One common occurrence in roleplaying games of all sorts is people completely changing their characters personality with their mood – or editing their back story to help them build the most “interesting character”. Sometimes this results in very cool characters that players are really proud of and invested in and that’s great. Other times, it creates very shallow characters which are simply small reflections of the players own perspective. The question I am thus asking is this – “Does Roleplaying a consistent character actually enrich the long standing role play experience?”
In order to discover my own answer to this question, I(Edward Schmalz) am embarking on the quest of playing a consistent roleplaying character, a Night Elf Druid on Moonguard, one of the RolePlaying Servers.
Hypothesis: Playing a consistent character with a simple backstory, personality type and responding according to the character’s inclinations to all interactions will, over time, create a character with more depth than simply writing an intricate backstory for one.
I will be attempting to ascertain answers to the following questions:
- Does holding myself accountable to roleplaying a specific way actually increase my enjoyment of the game or decrease it?
- Does taking EVERY roleplaying interaction and adding it to my character’s life experiences actually enrich them or just fill it up with useless interactions?
- Will my character naturally evolve, even if I don’t plan our “story archs” for it?
- Is it actually possible to genuinely roleplay a character that is much different from myself and does that enrich me?
The Rules of the Experiment
I shall be holding myself accountable to the following rules:
- If my character wouldn’t do it – I don’t do it – even if it seems cool or interesting to me the player.
- I will make posts on twitter both as my character’s inner monologue and out of character commentary whenever I play.
- I will accept ALL interactions from people trying to roleplay with me, even if I don’t “Like” there style.
- I will retcon nothing, nor do anything ooc to the advantage of my character. If my character doesn’t know it’s a trap and I do, I will still go to it.
Our Hero: Lavine Longleaf
Description: A quiet and reserved night elf, Lavine would rather not be noticed if she can help it. Her expression is almost always rather cat-like, with her eyes darting around, her head slightly bowed, and her mouth closed tightly.
When in nature, she is serene, calm and collected. When in the city, she is nervous, paranoid and irritable. Every noise distracts her and she consistently is looking around.
I am using the background system from D&D 5th Edition to Develop her motivations
Reason for Life of Seclusion: I was searching for spiritual enlightenment.
Personality Trait: I’m utterly serene, even in the face of disaster. (Modification – when amongst nature – the presence of a city is overwhelming and unbearable)
Ideal: Emotions must not cloud our sense of what is right and true, or our logical thinking.
Bond: I’m still seeking the enlightenment I pursued in my seclusion and it still eludes me.
Flaw: I’d risk too much to uncover a lost bit of knowledge.
Alignment: Lawful Good/Bordering on Lawful Neutral.
Furthermore, in order to better understand how my character would think and make decisions, I have identified that in the Myers Brigg.
Levina is INFJ.
INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.
And so… it begins… Stay tuned as this character continues to develop as RolePlaying happens and follow her adventures on twitter!