Guest Blog: Role-playing
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Join Date: Nov 2012
01-27-2013, 12:15 PM
Originally Posted by
Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt!
My experience with RPers has been one of xenophobia - always reticent about including others into their cadres without a three-page description about their toon.
I know not all are like this, but c'mon...
This is necessary for consistent roleplay, for several reasons.
a) If you're unknown to the group nobody will know what to expect from you. A game such as STO breeds power gamers. In the PvE part of the game the player's character and ship are always a lot stronger than the opponents they meet, with the correct setup it's possible to simultaneously tackle dozens of ships, for example. This is frowned upon by most in the RP community and asking for a bio will put your character into perspective, allowing them to figure out if and how you'll fit into the group.
b) Often, RP characters are not exactly what they look like on the outside. The game allows for the creation of only Starfleet or KDF officers. There are no civilians, no enlisted, no members of any other organisations that can be represented by the player's avatar or toon, as you call it. In order to allow other players in the group to react to yours in an appropriate fashion, background information is very helpful.
c) Depending on the type of RP, it's important for people who participate, and especially a game master (i.e. the one who directs a plot-driven RP), to know about specific skills, powers and knowledge a given character has. While the characters won't know that right off the start, it's important knowledge for the players to have, as that tells them what they can and cannot do. It also gives them the ability to call another player out on suddenly adding a skill or an ability to their characters as it suits the situation, thereby playing themselves into the foreground and heroically saving the day, side-lining everyone else in the game.
Now, claiming it's three pages, I'm sure, is a bit of an exaggeration on your part. I, for one, only write biographies this long for forum or e-mail based games, where there's a lot more focus on writing the part, writing about what the character thinks and feels much more than about what the character says and does.
For the purposes of a run-of-the-mill improvised RP, such as meeting at a bar on Drozana station or by the fountain on Bajor, just having a friendly chat and downing a few drinks, a two or three paragraph introductions of your character is entirely sufficient, and there's plenty of space for that in the character bio section you can fill out in-game.