Roleplayer Weekly 2009

FROM: Roleplayer Weekly

Volume I, Issue II – Creating a character

Preface.)

Welcome to Roleplayer Weekly!

This journal of sorts is built with the intent of improving the Roleplay Community’s experience at large with tips and tricks for making your roleplay a much more solid, enjoyable experience. What you take with you after reading is entirely up to you, but I hope you learn something new each issue!

In This Issue

A.) General Introduction to characters
B.) Jedi Character
C.) Sith Characters
D.) Mercenary Characters
E.) Soldier Characters
F.) Civilian/Clerical Characters
G.) Droid Characters
H.) Cross-gendering
I.) Miscellaneous Char Tips
J.) “HEY AVERUS!!!”
K.) Conclusion
L.) About the Author

A.)General Introduction to characters

Ah yes, characters. The uttermost core of any good Roleplay, if not any. (Hey, one could argue you could RP with abstract concepts.) SO, what kind of characters are best in a RP? Well it all depends on the story. In some instances, introducing a Sith into a mercenary RP could outright ruin any chance of sound progression, unless planned carefully. The main thing to do is to develop MORE than one character, if you don’t intend to shift your character’s role, although most who do that end up with a thoroughly flat character.

In this issue of Roleplayer Weekly, we’ll be discussing how to create several types of popular characters that are often seen around Jedi Academy’s various roleplay universes.

First, we’ll address the character roles most often seen:

B.)Jedi Character

Alright, first off:

Not every Jedi is automatically special, super powerful, and could easily down Sidious with his pinky. We’ll discuss what’s wrong with the above character after I discuss the typical Jedi personality. Jedi have gone through some changes between the new and old Orders. I’ll go through both:

Old Order: Old Order Jedi were generally VERY orderly, VERY indoctrinating, and very discriminating. They followed doctrine and practice to the letter. It was like a cult. I mean c’mon, you joined the order as a little little kid. If you were too old, damned if you made it into the Jedi Order. Yes, Anakin was a special case, but that was movie magic, and movie magic loves to appease morons. We, however, generally don’t include kids, just because they’re a pain in the ass. However, kids in the old Jedi order were probably not the Ritalin cases most people play them as today. Much more discipline, serenity, and general necessity of restraint was commonplace. This follows into adulthood. Now granted, this isn’t the exact case, as most biologicals are prone to our primal jealousies, tempers, etcetera, but they shouldn’t be commonplace. If it does occur, it would most likely be addressed by either a senior ranking member or a more rule-clinging initiate.

So, all this being said, Old Order Jedi are generally NOT spazzes. They’re actually more like monks, in reality, because of the strict discipline and necessity, so here’s some traits that would befit certain ranks, along with ideal HUMAN ages:

      • – Youngling: Probably the only characters who might be prone to spazzing about, but they too should be restrained. As they grow older, they’re less inclined to do something stupid.
      • – Initiate: Initiates might be a little rebellious, perhaps even a little arrogant now that they’re accepted into Jedi care. However, there are always those that may take the role seriously. Regardless, force use is still limited.(Bebe-7’ish)
      • – Padawan: May still have the initiate’s streak, but over time will mature into a more serious Jedi Knight, should everything go fine. No matter what though, don’t expect to be able to topple a Jedi Knight.(9-18’ish)
      • – Jedi Knight: Generally very serious, very orderly, but are still prone to irrational outbursts if pressed to a reasonable extreme. (20-40’ish)
      • – Jedi Master/Council: Generally very serene, strict, orderly, almost never prone to irrational outbursts. These should be VERY rare and shouldn’t be played full-time unless you have a very large community. (45-70)

So, that’s some general traits Old Order should have. Now, New Order are more relaxed, not necessarily requiring a uniform. They still held to Old Order doctrine, but they did not necessarily refuse to bend it. As such, while the old traits can still shine through, use of slang, swear words, a laid back attitude, and unorthodox methods are not entirely frowned upon. The idea is “be reasonable, keep your balance, and don’t fall too far into the darkside.” Our man Kyle Katarn’s implied philosophy. In other words, you’re free to use a LITTLE darkside, but not enough to turn you into a creep.

Also, if you’re one to use an origin story, PLEASE don’t always use the “boohoo I was raised in the slums/orphanage/misc. poor region.” Don’t be afraid to use middle class, noble class, go nuts with it! People aren’t going to judge you OOC if you say your character was the daughter of a middle class family, or some noble class family. Now, of course, limitations are always welcome. Unless you are able to possibly back up the fact you’re a child of a diplomat or something of that nature, don’t use it.

Now, overpowered characters, as mentioned above. PLAY your powers as your character befits the mastery. A Jedi Padawan should not be able to use Lvl 3 Force Lightning and knock a Jedi Knight out of a window. Believe me, it’s a lot more emotionally charged when you realize “HOLY crap, I can’t pwn this Sith Lord!” and are forced to either call for help or worse, convert. Speaking of Sith…

C.)Sith Character

Good lord, I cannot say how much I loathe TFU for introducing such an overpowered character and handing him into the public’s’ hands. NOT EVERY SITH CHARACTER IS SITH STARKILLER. Sith are just as fragile as Jedi, if not frailer, given their severe and rigorous and sometimes debilitating training. Those who pass the training are stronger for it. Sith are a very combat-oriented society, using raw power and their primal directives to achieve their goals in life. As such, they prove to be more chaotic, and the personalities of the Sith may vary, and can be affected by their status. I will go over some general traits:

  • – Dark Jedi: Not a Sith, per se, but can become one in time. A Dark Jedi is generally a very chaotic character, having very diverse motives. It’s not uncommon for Dark Jedi to harbor negative feelings towards the Jedi Order, and may even vow revenge against them. Some, however, may simply bide their time and try to become Sith.
  • – Sith Apprentice: A Sith Apprentice is generally very ambitious, very power hungry, and are very concerned about pleasing their masters, but NOT always for their approval, but mainly out of necessity, because Sith Lords more often than not will punish, hurt, or even “replace” their apprentices if they prove too meek. Fight to replace your master is the key, because they may more often than not attempt to hold you back.
  • – Sith Lord: You are at the top of the power ladder, and more often that not, you’re not gonna give it up easily. Sith Lords generally have EARNED their status whether it be by inheritance or killing their former master. As such, treatment of their apprentice varies. Some might be a bit more lenient than others, but generally, it’s not uncommon to see Sith Lords treat their apprentices like crap. Do it just right, and you might live to see you die peacefully…maybe.

 

 

D.)Mercenary Characters

Guess what?

It’s true. Mandalorians aren’t necessarily the only type of mercenaries. There are many different kinds. Some are your classic dual pistol wielding gunslinger, others like to brandish out enough firepower to raze a large building, and then there are those who take the middle road, carrying what they need and can carry. Mercenaries can be some of the most diverse characters out there. They all have different levels of experience, weaponry, levels of success, motives, behaviors, levels of education, etc.

So, general traits of a mercenary:

  • – Generally very negative: Mercenaries generally have seen a lot of killing, blood, guts, and other sick shit. They’re not always going to be very cheery about life in general, unless of course they’re sociopaths, in which case, they might be rather interesting. Good luck trying to pull it off as a novice, though. This all being said, they’re very prone to swearing, using “fixes” (drugs, alcohol, etc.) to relieve stress, and might not exactly have the best social skills.
  • – Money-sensitive: Most mercenaries are fighting for cash. Guns and ammo cost money. Therefore, very few are going to outright splurge on superfluous things unless they need that item. After all, food costs too.
  • – Down to earth: Experienced mercenaries aren’t generally prone to rushing into a combat situation they normally wouldn’t be prepared for, unless they absolutely have to. Therefore, mercenaries generally come equipped with plenty of ammo and armor, aren’t afraid to grab another weapon they’re not familiar with(but they should have a good guns knowledge if they want the most bang for buck,) and generally aren’t going to sacrifice firepower for finesse. Survival is key. Now of course, some may have enough experience to use more finesse related weapons, but generally, you’d be hard pressed to see someone down a tank with just a pistol.

Those are all I can think of at the moment. Given that guns are limited in JA, you can only do so much. Personality is definitely going to be the key thing if you want your character to be interesting.

E.)Soldier Characters

Now…

believe me, a lot of people I’ve seen play soldiers are REALLY REALLY REALLY bad at it. Some pull it off, but more often than not, someone screws it up in a big way.

Now granted, this isn’t easy to do unless you’ve either:

A.) Seen a good deal of plausible military movies

B.) are a soldier.

however, the internetz is very informative business. So here’s some tips on making a plausible soldier:

  • – ORDER, ORDER, ORDER: If you want your character to get anywhere in reality, your character generally has to be very clean, orderly, and very VERY respectful towards authority. Don’t do that, and your char’s prolly gonna be scrubbing out feces-stained toilet bowls with their toothbrush for a LOONG time, or get discharged. That means keeping uniforms on when on-duty, following regulation, carrying weapons that were distributed to you, and not wandering about aimlessly . You has job to do. Does it. …Yeah, military doesn’t sound vary tempting now, does it?
  • – Keep a table of common military ranks available: The Army, Navy, and Air Forces all have VERY different rankings. For example, there is no such thing as a private in the air force, nor are the lowest level of naval officers called privates. You may be noticing I’m using a lot of Private ranking. If you’re in a large server, you need MORE than just privates. Officers are necessary as are higher ranking soldiers, seamen(lawl,) and airmen. Common sense is definitely a necessity when distributing ranks.
  • – A number of the mercenary rules can be applied to soldiers, so feel free to mix and match as necessary.

F.) Civilian/Clerical Characters

Okay, okay XD I know that most people don’t go crazy with civilian characters. I just felt like MS-Paintshooting stupid anime schoolgirls. SO, that being said, civilians…guess what? YOU ARE ONE. Act like one when playing one. Not every civilian’s going to pull a gun on a force user…unless they’re an idiot. Civilians have lives to live, and generally get very scared if that life is threatened. That’s it. Not many people play civilians, but I figured I’d add in a section for the hell of it.

G.) Droid Characters

Now this is…

Droid characters are generally so horribly played, because we as humans aren’t droids. It takes a very very talented/knowledgeable player to play a greatly believable mechanical character. Why?

Well, to answer that, droids are computers; now Star Wars has the luxury of having droid characters with personalities, but regardless of that, they are still stuck to what’s programmed in them. Stick to your programming. An assassin droid generally won’t feel sorry for their targets and let them go. NOT EVERY DROID CALLS BIOLOGICALS MEATBAGS EITHER. Oy…so, case in point, the ability/personality of your droid is dependent on your operating system, maintenance, misc. programming, what have you. That being said, don’t expect droids to act like mercenaries.

On another note, droids generally have very technical language and have note of EVERY circuit in their chasis. As such, if your character takes damage, imagine having to describe EXACTLY what’s wrong to your biological counterpart.

Joe: How is everyone?
Bill: My right arm hurts.
Joe: How about you R3?
R3-T4RD: There appears to be a servo-motor malfunction in my right manipulator, along with a slight dysfunction in my optical sensors, sir.

Oh yeah, can’t forget that most droids are programmed with manners! Ooh, how bad’s that when you have to work under a jerk huh?

So, last thing I’m going to address is equipment. I’ve seen this quite often, but it totally has gotta stop: STOP MAKING UP SECRET STUFF. Keep your droid’s equipment generally open, and all “secret” items, keep it minimal. R2D2 annoyed the living crap out of me because he ALWAYS SEEMED TO HAVE A FUNCTION FOR EVERY SITUATION UNDER THE SUN, and then some. Sometimes, droids can’t solve every problem. An archive droid can’t brandish a minigun. At some point, you just gotta call it quits. Got it? Good.

H.) Cross-gendering
Wow, if you thought droids were hard, try plausibly playing the opposite sex! I’ve seen a few people do it, but generally it was under the guise of another race. This probably makes it easier, but believe you me, there’s only one way to really effectively play the opposite sex: STUDY! This is generally aimed at the men in the audience, as most aren’t very good at playing females, due to rather obvious reasons. I’ve seen some females do some pretty decent male interpretations, but believe me, they can always improve. Study up carefully, and you might be able to pull it off.

I.) Miscellaneous Char Tips

    • – Add quirks and flaws to your character: If your character is somehow perfect, then there’s something wrong with your character. Wow, what a paradox =_= either way, something like a booze addiction, a bad leg, a disorganized demeanor, a short temper, a lazy eye, a disease. Anything that says: “hey, my character isn’t a god incarnate,” is always a start.
    • – If you slip up typing dialog, if you think it’s possible, write it off as (thanks to Laam’inui of RPG Universe for bringing the label to my attention,) a Freudian slip.

For example:

Joe: Damn, I could go for a glass of brany.
Bill: Wha?
Joe: Pfh, Brany..BRANDY. *facepalm*

Just because you can see dialog and names doesn’t mean your characters know them. Keep your character ignorant whenever necessary. It generates dialog anyway. More on dialog in a later issue.

  • Whilst you don’t have to be a guru, some Star Wars lore will do you some good. If reading novels and comics isn’t your thing, then I’d suggest taking a look at Wookieepedia after the books. Whilst all the info there isn’t indisputable, there’s enough to help you through certain situations, as some Star Wars information may be commonplace in that RP server. However, don’t be afraid to resort to the above ignorance rule.
  • Whilst there are unique cases in the world, you’re better off playing a more typical character versus something unique, as if you try unique, you end up further away from sounding like a plausible and entertaining character. Whilst everyone’s view of a character is different, I’ll be trying to keep as general as possible.
  • Expect your character to be hated. This is a vague bit of advice but it’s true: sometimes people hate other peoples characters, sometimes In Character (IC), sometimes Out of Character (OOC.) If there’s more OOC than IC, then it might be because your character is poorly designed. If it’s IC hate, then you’re on the right track.
  • Keep your character’s knowledge reasonably limited: Too often have I seen characters pulling out magically drawn knowledge out of nowhere and applying it to a situation they’ll never use just to bail out their character. If your character doesn’t have know-how on a certain topic and you want them to totally know it, have them learn it. For example, my character literally only knew galactic basic, but his apprentice apparently is lacking in full comprehension of basic, since his native language is quite different. SO, what happens? I bone him up on that language, and at the moment, he currently is learning how to speak it properly, although mistakes are made of course. Oh, yeah, speaking of which:
    • FEEL FREE TO MAKE IC MISTAKES: Good lord, so many people are afraid of making their character look stupid, when they should realize that mistakes are completely natural. Now of course, if you’re playing a droid, you have to be extra careful not to make a lot of mistakes(good luck,) but otherwise, feel free to have your character trip, stutter, drop stuff, miss a catch, accidentally injure themselves, the works. It happens, so make it happen whenever possible.

J.) “HEY AVERUS!!!”

Nothing this issue =_= LOOK TO NEXT SECTION FOR DARKNESS ON HOW TO GET QUESTIONED ANT-SERED.

K.) Conclusion

Well then, that’s about all we got for today. Tune in next week when I’ll be discussing how to play your character in detail. For your question to be answered on “HEY AVERUS!” please send your question to epsalon89@gmail.com and include the name you’d prefer to be known as when posting it. Thanks for reading and JOYOUS ADVENTURES TO ALL OF YOU =_=

L.) About the Author

Averus Retruthan is a veteran 8-year Roleplayer who has used multiple mediums for Roleplay, including JA, Neverwinter Nights, Text Role-play, Forum Roleplay, and Starcraft, and continues to expand his experience wherever possible. Averus credits JA and NWN being the key elements that helped him develop his skills to where they are today. He currently resides in the newly founded {LoF} RP clan, a small but talented group of RPers, and works with map makers of RPG maps to help improve and bring dynamics to their maps within his post at JK3files.com

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