Winter is Coming Braavos/Dorne section
Roleplaying – Hints and Tips
Sections in this page may get quite extensive, so a small table of contents is provided right below, listing the existing topics so that you may skip to the one you have interest in. While links to different parts of the page are impossible, each section is clearly separated from the others and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the one you want.
(Page still in construction.)
Character – Origins and Backstory
Character – Flaws and Qualities
Westeros is a big place, full of possibilities. If you play with us for a while, another character may begin to express interest in yours, and/or vice-versa. Indeed, romantic relationships are an important part of the roleplay and although they’re by no means mandatory, they’re usually desirable.
They can be started in a variety of ways, by agreeing on it with the other player beforehand or, a personal favourite, making your advances solely in character, without arranging anything previously – the lack of guarantees you’ll succeed may add to the thrill and feeling of realism.
However, there are many mistakes that you can make – many have, in fact, been made in the RP so far – when writing a relationship. Here are some hints and pieces of advice meant to help you avoid those and build something that enriches both the characters involved and the overall story and setting, as opposed to harming them, which is also possible.
Self-RP – This is perhaps the most obvious: don’t have a relationship with yourself. Romance is an excellent opportunity to interact with a variety of other characters and, if done correctly, can provide hours of quality RP every day for several months. By creating two main characters and getting them in a relationship together, you’re robbing yourself of this opportunity. Remember that you’re RPing for the interaction with other people – otherwise, it would just be writing a story on your own.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create characters that are already committed, such as married nobles, or become so during the roleplay, and even play those partners briefly if needed for the story, so long as they don’t become one of your primary characters. Also, bear in mind that kisses and other such displays of affection can quickly become redundant to character development and, while still enjoyable and recommended to play, can be quite unnecessary and tiresome to other players if you’re doing them just for the sake of it and happen to be doing so with yourself.
Plausibility – Be mindful of the setting. First, make sure that such a relationship is possible within the ASOIAF universe. Remember that we’re playing characters in a deeply stratified feudal society, reminiscent of historical medieval times.
There is, of course, no reason why your peasant can’t become involved with a noble – or the other way around – but what you can’t do is expect them to be with each other openly, marry freely and live happily ever after without any sort of opposition or obstacles. While in theory, it’s very nice to say that true love always triumphs and conquers all, the truth is that things don’t always go that way and GOT/ASOIAF is known for the realism with which, for example, characters meet their ends – irrefutable evidence that this is not a fairy tale.
Such must also be taken into account with, amongst others, bastards, foreigners or members of rival Houses. Sure, Romeo and Juliet was a wonderful love story, but you do know what happened to them in the end, right? Spoiler alert: they die. And I’m guessing you might not want the same to happen to your RP character.
Remember, with nobility in the Seven Kingdoms, arranged marriage is the rule of thumb. Don’t be afraid to introduce such elements in the RP – provided you have the consent of the other player, naturally. There is no reason why a relationship started out of tradition and obligation can’t develop into something else. Just look at Ned and Catelyn Stark.
Obsession – This is probably the second most important point in here. There is nothing wrong with getting into writing your character’s relationship and investing a lot of its time into it. On the contrary, it might be a sign you’re doing it well and we are here to have fun, after all.
However, there is such a thing as too much, and one trap easy to fall into is becoming so committed to a relationship that you forget about other characters and the story.
Relationships are an absolutely wonderful way of developing a character. It is interesting and revealing to see how each one approaches and explores affection, intimacy and love, how they deal with the obstacles that they may encounter, how they overcome their own problems, from commitment to trust issues, to mention only two. If done correctly, they can be enjoyable not only for the involved players to write, but also for others to read.
However, that does not make them the only thing in the RP. Getting your character laid should not be your only concern (this does not mean that it cannot be theirs – it is crucial to correctly distinguish between player and character), and there are many more people to RP with and situations to play out.
If you let the relationship become your character’s entire world, if they are no one and have little to no personality when apart from the person they’re with, if all the RP you do every day is kissing, hugging, cuddling and so on, then they become boring, unidimensional and utterly unlikeable.
Your character should be someone more than their relationship – unless, of course, that is an intended flaw that you plan to remedy eventually. Added to the disadvantage of becoming completely dependent on the other player and character is the fact that neglecting others will cause your character’s relationship with them to deteriorate as they forget and/or lose interest, and you may find yourself wanting to return later with an interesting idea or concept only to discover that players don’t care, and have no desire of participating.
Be particularly careful to avoid the extreme – losing yourself in whispers. While certain parts of the relationship can – should, even – be played privately, you must find a balance between it and public RP, lest you want your character’s existence to be completely forgotten. Kisses, heartfelt conversations and other displays of affection can certainly happen in public – they’re even necessary to a certain extent, to make others aware that the relationship is there – while extensive make-out sessions would perhaps be best in whispers.
In short, make sure that your character has things to do other than constantly chasing the object of their affection. RP isn’t just limited to relationships. This relates, in a way, to the next point.
Desperation – If you’re specifically aiming for a character who is a player and/or desperate for a romantic relationship, just disregard this point and move on. If not, you may want to keep reading.
If you wish to make your relationship something meaningful (As a sidenote, it’s perfectly acceptable if you don’t – we don’t judge people for their characters’ actions and actually recommend you play characters who have flaws and/or do not always act morally or correctly. No one’s perfect, after all.), then you should not aim to court as many women as possible simply because it improves the odds of getting one. Don’t be afraid to be selective, have high standards, and don’t get in a relationship simply for the sake of doing so – again, that’s not the sole purpose of the RP, merely one of its many possibilities.
Acting in this way may give other characters the wrong impression of yours, causing disapproval – or approval, as the case may be, though the former’s far more common – as well as possible conflicts.
There’s a reason why simultaneously dating several people doesn’t usually work in real life, after all. (If you have managed to make it work, though, damn! Respect! Can you give me some point- er, I mean, shame on you!)
Pacing – To save the best for last, here’s what I consider the most important thing to remember when writing romance: pacing.
It’s easy to get lost in the enthusiasm of the novelty and rush ahead wanting to try everything it has to offer. However, this is not only a waste – RPing in hours what could easily stretch out for days without seeming forced – it also makes for an unrealistic, meaningless relationship.
There are many memorable milestones great to be played, from the initial confession or first kiss all the way to the first night together or even proposal and marriage. Cramming all these up in as short a time as possible just so that you can get to them sooner will likely end up creating something of which you’ll be bored after a few days, having exhausted the most obvious options without any sort of foundation to stand on.
Don’t be afraid to take time. Take time to get to know the other character before you have yours develop feelings, for example, or take time before having them say they love each other or popping the question once they’re already together.
Of course, all characters are different and they’ll surely take their own times with each aspect. Some may find it easier to profess their love before getting physically intimate, some may behave the opposite way.
And not to doubt that there is such a thing as love at first sight, but there’s devotion and then there’s foolishness, and proposing to someone out of genuine feelings on the very day you meet them, to use a ridiculously extreme example, is the latter rather than the former.
To wrap it up, it’s very likely that if you are patient and take your time nurturing and developing the relationship without any kind of rush, you’ll write something more enjoyable for others to read and more fun for you to play.