This article is a guide, a supplemental packet or how-to on the subject of roleplaying. It is not meant to be the absolute way to roleplay and is only based on the opinions of the creator.
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What is a Dragon?Edit
As taken from the WoWWiki page,
"Dragons were one of the first intelligent life forms to appear in Azeroth. It is not clear whether the titans created them or if they somehow evolved prior to the titans' arrival. At one time, their numbers were uncountable, but in present-day Azeroth there are very few left. Originally, there were many different dragonflights, with many different colors to be seen. The five most influential, however, were the reds, the greens, the bronze, the blacks, and the blues, and eventually most (if not all) of the other flights disappeared."
But what does this mean to you? Well if you're reading this guide then you took on the daunting task of Roleplaying such a powerful creature.
How do Dragons act?Edit
Dragons are suspicous of mortal races and generally avoid contact with them as much as they can. In most recent years Dragons have worked along side mortals to help drive back many huge threats. The appeal of being extreamly powerful and generally can morph into a "Mortal Form" when dealing with mortals. This form is generally extremly beautiful/handsome and a prime example of their race. One can see how being powerful and beautiful would be a wonderful thing to RP, since all dragons must be so popular right?
The Three Golden Rules of Dragon RPEdit
Roleplaying as a dragon--and being respected for roleplaying as a dragon--is no trivial undertaking. It seems that no matter how much time you've poured into your character, there will always be someone who will turn around and tell you that you're doing it wrongly. Regardless of this fact, there are still those roleplayers who not only play dragons, but are thought to excel at it and are well-respected for their work despite the fact that they've taken on this cliche.
How do they manage this without getting laughed off the server/out of respected RP circles?
There are a few golden rules of playing a dragon that, while they may rarely be bent in exceptional cases, critics of draconic roleplayers expect to be broken. If you're looking to develop a strong, rounded dragon character, then abiding by these rules will not only help your roleplay be looked upon favorably over that which breaks them, but it will also help you further flesh out what can be a very rewarding role.
Golden Rule #1: Keep it secret, keep it safe!
Let's be honest with ourselves...Dragons just aren't going to go around squawking about being dragons when they're disguised as mortal races. Revealing that one is a dragon without due cause can trigger one/several/all of reactions that you do not want to receive when you're taking on such a stereotyped role:
- "Oh, great. Here we go again."
- /ignore <Your name>
- Public humiliation
- Smearing your name around private channels as "just another loldragon."
- There are hundreds of these sorts of things, we won't list them all here.
Dragons have plenty of reasons to be hanging around the common races of Azeroth, but revealing themselves to be dragons can have all sorts of bad complications that a believable character would not desire. Being a dragon, these characters would most likely be able to forsee the negative consequences of revealing themselves.
Revealing oneself as a dragon goes beyond telling every barwench, stableboy, and Lich King about it, too. Dragons are very vain creatures in most mythologies, and the Warcraft setting is no different, so an incomplete mortal illusion would be considered a weakness in the dragon's illusionary abilities. In short?
- No tails coming out of your robes/pants/skirt.
- No visible scales.
- No horns.
- For the sake of the Titans, no wings.
A lot of people ask at this, the very first rule, "Well, if I'm keeping it a secret, why am I playing a dragon in the first place?"
Many roleplayers who take on this challenge find that keeping the secret is a source of endless entertainment. Sure, it's easy to keep your mouth shut around the barkeep, but what about the friends you'll inevitably make on your journey? Even dragons make close mortal ties when they spend a lot of time around others, so this element of your roleplay is not only a constant challenge, but downright exciting.
Golden Rule #2: Have a good, solid reason to be wallowing in the mud with everyone else.
Dragons that come around mortals have scores of reasons to do so! Here are a few guidelines on developing a good backstory.
- Don't base your story on a mission from your chosen flight's Aspect.
It's best to leave the big names out of it. Normal player-characters are looked down upon for having close ties to major lore characters, including being on missions for them, being related to them, etc. Dragons are held to that very same standard.
Being tied to an Aspect can be extremely tricky and difficult to work around, given the pace of the game with respect to the pacing of the lore. This leads to long, drawn-out periods of inactivity and can make your character boring.
- Make it a bit personal!
Every rounded character has his/her own set of principles, as well as fears, past traumas, and sometimes just personal business that needs to be taken care of. Maybe your character needs to get away from dragon-business for a while after having lost a favorite consort (that's a dragon-mate), or has a score to settle with that sin'dorei rogue who made off with his/her favorite trinket. Have fun with it!
Golden Rule #3: They come in all colors, but that chosen color is important!
There are a number of dragonflights within the Warcraft universe, and all of them have distinctly different flight personalities, motives, and attitudes towards the other races.
- Study all of the dragonflights to pick which one suits what you're trying to accomplish.
Want to be a ruthless killer? Don't call yourself one of Alexstrasza's dragons, or you'll surely have been struck down by one of your own. Want to be best friends with everyone you come across? Avoid the black and green dragonflights, because black....well, Deathwing's not exactly a Boy Scout, and the greens are highly reclusive.
Whatever your chosen character personality-type, there's a flight that it will fit into. That color's more than just for show!
The first mistake is obviously, admiting you're a dragon right away, to anyone. A point that cannot be stressed enough is that you -never- EVER admit you're a dragon. Never, no where, nope. Not one bit!
The second is godmodding. You are aren't a human, but you ARE still mortal. Not understanding this can ruin other's RP because of this. Even dragons can die, they're just as liable to be thrown into the ground as the rest of us, but it's just harder since well.. They're a big monster and we're 5-8 foot tall mortals, ish. The number one rule of RP is to respect your fellow RPers, by rolling a dragon to godmod around everything is just a surefire way to be tossed in with the collection of bad RPers. And thats why you're reading this, to avoid that!
Dragons are only really useful as part of a storyline. A dragon amongst mortals would never just wander about Stormwind / Silvermoon city looking for a good time of drinking and adultery. You are on a mission and it's your duty to get it done and fast.
If you use an RP flag mod (FlagRSP, ImmersionRP, MyRolePlay, or TotalRP as of May 2011), it would be wise to not mention anywhere you are a dragon, as many people would take this information and generally avoid you, or use this information to metagame, just as if you posted your characters origin, specific weakness, or etcetera. The best way to RP a dragon is to be as subtle as possible.
And you're probably thinking "Why RP a dragon if I can't be all cool and fly around and be a big beautiful thing and have a fanclub of lovely elven women/men?" To answer this bluntly, it's because thats not what dragons do. Dragons are not celebrities to the mortals. The best way to RP a dragon is to act as though you are not even RPing a dragon.
And then you're probably thining "Well, what's the bloody point?" In the same vein of "advanced RP", being a dragon is meant to add extra depth to a character, not be the depth itself. There's a fascination with hiding that people, in real life, have always found attractive. Keeping a secret while also being noble (or hiding the truth about who you really are) comes with the territory while role playing a dragon. Others may just like the lore, and want to apply it to their character in one form or another.
Final notes and ExamplesEdit
RPing a dragon is not an easy thing to do, reflected in the stigma that comes along with even mentioning it. It's generally frowned upon and is definitely NOT a good substitute for a properly written character. However, like any RP, if you are willing to invest the time and effort into it will be a rewarding experience. And, no matter how constant the lore gets hamhandled, dragons remain a constant, prominent, figure in the world of Azeroth.
Undertaking the responsibility is not for everyone. Those that do play such characters understand this, and know that in order for a character to be solid, their creator/player must cover all their weak points to make a solid foundation.
...And of course, no guide would be incomplete without given examples. This section, however, MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS TO CERTAINS QUESTS. Be careful of how you read this.
- Here be dragons
Krasus (High Elf)
(Lord) Itharius (High Elf)
Nishera, the Garden Keeper (Night Elf)
Tyri (Somekindof Elf)
Penumbrius (Blood Elf)
Baron Sablemane (Human)
Victor Nefarius (Human)
Mordenai (Blood Elf/Netherwing)
Nymn (Somekindof elf)
Yarzill the Merc(Goblin/Netherwing)
- These people aren't dragons themselves, but have aided/been aided by dragons.
Samia Inkling (Human/Black)