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The Underrated Beauty of Fear RP


Unwillingly
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I’ve been playing LOTC for about 5 years now, and for the last few months I’ve come to realize something: I very seldom see fear RP. I’ve been part of communities ranging from sutica, the wood elves, dark elves, snow elves, paladins, naztherak, CA which I will not name, druidism, voidal magic, and I can say with confidence that there isn’t a single memory I have that stands out of witnessing fear RP, or fearful characters, of any quality or quantity — not even from literal child characters (on a similar note, here’s another tangent I went on regarding child characters).
                 

Instead of witnessing fear in a world that is the backbone of terror and anguish, we more often see characters who regard dark mages and undead with a sigh and roll of their eyes, who disregard literal genocide with a snide, petty comment or don’t even acknowledge these things as impactful to any degree. We see characters who put on a brave face and act like these things are routine— and don’t get me wrong, in the LOTC world, it is. These things very well may be common practice for some characters, and thus, fear RP may not be the player’s biggest concern, because why would their character be afraid if they see this stuff every day, right? But what about the characters who aren’t as accustomed to these things or familiar with the merciless ways of the world? Characters who grew up isolated and protected? How should they be expected to react to events they've never had the chance to experience the way other characters do?

Maybe it’s because some players don’t take these things into mind when it comes to fear RP, or lack thereof. Maybe the lack of fear RP isn’t because of their RP environment, but rather, an OOC desire to make themselves RPly intimidating, to be seen as a “scary” character, to be viewed as a selfless hero, and quite honestly… These kinds of characters typically just come off as edgelords rather than someone that can be viewed as an imposing person, in my opinion. Of course, this isn’t exactly black and white. Sometimes it’s more subtle, sometimes its way more complicated or even simpler than that, but sometimes you can’t help but notice when people try just a little too hard to make their characters intimidating and fearless. I'm sure we've all seen someone do this at least once.

 


There’s characters who are fearless, but then there’s players who aren’t afraid to be afraid.


 

These are players who embrace vulnerability, weakness, and fear in their characters. Players who aren’t afraid to see their character kneel under the boot of another, who aren’t afraid to show just how fear-ridden or wracked with desperation they are, characters that are broken down to their weakest selves. In my opinion, this kind of RP is 100x more interesting than being a heroic badass every day of the week, whether you’re the one doing the RP or watching the RP. These players will always have my utmost respect.

With that being said, what are your experiences with fear RP? Have you ever experienced fear RP from another player at all? Do you believe the lack of fear RP you have or haven’t seen is simply a product of the world our characters live in, or is it a result of OOC mindset? 

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no!! don't call me out for being absolutely scared of nothing because i'm super strong and cool

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the trick is you actually need to build tension so nasty it genuinely unnerves the players ooc to actually have any response irp, gotta do metagame fear techniques to get responses out that are realistic.

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8 minutes ago, ScreamingDingo said:

the trick is you actually need to build tension so nasty it genuinely unnerves the players ooc to actually have any response irp, gotta do metagame fear techniques to get responses out that are realistic.


real **** never use a skin/model never use pronouns use hyper focused imagery on weird **** 

 

you called it erotica i call it eating an apple in the city square i won it's your move mr. j

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fear rp is fun to do, unfortunate that people don't do it as often.  never enjoy seeing apathetic characters that don't have a reason to be that way

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i blew up ando alur with the boys and my thread had people going 

 

*huffs* so evil I’ll slay these people or 

*grins* sa’vi 

or *grits teeth as he witnesses falling city collapse* ill have my revenge *watches as his family dies and land turns to nuclear waste*


quality fear rp *gets excited when voidal horror appears, draws steel sword, slashes*

 

 

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I hope I can atleast minorly contribute to this conversation, and not be too rambley.

As of late, I have taken to playing a child character, whom has slowly grown up into a young adult. He is more timid, discomforted by new things, and easily frightened by violence with weapons. He acts irrationally when afraid, and tends to be more skittish and cowardly.

Upon one of his first outings from his home to the nearby Elysium, he had a scary enocunter with a ghost. He was fearful, and ran off. That same day, a separate ghost began whipsering in his ear and jeering at him, and he ran off. The next day, another, separate ghost began attempting to haunt him, and he ran off. By the 4th haunting, on the same day, he was tired, and given none had been a threat to him shouted for them to begone and stop messing with him.

Another time, when he was far younger he was accosted by 4 '100% unnamed' men needing corpses for some nefarious purpose- and though he was afraid and pleaded- they were going to kill him nonetheless. At this point, I noted in OOC that whilst I wasn't opposed to the RP, that most RP on my part would be effectively sitting there and begging for mercy while an evil uncaring force didn't care and brutally murdered him- and that such wasn't really all that fun, especially because it would have no valid impact on anyone involved, hence, It'd be preferred that such just be fast-forwarded through and both parties could go on with their day. The assaulters agreed, and we went on our way.

 

However, this character has experienced genuine fear in many other ways, especially with family and social situations, he is still cowardly and skittish, but every outwardly, or violent 'terrifying' situation has been OOCly a drag.

Fear in roleplay would be more interesting if it had much value or impact. For almost every scary or badguy group, they wish to elicit fear. And while playing someone who is vulnerable and willing to be afraid may be fun, in the context of 'big scary bad guy' it at the end of the day is unimpactful, and makes little difference. It becomes tiring to be afraid again, and again, and again. It isn't fun to emote fear in great detail for the purpose of vividly uncaring horribly murderous forces. If one isn't guilty for murdering innocent people, them crying and begging is not likely to add to that guilt.

Furthermore, it is made significantly worse by the overall commonality of these horrible evil forces, that it feels nearly impossible to not be jaded. We have a half dozen giant armies of evil creatures appearing every month or two, we have a quartet of evil dark mage orders, we have bandit groups and crusading nations attacking weekly, it just becomes tiring.

I have just stopped attending events and have no wish to start attending, just because everything is done the same over, and over, and over again.  Another big and evil goresmeared or eldritch horror monster. Another evil badguy group of animal or corrupted peoples. You see the world ended 9+ times and it becomes less of a horrifying and worrying event, and more of  'welp, time to move again' feeling.

Interesting, impactful fear needs to have some form of investment, it necessitates a response for being scared from the one causing the fear, lest it becomes just another 'Ooo uncaring evil thing who doesn't give a **** about you being scared'.
If a horribly, evil uncaring force of darkness was rare, than maybe it would be less of a slog, but its not rare, its every Tuesday just after dinner.

 

P.S. It never ceases to make my brain further ferment into a mush whenever I see a forum thread of a big event, or a large poster of something happening where people make forum posts of their character speaking aloud of their indifference. It is better form to show a character's indifference through not commenting than to specifically comment 'I am indifferent to this horrible or impactful happening!' *tosses poster into the flames.*.
 

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I have mini panic attacks oocly every time some type of conflict Rp happens to my character or around them, mostly my main. So, they experience fear and so do I and I try to Rp it properly. Though I do have other characters who just generally aren’t phased or don’t care about something scary. It has nothing to do that I try to make myself look ‘cool’ or a ‘badass’ oocly, I don’t like attention, I would rather be a side character, but this is just how I wanted my character’s personality to be. Either an aspiring fighter who isn’t afraid to face something scary head on, or just an emotionless kid, who could care less if the world burned :)

 

very cool topic tho unwillingly, I like this kind of stuff that gets a convo going. Good job! <3

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In my short time here I have noticed different kinds of responses, for the last month or two I have played my character Vukosav . For those who do not know I am a vampire and so, following the lore I need to drink blood every week. So my usual plan is I walk into an area, vampire form, pointy teeth etc etc. and I demand I drink their blood.

Fear is something both I and my victims at times do participate in and it is fun to be feared and to fear things! Usually once I announce that I am a vampire, pointy teeth and spoopy stuff I get two responses. 
1. Either a person is super afraid.
2. The person does not care.

 

From those who do not care, the response is the same. "This is the second time this week" or  "Just nowhere on the face". When such a response is initiated it throws me off balance. My emotes get messy and this scary vampire becomes a nice person.


From the people who are afraid I have noticed a genuine amazing RP quality, their fear overshadows them and causes them to run away, trip and fall or to be frozen on the spot! My absolute favourite moment was when I was locked behind bars, I had a magical ring that could summon bats and so, I allowed it to take its course and you could see these two guards were scared. I loved that feeling and in return I decided that I would also do some good ol fear RP.

Now when I am presented with a cross, I cower in fear. Fire and the Sun also scares me, it changes how I see every situation, I go from the evil monster to suddenly cowering in a corner or maybe I just wait until nightfall to hunt or even go outside. Children and spiders also scare me but thats just because I am genuinly scared of them. The whole idea of roleplaying your emotions is awesome and its something I have come to love about CA races, even ones as bland as corcitura. It gives you the option to flesh out your character because being scared of something really does flesh out your character.

As for vukosav being scared about other things that randomly pop up, like azdrazi, inferni and even ghosts, I approach it with caution. Because there is the fear of consequence and the fear of Death. After being told I am immortal, Vukosav believes he is immortal and so, he is not scared of death. This just means he is scared of consequence. His children might die. He might be tortured or worse, he might meet a blood mage who takes his sigel and coffins him or he might even be cured by a paladin! Fear no longer stems from the creature itself and how they might kill you but rather fear stems from what happens if they keep you alive.

But so far, the one thing I have noticed is most prominent in scaring people is when you keep your info reserved and your ooc clear and friendly! Though I don't do it often my best encounters if from people who I message first and ask "yo, are you down for some spook RP?". The usual response is a yes. Why? because it leaves a question in the air "wtf are they gonna do?".  So when you engage in the RP there is an aura of mystery, is this man a necromancer? Demon? werewolf? They want to know and so you lure them in. By first asking them if they are down, it helps keep the conversation friendly. Someone might need to go in 10 minutes or they might be having a really bad day, kidnapping someone randomly and having them not enjoy it leaves a bad taste in the air. Emotes are short, stubborn where they could have been magnificent.

This is why I have set out rules for myself to create a better RP experience! 
1. Never kill the victim, sure it will bite you in the ass but by killing them, the RP stops, it halts in its tracks. This person never interacted with said vampire, the Story stops and of course, people are more willing to RP if they know they will not die.
2. Be friendly oocly, when I go around and attack people it must be an experience for both parties involved. 
3. Be okay with losing. I have lost a few times in fights and I ask myself "how am I supposed to be a big scary vampire if I lose?" and the answer is found when I notice oocly that the other person thanks me for the RP. I might never be a big scary vampire but I know that today I made that person happy.


TL;DR
Fear RP is awesome! try it sometime.

 

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i fear the consequences of my own actions

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11 hours ago, ScreamingDingo said:

the trick is you actually need to build tension so nasty it genuinely unnerves the players ooc to actually have any response irp, gotta do metagame fear techniques to get responses out that are realistic.

 

i've been on this mindset for years, love to incorporate OOC shock, confusion & misery into events. it's like a horror movie that's not actually scary otherwise, something that you're supposed to say: "aaaaaaaaaah" to, but is too cheesy for the player.

 

this is also why the "edgy = bad" mindset can bite people in the ass, defenders typically respond flat-faced to threats of violence, stone-walling the rp. : (

 

@UnwillinglyI've run several events where players start spamming L-OOC: "I'm terrified, this is a scary event", but IC'ly they don't bring any of that energy. It's one of the more disappointing parts of running events.

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I quite love fear rp and the terrors that come with it. To be able to show your characters emotion in away that in special to them. It creates a whole new depth to everything that going on and you get the ability to tell and understand this person you’ve created. It doesn’t even have to be the big spooky voidal creatures which btw you should be scared of. A lot of the time I see people powergame their characters emotions through that.  And cool you want to fight the big bad monster but their is a point you have to consider- why did you join? Was your character a solider or are they a common man? Have you ever seen something like this before? And what skills do they have going into it. It’s is entirely funny for me to watch somone that has been a lady slice of life rper walk into a battle and become this vicious different person that is never scared. Key word different person. All the traits you made build up to this point vanish in that instant.

 

now there is ways to slowly ease yourself into this. The easy way is to list what your character might be scared of- and why? We’ll grab my baby Elizabeth for this example. Elizabeth for background is a highborn noble that from the moment born realized her family was different and death surrounded her. She is a sweet lady who is extra kind to people and tries her best.  Now from this we know a few things she scared of losing people, being ostracized, and death. Which unless your immortal or a warrior at heart /religion reasons we should all be scared of.  Long with these reasons of her getting scared and moving carefully around these topics she’s scared of soldiers and medical offices because a traumatic event that happened where they killed her family member. These little fears a character can have can be built upon and developed to give your character trauma. These little tweaks and emotes can expand your roleplay and give you a better out look.. more people should try it.

 

thank you for coming to my Ted talk 

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my problem with fear RP is it makes my character look like a *****

 

but since all my characters are self-inserts, that means i'm a *****

 

how do i protect my fragile sense of masculinity if i roleplay realistically???

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