If I want to tell you about my roleplaying character, that’s dorky. If I want to tell you about my friend’s roleplaying character, that’s inspiring.
This time last year I was involved in the beleagured RP community for the Secret World, which is urban gothic horror. In TSW, you had these global conspiracies based on particular varieties of fictive representations of ancient conspiracies – awkwardly in the representation of Asia, but pretty great as it pertained to Roman era stuff. Particularly, there was an enemy faction that showed up at the end of the game, to represent a threat for all parties, the Phoenicians.
There was a lot of work done by fans to build roleplay stuff, and in this space, one of my friends, Leastwise, came up and one day started playing a character going by the name Hannibal, who spoke about the sea and empires and overcoming great odds. He was urbane, he was stylish, and he crystallised the Phoenician characterisation into a space that let a lot of us other players latch on to it. Hannibal was a humanising element to the faction and with it came such a wonderful personality. The twist? It wasn’t just Hannibal The Name, he was Hannibal Barca, the actual warlord of Ancient Carthage. And under that jovial, fatherly frame, Hannibal boiled with rage at the Empire, at the people who had taken his home from him, and he had spent centuries nursing that grudge. The player wove this wonderful mythology in the empty space of the game, and created a really interesting, engaging faction building on real histories.
At one point Hannibal, the player, by a series of successful negotiations and people operating on incomplete information, successfully took control of the city of Las Vegas, during a RP event with over thirty players involved – resulting in a coup for the Phoenicians that the player just pulled off by just listening and talking.
I don’t play TSW any more, and I miss, so badly, being able to play alongside Hannibal.