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Role-Play Award: August 2007

Koyliak VanDuran-Simon

How long have you been Roleplaying?
I started over on Compuserve's WoW back in 1995 where I did and wrote all the things people generally list as their top RP pet peeves. I came over to AOL the next year and sent my parents' online bill skyrocketing because they were still charging by the hour. After a little time diverted to playing DragonRealms, I came back to the AOL RDI chat rooms.

In the summer of '98 I had the great luck of stumbling upon the duels and DoF in particular right around the time of a wonderful SL about the "destruction" of one of the Opals. I got sucked in and haven't seemed to be able to leave since then having now included IFL and time in the RDI into my routine as well.

Tell us about your character
Koyliak VanDuran as she's seen today came out of me realizing I wanted to grow up as a player. She started as the combination of a character I played on DragonRealms and what little I could salvage from my main character I had played over on Compuserve/AOL. It took some time but I've been able to straighten out most of her backstory in my head to understand who she is today.

Koy is definitely a product of nurture over nature. She's marked by tragedy - had it not been for certain instances in her life where the people closest to her betrayed, deserted or were stolen from her she would be quite the happy-go-lucky elf wearing terribly practical clothing back in her village in Langenfirth. Instead she's become the masochistic fashionista of RhyDin, an ungrateful survivor constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop when life seems too good.

She's never been book smart but her imagination picks up the slack. Her work and her personal life let her travel between worlds - she can schmooze wealthy stuck-up clients and crack jokes with the crudest the Rings have to offer. In times of crisis Koy's inability to act, her desire to dwell in the past and live in fear of the future can be her biggest downfall. She is loyal but operates on her own set of standards - you won't see her out fighting for the common good unless someone she loves is at risk. She tries to reconcile the fact that more often than not she's a walking paradox, a hypocrite in the worst of ways - violent and graceful, loving and mistrusting, withdrawn and feeling, insane and rational, fearless and terrified.

Most days she needs to remind herself: Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

What inspires you?
Other players. Koy really would be nowhere close to what she is today (not that that's perfect mind you but it's a far cry from where I started with her) if not for the people I've been lucky enough to play with. I know Koy because I've been challenged to figure out how she'd react to the different situations other people have set up. There have been so many people who not only have given me so much IC but have also really gotten my creative juices flowing by letting me bounce ideas off of them OOC. I love the fact that Koy's been able to build relationships with people over so many years to make them feel authentic - while I have the chance I'd like to thank the players behind Matt, the DoD ladies, Stick, Caedia, Harris, Kheld and Des in particular along with everyone else who've made my time here worthwhile.

I also find that since Koy won MoonBeryl I've really been inspired to write and delve into the complex relationships between the Outback's Opals. They are a wonderful RP device and I hope more people will get involved and further their ongoing story.

Any advice for newer players?
Stick with it. I know firsthand that it's tough to be new - I've brought around new characters and it can be intimidating when you're trying to engage characters who don't know yours. If I didn't know how much fun cooperative RP can be, I would be inclined to throw in the towel.

Hang in there. Sometimes it takes awhile for people to get a feel for your character to know how to interact with him/her. It helps if you have an idea of who your character is - if you can flesh out who the person is for yourself beforehand it will make it that much easier to play him/her in a packed room. If you're really feeling stuck about connecting with other people, I would suggest checking out one of the dueling rooms and jumping into a fight - you'll automatically have a chance to RP with whoever your opponent is and can work your way in that way. Then once you've gotten a friend or two, take them on back to the RDI or any other room with you - it's a lot easier sometimes for people to play with you when they see how you are playing with others.

And if none of that works for you, feel free to try contacting people in the room (like me) OOC to let them know you're interested in playing along. As long as you're not demanding things of people or threatening them, most everyone I know would be more than happy to work you into a scene.

A few words from Koy:
'Different strokes fer different folks,' tha's wha my Mama 'lways used ta say. I think tha's a pretty straight thing ta live by in the craziness tha's RhyDin. And when all else fails, there's nothin' wrong with punchin' a bub in the head ta get yer point 'cross.


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