Hello Star Wars fans, nerds, people, cosplayers... whatever the hell.
Let’s sit down a moment and talk. We’ve had some good times, haven’t we? I mean yes, the podracing went on for far too long, and there was some sketchiness over Jacen Solo in the EU. And here, at SWTOR-RP, we’ve also had some good times. If you can’t remember at least one piece of roleplay which moved you, right down there in the heart, or which at least made you go “whooo” in a tone which is much more enthusiastic than my writing allows for, I’d be surprised. Hell, I’d offer my condolences.
So why am I here, on this hallowed day, nammering on about all of this? Because I have a very simple message for the lot of you:
Embrace all the roleplay offered to you.
"But Taeghen," I hear you cry out in despair. "There are many of us in the community who are stupid, or annoying, or have died like eighteen times, or who are so made of special snowflakes that 'Let it go' is sounding out behind them like a crude form of psychological torture." And that’s true. Likely, some of the people reading this will put me in at least one of those categories. But it’s not important. Consider the following:
Look at what we have to work with. Look at the sheer richness of Star Wars, the overwhelming diversity of it, the depth of thousands of people working together to build something glorious. We would not have the Mandalorians if people hadn’t decided that Boba Fett was that awesome. We would lack all of the tremendous detail on the Sith’s ancient ways had Palpatine not intrigued and repelled us. And then it grows even further: the Chiss are here because of Thrawn. How many bounty hunters have sprung up from this lot?
A while ago, someone in the comments section said that maybe film and online RP shouldn’t be linked as closely as I often link them.
After all, one is long-form storytelling and the other is free-form. One is the (hopefully) polished work of a team of professionals and the other is a constantly evolving work in progress. Films are structured in ways that can’t easily be brought to real-time collaborative writing. The responsibility of the story falls not on one person writing all characters, but a team of people writing multiple characters. It all comes together to form a very different beast.
Despite all that, there are some crucial similarities. The dramatic question is one of them.
Today we’re grabbing a thread from the forums that we thought deserved some attention! Witya’s Hell’s Kitchen thread was a laundry list of the common sins and pitfalls that disrupt roleplay. It’s very much worth a read, check it out here. If you’d like to hear more from Witya, here’s an interview with him!
First of all, what made you actually want to write the guide? By the look of it, it took a fair amount of thought and effort. What pushed you to invest that? Was there a specific incident that pushed you over the edge and into ‘right, that’s it’ territory?
Actually it was far less dramatic. I’ve stepped out of regular roleplay some time ago (first from SWTOR, then The Secret World) to focus on creative writing. But since Enjin hosts bunch of great people I’ve stayed around, watching from the sidelines. Lately it struck me how many of my friends wrestle with public RP issues and that was the impulse to write the article. Nothing new appeared there, but the scale surprised me. I got my own theory how KotFE influenced servers’ RP, leaving more people at the mercy of random roleplay in populated hubs. That must have stimulated the conflicts, and “pushed me” to write.
Out of all the issues that you ran through in your thread, which would you say upsets you most? Not necessarily the most problematic, but the one that really pisses you off most.
OOC banter in the middle of IC action – hands down. It breaks the fun for everybody in the scene, distracts, ruins immersion and rarely leaves shards to pick up. It’s like hearing Christian Bale’s behind the scenes rage in the middle of Dark Knight. People who tend to do that are not high on my “wish to play with” list.
I was going to do something slightly less charged this week – foibles, need and desires, maybe interconnection of characters. Something with less capacity to offend – but then something came up in the comments for the last defining features article, and it set me thinking about what people want their characters to be, and how they can appear otherwise to other writers.
How does this tie into badassery? Well, it’s the fundamental problem with people who set out to play the big bad martial superhero of our time – they want their character to be a badass, but they don’t understand the core principle.
It’s not about how hard they can swing, or how fast they can draw, or even how inspiring they are. It’s about how they get up after being knocked down. Aela’s point about so many characters brings up an issue with this: if the character is still carrying that chip on their shoulder, still letting it hammer them down, then they never really got back up, did they? They’re still knocked down.
Character growth and development is a natural progression through roleplay, but how our characters handle each situation that would have an impact on the foundations of who they are and who they will become differs between characters and the players who claim them as their own. Some characters have life-changing epiphanies after taking a single blaster-shot, whilst others will remain stubbornly unchanging even after losing their entire families and crews.
As roleplayers, there's always countless factors to consider when looking at how a character will develop after every situation that they find themselves in. Simple roleplay over drinks can be just as life-changing as an intense battle in both positive and negative ways. And sometimes, it's a comment or an overheard conversation that has the biggest impact. A Mandalorian struggling to find a sense of clan after leaving theirs might come to realize that the problem in working with a crew, might not be with the crew, but them. A Sith may see the face of a child and realize their path is no longer the right one.
In this Friday Focus, we'd like to know: what inspires your character development? What are the situations that has brought about honest, life-changing growth for your characters? Do situations of intense combat have the same impact as conversations? Or do you have one of those stubborn characters that remains unphased by the galaxy around them?
Immersion: for many it's a word that has absolutely no meaning. They know the definition of immersed, but otherwise it has no meaning. To be immersed is to become part of something, usually used in reference to culture, a lifestyle, a movement.
For roleplayers, it often means the same. In a small way we become our characters. We dive into a world of fantasy, their lives, their actions, their decisions, their outcomes, their choices; the people they know, the lives they live, and ultimately their retirement or death.
But there are small things that make it hard sometimes to get engrossed in the character, the scene, the roleplay, the moment. There are things that don't quite flow right, don't quite fit, or are too ostentatious or line-crossing for you to feel perfectly comfortable. We call those things immersion breaking, things that pull you out of a scene, or are so bad that sometimes entire scenes need to be rewritten or even forgotten.
For each of us, it's a different trigger that crosses that line. My question for you in SWTOR-RP's new Friday Focus is: what ruins immersion for you? What makes a scene completely unplayable or makes it nearly impossible to get into a character?
Dreg enjoys drinking and gambling. He claims he is a better shot while entirely intoxicated, though lately that has begun to suffer. He’s begun to dabble in stims and chemistry and enjoys working on his beskar kit. He prides himself on his equipment.
Dreg is physically fit, but not overtly so. He has a stamina and endurance that belies his physical abilities and marries well with his stubborn nature. He has a massive scar that runs down his right eye; it was a scar that earned him a place within the Mandalorians, while also marking his first Jedi kill.
Dreg is a man with an odd moral compass. He puts family and friends above everything, even his own safety, unless they betray him or those he loves. He is sarcastic and stubborn, and will stop at nothing to provide for those he cares for. He is not open about his loyalties or affections, but if someone is not on his bad side, they’ll never end up on the wrong side of his blaster. While Dreg doesn’t mind bending or breaking the law, he avoids unnecessary bloodshed; though that does not mean he is afraid to kill to protect what is his, or remove people too idiotic to recognize that they shouldn’t stand in his way.
Read the rest of this post...
Boys and girls of TOR, as you know from our previous article about the battles presently being undertaken in the arena of winner takes all death-matchy goodness, you might wonder what the participants are upto outside of the arena.
Remember Lesatho? She's the organiser of the off-screen events, and she told us that people get creative; they draw and write about the events and happenings as the death matches work down toward that final victor. So we thought what better opportunity than to write about it! In the last battle featured here, we saw a good number of submissions, and while we can't feature everything, we'd like to give you a snapshot of what people got up to during the event.
The first creative piece we figured to spotlight would be a short story telling of Mildred's defeat over Beviin in the previous Battle Royale held last month:
Recent reports of Revan's rise from the dead have swarmed news feeds around the galaxy. It is being rumoured that Revan is returning to the galactic conflict with his own agenda, taking to battle against anyone who refuses to join his cause. But are the rumours true? Has he returned from the dead, and has he abandoned the Republic?
Hundreds of years ago, Revan acted in contrary to orders from the Jedi Council and assisted the Republic military in the war against the Mandalorians. It was shortly thereafter that the stories of Revan become skewed. Some say he returned to the galaxy as a Sith Lord. However, the prevalent story is of Revan returning the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic, bringing the Sith Empire to its knees. He became a hero of the Republic and is remembered as such to this day.
If the stories of Revan's worth to the Republic are true, is it possible for him to turn against it and its citizens? Has Revan truly returned to the galaxy to wreak havoc and cause utter destruction?
Stay tuned to the Central Broadcasting News Service as the story develops.
Keyt Saren | CBNS Reporter
"Jetiise killed my aliit, Torn'ika. They have always been the greatest challenge for Mando'ade; that alone is enough reason for us to fight against them, but never forget what they took away from our people. Neither forget that darjetiise are the same sort of animal; they're just a different breed. They pay well, and we'll fight for them, but we will never trust them, and we will never be truly free as a people until all jetiise, Sith or Republic, are dead."
~ Bralen Jate'kara
Born Killian Antilles to a poor family on the mining world of Artus Prime
, he lost his birth family at the age of four to a raider attack upon his father's company town. Surviving due to a fluke of construction in his family's hovel, he subsisted for several weeks by scavenging and by hunting small beasts. After two months had past, a relief force of Mandalorian mercenaries landed, hired by the mining corporation to ensure the settlement was clear of raiders and booby traps. A handful of Mandalorian warriors found Killian hiding in the ruins, carefully defending a small fort he had built. As is often traditional with Mandalorians, these warriors took the boy in, the eldest of them taking on the responsibility of training the boy to become a warrior.
Finding himself under the guidance of the clan chief Maran Jate'kara, Killian was introduced to a very hard life. Mandalorian boys were expected to train as soldiers, and Killian underwent the most difficult trials of his life. Eventually, he would prove himself to Maran, who adopted him as his own son and gave him his new name: Bralen Jate'kara.