Roleplaying

Roleplaying

Roleplaying in Alyria provides players with the unique opportunity to become their characters. You say what they would say, and act as they would act. It's complete immersion in your character, as opposed to simply pulling the proverbial strings. It can provide a much better understanding of the game on various levels, and it serves as a chance to enjoy the game in a completely different way than leveling and questing offers you.

The purpose of this roleplaying section is to give a novice a thorough lesson and guide towards becoming a roleplayer. However, roleplay isn't cut and paste - how much fun it is, and how much those around you can appreciate what you're doing has a lot to do with how much you put in to it.

Who

It's best, of course, to roleplay with others who are interested in roleplaying and want to engage in it at that time. As for finding people who also like to role play, there are a few ways to do that. Firstly, of course, you could just ask the people you already are on friendly terms with in the game. They're who you know the best and that can sometimes make it more fun. Plus, even if they don't roleplay, they may be willing to try it with you. Another way to meet people is those who post on the materiamagica.com forum for Roleplay - plus that way you get to see how they tend to handle certain situations, which may let you know if they're the kind of person you'd like to roleplay with. A third option is the roleplay chat within the game. You just type chat relay roleplay and then use relay to speak. It's a nice way to connect to whoever else on that may want to roleplay.

While you may spend time finding those who want to roleplay, there will always be people in the game who will want to mess with you. You know of whom I speak. You have a few options when it comes to dealing with hecklers, though you're more than welcome to get creative and think of new ways that better serve your purposes.

The main option, and probably the most effective, is to ignore them. The majority of people who will bother you aren't dedicated enough to keep doing it if you don't respond. They're out to get a rise out of you, and when they fail, they give up. Granted, this isn't any fun on your part, but if you're looking to avoid the argument they're trying to get you to engage in, then this is the best way to go.

The other main option - and this is only for those of you who don't mind a bit of an intrusion on your roleplay - is to make them an unwilling participant. When they're annoying you, they're basically out to make you break character and pay attention to them. Rather than taking the proverbial bait - just add them into the conversation, but in character. When they call you words that are more player-oriented ("newbie" and the like) then act confused - because it's really out of place. They, like the ones being ignored above, will eventually get bored and wander off, but you've had more fun than they have - and isn't that what the game should be about? Fun!

What

Roleplay is, among other things, a good way to add depth to your own personal experience with the game. Granted, some people are happy with questing, player-killing, and leveling, but others are looking for new and different things to do while inside Alyria and the other planes. For these people, roleplay provides a chance to be something different from what they are in real life. Someone who is generally mild-mannered and compassionate in real life could play at being a drow, which of course are not mild-mannered or compassionate at all. That being said, they could also play at being a Sidhe - and have some wings added to that nice personality. It is all about what you want to try, as long as you're willing to work at it. Believability is something we'll approach later.

The few constraints aside, roleplay is a very flexible and dynamic thing, because (unlike some of the other things in the game) it is so player driven. There are thousands of things in the game that could start a roleplay adventure, from those blue orbs that appear in rune to the new areas that creep up occasionally in Alyria and beyond. All you have to do is look to see that there are all sorts of opportunities for adventure just waiting to be found.

When

This is almost a sub-category of "Who". There are, of course, times when roleplay is a bad idea. During runs when everyone is trying to make sure no one dies is probably a bad time to break out the story about your uncle who helped build the road to New Kolvir. It's always polite to ask people; especially ones who tend to not roleplay.

When is also affected by where, which is what we'll cover next. It's really just a matter of common sense. It's rude to try to have a roleplay adventure when it will bother others who are trying to quest or level. While there will be people who will heckle you - not roleplaying at times when it's not appropriate will decrease the number of people who bother you.

Where

This all depends on how comfortable you are. If you're trying to avoid hecklers, it's probably best to stay away from town squares and quest master areas, as those areas attract people of all types. There is also the idea of respecting those around you; if your conversation has nothing to do with the questmaster there's probably no real reason to sit there. Not everyone roleplays and they probably won't appreciate your intrusion.

There's also the question of what channel to use. While using say might be a good idea, for longer term in-character time, form talk also works well. As for shout or yell - those are probably best reserved for questions as everyone can hear you - and will respond. It's also rather rude to have a conversation over a main channel like that. Dream varies on how good of an idea it is, as the persons who can hear the channel change so quickly. Again, it's all about how comfortable you are. If you don't mind hecklers, then by all means, use dream - or say in public areas. If you're not comfortable with people hearing you, then form talk is really your best option.

Clan talk could provide an invaluable resource to roleplayers, provided you're roleplaying with people in your clan. It's possible to keep IC conversation in form talk and OOC conversation in Clan talk. This may seem to be redundant, but if you're roleplay adventure requires killing or movement of any kind, it'll be nice to have an option to say things OOC while not actually breaking the fluidity of your form talk.

Why

This question is actually going to be handled a bit differently than the others because the question of whyis really one of the most invaluable aids you have as a roleplayer. Sometimes it can be difficult to try to create a character that is separate from you as a person. You know there's a story there somewhere, but you can't quite find it. This is where why comes in. It's really easy to take something like killing Sir Tristan in Rune and let it help you build a background. Let's say you are killing (or trying to kill) Sir Tristan. Here's a possible inner dialogue.

Well, why would someone kill Sir Tristan?

I'm killing him because he's in love with the Princess of Lowangen!

Well, why do you care?

I'm in love with her too!

Really, why?

To be honest it's because her dad has a lot of money and with that brandy fountain I bet he's generous with spreading the wealth around.

Why do you need the money?

I need it because my parents' home in Vir got destroyed when someone "accidentally" breathed fire on it.

As you can see - why is a big question. Your answers could change, of course. Maybe your parent's home didn't get burned down - maybe you're just greedy. Maybe when you were kids, Sir Tristan used to give you really bad tips for polishing his weapon collection. The possibilities are quite numerous. If you reach a dead end, it's easy to just go back a step and tweak your answer just a bit, which can open up new ideas.

Racial Information

This section aims at giving you a starting point for your roleplay. One of the major features of the character you're trying to play is its race. There are help files built within the game that provide you with basic information, and this guide can show you how to use some of that information, as well as deal with some contradictory things within the files.

Human

Physically this is the most uncomplicated character. No stunning resistances, but no vulnerabilities. They're the most common race in the world - but not the most common race for adventurer. Some humans just don't want the problems that come with living off of the land, or don't wish to be separated from their families and towns.

Humans can be roleplayed an almost endless amount of ways, partly due to the lack of limitations on their class choices. For humans, class choice in and of itself should be the basis, or at least a major part of how you build a human roleplayer. Maybe your character was raised off the land, and so decided to become a ranger and continue with that familial tradition. Also possible is that your character was raised off the land and then decided to become a wizard in a high, tall tower somewhere because they'd had enough of nature. The choice is really up to you, and there's not a lot in the human racial make-up to stop you.

Elves

Elves are physically weaker than the humans we talked about above, but they have incredible magical strength that can help make up for that. Elves also love nature - so it's unlikely you'll have one that's squeamish about things like getting dirty or being stuck out overnight in the woods. They can see in the dark, so no wild boars will be catching them off guard. That being said, your elfin character could have problems with crowds, and towns in general. It's hard to go from the quiet of nature to the bustling streets of Rune.

Also, quests that ask them to do nefarious deeds would also be something they'd have a problem with. As they're generally good-natured, helping Lord Maldra isn't something they're going to be really happy about. The internal conflict could be something that a back-story could be easily built from. Elves cannot be rogues or barbarians, due to their kind nature and possibly due to their inability to heft an axe. If you would like your elf to be a bit different, they could be upset at that fact, and build a story from the idea of a not-so-nice elf.

Half-Elves

Half-elves are a roleplaying story waiting to happen. They're half-human, half-elf which is evidenced in their physical and magical ability. Like the elves, they can see in the dark and they also can heal quicker due to their strange genetic make-up. The main thing, when considering making a half-elf roleplaying character, is the idea that half-elves are the natural outsider. They don't belong with humans, as they mature slower and aren't as physically strong as their human family.

That being said, they're bigger and quicker to mature than their elfin family, providing them with a feeling of being "different" no matter which side of their family raises them. That may be why most adventurers in the world of Alyria are half-elves. They have left their homes, perhaps searching for a feeling of belonging somewhere in the outside world. Whether your character finds it is completely up to you. As with humans, you are not hindered at all by class-choice, as they have all options but Shaman open to them.

Dwarves

Dwarves are like Elves in that they're quite happy just being with others of their own race. They're not particularly nice and would really rather just be left alone to do their metalsmithing and other crafts. With that in mind, something drives some dwarves out of the underground to travel the land of Alyria as an adventurer. There are a few things that could cause this. Firstly, Dwarves are proud creatures. They live a long time and they know more about the world than the shorter-lived races that populate Alyria, and so as a gesture of kindness (or as a way to show off) they've decided to come inform the rest of the world of their hard-earned wisdom. There is also the possibility that they don't have any desire to continue their family's occupation and would really much rather be a professional wizard or something else that's not really characteristic.

While Dwarves can indeed be wizards and druids, and other magical classes, most dwarves aren't really all that knowledgeable. This could also be a reason for a dwarf to leave home. Adventuring would provide them the chance to further their education away from their families which may think it silly or unreasonable. Whatever you decide their reason is - you should have a good reason why your dwarf could be a wizard when dwarves as a whole aren't intelligent enough for the complicated magic that wizards eventually can do.

Ogres

Ogres are big. This is, of course, common knowledge - but it's also important. Any Ogre walking the streets of Rune is going to be noticed immediately for their size. People will gawk, children will point. Maybe your Ogre is brash and loves the attention, whereas they could also be quite shy and just wish everyone would ignore them. How your ogre reacts to this simple task gives you a good start towards building your character. Class path also helps here, as Ogre adventurers do things that are not commonplace for everyday Ogres.

Like the Dwarves, Ogres have a lacking in the mental capacity area - but have the ability to do complicated magic as a wizard. It is then part of building your character to explain how this is possible. Also - it's pretty hard for something 7ft tall to sneak up on a Halfling - but it happens. This simple act could provide many a comic roleplay situation.

Halflings

Unlike Dwarves and Ogres, Halflings are quite intelligent. They have a keen mind and are quite agile, which can help make up for their lack of size. As far as roleplay is concerned, Halflings can be almost every class - but a Halfling barbarian could be a quite comical site. Some of those axes are almost as big as the actual Halfling - so it's possible that they, like the Ogres, would be the focus of attention in any populated area. This could be welcome attention or something your Halfling loathes - it just depends on how you wanted to carry it.

Even non-barbarian Halflings have ample opportunities for stories, due to their flexibility in classes - and their actual flexibility. They're mental and physical quickness could provide them with ammunition to fight back against those that may tease them for their size, letting them get the upper hand despite being waist-high.

Minotaurs

Minotaurs, whatever else they may be, are proud creatures. They think they're better than you and they're not really concerned with whether or not you agree. This could mean a bloody end for anyone who calls them a cow or bull, despite the accuracy. In truth, Minotaurs are excellent fighters, being resistant to bash and bigger than most opponents they'd meet in Alyria. However, their ability to see greatness in others could provide them with the ability to fail in rather spectacular fashion.

Minotaurs also have a rather limited class selection - by their own choice. A possible storyline would be a Minotaur with a love of music who was forbidden by their family to practice the ways of the Bard, or any other class that is unavailable to the Minotaurs. One other major thing about the Minotaurs is the aggressive relationship they have with the Dracon race. This is an area where you would need a complete back-story if your Minotaur wanted to be best friends with a Dracon because it goes against what Minotaurs as a whole believe.

Gnomes

Gnomes, like Halflings, are not the largest of creatures - but make up for it with being incredibly resilient. They are able to resist magical attacks, as well as poison and disease. They also have a wide array of classes to choose from. They are only unable to train in the ways of the Cavalier and the Priest. Gnomes are not normally the most social creatures, having come from the underground to work closer to the humans - and farther away from their genetic cousin the Dwarves, whom they weren't really fond of. Over time, though, Gnomes have learned to put aside those differences - at least in polite conversation.

Fey

Ah, fey. They're not actually from the plane of Alyria - they're only here at the request of their Queen to gain power. They can be nasty little creatures who have the ability to not only drink blood but also to have the chance of paralyzing their opponent in the process. Fey, while intelligent, are quite easily outdone on the physical plane as they are vulnerable to being underwater, bright lights, and iron. While these signs of physical instability are bad, there is also the more pleasant side effect of being able to shift to different forms at night, letting them sneak by certain areas undetected.

Due to their less than kind nature, the Feys are quite limited in their class selection, being unable to be Cavaliers, Paladins, Druids, Monks, Rangers, or Priests. They do have the nice gift of being immune to poison and able to resist disease and magical control - a possible side effect of having an impermanent form.

Fey, by nature of the blood-drinking in which they engage, can also live to be the oldest denizens in Alyria, second only to Sidhe, Elves, and Drow.

Dracons

Dracons are certainly the most limited race in terms of class availability. They must go barbarian, rogue, and shaman, and then can choose between psionic and wizard. This does not stop them from being a formidable and naturally aggressive combatant, however.

Like their name implies, Dracons are a form of distant offspring of the dragons, possibly created by Wizards of old. While they lack the massive size of actual dragons, they're still quite sizable at around 7ft tall. They also have the scales, wings, and the ability to breathe fire at you. Their ability to breathe forth fire, acid, and other substances at their foes could certainly provide with a few embarrassing situations that could provide a reasoning as to why the Dracon in question decided to go out adventuring.

Sidhes

Sidhes, above all else, are good. Good, however, can also mean sneaky. And good can also be terribly dangerous. While Sidhes are actually beings from the Faerie Plane that have decided to take up residence in Alyria, they still maintain some special abilities. They can cast glamour over those that are weaker than them, as well as shape-shift in order to pass by unnoticed. This doesn't mean they're not good; it's just sometimes you have to be sneaky to rescue people or to get to kill the "bad guy".

Sidhes are quite beautiful, and if you don't agree with that, they have ways of making you believe they are. They have full wings, unlike the smaller ones that the Feys possess, and have long flowing hair, and stand about 6ft tall. They, like the Feys, are immune to poison and resistant to disease, as well as vulnerable to iron. Sidhes, as you might imagine, are a bit limited in their class choices, as their good nature keeps them from being barbarians, rogues, shamans, and psionics.

Drow

Drows are actually elves that have gone over to the proverbial "dark side" and started worshipping the forces of evil. That being said, they have many of the same physical characteristics of the Elves, such as the ability to locate creatures in the dark. However, they also can resist necromantic forces due to their knowledge of them.

Drows, like elves, are limited in their class selection, though not in the same way. They are not as connected with nature as the Elves, and so are unable to be druids - and their evil nature keeps them from being paladins. As much as Drows don't want to associate with the Elves, the Elves feel the same way and a meeting of the two would probably result in a confrontation.

Classes

Paladins

The most important thing to realize about Paladins is that they believe they have a divine calling. They don't choose to be a Paladin, the Paladin class (by way of the Powers) chooses them. Paladins are warriors, yes, but only for the "good" side, and they're known to be fearless if that's what it takes to defeat whatever evil may be present in a situation. When roleplaying a Paladin, you must keep this in mind, as an evil Paladin is pretty much impossible, unless the Powers made a mistake. You could try to roleplay that, but be sure to have a really good back-story. Also, Paladins are the only Warrior class to be able to use magic, but they still start off in Tellerium. This is important when you're creating your back story, as you would want to explain why your magic-using Paladin would go to a place that would block their healing magic.

Barbarians

Barbarians are not picked by the Powers like Paladins, but they are certainly a unique class. Barbarians grow up in tribes, moving across Alyria using their considerable skill to earn a living. Due to their upbringing in tribes, they are able to get along with others, but as they sometimes kill for a living, that can get in the way of friendship if the person they like is their intended victim. Tribal communities teach loyalty, which is something to keep in mind when you're roleplaying a Barbarian.

Barbarians are not necessarily unintelligent, but they do fight with their body instead of their mind. They are obviously not squeamish at the sight of blood, but that doesn't mean they don't want to curl up with a good book. This is something to think about when you're creating the personality for your Barbarian. You could make them unintelligent, sure, but it might be more interesting not to.

Cavalier

These guys are good - and they know it. They belong to a rather elitist group, the Cavalier Guild, which makes waves by not allowing females to join. Not only do you have to be male, but you have to be amazing at combat, namely mounted combat. All Cavaliers are master riders, and because of this they really prefer to fight mounted. They know how to treat four-legged creatures in order to help make them perform. Their ability with equestrians is surpassed only by their ability with weapons, both their preferred weapon lance as well as other weapons that can be used while mounted. Due to how long they've spent training and the depth of their skills, they can be quite proud, though a modest Cavalier would be interesting to roleplay.

Valkyries

Valkyries are an offshoot of the Barbarian class. This class consists only of female barbarians who have chosen to leave their birth tribes to join tribes of Valkyries who fight against the patriarchal structure of the rest of Alyria. Far from being inferior warriors, as the Cavaliers might have you believe, Valkyries are very powerful, and quite fearless as well. Valkyries do endure the stigma of being part of a group that tries to break away from traditional Alyrian society, and that makes them somewhat conspicuous. This could be roleplayed a variety of ways, as some Valkyries probably relish the attention, whereas others just want to be free to make gold as a mercenary, and otherwise be left alone.

Wizard

Wizards are some of the most knowledgeable mages in Alyria, though they are not at all adept at non-magical fighting. They can use simple weapons such as daggers and swords, but most complicated weapons seem messy to them, when casting a spell is so much easier. Wizards, while sometimes called either white or black wizards, are all taught the same things - it's just a matter of how they use their knowledge that makes them evil or not. It's really up to you how you'd like your spell-caster to act. There's also the chance that they could be neutral, or sneaky about what kind of powers they support.

All Wizardly doings are controlled by the Council of the Arcane. While there are only seven wizards on the Council, Wizards in Alyria are aware of the control that they have. The Council, in theory, controls the type of research that Wizards should be engaged in to expand their knowledge. That being said, your Wizard could completely ignore that and just wait and see what new spells the researching members of the Council come up with.

Psionics

Psionics, unlike Wizards, Monks, and Rangers, do not require spellbooks to cast spells. They spend 10 years in a community with other Psionics learning their ability, which is to cast spells through thought alone. As such, Psionics are probably not the most social creatures, but possess an awesome level of inner strength. Psionics are not the most adept at melee combat, which could be a source of embarrassment. However, a Psionic could also be somewhat snobbish about their distaste of physical combat. They're very intelligent, and it's improbable that fact escapes them.

Monks

Like Paladins can cast magic, Monks are the most physically centered class of magic-user. While they do harness magical power through spells and herbalism, they also are adept fighters, both armed and unarmed. They are possibly looked down upon by more magic-based fighters, and at the same time, looked down upon by pure melee fighters.

While Monks can harness magical power, they are not usually religious, despite their magic. They study in communities, like the Psionics, and the monasteries focus on research of ancient magic, as opposed to pure practice of the abilities they already possess. As such, a monk is going to be a very well-rounded character, as they combine strength and intellect in a very effective combination. It is important for that aspect of their character to come through in your roleplay.

Rangers

Rangers are the group of mages most influenced by nature. They, like the Monks, are also very talented in areas outside of magic. Their skills, though, are more suited to travel and living off of the land. Unlike Monks and Psionics, though, Rangers do not spend time in communities of others like them - they spend time alone traveling in the forest. Therefore, the parts of an adventurer's life that is spent in cities could be very uncomfortable for them. That being said, the skills they share with thieves would make certain interactions a lot easier, such as finding someone they're looking for through a crowd of people. However, certain skills such as foraging only work outside, which means that a ranger would never feel truly at home in a city.

Rogues

Rogues, more so than any other class, are sneaky. Rangers, of course, have some of the same skills, but a Ranger's ties to nature seem to keep them somewhat more neutral. Rogues, however, make their living off of stealing from other people. Rogues are also the most likely to attack someone much weaker than them - usually by stabbing them in the back, and attempting to kill them before they have the chance to fight back. While some more forthcoming opponents, such as Barbarians, see this as unfair, Rogues seem to think that if you're not aware enough to stop it, you're not paying enough attention. Rogues are also incredibly agile, which allows them to escape from tricky and dangerous situations, should they decide to actually pick on someone their own size.

Like Monks and Psionics, Rogues are generally part of larger organizations. The difference for them is that they generally have one group in each major city, as to not intrude on each others territories. When creating your Rogue, it's important to keep in mind that they do have home cities, and that operating outside of that city is tricky - and dangerous.

Bards

Bards are the slightly more respectable cousin to the Rogues. They can also stab someone in the back - but they usually reserve that for unruly audience members. They're less sneaky, and less aggressive than Rogues normally, though there are exceptions. When Bards are low on money, they sometimes resort to less than fair measures for making their money. Bards are also like Rogues in that they're very good at escaping danger, which can be handy when an inebriated audience member comes after you.

The largest part of what makes a bard a bard is, of course, music. Unlike Rogues, Bards don't really seem to have any sort of larger organization to be a part of. That being said, many (though not all) Bards receive formal training before being sent out to earn their wages in whatever they can. Perhaps because of the lack of organization between members of this class, Bards of all different skill levels can be found in almost every city in Alyria.

Priests

Priests are one of two classes of spiritual missionaries. The Priests represent more organized religions, though two Priests might have very different beliefs. They all seem to use the same resources to reach whatever end they are aiming for though, and most Priests are adept at curing wounds and ailments as well as removing curses - and causing all sorts of afflictions. Priests also tend to only follow one of the Powers, and use that Power as the guiding force in their daily interactions and quests to gain new believers. Perhaps because Priests are the more wide-spread of the spiritual missionaries, far outpacing the Shaman numbers-wise, they tend to be rather egotistical and holier-than-thou.

Shamans

Unlike the Priests, Shamans don't follow the teachings of one Power, rather they follow a group of Powers, which can be determined by any number of things, including race and what area of Alyria they're from. They do have some things in common with Priests though, such as the ability to both cure and afflict those they meet. Unlike the Priests, they don't seem all that snobbish, as they prefer to fight with each other than with other people. The different factions of Shaman's have long standing grudges towards each other, and would rather seek out their foes in other Shamanic groups than sit around talking about how superior they are to everyone else.

Druids

Druids are very different from the other cleric classes, for a number of reasons. For one, Druids are all part of one group, and have little understanding of the infighting in the Priest and Shaman classes. Druids were born of a feeling of being "different" so they see no reason to cause more problems for themselves. Druids came from a mixture of black and white wizards, a group that wanted to remain neutral instead of choosing one side or another. Due to their inability to fit in with society at that time, they retreated to nature, giving them a much stronger bond with nature than Wizards possess.

Unlike Wizards, Druids are not part of the mage class because they have learned healing magic and serve well as a cleric as well as a mage. They're very connected with the earth, as well as more ethereal forces, which provides them with awesome power. Despite this, and the alienation they previously felt, some Druids have decided to venture out into Alyria to experience more of life.

While this roleplaying section doesn't give you an exact storyline or character background, the information it provides should be enough information to start building your own character in the roleplay sense. It's up to you to see what sort of interesting twists you can put on you characters life story, and still be able to adventure in Alyria. Like with many things, practice makes improvement, and as you get more involved in your character, you'll have even more fun exploring the possibilities.