No, I do not mean the human racial. I mean how do you perceive your characters? Do you think of her as a badass in plate/cloth/with a sword or “Captain Awesome with a Sensitive Side?” Did you make a bastard? A Nutter (Bricu slang for a crazy person)? A saint? A psycho?
Make a note of your perceptions. Now, ask your friends and guild mates, “what do you and your toon think of [insert your character's name here].” How similar are those perceptions? For bonus points, how many of these views assigned to your character actually apply to you, the player.
While there is no such thing as “quality assurance” for Role-playing (nor should there be), it helps to take stock of our Characters. For instance, if you main is supposed to be a Bastard and your circle thinks that they are, “so very nice and helpful,” something maybe wrong. Comparing notes with the people you RP with is one way of checking on your character’s arc.
I would venture to guess that the people we are to closest too are the ones who will have the perceptions that are the most similar to our own. While these are important to understand, as these are the people we RP with the most, it is equally important to see how others view the characters. I am not saying this as a prelude to either “change or your character” or “let others tell you how to play.” Far from it. Taking other peoples perceptions into account is only to see how your RP has come across.
For example, say your main is working on an achievement–one of the big ones–and you consider this to be an RP goal. If someone says, “Really? I don’t see [your toon] going after [that achievement] because of [reasonable reason here],” a number of people–myself included–would begin to think about the validity of the [reasonable reason]. If you are willing to examine this [reasonable reason], then I strongly suggest that a calm, reasonable OoC discussion can help direct the RP.
Communication about perceptions is easier said than done. Even though these are fictional characters, given the work we have put into them, we are bound to develop some attachment to them. Having discussions about our characters, their attitudes and how people PERCEIVE our characters is, at times, a bit difficult. If one can communicate some of the disconnect from player to player, then one can improve the RP, either through those conversations OR by developing new stories to show case how the character really is able to go for that Big Achievement.
So fill us in. Have you had conversations like this in the past? Do you see any value in it? Drop us a line!