Monday, 22 March 2010

'In Character' confuses me (but Pilf's fine with it)

The trouble with playing a priest, especially one who walks round in simple looking robes is that people inadvertantly think that Pilf is a nice person, probably a healer, a follower of the light, somone who cares. As I am finding more and more, Pilf can actually be quite unpleasant. Despite all my efforts to the contrary, she is a bit of a snob and seems to look down a little on the other races. When she is in Silvermoon however, a remarkable transformation takes place and she interacts with other people in a civilised and pleasant manner. I assume this is due to the inhabitants of Silvermoon being mainly other blood elves and her superiority complex (which I would like to put down to insecurity rather than bitchiness) lessens.

This makes playing her in character somewhat of a challenge for me. I often find it deeply alarming at times that she is such an... I'm not really sure how to describe it best... an 'independent entity', I suppose, that I find myself typing away and then being slightly ashamed of what she says; at the fishing competition, for example, people were admiring the island and she said "Well, it's certainly rustic". Which she didn't mean as a compliment. In one of my first attemps at writing about her I emphasised how much I disliked the blood elf view that they were superior: "But not arrogant, that's an aspect of the belf race that I don't like much, their arrogance and their 'we're better than the rest' stance". Pilf seems to have taken it upon herself to correct me here and do it her way.

But back to Silvermoon. Pilf is at the Auction House deciding whether she really needs more clothes (another aspect of Pilf's reign is that my bank is filling up with robes that I do not need but that she wants 'just in case' the opportunity to wear them arises. This is not funny when Pilf is a tailor and spending gold on additional robes). She sees a man dressed in dark leather clothes waving at her and realises, to her suprise, that she is also being addressed. This man is asking for her help. I hold my breath, wondering if she is going to raise a condescending eyebrow and walk away, spit a pithy remark at him or find another method of being unpleasant... but wait, she replies and asks him what he needs! He explains that a friend of his has been cursed and that he is trying to find someone who can offer assistance. Pilf smiles and offers assistance straight away (bet she wouldn't have if he'd been a troll with an undefined curse, oh no, but put a handsome blood elf with a shiny blond ponytail and well kept leathers in front of her and suddenly she can't do enough to help strangers). The stranger asks her to follow him and she does so with no complaint.

They walk out of the Auction House and across The Bazaar to where his friends stand (one of whom is a death knight - I have a momentary panic that I am going to be asked to somehow 'cleanse' a death knight and I whimper slightly behind my screen). He introduces Pilf to them and the youngest chap asks whether he has explained the situation to Pilf. The stranger explains that he has, briefly, but that she might require more detail. The young mans explains that he has been cursed by someone whose name he cannot speak (argh... shades of Harry Potter but I persist regardless). Pilf smiles calmly and explains that in order to be able to help she requires a little more detail (see, she *does* have patience!! When she wants to...) and the chap explains that he has 'tentacles' (ok a part of me died here in an 'okay this better not be ERP in broad daylight' moment but I figured that if is Pilf will give them whatfor) that... wait for it.... was a curse from Illidan Stormrage himself (in some ways worse than ERP lore-wise admittedly). Go on Pilf, I think, give him whatfor, but again she does the polar opposite of what I expect. She is sympathetic. More than that she is humble. She explains that her powers are not great enough to remove such a powerful curse and that that aid should be sought from someone who wields greater power than she. The young chap thanks her for her time and calls her 'kind one' (first and last time that anyone evers refers to her as that I'm sure!) she drops a deep curtsey before him, bids his friends farewell and leaves (to collapse on a bench whilst I regain both my breath and my nerve).

So what do I take away from this? That even though the idea of participating in 'staged RP' (I'm sure that's not the correct term, probably something like 'arranged' or 'organised'?) terrifies me (and it does - I nearly lost my nerve and didn't attend the fishing thing due to my brain going blank when RP is on the agenda) unexpected RP is fine? That given a situation I should just relax and let Pilf take a hold of the reins and drive for a while? That, like many things, the more often you let your character take hold the easier it is? Helpfully, Jaedia suggested something that I'm going to try. At some (undefined as yet) point, when I have some spare time I'm going to let Pilf take a walk around Silvermoon then let 'her' write her thoughts. I have a feeling that the more I let her go, the easier it will be and the more fun both she and I will have!


  1. WOW - Well done! I would have lost it completely I think.

  2. Ah I need some of your confidence to let my character go! Little troll-priest Len tries so hard to be nice to people (my inner diplomat and peacemaker coming out) but I've always had the feeling that she's actually quite surly and doesn't really *like* people that much...

    Watch out Barrens, I sense some troll-rages coming on!

    I think this is why I don't really think too hard about backstory, the character just seems to come out as I play, and I'd hate to have to force her to fit some kind of weird creation in my head. I suppose that wouldn't work if I was a full immersion rp-guild player where I had to do it all the time though.

  3. @ Issy /hugs as ever. You've been so encouraging as I take baby steps towards RP and I appreciate it a great deal!

    @ Seph I thought I was going to as well but then it all just happened, and it's SO enjoyable! I read your FlagRSP and it's lovely! I'm sure soon we'll be reading about Seph's RP interactions!

    @ Len, This "the character just seems to come out as I play". Yes, yes one hundred times yes. This is where I am with Pilf. I've given up trying to create a backstory for her and she just seems to get on with it.

    I think one of the things I originally mis-interpreted about RP is the gradient, I was under the impression that RP was 'all or nothing'. You can paddle round in the shallow end like I do, safe in the knowledge that you're not going to be chucked into full immersion RPing at any point which makes me relax and makes the whole thing fun :)