Role-Play Award: June 2006
I've been role-playing Jodiah Ayreg (my first character, though not my only) since around 1993. I'll admit, I never cruised much into the Red Dragon Inn on AOL, but I did find a strange little place entitled the "Medieval Tavern." So I sat in there, watched, and figured things out. Since I've always had a really hyper imagination, I decided it would be neat. Thus was Jodiah Ayreg born, and I began role-play when I was... golly... 13 years old. He's come a long, long, long way since then.
Lord Ayreg is a human (no, really), though not a lord of anything (anymore). Ostensibly, he works in the Dragon's Breath Forge as a blacksmith, and as a silversmith. His more shrouded, hidden occupation is being a Death Knight. Some genres call them anti-paladins; in EverQuest, they're Shadow Knights, but the end result is the same. Jodiah Ayreg, now, is a bad-tempered, callous, unfriendly and generally all-around unpleasant man, who has more than his share of scars to account for a lifetime of hardship and battle. He prefers to not make a scene, and can most often be found in the ever-present Deep, Dark Corner™ that resides within every inn, tavern, brothel, and bar (and, really, any building at all) in RhyDin. He's an extraordinarily complex character, filled top-to-bottom with character flaws, quirks, idiosyncrasies, and weaknesses. Believe it or not, he actually doesn't have a lot of strengths: He's no master of the blade, his magical skills are only barely noticable, and he is extraordinarily cold-hearted. Jodiah is also quite arrogant, and overconfident in nearly any situation. Far from being a mindless brute, though, Jodiah is an educated man from what seems to be a noble background. He was originally cast as a villainous character on AOL back in the days, and he was a villain here on Dragon's Mark for the first.. oh.. month or so I played him. Unfortunatly, the whims of fate and unusual circumstances have restructured him now as a kind of dark anti-hero.
Almost anything you can possibly imagine can inspire me to write. A single line from one book gave me all the inspiration I needed to create the Adrianna De'Seis character, for instance. Lots of people have accused me of pretty much modeling Ayreg after the death knights of Warcraft III, but Jodiah predates that particular game. I gain writing inspiration from movies, books, video games, comics, a conversation I might have had at work—really, anything and everything you can imagine.
The easiest way to get into role play is to have a mentor. Someone to take you under their wing. To guide. To shelter. Lacking that, the best way is to sit and watch and wait and lurk. Learn by seeing, first, and then learn by doing. Also, there's no shame in playing a character with weaknesses. Not everyone can be (or even needs to be) the vessel of phenomenal cosmic power, capable of being the penultimate embodiment of the perfect swordsman, as well as an all-powerful sorcerer, the best lover the universe has known, and all at the age of 18. That said, there's nothing inherently *wrong* with being any one or combination of the above things -- it just all comes down to a matter of personal choice, what you find to be satisfying, and your capability to play it effectively, and interestingly.
A few words from Ayreg:
"Blood and ashes, do I look like a flaming tour guide to you?" ::sneers::
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