The how to create a good character thread and more...

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Postby Wandering but not lost » Sat Jul 20, 2002 11:59 pm

Well, skimming through a few threads which I will not name, I found a few characters who were the "xenarwen" type. They were warrior elves who were female and good at everything. One thing (which maybe this is hypocritical, then again Wandering had some gaping flaws when he first joined) I think a character should never do is begin as all that powerful. I mean, a character needs to have the whole goal thing going. If someone can already sink continents with their magic, whats the point of traveling or even walking from point a to b when you can just teleport, kill the villian, and get home before elevensies? As well, it takes a lot of the fun out of playing when no one gets hurt.<BR><BR>One tip I learned with Wandering, when I knew that I was going to be posting less frequently for a period of time, I would often have Wandering get injured. That would explain why I was not active in battles etc. when I could not attend. Injury can also serve as a means of toning down your activity on a thread for a while. Not only that, but it can also simply be more fun to play with. It is always interesting when, perhaps your thief, breaks a finger and cannot pick locks anymore for a while. You can always give him a small treasure chest that makes him tempted to try.... But, maybe his lack of skill accidentally triggers a poisin needle trap or something else? Maybe he breaks the lock and you find out later it has the key inside you need to rescue your imprisioned half brother from his cell?<BR><BR>Injury can be an interesting complication. Oh, there is another thing about plot- complications can be lots of fun. Throw in something interesting to spice things up. If you are sneaking into an enemy camp, maybe have your character step on a twig and wake up that slumbering guard. Or, maybe if you are needed to have a group assassinate the king, (this is always fun) have your character (in play so that the poster but not the characters know) be a spy for the king that sets up a trap. Or, have it where you get lost. That would be funny huh if a ranger got lost in the middle of nowhere. Complications are things that happen which do just that, complicate your character's postions and make things more difficult while enhancing the plot. <BR><BR>
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Postby RoseCotton » Sun Jul 21, 2002 9:03 am

I just wanted to give a big thanks to Wandering and everyone else here who has given such good advice. This has been helping me out a lot. I'm sort of new to "indepth-RPing" and I am trying to glean all I can of your wisdom. <BR><BR>I was very intrigued when I started reading the character archives and discovered that many people use the same character in more than one RPS. I've been working on such a character myself, for use in the future. Her name is Khorali, and she's a prostitute from Khand. (Khand is a country in between Rhûn and Harad-- if Rhûn is Asia and Harad is Africa, then Khand would be the Middle East.) It's fun because she's a morally ambiguous character, doing something she knows is wrong because she really doesn't have a choice, although she has a good heart. I've been reading over all the great information here in trying not to make her too perfect (I too get sick of all the Xenarwens). Again, thank you so much for your helpful advice.
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Postby Snowdog » Sun Jul 21, 2002 12:23 pm

Rosie, sounds like a very good character you have developed! You may wish to post on the <a target=new href="http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=25&threadid=34533">Character Archives</a> thread! I look forward to writing RP with you, and your history you posted in the OOC Inn of the West is quite interesting and in depth. I hope you join the thread and give Halasían someone to interact with. It would be one morally ambigous character with another... what possibilities!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Leslie, I was not thinking of your character as I know of her from Mirkwood (of which Snowdog is hoping for at least one dance at the festival <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>) for your character has depth and personality and is great. <BR>I was being quite general in my statement of Xenarwen as it seems there are quite a few shallow characters of the description that cropped up since the movie.<BR><BR>
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Sun Jul 21, 2002 2:04 pm

I know what you mean Snowdog. I really do....<BR><BR>Rose, I think that sounds like a great character personality. I have for the most part always and only used Wandering. There was one thread where I posted a few posts as an elf but left it due to school work. Basically, Wandering is all that I have used. I do not really worry too much about the time issue- simply avoiding threads that are in extreme time periods (i.e. the hobbit or 100 years after the war...) For the most simplest definition, I think just keep your single character consistent in the threads, building off some aspects of each thread. I have a "base" time period for Wandering which is about 20 years after the war of the ring and that is where I post my Wandering's Quest during. btw, I need to finish my new post for it...<BR><BR>Also, on playing a consistent character, it is extremely important to decide on goals more so than anywhere else because that character will be with you a long time and thus will need somewhere to improve. In 2.5 years, Wandering's biggest goal was to learn magic. Only about 2.25 years after he started that goal did he really become skilled with it. That is a long time for a single goal!<BR><BR>Also, maybe decide things like where they may have a residence etc, if you want them to have one, simply because you may want to be more picky on what threads you take them into. For example, you may not want your character to start in any of the threads that begin in the elven city of Lothlorien because you may have trouble thinking of a reason that they would be there. Little things like why you are in a location when a thread starts can be important. Wandering is pretty easy with getting reasons since he merely wanders. <BR><BR>Final note, with a single character, it is often fun to do as Snowdog has done and branch it out making a history and other side characters or side main characters that can interelate to your main. But, for the beginning, start with one.<BR><BR>I really prefer the aspect of one character per person simply because I think it lends itself to more interesting characters in the end. However, there are some people who do great jobs with creating thousands of unique characters. Tempest comes to mind with that. So does Anriel.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Sun Jul 21, 2002 6:26 pm

Snowdog,<BR>Oooh ok, Thanks I'm glad you think my character is great. I like your character as well.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> Anyway don't worry you'll get to dance with my character in the From Imladris thread. Edain has already asked for the first and last dance though, hope ya don't mind. I still haven't decided though...on whether or not to have Leslie wear a dress or not. I'm still contemplateing...LOL<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <BR><BR>Wandering,<BR>I agree it is best to play one character at first. Leslie was my first character, but then I thought she was too dull, espeically with no family or anyone close to her other then an older wizard that had found her. At first I was going to create a bad guy for my main character to want to exact revenge on type senario, but then I thought that to be too original. Besides I wouldn't have the heart to play a bad guy. So I ended up making another character, but this one would be as close to a bad guy as I could get which would be a good guy with a very bad attitude. Hence Declynn was created, then I thought it would be easier if Leslie and Declynn were close friends like sisters. This way I could keep better track of both of them. From there I built on the idea of why Declynn would have such a bad attitude. If anyone went to the Archives they'd see two other characters (Other then Leslie and Declynn) under my name, but these characters are not used, and probably will never be. The reason for the two other characters is because of a conversation started in the Archive thread for which I thought to clean up the Archives I edited my posts to character bios. Therefore I only use two charcter, but I started out with one, which is always a good idea.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby heliona » Mon Jul 22, 2002 5:03 am

I suppose Heliona is a bit of a XenArwen character, although I tried to make her more flawed as I went along in Adventuring, which is the only major RP thread she's been in. She's developing this new magic that she doesn't know how to use, and she's frightened by it, but she doesn't really show it, cos some of the other company look up to her. Admittedly, she does shot wonderfully with a bow, but she's an Elf. She tends not to use her magic that often, because it tires her out. As for her Healing power, I don't think it got used that much, cos she was a Princess, she wasn't all-knowing when it came to things like that, that's another reason why she's out in the world, to learn more. And now she's got a adolescent dragon tagging after her, not exactly the discreetest thing in the world! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>However, I generally fall back onto Heliona's character if I'm in a hurry when I want to RP, like in Inn threads, cos she's the one I'm used to. But I really liked playing Almarian, who's a Ranger's daughter, who's father was killed when she was younger, and she was basically left on her own. In her own way, she's innocent and naive, but she's also skilled, and these sometimes clashed. I really enjoyed playing her. As I got more experienced in role-playing, my characters became less and less "wonderful," if you like. Rhia, who was used briefly in "Freedom" really didn't have clue. She would've died if she hadn't had a great horse and a wizard looking over her. And Aleandra (who I might resurrect, cos she's hardly been used at all) was only really good at begging. She grew up with Elves, but then left them to discover the world, and ended up begging on the street. <BR><BR>I think I might go and add these to the character archive, just in case I use them. Just talking about them is making me want to write some more! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Snowdog » Mon Jul 22, 2002 10:07 am

Yes, Almarian. Whom Halasian was sort of a surrogate father to if I remember my early Shadow over Arnor correctly. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> No, Heliona isn't an 'xenarwen' for she has depth. I think of xenarwens as the ones who are beautiful, is a princess, can kick everyones butt no matter how strong the opponent is for they have something in their magic bag of tricks or some magic pet that will trump. There is nothing wrong with being such if the personality is developed with depth, but it seems a 'sameness' in alot of the newer characters that have cropped up. I guess I shouldn't have mentioned the xenarwen bit.
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Postby Carnimiriel » Mon Jul 22, 2002 10:36 am

To be fair to those who use female characters, I must point out that having invincible characters is not simply a 'female disease'. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I have noticed scenarios where posters have taken great care to create a really tough monster or a host of orcs and then someone less experienced or less skilled using a male invincible super-warrior has their character go in and kill it/them in one blow.<BR><BR>The thing that bugs me about female warrior types in general, and this doesn't just apply to TORC, is that often the male character is the one who trains for years to be a warrior and this is evident, and then the female character with no such training in evidence or discussed as part of her background just picks up a sword (usually she isn't even wearing armor) and kicks some serious butt.<BR><BR>I think it is great to have female warriors as part of collaborative writing here or in any fantasy fiction, but one does have to be careful to avoid falling into that trap.<BR><BR>My character Carnimiriel has trained some with a short sword, because I didn't want to make her just a pure magic-user like Galadriel. She's not very good at it though and gets her butt beat in practice by a minor character I invented who *is* a real female warrior type.<BR><BR>Two books I read recently actually had a very good portrayal of a female warrior that was the main character which was quite realistic - The King's Peace and The King's Name (quasi-Arthurian fiction, enjoyable but not earth shakingly so). I would recommend that to those who would like to write a female warrior character but aren't sure how to start.
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Mon Jul 22, 2002 10:07 pm

I think that is a very valid point. Often male characters can do that just as often. Wandering, I will admit, against many things can be somewhat invincible- though I also often have him get hurt. I think though that partly why I have him so skilled is in part due to how long I have played him. He started skilled, but very unexperienced and unable to apply his skills. Now that he has that knowledge, he is very powerful though.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Mon Jul 22, 2002 10:35 pm

Hmmm very good points. I admit at times I have problems for my main character Leslie can not remember where, when, or how she learned to be good at useing a sword or bow. She just knows she is good at useing both. I guess that's a very big problem with a character suffering from memory loss. There are certain things that can be remembered, and then there are certain things that can not be remembered, or the character can have absolutely no memory what so ever. But I choose for Leslie to have some knowlege on skills and her first name. She is not the best at these skills, but does practice to inhance them. Which is why whenever Leslie gets into a battle she'll usually end up injured, or at times successful, but never invinicble and never completely untouched. I'll try to create even the smallest of injury to Leslie at times just to keep it real, even when she does win. From Imladris to Mirkwood is a good example, I joined that thread in the woods outside of Mirkwood, where she stumbled onto an old camp, and when she turned to leave found herself face to face with an very nasty looking orc. He grabbed her by the throat and threw her into this old camp site, and eventhough she did slice and dice him, I made sure that Leslie felt pain in her throat from that incident long afterwords. As I said earlier I'll even give Leslie the smallest or the largest injury in a battle because I want to keep it real, and not make her so invincible or anything.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Tobias_Red-tail » Mon Jul 22, 2002 11:35 pm

I have just read through the thread, and found it most useful, I have a character who's a gambler, an alchoholic and a gang member mixed together and she shares my age. She the kind of person I want to be, the don't-care type, who also has a soft side to her. I suppose you could call her my jewel. Well, she hasn't exactly done anything Xena-ish yet, but had whacked the crap out of a guy who tried to hurt a kid her age. And I guess she does get hangovers, since she's such a drnker. I was free, so I saw this thread, and it caught my attention, so here I am! Even though she escaped from the guy unharmed, it was mainly because he didn't expect to be whacked between the legs. But if she does getinto a bad scrape, I will ensure that she gets injured. Butat that time the writer may have forgotten to put in his/her character's injury, (I am guilty of that), but still means for the character to get injured. What then?<BR><BR>I got my rough character from The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, and picked Mat as my example. He is also a gambler and a drnker, and also rather kind hearted, when it appeals to him.
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Tue Jul 23, 2002 1:22 am

I do not know how to answer that. I think I would have to see the character specifically to say things about him. However, what i would say is that I hope you only mean you aspire to him in his brash attitude and not his (drinking etc.) nature. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <BR><BR>Anyway, I do not always injure my character. In fact, sometimes he does prefrom almost flawlessly. Then again, some times he gets really badly wounded and is almost incapacitated for a long period. There have been times where I even had him collapse. He's done all sorts of stuff though, as I often confess, he is perhaps too strong. He is not invincible, but he is too strong. However, I feel in part I have earned his status so I do not change it. I have, in the last 6 months, toned it down though. Even though, since he finally has learned magic to a decent level, I may end up playing him too strong again. Then again, it takes a while to cast spells too so that may not be a problem depending how i play it.<BR><BR>Basically, it is not if a character is strong etc that makes them interesting (I have even played with some almost invincible character players that made fun characters) it does root to personality. I say to worry about that first before worrying about their invincibility. If you feel it is too much, then have them do less in their next fight and make more errors. Skills are pretty easy to tone down with no one noticing. When I first played Wandering, I toned him down a little bit after my first few posts because I realized he was pretty strong for a beginner.
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Postby RoseCotton » Tue Jul 23, 2002 7:24 am

Wandering and Snowdog: Thanks for the compliment! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0> I probably will put Khorali in the character archives, as soon as I'm finished reading them all (I'm halfway through the L's at the moment).<BR><BR>One (unfortunate, IMHO) thing I have found when reading other RPS's is that nearly all the characters are adventurous types to begin with. This makes sense in a way. I mean, they have to have a reason to be on the road. But in making all characters like this, we miss the mainstream of society, the ordinary, not-too-strong-or-smart people who are comfortable staying at home. Perhaps this is why there are so few hobbits around here. (<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>) It would be nice to see more people take on the challenge of a character who doesn't really WANT to travel but is forced to do so. Just look at Tolkien's writings. Sam Gamgee was pretty much a homebody, although he did want to see elves; and yet he was put in a situation where he felt it his duty to travel with Frodo, and in doing so he became quite a hero. I like characters like that. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Tue Jul 23, 2002 1:58 pm

One of my biggest pet peeves too is when someone who is new esp. takes over one of the main book characters for a thread. It is ok when a very good poster uses the characters sometimes or when they are npc's so to speak. However, it is a tragedy when a newbie uses people like Frodo or Gandalf or Aragorn etc. for there threads in part because they cannot do any justice to these characters. I think that it is esp. important for a newbie to make a new character anyway because, while Frodo may already have a personality etc, they need to learn how to develop a personality so that they can improve their ability to post. If they rely on premade characters, they will stagnate in their ability to develop and really just rely on cliche's.<BR><BR>Also, one tip to new posters, wait a while before starting a thread. First join one, post a while and learn, then create one. So many people start, read a few small things here and there, then create a thread inorder to a- avoid reading a big one, b- to have control of the story(yes, often that is part of it) c- to get themselves known.<BR><BR>Probably more reasons too. However, a is laziness, b is best saved for a more experienced poster, c is better done by joining a good thread. Only newbies really join the newbie threads because (I may be wrong) but experienced posters tend to be wary of them since they often go awry or are abandoned quickly. Thus, if you want to meet good posters and get them in your threads so they end up good, you need to join threads and post with those people and prove that you are worthwhile and reliable enough for their immense work. It is a lot of work to join a thread and often people do not want to put all that in something that will just die or well, stink. Not that all newbie threads are bad, but just so many of them are that they tend to be avoided.<BR><BR>I know that was not about character but I was talking to my friend Snowdog and I just wanted somewhere to vent that little pet peeve.
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Postby heliona » Wed Jul 24, 2002 8:43 am

RoseCotton, you're absolutely right, and I remember Jon Goatleaf being a really good RPGer who did use more 'normal' characters for role-playing with. It certainly made a refreshing change.<BR><BR>Thinking back on it, I think one reason for a lot of the female characters being 'invincible' is because the players might think that if they're not, they'll be killed off quite quickly, or they might not want to burden someone else with taking care of them.<BR><BR>I certainly didn't feel that way whenever I created any of my characters, and as Snowdog mentioned, even though one of them was pretty handy with a sword, she still had someone looking after her.<BR><BR>Btw, thank you, Snowdog, for that compliment. I keep meaning to write more Shadow Over Arnor, since I have an idea to round it all, but I need more time! Argh! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Allura_Starwind » Tue Jul 30, 2002 2:16 am

Good point Heliona, I have not been posting here long, but reading for a while (people do visit and just read, lol- too afraid to start posting....) anyway, I wanted to bring this back to the top because I refered to it in a thread by Colohue. I figured he may want to read it.
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Postby nienor-niniel » Tue Jul 30, 2002 1:58 pm

This thread started when I was in holiday, I just read it through and have to say how much I enjoyed it. I made up my character before I joined my first RP - which is a really big shot for s start, Redemption. <BR><BR>As in LOTR I have alway liked humans best, I made her human some basic information about her: she was found aged a few days in Imladris and risen there by the elves, but always felt lonely. Aged 18 or 19 she fell in love with one of the elves, but Elrond did not want another union of elves and men under his roof. When she understood that her lover would not act against him and leave for the west, she killed him and tried ot commit suicide, but failed in that and lost the baby, she didn't know about. Then she is banned, and lives alone ina the woods, trying to learn more about humans and maybe her family. After a few years she comes to Rohan sick and weary, where she stays, gets married and has a child. Finally she tells her husband about her crime in her youth and he casts her away, though she loves him now deeply. <BR><BR>I gave some major and minor weeknesses (e.g. she isn't good with a bow, for she is short-sighted) and an explicite liking for chocolate (tea was taken <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> ) <BR><BR>Now I realize that I begin to like her a lot, I wrote her some childhood memories, just for my personal pleasure, and thought about the feelings she had for the men she loved and what her wedding msut have been etc etc. Actually I think of making a thread with her story - just for my pleasure. Sometimes I just like ot get on RP to see what she has become. <BR><BR>I only use her and only on two RPs, my time is very limited, but this character has been my entry to RP and like most of you I believe that characters are the key ot a good story. <BR><BR>BTW Carnimiriel I'm a faithful reader of the Search for the Ringbearer, which inspired me too a for the Rokeplay 102 class when we had to write an audition. Keep on, please.
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Postby Allura_Starwind » Tue Jul 30, 2002 2:41 pm

Wow, I liked what you put for your character. I really found that interesting. I just wanted to say that. It has a very unique flair to it. I bet she is fun to post with. I'll look for you sometime in a thread.
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Postby Principesa » Wed Jul 31, 2002 1:14 am

hmmm....i think i'll refer back to this thread every once in a while...lots of good advice
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:08 pm

Nienor, I also liked what you put for your character, btw. I found it very creative and just wanted to second what Allura said.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Fri Aug 02, 2002 8:01 pm

I just remembered something I find wrong. It may be a bit confusing, but I hope to make it somewhat clear.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I also dislike it when someone takes control of your character(s) and tries to post what your character(s) says, does, thinks, and feels. I mean I don't mind other RPers taking control of my character a little bit, and using them in their posts, please don't take this the wrong way. I just don't like it when someone takes complete control of my character(s). The whole point of an RP is to have fun, and write a story with other writers, using your own version of it (Version as in Character). Not to have someone say what all your character will say, do, think, or feel. To me that's taking complete control of another’s character, and is a violation of the Pony Guidelines. Anyway I find this problem the most amongst newbie’s. There have been older RPies that I've been in (That are long gone now) where someone virtually new will not only try to post what my character says or does, but will also try to post what my character thinks or feels. I don't know if it's just me or what, but I don't like it when someone takes 'complete' control of my character(s) and will go as far as to say what my character(s) think or feels.<BR><BR>I mean I've seen 'experienced' RPers take control of another’s character, but that’s only to further their post in quality. And I think they limit themselves as to the control of others character(s). I know I set very strong guidelines to keep from taking control of another’s character(s). In fact I'll try to avoid taking control of anyone’s character(s) as best as I can. At times (Almost rare times) I'll post them as saying something or doing something in response to what my character(s) may say or do, but that it. I do not go beyond that. I've seen 'experienced' RPers post that my character says or does something, but they only post that they say or do something to further their posts. They never say what my character thinks or feels. Please understand that I have absolutely no problem with someone taking control of my character for a few to post what they'd say in response or reaction to their character(s) in their posts. But I dislike it when someone takes 'complete control' of another users character(s). I believe users should have limits or guidelines to follow in taking control of another’s character(s). This way it would avoid control freaks.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I'm not sure if I'm right about this, could someone please let me know what ya'all think.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>
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Postby Tanith » Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:25 pm

Fantastic thread, it was about time someone assessed the difficulties with characters who seem to have little to no history to speak of, and seem to embody every mythological talent under the sun. Makes for very exhausting interaction, especially for my character who is abounded with flaws and often finds herself in scrapes that she needs assistance to get out of. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR>I think its just as important to consider the limitations and attributes of other characters as it is to be able to determine your own. As Leslie pointed out, nothing is more irritating than when my character is taken on a rollarcoaster ride into nothingness because a well-meaning inexperienced RPer has grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and dragged her through multiple exhausting paragraphs. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><BR>And thankyou for the tips, I've found them all worth considering! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Tanith.
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Sat Aug 03, 2002 1:54 am

I am glad you find this helpful, Tanith. I notice that you are newly registered so I hope you can use this and further help threads to aid you in beginning in the pony. <BR><BR>Leslie, I agree completely. Sometimes you may even have to post emotions though, but I can only recall one or two times (surprise maybe being the one that comes to mind). However, whenever I do anything with someone else's character, I always make sure that I post an ooc saying that if they want me to edit it that I can. A mark of a good RPer is the willingness to edit, or even completely erradicate their posts for the good of the thread if needed. It is a hard thing to do sometimes, but it is often called for if you have odd posts, etc.<BR><BR>It is wrong to control others. Often though this gets hard in fights esp. those concerning villains since they are an opponent but a character as well. Those are usually very touch posts that need to be done very carefully in the ooc thread. Sometimes, good rpers will sacrafice their character (by taking tremendous pain, not necessarily dying) to make it smoother and easier to rp against villains (villains often need to sacrafice too). <u>Once again, villains should only be played by experienced and dedicated posters because of the careful precision required to post conflict when it occurs.</u><BR><BR>Concerning control, use ooc posts to help with that. Even just a simple "mr. x, I did this with your character, I hope its ok, I am willing to edit if need be" should ease any difficulty as long as you do not do too much with them. Like anything, you get the feel for what is right or wrong with experience which is why it is my and many other people's strongest advice that you <b>join</b> threads esp. before you create them. <BR><BR>Part of the problem that has occured in the pony I call the NEWBIE EAGERNESS/LAZINESS CYCLE THEORY (yeah, I made a theory!) which by definition has numerous points that is the cause for the board's degeneration. First aspect: All newbies in the pony desire to play (duh). Second aspect: The great majority if not all of the good threads to play in have already aquired a tremendous number of posts. Third aspect: most newbies are unwilling to read a 500 post thread before joining into their first or second rp. Fouth aspect: The only real way for a newbie to get better is to Role Play with experienced posters. Final aspect: Most experienced posters only want to role play with quality posters.<BR><BR>Now, what this means is the following: Newbie A wants to play and looks for a good thread. Seeing no threads that are determined as good and are new, he does not join one and thus does not get better since he is unwilling to read. Instead, because he wants to play, he creates one since he cannot find anyother means to enter. Well, then newbie B sees the new thread and joins because it is short and not "novel length before joining." Experienced poster A, sees the newbie thread, written sub par, and does not join and thus provides no example for newbies a and b. The newbie thread remains sub par because of its lack of demonstration until the mods recognize the lack of quality and it is blocked. Newbie A and B are mad but instead create another thread thinking it will be better and often the cycle continues...<BR><BR>There are two ways I see to break this: Method one, experienced poster A can sacrafice a lot of their time and join the Newbie thread to give example. Method two, Newbies A and B can break their laziness and join a long RP thread after reading. Method three, a quality RP thread may pop up with good posters (often started by an experienced one but a rare occurence) and thus newbies a and b will join and learn by example.<BR><BR>However way you want to approach to break the cycle, you can decide for yourself. However, I urge anyone who cares for the quality of the mb to attempt such feats. Either create a new thread and try to pull in newbies or join in a newbie thread and "carry" it until they learn. I have already begun steps to help with this cycle's breaking though I choose to not mention them as of yet since it is still in the first phase of planning. It really is this cycle though that creates bad posting. The exception: good newbie posters. Yet, they are not as common I think as bad newbie posters. I do not mean bad as an offensive term. Perhaps, inexperienced is more accurate since often they only need to sharped and improve their writing. Once again, learning by example and practice I feel are the only ways to really improve and sharpen.<BR>
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Postby Novice » Sat Aug 03, 2002 3:48 am

A problem I have noted is the difficulty in divorcing what you know as the writer from what your character knows as a participant in the action. When that happens, a character becomes omniscient--which is fine if you intend character to be Eru, but otherwise cannot be explained.<BR><BR>Skilled RPers tend to give you an insight into their character--what they are thinking, why they acting in a particular way, what their thoughts are. This makes the story much more interesting to read, and it also means that other RPers can understand and respond to their character. However, if the writer gives you background allowing you to know that character A, who is a practiced con artist, is lying, then your character B should not necessarily know that a lie has been told, even if you as the writer of character B knows it. Sometimes people overlook this, and allow their character to have insight into every other actor they interact with because the other RPers have been generous in providing background--which is not very realistic. <BR><BR>It's important to be very clear: what do I, as the writer, know about this other character that will help me write a response? And how much of this knowledge does my RP character know, in line with my character's innate abilities? Does my character know the other guy is lying because he blushed and had shifty eyes? or does my character know he's lying because my character can read minds?<BR>
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Postby Obloomsgurl » Sat Aug 03, 2002 4:14 am

Hello everyone! <BR><BR>Wandering- i want to thank you for your time creating this wonderful thread! I, too beleive character is the most important aspect of Role Play, and have spent months developing my character alone, even before jumping into an RP. I recently strarted one with a friend, and glad to say it is doing quite well.<BR><BR>Just because I have to put my 2 cents in where ever I go, I would like to say that with out a good character history, your character can be inconsistant and confusing to the other players in the RP. I have had people in RPs with me (not at TORC) that just jump right in (wether the story is ready for them or not, and just make up their character as they go along. This bothers me, because some people really do put time into their characters, and it seems to all be forgotten.<BR><BR>I think this should be homework for the 101 and 102 classes to read. Thanks again for this great point! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<BR><i>Imthulëiel</i>
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Sat Aug 03, 2002 11:00 am

Wandering,<BR>Thank you, I was worried I was pointing nothing out.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Novice,<BR>That's a very good point. I've been in a few RPies were some have done that. Other RPers have done that to me and few other RPers. Once I played my secondary character (Declynn), and once I gave a little insight into her background. A few other RPers wrote that they knew about it, when she hadn't even told them much of anything. It is also bothering to find 'all knowing' characters like that. For instance I could go to the Character Archives thread and read every little detail about one's character, but once I enter into a RP my character will not know anything about the one I read, and it will remain that way until that RPer wants to tell me otherwise.<BR><BR>Example: There is one thread I'm in that shows on more then one occasion to be not all knowing. The characters in this thread do not post as knowing everything, in fact at some points myself and a few other RPers are kind of lefted in the dark. This alright it makes the thread more interesting, and adds realism to it. To me it is a 'perfect' example of how an RP should be done in the Prancing pony. For you get detailed posts, the rules and guidlines are followed and more importantly it's realistic. Which is why I love this thread so much. (Caravan to Khand)<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Sat Aug 03, 2002 11:01 am

Oppppsss Double post. Stupid Computer!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Mon Aug 05, 2002 11:34 pm

Personally, that is why I do not post my history in ooc threads. What I want them to know, they can find out in my posts. What I want to have hidden, they can read in my other posts in various threads. A newbie won't put up the effort to go hunting for those posts but an experienced person may. Thus, the only people who know my history will probably be the more experienced posters who will know how to post concerning history etc.<BR><BR>I think that the whole post a complete bio can be kinda well, lazy on people's accounts. Yet, at the same time, it gives the thread a preliminary idea of how detailed of a poster they are.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Tue Aug 06, 2002 12:07 am

Wandering,<BR>If your refering to the Character Archives that thread was created to hold recorded accounts of a person's character. It's a referance and guide for RPers to use. It was created to help the pony just as much as the other helpful threads were. It's not just for other users to use and read up on other characters, but it's also a referance to the ones that posted the bio. This way if they forgot or lost their information on their character they have some information on their character still. The Archives is not an escape route for people to be lazy and just post whatever they feel like. Although some have used it for just thoses purposes.(I'm not going to point fingers) But the Character Archives does serve a very good purpose, for most replies to that thread are reasonable and the posters put time and effort into the character bios they have posted. And so far this thread has lived up to its purpose. Otherwise the character's I've discribed through out this thread would not be in the Character Archives. Of course though there are a few posts that show lazyness in the Character Archives. This does go against the Archive's rules I have set up, users are asked to post as much as they can about their character to show how well developed their character is, or how much effort they put into their character. But their is the occasional post were little to nothing about the character is given, and I have to ask why should I even bother putting them in the index. Well it's only fair that I do so, but I believe some seem to neglect the rules no matter what. (As I said earlier I'm not pointing figures) But I am happy to say that almost every poster there gives detail to their character bio. Making this thread hardly lazy, and a good referance guide.
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Tue Aug 06, 2002 12:46 am

I am not talking about the archives. I think it is a good idea. I have not posted there though, lol, because it has grown so big and I don't see anyway that I could read it all.<BR><BR>I was specifically referring to ooc threads. In fact, I think because of the archives, the ooc profiles serve less purpose then to save them a trip to the archives. I should, perhaps, post my profile on the archives and just refer to it each time an ooc thread wants one. I just think a lot of times the ooc threads that use profiles are a form of laziness- a way of showing not telling. I have noticed since the ooc profile craze, that most people now tend to ignore physical description except for their race and obvious. I like to describe eyes, hair, etc. I think that many people only mention it on the profile and then ignore it for later. Personally, I think that the author should describe themselves more. I guess my pet peeve is just that the profiles make people more lazy- they feel they don't have to post in detail their history etc and let it unfold in the thread. Personally, I like to have Wandering talk about his history sometimes as a filler campfire talk when a thread is slow merely to keep it going while developing character and trust.<BR><BR>Did that clarify? I don't feel anything against the archives.<BR><BR>Oh, Leslie, btw, I am impressed by a lot of your posts here and such. Are you in any RP's that i could look at? I'd probably not join right now unless it was a new one (can't spend time reading a novel right now with Spenser's the Fairy Queene in front of me) but I'd like to read some of your posts. I bet I'll be impressed.
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