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Some thoughts about Roleplay, and Templars, and So Forth

Base: General Archive 2001
Re: Warning Defining Roleplay (Eternal)
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 22:27:04 GMT
From: Cat Rambo <spezzatura@gmail.com>

Let me start by saying that (imo) there's two parts to roleplay: internal and external.

Internal includes such things as creating and abiding by a decent character concept, using the think command and imposing certain limitations on your character based on internal processes. For example: "My character is terrified of flame cheese, so he'd never go into the Trader's." Others may see the consequences of those limitations and wonder what motivates the behavior or (possibly) think that bad play is occuring because they don't understand the reasoning behind it. Or they may find out the motivation long after the fact, which sometimes is an interesting, engaging and satisfying moment.

External would include some of the things touched upon in earlier, now deleted, threads, such as incorporating the virtual world in your emotes, or actions impelled by circumstances other characters can observe, such as a fierce sandstorm or an object in the room. Herein, I think, lies some of the confusion, since some participants in the discussion have conflated the two in their eagerness to dismiss the idea that roleplaying and emoting are not equivalent. Both are, in my opinion, of equal importance.

I will be the first to admit, I'm a big fan of the beautiful emote, of the player who incorporates the pale light of the rising moon falling on their face, or the guttering of torches and rumble of wagons along Caravan Way at midnight, who lightly touches their lips to the back of a hand or brushes someone's hair from their face in a gesture infinitely more evocative than 'kiss dark' will ever be, who scrambles for their weapon with frantic movements after the gith has knocked it from their hand and otherwise makes the world come alive in a way that truly elevates the game to literature.

But I digress.

Beyond that, as far as templars and nobles enter in, there are things beside roleplay that are looked at when someone applies for such a role. The question of OOC leadership does come into play and, yes, there is such a thing; it is made up of coordination of playing times, of making an effort to get a new player engaged and acclimated, in making sure that play is motivated, and so forth. Templars and nobles exist to help impel play, to help make the world more interesting and full for the other players, and I'm not sure that emoting nicely and with proper punctuation and spelling is sufficient. In fact, I know it's not.

It's a harsh world, and those nobles and templars are not there to make the world a nicer place, or to ensure you get your snake-headed dagger back after the jailguards stripped it off you... they're there to provide an element of danger and intrigue. Both roles are eminently abusable, and we do look at complaints about them carefully. Right now we've got some fairly high profil ones in the game, and they are all being played as they should.

I don't want to go off into a round of nostalgia and play yeah-well-when-I-started-playing-we-didn't-HAVE-wagons-we-had-cardboard-boxes-and-we-LIKED-it, but actually, I can remember templars who you were afraid to look at, and who you NEVER ever whispered around. Templars should be someone you desperately mind your P's and Q's around, knowing that they can, and might, should the whim seize them, chop your head off.

That's my thinking, at least. It may not be yours, but at least you know where I'm coming from. Enjoy.

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1. Sad: Playing a templar eh... by Harcroft, 3/08/01
to: "Some thoughts about Roleplay, and Templars, and So Forth"

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