in the Shadow of Greatness

 

December 19, 2006

Celina: shaping the shore, one wave at a time

One facet of immersive characters is the notion of develop in play or organic discovery. If there is no outline, no future beyond the "removing layers of stuff not the character", then you find yourself (as creator) trying to peek over the shoulder of the character with an eye towards getting a glance at their journal or some roadmap.

So what about the hero's journey myth? Can you really manage a character when you don't know them? When they don't know themselves? Is develop in play ultimately lazy role-playing? Certainly you can paint yourself into a nasty corner by making a single scene 'wow with drama' and at the same time dashing aside principles that you've held fast for the character so far.

There is a moment somewhere along the journey where the character sees themself in a mirror of circumstance and chooses to take a stand or choose focus. The travel and changes start to make sense and place the character in a greater (or mythic) context.

Celina may have arrived. More likely she's been struggling to walk ashore against a powerful undertow since meeting Merlin and Corwin.

Discovered now in-game is a young girl: Amala. Working to do the right thing by her elders and House, this girl is a knowing agent, but how much does she really know? Well, Celina believes Amala is a pawn in harm's way.

Amala viewed as a mirror analog for Celina. Images and mirrors and dreams flood Celina's life right now.

Does innocence have a mystic protective value? Does what you know really hurt you more or keep you safer? Is that answer different for mortals versus amberites?

And thereby Celina might just recognize that her life is rapidly soaring away from where she has stood and believed she stands. If she can still chase her blooming emotional goals but hold onto some of her young ideals, she might survive as a person with self-respect.

By the lights of the family blood, you have to earn your knowledge, not have it handed to you by your parents. What's the value of things given up without personal cost? Is Celina going to give knowledge away? And so is she going to expose naive young women to danger or warn them off? Can either choice really be predictable?

Can any choice be a good one when the center unravels?


Filed under : Amber at 19.12.2006
comments
JP says...

I am intrigued by the phrase, "manage a character." Many of the ongoing games I've been involved with tend to focus on a plot that is not directly related to the player characters. I've also observed others playing characters that are more immersive and seem to take on a life of their own. I've never gotten the impression that those characters lead a "managed" life though. I'm going to have to ponder this more, however....in response to the question about whether or not you can manage a character's life when you don't fully know them: I ask myself this question everday in real life. :-)

Posted December 28, 2006 4:54 AM
Arref says...

Oh, that's a very good point, isn't it?

I believe that immersive/organic PCs can be 'managed' and not only experienced in the moment.

I think that would be Player as caretaker ambassador speaking for a monarch, who is the actual PC.

Posted December 28, 2006 8:35 AM