Welcome to the RPF!
Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by DarthXan318, Jan 15, 2012.
Darth Helinith probably. She was a lot more Mary Sue back then.
It's not something I'm proud of.
My first RP character was right here on these boards in the The Hunt for Warlord Sarkasey training game. A Mandalorian mercenary. The game didn't last long because most players dropped out for DRL reasons. But I revamped the character a bit for Shadow War-Times End and he is still being played there.
My first character ever actually was a winner. I played her for many years. My embarassing ones came later and in masses, but my first character was Siri Kara Romar. Or Siri K. Romar. Yeah, the great-grand mother of my character from 128 ABY she was and I had the simple idea of crossing Luke with Han and make him female and look how that one worked out. the badass Jedi pilot with very limited understanding of this force-thingy. She was a young Padawan . . . no, stop. We did not know the term Padawan. She was a young Jedi Apprentice in an Academy on Kamparas. Yoda was headmaster there (we had no Jedi Council back then either) and she was picked for training together with a Verpine Jedi called Xenly by a senior player of the game. That player was a good friend of mine and actually that was probably a minor case of favoritism. A young Jedi more interested in flying than in lightsabers and the force and with her heart on the right spot. Always a bit reckless. Always a bit too leftfield to ever become a proper Jedi.
She actually wanted to run away from her Master, when she and her best friend Xenly were captured by a band of bounty hunters, sold to the second-in-command of a Gangsterboss and from there the story . . . developed into a sprawling epic that would lead to a giant battle in an asteroid field full of evil bugs, many years of rivalry with another Jedi, marriage to quite a sexy smuggler and her leaving the order to create her own militia and finally her death at the hands of a crime lord.
Her children would one day bring forth another Romar on the Jedi path. That happened here on these boards. Sira Kara Romar was meant to be the opposite or Siri, with the same DNA. But first someone misspelled the S for a K and made her Kira Romar and then she turned out very different. On these boards she settled the scores of my very first character, actually. And that was a pleasure to me to see happening.
My first character here was some rebel recruit named Jaak Gray. Neither he nor the game lasted very long. Maybe a week. It was IBOP that taught me to play properly.
But I remember playing a tabletop Star Wars game just before I came here. It was called the Invasion of Theed Adventure Game. It was pretty fun, and somehow I ended up with the set once we finished (I think the gamemaster made a gift of it to me, seeing as I was the Star Wars nut of the group). I still have it somewhere. Anyway, I guess that means my first character was technically this kid.
I joined a fleet game on arrival here, so my first characterisation was the Victory-class Star Destroyer, Wraithis.
So, I got a question. Maybe someone cares to give me his thoughts on it and I relaized it probably belongs here. How do you avoid repetition when playing characters close to each other in concept? So far I never had that problem, but playing another not-so-light, angry young Jedi with a lot of raw power again . . . makes me kinda thinking about how to avoid "redoing" my trademark character Kira Romar.
Does anybody had that problem before me?
Well, I sort of ran into that in TORR with Donvan Vliet, whose on paper details were astonishingly similar to Marneg Polo's and... actually, quite a few of the characters I play in games. I guess I have a preferred niche. But what I'll usually do is find some element of their personality that I haven't explored before with another character, and I really play that up. That's what makes them them.
Sort of goes back to my basic philosophy on roleplaying, really. There's an old rule of writing that says you shouldn't focus too hard on one personality point unless it's a supporting character, but I sort of always see my characters as being in the supporting role, so I don't think it's a big deal. For the most part, I'm here to have fun, and if writing broad caricatures of real personalities is how I have fun with a character... then I do it.
Well, concentrating on something else than before. That´s how I do it. Take a difference and use that. For you I think it might be the relationship to the force. Kira did not like it and from one post alone I can say Lora is in love with power
Drastically change their background, and you change the character. Jedi with adoptive aunt and uncle killed on a backwater moisture farm becomes Jedi from noble house with unlimited resources conflicted about the new insights on society he's reached as a result of not being a nobleman anymore.
I think Saint's exactly right with the background. I once played the exact same character (same name, same basic personality, background tweaked to fit the setting) in two different games and both times the character turned out very differently: one was an optimistic young Jedi Padawan eagerly smashing through training in the swamps of Dagobah, and the other was a grieving new Knight simultaneously trying to complete her mission, untangle her mother's past, and deal with her own issues.
It's the details that matter. I mean, "not-so-light, angry young Jedi with a lot of raw power" also describes Anakin Skywalker.
The character I played in Man Cubs was just a rehash of the character I played in Seven Orphans of Ossus.
That's probably my best-received stuff on here, ever, so revisiting old ground can't always be bad. Like Xan and Saint have been saying, it's just in how you work with the material.
I like to avoid comfort zones, so I make it a rule to avoid playing the same character with similar motives, emotions, or origin concept. But I like quirks, I usually build my character around a single theme and push that to its extreme, it's entertaining and a blast to play a character pushed so hard toward a specific emotion and personality. But when I'm done, I'm just so tired of that kind of person, I couldn't dare write it again.
Well, I think I found her tone . . . Thanks everybody!
Well, in the present small hiatus on ToF, I thought I'd go hunting the interwebs. And here's some interesting stuff I found in relation to PbP roleplaying at DnD Online...
Interactions Between Characters
Often the most difficult part of successful roleplaying, particularly of the type done on this site, is the handling of interaction between characters. In tabletop roleplaying, interactions are direct and efficient, and the use of body language and tone can - and usually do - contribute to a powerful, believable performance. In play-by-post roleplaying, however, and in fact in writing in general, it is considerably more difficult to establish understanding of this body language and tone, and it is thus far more difficult to have clear, easily flowing interactions.
This limitation, then, has to be overcome, and then some - writing can never fully capture the myriad subtleties of human body language, inflection, or the enormous amount of ways in which eye contact can alter the meaning of a sentence. It is up to the writer to fill that gap somehow after formatting and syntax are applied to their fullest effect - all in order to continue to maintain that odd beast, suspension of disbelief.
Often newer PbPers, and newer writers in general, will attempt to simply lather on more and more description to their posts, in an attempt to replicate in the mind's eye what the standard eye would normally perceive and instinctively analyze. This often meets some measure of success, but that is usually limited, as this method is akin to placing a bandage on a bleeding gash - useful in some cases, but usually not the ideal solution.
Instead of looking towards such tricks of writing to solve the issue, it is more helpful to move towards tricks of the mind - to understand internally what is going on and what type of reaction would be believable and in-character under these circumstances. In order to do so, it is often useful to apply two acronyms: namely, SOAPS and CROWE.
When using this approach, one has two tasks: first to understand and analyze the writings of others (or, if you're writing alone, what your other character has just said or done), and then - and only then - to craft one's own in-character response. The first of these two tasks uses our first acronym: SOAPS, also useful in the study and analysis of historical documents (on a basic level).
SOAPS is simply a list of things to make sure you have gleaned from what you are reading, whether by pure statement or by inference. The list goes as follows:
S - Source - which character is saying this? What do you know about them? What biases might they be bringing along? How does this affect the speech?
O - Occasion - when, and where, is this character speaking? In other words, what are the circumstances? How does thisaffect the speech?
A - Audience - who is this character speaking to? Himself, someone else? If someone else, why that particular person? Take note of who is intendedto hear it in addition to who actually hears it. How does this affect the speech?
P - Purpose - why is this character speaking at all? Beyond that, why are they saying what they're saying? How does this purpose affect the speech?
S - Significance - what does the speech mean? Why is it important? Keep in mind that most good speeches work on more than one level and mean more than one thing. This is the real clincher of the whole deal, and is also the most difficult one to successfully pinpoint.
This process, done post-by-post over time (yes, even the DM's posts should be subjected to this!) will become second-nature. Fundamental to successful PbP interaction, successful in that it flows well with the rest of the narrative and is believable, is an understanding of what others have said - easier, and already second-nature, in person than in writing. Having thus SOAPS-ed all of the posts since your last one, and having assured yourself that you can understand them all, it is time to choose one to respond to - usually, this will be the most recent post, but even if it is not, the post should take into account all the information that is available to you. Remember to take into account all of the things you've gleaned from this process! Once again, understanding what others have said is critical when it comes to crafting your own response.
Writing your post is where CROWE comes into play. Far too often, novice roleplayers (and even experienced ones) fall into the trap of ignoring one or more of its five elements. These elements are fundamentally important for believable, sustainable (in that others can respond to you in kind) writing - and acting (which is where this acronym originates) - and writing without these elements feels more flat, more lifeless, and much less interesting. This is not what we, as writers and readers of these posts, want to see! We want powerful, believable, lifelike, and most of all interesting posts. CROWE is a tool to help you do that.
CROWE, much like SOAPS, is a list - but this time it is a list of things to acknowledge as you write, rather than a list of things to look for as you read. For this section, I will be using "you" as a replacement for "your character."
C - Character - Who are you? Why are you here? What are your beliefs, your convictions, your personal style of speaking? More succinctly, "what's your deal?"
R - Relationships - what are your relationships to the people and events around you? Keeping that in mind, especially when it comes to who wields power over who, how would that alter your actions or speech?
O - Objective - This is the big one, the one that makes or breaks the post. What are you trying to accomplish here? How are you being prevented from accomplishing that? What are you going to do about it? Almost every action should be fueled by your character's objective. Those that aren't don't contribute to the believability of your post - why would you do X, if your objective is Y, and X doesn't help you achieve Y?
W - Where - Keep in mind where you are, when you are, and the other general circumstances of the events. This seems simple enough, but is tragically missing from far more posts than we would all like.
E - Emotion - What are you feeling right now? How did you get into this state? Is it positive, negative, or neutral? How does this change the way you talk and the way that you act? More importantly, how can you get this across without outright saying it? (Very few people spend much of their time saying things like "I'm angry." or "I'm sad." outright.)
Notice the similarities between SOAPS and CROWE: posts written with CROWE in mind make for more easily SOAPS-ed writing, hence less misunderstanding, more cohesion, and overall better-written interactions. As with every aspect of play-by-post roleplaying, and in fact writing in general, it is critical to keep one's writing grounded in the reality of the world you're writing in, and SOAPS and CROWE are simply two tools to make that easier when writing posts based around interactions with other characters. As always, these tools should be used in conjunction with your constant focus on justification - if you can't justify it in-character, or if it doesn't make sense to you, it definitely will not make sense to other people. And, after all, isn't making sense the goal?
That is ONE HELL of an insightful piece you did there. I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head.
Caution: it's not my original work - like I said, I thieved it off DnD Online, but it's damn good stuff nonetheless.
It is. And it is remarkable how it is NOT mentioning any meta level. You shall not take into consideration what you as a player wanna achieve, you shall not take into account what you want your character to be like. You shall only read him from the inside of his own motivation. I always felt like the best posts I read around here are exactly like that. Often forcing the GM to detours which are then remembered as true character highlights.