Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scraps's Guide to RPing Canon Characters

Since the role-playing scene in the local area has fallen deader than a Billy Mays VS. Steve Irwen joke, I've been getting my RP fix over at Gaia Online-- Normally a haven for 4channers to get their Troll on, all the while sporting a nifty Avatar Customization feature that makes the focus of the whole site-- and finding and getting into a good RP on that site can be a trick. I tend to steer clear of the section dedicated to original RPs, because it tends to have nothing original except a thousand threads for Vampire Romance, Slave and Master RPs, and High School themes games. That's the main reason I tend to troll the Series RP section, where you can sometimes find RP's based on Video Games and Anime. While trying to find a good game to join in on, I realized on glaring flaw-- Not very many people can play Canon Characters in Canon form. It's embarassing to read and see it, especially when there's a mix of really great role-players and really piss poor little kids trying to pretend they're Goku. It brings tears to my eyes.

I know we all have a mental image of the characters we idolize. And we always tend to inject them with a little more "oomph" than they really do. Let's take Mr. Lelouch "Saw V for Vendetta one too many times" Lamprouge from my all-time-won't-shut-the-fuck-up-about series, Code Geass. A lot of RP's and Fanfics I've scrolled through tend to make him out to be some sort of James Bond/Guy Fawkes lovechild Badass, who always knows just what to say and how to say it, and when to push the button. In reality...Lelouch has incredible insecurities about not being in a position of control, has an enormous Little Sister Complex, and tends to shatter to pieces at the first sign that things are going wrong. He has next to zero charismatic skill unless he's wearing a mask, he's very far away and communicating by satelite, or has the obvious advantage in the situation. You don't see these aspects played out very much in RP. But that's all part of the character. You have to take the flaws that come with the package, or you're not playing the Canon're playing your INTERPRETATION of that character.

And in my book, if you're wanting to play a character that's Canon, but you don't play it as such, I would ask you to change that characters name-- because you're not playing them right. Yes, I am an asshole like that. Trust me, if you didn't want to know my opinion, you wouldn't be reading this right now.

So, that said, I decided to write a small guide on Role-Playing Series Canon characters for you forum Role-Players out there on the internets, or you people about to roll up a character for a seriously Fluff-Heavy campaign. These are my opinions and mine alone, so don't get pissy just because I don't agree with your idea of how to portray Canon creations.
-If you haven't actually seen the film/comic/anime/video game that the character appeared in, you aren't worthy of playing them.
-Know every aspect of your character. Do your homework, hit up the Wiki.
"But, Scraps, I don't wanna do that much work! What if it's just for a Forum game that probably won't even last a week?" Then...why are you wasting your time?
-Interject minor references from the Characters past in dialog...not in large drawn out diatribes that make everyone roll their eyes, but just little nods towards their accomplishments and/or failures. Not only does it add a touch of flavor, it also can show other players that you really know your character well enough.
-Don't get it into your head that just because you're playing someone vital to a series that the RP is probably themed from that you're immune from getting knocked around some. In fact, those moments are great role-playing moments for you--which leads to...
-Act in combat as your character would. If they are known for being a coward, you better not be the one in the front of the combat form throwing the first punch, so to speak. Strategy and what seems logical to win the fight be damned. You're playing you on that table, you're playing someone else with established goals and means.--
And finally...dammit people...put a little theatrics into it. Don't just post or say what you're saying and what you do...put a little energy into it, paint a picture of this character you're portraying. Give your fellow players something to envision.So there you got it folks. Take this with you if you ever find yourself in the situation that has you playing a character not of your own creation, nor the GM's. Take these rules with you to forums, use them as rules for your own Gaia RP- and see the kind of talent that emerges. You'll be surprised who you'll bump into in such a den of scum and faggotry.

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