An End to Obligation

By | February 15, 2010

RPGs, by their nature, are fraught with conflict.  From the very first time you log in, your character has threats to overcome.  As you gain levels and delve further into the story, the threats grow bigger and scarier.  And as we’ve seen with expansions and new content patches, just when you think you’ve righted the last wrong, something even more terrible rises to fill in the void.

Add to that the storylines we create for ourselves — maybe your character’s staying the hell out of Northrend, but boy are there ever troubles at home to sort out.

Yva’s mentioned the importance of giving your characters a break from the drama in their lives — it gives them a chance to have good times to balance out the bad, and to recover from whatever trauma they’ve just been dragged through.  It also gives other players a chance to let their stories shine.

Almost inevitably, though, once sufficient time has passed, chances are we’re going to find a whole new pile of problems for them to deal with.  Because conflict helps keep the characters fresh.  You get to explore facets of their personalities you didn’t know were there.  And having new adventures is just plain fun.

But what about a time when it’s all over?  What if the wars ended, the biggest, most dire threats were gone, and your characters could hang up swords and shields, daggers and wands, and live a life free of the duty and obligation that comes with Saving The World?

What would they do?  Would they buy a quiet little house away from it all and plant a garden?  Would they chafe at the peace and go out seeking adventures wherever they could find them?  Would they take advantage of the situation and start trouble?

Do your characters look ahead to a time like this even now, as something to look forward to, or do they think it’ll always be like this, with something new coming along to cast its shadow on the world all the time?

Davien hopes there’ll be an end to it, someday.  She’d retire to a little house with her niece and nephew, and spend her days with her needle and thread.  She’d entertain old friends when they came calling, and would still study magic, but in a quiet, scholarly way.

Threnn would divide her time between their house in the Grizzly Hills (which they have yet to really enjoy) and Stormwind.  I don’t think she could ever — or would ever — bow out of the Riders’ lives.  They’re her family just as much as Bricu and Naiara are.  Out in the Hills she’d have  her forge, and a safe place where she and Bricu could raise their daughter.  Stormwind’s there for when the Hills get too quiet, when she misses the laughter and bustle of the city and the company of her friends. She doesn’t know if that day will ever come, but she and Bricu have discussed it.

Annalea wouldn’t want a quiet life.  She might not exactly go seeking out trouble, but I have a feeling it’d find her anyway.  She’s a bard, so travelling around wouldn’t bother her in the least, and any adventures she found would make excellent fodder for new songs.  Anna, of course, doesn’t really believe such a time will ever come.

How about your characters?


Bricu on February 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm.

Bricu is retiring the minute Tarquin returns to Stormwind. There is no possibleway he can continue with the machinations of city politics.

He’ll return when he needs someone else to cook.

LookingForSocks on February 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm.

Narica isn’t expecting to run out of work until politics ceases to exist, and while she has some desire to find a small house in the middle of nowhere and relax, the most likely form of retirement for her would be moving to more of a rogue trainer type role, where she would be a particularly tough teacher. Though she might not drug the students too much.

Teuthida on February 16, 2010 at 12:07 pm.

Teuthida would like to be retired already. If I weren’t raiding, she’d have settled down in Shattrath to take care of orphaned Draenei (and help them learn to be shamans or mages, if they show an affinity for fire). The longer this goes on, the more OOC it feels to have her raiding, but, well, so it goes!

Ovistine doesn’t thrive on conflict, but she’s also not shying away from it. She’s really interested in research and history — her “time off” while I was playing Teu in early WotLK was RPed out as taking a research position at the Library in Stormwind — and she figures there will always be something to fight.

Nancie is secretly terrified of the end of the war with the Scourge, because Nancie is and has always been a soldier first and foremost: more than a wife, more than a mother, more than a paladin, even. Nancie doesn’t feel like she has a purpose unless she has an enemy to hunt, and the one thing the war in Northrend has done is put her, her husband, and her daughter all on the same side in the same fight — so she has her whole reason for being wrapped up in it. What happens after they win the war is just not something she’s prepared to think about yet.

Zhire on February 16, 2010 at 8:19 pm.

Twayblade (a druid) would have trouble sitting quietly somewhere, growing old. She’s been around since a bit before the War of the Shifting Sands (Was at the age of maturity when the fighting first started, before the Scarab Wall was erected.) As of right now, she has no significant other as it were, so traveling and moving from place to place would not bother her.

If she did have a significant other, that might be different however. Besides that, she does long for a place where she can be at peace with herself. That, perhaps, is not so much a physical place, but something she has to reach herself *before* she could find a “quiet” place to “retire” to. (Again, a place to “retire” to might not so much be a cabin in the middle of no where, but the wilds it’s self, slowly fading back into nature.)

Uthas on February 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm.

Uthas is honestly longing for death once things are all over. He can’t erase what he’s done, and he doesn’t know how to face it, if it even can be faced. He pretty much just wants oblivion so the world can go on without him.

Corise on February 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm.

Corise is very torn. On the one hand, she loves her husband and children, and a part of her would love to get the opportunity to settle down with them some place safe. On the other hand, she has serious doubts about her ability to settle down, and the idea of having to face her shortcomings in the areas of domesticity, motherhood, emotional intimacy, etc., is a pretty terrifying prospect for her. I don’t think she fully believes that she’ll ever get the chance to find out, though — she figures she’ll go out in a blaze of glory long before she sees the end of war and conflict, if indeed such a day ever does come.

Baenhoof on February 17, 2010 at 10:46 am.

Baenhoof doesn’t think it’ll ever quite be over. There’s been war since before she was born, and its all she’s good at, so what else is there to do?
She *is* finally completing her joining ritual with her mate, so there have been thoughts of tiny hooves in her future.
Just idle thoughts, though.
There will always be a bad guy who needs to be put in his place, and there will always be people willing to pay for it.

Tarq on February 17, 2010 at 11:27 am.

Tarquin likes the /idea/ of kicking back, enjoying his ill-gotten gains, and watching the world turn, and there’s a significant part of him that still wants to start a family and do a better job raising a kid than his own dad (or any of his badly chosen father figures). However, it’s becoming more and more apparent that he just doesn’t have an off switch; even on vacation, he’s fucking with people, flouting laws, and jockeying for advantage. He’s going to be playing the game, in one fashion or another, until the day he dies.

Bricu on February 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm.

As I reread the comments, and tie up loose ends before the next shoe falls, I realized something about Bricu and Uthas. Their friendship/relationship is even more complicated. And even if Bricu did kill Uthas (which I think he could do) he would still mourn him. In fact, a truly dead Uthas would probably be just as damaging to Bricu as the initial betrayal.

Rashona on February 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm.

Rashona’s motivation is primarily spiritual, so she doesn’t expect ever to retire, but the scope of a crisis doesn’t much matter to her. “Serve the Earthmother” currently equates to “do your damndest to take down the Lich King”, but after that it might be “cull this herd of thunder lizards” or “go take out that group of relic-digging dwarves”. Her long-term ambition is to see the Plaguelands unplagued, though.