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How did your character become a necromancer?

Starlock
Starlock
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I'm finally starting to play the necromancer class after sitting on it for months. As I've been playing her, she's been developing quite the interesting backstory. Instead of this character starting as a necromancer, it is something that is developing for the character as I weave her story. For those of you who have necromancer characters, how did your character become a necromancer? Was it something they were always interested in? Was there some event in their lives that inspired them to take up the art? Or perhaps like my character you got corrupted somehow while adventuring and started developing weird connections with death and undeath?
I play ESO on XBOX NA
Remember: Elder Scrolls Online appeals to a diverse customer base that view and play the game in different ways.
Regardless of how you play, be aware Elder Scrolls Online is play-to-pay game.
Use at your own risk and learn at https://www.psychologyofgames.com
  • Ilsabet
    Ilsabet
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    My Dunmer stamina necromancer has been a treasure-hunter for decades. She's self-reliant, resourceful, and pragmatic, and prioritizes survival and success over things like trite principles and dogma. Over time she grew more comfortable with the presence of undead in the (non-Dunmer) crypts and ruins she explored. When she faced a life-or-death situation in an Ayleid tomb, she did the only thing she could do to save herself - she willed the bones of the fallen around her to fight at her side. That pretty much erased whatever remaining misgivings she might have had about messing with the dead.

    I don't really have a fleshed-out backstory for my Breton magicka necromancer, but she sees the dead as tools to be utilized - just as everything else in the world, people included, are tools. Just as a craftsman or a warrior has tools of the trade, the dead are her tools, and she will use them to accomplish as much as she can.

    (Their full writeups are in the first link in my sig if anybody wants to read them.)
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
  • Eirinin
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    I don't have a necromancer, but I do have a character that didn't make it her goal to become what she's becoming, so perhaps it fits in with your question. She's a little bit older. An Altmer, and what we would call early middle aged, say in her human equivalent to 40-45. She married young for her race, to an older Altmer. Children followed. Those children are now all of an age to require mom and dad's money for things like training/advanced education/military commissions/stuff like that. Unfortunately for my dear character, all this comes just as she's been made a widow. Left with the needs of her own day to day expenses, plus trying to help pay towards her offsprings education has left her rather strapped for cash.

    As a young woman she had some magical skill, but there was no need to practice all that when there were children to raise, in laws to entertain, and the Joneses to keep up with to an extent. In short, she's decades out of practice, and her only talents are cooking and baking. She's basically a mom and has been swept up into this havoc of having been killed and her soul taken. Not that she'd likely tell her children this. She doesn't like to worry them.

    For now magic is rusty and she's frantically trying to get help improving. Summoning a familiar and fleeing is a viable, frequently used option.

    To keep her feeling off kilter and underpowered I'm putting points in crafting for every point in magic and not using all her points yet, either. I'm not sure what she's headed for. I don't know what she's going to become. (But that's the fun of it).
    Edited by Eirinin on September 10, 2019 5:08PM
  • RaddlemanNumber7
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    Dark Elf, House Indoril, tribunal priest - summoning ancestral spirits is all part of the job.

    Joins the Pact military and has training in coercive post-mortem interrogation (like Lt Belron does in the The Rift).

    Does the Elsweyr tutorial, which starts off with him having just survived a near death experience with a dragon. Having his soul pulled back from the very threshold of Aetherius gives him first hand experience of the whole business of death. Being a revenant gives him a lot of the powers and abilities of necromancer, as well as all that stuff player characters get because they were supposed to be the Vestige.

    I have two other necros. They start as Main Quest Vestiges. They are necros because that is just the way Lorkhan chose to re-make them (Lorkhan being the dead god who instituted mortal death).
    Edited by RaddlemanNumber7 on September 10, 2019 6:14PM
    PC EU
  • 2Weenies
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    I've a Khajiiti Master Wizard of House Telvanni. Has quite a bit of prowess in magic and inherited his stuff from his Dunmeri father. Obviously, not a lot of folks liked that, so he was often the victim of many attacks and thefts, especially from lower rankings in the House. He inevitably grew wildly paranoid and deranged, using darker arts to scare off would-be assailants. Unfortunately for him, most of his enemies were unfazed.

    The events were relentless, and fearing for his life, he delved deeply into necromancy. Within several months and rigorous study, he achieved lichdom and was more than willing to strike a new kind of fear among the Telvanni that harassed him using gruesome torture and execution tactics, a terrifying mastery of the blackest art, and even utilizing their minions against them as some sort of twisted call sign. His message was finally received, earning him back some respect and instilling dread within the lower rankings of House Telvanni.

    Thankfully, for the rest of Nirn, he really doesn't care to go full-on "villainous lich monster," and only cares to continue his research. Every now and then, a project will involve some of the more vile magics and cruel arts, but most of his comings-and-goings are just further studies. After all, what good is being practically immortal when you don't even know everything? Gotta be petty and flex on folks later down the line.
    "We're watching you, scum." ~ Every Ordinator who witnesses my social media commentary
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
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    I didn't. Moreover I can't understand those who did it after all that sacrifice to Molag Bal. After all the evil the Necromancers have done. We all are supposed to fight those abominations and destroy them entirely, not join them! Since the Devs made that class playable I avoid or murder any Necromancer I meet in the game. No cooperation with those s'wits. I wonder what makes you all join them? It's a pure insanity. They must be sentenced to a penalty of death, followed by Rites of Forgetting and disposal of remains in the Pyres of Purification - at least as a retaliation act. Behold the price of blasphemy.
  • Ilsabet
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    I didn't. Moreover I can't understand those who did it after all that sacrifice to Molag Bal. After all the evil the Necromancers have done. We all are supposed to fight those abominations and destroy them entirely, not join them! Since the Devs made that class playable I avoid or murder any Necromancer I meet in the game. No cooperation with those s'wits. I wonder what makes you all join them? It's a pure insanity. They must be sentenced to a penalty of death, followed by Rites of Forgetting and disposal of remains in the Pyres of Purification - at least as a retaliation act. Behold the price of blasphemy.

    Well...

    Both of my necromancers developed their crafts before they were sacrificed to Molag Bal. One of them was recruited by the Worm Cult, and when she turned them down they sacrificed her instead. She has no love for them or really any evildoers, but that doesn't mean she's going to stop using the powers she's developed just because that's what the baddies use. Frankly she kind of enjoys the idea of using their own dark arts against them, because those guys were jerks.

    You probably have a point with the other one, but she doesn't much care what you or anybody else thinks. :D
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    I didn't. Moreover I can't understand those who did it after all that sacrifice to Molag Bal. After all the evil the Necromancers have done. We all are supposed to fight those abominations and destroy them entirely, not join them! Since the Devs made that class playable I avoid or murder any Necromancer I meet in the game. No cooperation with those s'wits. I wonder what makes you all join them? It's a pure insanity. They must be sentenced to a penalty of death, followed by Rites of Forgetting and disposal of remains in the Pyres of Purification - at least as a retaliation act. Behold the price of blasphemy.

    Well...

    Both of my necromancers developed their crafts before they were sacrificed to Molag Bal. One of them was recruited by the Worm Cult, and when she turned them down they sacrificed her instead. She has no love for them or really any evildoers, but that doesn't mean she's going to stop using the powers she's developed just because that's what the baddies use. Frankly she kind of enjoys the idea of using their own dark arts against them, because those guys were jerks.

    You probably have a point with the other one, but she doesn't much care what you or anybody else thinks. :D

    Necromancy is a crime almost everywhere unless you are a Telvanni mage practicing those beasts and tailless apes :D. The game and its lore have already given us all the possible roles - we just have to choose which one to play. There's no way to join the Worm Cult and I cannot recall even a single dialogue line mentioning us to join their ranks. Also there's no way to join House Telvanni. So how are you supposed to be the one you say you are, the way different from just fantasizing it?
  • ForsakenSin
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    Create a New Character--->Choose Alliance ---> Choose Necromancer--->Choose High Elf--- DONE

    d540695bccfd81821c2c7c3c0bdfbecebdbb7c4eea26a105c9fa02659f64dfee.jpg
    "By many i am seen as hero...as a savior of the Tamriel i will not stop until every Daedra every evil there is in Tamriel is vanquish by my hands..
    However i do this for my own purpose to gain trust of mortals to worship me and to eliminate my competition i will not bend my knee to lead your army to serve you Molag Bal , i will simply just take it from you.."--- Forsaken Sin( Magica Sorc)



    Arise From Darkness Forsaken SIn
    "You have been a loyal High Elf Magica Sorc
    Conjure of Darkness, Master of Magic
    Killer of Molag Bal and Savior of Ebonheart Pact
    Until Dark Brotherhood killed you...
    but now..NOW its time to Arise From Darkness once again..."

  • Ilsabet
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    I didn't. Moreover I can't understand those who did it after all that sacrifice to Molag Bal. After all the evil the Necromancers have done. We all are supposed to fight those abominations and destroy them entirely, not join them! Since the Devs made that class playable I avoid or murder any Necromancer I meet in the game. No cooperation with those s'wits. I wonder what makes you all join them? It's a pure insanity. They must be sentenced to a penalty of death, followed by Rites of Forgetting and disposal of remains in the Pyres of Purification - at least as a retaliation act. Behold the price of blasphemy.

    Well...

    Both of my necromancers developed their crafts before they were sacrificed to Molag Bal. One of them was recruited by the Worm Cult, and when she turned them down they sacrificed her instead. She has no love for them or really any evildoers, but that doesn't mean she's going to stop using the powers she's developed just because that's what the baddies use. Frankly she kind of enjoys the idea of using their own dark arts against them, because those guys were jerks.

    You probably have a point with the other one, but she doesn't much care what you or anybody else thinks. :D

    Necromancy is a crime almost everywhere unless you are a Telvanni mage practicing those beasts and tailless apes :D. The game and its lore have already given us all the possible roles - we just have to choose which one to play. There's no way to join the Worm Cult and I cannot recall even a single dialogue line mentioning us to join their ranks. Also there's no way to join House Telvanni. So how are you supposed to be the one you say you are, the way different from just fantasizing it?

    Well if a person wants to actually play as a Worm Cultist and help the Planemeld instead of trying to stop it, they're gonna be out of luck. But you can do pretty much whatever you want with your backstory leading up to what happens in the game. I always work out how each of my characters got into the Worm Cult's clutches to get sacrificed as part of their backstories. (I also pretend the Hooded Figure isn't a thing, and I consider waking up in the Wailing Prison to be the beginning of their in-game stories. I'm old-school like that.) In the case of my first necromancer, she developed her skills independently as a survival mechanic while treasure-hunting, and that's what got the Worm Cult interested in her as a potential asset.

    I reckon my second necromancer was actually in the Worm Cult before she was sacrificed. She doesn't hold it against them too much, but she doesn't really have any loyalty toward them since they apparently no longer had need of her services. I can justify her helping to stop the Planemeld as either defiance toward the group who eliminated her from the roster, or a challenge to see what she alone can accomplish against their entire organization. But either way she's quite happy using her formerly-dead minions to help do the job.

    You don't have to be a Telvanni or a Worm Cultist to become a necromancer. In fact it's kind of fun to come up with creative alternatives to those obvious paths.
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
  • Starlock
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    You don't have to be a Telvanni or a Worm Cultist to become a necromancer. In fact it's kind of fun to come up with creative alternatives to those obvious paths.

    Indeed! I started my character as an orc from Wrothgar who got corrupted by reach magic during the siege at Frostbreak Fortress (specifically during that epic fight at the end of the "For King and Glory" quest). How that's going to play out long term is something I'm storytelling as I go. I'm not a huge fan of necromancers as a general character concept, but if you can weave an interesting tale it becomes a blast regardless. Perhaps doing a character who never wanted these weird corrupt powers in the first place reflects my own feelings about the class to some extent... haha.
    I play ESO on XBOX NA
    Remember: Elder Scrolls Online appeals to a diverse customer base that view and play the game in different ways.
    Regardless of how you play, be aware Elder Scrolls Online is play-to-pay game.
    Use at your own risk and learn at https://www.psychologyofgames.com
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    [You don't have to be a Telvanni or a Worm Cultist to become a necromancer. In fact it's kind of fun to come up with creative alternatives to those obvious paths.

    Hmm.. Yes, you're right and I'm convinced now. Awesome! Almalexia passed me into the Hands of Almalexia Order after I finished the "Seal of Three" quest in spite of my Sorcerer class. Other "non-mages" factions do the same. Necromancer is a class thus it's not restricted to the Worm Cult only. Thanks! But still that doesn't legalize necromancy. Necromancy is still a shameful craft.
  • Ilsabet
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    Necromancy is still a shameful craft.

    That's something for each character to work out individually. Does he fight that shame within himself, rationalizing it as all being for the greater good? Does she hide her abilities from society as much as possible, until circumstances force her to use her powers to defend herself or others? Does he not give a crap what the law or society thinks and flaunt his dark power for all to see? (That one may involve a lot of running from guards. :D)

    Have fun coming up with something that works for you. :)
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
  • starlizard70ub17_ESO
    starlizard70ub17_ESO
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    So many of life's career choices come down to this:
    UCZr9E4.gif
    It's all fun and games until....
    "We have found a cave, but I don't think there are warm fires and friendly faces inside."
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    Necromancy is still a shameful craft.

    That's something for each character to work out individually. Does he fight that shame within himself, rationalizing it as all being for the greater good? Does she hide her abilities from society as much as possible, until circumstances force her to use her powers to defend herself or others? Does he not give a crap what the law or society thinks and flaunt his dark power for all to see? (That one may involve a lot of running from guards. :D)

    Have fun coming up with something that works for you. :)

    Well regarding this point I can't agree. This is not something for each character to work out individually - it is the matter of a certain society's attitude. And the majority of all the nations of Tamriel are the same on this matter - Necromancy is abomination. Whatever a certain Necromancer thinks himself of his craft is completely irrelevant. He may think whatever he wants but his craft is a shameful crime. This is all about what others think of it. Only Dunmer do tolerate it if only the objects of Necromancy are corpses of outlanders. The Devs gave us this class to play but I suppose an honest man will not choose that role to play to make that world even darker. The same way they could make Sloads a playable race - I doubt someone would ever become one of those filthy rabbles after they've done. They even are not humanoids. The same way we could "play" a role of any of those mushrooms growing outside Vivec City.
  • Ilsabet
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    You may be right about how society views necromancy, but how an individual chooses to find his place in that society is very important. As we've already discussed, a character may have various reasons for taking up necromancy, and not all of them are evil. I'd argue that there's great dramatic potential in exploring the gray areas between "entirely good" and "entirely evil." The flawed hero can be pretty compelling - using questionable methods to perform heroic deeds, rationalizing those methods, dealing with inner conflict and choosing how to present himself to a world programmed to regard him with scorn and disgust. As an "honest (wo)man" I might be repulsed by what necromancy represents, but as an actor I'd absolutely find reasons to delve into that kind of complex and not entirely pristine character portrayal.

    That's probably overthinking things quite a bit, but this of course assumes that you care about the depth of your internal RP and aren't just here to smash some quests and look cool doing it. :D
    Edited by Ilsabet on September 18, 2019 11:22PM
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
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    @Ilsabet, they raise corpses, desecrate tombs, combine different bodies in one like some sort of Frankenstein and kill people to do those things. Why do I have to even ask myself of what inner emotional expirience do such a folk go through? It is so irrelevant. I'm just playing a role given to me by the universe. I see no point in overthinking it - why does it even matter if that does not affect anything? We are the Prisoners there as Sotha Sil called us. We are all outlanders, Vestiges, we do not belong to that world. So no point to be the ones we are not, I think.
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    Roleplaying objectively terrible people can be fun and interesting!
    ...
    I already know necromancers are objectively terrible people - that's part of why I'm roleplaying one ...

    I don't know what else we have to discuss here after this. I don't understand what kind of fun you might have playing those fetchers. Ancestors, honor - does that mean anything to you? Ah, I guess you're not Dunmer but some kind of those Breton n'wahs I've already murdered hundreds of them brutally in Stonefalls during their invasion.. That changes everything. Anyway I guess we understand the word "roleplaying" differently. The game gives you certain classes, factions, races, weapons and other features to use, it gives you certain lore boundaries and you choose what role to play within those boundaries - this is what I call "roleplaying". But fantasizing yourself into a Molag Bal's friend while being his mortal enemy actually.. well, you might do it, but it's not a role playing it's just a kind of pointless and not worthy to discuss.

    You get fun from being an abomination (as it is considered by all the nations of Tamriel except those Bretons) - fine. The same way I find it disgusting. Now using your own words: please, quit trying to shove your comfortable feelings towards those filthy rabbles all over me.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on September 19, 2019 1:12PM
  • VaranisArano
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    Roleplaying objectively terrible people can be fun and interesting!
    ...
    I already know necromancers are objectively terrible people - that's part of why I'm roleplaying one ...

    I don't know what else we have to discuss here after this. I don't understand what kind of fun you might have playing those fetchers. Ancestors, honor - does that mean anything to you? Ah, I guess you're not Dunmer but some kind of those Breton n'wahs I've already murdered hundreds of them brutally in Stonefalls during their invasion.. That changes everything. Anyway I guess we understand the word "roleplaying" differently. The game gives you certain classes, factions, races, weapons and other features to use, it gives you certain lore boundaries and you choose what role to play within those boundaries - this is what I call "roleplaying". But fantasizing yourself into a Molag Bal's friend while being his mortal enemy actually.. well, you might do it, but it's not a role playing it's just a kind of pointless and not worthy to discuss.

    You get fun from being an abomination (as it is considered by all the nations of Tamriel except those Bretons) - fine. The same way I find it disgusting. Now using your own words: please, quit trying to shove your comfortable feelings towards those filthy rabbles all over me.

    You asked "I wonder what makes you all join them?"

    But you aren't actually interested in the answers you've gotten, in character or out of character, so it looks to me like further discussion would not only be pointless, but also derailing the thread.
  • VaranisArano
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    To answer the OP's question in more detail, I'll talk about how I did character creation for my necromancer.

    I chose my Dunmer Pact Necromancer because the Dunmer have a tolerant attitude towards certain types of necromancy. In their quests, we see that they revere their ancestors, yet Necromancy practiced against enemies of the Pact is completely acceptable in the Rift. Moreover, Dunmer Necromancers practice their art without a strong attachment to Molag Bal, who is one of the House of Troubles. So Dunmer was a good choice for me - my character's practice is semi-acceptable in Dunmer lands as long as he limited it to men and beast races, no one in House Dres cares what he does to the argonians and khajiit he helps enslave, and he's enough of an arrogant Dunmer to keep practicing necromancy on beast-men and humans even in lands where its illegal.

    Second, my Pact Necromancer, Mathyn Dres, is directly based off an ESO NPC, Mirise Dres. As members of the same Great House, I roleplay that they are in some way related and have similar attitudes. She became a mage in Mournhold; he became a slaver. https://en.m.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Mirise_Dres

    He was designed to start off in Elsweyr, trying to hire khajiit laborers to work in Morrowind (unsurprisingly, not having much success), when the dragon attacked his caravan. When he does eventually get to the Main Quest, I suspect his sheer selfish outrage at an Altmer sacrificing his soul to Molag Bal will be sufficient to get him started. If that's not sufficient, I'll figure it out when I get there.

    Mathyn Dres is NOT a nice character. He's an objectively terrible person - a former slaver and a necromancer. He is, however, designed to be interesting because he's a walking contrast to the storyline of Elsweyr, and making those two things play nice is a rich field for roleplaying and storytelling.
  • VaranisArano
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    Well... that escalated quickly. :D

    Looks like a fundamental difference in how people are interpreting terminology, which seems to have become an insurmountable roadblock to the discussion. I'm a bit puzzled by Cygemai's definition of roleplay, which I think to most people is the "fantasizing" element - you have the more mechanical side, which includes class/race/playstyle, and then you have the "playing pretend" where you imagine what kind of person your character is and imagine them acting and speaking a certain way which may not be explicitly presented in the game writing. It takes place more or less entirely in your own head, or in fanfic writing, or through interactions you have with other players, but it can be a fundamental aspect of the gameplay experience for those who do it - and thus it's far from pointless for those players.

    Different strokes, though. Do whatever works for you and makes your game experience richer and more fun.

    It is worth remembering, though, that players =/= their characters. I don't think most of us are so into immersion that we're going to be running out in real life shanking people and digging up corpses. :D

    Certainly!

    My roleplaying experience started with D&D, where there's a great deal of variety available in terms of character alignment and backstory, but also there's a big emphasis on flexibility. My character, no matter how interesting the concept or attitude, has to be able to able to work with the party AND willing to go along with the story.

    Its also given me an appreciation for the distinction between in-character, out-of-character, and meta-gaming.

    So its absolutely true in my case that our experiences with roleplaying impact how we roleplay in RPG video games!
  • Ilsabet
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    Well... that escalated quickly. :D

    Looks like a fundamental difference in how people are interpreting terminology, which seems to have become an insurmountable roadblock to the discussion. I'm a bit puzzled by Cygemai's definition of roleplay, which I think to most people is the "fantasizing" element - you have the more mechanical side, which includes class/race/playstyle, and then you have the "playing pretend" where you imagine what kind of person your character is and imagine them acting and speaking a certain way which may not be explicitly presented in the game writing. It takes place more or less entirely in your own head, or in fanfic writing, or through interactions you have with other players, but it can be a fundamental aspect of the gameplay experience for those who do it - and thus it's far from pointless for those players.

    Different strokes, though. Do whatever works for you and makes your game experience richer and more fun.

    It is worth remembering, though, that players =/= their characters. I don't think most of us are so into immersion that we're going to be running out in real life shanking people and digging up corpses. :D

    Certainly!

    My roleplaying experience started with D&D, where there's a great deal of variety available in terms of character alignment and backstory, but also there's a big emphasis on flexibility. My character, no matter how interesting the concept or attitude, has to be able to able to work with the party AND willing to go along with the story.

    Its also given me an appreciation for the distinction between in-character, out-of-character, and meta-gaming.

    So its absolutely true in my case that our experiences with roleplaying impact how we roleplay in RPG video games!

    Heh, it's interesting that you bring that up.

    I started playing D&D after I started playing ESO, and getting into D&D has absolutely made me more of a character-creation nut. (Incidentally, the very first D&D character I designed before I even started playing was based on a backstory concept for one of my ESO characters, so we can thank ESO for nudging me closer to playing D&D. :D)

    I've been looking for an excuse to bring up the paladin I play in D&D, who is a great example of playing a nuanced character who doesn't fit a stereotypical mold. Most people picture a paladin as the lawful good crusader for justice who holds to some exalted ideal and is a paragon of virtue. My paladin is a true neutral former soldier who knows very well how the real world works and knows that sometimes staying alive is the best you can ask for. Her oath has nothing to do with gods or high-falutin' ideals - it's about doing whatever she can to protect whatever good things still exist in this crappy world. She knows she can't save everyone, but she'll fight like a dog for the people she cares about, and pretentions be damned.

    She's in no way perfect, but I love her and I love that she's a down-to-earth, flawed person just trying to do the best she can and being pretty damn badass about it.
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    Ilsabet wrote: »
    Well... that escalated quickly. :D

    Looks like a fundamental difference in how people are interpreting terminology, which seems to have become an insurmountable roadblock to the discussion. I'm a bit puzzled by Cygemai's definition of roleplay, which I think to most people is the "fantasizing" element - you have the more mechanical side, which includes class/race/playstyle, and then you have the "playing pretend" where you imagine what kind of person your character is and imagine them acting and speaking a certain way which may not be explicitly presented in the game writing. It takes place more or less entirely in your own head, or in fanfic writing, or through interactions you have with other players, but it can be a fundamental aspect of the gameplay experience for those who do it - and thus it's far from pointless for those players.

    Different strokes, though. Do whatever works for you and makes your game experience richer and more fun.

    It is worth remembering, though, that players =/= their characters. I don't think most of us are so into immersion that we're going to be running out in real life shanking people and digging up corpses. :D

    Certainly!

    My roleplaying experience started with D&D, where there's a great deal of variety available in terms of character alignment and backstory, but also there's a big emphasis on flexibility. My character, no matter how interesting the concept or attitude, has to be able to able to work with the party AND willing to go along with the story.

    Its also given me an appreciation for the distinction between in-character, out-of-character, and meta-gaming.

    So its absolutely true in my case that our experiences with roleplaying impact how we roleplay in RPG video games!

    Heh, it's interesting that you bring that up.

    I started playing D&D after I started playing ESO, and getting into D&D has absolutely made me more of a character-creation nut. (Incidentally, the very first D&D character I designed before I even started playing was based on a backstory concept for one of my ESO characters, so we can thank ESO for nudging me closer to playing D&D. :D)

    I've been looking for an excuse to bring up the paladin I play in D&D, who is a great example of playing a nuanced character who doesn't fit a stereotypical mold. Most people picture a paladin as the lawful good crusader for justice who holds to some exalted ideal and is a paragon of virtue. My paladin is a true neutral former soldier who knows very well how the real world works and knows that sometimes staying alive is the best you can ask for. Her oath has nothing to do with gods or high-falutin' ideals - it's about doing whatever she can to protect whatever good things still exist in this crappy world. She knows she can't save everyone, but she'll fight like a dog for the people she cares about, and pretentions be damned.

    She's in no way perfect, but I love her and I love that she's a down-to-earth, flawed person just trying to do the best she can and being pretty damn badass about it.

    That sounds like a really fun character to play and a very interesting paladin! Thanks for sharing.
  • Cygemai_Hlervu
    Cygemai_Hlervu
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    Ilsabet wrote: »
    It is worth remembering, though, that players =/= their characters. I don't think most of us are so into immersion that we're going to be running out in real life shanking people and digging up corpses. :D

    I'm not sure, @Ilsabet that most of us aren't.. Ok, I understand what you are speaking of, but now I see you and my esteemed opponent @VaranisArano just do not see the picture I see, so let me explain my views in these two paragraphs below.

    I'm surprised too many players have so many character slots occupied and they refer to them as "My DK", "My Bosmeri archer", "He/She is stuck" and so on. It is so complicated! Why do you have to separate your character from yourself while he is actually yourself in the system of that other virtual world? It's very simple though: your character cannot exist without you, his decisions are your decisions, his words and actions are yours, his responsibility is actually yours. He is just your body, your avatar in that other world which gives you the ability to act and react there, he acts exactly the way you command within the limits of that world. You are his or her thoughts, mind and will while being beyond that world system of coordinates you cannot interfere without that "body". It's like saying "My white chess figures have lost the match to the black ones. Let's imagine the backstory of this black Bishop telling the reasons of why it struck so many pawns of the whites". What?! This game is not a game of chess of course, it's more complicated regarding the lore, but regarding characters you operate - you all just do this kind of things. It's madness. This is also not a book you just read with no ability to alter it's plot while reading it, it is all interactive!

    So "my character" is not a separate identity, it's actually me acting within those certain circumstances. Does it really matter if those circumstances are real or fictional? They all the same have their consequences in their respected worlds. I decide what to say, whom to punish and whom to spare. This is me who decides, not my "character" - it's just a shell and the reflection of my will within the boundaries of the game. This is why I fight there for a single Alliance, serve a single country, have a single alter ego chosen before the actual game started. The game and it's lore give us certain rules of what is good and bad that are mostly based on the same rules IRL. Being a man of a certain morality I do not willingly kill innocents, pickpocket anyone, I do not do anything considered bad in that fictional world I'm currently in. I do not advocate slavery personally, so being a Dunmer there I'm not going to own slaves even if the game permits me to do it. But I will advocate and protect the right to own slaves there because I am a Dunmer there. If the game urges me personally to act against my morality and certain views - so be it, but I will not advocate it as you all do. It's simple, isn't it? At least much more simple than those metaphysical theories of separating the character and his mind you all confess. Now you understand what kind of creatures I see in those players who have 8 personalities 7 of which are sorts of maniacs, who constantly fight for different Alliances in Cyrodiil, raise the dead of their kin, change their very identity every hour and speak of themselves like those Khajiit "This character is an evil necromancer who killed dozens of innocents, oh, how bad he is!".. These all are the signs of a multiple personality disorder or something.

    By the way, I recall a certain book the plot of which tells us a story of a hard life of a student who murdered two women being haunted by his question whether he was a trembling creature or whether he had the Right. A very interesting thriller full of philosophy and morality I might add.. Many people like to read it. But ask anyone: "Would you like to live the life of that student instead of reading the story of it?" and you'll see that everyone you've asked will refuse. The author created a whole new world and made his character a murderer. Later on he destroyed him himself. But the reader cannot change anything of that, the reader just reads it thus having no responsibilty for that characters actions inside that world. This is an example where the reader is not that character. You see the difference? Will you ask yourself why that student killed those two women? Well, you might. But it's much more interesting to ask yourself why the author made him such a scum and then destroyed his life for being it. Are you sure our real world is not just a fiction of some Overmind with our bodies and thoughts and words controlled from the outside by some inscrutable minds? Well, it's just a philosophic deviation. Now go on, give me some dislikes. Ah, there's no option.. So you can at least "roleplay" it :p.
    Edited by Cygemai_Hlervu on September 19, 2019 8:43PM
  • Ilsabet
    Ilsabet
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    It's also horribly awkward during inter-party conflict. Like, its bad enough when party members fight, but when someone is basically playing themself? Arguments get personal, real fast, and its super awkward at the gaming table. (That's one reason D&D has a strong distinction between in-character and out-of-character. Two characters can hate each others guts and the players get along fine, or vice versa. It facilitates playing as a group.)

    Oh lord yes. Playing out conflict between characters can be great for story drama and character development, if the players involved understand that it's not about themselves as people and don't take it personally. But when that line gets blurred, and actual feelings get hurt, that's pretty much the worst kind of game experience.


    If nothing else, this thread has been great for examining different approaches people take to playing their silly fantasy games. :D
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Katarin Auclair - DC Breton Warden healer & ice mage
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
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