so, I have a perspective on the "RP community", and it's much like the perspective I had in college of the "fiction writing" community. I have lots of perspectives, but this is one that seems to rear it's ugly head most frequently - namely, that of the MANDATORY SUPER-MELODRAMATIC BACKGROUND STORY.
You all know the type...my parents were murdered by bandits - I was sold into slavery - I was cast into oblivion and tortured by horrible spirits - a magical experiment gone awry has melded my soul with some otherworldly being...
now, don't get me wrong - I'm EXACTLY as guilty of this particular conceit as many others, at least with my current character storyline (sacrificed by Mannimarco, just like the opening story sequence, soul-shattered and soul-cross-shattered so I can explain my connection to my alts as well as the existence of skyshards in the world)
so, no judgements - just honest curiosity
my point is - why can't we sometimes just have characters with ordinary, simple lives. While I haven't done it HERE, I was quite proud of my WOW paladin backstory. He was born into a farming family. His mother was quite normal farm mother, his father quite normal farm father. None of them were dead. None of them were cursed. None of them were secretly hiding from a noble lineage that was massacred by their usurping brother...or whatever. He was just a guy who was BAD at farming, but turned out to be a halfway decent librarian, suddenly called upon for reasons unknown to be an avenger of the holy power of LIGHT.
roughly the same with my LOTRO captain. I had a modestly impressive father (competent craftsman, mostly created to explain why I - his son - was such an ABYSMALLY bad craftsman), a solid, reliable mother - a slightly slutty sister, but that was mostly for spicy flavor and for having a sibling that wasn't entirely as white-bread as my main
my point being, I created these relatively mundane character histories to give a sense of realism to my character, because I find SPECTACULARLY MELODRAMATIC fantasy character background to be...well...oppressive. They're not bad - not inherently, but there just seem to be SO MANY of them, that I would try to create these relatively mundane character backgrounds as sort of a push-back
anyway - the point of all this - besides the fact that it's late, I'm tired, I'm a bit drunk, and I like the sound of my clickety-clackety-keyboard, the point of this is that I'm wondering if we can't all embrace...slightly less melodramatic character background stories, from time to time - that we could even encourage our background stories to be just a little bit more mundane, and by that virtue, perhaps just slightly more...authentic.
I firmly believe that heroes come from ordinary settings AT LEAST AS OFTEN as they come from melodramatic settings - in fact, I believe that it's IMPORTANT to believe that "heroes" can come from...ordinary circumstances. That forcing "heroes" to come from super-twisted-horrifying-melodramatic origins puts the idea of heroism outside of the reach of most mortal mer, and that we can all benefit from more examples of relatively accessible "heroism" in our everyday lives
it's late - I'm tired...but I'm curious to see what people think - if they think anything at all
"There is no correct resolution; It's a test of character."
James T. Kirk