Him: “RAWR! I AM A DEATHKNIGHT THAT IS AN AGENT OF THE LICH KING HIMSELF.”
Him: “INFANTS WEEP IN MY PRESENCE, WOMEN BEG FOR MERCY, MEN FALL UPON THEIR SWORDS IN FEAR FOR THEIR MORTAL SOULS.”
Me: “Yeah, whoa, okay.”
Him: “I WOULD LIKE TO VENTURE INTO AZJOL NERUB AND PWN N00BS. IC’LY OF COURSE.”
Me: “Heeeeell no. You stay over there /weirdo infant weeper person/. I’ll take you OOC’ly though.”
So, you RP a bad guy, a lunatic, an adulterer, a liar. Excellent, we need flavor in RP, yes? Of course we do. I commend you for your dedication to the craft of roleplay, but I do have a question:
ARE YOU PREPARED? – Illidan, 2007
I mean for the consequences of your RP decisions of course, and a lot of times, I see folks who play an anti-hero looking for ways to get OUT of the social perception of their nefarious deeds. It doesn’t work like that, and it shouldn’t work like that. Let’s say for example you play someone who lies all the time. That’s cool, the world is full of liars. Let’s say you have an incredibly important bit of information, though, and you MUST RELAY IT NOW BEFORE THE WORLD ERUPTS IN FLAMES! You run to your RP circle, you tell them of the terrible terrible that is terribling this way! And . . .
No one believes you.
Why should they? You’ve established yourself as a liar. The consummate roleplayer would laugh that this happens. When the terrible does its terrible thing, your character will be the one sitting on a beach sipping a margarita while everyone else is wondering why they’re dying of plague. (Serves ‘em right, yeah?) Too often, though, this is not the reaction. People get upset that other rp’ers hold past deeds against them.
“But I was really emphatic this time, I mean, I was like yelling and stuff.”
“So? Liars don’t yell?”
“But this was DIFFERENT.”
“It just was!”
And then the liar roleplayer walks off in disgust or emos out in a dark corner listening to The Cure because no one understands how hard it is to RP this character. I have zero sympathy. You can’t relish the attention of being a bad guy and then conveniently see the light. It doesn’t work like that. Either commit to being a heel, accept that it means other people just won’t like you, or don’t even attempt to walk this path. You will find no satisfaction in the long run otherwise.
I’m going to speak to this phenomenon as someone who’s played the ne’er-do-well and had to work for years to get said character ingratiated with other players. Yva Darrows was (and is) a crazy little dead girl. She killed a lot of people in a lot of terrible ways. When I rolled her alliance side, long before deathknights were A Thing, everyone hated her, loathed her, and rightfully so. She was a pretty terrible person. Over time, though, I fostered a few IC relationship that proved key in making her roleplayable. My contacts worked on other people, vouching for her usefulness. All the while, Yva started killing bad guys and putting herself in the line of fire for the very people that hated her. Folks were still wary (and still are in many instances), but I’ve built up some good credit, and now I get invited along IC’ly AND OOC’ly. Sure, not everyone loves her, but after about two and a half years of good credit, she’s finally gotten to a place where people won’t attempt to kill her because she tries to sit at their table.
Progress! This is progress! No one’s throwing forks at me!
I’ve learned over time to embrace the anti-rotter sentiment as it’s flung my way. I like confrontation in roleplay, I invite it, because I feel that it better flushes out my character. It tests her limits, and the type of character I play needs that to keep her on her toes. Others may have different takes on it, of course, but for me, playing a morally ambiguous psycho makes me and (seemingly) most of the rp’ers around me happy. So I suppose my question to the readers is, what advice would you have as a player of a “Bad Guy” or as someone who has seen the “Bad Guy RP” go swimmingly well? I’d love to hear your thoughts and or suggestions.