Without a doubt, the vast majority of RP is done ‘behind the scenes’, starting from within a players’ mind and flowing through their computer and into their game character, and hopefully showing little to no resemblance to real life, but being totally natural to the game world in play. As I’ve often said, and will more often say, imagination is the key.
However, there are things in game that sometimes don’t require a great spark of imagination to help bring life to a character. Much of the time, simply the look of an item is enough to clearly see its RP potential, no matter if vital stats to the item are a match to your class or spec. These items have a value beyond their offensive or defensive powers, and depending on your RP style, may hold their worth long after your character has passed the level of the item in question.
For the first look at many items in WoW that have a valued RP role despite their stats, I direct your attention to the Bad Mojo Mask. One of my many alter egos is a Troll Priest named Wichdocta on the Earthen Ring realm. Just as his name implies, he is a witchdocter, and I have tried to surround him as best I can with the in game (mixed with a healthy dose of real life) lore and persona of such a character. One such in game item I have made ample use of is the Bad Mojo Mask, and it only takes the act of equipping it to fully bring together the name and look of Wichdocta, and there’s no mistaking what and who he is.
Up until finding the Mask, I spent a lot of time testing and developing crafty ways to get Wichdocta looking the part. I succeeded in a couple of ways, with combinations of spells/macros/potions and such, but they required some work and skill to employ, and were not always viable choices when in the fray. That all changed when I won the roll for the Bad Mojo Mask during an adventure inside Zul Farrak. Rarely is Wichdocta seen not wearing the Mask now, even though he’s level 70 and the Mask is rated at level 44. So far, I’ve not seen anything better that grants him both the look and performance of the character that I want for him.
What about instances, you ask? Yes, he wears it as his primary headdress even into instances. Sure, there’s a great power gap between his other gear, which is more level appropriate and also fits his personality, and the Mask. Sure, he could wear another item that would provide a sizable addition to his Healing and Shadow skills. But, you know what? He’s been the victim of his share of instance wipes, of course, and I guarantee you that not a single one can be directly attributed to him wearing the Mask instead of some higher powered item. The culprit is more often someone who gets too close to an enemy, an errant pull, a wrong spell, or any other number of errors. Non-roleplayers should think about this fact the next time they are not sure if us roleplayers can really be an asset to their party. Think on that, my fellow roleplayers, the next time you are hesitant about keeping that low level item you hold dear that, though it may have outlived its usefulness stat-wise, still has a good deal of RP life left. Role on!
For more info and further discussion of RP items, listen to my friends Garnil and Mabon cover the topic in the Rogish Rogues episode of the Mischief and Mayhem podcast. Tell them the Wichdocta sent you!