So about this RP lark……..
Some quick background…
I was pootling around last week doing my MF dailies on Kat (yay only a few more days and then done :D) when I suddenly had a thought. Long before I started playing WoW (or even the first RTS) I was an avid roleplayer. Mostly fantasy stuff, starting with the near obligatory D&D phase and also the likes of MERP, Warahmmer RP, a bunch of White Wolf games, some Paranoia and various other stuff as well.
However in Warcraft it is one thing that I have always been intrigued by but never quite got around to starting. Initially I was tempted to roll on a RP server but then went with the “safe” option (Aggramar seeing as my sister played there) then moved onto Chamber of Aspects when it was made as Aggramar queues were horrendous >< Then suddenly I am in a great guild with a bunch of alts as well and it seems a waste to split my time elsewhere.
Now though, I have a fixed schedule for when I want to raid and generally after dailies and maybe a dungeon or two on Katarnas, I find myself mooching around without a specific purpose because currently I am not too bothered about dailies and such on my other 85s – that can wait until Kat is finished so I am not repeating the same thing 3-4 times a day.
Also, as some of my readers may remember, earlier in the wrote a post regarding dropping herbalism and picking up engineering instead because of the extra usefulness for raiding. As I said at the time, it seemed “right” for a night elf druid to be a herbalist/alchemist and that simply switching for epic goodies was selling out. This was also a reflection of my RPness trying to show even though I am not on an RP realm.
So I rolled a new character on an RP realm to see what it’s all about – surprise surprise it’s a female night elf druid called Katarnas 😀
Why an identical character?
That’s something my guildies and realID friends have said and the answer is pretty simple – I know druids inside out and if I can RP any class then it should be druids, I like and enjoy playing and levelling druids and of all the races in WoW I probably know most lore and such about Nelfs (as well as quite liking their areas) which will make RP easier. Yh thats only two out of three (race + class), so why female again? Well, I think female Kaldorei are pretty damn hot and thats it 😀
The principal reason for having a totally identical character (including name and looks) is that over the last few years I have played Kat in a certain way and she has rather developed her own personality that is no doubt based on my own but is equally something different to me. These little quirks and such give me a solid base on which to develop her as a fully fledged RP character as well. rather than transferring her over (I could never abandon Otaku) it was easier to simple duplicate her and play around a bit.
^^ What’s next then?
Well, I always used to enjoy writing up characters for my roleplaying and as a DM over many years I got to write up a lot. So a logical place seems to be start with her basics and work up from there. I started with a few very simple ideas such as how old is she? where is she from? why a druid? what prompted her to adventure through the world? what does she look like? what’s her personality? likes/dislikes?
Once this framework was in place, it was simply a matter of then tying that into a larger background and explaining some of the reasons because various things. Some are racial e.g. a hatred of Blood Elves, and therefore are ingrained in her psyche because she has made no attempt to reject it, others are learned from experience and her life to date e.g. her adventurous nature. This is a direct reflection of me playing her as the first title I wanted to get was Explorer, so I trekked her down every little valley and path to see what was at the end. Another would be her interest in history and lore, I enjoy learning all about the different races so she has archaeology and is in the process of maxing out each races artifacts. This manifests itself in her character just as much as going and enjoying a peaceful bit of fishing in a mountain lake or going out and spending time alone in the forests gathering herbs. Now some of these are present in “original” Kat but not ” new” Kat (such as 525 archaology and explorer) but as I level her again, I will be building towards them as they are now a part of how I see her in game.
But there is so much to try and work out!
This is true if you try come up with every last detail, but there are various websites out there which offer all kinds of help to aspiring RPers and have various lists, questions etc that you can use to form the basis of a good character description and backstory. In warcraft this is especially easy in some ways as the physical description is just a brief run down of what you character actually looks like, no imagination needed as it is right there in front of you while you play.
If you are looking for personality traits for a character think about what race you are and how you actually play (or intend to play) the character. As I said above these have immediately given some substance to Katarnas simply by the professions I have chosen for her and how I have played her.
Inventing an actual backstory for your character may be a little more difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. It can be tempting to write some rambling epic but it is also unnecessary. Start with the basics; where are you from, why are you out in the world instead of staying at home?
After looking through various websites and having a think, this is what I have arrived at for a short backstory for Katarnas. There is also a much larger one being written, but this is a summary to get me started.
- Name: Katarnas (Kat)
- Description: Kat is a relatively young and rather adventurous Kal’dorei. She has tawny skin, with silvery eyes and long black hair kept in a plait. Her cloths are plain but sturdy, and usually she wears a short brown woolen tunic and a pair of tight fitting green trousers, a tough pair of calf boots and a long, warm cloak. Unless getting dressed up for a special occasion she tends to avoid jewellery and fiddly items. As a druid, she generally carries no weapon other than her staff. On the whole she is quiet and rather shy around people she does not know, her curiosity and adventurous spirit tends to be more concerned with the wilderness and its inhabitants rather than big cities and populations.
- Brief History: Katarnas was born and raised in Astranaar in Ashenvale. Even from an early age it was clear that she much preferred to be alone in the woods rather than anywhere else and frequently she would go missing for days before returning to her parents. As she grew older it became clear that she would never truly settle in a town or city and that her calling was out in the world.
Katarnas began her druid training and finally felt that she had found her role in life. She follows the path of the healer but also has no fear of protecting her self and allies by utilising the more ferocious, feral aspects of her training. Her curiosity and adventurous nature has led her far from home while she tries to understand and know every aspect of Azeroth and the creatures within. Due to this she has met other the races of the Alliance and understands the need to work together with them to achieve mutual goals and generally can tolerate them better than some of her peers (with the possible exception of Gnomes).
Currently she is travelling Azeroth and trying restore some of the balance that was disrupted in the great Cataclysm. Everywhere she goes seems to be massively damaged and disrupted, for someone so tied to the land this frequently either saddens or enrages her and she will try to aid where she can, whether the victims are Horde or Alliance. The only exceptions to this are the Forsaken, Trolls and Sin’dorei. Given her feelings towards these races she will try to avoid them wherever possible.