How did your character come to be?

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How did your character come to be?

Postby Auril » Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:48 am

What inspired you to shape your character concept? Did you read of a character in a novel, or watch one in film, who stirred your imagination? Did you research your race and/or class, and choose to go with the stereotype or someone completely different? Was it based on your gear, or someone to fit in with a particular group of players?

It's hard to stay in character, harder still when you don't really know who your character is. Hopefully, novices to roleplay will read your responses and be inspired to understanding their characters better.
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Postby Karae » Fri Dec 19, 2003 4:48 am

Well Karae is a paldin of Torm.

Basically what inspired me is i liked the whole mounted combat Idea, I'm never one to come to clever deisions during fights, I was allways the go right in, and keep going until you can't go no more. Also after i read what paladins stood for, it was somewhat similar to some of the things I believed. Plus i've allways liked the olden golden knights.
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Postby Cirath » Fri Dec 19, 2003 6:01 am

I think both of the characters that I actually stuck with over the years (Cirath and Kalith) both sprung from my own personality. They are the flesh and bone, as it were, that surround a certain aspect of my own personality. They allowed me to play out the darker side of myself, and somewhere along the way took a life of their own. Now they seem more like old friends that I have something small in common with.
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Postby Yayaril » Fri Dec 19, 2003 12:47 pm


Yayaril was shaped as a bounty hunter from all the fun I had bringing people to justice during Sojourn2 and Sojourn3.

With Ythera, I wanted to steer away from the dark and forboding goth-like necromancer by making the character female and then when I liched, I didn't want to follow the usual standard of a rotting corpse. She wanted to be somewhat presentable, so she boiled her flesh off and sewed her skin into a dress.
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Postby Clan Blindhammer » Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:22 pm

Artikerus began as the enemy of Bruenor Battlehammer. Bits and pieces of my story stems from the loss, and retaking of Mithril Hall by the Dwarves of the North, as told in Salvatore's books. Of course, who am I to change that history??:) When Cirath helped me out with a god to act as his figurehead was when Artikerus truly found his 'character' - Vergadain is the god, and they now (Thank you) have a great info page on the mud for him. If you read that you'll see Artikerus through and through - greedy but not malicious, sneaky, but not...i dunno, an assassin? lol.
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Postby Gurns » Fri Dec 19, 2003 7:02 pm

My understanding of Gurns, and the development of his personality, has occurred over time. And it’s been a long time, because I have been playing Gurns on Sojourn/Toril for…must be 10 years now? I started 6 months after Sojourn1 went beta, and there has been a Gurns PC all that time (although Gurns the Monk came first!).

So in some ways, Gurns' development isn’t too useful for folks who want to start RP now. “Let your char develop for 10 years, and he’ll be easy to RP!” (Actually, it’s not really 10 years, since I did almost no RP during my first couple years, and also because I’ll mud for a while and then completely stop mudding for six months at a time.) Anyway, I do have some tips that might be helpful.

Tip #1: Your first RP char should be something like you. If you hear stage and movie actors talk about how they play a role, a lot of them talk about “getting in touch” with that “part of them” that’s like the character. And RP is acting. (Pretty simple acting, fortunately, or I couldn’t do it!)

A lot of novice RP folks start out by trying to RP some incredibly heroic or incredibly evil character. Sorry, that’s incredibly hard to pull off, because none of us are close to the latter and I don’t know that any of us are close to the former, either. If you want to try RPing one of those, then do that for your third or fourth RP char, after you’ve had some practice.

So, Gurns is like me in a lot of ways. But playing yourself is boring, we get to do that in RL. So your RP char is going to be different from you in some ways.

Tip #2: What that means is that you have to know something about you, about how you’ll react to things. It also means you have to know something about how your char is different from you, so you can stifle your natural reaction.

This is important, even crucial, to good, consistent RP. To give the character’s reaction, or action, or comment, rather than your own, when they are different.

Trust me, it gets easier with practice. I almost never have to think about RPing Gurns anymore – after all this time, mostly he’s right there. But when I do have to work at it – when I’m really tired, or there’s a lot going on in RL, or I’ve been off the mud for a couple of months and have to get back into it – it’s like having a little filter in my head for conversation and emotes. Instead of just typing something in immediate reaction, I do a check: “Would Gurns say that? And would he say it like that?” If the answer is “No”, then I have to [b]quickly[/i] think of what he would say, or how he would say it. Or keep quiet. Keeping quiet is an often overlooked aspect of good RP.

Instead of being a filter, it may be easier to think of it as a set of manners. You already know lots of different sets of manners: There’s a way you talk and act with you friends. A way you talk and act around your parents. Talk to your grandparents. Talk to your boss at work. A way you’d talk to your favorite celebrity. A way you’d talk to a famous person you really respect. For me, “Gurns” is another set of manners: It’s the way I talk to people on this mud. It’s artificial in some ways, but then, every way you talk to anyone is artificial in some ways. Certain things you don’t say, certain topics you don’t talk about, etc.

What also comes in here is plausibility. If your character is a set of manners you use, is it a reasonable set of manners? Is there anyone who would act like that?

Tip #3: You must believe, at some level, that your character is real. And so is everything and everyone else on the mud.

This seems to be the part of RP that people don’t really get. Or can’t pull off. They go into a “Oh, I’m going to be RPing now” mode, and everything becomes artificial. The way to RP is just the opposite: everything is real.

You can actually practice this. And the way to do it is find a city, and hang out, walk through it, and react to everything. The elite guard says “Hell of a day, isn’t it?” What do you do? Ignore him? If your char is real and the guard is real, that’s not a likely reaction. So you say something. “Sure is.” The merchant says “Do you know where the Bazaar is,” so you give him directions. Or tell him he’s an idiot, it’s the same place it’s always been. (I’ve done both.) The sun rises, so you yawn or stretch or rub your eyes. (But not the same thing at every sunrise, unless, for example, greeting the sunrise is part of your religious duties.) A thief rushes past you – do you (a) check that you still have your purse, (b) shout “Guards!”, (c) draw your sword and chase after him, (d) purposely ignore him, or (e) do nothing. In RP, the only answer that’s always wrong is (e). Sure, (d) and (e) look alike for that one little event of the thief running past, but if you’re really RPing, it will soon be clear whether you’re purposefully ignoring the thief, or just missing the event, because there will be other things your char wouldn’t ignore.

It’s not big things that make good RP, it’s the little things. In fact, big things are usually bad RP: the declamations, the speeches about going off to fight evil – how often, even in this context, would you really hear that? Almost never – it’s taken for granted in some cases (if you’re a paladin, say) or would be something your guildmaster would say to inspire you or would be part of a sermon at church.

Now, there’s a limit to how much you can or should do this, the “reacting to the usual mud echoes”. Once you’ve done it intensively, once or twice, you realize just how boring those guards and merchants are! Their interests are so limited.

But even doing a little of it, all the time, really sensitizes you to “getting into this reality” and doing a little of it during an RP event is a boon to any god or player-run RP event. Too much of this during a RP event usually hinders the event, because during those, you want to concentrate on the event, and not on the everyday mud echoes. But even there, you might want to do a little of this, for the flavor. You’re in a god-run RP event, you’re a paladin, that Waterdeep woman says “Can you help me find my child?” What do you do? You wouldn’t do nothing. Probably you’d have to say “Alas, lady, I am sworn to aid another at this time.” But if it’s time for you to stop mudding, you could use it as a perfectly valid RP excuse to get out of the RP event.

Tip #4: If everything on the mud is real, everything not on the mud isn’t real. It doesn’t exist. Obvious, and few people make the mistake of bringing up RL stuff during RP. The way RL creeps into RP events the most is through the use of modern slang or idioms, and folks aren’t usually aware they’re doing it.

But there are some implications of this that folks usually ignore. For example, if the mud is real, then peoples’ alts are really separate individuals. You don’t know them, and they don’t know you. Now, it’s impossible these days to be on the mud and act like that if the other folks don’t RP. It’s difficult enough to treat them as separate chars even if they do RP their chars differently. But even a little effort in this direction helps my RP.

That works in reverse, too. If I ever roll up an alt myself, and I intend to RP with that alt, then I’ll never let anyone know that char is a Gurns alt. It’s a whole new individual.

Tip #5: Work and play well with others. This involves a lot of things: A respect for the other person’s character – don’t treat that char as something it’s not. Don’t do something to that char that you wouldn’t really do -- this is especially a problem in using any of the “social” commands, only about half a dozen of them work consistently well for RP, and a whole lot of them are completely wrong for RP. A flexibility and co-operation with what the other players are trying to do. Listening to the other players and trying to understand them, especially since chances are good they’re not entirely sure what they’re doing or may not be RPing too well, themselves.

But this also includes a respect for your own character. If you think someone is trying to push you towards something, some action, that is not “you”, then don’t let them. If you think they are doing something that’s out of line with the event, don’t play along, and if they continue, react in character.

Tip #6: Good RP. So, you’ve got some handle on the basics, how do you improve your RP? The best way is to think ahead. What’s going on, what are the other players trying to do, what are the gods trying to do (if it’s that kind of event). And then what you do is something that gives them some options, any of which are plausible for their char. And gives them options for things they will actually be able to do.

Gurns will make noncommittal remarks, or ask leading questions, or pretend not to understand. Of course, sometimes Gurns doesn’t understand, but sometimes those comments of his are just a way to get the other person to explain more or to let them lead off in some direction. And he’d do all that in character anyway, so for him, that’s all good.

It’s the violation of this that can really make for a poor RP session. It’s one reason that many “social” commands are so bad in an RP session. Someone impales you with a spike, what do you do? Just about everybody would try to kill the bastard. Oh, wait, you can’t kill players. That is, the true “in character” reaction is just not a possibility. So whoever impaled you just screwed up RP, because you can’t react properly. Everyone has to pretend it didn’t happen by ignoring it, or you claiming he missed (despite the text that shows he didn’t), or something lame like that.

Hmm, maybe I should give some illustrations of all this stuff from Gurns’ life, like Auril asked for? Nah, I’ve talked too much already. Maybe it sounds like a lot of work? It’s not, not really. If you like the social aspect of the game, and you want to make the effort, all of us real RPers are happy to co-operate, to overlook your little lapses as you will have to overlook ours. I think it’s fun, and it never gets old.
Clan Blindhammer
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Postby Clan Blindhammer » Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:27 am

We gotta start gagging Gurns after 1500 words in his posts...;)
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Postby Gurns » Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:50 am

Clan Blindhammer wrote:We gotta start gagging Gurns after 1500 words in his posts...;)

Arti's just annoyed because he's finally met someone who talks more than he does.
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Postby Hyldryn » Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:14 am

I like hot lesbians. So, I made Hylae a hot lesbian.
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Postby Yayaril » Sun Dec 21, 2003 4:17 pm


I think Hylae wins the best background story award so far.
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Postby Deshana » Sun Dec 21, 2003 11:10 pm

Deshana springs from my own imagination and a combination of concepts.
The character has evolved over ten years in various forms. This incarnation as it were, springs from the base concept of two spells from D&D. Animal awakening and Reincarnate. Awakening gives a druids animal companion the intelligence and wisdom scores of a humanoid, boosts its hitpoints and grants it sentience on a level with its druid companion. (I've had a hawk that was smarter then I was) Reincarnate takes a newly deceased creature and gives it a new body, its physical scores that of the new creature, but its mind and skills intact from the old form. Deshana was an orphaned jaguar cub, her master was a very old druid who lived as a hermit. He was lonely so he awakened her and taught her as a student, and when she was killed, he prayed to his goddess Eilistraee to grant her life anew. She doesn't really understand greed, hate, or the darker emotions of the heart. Sometimes she gets into a lot of trouble that way as demonstrated. She knows a lot of history, but the motives of a living humanoid often escape her. In short shes become a scholar to understand the creature she now is, but one whos learning is nearly all from history learns very little of current living. Shes very naive, easily disturbed and confused. She trusts a little too easily.

Most of the trouble desh gets into is her just not understanding complicated concepts.

Silvine is a bit different. She claims to be a full blooded drow noblewoman from menzo, when in fact she is an escaped xacune slave. Xacune are a slave race of drow halfbreeds bred by lloths priestesses to run airships similar to those of the Harunians, the theory being most surface cities just arn't up to dealing with air raids. Xacune were an attempt at getting loyal slaves to run those ships that could see above ground. They are the offspring of low caste males and enslaved surface elves.

Most xacune are very loyal to lloths priestesses, those who arn't tend to serve as examples to those who are. Silvine is a failed breeding, being unable to see in surface sunlight, and being nearly as dark as her drow sire. She escaped and made her way to DK, and in mir, met an aged man, who taught her of Eilistraee. She became a priestess and eventually integrated with drow society.
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Postby Nilan » Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:37 pm

Nilan also came to be based upon my own imagination. Nilan's rplay here has developed over many many years, since like 1993 or 1994 i believe. Nilan is not your stereotypical assassin and does infact follow a code of what he believes is honorable and moral.

Nilan is the son of the destroyed House Al'Shadrazaar that hailed from Menzoberranzan. He has a twin brother that was secreted away at birth lest it had been sacrificed to Lloth as it was born weak. Nilan grew up with 5 sisters all priestesses of Lloth and all dead now. Nilan's childhood was not a pleasant one, basically a slave in his own house of Lloth worshippers. There Nilan was taught to kill, and to kill without caring. While on a mission for his house, he infiltrated Kang's Guild in Waterdeep under the magical disguise of a human. There he carried out his mission, the assassination of Lord Piergeiron's Commander, and Kang's guild eventually took the fall for that one. His heritage revealed in the fight with the paladin, Nilan was forced to flee the city returning to his House in Menzoberranzan. Nilan's betrayal of the guild and the city has earned him much ill favor among those he once fought along side, though magically disguised.

Nilan's return to Menzoberrazan was met with the destruction of his House by rivals and the assassin was forced to leave the city. Fleeing to the surface, he was met by two Lloth priestesses and one drow magi of a noble house. Nilan being raised in Lloths teachings understands his place in the matriarcal society of his kin, even though he truely despises it. The priestesses proceeded to have their cruel fun, and the ever proud assassin refused to flinch or give them the satisfaction of so much as a scream. It was then that Telina, the magi, took him in as her adopted brother. She led him to Dobluth Kyor, where he resides today.

Nilan married a surface elf priestess, named Elisten. On the night of his wedding Lloth made her displeasure known, sending her handmaided, a Yochlol. Nilan sought to attack it, but was held back by the ranger Sylvos, who basically saved his life that night. Nilan was forced to watch as a kinsman was sacrificed in his place. With each growing day, the assassin's hatred for Lloth increased.

It was no surprize or accident that Nilan found comfort in the Temple of Vhaeraun. Or perhaps, it found him. Nilan worshipped the Lord of Shadows, because of the love for his people, and his strong admiration for Vhaeraun's path - The destruction of Lloths matriarcal reign, the rise of power of the drow peoples as a united front under Vhaeraun's dominion, and the reclamation of Drow lands in the Night Above.

During the ring quest, Nilan found himself admist a turmoil of distrust and madness. He dared to befriend and love a surface elf druid named Deshana. Both his wife Elisten and the Druid of Eilistraee tried to show him ways of trust and compassion, peace and love. Nilan dared to believe he could have these things, these feelings. For his efforts, he watched as the Druid was tried by her own kin for her "friendship with a drow" he tried to speak at her trial but the hatred the elves had for his people turned everything upside down. That trial ended up with his daggers in the Elven Queens back. He remembers the look on his elven wifes face that night and since then she seculded herself within her elven city.

Nilan's anger grew. With each passing day, the drow felt the hatred of the surface races, and his desire to reclaim his lands grew stronger. Nilan spent more and more of his days in Vhaeraun's Temple. He understood feelings of hatred, anger...while caring and love slowly began to disappear.

Vhaeraun appeared to him often now, and Nilan embraced his gods path. He knelt before his Shadowed Lord and offered his undying allegiance. At that time his heart was cleaved by Vhaerauns blade, that which was caring and love slowly withered and died. Nilan no longer saw his elven wife and his anger and hatred began pushing Deshana away. He knew that he could not fulfill the task his god had desired "See that she follows our path, Velg'larn, or it shall be her soul or your hand"

Nilan understood that he could not force the druid to walk his path. He inturn, walked away, fully embracing the shadows and Vhaeraun's will. He entered the temple and knelt before his Lord. "You, know the consequences", came the divine voice, "her soul or your hand." With that the proud assassin met his God's gaze. "You have my hand" was all he said.

Shadows swirled as Vhaeraun took hold of the assassins hand, severing it at the wrist and replacing it, with that of his own. "Walk my path, assassin, fulfill my goal, clense your people. Or this hand is the only thing you will not lose."

So, Nilan has fully embraced the will of Vhaeraun. He seeks to serve his god in any way he can and accomplish the path set before him.

Thats basically Nilan's Rplay

Its alot of fun

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Re: How did your character come to be?

Postby Sesexe » Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:29 pm

Auril wrote:What inspired you to shape your character concept?

I wanted to have the most in-depth and original character concept on the mud to become an active part of a campaign. My plan didn’t exactly work. I also like to RP because it allows me to behave completely different then I am in real life.

Auril wrote:Did you read of a character in a novel, or watch one in film, who stirred your imagination?

I like the Ravenloft series books, so I was fascinated with the idea of being an undead.

Auril wrote:Did you research your race and/or class, and choose to go with the stereotype or someone completely different?

I did some research. Drow are evil, yet I appear to be the only one in this game that actually RPs like it. Every other drow here is a grey elf in drow skin singing in unison to the chorus of "feeeeelings". *gag*

Auril wrote:Was it based on your gear, or someone to fit in with a particular group of players?

I just wanted to be involved. To be one of those players staff members love to have involved in anyway cuz they aren't there for the rewards, just the participation and making the event as fun on both sides as possible.

Auril wrote:It's hard to stay in character, harder still when you don't really know who your character is. Hopefully, novices to roleplay will read your responses and be inspired to understanding their characters better.

I find it exceedingly easier each day to be a condescending, manipulative, arrogant, evil bitch all the time. Ask anyone.
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Postby moritheil » Thu Dec 25, 2003 1:49 am

You guys made it for me =) !

Thanks guys!
Yotus group-says 'special quest if you type hi dragon'
Shevarash OOC: 'I feature only the finest mammary glands.'
Silena group-says 'he was so fat and juicy..couldnt resist'
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Postby Sarell » Tue Dec 30, 2003 12:35 pm

Agree with Yayaril's estimation of Hylae's background story... however isn't that like half the mud's background story? *touch*

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