A comment from my fairy pen pal IRis on my Steampunk character’s introduction made me think of how much of us gets into a role as soon as we put it up. This post is most understandable for role players or LARPers, but maybe the others are interested, too. If not, skip it.
IRis asked me, whether Honoria wasn’t very much like myself, was she. Uhm. Yes. She is. But when I take my roleplay files I find that most of my characters are hot-tempered and curious, wear green-toned clothing and take pleasure in dancing and singing. But, in return, there are characters who wear mostly blue, are scheming and vengeful and think that cooking is something that happens to others. My Steampunk characters are a good example of how different roles that base on yourself can be.
- Honoria Whiteberry-Clapham, aristocratic Historian of Arts. The one who started the fire. Honoria’s manners are pretty refined, her education magnificent, her clothes tailored by the best. She knows how to act in high society and is known for her performances at soirées as well as her knowledge about arts and a quite romantic mind. She loves a good dance and spends most of her holidays in the country with her huge family whom she loves dearly. Her language is – matching her social status – flowery but not too silly. Most of the time.
- Hephzibah Blacksmith, working class medic. Has never seen a university from the inside and learned her profession from the old doctor across the street. Bright and good at her trade, she is a respected member of the lower class. Her contacts to the underground has caused her a few troubles, but after all, she gets along quite well with most of the dubious persons she’s surrounded by. Her environment made her grow up to a hard cored, cynical and self-confident young woman who might not be the most precious flower in the garden, but one of the most lasting ones.
- Gemma Bennett, identity disordered journalist. Normally, Gemma is a quite shy and cautious young woman who works as a writer for the Londonian and rather moves in the middle class amongst small tradesmen, clerks and older ladies of the society than amongst high aristocracy or the lowest criminals. She takes pleasure in walks in the park and drawing. Her other side that occasionally comes out is an habitually coquettish, slightly aggressive hot-head who is a stunningly good fighter with knives and aware of all her femme fatale devices.
These three character don’t seem to have very much in common – if you don’t know me.
I personally think that the different aspects of one’s real life character that can be acted out in roleplay make the whole thing just more interesting. Who ever thought that a wallflower could be a convincing prostitute, a shy, clumsy guy could play a cocky playboy and the rough-and-ready rugby player would make an excellent gentleman?
I think it’s not a shame to live out several sides of your personality though roleplay characters, far from it! More likely, I see it as a healthy, nearly therapeutic opportunity for character development. I guess I wouldn’t be who and like I am today without my roleplaying characters and the resulting explorations of attributes, traits and characteristics I’d never noticed without.