Character Development: The Pub
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist
The pub/bar/club is the prime roleplaying spot in any game. Even as far back as Everquest people would gather in pubs to chat over beers, wines and a variety of other drinks. But why is this such a popular spot? No matter what genre it is, if you go to a bar you know you’ll find roleplayers.
Now I’m one of those who likes to roleplay no matter where I am. City of Heroes taught me to roleplay while fighting. Sure, you aren’t going to write huge paragraphs while you’re saving the world. But you also shouldn’t being saying a whole lot while hacking and slashing. Seasoned heroes, the types like my main who have been doing it for years, they’re a bit more talkative. And chat about anything you can imagine. But still the majority of roleplay takes place at the club called Pocket D. Sometimes though these places get a bit of a reputation. It is said the floor of Pocket D is a bit sticky on the Virtue server. While on the other unofficial roleplay server Union Pocket D is the center of the rping world. There is even a post on the forums for people to give daily updates on the various things that happen in Pocket D.
In RIFT the various inns and bars scattered around Telara are the hubs for roleplayers. There are regular roleplaying events held in them. People who go to the bars a lot become regulars. When one of the regulars isn’t there they’re missed and people ask about them.
On the first day of The Secret World the roleplayers declared The Horned God in London to be the main roleplaying spot. And even though chat bugs made roleplaying difficult, you could still find people there, finding a way around it all just to get their roleplay fix.
But why are these places so popular?
There isn’t any combat to worry about.
People want to be able to roleplay without the worry that while they’re typing something will jump out at them. In many games this is the only area where you are truly safe from combat. Of course this doesn’t usually hold true if you’re on a PvP server. And sometimes there is griefing that can happen in some games. But sometimes these things just can’t be avoided.
Having drinks gives people something in common.
A common issue with roleplaying is finding something to talk about to complete strangers. This is very much the same thing in real life. Drinks give people something to bond over. Did the person sitting next to you order a horrible drink? Tell them!
Tongues loosen when drunk.
Roleplaying someone drunk can be quite fun. They can say just about anything and even the shyest person will often become quite the chatterbox. Get several drunk people in one spot? People never shut up!
Communities are created over drinks.
A lot of this actually is very Anthropological and applies just as much to the real world as it does roleplaying. But in a bar, you share your feelings. You tell people your troubles and they tell you theirs. You show off pictures of your kids and their last greatest achievement. It creates a strong bond.
I don’t like roleplaying in bars. Why? Very simply I don’t drink. By extension a lot of my characters don’t drink either. Mostly though it comes down to me not knowing the names of very many drinks. I also don’t much care for roleplaying while standing in one place. It can be fun from time to time but eventually you’ve talked about all there is to talk about. The time comes when you just need to get out there.
It is often said that roleplayers are usually the best or the worst people to play with. The ones who are good are used to roleplaying in combat and have had to learn to multitask. But sometimes you get those people who are awful and can’t rp while they fight. So usually they end up only doing one or the other.