I’m starting to worry I think too stereotypically. D: I’m on a quest now!
I’m officially out of cool RPG characters (… alright, so I rolled her up for the WoW D20 game one time, but she was already my in-game main!), so I will try my undead warlock from World of Warcraft, Araea Ylonen.
Araea, as an undead, began as a human (in WoW, the only undead models are humans, though plenty of other races were risen when Arthas lost his proverbial marbles). Because she’s specced into Destruction, her backstory involved her being a fire mage in training in Stormwind City when the Scourge attacked. She fought alongside the other masters and students, but they eventually fell beneath the waves of ghouls. Feeling they were too precious a commodity to waste, the Death Knights brought quite a few of them back to their citadel to transform them.
In WoW lore, Demon Hunters are created by burning out their eyes and forcing demon blood into them- they then bind their eyes with a leather blindfold, to hold the power in. Araea’s story involved something similar: they burned out her eyes and flooded her body with fel energy, binding it in place with thick leather straps that they nailed to her skull (I didn’t like the Undead faces without the straps, heh). Given that she already had an affinity for fire magic, she made a fairly decent warlock. Green flames tend to drift from beneath the straps, much like the blue energy the Death Knights and Arthas exude.
During an in-game raid on Stormwind (Stormwind’s always under attack when the new expansions begin to come out), she was captured by the party and through the intervention of the GM Plot Train was freed from Scourge control.
That part’s pretty cliche, I admit.
Araea doesn’t hate being undead. She’s fairly indifferent to it, to be honest. She lives in constant fear of losing control of herself, though, and as such tends to disappear when fighting the Scourge is involved. She loves to sew, and is pretty gifted at it. She loves the demons she works with, especially her Imp (Zigfip) and her Felhunter (Fzuumyn, Fuzzy for short). Unlike most warlocks she doesn’t feel she is stronger than they are- they work in unison, and she respects them. She’s pretty self-confident, and she loves socializing. Araea enjoys being in the Undercity, even though she has no other Undead friends. The recent loathing towards her kind bothers her, and she’s blind to the machinations of Sylvanas and the late Grand Alchemist Putress. Eventually she’ll see the truth, but for now she sticks up for her Queen when she’s brought up in conversation.
She’s not bubbly, but she’s pleasant. She tries to be uncontroversial, but sometimes can’t avoid an argument. She seems to have a weird obsession with Draenei and their culture, and her closest friend is a Draenei paladin named Vörel (well, it was a Spellscale name originally, and it sounded really Draenish, so I sort of recycled it when I made her after The Burning Crusade). They make an unlikely duo, but the alien woman knows that Araea did not choose her path. She feels a sort of sisterly affection for her, since she’s still pretty naive.
Undead characters are hard. If they’re angry, violent, or whiny, they’re too predictable- but if they’re too happy, or enjoy their semblance of life, the same thing happens. I’ve always tried to balance her out between the two. She’s not mopey, but she’s not a bubbly ditz. She doesn’t think that being undead should affect her at all, really. She’s the same as everyone else- just paler, with worse posture at times. She’s not even a bad guy, like Vorel. She’s just a person who got dealt a bad hand of fate, and is making do with what she has. She likes to help, when she can, and she strives to continue living the life she had before her death.
I like this one.
Okay, okay, I’m being lazy.
I’ve never played WoW. I’ve played lots of MMO’s, but I have never touched WoW and I am damn proud of it. Fortunately you were nice enough to assume that I have not and told me a few details that I wouldn’t have known about the different races.
The reason why I like Araea is that WoW - and any other MMO - give characters in their game preset personalities through emotes, stereotyping through culture, and possibly voices to even suggest personality. (The MMO I’m fapping about with now, Tera, has a race of literal Sex Demons, I shit you not) There’s not so much a choice as there is “Whelp, this is your personality, get used to it” and you knowingly avoid this.
Not that I’m saying you should or shouldn’t, but you make a conscious decision to do so. Your submission already suggests yourself the work that you have to put into it to make it work (Less work for me, I guess) and it’s something I can agree with. Undead aren’t going to be these bubbly happy doo-dah things, and if they’re crying down in a corner ripping their own arms off that’s kind of obnoxious too. No one wants to be around something like that and it’d give other characters a pretty good reason to get her killed again.
Being mildly pleasant and perhaps even “boring” is a refreshing recourse from what I see in most role-playing in MMO’s - over exaggeration of said racial stereotypes.
- The dwarf gets their ass super drunk.
- The gnome makes a thing that always blows up.
- Elves have huge tits and they think that makes them better than anyone else - yes, every elf race is this.
- Humans are always, always, always the one that gets everybody together and can handle everybody. Extra Bonus: They are nearly always responsible for being the biggest, baddest guy or the biggest, goodest guy. Everyone argues over which race is the best, but the race responsible for the most atrocities and most altruistic acts in every MMO are Humans.
- The ugly races are Hulk in some way (with exceptions, as we can’t have every huge hulking race act like Hulk so we’ll have to make some that are complete opposites, wow neat!)
- Any small critter that is now allowed to carry weapons and do equal damage to everyone else is either really petty or have an ego the size of Texas.
- Feral Races have to speak in cliche’ accents reflecting their race.
So in this regard, good job! Like I said, I like it. This time you took what was expected of you and turned it into something you wanted to be instead of doing what the game told you to be.