Roleplaying The Old Republic

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Roleplaying The Old Republic

Let Yahtzee tell you about his character.

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Yeah, pretty accurate impression of TOR. But I just find mumorpugers too similar, repetitive and grindy. It's usually too focused on the level system then the involvement of the player. Like one of Yahtzee's episode you feel more like a little man tugging at the brainstrings of the protagonist and not really playing for yourself.

That's actually pretty interesting, in my opinion. I try to do a similar thing when I play an RPG, although I tend to play a "Me as the main character" runthrough on the first time so that I can get an idea of the setting, situation, and what is possible within the system.

I'm confused.

Whether you care about a Pen & Paper character depends on the same factors as caring for any other type of fictional character. If the storyteller can't convey his story well enough to immerse you, that's a problem with the narrator, not the thing he's talking about.

There is a whole forum (http://www.enworld.org/) where people talk about their pen and paper characters, so it can't be uninteresting to *everyone*.

That being said, the Yahtz isn't wrong. The reason people can have interesting conversations at ENWorld is because once you choose a specific version of pen and paper RPG you don't have limitless possibilities and there is a shared structure for everyone to work with. If it was limitless then my archaeologist dragonborn could speak a dozen languages and have super fast reflexes. But since its DnD I have to choose between the linguist feat and the lightening reflexes feat and that choice is enough to start a thread about. (And get at least one person to respond to it even!)

First one of your posts I've disagreed with for a long time, and I think it's just due to running into some boring people.

Roleplaying is not just about what you can get up to - that's God-modding, and that is boring.

Proper roleplay is, like you danced around in the article, the interaction with others. Your facepipe only makes any interest in the interest it gets with others.

PnP just does that in a different way - it's in HOW you play the character. And that HOW doesn't translate into MMOs well because they limit the fluidity you have in customisation.

But if you're getting bored listening to someone, shouldn't you be looking at why you are listening in the first place and not interacting with them?

Pfft, that's nothing. My City of Heroes characters were all the same guy going through a Marvellian plot line, complete with retcons, time travel and alternate dimensions. Each alt had a subtle costume piece which echoed back to the earlier alts... leaving the last one as a wonderful tapestry of a heroes journey.

The single greatest addition to that MMO: the Biography page.

Impossible to care? It's obvious that you haven't witnessed the awesomeness of Sir Bearington!

Waffle_Man:
Impossible to care? It's obvious that you haven't witnessed the awesomeness of Sir Bearington!

That is literally the best story I've ever heard.

Waffle_Man:
Impossible to care? It's obvious that you haven't witnessed the awesomeness of Sir Bearington!

There are no words in the english, swedish, spanish or japanese language to accuratly describe how awesome that truly is... So... I will do it in Bearish.

GROOWLRAWRRRWWRAAARSROWRS.

So..

creating a character with a personality and backstory, using lore from an established and concrete source that everyone can read and get into...on paper is bad.

creating a character with a personality and backstory, using lore from an established and concrete source that everyone can read and get into...in a videogame is good!

O...okay.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
And this was the realization I happened upon, gentle reader: that it is impossible to give a shit about someone else's pen and paper role playing character.

Dear sir, please kindly acknowledge much simpler reality : it's impossible to give a shit about most things other people do unless we can (somehow) use it ourselves.
Seriously. :)

The funny/sad thing about this article is that you could easily believe it was written about a single player RPG.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
When I'm playing an RPG like Skyrim or Old Republic

Very easily.

Every now and then something comes along and reminds me as to why I extremely dislike Ol' Ben here as a person.

This is one of those things.

But at least something good came out of it:

Waffle_Man:
Impossible to care? It's obvious that you haven't witnessed the awesomeness of Sir Bearington!

I may just have to do that in a game at least once...

Meh it's easy to care about another person's character if you're invested in that person. If my best friend gets involved in a D&D campaign, I'm genuinely curious what he's playing, and if he has any backstory for his character, I'd like to hear it.

What I found difficult to care about and found myself skimming, was Yahtzee's detailed backstory for his smuggler... but then, I usually skim those parts of these articles. I like his commentary on things for which we have common experience (games), but his inflated view of his own creative skill and the presumption of our collective interest in it is a bit of a turn-off to me.... particularly when he openly admits to not showing others the same attention and interest he expects from everyone else.

Waffle_Man:
Impossible to care? It's obvious that you haven't witnessed the awesomeness of Sir Bearington!

Omg....my life is complete now....seriously.
Yahtzee.....Maybe you have your reasons why you don't give a sh*t about other PnP characters, but as long our creativity is unlimited, we can make everyone care about our PnP character.
This post made me care about this characters more than yours Yahtzee!!!

I love the idea of role playing in video games but I'm never any good at it. I always just choose whatever options I think will net me the best stuff/most quests.

I tried to do this with my character in Skyrim. I created this stone cold argonian killer who I planned to make into the ultimate assassin. He was meant to only care about the gold he could make and to hell with anyone else. It ended up totally falling apart because he was always helping old ladies and being nice to people because I was too worried I'd lose out on gameplay and/or loot if I was a jackass to someone or refused to help them.

I made a Trooper because I was eager to play an NPC.
It was a cyborg because Eye-Patches are bad arse, particularly ladies with Eye Patches. I gave her a scar across her eye patch eye to give an impression it was gouged out in the act of war.

I then found out you could take Jedi heavy gear, remove the modifications and put in Trooper ones instead. Thus A Jedi Robe with Trooper Stats. I know look like a Jedi. So my character can use the force, but she prefers the immediate death dealing of a huge arse cannon.

She also has one of those vision bar things from Star Trek which oddly is a Jedi Heavy headpiece (only reason I can guess is that blindness makes them more force sensitive?) . So her eyes are doubly fucked.

My characters' back stories often evolve through play, often with disturbing and traumatic effects. I start off with an idea, it ends with an abomination.

Waffle_Man:
Impossible to care? It's obvious that you haven't witnessed the awesomeness of Sir Bearington!

Everyone is quoting you, because you have made us happier then we have even been before. Would you happen to know more about the exploits of Sir Bearington?

OT: Yahtzee is taking a lot of flak here. I agree that a lot of the time people's characters can be interesting, but so many pen & paper characters have the same problem as dreams: the people telling the stories can't sort out the great stories from the average ones (at least not until a few campaigns later). At least with video games there are points that everyone deals with (kill X, sneak into Y, etc.) and you can enjoy looking at how their character approached the situation differently from your own.

After reading that I can confirm that yes, it really is very hard to care about someone else's character.

Waffle_Man:
Impossible to care? It's obvious that you haven't witnessed the awesomeness of Sir Bearington!

I'm just going to add my name to the list of people who've the best story ever told.

I have to admit I have at least one brilliant D&D story which will make anyone piss themselves. Then again, it has very little to do with me having a good character and a lot to do with me being a total asshole when I have no inhibitions. A maquiavelian asshole, if I might add.

idk, i disagree about "impossible to care" as long as the stories interesting. Heck i frequent the spoony experiment just to listen to the counter monkey series and all it is is spoony talking about his old DnD sessions.

See I have a little different outlook on the whole "character development". I always seem to figure out what I want my character to be as the story goes along. My Imperial Agent is a cyborg with these things over his eyes that look as if he has shades on all the time. Yet I have never given a good reason as to how he came over this, I just thought it was cool. Now playing as the good guy for the Imperials is a great place to develop story, but mine came over the coarse of leveling and watching the story play out. Playing on the Imperial side means you need reason to be good, and a damn good one. So I told myself the reason my character is doing the good deeds is because he has a hatred for the Sith and how he thinks they give him a bad name. That's why he always backtalk's them and laughs at them. The only reason he is a agent is because he enjoys the pay and the high life. This more or less came to me as I was playing. I wasn't as quick with it as some may be. It took me to the end of chapter 1 in the story to play this all out. Although you never mentioned the time it took you to actually think this through so I guess my view may not be so different after all.

Wait. The way you guys are talking makes it seem like TOR is meant to be played with other people! D: I've been hearing otherwise for months!!!

Great article, Yahtzee.

So, you start by saying that it's hard, if not impossible, to care about other people's roleplaying characters, then go on to talk about one of your own. Dress it up in the Star Wars universe all you want, it's still meaningless to others. Perhaps it's just me, but it's basically about listening to someone's self-insert, and that's never really interesting.

Sixcess:
The funny/sad thing about this article is that you could easily believe it was written about a single player RPG.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
When I'm playing an RPG like Skyrim or Old Republic

Very easily.

Heh.

undeadsuitor:
So..

creating a character with a personality and backstory, using lore from an established and concrete source that everyone can read and get into...on paper is bad.

creating a character with a personality and backstory, using lore from an established and concrete source that everyone can read and get into...in a videogame is good!

O...okay.

This right here. Also, it may surprise you, but every single written work of fiction? Came right out of somebody's head. That could only hold significance within their own imagination, right? "Why didn't Huck Finn wear a black tie and cruise over the river on a magic carpet?" See, I just improved that story by one million percent. NOW it's interesting to everyone else.

Reminds me a lot like my Imperial Agent. Borders on Psychotic and sociopathic, but will always act in the best interest of Imperial Intelligence, regardless of light or darkside.

So can we be looking forward to the return of Jim in "Mogwars, the Old Confederation" or somesuch :D

I think part of the issue is the framing. I actually agree about finding it hard to care if someone is telling me about their new +5 Broadsward Of Dude Smiting and how their DM is a jackass most of the time. When someone frames their character, and their excitement about that character, as Yahtzee does when talking about his smuggler, however, it's a different story. I do find that character interesting and I couldn't care less about TOR.

Eh, I think it has a lot to do with whether you also play the game in question or not. If you don't play D&D, you're not likely to have any interest in D&D characters. I don't play TOR, so I have no real interest in TOR characters (sorry Yahtzee).

Ok, I'll give this a shot.

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn27/PipHalsey/SWTORLan.png

My character, Lan, was born on Dromund Kaas as everything an Imperial should be. With a strong bloodlines, and striking good looks, it was easy for him to get into Imperial Intelligence, however a lot of pressure was placed on him to succeed. Which is why one of his first missions was to spy on a Republic Mining colony, Isen Four. It wasn't hard to infiltrate the colony. He started out at the colony's Cantina. Playing a few pazaak games, while eavesdropping on some of the locals. It was at this Cantina, he first met Cadden. Deciding to take a break from his job, he flirted with Cadden to get to know her better, finding out that she was the colony's doctor. It wasn't hard to charm out an invite to Cadden's place. When he arrived at her home, he found out that Cadden was quite fond of plants, and flowers. As her home was practically a artificial forest. Lan grew more and more fond of Cadden by the minute, however when invited to her bedchambers he came upon a shocking discovery. Cadden was a male. A very effeminate male, but male non-the-less. However, this wasn't nearly as shocking as realizing that this fact didn't bother Lan at all. If anything, it made Lan even more intrigued of him. So Lan fell in love for the first time with another male. He spent several weeks with Cadden, all the while secretly continuing to spy on the colony. His lies grew heavily on his conscience, however. More so that he was using Cadden for this. No longer wishing to lie to Cadden, he finally told him the truth about who he was, hoping he would understand. Cadden however, was horrified by this, having strong prejudice of the Empire. Cadden told Lan that he wouldn't reveal his identity, so long as he left Isun Four, and never returned. Feeling heart broken, and abandoned, Lan left Isun Four. Lan would then volunteer for a mission that would bring him to the Planet Hutt. As he didn't want to go to any place that might remind him of Cadden's beautiful plants, and the highly polluted swamps of Hutt sounded like the perfect place for an Imperial like him. Lan was determined, however, to disprove the beliefs about the Empire, and that the Empire could be a force for good. Lan hoped some day he could return to Isun Four, and convince Cadden that the Empire wasn't as evil as it seemed.

Later on, Lan would have another mission bringing him back to Isun Four. To his horror, he learned that his enemies had killed almost all the Colonist, and blamed the Empire for it. He grimly realized that Cadden was likely killed, and thought the Empire was at fault.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Roleplaying The Old Republic

Let Yahtzee tell you about his character.

Read Full Article

"So as I said in the video I opted for a Republic Smuggler, and for race I chose Cyborg... blah, blah, blah... "

Not interesting, not interested, who gives a fuck?

Did you really just call vaginas "salty tuna sandwiches"? Why would a presumably heterosexual man (though, with that hat, vest and goatee I may have my doubts) equate delicious lady bits to salty fish while at the same time comparing a man's wedding tackle to a scrumptious hot dog with all the trimmings?

Waffle_Man:
Impossible to care? It's obvious that you haven't witnessed the awesomeness of Sir Bearington!

Another person here who wants to thank you for making his night.

Edit:

Oh, yeah, I disagree with yahtzee on this one. I really should have included that in the first post, but i'm tired and I wanted to thank waffle man. Made me completely forget about other things.

Marik Bentusi:
I'm confused.

Whether you care about a Pen & Paper character depends on the same factors as caring for any other type of fictional character. If the storyteller can't convey his story well enough to immerse you, that's a problem with the narrator, not the thing he's talking about.

That's exactly it, though. When we discuss our characters from a game like Skyrim or Mass Effect, that's a tremendous amount of contextual experience instantly available. That character is immediately framed by a universe we care about, and scenarios and NPCs we're familiar with. This context gives us a reason to care about the decisions and behaviours of that character.

With a pen-and-paper character, as Yahtzee says, the possibilities are infinite. Effectively there's no frame of reference and trying to resolve one to contextualise that character is an insurmountable task, for the most part.

YMMV

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