Roles and Reasons

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  • KalakKalak Posts: 166Member ✭✭✭
    "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

    My preference in every game is to play one character and develop it for better or worse. I do not wish to read different chapters of the book at the same time to keep the mystery of other places and other perceptions. For me that essentially helps quite when I am going to play with a true villain mindset.

    Now a character cannot be evil or good thoroughly because that would leave no room for interpretation. But in the end a character which makes life harder for other characters will face both IC and OOC scorn. Because if you wish to have an impact as a villain you have to break toys of others and make an impact. So avoiding OOC as much as possible will help over there. After all people will not like you disrupting their game-time for a villain imposes their will upon others, they do not ask permission.

    Now most IRE games generally do not support chaotic evil roles such as bandits, greedy mercenaries and other wayward villain characters because that is quite easy to suppress them if they go overboard. They can exist though as part of a city and chaotic evil does not have to end with psycho-killer rampage all the time. Though chaotic evil having more impact then lawful characters is quite untrue, I could say.

    Lawful evil (if I were to choose among three DnD evils) would be my preference. While Chaotic Evil will appear as more unpredictable in the short term, the lawful evil can be more unpredictable in the long term. They do not even have to be cold-calculating professional killers, they can be loving and caring people who will ruin the lives of their enemies so they can keep loving and caring. Evil acts do not have to be selfish, it can under many circumstances work for the good of many or order of society or whatever ideal the code demands. And you keep to the code, you do not go "Yesterday was yesterday! Mwahaha" and break your oaths, words and promises. That will be truly hard to play.

    Now as a villain you have to have aspirations. Aspirations can range from hard to impossible depending on what will be your endgame. Realistically you cannot conquer the world, since this is a static game, but no one prevents you from following such a path. Having lesser aspirations which can be hard to meet will provide more enjoyment because that is while still lofty provides a driving point for your conflicts. And as we say conflicts, a villain should create conflicts, moving stones is their duty. They do not have to be "Go kill that person" type, because some people will outright disregard death since we are all essentially immortals ingame. (Which I call this as "Illogically Brave Noncom Syndrome") So you have to craft something which will mold RP and PvP without resorting to repeated killing.

    While crafting a crisis I prepare a mental sheet (sometimes even not-so-mental) of possible outcomes in a scenario and in that crisis whether a player is a collateral part of it or main target, they will always have choices. The trick of the villainy is that not telling the other player they actually had choices. Most will choose poorly, some will choose well and story will move on. To some it will appear as you harmed them on your whim and you are such a jerk player; and to some it will appear you had your motives. That ambiguity will signal you that you have been somewhat successful.
    AkaryuterraXeniaRunas
  • VashVash Posts: 114Member ✭✭✭
    The real split is not between good and evil or hero and villain, it is between PCs and NPCs.

    If you are evil/bad/immoral to NPCs no one will care. If you are creative and consistent in your actions you might get a reputation in game and you could generate lots of interesting RP for both your allies and enemies.

    If you are evil/bad/immoral to PCs you will quickly become hated by most players and you will eventually get either shut down by the admins for being disruptive or you will be so ostracized in game that you will burn out.

    Now to highlight something @Nola said last year
    It's not easy being the hero. Why? Because like many people have stated, the slightest infraction of what is expected of you calls for grave consequence/reactions from your very friends/allies. Not your enemies. Why would your enemies care? All the better, to them. Or so it should be.


    My first character had the founder of his guild kicked out of both it and the city for killing a non-sentient mob (it was a highly symbolic mob but still). He stopped playing shortly after that. Over a decade later I still feel really bad about doing that. I would have handled the situation far different now. At the time I was caught up in playing the role of a zealot and never even stopped to think about the impact my actions would have.

    At the end of the day as you interact with your fellow players don't get so caught up in your role that you lose sight of how things feel on their side of the keyboard. Even if you want to play as a villain to other players you should always make it collaborative and not just punishing. Which of course is far easier to say than do.

    It is trivial to generate conflict. It takes a skilled player to generate entertaining conflict.
    Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
    XavinKalakXenia
  • KalakKalak Posts: 166Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    NPCs: I do care about them more then someone's mount or pet. So basically I would bother more for a fallen guard instead of a dead vulture chick or three-eyed gorilla. But I know a good number of players would bother more for the dead mounts, rather then one or two fallen guards. C'est la vie.

    PCs: If you are evil to PCs you have to choose your subset properly, of course it is possible to become evil towards the most and from experience it does not end with getting shut down, if you play it reasonably. Ostracized by some? Yes. But you definitely do not starve from RP and such. Burn out can happen with any character, evil, good, rogue or city-guy.

    Conflicts: Generating a proper conflict is never trivial. The conflict could be multi-layered and may consist of several different pieces. And that conflict does not have to be enjoyable for ALL. Otherwise you are not having a conflict but RP-event. Some things of course should be done with agreement, since certain concepts you cannot impose on people. But other times, choice and consequence beast lives on.
  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimePosts: 306Member ✭✭✭✭
    It is definitely unfortunate that the player from ten years ago stopped playing, and of course there are two sides to every story; however, if their character wittingly killed that important NPC, and if the reasonable punishment for that kill was ousting them (or had it been a PC, the punishment would have been ousting them), then it sounds like you did the right thing. I highly dislike that in games PC treatment is taken so different from NPC treatment from a IC moral standpoint. I hate the  consequence - free zone that NPC treatment is often taken as. (in some cases, of course this makes sense, but not always - and the scenario provided sounds like it made sense to treat them the same) 

    I do agree that it is much harder to create meaningful conflict than just conflict. I think one of the biggest struggles in meaningful conflict creation is finding enemies who are both willing to lose at the end of the day and won't take it personally that on any day one or the other got "one over" on the other. People are not good at losing when they put their heart and soul and hours into something in game. I have definitely heard the phrase "they ruined my RP!" far too often from people on the losing end of conflicts.

    No one can ruin your RP by behaving IC within the bounds of mechanics and lore of the game. They give you different RP.
    HavenVash
  • AkaryuterraAkaryuterra Posts: 55Member ✭✭✭
    I'm bumping some characterization and RP specific threads because they are subjects that interest me.
    image
    Evalyne
  • EvalyneEvalyne A CoffinPosts: 29Member ✭✭
    Evalyne is definitely meant to be what I would define as an interesting antagonist - which is to say - very few people that we would call evil ever believed themselves to be truly *evil*. Even Manson thought he was being persecuted rather than doing macabre things. They had reasons, motives, and costs and benefits they considered, and they took what they felt was the proper course of action. Evalyne for her part is me playing with the idea of an embittered tsol'aa survivor who rather than grow close to the deceased Lleis basically blamed her inaction (and by association, those of the Light) for her people's suffering. There's probably plotholes in that because it involves events that happened while I was still in Imperian, but it's interesting enough.

    What's exceedingly difficult is finding people who provide a useful foil. Combatants (sorry guys) are a dime a dozen, but unless you're roleplaying too, you're at best basically being the NPC enemies the player fights in a typical RPG. Maybe you beat me, maybe you dont (probably you beat me right now though, I have no automated combat), but without something more substantial behind it, it's filler.

    The difficulty in finding a useful foil is sooner or later one of us are going to lose. Sometimes that might happen to one of us all of the time. Maybe it goes back and forth. Unless the roleplaying is particularly captivating, losing is never fun, and this is a game we play for our enjoyment. Evalyne is probably a right b---- to some of you in character (sorry!) but that's in character, and it's kind of important to me to know the player(s) on the other side of the other screen(s) are enjoying themsleves too. Elsewise, why bother?

    Ultimately, I've enjoyed Chakrasul's congregation immensely, and have @kodaza mostly to thank for that, with a few other supporting roles I'm not going to out since they're not representatives. And that's important. My experience with Imperian taught me that I can think I'm the baddest mofo around, if I don't have allies, I'm eventually going to get bored (and after that, frustrated), and well, eventually move on, as I did with coming here.

    Meanwhile, in contrast, I found my interest in playing my paladin - well, Templar, now - flagging despite the role being something that usually appeals to me in a big way, because it's very exhausting, she has little support from the people around her, and she feels like an island. I log in and I have a million things pulling her down (hunger and sleep being not the least of those annoyances, since the areas in which she can hunt are ideologically limited quite significantly and she hasn't had any hunting buddies except for one time.)

    Community is from my experience the most important thing, and ultimately, the reason I end up playing a bad gal is because it's where I found that sense of belonging.

    As far as things like NPCs and PCs, I regard actions done to NPCs as the same as PCs really, but not, at the same time? Allow me to expand: I think of PC as like the celebrities/heroes/popular people of the city. There's a ton of people in Loch or Enorian or whereever. Most of them, we'll never know their name. Some of them we do, but they're small time players - that Enzo guy who takes all the vermin we kill for instance - he's someone that we'd be annoyed if he died or something happened to him, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. Meanwhile, if Evalyne lost Kodaza for whatever reason, being the order contact she's closest to, it would harm and distress her a great deal, so she would react more strongly. I think that's a pretty sane and rational way to look at that split, though I'd agree that traditionally, many do not share that view.

    Generating a conflict is a community endeavour too - we are all co-authors of that story, and to some degree bounds of acceptability have to be agreed upon at least implicitly if not explicitly, and direction is something that can itself be a locus of conflict. The pressure points of the traditional "RPers versus PKers" split on Imperian always came down to those with artifact weight and some combat prowess essentially using that to stamp out potential roleplay, individuals who would then turn around and complain about the lack of meaningful conflict. RP and PK always go hand in hand, and you have to have some basic respect for all involved if you want it to remain something worthwhile, in my opinion.

    To return to my primary point of discontent when it comes to Evalyne, frankly, getting more than choleric response from people who want violence and little more out of the Light side has been frustrating. I don't want it to just be series of PK duels. Evalyne needs a protagonist to her antagonist. And that has thusfar been maddeningly difficult to find. A lot of this seems to have to do with the current climate in Enorian, where mere association is being used to brand people enemy, and I think that kind of short-sighted thinking may be appropriate in-role, but it makes Enorian boring, stodgy, and frankly not worth the effort of writing a deep villain.

    So before you bemoan the lack of people willing to ham it up with proper theatrical antagonists, consider the confluence of events that result in that occurring.

    It can be tiring to play either side, but a player with a large credit investment like me, risks much by stirring the pot. Keep that in mind as well. It is why you gain periods of inertia.
    "Those whom do not see malice and suffering as beautiful, have not seen it as I have seen it."
    ~ Evalyne Ve'kahi
    Author of the Valkyrior system.
    Akaryuterra
  • SilenaSilena Posts: 69Member, Immortal Immortal
    I have some thoughts... but in large part, about a non-aetolia IRE game:

    1. My favorite role ever was an evil character who wasn't particularly into pk. She was purely support in combat, defensive of guild/city, and never sought out conflict. But she was also extremely manipulative and developed "friendships" with people from rival organizations. One of them was a very well-known enemy of... pretty much every organization my character belonged to, including her family. Sometimes that was difficult to pull off without my allies getting suspicious, but there were enough powerful people that knew what I was doing and supported it.

    The enemy in question didn't know we weren't friends. One day my character came to her sobbing, claiming she was going to be kicked out of her city for befriending this enemy. The only way to prove her loyalty was to kill the friend, bring back the corpse, and so forth. And... this actually worked. I'm still surprised it did, because there was no ooc collaboration, and she(the player) didn't know any of what was really going on. She let me kill her, and my character earned an order promotion out of it >.>

    2. So obviously, I like manipulative, subtle characters, but I find I can't play them for a long period of time, because:

    3. The hardest part is that sort of role is stressful, on a personal level. It's more difficult to separate oneself from one's lying, villain character when you're also lying(by omission) to the other player. And she was cool, even if my character hated her. It makes it a easier to play "good guys".

    At least when it comes to manipulation- killing other players seems inconsequential, comparatively. Unlike pk and other kinds of roleplayed conflict, manipulation is more meaningful(imo) when it's organic, when there is some mystery behind the real motivations. At the same time, I like to think I'm a fairly nice person in real life. I don't want to take advantage of people, even in a game, for my own benefit- it's a hard balance to find.
    ZailaAkaryuterra
  • KodazaKodaza Los AngelesPosts: 107Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 12
    I've had a few blatantly evil characters I've abandoned because it gets to be a real draw on the mental health to try and continuously outdo your previous in-character sins like that. So on that note, I can agree it can suck to be the bad guy.

    I have to disagree that good guys are easier, though. Evil is much easier to write than good, because being good is HARD. There's a reason why Satan gets all the good speeches in Paradise Lost while God's scenes are a snooze-fest. It's the reason why CS Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters and didn't even attempt to write the side-book about angels; he desperately wanted to but knew he wasn't talented enough.

    Even at the level of RP, Aetolia is a grim horror setting, and that wears on our characters' minds. I don't believe I've ever seen a single person actually role-playing a good guy successfully.

    Silena
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Posts: 1,882Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's a lot easier to play corruption and weakness than cartoon evil.




    KodazaSilena
  • SilenaSilena Posts: 69Member, Immortal Immortal
    Kodaza said:

    I've had a few blatantly evil characters I've abandoned because it gets to be a real draw on the mental health to try and continuously outdo your previous in-character sins like that. So on that note, I can agree it can suck to be the bad guy.

    I have to disagree that good guys are easier, though. Evil is much easier to write than good, because being good is HARD. There's a reason why Satan gets all the good speeches in Paradise Lost while God's scenes are a snooze-fest. It's the reason why CS Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters and didn't even attempt to write the side-book about angels; he desperately wanted to but knew he wasn't talented enough.

    Even at the level of RP, Aetolia is a grim horror setting, and that wears on our characters' minds. I don't believe I've ever seen a single person actually role-playing a good guy successfully.

    I agree with this too- writing interesting good characters is harder. In Aetolia, players have to tolerate acceptable levels of evil for the sake of the game. Playing a 'straight' good character who was never tempted, never struggled, and never tolerated any shades of grey would be incredibly boring, imo. They would essentially be a perfect Mary Sue, except without being the center of the story universe. With evil characters I've played, there was always room to have doubts about some of the demands of their evil organizations, and roleplay working through them or refusing to go along with it. And not everything they did had to involve raising the souls of dead children to choke all light and goodness from the world- some of them actually liked butterflies and puppies.

    I think it's the nature of it, that evil has to be justified to be believable, while we "know" that good is "right". There's nothing to debate, most of the time. But it can be difficult to play a character that has significantly different morals from your own, and trying to justify why they do the things they do gets harder over time.*

    *(That said, I don't think this is always true of god-roles. If you've already done the justification for a character that is essentially unchangeable, you sort of know in advance what they're going to do, and how they'll feel about it. Plus we tend not to play those characters every day)

    I love the Screwtape Letters. I believe CS Lewis also said much the same of writing a sequel to it- that it was emotionally difficult to follow the mindset of a literal demon. Angels may be hard to write effectively, but at least we'd be able to agree with them.
    KodazaAkaryuterra
  • EvalyneEvalyne A CoffinPosts: 29Member ✭✭
    edited February 13
    Kodaza said:

    I've had a few blatantly evil characters I've abandoned because it gets to be a real draw on the mental health to try and continuously outdo your previous in-character sins like that. So on that note, I can agree it can suck to be the bad guy.

    I have to disagree that good guys are easier, though. Evil is much easier to write than good, because being good is HARD. There's a reason why Satan gets all the good speeches in Paradise Lost while God's scenes are a snooze-fest. It's the reason why CS Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters and didn't even attempt to write the side-book about angels; he desperately wanted to but knew he wasn't talented enough.

    Even at the level of RP, Aetolia is a grim horror setting, and that wears on our characters' minds. I don't believe I've ever seen a single person actually role-playing a good guy successfully.

    I played one for a long, long time in Imperian, actually. (Not Anette, my character before her), and well, I don't name her for a reason - pretty much everyone ended up hating her. The problem with good in that respect is that if you hold yourself and your peers to a high standard, everyone's going to fall short of it eventually. And being super-Antioch-zealously she didn't really suffer those who failed those virtuous standards lightly. It became wearying because a truly good character, (especially, I should think, in Aetolia, grimdark and all or whatever you'd call it,) is essentially going to be an island. Well, either you become an island holding onto virtue or you give into things yourself, if only in little bits perhaps. Doesn't take much of that before you're playing someone else entirely.

    I had a thought to do that with Miki but eh, it doesn't fit her. Even her bouts of alcoholism I have nagging issues with because she really does 100% want to be that person that is the knight in shining armour archetype. She just doesn't live up to her own expectations >.>
    "Those whom do not see malice and suffering as beautiful, have not seen it as I have seen it."
    ~ Evalyne Ve'kahi
    Author of the Valkyrior system.
    KodazaAkaryuterra
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