View Full Version : The RPG News ~February Edition

Weasel Overlord
14th February 2009, 07:31 AM
♥ The Super Special Awesome
February Valentineís Day RPG News! ♥

Hey RPers! This is your Weasel Overmod speaking at you directly from Valentineís Day. Hurrah! This issue we have, well, weíre a little bit thin on the ground here, Iíll be honest with you.

We have an opinion piece by Roy Karrde, an article on that popular topic of RPG romance by me, and an interview with Asilynne by Mew Master. Enjoy your monthly reading!

Where did the other genres go?
Opinion Piece

So I have noticed a trend lately in RPGs, in that swords, spells, and fantasy worlds seem to be in, while schools, guns, and transformations seem to be on their way out. Now having participated and created a wide variety of fantasy RPGs I certainly know the love for the genre. Some of my favorite and most cherished RPGs have been based around swords, spells, and fantasy worlds. But for a forum that always seemed to thrive on originality and variety, it seems that things have gotten a bit stale lately. So why is that?

Well I guess the simple and shortest answer is that those that used to excel in those genres have moved on. Kalad who I seem to remember used to have a wide range of modern day to military like RPGs disappeared a while ago only to briefly reappear. Virtual Play who was creative in his body swapping and transformation RPGs has been gone for what seems like years. PolHaruko-san who used to run a wide variety of Digimon RPGs left months ago. And with other genres such as High School or Zoids if anyone remembers those, have disappeared, as we have grown older.

So what does this mean? Has the forum begun to stagnate into a single genre? I would hope the answer is no. I can certainly understand people relying on a era and type that seems to populate so many RPGs from pen and paper, to classic video games like Final Fantasy. And even if we have, there are ways in which we can put a new twist on that type of RPGs, for example Kalahís short lived but wonderful Dragon RPG, blended a medieval era with a twist by having most of the characters be dragons.

That being said, I would hope for a bit of variety. Now I know mods have complained, begged, and pleaded for variety many times, and it tends to fall on deaf ears, as people tend to go with what they enjoy. But we are a creative bunch, we are an innovative bunch, a simple look at the history of the RPG forum will tell you that much. We can have our bread and butter fantasy RPGs that we love and enjoy, while branching out into new types, as well as some old ones. For example:

Horror: We seem to have never had much of this genre, but it seems to have so much untapped potential: Werewolves, Vampires, Evil stalking killer guy! There is so many different RPGs that could be spun off from this.

Pokemon: This RPG type seems to come and go, I know back in the day the mods would complain about there being too many Pokemon RPGs. But in the past this forum has seen a wide variety of Pokemon RPGs that went above and beyond the old trainer and pokemon team. Such as the characters gaining Pokemon powers like in Mewtations, or the characters actually being Pokemon like in one of my favorites created by Classy_cat

School: This genre used to dominate TPM back in the days when the general audience was in High School. But as such has disappeared into a trickle. With the bulk of us still in college, why can we not use that to create great RPGs? Some of the best school RPGs were those that melded the classic angst filled High School with another genre like Anime. Even some of the most unlikely such as Card Captor Sakura High School provided unique and interesting results.

Now I did not want to write this piece as a slam or attack on Fantasy RPGs, I love them, I have created many of them, but I also know this forumís potential and love of innovation, and I believe, I hope, that we can find some balance between those comfort RPGs that we all love, and innovative, new, and risky RPGs that we want to take a chance on.

Roy Karrde


RPGs and Romance

Weíve probably all enacted some sort of romantic relationship in an RPG at some point in our time as role players. Some of us more than others. *cough* me.

These relationships can, for some, be a way of inserting themselves into a situation (weird as that is, some people actually do it) where they interact with another character in a romantic fashion. I wonít be focusing on that facet in this article, however, cos it freaks me out cos it wouldnít be politic. I would like to focus on all the different types of relationship we see in RPGs, and perhaps give some examples where I think they have worked particularly well, and examples where, alas, they have not*.

As a starting point; probably the most common type of relationship is that of friends. Friendship is the very essence of role playing - every character gets along with one or more others, and close friendships often form out of a group exposure to a difficult situation.

However, since it is jolly Valentineís Day, I will not spend any more time on friendship, and instead move on to the Big R. Romance

We see romance in many, many different forms in RPGland; from kissing, holding hands, pillow fights, or even outright, potential sex. Obviously, if sex is involved in your RPG, it should have the Big M - a Mature tag - but that goes without saying. Often, romance in its traditional sense is not even involved (that being the old faithful flowers & chocolates & wooing combo). Relationships can spring out, once again, from exposure to a stressful situation, or from bonding over killing a monster together, or even, in some cases, from mutual hatred/dislike that turns into a sort of reluctant attraction.

Adding a romantic relationship to your character plotting can be a wonderful way to flesh out an otherwise flat character. If you donít quite know how to interact with your fellow characters in an RPG, a romantic relationship can really jump-start some quality posting. Cos letís face it, who doesnít like reading a well-written, fluffy, adorable relationship post? Well okay, some of you. Well okay, boys. But you get my point. It adds a realism to your characters that may otherwise be missing.

Because love is such a human emotion, it also allows readers to connect with a character who may be otherwise prickly, or unlikeable, and it also encourages that all important emotion: empathy. Because if your reader cannot empathise with your character or even identify with them on some level, they will instinctively not enjoy reading about them. It doesnít matter how awesome a character is, if they act too inhuman at some point they are going to be unlikeable.

Romance, or love, can also be used to give a very good idea of exactly what your character is like. Are they a lovesick puppy who follows their object of affection around all the time? Are they the strong, silent type who resists at first, but then eventually gives in to passion? Or are they the type to actively go out and get what they want, no matter the consequences? How your character acts around the opposite sex and, indeed, around their ďpartnerĒ, is very telling as to what they are like as a person. Well, not a person person. You know what I mean.

On the downside of RPG romance, however. Ah yes, the downsides. I went there. Sometimes less is more hur hur hur, and just hinting at such goings-on can do the trick just as well as if you spend two thousand words extolling the virtues of exactly how your loverís, ahem, length feels and tastes, &c. In fact, Iíd be willing to bet that leaving the naughty to the imagination is better by far - cos the imagination is a brilliant thing, oh yes indeed. Hur hur hur. Tastefulness is, I submit, key to RPG romance. Leave the other stuff to livejournal and me.

Speaking from my personal experience and viewpoint (and as a ratherÖ well, avid RPG romance addict), there have been many many examples of brilliantly portrayed relationships, but at for now, Iíd just like to bring to light some of the characters Iíve most enjoyed portraying with romantic interests, and their respective partners/&c.

The first would have to be an old favourite of mine, and the one I remember the most vividly; my character Morrigan, Emotional Faunís Tanť and Vulpix.ckís Marx, all from Chronicles of the Rift (the first incarnation, anyway). This was one of the many many relationships Iíve written RPG fanfiction about, although admittedly one was a birthday present.

Sirius fir Sterrl de Famfrśn and various other womanizing buggers are next on my list, if only for the sheer fun of writing someone who clearly has an ego the size of a planet and the good looks to get any girl they try (see: Dean Winchester - from Supernatural - for another example of this character type). His exploits in Darkness Descends will be ending in romance; you can take mine and CTís words for that. :D

And finally, yes, another threesome (oh god, I hear you all cry). Hotaru, Emotional Faunís Dai and Kalahís Akio are a prime example of the sheer fun you can have in such a situation. They have angst, denial (see: Dai), insanity (see: Hotaru) and genuine, long-lasting love.

And now, I shall stop wittering on about my own characters. Weaslor over and out. *salutes*

*Disclaimer: suggesting that something has not worked well in a post or whatever, is NOT your lovely mod being mean. It is simply her pointing out something that didnít work particularly well, and perhaps why not. Please do not take this as her being insulting, as that is far from her actual intentions. there, heh. As role players, we have a fine line to tread between what we want to read, and what other people want to read. You want a smoking hot gay sex scene, complete with rather shocking language and unnatural kinks? Fine! Send it to me! But Iím willing to bet that not many other people


The PokťMasters Proudly PresentÖ
Interview with an Art God
This month: Asilynne

Hello believers, non believers, followers, and those of a different breed. I am ~DR, the ART GODÖ with 6 followers. *head-desk* I return with yet another, wonderful critically acclaimed interview! From the annals of TPM history, and one of the boardís own celebrities, today isÖ Asilynne!

~DR: *Summons them in a puff of smoke and sparkles* Welcome Mortal!
Asilynne: !!!!!!!! *bows to the art god* Donít hurt meh! lol
~DR: Wouldn't dream of it. Welcome, Asilynne!
Asilynne: :-D Ty ty! Glad to be here *sits in chair and her entrance music finishes up*

~DR: Let's get started shall we? How long have you been a member of TPM?
Asilynne: Since Sept 2002 so I guess a lil more than 6 years....damn I feel old o.o

~DR: Not as long as some of TPM's more (in)famous members. Speaking of fame, you have gathered quite a reputation I hear...
Asilynne: Have I? o.o lol I didnít know that. I guess anyone would though if they were around long enough XD
~DR: I'm referring to you and Rudy.
Asilynne: Ah yes yes, we met on TPM as you know, and weíve been living together since late 2004 I believe. And donít believe the tabloids, I do not have a baby belly! XD

~DR: I'm sure some members know that you both met on TPM, and you're quite the famous couple. How did you both meet?
Asilynne: Its a funny story really. XD
~DR: Oh, do tellÖ
Asilynne: It all started back when I was in high school, around April 2002. My friend from HS, Sarah (who many people know as Kuro Espeon or Makura), was telling me about this RPG she was in called Dragonball VG, and the sequel to it called Dragonball FS. She knew I drew a lot, so she hired me to draw pics of the characters from that RPG. So basically, even before I met Rudy I was doing art for him XD. I wanted to join in the fun so I joined TPM that fall when I got the internet. :> Back then, I never came out of RPG. I joined Dragonball FS and SA, and got to know Rudy through that, but it wasnít until Dawn of the Blood Moon that we actually started to become close.
~DR: *rubs chin* Interesting. And you've both been together since?
Asilynne: Yesh indeed! In fact it was on April 20th 2004 when we first told each other we liked each other, now you understand that was a big thing for me since Iíve always hated, no, loathed the idea of online relationships. It caught me completely off guard when it happened to me. lol

~DR: Not quite what you expected, huh?
Asilynne: No XDDD I still wouldnít recommend people finding their bf/gf online though, just sometimes a fluke happens and it works out lol. But I wasnít LOOKING FOR IT!!! lol It just kinda happened, but thatís how love is I guess. :>

~DR: Good to note. Now, what are some of your favorite forums on the boards?
Asilynne: Well RPG of course. :-D Then I also seem to find myself hanging around Misc a lot. XD And Fan Art and Fanfic I pop into every now and then!

~DR: Anything you particularly like about them?
Asilynne: I consider RPG to be my home on the boards. Itís the place I have the most memories of and the most fun at. In Misc I usually pick whatever topic strikes my fancy to post in, and in Fan Art I used to show my artwork, but Iíve gotten lazy so I donít have many new ones. Now I just pop in there to request something. And as for Fanfic, I dabble in writing poetry so I hang in poetry corner whenever I feel like sharing. :> And wow that is a huge run on sentence. LOL Iím also a big fan of commas, as you may have seen. XD

~DR: You mentioned you write poetry. Anything that you're working on right now that's in Fan Fic's Poetry Corner?
Asilynne: Um o.o yesh. lol I just posted something in there this morning actually. Sometimes my poems are a lilí depressing though. ^-^() Mainly, in this one I was reflecting on the state of the world and how I wish things could go back to a simpler time.

~DR: Indeed. It seems that members of the boards have a story tied to their screen name. Does the name "Asilynne" hold any special significance for you?
Asilynne: Oh yes indeed! lol The actual name "Aisling" is an irish name that means "a dream." I used to watch the movie Dragonheart, like over and over and the name of the queen was Aisling. I liked the name from that, but I didnít know how to spell it, so I just spelled it like Asilynne cause thatís how it sounded to me. Later on, as I grew up and started to write my own stories, she became my character in a comic my sister and I drew together. Sheís a wolfling. And everything that was made during that time period was named Asilynne, since that was and still is one of my favorite names. :>

~DR: Insightful. Now why do you role play?
Asilynne: I first got into writing with other people with my sister when I was in ninth grade. Iíve always liked to write but sometimes even though I had good ideas for something I would be unsure of where to go next, so I got my sister to write a story with me. So I guess my first ever RPG would be "Beyond Hyrule" a story that we made up involving parallel dimensions and DBZ characters and crash landing on the planet that Hyrule is on. XD It was funny.

~DR: Is detailed writing essential to RPG posts? Or are shorter posts more useful in pushing the story along?
Asilynne: Detail is something you have to be careful with. If you add too little your readers canít see what youíre trying to show, but if you add too much it stifles the flow of the writing. A lot of people think you have to write out every detail, from what everyoneís wearing to how they part their hair or something. lol For me, the important details are setting the stage of where your character is at, how they are feeling, and what they would think is important to notice. I tend to get more descriptive in the emotional aspect and how the world looks, feels and sounds than I do about what my character looks like (aside from the facial expressions of course XD). This does have a downside though, because when I let my brother read my post he couldnít tell if my char was a boy or a girl because I didnít describe her in it. Lol But thatís what RPG sign ups are for! lol

~DR: Indeed, what would you consider your top five Favorite RPGs that you have participated in?
Asilynne: Oh boy, um. lol I need to think about thisÖ
~DR: Take your time.
Asilynne: In no particular order: Dawn of the Blood Moon, Dragonball SA, Sins of the Blood, The River, The Psi.
~DR: Any particular reason for those being your top five?
Asilynne: All of them had really good chemistry with the cast, we talked about possible things to do in the RPGs and just all around it was so fun to work with everyone in it. The characters were great and there were so many ways we could get each other involved. With all of these RPGs the story seemed to flow effortlessly, and it was rare that the story lapsed.

~DR: On that note, who are some of the players/characters that you enjoy to RP with?
Asilynne: Lets see, Rudy is too obvious an answer! lol But yes him and his many incarnations of Rudys. XD When my sister used to role play here, I liked to RP with her and her evil priest Roland. Sarah and Jennie (Kuro Espeon and MewtwoD2 respectively) are my RL friends so it was always fun to role play with their chars. Besides the people I know IRL, Iíd have to say the two most fun people to RP with are Frank and Kalah. Frank because his characters are always so unique and emotional. Itís really fun to do highly emotional scenes with him. Heís always ready with an interesting idea that I would have never thought of (even though he sells himself short in his writing WHICH HE SHOULDNíT XD). And Kalah because even though some of her characters have the same running theme, most of them are so different from each other that its always interesting to see whatís next. That, and also I love doing the older sister/little kid partnership with her (ala Retasu/Gorin and Shi/Go) :>

~DR: What have been some of your favorite characters to RP?
Asilynne: Iím not quite sure what my favorite character of all time is, but I know that among my favorites are: -Retasu from Dragonball SA. She was a half saiyan and I had fun illustrating her struggle between her human emotions and her saiyan upbringing.
-Myra from Dawn. At first she was just going to be an evil bad guy but as time went on, she got so much more depth to her and became a well rounded, fun char to play. :-D
-Aeryn from The Psi. I like this character a lot because I took a very deep part of myself that I donít show often and made a character around it. But the life she leads (living with her two parents in suburbia and not having anything but going to college to worry about) I based on how I kinda wish my life really wasÖ
-And finally, Dr. Brandy Bruder from Android Souls, though this RPG didnít last very long :< I really fell in love with this character because it let me role play something that usually people never think to do: someone with a terminal illness. I liked how this character, even though she knew she was going to die early, never gave up on life, and struggled against the pain rather than succumbed to it. Iím looking for the chance to play that character again sometime. :-D
~DR: A variety of characters at your disposal, I take it?
Asilynne: Yeah although few of them were guys. Iíve played a lot of different characters ranging from a blind girl to a vampire to an old woman. lol In fact I will be honest and say I like to make up characters a bit more than the actual writing of the story. :X lol

~DR: Is character creation important to a character? Is detailed character creation important to a character, sorry.
Asilynne: Lol, like in the initial character sign up form?
~DR: Yes.
Asilynne: I think detail shouldnít be overdone too much in a sign up. Detail is very important, yes, when youíre dealing with your characterís appearance, and somewhat with the personality. But as for history, if you donít have a detailed history in the sign up itís actually better for your character, that way you can change things based on how other people write. Itís also more fun to develop the characters history in game because then your fellow cast members get a little surprise too :>
~DR: Like cooking. Not too little, not too much?
Asilynne: Yeah and too many cooks in the kitchen spoil it. lol If you try and add too much into the sign up you wont have enough fun stuff to write about later. :-D

~DR: Who have been some of your favorite characters that are someone elseís?
Asilynne: Oh hm.....let me think lol
~DR: Take your time. Weíre not in a rush.
Asilynne: Liven Dinas by my sister, Shaka, is one of them, from Dawn. She was Vampire Hunter D's daughter and she developed into an awesome character, who was a brave vampire hunter but also had her own insecurities about how well she could do. Itís hard to describe. lol I also really liked Hela by Chiko-Sai from the River. She was a little fire spirit girl, so mysterious and so freakish looking but yet really innocent. Heald's super androids from Dragonball SA were awesome too, because no matter how many times I tried to foil them theyíd always come back with something my character couldnít counteract. Frankís character, Teran from The Psi, I liked a lot because he could make the plants of the earth do what he wanted, but couldnít bring himself to harm a living thing. He was also caught between wanting to live in nature and be with his family in suburbia. Thereís been so many cool characters Iíve role played with that I canít think of them all, Iím probably missing some. ^-^()

~DR: That's fine, no one can remember everything, no matter how much we try. So, what is role playing to you?
Asilynne: Well I think it would have to be forgetting about your real life for a while and, for a moment at least, living another life as someone else. Creating a person, writing their history and their future, getting them into trouble or out of it, letting them experience the pains and joys of their world. Kinda like playing god! (lol j/k at that last part XD)

~DR: I'll pretend you didn't say that [/sarcasm]. What do you think are some of the problems in role playing?
Asilynne: Um o.o Like problems you encounter while role playing or problems with role playing?
~DR: Either/or.
Asilynne: Problems you encounter while role playing would probably be well Iím not going to mention any names or anything.... But one of my pet peeves when role playing is when someone or more than one person want to do this certain scene, but they pick a most inopportune time to play it out. As in, the plot of the story as a whole makes that scene highly unlikely but they do it anyway. Ignoring the plot as a whole, just because they wanna hurry up and do it. It just makes the story implausible. >.> lol Another problem is when people play someone elseís character in their post, and they play them horribly out of character without trying to think of how the character would respond. Fortunately these havenít happened often in my role playing career. :-D

~DR: You've said before that you write, is there anything else that you enjoy to do in your spare time besides role play?
Asilynne: Draw, read, write stories and poems, make music videos (anime and otherwise), sing, play with my animals. :-D And play video games lol
~DR: Any big projects on your plate then?
Asilynne: Iím trying to get motivated to write my school RPG, but in between having to write papers for college, working, and training to be a dog trainer I feel drained. lol.
~DR: Believe me, I know how you feel.
Asilynne: XDD The life of a college student isnít easy!

~DR: We're almost done Asilynne. Itís been going around that improvements need to be made to TPM, or it will truly die. What are three things that you suggest be done?
Asilynne: Well in any population, when the population becomes stagnant and no new blood comes in its just a matter of time before a community dies. So Thing #1 would have to be we need to find a way to recruit new members, and when we do get new members, not be so cynical or condescending to little kids that they all get chased off, Ďcause we were that little once too. Lol
~DR: Anything else?
Asilynne: Thing #2 would have to be: even though TPM has always been about Pokťmon only. To grow and attract new people we might need to branch out into other things than Pokťmon (I realize this may be blasphemy o.o). RPG forum has already done this as you really never see any Pokťmon RPGs anymore, since weíve all either outgrown it or found new interests or invented "worlds" of our own. TPM might need to grow, so it doesnít become extinct
~DR: Is that all then?
Asilynne: Thing #3 is, and I know this is an evil word >.> but the board as a whole needs to get away with the whole politics mindset. Iím not talking about politics of the country or world, Iím talking about of the board itself. People take too much stock in whoís a mod and who isnít, who got demodded and why and talking about becoming a mod as if itís a big deal. It has gotten way better than when I first joined but I initially chafed under the bureaucracy that TPM was back then, because if I wanted to show initiative and create something to help the forums I was told I couldnít because I didnít have the authority. When I believe normal members can do just as much to help the forums as the mods do. This third thing isnít so much a problem now though, as this RPG News topic shows. I like to see all the members of RPG being able to contribute to the news. :-D And yeah thatís all now XD

~DR: Informative. Any words of wisdom or advice for new RPGers? Or members of the board in general (or old members for that matter)?
Asilynne: Hmmm words of wisdom! lol I would have to say, have fun, donít be afraid to ask questions, and to not try and copy the style of someone else when your writing. Everyone has a different style of writing and I donít think one personís style is any better or worse than anyone elseís. Writing is like expressing the contents of your soul for everyone to see, so just write the way you feel is right and you canít go wrong! Hm I like the sound of that. lol

~DR: Alright, and finally we come to the last question: if you ascended to God/Goddess-hood, would you destroy the world and start anew, let it continue on as is, or join a Pantheon with yours truly?
Asilynne: I would probably join a Pantheon!!! Destroying the world is just mean and I canít just let everything be the same as it always was because that would be boring. XD Plus two gods/goddesses are better than one. ROFL
~DR: So what would you consider yourself the Goddess of?
Asilynne: Well when I was younger I would have said the Goddess of Time and Space, but now I found something thatís even better. :-D Iíd be the Goddess of Balance! Like a yin yang lol.

~DR: Well that wraps it up for this interview. Asilynne, thanks for taking the time to speak with me into the dead of night.
Asilynne: XDDD Np. Sorry a lot of my answers were super long :X Thank you for being a good host Sir Art Godliness :>
~DR: Any time.

~DR: And we say goodbye to yet another (in)famous member of the TPM RPG bandwagon. I hope it gave all of you an inside look into the mental-clockwork of one of your fellow members, I know it did for me. SO! If anyone would like the Art God to interview them, then please stop by Interview with an Art God (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/group.php?groupid=15&gmid=97#gmessage97) and leave a message for yours truly. I accept humble offerings of art, drawings, and the usual ego-booster of idol-worship.

Until then! *disappears in a puff of smoke*



And thatís all for this month! I hope everyone has an awesome V-Day, whether youíre spending it alone or with a loved one. Donít forget; youíre allowed to buy chocolates and ice cream for yourselves too. :D

All copyright for the marvellous photos goes to Jaida and Rave at The Shoebox Project. (http://community.livejournal.com/shoebox_project/) Those guys rawk.