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Traveling Realms in a Realm Reborn: Character Ports


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Is your character an incarnation or "port" from another game or universe? Perhaps an OC you utilize everywhere, same name, same characteristics, similar classes/jobs/roles every instance.


Do you retain memories and experiences? Maybe alter them in order to have them suit the character in the new world you've brought them into? Or do you simply take their core and start them with a clean slate? What about special lore or characteristics you've had for them that you wish to retain?


Or are they actually a traveler from another realm? Lightning's Event basically indicates that such a thing exists, and Dissidia is Universe cannon as well, which lends that as a transitional area between worlds.


Post, explain, go~

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I know that FFXIV has, unfortunately, made traveling between worlds canon... But I gotta say, I'm not really a fan of it. It will never not seem Sue-ish to me. The furthest I have/will take it is travel to the Void. :

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Right, so, T'rahnu is a character template I use in pretty much every game that has character creation. She's kind of my test for how powerful that character creation is.


She's always short but well-built, with more muscle mass and definition than you'd expect from a woman, with an androgynous build, short-cropped hair, and the same yellow-tan+black hair+brown eyes color combination. Unsurprisingly, it is REALLY HARD to find games that actually let me recreate her accurately (muscle slider in particular is shockingly absent for reasons that are beyond me). Most games seem to focus on idealized women so making a completely androgynous one is basically impossible.


Her personality, on the other hand, varies depending on the game world and what I feel is appropriate at the time. Her Aion incarnation, for example, is a super-hardassed centuries old warrior (which, contrasted with her appearance, makes her stand out quite a bit IMO). Her EVE incarnation is a suave high-class businesswoman. Her PSO2 incarnation is basically a hot-blooded superheroine. And her FFXIV incarnation is that of a skilled and multi-talented but lonely wanderer who maintains a facade of cheerfulness wherever she goes.


There's a number of games that I've played where I don't make her at all, because the options simply aren't there. In that case I fall back to one of my other recurring character templates, Aiza, who is also sort of a test in terms of mixing the cute factor with the creepy factor, which again is something only so many games can manage.

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People are free to RP whatever makes them happiest.


That said, I kind of agree with Faye. If you're RPing in FFXIV, why not make a character that belongs in FFXIV? It's not hard to make a copy of the character you love with similar characteristics, backstory, etc.


I also personally feel like if you 100% MUST have character that's traveled from a different world to be happy, it makes a lot of sense for to:


1) Have your character keep it a secret, so no one IC-wise thinks you're crazy and/or tries to exploit them. Why would your world traveler straight up tell people they're from a different world? It's a fast track to having others around you think you've gone mad. Lightning had giant terrifying world-hopping monsters to back up her claims and Shanttoto is... well... she's Shanttoto. It makes much more sense for them to wait until they find people they trust and confide in them. Plus, it could be fun to think up a cover-story for your character on who they are and where they've been.


2) Not have special super powers that are completely impossible for normal folks to have in the land of Eorzea (like spending an hour powering up their chi only to have their hair turn blonde and spikey while they fly through the air.) OR just have them be stuff that everybody around you can easily explain away as magic/technology/etc. This is honestly just to make it easier for folks to accept your dimension-hopper and not see them as a god-moding, OP, mary-sue that shatters immersion with a single Kamehameha.

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I often have a female character named after my username (Zetchryn) which I do everywhere that shares certain physical characteristics throughout all the games, but her personality and history is never set in stone. She's always sort of my 'test drive' character, the one I first explore a world with. I do it partially so if anyone calls my name in game, I INSTANTLY see it as I'm used to it, rather then getting so lost in the world that I don't notice that my new moniker's been being called for a time.


History is always tailored to the world, as well as personality.

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Herp - I forgot to mention. I basically reuse the heck out of names, because I am super awful at naming characters. There is a "Lurial" and a "Tiergan" in nearly every game I play - but they don't often share the same characteristics because I build them based off of the game I'm playing. (Though FFXIV Tiergan and SWTOR Tiergan were both slaves. :V) They generally have different personalities and the only thing that's similar is the name.


And maybe the fact that Lurial usually has white hair. :V


Leilani Leilai is also based off of my old tarutaru character from FFXI with the same name and roughly the same appearance - but they're not the same person.

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Aysun is a name/character I have used in multiple places now, though this is the only second time I have RP'd her. Her basic personality starts off about the same, however the universe she is set in and the interaction she has shapes her. I do not carry over any previous RP/plots/background, modified or not. This Aysun is very different emotionally and psychologically from the original I made due to the XIV universe she is in and the RP I've had with her.


Visually, the heterochromia, petite/scrappiness, and tendency for short hair carries over.

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The only reference to prior MMO games and RP characters is the name of a ship. The Midnight Kestrel was the vessel that Steel's mother, Eyriswerd Keltkhan, used to captain before becoming part of the thalassocracy. The Midnight Kestrel was also the name of my main character in City of Heroes, who was an Arch/NRG Blaster. :3


Other than that, Steel is a completely unique creation. Didn't seem right that she'd be a carry-over from any other universe...but I couldn't help but make that little reference.

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There's always a Banquo for me, as he means a lot to me after this long writing him, but I prefer to think of it not so much as the same individual finding himself landing in whatever fresh circumstances have to be available (which is all the better for him, given his grumpy general distrust of magic like an old man puzzling over a smartphone).


Each one ultimately strives towards the same (near-impossible) goal using the means available to them in a given world or setting, and some of them fail, and some of them succeed, depending on how far they get and what resources they can reach. To me, it feels more like separate iterations based on the same original plan, but they always end up way different from each other by the conclusion of their journey, because of the different challenges they've dealt with and people they've met. In that way, I guess it's sort of an experiment in adapting a character to suit new circumstances?

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I do often reuse characters' personalities and occasionally names if they fit the lore, but rather than have them arrive in the world via portal/interdimensionary travel/the Magic School Bus, I create a similar character that fits the game world. Yvelont is heavily modeled after an old MUD/D&D character of mine. He also has an incarnation in World of Warcraft and in Lord of the Rings Online, albeit with different names that fit their settings.


In LOTRO, he's Celothor Gildorion and in WoW he's Teveriel!


And then there's the original, created in '96. This is what we had for screenshots back then:


You see Master Teveriel Anduin Vaalor the Paladin of Voln.

He appears to be an Elf.

He is tall and appears to be mature. He has brooding steel grey eyes and fair skin. He has shoulder length, straight silver blonde hair swept back from the temples. He has an angular face and broad shoulders.

He is in good shape.

He is holding a heavy steel bastard sword with a hilt wrapped in vruul hide in his right hand.

He is wearing a somber black hooded longcloak, a white-enameled villswood greatshield slung over his shoulder, a full suit of brightly polished steel platemail, an ebon-veined white marble band, a silver-studded black leather belt, an antiquated black lacquered scabbard, a drawstring gem pouch, a pair of reinforced black leather trousers, and some heavy black leather boots.


(All actual "worn" gear, not a written description. Man, that's a lotta black.)

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Because I'm sure to piss someone off by saying it, I'll prepend the caveat that I'm not making any value judgements about anyone else's RP. This is just me.


That said, I never understood the "This character is the same one I played in Tera/Wow/Eve Online/Minecraft/Tetris" thing, and so I've never done it. I adore learning about the lore of a world, so I love making fresh characters that wholly inhabit it. For alts, I sometimes use elements of old characters (for instance, Meleia in EQ2 was a Freeport Chekist and spy for the Overlord; Gehmor in Star Trek Online was a Cardassian trained as an intelligence officer before the fall of Cardassia; Armistead Moreau is a Duskwight who lived in a large Clan and was employed as a spy before the Calamity devastated them), but that's about it. Names, cultures, backgrounds, etc, all get created whole cloth.

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I don't like IC universe porting either.


OOCly, however, Oli's general job and personality has roots in other places, starting with the personality of my Asura from GW2, coupled with the knowledge-gathering job of my Sylvari (also from GW2). His concept then enjoyed some baking time as a She in a superhero MMO as a dimension-traveling scientist. A slightly more comedic version of his concept then surfaced as, well, Himself, in this game.


It's been a loooong trip!


...Now that I look at it, all of these steps seem completely unrelated. But trust me, they're connected. Somehow.

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If anyone recognize the last name "Deneith" for my character Roen, it is because it is the name of one of the Dragonmarked Houses from Eberron Campaign setting.


Roen Deneith's first incarnation was in a 3.5e D&D campaign. That campaign ended after five years and I fell in love with the character that I've come to learn inside and out.


So when I discovered FF, I created her again, with an idea of "What if this character was born in another world under entirely different circumstances... how would she turn out?"


So she is not actually a reincarnation, or even the same character. I just reused the name and the person she is at the core. But I am leaving who she becomes and how the circumstances change her to RP and storytelling, which so far, as had some significant divergence from the D&D campaign, as well as some eerie similarities, oddly enough.


Brynn I have also used in other forums and settings, always a horse trader and a dance loving gypsy with a selfish streak about her. I use her as a side character to stories, and in this game she is an alt of mine to support people's arcs as well. She also lets me be a shameless flirt. :D

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Jajara was influenced by a character I had briefly on Silver Hand when I still played WoW, a human rogue by the name of Lyssaria Crowseye. She was self-proclaimed to be the worst rogue in Azeroth: terrible thief, terrible liar, generally terrible at being sneaky at all. But she was honest and kind and definitely an oaf with all the charms that come with it so she managed to get by. I had a lot of fun playing a normal person who had no real aspirations to become a hero, who was constantly baffled by the lengths and dangers others would voluntarily put themselves in, and brought that spirit over into Jajara. At least the core of her personality, anyway: Jajara's actually decent at what she can do, though she is definitely very humble about it all.


Delial was my main throughout WoW and XIV D shares a lot of WoW's spirit. Towards the end of WoW, Delial was spiralling down into a pit of delusion and lunacy over quite a few things, and I like to think that XIV's Delial was sort of born from those moments - that the looming ghost figure of "the Witch" is what she herself used to be. Their personalities are mostly identical, their loyalties and ambitions as well. XIV Delial is much more conniving and willing to dirty her hands, where as WoW Delial was more keen to protect her reputation as a supposed hero of the Undercity. They have loved deeply and had bitter losses and both battle with depression, alcoholism, and an inability to let go of the things that hurt them the most.


Physical trademarks carried over: a single yellow eye while the other is damaged or missing completely, facial scarring and such, short physique and modest frame. Violet was an important color if only because it was the one associated with warlocks and dark magic in general, and so it plays a bit in XIV D's appearance and wardrobe as well.


She also has a mount named Vigil (who was one a dreadsteed clad in violet barding), while Jajara has the pet named Dinner (who used to be a plain orange tabby).

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Seems I'm not the only one who does this, but Jana in this game is based on the Jana I played back in Tera, with all of her background re-worked and at a younger age (so minus a lot of Tera!Jana's additional experiences/baggage she had before going into RP). She's already grown into being a very different character through the RP she's seen in FFXIV, certainly able to stand out on her own in my mind.


As for actually playing a character ported into Eorzea from a universe outside of it IC, I don't frown upon it when done well. But I don't personally play that kind of character because researching the lore behind a new game and making a background out of it is something I find a lot of fun.

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I don't generally port characters between universes (whether it's a new version of another character or an actual transfer between universes), even if the universes are very similar; like C'kayah, I like to ground my characters in the lore of the world in which they live, so that they're creatures informed heavily by the setting. That's one of the reasons why L'yhta is a miqo'te -- I find a lot of complexities and grey areas of their racial lore very interesting. In MMOs especially, I write new characters for each game I play.


While universe jumping is definitely lore-compatible in XIV, I tend to consider it a weird, rare thing, and so L'yhta is always surprised to hear claims of it (and typically is interested in finding out more). She tends to be a bit skeptical about it, though, since there's so many rumors flying about and wild claims in the Eorzean media.


I have sometimes ported MMO characters back to tabletop games in the same setting, though. Typically, this is when I really like the concept but I never got to actually RP it significantly. For instance, I once took a Champions Online character and played it in a Champions tabletop game, since I never got to RP her much -- just enough to really get her "voice" down, but not enough to satisfy me. Unfortunately, said game imploded after 3 runs (the HERO System: It Tends To Have Issues).

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Verad's personality is similar in nature to the more competent and less comedic rogue I used to run on WoW, but that's more a matter of playing a certain type than a matter of porting the character over.


I do tend to port character creation methods into other games, and use the Burning Wheel RPG's Beliefs, Instincts, and Traits system to make characters and model changes in personalities whenever possible.

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I normally dont port characters but then again I haven't ever rped in an MMO before so its hard to compare. Though I will admit that the Jin'li Epinoch villian was based fairly heavily on a character I made for a Dark Heresy campaign. Played for him as a year before he was devoured by the void after casting a spell badly. Lol.


Overall though, I try not to reuse characters. It's more organic, in my opinion to build a new character from the ground up the way I built Askier.

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