Author Topic: Native Role Playing  (Read 3794 times)

crallbri

  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 473
Native Role Playing
« on: June 05, 2006, 01:55:52 PM »
Topic: Native Role Playing in Barovia


   We’ve been discussing in the Gundarakite forum this topic so that we will have a general idea of how our Gundarakite would likely be reacting with other ethnic groups.  


Concept:  Outlander

   We all know that 'outlander' is a term used by the locals in Vallaki and the surrounding areas to refer to non-natives.  The word ‘outlander’ possesses negative connotations frequently when used by native speakers of balok.  


Question:  The question we started asking ourselves and Blue was concerning other ethnic groups who are native to the setting, but who are not Barovian, Gundarakite, etc. etc..  Are they treated similarly or the same as outlanders who arrive from other worlds?  (Though it is not -ic- knowledge for our native characters to know about outlanders coming from other worlds, though they may hear strange accounts of the such which they may or may not believe.)

Our conclusion:  For the most part, yes.  Anyone who is from outside of Barovia is treated with aloofness and suspicion.  Vallaki is composed of ethnic groups.  

Majority: Ethnic Barovians
Largest Minority: Gundarakite
Two smaller minorities: Forfacians & Thaani
And of course: Vistani

These ethnic groups do not intermarry and stick to their own.  They barely tolerate one another as is.  Each natives within each of these social groups will treat characters outside their own social group accordingly.

Natives who come from distant lands outside of Barovia and the annexed land of old Gundarak are basically treated as outlanders.    


Factors that I take into consideration are: race, gender, class (are they blue bloods or serfs), clothing, and dialect.  Basically, if a character is acting like the majority of outlanders, then they are referred to as ‘outlander’ and are treated as such.  I have been chewed out a couple times via tells because my character referred to a “native” character as an outlander.  I think the problem stemmed from a misconception of what ‘outlander’ means to my Gundarakite.  

Basically, it is a mistake to conceptualize that all natives are one social group.  There are many subtlities to consider, which we are working together in game and out of game to help figure out.

We are still thinking about this topic and would like to open it for discussion, especially in light of what we hope is an increase in players taking up native characters.



ferf


A little finger...went to the lipless lips...of the bone masked face...'shhh…' it whispered into the dead man’s ear."

Ambrosios

  • Guest
Native Role Playing
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2006, 03:09:45 PM »
Looks real solid to me. As to the native characters, it was my understanding you need to be approved to play such a character. Did I misread? (If so.. -dang it- I would have made one........)

crallbri

  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 473
Native Role Playing
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2006, 03:22:18 PM »
You read right, to play a one of the ethnic groups within Vallaki (Barovian, Gundarakite,etc.) you do have to jump through a hoop.  But come on, be a seal.  The hoop isn't very small and can even have a nice splash in the end.  

Don't let that hoop scare you.  It is only done so that the dm staff can ensure that the character concept is sound and to offer any needed suggestions.  


For the sake of -potm-, if your interested in playing a local character, and want to see Vallaki become an area that has a pulse, write up a character concept and send it in.


ferf


A little finger...went to the lipless lips...of the bone masked face...'shhh…' it whispered into the dead man’s ear."

Ambrosios

  • Guest
Native Role Playing
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 03:54:35 PM »
Quote from: crallbri
You read right, to play a one of the ethnic groups within Vallaki (Barovian, Gundarakite,etc.) you do have to jump through a hoop.  But come on, be a seal.  The hoop isn't very small and can even have a nice splash in the end.  

Don't let that hoop scare you.  It is only done so that the dm staff can ensure that the character concept is sound and to offer any needed suggestions.  


For the sake of -potm-, if your interested in playing a local character, and want to see Vallaki become an area that has a pulse, write up a character concept and send it in.


ferf


It's not that, after a few servers on NWN and the,"Well why'd you get approved and not me?!" nonsense I'm leery of anything of the sort.. I'll stick with Albert for now thanks.  :wink:

Bluebomber4evr

  • Head DM, Developer and Ravenloft Trivia Guru/Community Council
  • Administrator
  • Dark Power
  • *
  • Posts: 20693
    • http://www.nwnravenloft.com
Native Role Playing
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 05:27:36 PM »
I think you're misinterpreting the "hoop," ferf.

The reason Barovian characters need approval is not so much to show that so-and-so knows about Barovia....mainly there are two reasons:

1. Having PCs whose home is within the boundaries of the module is a bit of a mess, from a developer's standpoint. Consider the following situation:

Player A sees a door that doesn't lead to an interior in the Residential District and decides that it is his childhood home.

Player B sees the same door at a different time and does the same thing.

The Developer of the module makes a new store and puts it behind that very same door.

Player A screams on the forums that his rp is ruined because his home was taken over by the Devs

Player B then screams that it was actually *his* home and *his* rp that was ruined

Etc.

It makes no sense for the developers to have to ask the playerbase where there homes are--the playerbase should have to ask where they can have a home instead--hence, the approval process.

The reason the only Barovian PCs approved to this point were Gundarakites is mainly because of this: the vast majority of Gundarakites live in the Annexed Lands west of the area presented in this module, thus avoiding this problem

2. We have tried, as developers, to make PCs feel like outsiders in Barovian society. Now, you can argue all you want about how successful we have or have not been, but the point is that this is the approach we want to go with. Again, with Gundarakites this is easy--they are looked down upon by the ethnic Barovians, who make up most of the NPCs in the module.

I also want to make this clear that this method of approval is only for characters that are native to Barovia. If you want to make a PC native to any other nation of Ravenloft you do not need approval.

Bluebomber4evr: The Justice, not you, since 2002

EO

  • Assistant Head DM/Developer
  • Head DMs
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 17387
  • The one and only, the one everyone wants to be!
Native Role Playing
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006, 05:34:27 PM »
But one could be native to say Krezk or other towns in Barovia which are not Vallaki/Barovia, right? If the only issue is housing.

I think that focusing on the native side can solve many issues Blue...native characters react harshly to magic which in turn makes mages real outcasts in a native driven society. It also forces outcast races where they belong, on the fringe of society. Furthermore, it creates a new more realistic and less high fantasy dynamic. No RDD natives is a good example.

Bluebomber4evr

  • Head DM, Developer and Ravenloft Trivia Guru/Community Council
  • Administrator
  • Dark Power
  • *
  • Posts: 20693
    • http://www.nwnravenloft.com
Native Role Playing
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2006, 05:54:49 PM »
Quote from: EO
But one could be native to say Krezk or other towns in Barovia which are not Vallaki/Barovia, right? If the only issue is housing.

I think that focusing on the native side can solve many issues Blue...native characters react harshly to magic which in turn makes mages real outcasts in a native driven society. It also forces outcast races where they belong, on the fringe of society. Furthermore, it creates a new more realistic and less high fantasy dynamic. No RDD natives is a good example.
Go back and read my post again. Housing is not the only issue...it was only an example of one problem that arises when players have a point of origin within the boundaries of the module.

Furthermore, as I also stated and am now restating, we, as developers, are trying to establish that the players are outsiders in Barovian society. Making everyone an ethnic Barovian PCs destroys this completely. This is not to say you cannot have a PC from Barovia, but it will always be a special circumstance and not the focus of the module.

There are over fifty different nations a PC native to Ravenloft can come from, none of which require approval.

Bluebomber4evr: The Justice, not you, since 2002