Nov 11, 2008

What it means to be a Druchii

Disclaimer: This will likely come across as a rant, as it's one of those thoughts that have been bubbling in my mind for a few weeks and have been pushed to the point of being put into words. Also, I very dearly love roleplaying and probably more so love the lore and background history that developers of fantasy worlds spend so much blood, sweat and tears laying out for us. I could rant equally as well and as passionatly about the poorly done Egyptological "specials" on the History Channel. It's just how I get about history and society, even made up ones. I also desperatly LOVE talking about my characters, their motivations and quirks and could brain storm OOCly for hours with fellow RPs and have done so in the past. None of this is meant specifically about any one person and as it's not posted on a public forum but a private blog, it is of course, only my thoughts and shouldn't be taken as law. (as if it would be.)

Nearly every roleplaying Druchii (dark elf) I've crossed paths with across two servers now has suffered from one thing that makes it terribly hard to believe their character.

They are far too nice. 

Druchii are not.nice. They may be pleasant in company they enjoy, when it suits their needs or when the person they are being pleasant to is higher ranking than them. They have absolutely no qualms about stepping all over anyone below them and do not give a scaven's fuzzy ass how you're feeling today. I understand that it takes a special type of roleplayer, the serious sort with a strong sense of what is IC and what is OOC, to play a giant ass hole. But if you rolled a Druchii... you ARE a giant asshole and I expect you to be as such. When a druchii smiles warmly, bows, asks me how my day is my character's immediate reaction is "What the hell is wrong with you? What do you want?" and my personal reaction is a quiet groan. 

In our day to day life, in sane normal human society we expect everyone around us to be neutrally pleasant. That certainly isn't to say everyone is (ha!) or that it's expected to be sincer. The druchii are not humans, they are not exactly sane either, from our point of view. The whole race and their entire society is not set up to expect everyone you meet to be neautrally pleasant. Druchii do not quietly converse about the weather while standing in line at the store, nor do the check out ladies at their stores remember your name or ask how your child's cold is doing. (Real world example, it's a good contrast.) The idea of congenial friendless is devoid in their society. When meeting a druchii of the same rank they are expected to be curt, cool. When meeting one of a lesser rank they are expected, by social stadards, to be demanding and dominering lest the lesser see a chance to unsurp you. 

My guild (Khaine bless them!) is both heavy RP and dark elf themed. I love them to little tiny pieces. Sevren? Freaking hates them all. She is however, the lowest rank of the guild currently and so does her proper sucking up. There are perhaps, three characters in the whole rather large guild that she mildly respects and that doesn't include it's leaders/officers. She pays them the lip service they deserve, but she is not personally impressed or sincerly respectful of them. She is a druchii. Respect is earned two ways. By outranking her (which they very much do) or by scaring the shit out of her (which they don't). 

I understand that as stated above, it takes certain types of roleplayers to be ok with being a giant arse. Some are just too nice in real life to feel comfortable doing it without the express permission of those they're talking to, or perhaps just don't want to. And it also takes a certain type to -get- that it's strictly in character. But if you claim to be a roleplayer, and can't understand that the guy over there threatening to "peel your skin back like a scroll" (<3> Korinth) doesn't actually want to do so, you need a more solid ground into your hobby. Me and my character are two very, very different things. Just because Sevren is a bitch to you, doesn't mean we can't laugh and goof off and be best buds OOCly. Prime example above, OOCly I respect the hell out of my guild leaders and think they do an awesome job. But with the heavy 100% focus of the guild I know that real life feelings do not need to influence my character. Because they're roleplayers too, and get it. I can also -hate- your alt, and love your main. Because character is not player. So be a jerk! I get it.

This isn't to say that everyone should be cliche evil. (No one should be cliche anything) Or that it's not possible for a semi-decent dark elf to exist. Too much nicey nice is ... well, too much.

I play a Druchii. I am an evil bitch at my very core. Sevren doesn't think she is, because it's just how she is, how her people are. I just wish more played that way, fleshed out their characters that way and got more into the spirit of their race. Because a lot of dark elf characters could just as easily be high elf by switching the "Blood for Khaine!" rhetoric for "Hail Asuryan!"

Also, I reserve the right to beat the everloving crap out of anyone who greets me with "Vendui" or makes their name T'Anything. (I'm only half joking about that.)

Also, anyone who plays a Druchii should be required to read at least a few chapters of the Malus Darkblade books. (And I am not joking about that.)


caliga said...

You make some very valid points, and ones I've concerned myself with a lot. I often worry that Caliga's too nice, though in truth he has some RP going on with a few guild members and he most certainly isn't nice. But the face the "guild" sees as a whole is a nice one, for the most part. I, as a guild leader, had to address a concern a member was having once, about druchii being nasty to his Zealot. I explained the situation and told him to perservere, but you can see how some people don't like it.

Also, there's nothing worse than a guild chat that consists of nothing but insults and bickering, which it sometimes degrades to.

For me, publicly I play Cal as someone who couldn't care less about any member of the House, so long as they fight and do what they're told. Privately he's, thankfully, a deeper character.

Ainilome said...

Pfft. I'm afraid you're nicer than I, I'd have told him he's playing a human in a druchii house and he should be glad we haven't sold him off as stock yet and if he didn't like it then perhaps a heavy RP dark elf guild wasn't for him :P

My prior guild actually had a portion of it's application that informed you if you played a lesser race you were expected to understand that you were a slave of the house and would be treated as a lesser. There was another portion of their charter that stressed that if I a disagreement arose between a dark elf and a lesser you were expected, as a dark elf, to side with your kin no matter if they were right or wrong. Everyone who joined agreed to both, and oddly, they had more non-DE than they did DE.

When/if I ever get around to playing my zealot or squig herder neither will have any problem being pushed around. It's just what I'd expect you to expect, going into a druchii house.

Sevren's a very easy going character with a twisted sense of fun and a lot of humor. Those things together make it terribly hard to make her deeper emotions and intricacies clear in public. And I'm sure to most she appears rather flat. It's sad that so much of the defining RP has to happen in relative private.