Sabeinne

How to find RP when your character is an antisocial jerk

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Playing a character who is utterly unlikable is one of the greatest joys on this earth. It’s not all roses and hate-mail, though. When I first started playing the character Sabeinne, I found myself very frustrated—here was a character that I really liked, and I really wanted to RP, but for a long time I couldn’t think of any true-to-character reasons for her to go out and meet new people. Something I often see (and sometimes say) when people complain about lack of RP is the statement “RP is out there, you just have to go out and find it.” This is true, but it isn’t always as easy as it’s made to sound. RP is an inherently social activity, and sometimes finding RP when your character is a jerk can be particularly difficult.

Once I made Sabeinne my main a little over a year ago, I started to find ways around some of the natural handicaps that come with hating everyone. I’ve shared some ideas below, in the hopes that they might help some people who find themselves in similar situations. Most of these ideas can apply to anyone, as well, not just big mean antisocial jerks.

Find Yourself a Partner (or Nemesis!): Even the most antisocial people tend to have someone in their lives that they can actually stand. The same is probably true for your character—and if it isn’t, you may want to consider making it true for your character. Attaching my character to a much more outgoing partner (Lysimachus) has been immensely beneficial to my RP—probably the most important factor of all the ones I’m going to list. Not only can I get in some good, interesting one-on-one RP with him and build up a rich joint backstory, but Sabeinne gets swept along on a lot of Lysimachus’ ventures, frequently resulting in general good times. Yes, this may require tweaking your character a bit, but if your character can’t be persuaded by anyone ever, he or she may need some tweaking anyway. If you'd rather have an enemy than a partner, that works well too. The mutual drive to thwart one another can lead to a lot of delightful scheming and plotting, and can even bring in people who aren't directly involved in the rivalry. Of course, any such arrangement will probably require some OOC interaction, which brings me to my next point:

Make Friends OOC: All of us have a natural advantage when it comes to RP, because we have the TNG. The TNG is an amazing RP networking tool when used properly, but in order to use it properly you may have to put on your Friendly Hat. Some OOC friendships will arise in the natural course of playing WoW, of course, but those friendships don’t always lead to great RP connections. What does lead to great RP connections is taking note of people who you think are cool, and going ahead and contacting them. It can be something as simple as leaving a visitor message on their profile page. Most of the people here will appreciate the attention and probably respond favorably. Some of my best RP contacts have been made this way—I think that’s how I first started talking to Niktika, an exchange which spawned an excellent cross-faction rivalry that lasted all last summer, with frequent episodes of hilarity. What’s best is to take note of someone whose RP you like, and mention to them that you would like to get involved with their RP in some way. Of course, this is most effective if you can bring some ideas of your own to the table, which is why the following point is so important:

Purpose-Driven RP: Your character may hate everyone, but that doesn’t mean that your character doesn’t have goals of his or her own that may be best served by interacting with other people. You’re an RPer, which means you’re at least somewhat creative, and you can probably come up with a seed of an idea that you can discuss with your OOC contacts to evolve it into a full-fledged storyline. Alternatively, you can get things started through Nether Legends, by posting an open thread containing a hook that will get other people involved. Your character may be a villain, or an anti-hero, or just unfriendly, but what you have to keep in mind is that people love having an antagonist—and giving others’ characters a reason to oppose you is one of the best ways to get an RP storyline started. This strategy can even bring hateful characters together, which is a highly delicious experience.

But what about random RP? That’s fun too—it’s a great way to unwind and meet new people, and active tavern RP is one of the marks of a booming RP community that potential new transfers will look for. Even if your character hates taverns, there are a couple of ways to get around that also:

Purpose-Driven Random RP: Maybe your character has absolutely no reason to go get a beer in the evening and socialize with the locals, but that is easily circumvented: make up a reason! You may be waiting for a shady contact who never shows, or surveying the unwitting populace for someone to dupe, or doing research for a treatise you’re writing on the stupidity of the masses—it doesn’t matter. The reason doesn’t even have to be that good. The important thing is that it gets you in there and provides a seed for conversation, and the rest will just play out.

Make a Friendly Alt: This may seem like a bit of a cheat, but having a friendly alt is an excellent way to meet people and start storylines in-game, through random RP. The contacts you make through your friendly alt can just as easily become contacts for your unfriendly character, through OOC interaction or just a little bit of creative character juggling.

These principles have gotten me by during my periods of actively RPing a character who would probably burn her robes if your character so much as brushed them. They have more than gotten me by—they’ve helped me to make a lot of friends and engage in some very rewarding RP. Of course, I am only speaking from my own experience. I know that there are a lot of other people here who actively and successfully play less-than-savory characters, and I would love to hear what works for them, too.

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I like this post a lot. Because it pertains to me, a lot.

I miss all the previous RP partners I once had who moved on or what have you.

Thumbs up Sab! :D

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I really love this thread as well. :) Very well written- great ideas. And I can totally relate, since my character is also anti-social.

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I'm very glad you wrote this - my alt Bianqua's a lot of fun to play and RP with, but it's very difficult getting her to interact with people who aren't NPCs or her dog!

Fortunately, I've been using the Partner and "friendly alt" strategies for a while... or would that be "friendly main," in my case? Either way, I'll have to give the others a shot!

GJ with this....

I cant relate cuz ugraz is 100% the friendliest person ever.

I almost forgot - thanks for the bundt-cake recipe. I don't think I made it right, though, because it tasted kinda funny... and it blew up my kitchen. But hey - practice makes perfect, right? =D

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This is nice. I've often found it to be frustrating when playing Illi on this server a good two years ago because she has a personality type similar to what you have described. Although I have made long lasting friends IC and OOC, it seemed to be very few. Back when I played here, a lot of people were very clique-ish and random rp was hard to find. Maybe I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, who knows. But other than that, great post! I hope others who rp like this have better luck.

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I really enjoyed reading this one. I agree completely.

I think this should get stickied, but that's just me. :)

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Great post, you are amazing Sabs. I really miss you and Lysi too, I would really love to pick up something like that again. I've just been so damn busy lately.

~le sigh

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I concur... a very good post. I particularly appreciate the 'purpose driven random RP' aspect. People too often feel that a purpose driven RP cannot be random, but some of the more interesting RPs that my characters have been pressed into have been due to him being in a random place, at a random time.

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