about anyone other than himself? Is he racist against Lalafell for some reason?

Maybe it's justified, and then again maybe it isn't. But that's sort of the point though. No one is perfect, so giving your characters flaws will make them seem more real.

No one can identify with super ultra hero-sama of destiny, because no human being is actually like that. And if you can't identify with at least some part of the character, it is really difficult to care about anything they say or do.

 

Putting your character on a pedestal, will always be met with the same disdain as putting yourself on a pedestal is met with in real life. Have you ever considered why so many people hate stuff like Twilight, True Blood, Sword Art Online etc. etc.? It's because they're Mary Sue fiction. They're basically mental masturbation for the author, and for anyone who doesn't share the author's exact fantasy, it just comes off as delusional and self-centered.

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I think I've ranted about this once or twice and I'll rant about it once more.

 

I also admit, when I first started RPing in an MMO, my character was probably what you'd see in a dictionary next to 'Mary-Sue'. Some highlights:

 

-She was a Blood Elf-- But she came from some pocket dimension in the Nether where numerous warlocks lived with demons

 

-She was mute

 

-She was a hunter for no real reason

 

-She understood every language

 

-Her hair changed colors with her mood

 

So, okay... I get in game on Ravenholdt server which, coincidentally, had a wonderful community. NOT. ONE. PERSON. berated me on how unorthodox and lore-breaking my abomination of a character was. Not one. I had countless walk ups where people did their best to take me seriously, I even got pulled into one of the larger guilds on the server (right after WotLK) where the leader gently began to press me towards the lore by sharing it with me in and out of character. He gave me examples, using his own character, rather than trying to shove it down my throat like bitter medicine.

 

My character was killed and underwent a three day long process (72 hours) of a group-wide effort to resurrect her as a Death Knight after WotLK, along with several other guildies. In fact, every non DK who joined, unless they were a warlock, ended up being turned into a Death Knight. Why? Because our necromancers, after the expansion, spent weeks training ICly on forums and in game to achieve that level of skill.

 

Not many people appreciate DKs now since they were overdone for RP-- it meant you could start a whole new character without having to bother leveling to 58 and they could be your vampire, more or less. I've never seen a guild since that went through the level of care that that particular guild put into helping its members develop their characters with near constant attention and a stable environment and structure. Sure, that character was still a special snowflake in her own right, but after that change I had more freedom to learn the lore and all characters after, with the impression my guild leader left on me, I've built to be supporting characters.

 

I wasted a lot of time working in taverns or Cantinas, answering the calls for help where ever I go on a character if my character has the personality to respond to it, which they usually do. I do this because I enjoy it, not because it gives me some sense of elitism to say I play a virtual NPC in the RP lives of others by playing fairly cut and dry characters. I add little tidbits in here and there if I want to do something interesting, like in Siobhain's history. She'll be a decent fighter, physically, but she's neither tall nor short, nor super feminine or super masculine; she'll be working a minor job, she won't ever learn every single skill or class (Paladin/Blacksmith So technically what... Four? Only because Paladin takes two.), she's not incredibly rich or poor-- she's there. Her past was difficult but not extremely uncommon, I imagine. Her personality should make her interesting, but that's about it. 

 

Playing a 'normal' or 'boring' character is usually special in its own right, because so many others are almost -too- interesting and when the exceptions to the rule outnumber the 'rule' so to speak, it becomes the majority. On the other hand, 99% of the people on Wyrmrest Accord that I've seen don't play their class because it's 'overdone and game mechanics have no reflection on roleplaying' so many of them are merchants or bards or blacksmiths or leatherworkers-- civilians because they don't want to be the stereotypical hero. At the same time those people who otherwise claim to have little to no combat experience won't allow their characters to be fought or killed as though being a citizen in Azeroth makes you immune to death. It seems, again, like a conflict of interest. Frankly, it's boring-- sure, not everyone has to be a hero, but enough of us genuinely enjoy writing up semi-plain characters that we intend to develop rather than having everything set out for us and playing 'NPC' to help drive strangers' character development as well as our own. So many of us are like that, in fact, I just don't grasp why people bother to complain so much about those super special outrageous characters-- I've seen about a 5 to 1 ratio of intentionally bland and ultra realistic to Dragons or Demons or super-powered paragons of awesome, birthed of the loins of Thrall from the seed of Wrynn. Not one single avatar of Azeyma or Rhalgr, but I'm still holding out hope.

 

People will always be on either side of the fence and as readily as I'll defend anyone's right to play whatever character they want, I'll keep shaking my head every time someone gets degraded or overlooked for a lore-breaking Mary-Sue. We all had to start somewhere and for most of us it wasn't being ostracized or ignored for our lack of knowledge or our decisions. I'd like to enjoy some more perfect people, personally, because bland can be as boring when everyone's doing it as ultra-shiny choices. I'd also like to see more characters open to potentially altering their personalities and lifestyles rather than just treating every RP like an in-depth Q&A of 'How would my character respond to this?'

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The best chars, in my mind are those who have 2 or 3 things that make them special. That make them unique. Mine is a topnotch archer. Is she the best? No. Can she certainly hold her own amongst Eorzea's best if there was a competition done RP style? I'd like to think so.

 

To give your character too many gifts and powers, to give a Herculean ability to overcome any obstacle, is not very fun for a lot of people. There are some who really appreciate a DBZ style of ultra-power levels, and that's fine; they have the right to play that way, and to seek others out that play that way.

 

But when people wonder why they aren't getting along well with the community, its because you are trying to get everyone to play your way, instead of making concessions, and compromising to reach a middle ground that creates enjoyment for the majority of the people you interact with.

 

Conversely, there are those who undersell their characters. I have been guilty of this. I'm so worried of making them too powerful, that I strip them of any real power, even though they are supposed to be really good at what they do.

 

Finding a balance, and making your char's actions believable, will open up the widest amount of RP to you, but, in the end its all about you having fun, while still respecting everyone else's right to have fun.

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Ah...this thread.  I was wondering when something of this topic would show up.  Because it is a very tricky thing to really come to a general consensus.

 

In my experience, I have to agree with the OP: what makes a character special is usually the character themselves; not necessarily what they can do.  Initially, I thought it was the other way around.  That is, I had characters who were unbelievably OP, but I did make sure they followed the setting they were in and ultimately fit.  They just were a bit spotlight grabbing in many respects.  However, that does not mean you can't have the 'special'.  I know Shuck will be one of the first to argue that such things are superfluous, and I agree in many respects.  But there are exceptions, and here's one of mine.

 

When I made the transition from roleplaying on forums to MMOs, my perspective immediately changed, as I was able to see people making, writing, and roleplaying characters in real time, which made things pop out more and made my own flaws as a writer all the more apparent.  The character I had written was noticeably OP, even for the setting he was in.  But, at the same time, there was much about the character I liked, in terms of what shaped him to be the person he was and what could potentially change that character.  So, I stuck with him with the intent of seeing him through to see what happened.

 

Now, of all the characters I've made, he was (and still is by far) the strongest character I had written.  Sure, part of it was the fantasy of it all; I'm as self-indulgent as most any other human being.  But I also know people read about characters like this to {also} feel empowered or to escape in a fantasy.  So, my focus shifted from the initial idea of toning him down to instead making him relatable to an audience or other RPers, and that meant focusing on the person he was, not that he could level a city in a few hours (not that he ever would, mind you).

 

As I did so, what he did became less and less important and only really showed up when plot demanded it, and it was usually rigorously challenged because of how I played the character, so there was rarely ever a case of "Swing fist, enemy destroyed, world saved".  What instead took precedence was the character.  Why he did the things he did.  Why he cared about others in the first place.  How he saw the world.  How he viewed what he could do.  His fears.  His desires.  His vices.  All of these things.

 

And what ended up happening was making a character that would have been fine without the crazy OP crap.  But, his character was also built AROUND said OP crap.  It wasn't like "eh, whatever."  What he did terrified him, excited him.  It made him very wary to touch people or even interact with them.  I mean, when you can crunch a car door inward by lightly tapping it, you'd be afraid to give someone a handshake, let alone hug them.

 

So much of his development was based on him discovering himself, showing that even though he was immensely powerful, he was just as human as the rest of us.  He had insecurities, and most importantly, he wasn't afraid to reach out for help.  Many thought he was being weak.  But the people that extended their hands back, knowing full well he could accidentally hurt him, became his closest allies.  And the supposed 'good people' that snuffed him showed their true colors in reflection when, despite all of his fears, he wore them on his sleeve.

 

And that's my experience with characters like this.  I'm the kind of guy who can see how Superman can be a compelling character.  It's hard, and it requires a different perspective, but it CAN be done.  It's why you have some 'good' comic book writers and 'bad' ones.  Of course, those terms have to be used sparingly, as such things are subjective.

 

Now, as for THIS setting in particular, yeah.  MOST of us are playing the roles of adventurers.  But some of us (like myself) are playing the guy who wants to live a normal life, only to be continuously be reeled in by the fates with a large NOPE and smacking him into the wide world.  He's got some bit of magic in him, both literal and figurative, that he refuses to accept he has.  He says he likes the quiet.  He says he likes safe.  But in the end he's restless, and secretly he hopes his life means something outside of being the silversmith he became.

 

And that's the springboard for Velkyron's character (yes, I know, non-roe name.  There's a reason though, so shush).

 

For the record?  Velky here got a -5 on that test.  He's not an anti-sue by any means.  He just has some pretty nasty faults and issues.  And unlike the aforementioned character, he's not as open about them, though he hides it well.  It'll be an interesting change of pace for when I'll actually be able to log in.  Maybe I should sing a song about that...

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The Sue test was an amusing diversion. Aeriyn scored an 8 as a character. I suspect most of my characters would score low, since my characters generally tend to be fairly normal but skilled women who carry around big bags of issues.

 

The best way I've discovered to avoid Sue-ness in a character is to write them interesting rather than special and write them as people rather than idealized paragons.

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I scored -5  on the Sue test... and I did it with all 4 characters combined.

I guess they're all within pretty average for the setting. :P

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YAY! Discussion happened!


While I'm thinking of it, another thought, in relation to RP and game mechanics.

 

I've always taken the approach, in terms of power of my character and the skills they have, of directly relating this to the game. If they can't cast it in game, they can't cast it in RP. If it's a spell outside of their class (which, granted, will require some self-restrictions in this game) then they can't use it. Level isn't related to power, but it certainly is to skill and study, then.

 

How do you wonderful people approach this?

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I'm sure we will soon (or already have) characters with robot arms and magitech eyes, as well as escaped demons from hell who are secretly disguised as mortals but can't seem to resist the urge to flaunt their origins openly (and with as many witnesses as possible, uuuuuuugh) and other assorted stupidity.

 

I'm finding these days, to make a 'special' character, you just RP as an average person doing what they can in a fantasy world. Just being an adventurer is pretty special as it is, since you have to be a little crazy to go outside the safety of the cities for what could amount to nothing more than personal glory :P

 

I think that's been lost on a lot of the roleplayers I've seen the past few years.

 

While I'm thinking of it, another thought, in relation to RP and game mechanics.

 

I've always taken the approach, in terms of power of my character and the skills they have, of directly relating this to the game. If they can't cast it in game, they can't cast it in RP. If it's a spell outside of their class (which, granted, will require some self-restrictions in this game) then they can't use it. Level isn't related to power, but it certainly is to skill and study, then.

 

How do you wonderful people approach this?

Good point!

 

I've never treated levels as a direct measure of power- more of a general gauge of the character's experience. Granted, with FFXIV's class system, this means I'd have to apply it on a more class to class basis.

 

Hmm~ I suppose it'd be how comfortable they be discussing matters related to said class. Tajha is just starting out as a THM, so she's only be able to recall only the most basic stuff. Granted, I doubt a lot of us are master wizards or blacksmiths in real life so a bit of.. ah, bullshitting, would probably be in order :P

 

(edit edit edit: I apologize for any typos- posting before coffee is not recommended)

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YAY! Discussion happened!


While I'm thinking of it, another thought, in relation to RP and game mechanics.

 

I've always taken the approach, in terms of power of my character and the skills they have, of directly relating this to the game. If they can't cast it in game, they can't cast it in RP. If it's a spell outside of their class (which, granted, will require some self-restrictions in this game) then they can't use it. Level isn't related to power, but it certainly is to skill and study, then.

 

How do you wonderful people approach this?

 

I tend to take a looser approach myself, as in not intimately tying game mechanics to character ability. To me, telling a good story is more important than how many hours I've spent leveling my character to get such-and-such ability.

 

That said, I try not to ignore the framework of the game either. To (again) use my character S'janna as an example, she has some magical talent that (until recently) was extremely untutored. Class-wise, she is/was an arcanist, and in RP demonstrated a pretty pathetic ability to heal, and a sort of unfocused offensive magic. She had no ability to summon (as she'd not been formally trained). These abilities make sense in the scope of the arcanist class- we get a heal and an 'untyped' attack pretty much right off.

 

In that regard, too, I played up the fact that she was doing this without any sort of focus, which is why those abilities were so meager in her hands. I guess that's ultimately how I'm sort-of representing the different classes/abilities as they relate to S'janna using them- different foci are required to perform different effects, or at least to perform them to any meaningful degree. It's my explanation for why S'janna was flinging around heals and ruins in battle one day, but when she left her tome at home and was carrying a bow, her magic was conspicuously absent- a bow is not a good focus for combat magic, right? It's not like she suddenly forgot her magic, it was simply that it was pretty much useless without a focus.

 

I hope that makes some sense, and wasn't too rambling.

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I'm sure we will soon (or already have) characters with robot arms and magitech eyes, as well as escaped demons from hell who are secretly disguised as mortals but can't seem to resist the urge to flaunt their origins openly (and with as many witnesses as possible, uuuuuuugh) and other assorted stupidity.

 

I'm finding these days, to make a 'special' character, you just RP as an average person doing what they can in a fantasy world. Just being an adventurer is petty special as it is, since you have to be a little crazy to go outside the safety of the cities for what could amount to nothing more than personal glory :P

 

I think that's been lost on a lot of the roleplayers I've seen the past few years.

Yup. This is pretty much exactly how I feel, but far shorter.

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I'm sure we will soon (or already have) characters with robot arms and magitech eyes-

 

 

So far I've known two characters with 'robot arms' to some degree or at least prosthetics that they had some explanation for. Neither of those people seemed particularly stupid, in fact I think both were pretty well liked, nor would I have lumped them in with 'escaped demons'. Generalizing doesn't do any good, really. I also don't see an issue with magitech eyes-- Maybe I'm too used to fantasy settings with alternative methods of seeing though. If you sacrifice your physical vision in order to see heat or magic or something like that, then if your method looks legitimate, I'll accept it and it'll likely be the first time I ever heard it in this setting. If you were -already- blind and there -may- be some way to use what's in the world to your advantage to give you some semblance of sight (assuming you're not an Elezen, and according to some people Miqo'te ears won't help ya) or some other sense that can help, then why not?

 

Siobhain is a paladin, mostly my first real 'tanking' character other than my Orc warrior. I let the class I choose help me develop my character's personality-- or rather I develop her personality around it. She is strongly religious, naive at points, but this depth of her faith keeps her running around and even fuels her limited capacity for healing. I'm debating whether to delve into integrating any paladin reinforcement spells or chants or hymns or runic markings or -whatever- they use, in some small way, over time to allow her to develop as she needs. So far, she's a glorified brute with room to improve but I have no intentions of starting her off as a superb healer or a weapon-master. I'd like to actually learn some things from some people over time, or at least evolve what she knows to a greater extent. Maybe someone will teach her to wear make up or ride Chocobos? Anything can happen.

 

I like to invest my time, finding the gear I want to wear for RP or getting my levels in. I started out doing RP-PVP and I lost the majority of my duels, but if there is one thing in the RP community that bothers me more than ANYTHING else-- it's the tendency of people (not even just low-level people) to shoot their mouth off because they can, offend a ton of people, and then stand there and virtually laugh at the fact that as long as they don't accept a duel or attack, text-based or otherwise, it's not going to happen. Being on an RP-PVP server where dueling was an integral part of dictating fights lessened that number considerably. I think there are very, very many well-read and intelligent RPers who don't fathom in the slightest that writing up a mouthy character with the refusal to back themselves up or even acknowledge the attacks they might earn is 1. Different from being trolled by random PVPers and people who are just wearing better gear than you and want to take that opportunity to make their character look better and 2. It's meta-gaming. That scary, scary word that I so despise because it's so quickly applied to a situation that doesn't sit well with a person or two-- taking something out of character (your personal unwillingness to risk your character's health or reputation + whatever aspects of yourself that you used to make a super abrasive character) and using it to influence what's happening in character.

 

People don't have to fight all the time or like PVP or grind for gear or even consider their classes and spells in RP if they don't want to; but it should never be an excuse for people to break that IC/OOC line or intentionally troll people ICly just because they refuse to acknowledge any form of repercussion for their character's actions.

 

I'll still grind the levels and the gear and the classes because I like my avatar in game to match my character as closely as possible. Also, because it feels like I'm misrepresenting my character by going in at a low level and asking to be treated like I'm a high level who's spent time wandering Eorzea and reading quests and working on my levels and gear without the intention of actually doing any of that.

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One of the things I like about this game so much, and I see it as the way around altering your character in certain ways (demonic, robotic, what have you) is the class system. We have the tool to ICly explain why we're able to do things beyond our normal class handed right to us. I for one intend to use that.

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