Character "Endgame" Discussion

POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:02 pm

I was talking about this with a friend the other day, and I know this was brought up in Questions & Help for one character on the old board -- but it's been a while, so I thought it'd be nice to have a discussion here!

I have seen many characters -- awesome, sometimes "favorite" characters -- dropped after the player felt lost for what to do "next" with them. Their lives were neatly wrapped up; they were mated to the love of their life, they had children, they were at a high rank in their pack. They really had everything they could ask for, and so many players felt their muse fail because there wasn't really anything else to do.

I haven't been here that long, but it does sound like a reasonably common problem that plagues players -- and I wanted to ask if people could share their experiences with this or if they have ways to avoid the problem, since I'm sure that might get useful for those who've lost muse for characters who've reached their "endgame." I'll chime in with my own thoughts later. <3

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tatter-winged phoenix
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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:29 pm

Hmm, very tricky. In a one-on-one roleplay, all you'd have to do is create an alternate universe...but on 'Souls...hmm, you could RP in Lasky, but~. Well, this probably isn't a totally good answer, but I do have some ideas. Maybe your character, after a while, gets bored of such an easy life. Maybe they can decide to turn over a new leaf and leave their pack (with/without their mate and pups). If you can see your character doing that kind of thing, you should go for it! Or, you could always plot with your character's children.

Even if they are older now and not adorable pups, you'd be surprised how much parent-child drama can be roleplayed! However...there is a time when you just need to let characters go, unfortunately. If you feel that it's really about time they die off, well, nothing can really be done! A nice thing to look into is to play another character that was related or heavily influenced by your character, that way you can still sort of have the joy of playing your old character, but also have a whole new world of plots and character development!
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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:34 pm

Hmm, I've sort of struggled with Tayui a few times in the past. I started roleplaying her in 2004, when she was a year old. She's turning 10 this year, so I've sort of stuck around with her for a while and played out multiple plotlines. I recall when the fire occurred, I was pretty close to dropping her, since for a long time, she was pretty inseparable from Jaded Shadows. The idea that she could exist without the pack was unthinkable at first. But nonetheless, I tried to push forward a new plot to explore new areas of her personality. I think that's why I've stuck around with her for 9 years: when I ran out of ideas, I'd pursue a new plot. So, when she left AniWaya, I felt sort of lost again. I tried Anathema and it didn't fit. So I thought I'd try and do something totally different, which meant the Sequoia plot and joining Salsola as a temporary plot. I planned it out with Sie, who approved it all (since you're not supposed to ever leave Salsola) and sort of took her to her highest extreme.

She's mellowed out, but I liked the warrior aspect, so I decided to make her a Guardian of Vinatta. c: She wants to protect what she has and when she's too old to fight anymore, perhaps when she's 11, she'll become a Scholar. I plan on playing her 'till she dies of old age, so I plan on sticking around 'Souls. We'll see if it works out! O_O

I still think I have a lot of mileage left in her because she's only just had a litter of puppies, which means lots of room for plotting with her kids! And of course, there's her previous litter, so if anyone picks up her other kids, I would be super happy because that means even more! But I don't think having puppies is necessary to keep your character interesting at all. It's a way to do it, yes, but if you rush into it or don't plan ahead, you might end up with puppies and no roleplayers (which is super sad!!) or you might get bored, who knows. It's the same for any plot.

Hybrid, for example, wasn't supposed to have kids, ever. But he eventually started feeling his age and saw them as a succession line, whereas Tayui just loves family. Hybrid I killed off because I felt his plot had come to a close and I was happy with what I'd done. Even Hybrid I played for a long time, but unlike Tayui, I was content to move on. I wanted to explore new plots with new characters, whereas with Tayui, I wanted to continue roleplaying with her. It really depends on the character, I think.
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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:36 pm

One thing I've noticed a good bit in terms of 'having it all' ic'ly, a lot of people will thread a ton with their least until they <i>become</i> mates. Than the threads and plots drop off in that regard. I think that can definitely be a good bit of an inspiration killer, Sometimes when your character has so many connections it can get a little stifling? If I want billy to go on a big adventure to other packs it may be perceived as abandonment to the attached characters/etc.
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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:44 pm

I had this problem with Insomnia on the old board. She had so many plots, so many things going for her, but I just had the wrong people in the plots. So I had her move to another roleplay site, which the same thing happened. I really had no muse left for her, since her whole life was basically drama, which was a fail on my fault.

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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Hmm, this is a really interesting topic. :) Since 'Souls plays out in real time, it often ends with the character dying, or just being perma-NPCed if not dropped. My first 'Souls character, Slay, fell into this rut. I had played him elsewhere on the internet for years prior, and he lived on 'Souls for two years I think, gradually overcoming all of his quirks and fears. He gained a high council rank, became the alpha's mate, adopted children and eventually was expecting a litter with his mate, when muse finally fizzled to nothing. We just decided to have the couple run off into the sunset and have their puppies offboard, because it was the only way to have a happily ever after.

No character can last forever, but I think a good way to keep interest is to lead your character in the opposite direction, have everything gradually fall apart again. This could happen unexpectedly, if their mate/children/whatever get dropped first, and they have to deal with the abandonment. But having a plot like a drug addiction, an affair, a demotion in rank, something negative they need to fix -- this could give them drive again, a reason to strive for something new.

Joining a new pack could be a great breath of fresh air, although this should be plotted in advance if your character has already achieved high rank in their old pack.

I've yet to get tired of Colibri here, because all of her ridiculous negativity keeps bringing up new plot angles and problems for her to fail at repairing. x) Sometimes being mean to your character is much better for your muse in the long term, since being nice and giving them everything they ever wanted could make you stuck for ideas.

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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:21 pm

I second the falling apart method for keeping a character alive. I have a tendency to create happy characters just to pull the rug out from under them :B But that's how life usually seems to work anyway, right? It's always a great chance for development, and makes them more three dimensional, in my opinion.

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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:47 pm

I've never gotten that far with a character. Usually something happens for force the plotline into an unintentional direction(usually on my part or my partners part, it's happened a lot equally between the two), so .. I've never come into ruts like this. My characters never get ANYWHERE. So I've never experienced "having it all". It's hard enough just keeping a mate, which has yet to happen, so once that happens and I can get to higher places then I might experience.. until then... xD but even so, I'm all for trying new things. Doing new things. I want dramallamas to keep things fresh and new, but not so much when it fucking ruins my characters life. Which is all that happens so far. e_e All I can suggest is what Tammi did with Tayui and try to pursue new plotlines with yer characters if you get stuck in these ruts. It can save yer character and it's really fun and interesting. It might seem impossible but it's really not. xD People just like to say so and so would NEEVVERRR leave but guess what, stuff happens! So even if you'd never see them leaving on their own accord, you could have something happen where they're forced to leave or something. I HATE seeing great characters dropped because "they'd never leave their pack/family". That's such a lame excuse to let go of someone amazing. It might be true but don't whine about it later because you have the power to make something happen to force them away and back into yer own hands. Just don't give up until you really, really have to I guess.

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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:04 pm

I love reading all these! :D

I've yet to encounter this issue, but I do agree with one point: conflict conflict conflict! Sometimes we dislike extra angst, but I agree that jerking your character forcibly in a new direction, even with minor conflicts, can really help out. It also really helps if you have a volatile character who would naturally create conflicts, or who keeps "fighting" to do interesting things and just be a badass.

For example, Vesper has zipped into a high rank and fell in love relatively quickly, and I worried that she would get locked into the "endgame" feeling where her only duties were as a mate and leader. However, I don't at all worry about that now. :D The plot with Myri, Ves, and the conception of their puppies added a new zing to the character -- though I'm lucky in that my character's mate is played by a person as awesome as Sie. However, even if Myrika wasn't around -- I know that Vesper would cause trouble for years to come, because her personality leaves room for it. She is arrogant and defensive about certain things, like speciesism or prejudice against non-Luperci.

The same with Skoll, though he's knew; at first, I thought he'd be the type of bland, "good" character to sit in his rank and have a mate and one litter of pups before I got bored of him. However, he quickly proved that he is overdominant and jealous and rash, and though he'll probably eventually cool down, I don't see him giving up the "fight" anytime soon!

I did have the opposite problem with Levent, however, which shows this doesn't always work. @__@ In his case, too much conflict kind of killed his character; he became nothing more than a ball of angst, unfortunately. D: Even leaving Cercatori d'Arte and his significant other did make things worse, because rather than being "free" he was still chained to CdA and wouldn't stop thinking about it. I've shoved him off-board and am giving him some more happy treats on the other side of the world so that, if I do bring him back, he'll be far more stable and have new motivations that aren't ruined by all the drama.

I also do agree that if you have been playing a character for years, it can be good to just kill them off -- more if you feel good and like they're old enough and have everything wrapped up nicely. That's more of an accomplished feeling than the difficult fight with muse I mentioned. ^^

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tatter-winged phoenix
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POSTED: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:57 pm

I've played Nier for a year now and my main plan was to get him settled in a pack, with a mate and have puppies... And that happened. It was great but I did feel that maybe I had rushed into it despite Niernan and Grace's personalities meshing so well, because all of a sudden I had all of these amazing ideas which never got played out because the relationship was a 'hard and fast' thing. Nier was starting to stagnate a little bit for me and that made me sad as he's the character that I have a real emotional connection to. But then Kitty left 'Souls and left Grace in my care as NPC to do whatever I wished with, short of killing her. So I chose to go through with having the pups and then to have Grace leave, so not only does that impact Niernan, it impacts the pups and the pack. So there I have changed Niernan, Teagan and Lochlan's futures with one decision.

But Nier is the one that I want to play on this board forever. I love him too much to kill him off and I can always find interesting things to do with him as long as I don't settle back into the old 'patrol, hunt, meet and greet' routine. If I can keep him doing things then I can keep him interesting.

I put a lot of thought into the creation of Baird, but I didn't really plan out what I was going to do with him. He was supposed to be an eternal wanderer, but he's settled in Halifax now with Harvey and Aoves. I love him dearly and I don't want harm to come to him, but I feel a little like I've gone against his original design by having him settle down. He does become boring to play every now and then as his life is endless meet and greets, so I have thought about spicing his life up by bringing a family member over, or launching him into romance threads *coughSebastiancough*. I'm still toying with the idea of putting Cole and Anya (His siblings) up for adoption, but then I'm not sure.... With Baird I always know that if I cannot play him anymore I can put him on a ship and send him off travelling again, as that's what he's wired to do, and then if I want him back I can bring him back.

I've thought about dropping him a couple of times in the last few months, but I can't right now. He's too lovely to drop and just starting to actually make friends. *group hug for Harv, Aoves and Sebastian*


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