Monday, May 6, 2013

Legacy vs Novelty


Oooo, just in time for this post, a new piece of amazing artwork from Sushi on WSRP. (seriously, go look at their art thread here or commission thread here.) Thanks so much Sushi, I LOVE IT!

Hawkens at the computer...don't worry about the scowl. Is normal.

My apologies folks for the lack of posts last week, I decided I hadn't been sick in awhile and spending a good chunk of the week on bed rest seemed like such a good idea at the time... On that note, Hawkens is a spectacular cook and makes a mean broth. Don't tell him I told you though...

I heard that...

OH! Right so

There was an excellent WildStar Wednesday this week detailing some of the lore behind the dungeon “StormTalon's Lair” which was shown to the folks who attended Arkship EU 2013. While many of the mechanics have yet to be outlined, there was a nice taste of lore for the roleplaying community here regarding the Thundercall Pell and their “Godmaker.” Definitely looking forwards to seeing more lore in the future!

Oh! And if you haven't seen it yet and would like a bit more, head over to WildStar Roleplay and check out Ender's Arkship EU Lore Compilation. It's a nice breakdown of some interesting lore bits she could share with us. Thanks Ender!

And without further ado, I will get on with with the article!


Today's article is a suggestion from WSRP's Himmel the very same who made me that excellent badge for the Scowling Cassian. (If you haven't seen their art thread yet, check it out here!)

Himmel asked:

“This is a topic my guildies and I were discussing the other night and we were wondering if you might have some insight on it: character typecasting. Some people play the same character type over and over, but that's because they're comfortable with it. Others might view it as boring or cliche and look to try something new and different for each game. Is it appropriate? Is it not appropriate? What tips and/or advice would you give on how to keep things fresh and avoid stagnation?”

First off typecasting, as stated by Wikipedia, is the process by which a particular actor becomes strongly identified with a specific character; one or more particular roles; or, characters having the same traits or coming from the same social or ethnic group. In roleplaying this tends to refer to someone who plays the same type of character repeatedly such as the “happy-go-lucky” to the “serious military guy.” You can get a decent feel for what to expect from them when they roll a character. On the other side is the person who tends to try something fresh and new each time they roll a character. They are typically not predictable but are usually interesting. And then there are those who fall in between: the people who typically enjoy one type but occasionally bring out something new and fresh now and then.

So which is the best way to go about your characters while roleplaying? How can you keep things from being growing stagnant or too shallow? Really, there is no magic way to handle this, as much of it lies within the hands of the creator.

So the short answer? So long as you play what is fun to you, you really cannot go wrong.

So as to the appropriateness of it, that all relies on yourself for what you want. As for tips and advice, I will outline some of the pros and cons of each.

Legacy: Keeping a consistent typecasting in your character. This can be personality, background or even just their job type though it typically refers to the entire package.
  • Pros: By sticking with what you know and like, you tend to have a good bit of consistency with your characters. This also affords you the opportunity to take a personality/idea and nurture it, allowing it to grow and evolve. This helps it come more naturally and tends to afford some deeper insight into what you enjoy.
  • Cons: By playing the same thing over and over again, it can be easy to fall into a trap of stagnation. Your characters may tend to blend together with little separating them as individuals and you may even find that they have trouble growing and evolving when you get stuck in a rut of your “comfort zone.”
  • Advice: If you still really like your style and you are hesitant to try something new, try sitting back and looking at your characters more closely. Try a character personality exercise like the one WSRP's SteelKnight linked in our forums here and really delve into their mind. Take the time to get to know them beyond what your comfortable typecasting is. Even though there is stereotyping in real life, we are all still individuals. This is no different for our characters.

Novelty: Creating something new, usually for each character you make. This does not have to mean every single feature, but often can.
  • Pros: By changing things up, you keep things fresh and new. You help avoid stagnation by never staying in one place for too long. By exploring all sorts of new ideas, you also help open up your horizons by not being afraid to try new things.
  • Cons: It can be very easy to get distracted with trying out so many new things that your characters do not end up with much time to themselves before you are trying something else. They may end up becoming shallow or uninteresting if you do not spend much time with them.
  • Advice: Roughly same as before, I always recommend the character personality exercises to help flesh out your characters. They're fun, even if you know them well and a great reference if you ever forget some of your ideas. I also would recommend considering why you are changing things up when you try something new. Give it a little bit of thought before you jump in and that can help a great deal.

Type 3: Consistency with a breath of fresh air. You tend to enjoy a particular type, but you aren't afraid to try something new.
  • Honestly, most of the people I know tend to end up here. No matter how many new things they do, they tend have a particular one or a few styles that fit them best and occasionally try something new now and then for a fresh perspective. I think this is where most people find themselves the longer they roleplay as their style molds around their own personality.

I know for myself personally, I tend to fall into the blend of the two with the Type 3. I really enjoy my legacy of the lovable jerk.


Thus Hawkens here, and his personality type has followed me for some time, growing and shaping as I discussed in my article a few weeks back “ From Small Beginnings:The History of Hawkens” I find that even though I make some new characters, I tend to fall back to that general personality. I'm comfortable with it and from the positive feedback of others, I appear to do rather well it with. However I try to break the mold every once in awhile and try something new. Like my Sith Inquisitor from SW:ToR: Lord Kestral the Mad....who thought he was a Colicoid. He will most likely be joining in WildStar as a Draken...but that is a story for another time ;)

And would you argue with him in either case?

One of best parts of WildStar is that with a brand new IP and lots of interesting lore, there will be so much potential for roleplaying fun and rewarding characters. Maybe you are used to play human characters? Try out a Granok, a Mechari, a Draken or maybe an Aurin. Or you could always try a <Redacted> or even a <Redacted!> …thanks Hawkens.

Just doing my job

Or perhaps you are used to the bestial characters and want to try the intricacies of a human instead. Or try your hand at the Master Race with the most obvious best choice of race with the regal and impressive Cassians. *cough* Or pick a faction/race/class that fits alongside one of your old favorites that you have enjoyed playing for years. Ultimately, however, it all comes down to having fun.

I know it seems as though much of roleplaying advice boils down to: play what you want and have fun. The thing is, that really is the base of most advice. Getting better at things takes some time and effort and tips and advise can be used to help. But in the end, roleplaying is for fun and should be fun.

Thanks again to Himmel for your topic suggestion! As always folks, feel free to drop me one of your own ideas or feel free to pester Hawkens. You can catch us at:

Twitter: @BrennerHawkins
Enjin: Johne

Glad to be back folks!


  1. Good to have you back! I thoroughly enjoyed the article. I've actually been wondering about this myself for a while. Oh, and I think you may have forgotten to link Himmel's page. Just thought I'd shoot you a reminder if that was the case. Hope you're feeling better man!

    1. Ahh thanks! I'll go fix that right now. I did skip that link on accident, nice catch.

      Glad you enjoyed the article and thank you kindly for the warm welcome back :3

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