Playing the Hero: Section 4 Edit
Good afternoon, morning, evening, or whatever time of day that it so happens to be while you’re reading this little section of the SOTF Roleplaying Guide. My name is Adam Dodd, better known as the forum moderator, Korazon. Today, I’m going to be writing about how all of you prospective RPers out there can better enhance your skills if you’re thinking about trying to play the hero.
Now before I get into it, I’m sure a lot of you are probably wondering – what makes you so qualified to tell us about playing a hero? Now, I’m not going to tell you that I am more or less qualified than anyone – the simple fact is that nobody’s a perfect roleplayer, and everyone – the staff, the long-timers, and the newbies, every single person here can afford to try and improve themselves. What I CAN tell you is that I’m responsible for playing my namesake character in SOTF v1, and through some way or another, he’s turned into this ridiculous cult hero kind of figure. So while what I’m saying in this guide might have worked for me, there’s always the possibility that it might not work for you. I understand that, and keep in mind that these are just pointers; guidelines if you will, and hopefully they’ll help each and every one of us improve. Hell, I’m hoping the other guides will help me out a lot!
Throughout my guides, I’ll be referring to characters through literature, movies, television, and V1 as ways to explain and understand my points. I’d like to point out that any characters that I reference from anywhere are all property of the domain from whenst they came. So with that little ‘please don’t sue my copy write-infringing-ass’ warning out of the way, we can now begin!
Section One: The Definition of a Hero Edit
To be a hero is such a broad term. I mean, really, when you think about it, it is. It’s a word that gets tossed around far too often these days, and I’m not even sure that people have a clear definition as to what it means. Immediately when someone brings up heroes, often, people will think about comic books. Hell, I know that I do. But is that the most appropriate definition for the word? My guess – definitely not. I love comics as much as the next guy, but it’s gotta be more than that. So to clear the confusion, we’ll go to dictionary.com. The word hero has four different definitions. They are:
a) In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
b) A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.
c) A person noted for special achievement in a particular field.
d) The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.
So when you look at it from a purely roleplaying perspective, some of these definitions quite evidently and obviously do not apply. Most glaring here is the third definition. This definition is more or less directed towards people who are viewed as ‘heroes’ as far as excelling and setting examples in their field. It can also be directed at someone who is looked up to by others.
For example: My hero is Tom Cruise because he’s setting a great example for Scientologists everywhere.
For the record – I am not a Scientologist. Anyways, looking at the above example, we can see that for RPing, this is just not the kind of hero that we’re looking for. The fourth definition for a hero definitely has some form of merit as far as the fact that we are creating a type of media. Roleplaying IS indeed a dramatic presentation of sorts, so we’re good there.
The real definition that I’m looking for is in fact the second one. So listen up – you want to play a hero? Well, a hero is, for RPing, defined as ‘A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life’. This’ll be quite common in SOTF v2, as it was quite a bit in v1. What’s that you say? You want to play a hero that doesn’t get forgotten a month after they die? Well, follow me over to section two.