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Posts with tag roleplaying-lore-guides

All the World's a Stage: The voices of every race and class speak in RP

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

All the World's a Stage has been a voice for roleplaying in WoW for over two years now. I didn't quite realize it at the time, but the article entitled "So you want to be a bad guy" was just about at the 2 year mark for this column! To celebrate belatedly, today we'll review some of the other websites about roleplaying in WoW out there. If you like All the World's a Stage, you'll probably enjoy these as well.

In addition, you will find that some of these websites have similar, but unique pages with information about roleplaying the various races and classes of Azeroth. So for those of you who would like to have a reference to all these articles in a single place, I've collected them all together in one list at the end of the article. This list includes my own articles, as well as those of all the other websites I'm about to mention which follow on the same theme.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Lore, Factions, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Scribe

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-sixth in a series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay various aspects of the lore and gaming elements of WoW.

What is inscription anyways? I mean, we all know that it's the newest profession, added in Wrath of the Lich King, and it lets you make these "glyphs" which allow you to modify or improve your various class abilities in interesting ways. In gaming terms all that makes perfect sense, but when it comes to telling a story with your character, there are a lot of details missing.

Technically, a glyph is a character or symbol, like a heiroglyph or a pictograph, which we can see to a certain extent when we click on the glyph and put it into our in-game glyph interface -- it looks pretty cool with all those circles and lines and stuff. But what does it really mean? Are you pasting these symbols into a book of some sort? Are they getting magically tattooed onto your skin somewhere?

And where did inscription come from to begin with? Has it been around in Azeroth all along somehow, or was it some sort of ancient knowledge only discovered recently, around the time in the Warcraft lore when the Wrath of the Lich King begins? If it was discovered, then who discovered it and how? How exactly does a scribe learn these glyphs? Does he or she pore over ancient tomes that haven't been read in thousands of years, trying to decipher ancient texts? Or is the art and magic of it more in the artistic calligraphy of it rather than any difficulty in discovering or interpreting the symbols themselves?

There are far more questions than answers when it comes to roleplaying a scribe, and to a large extent each roleplayer is free to choose his or her own approach. What follows is the just one suggestion as to how you might work out a plausible solution -- please feel free to read it and improve upon it in whatever way you like.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Guides, RP, Death Knight, Inscription, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Engineer


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-fifth in a series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay various aspects of the lore and gaming elements of WoW.

Engineering has been my favorite profession in WoW, both in terms of its usefulness in the game, as well as its status as an awesome profession for roleplaying. Maybe it's just because I'm a huge fan of steampunk, but I find that those gadgets and funny things you can make with engineering have a certain style that goes beyond simple utility -- You just look at an engineer with his goggles, his mechanical mount, and maybe even some sort of robot or machine trailing along after him, and you immediately get the feeling that this is a character with character. No other profession can give you such a distinct characterization: you're not just a rogue, for example -- you're a scientist rogue!

In addition to that, most other professions feel like "crafting" jobs added on to the regular game, which they are -- they may give you better stats in one area or another but otherwise don't add many new abilities. Engineering, on the other hand, gives you a lot of special abilities and buttons to push, all of which can start to feel like a special sub-class for your character, underneath whatever class he or she already has.

In fact, as roleplayers, many of us play up our status as engineers as much or even more than our status as a hunter, warlock, rogue, or whatever. That engineering style is so persistent that it can define our characters more than anything else -- our own Palehoof practically defined this style in the column devoted to engineering that he used to write every week, before he lost his horns and his hooves in a bizzare scientific experiment (and decided thereafter to spend more time with his family). His commentaries on practical and theoretical engineering serve as excellent inspiration for all roleplayers who would call their characters engineers.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Gnomes, Hunter, Engineering, Virtual selves, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Leatherworker

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

At the outset of this series on how to roleplay one's professions, Leatherworking struck me as the most difficult profession to write about, even more than skinning, herbalism, or mining. This was in spite of (and in fact maybe because of) the fact that it was the first profession I ever chose in WoW. My very first character, who was a druid, wanted to choose leatherworking in order in order to make her own armor as well as prevent the dead bodies of all those animals she had to kill during her quests from going to waste.

At that time I didn't know a whole lot about roleplaying, or how to play the game, and I knew even less about the background lore behind everything I was seeing. I originally roleplayed with my friends that my night elf had been born in Darnassus, only later to find out that would have made her about 3 years old -- a fact none of us had known, because WoW was our first exposure to the lore of Azeroth. This was actually my inspiration for writing these articles, so that our readers wouldn't have to go read pages and pages of books and websites or play old and (to me anyway) less enjoyable games.

As I played the game more and more, the leatherworking armor seemed less and less useful and seemed more and more difficult to make. I also started imagining what skinning all those animals and then stitching together parts of their dead bodies would actually feel like, and suddenly I felt more like a kind of Dr. Frankenstein than a peaceful druid. It turns out, however, that I knew as little about leatherworking back then as I did about the game itself.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Leatherworking, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Jewelcrafter

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-third in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

When I was getting ready for my wedding last month, one of the obvious things we had to do to get ready was to pick out wedding rings. I'm not much of a jewelry wearer myself, but I put a lot of thought into this choice, and in the end, I learned quite a bit more than I knew before about the jewelry profession and how it works. It struck me as a profession for people who really love making beautiful things and who love interacting with people at some of the most significant moments of their lives (such as ... weddings) -- but above all, real life jewelcrafters struck me as people who love details.

Of course, a number of professions in Azeroth have to pay attention to details in their various gaming aspects. Deciding which items to make for oneself, which to sell at the auction house, and how to use your chosen profession in itself requires lots of details. But when you think about roleplaying, there's a definite difference between blacksmithing on the one side, with its broad strokes of a hammer on metal, and jewelcrafting on the other, focused on the smallest of cuts and adjustments that the naked eye can't even perceive. Jewelcrafting is the profession on Azeroth that requires the keenest eye, the steadiest hand, and the most attention to detail.

In some ways, jewelcrafting in the real world seemed like sub-world of its own, where jewelers knew special secrets no one else knew. They used these secrets to draw forth items that were at once dazzling and magical, artistic and personal for each individual that wore them. Jewelcrafters in the World of Warcraft have no reason to be less devoted to their profession, or any less proud of their ability to craft the most delicate of magical items with the most powerful magical effects, using the secret knowledge only they can understand.

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Filed under: Jewelcrafting, Draenei, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Blacksmith


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-second in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

Blacksmiths are known for being brawny folk -- hammering pieces of metal together is not easy work after all. But in World of Warcraft, even the smallest gnome or scrawniest elf can be a great blacksmith. Azeroth is a land where even the smallest people can wield the biggest of axes, so it would follow that they could craft them too, as well as any other sort of armor or weapon that they could imagine.

Typically, however, even in Azeroth, blacksmiths are, by and large, members of a class that can use plate mail and heavy weapons, such as a warrior, a death knight, or a paladin, just as tailors are usually spellcasters of some kind. So even if a blacksmith appears scrawny on the outside, he or she is very likely still quite brawny on the inside. Underneath that elf's pretty skin are muscles of steel!

Being a blacksmith implies a state of mind as much as it does a state of body, however. Working with metals is not something for the light hearted. The weight, the heat, and all the soot are not for people who like to keep their clothes clean at all times, for instance. It's also not a very socially-oriented profession, requiring long hours spent hammering away at something until it reaches perfection, often using lots of material in the learning process before you finally get one right. Blacksmiths of lore tend to be patient and hardy people, tempered and perfected by their work, like good, hard steel.

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Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Blacksmithing, Lore, RP, Death Knight, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Enchanter

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-first in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

Enchanting cries out to be roleplayed. It could be a kind of magician's engineering, or a more refined cousin of alchemy. Although you could certainly play an enchanter as another sort of magical mad-scientist, the profession actually lends itself well to a more gentlemanly (and sane) approach, where experiments are not so much about creating some sort of autonomous monster or mind-controling love potion of serene bliss, but rather altering the nature of things to do what they never would have done previously.

Enchantments have a huge role in mythology and literature. Cinderella's fairy godmother turned a pumpkin into a stage-coach with an enchantment, Hogwarts School's "Sorting Hat" famously talks to students who wear it, and the One Ring even contains the soul of Middle Earth's lord of evil personified. All these are enchantments in which ordinary items are magically enhanced so as to reflect some aspect of character development or plot in the story, and a roleplayer at the keys of an enchanter character can work similar magic in telling his own story.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Herbalist


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-ninth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

In this world of constant war, you must choose your weapons wisely: you may be a blood-soaked warrior with a jagged-edge axe of phenomenal power, a maniacal warlock with a lust for forbidden magical knowledge, or a ruthless rogue whose stealth lets him kill his enemies before they even know he's there.

You may also pick flowers.

Indeed, if you are either an alchemist or an inscriber, picking flowers is probably exactly what you do, no matter how blood-soaked, maniacal, or ruthless you might be. To you, however, the term "picking flowers" may be the sign of ignorance on the part of people who fail to comprehend what powers they mock when they poke fun at the exalted science of herbalism. "Let them have their giggles," you might say to yourself, sheathing your axe in order to bend down and gather some lichbloom, "I'll be the one laughing all the way down the battlefield with my Flask of Endless Rage! Muahahahaha!"

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Herbalism, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Miner

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-eighth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

Mining is one of the strangest professions in the World of Warcraft. This may seem counterintuitive in the face of such odd professions as alchemy, and more particularly, engineering. But when you think of it, mining is equally strange in its own way.

Mining in the World of Earthiness is by and large a capitalist venture, where the people getting rich off of the various precious metals in the world are never ever the same people who actually go out and dig the stuff out of the ground. No, the rich people find other people do to the actual digging for them, and then compel those diggers to hand over the fruits of their hard work for a mere fraction of the work's actual value. Furthermore, precious metals here on Earth are not simply lying about at the surface for anyone with a pickaxe to come along and collect -- otherwise those metals wouldn't be precious anymore.

Mining on Azeroth is more like collecting interesting seashells than it is anything similar to what humans do on Earth. Below, we will find a few ideas about why in the world only the very greatest adventurers with the best training can go around picking up shiny ore nodes sticking up out of the ground, as well as what it might mean to your character to do so.

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Filed under: Dwarves, Mining, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Tailor


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-seventh in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

Tailoring is another aspect of Warcraft which people tend to just gloss over without realizing it is an important element of your character's backstory and personality. "I am Zorlastine the wicked Forsaken warlock!" one might say, "I have come to wreak havoc and destruction upon this world! I also sell extremely large bags on the auction house!" Often it's an element that doesn't quite jive with the rest of one's character, but at the same time, nobody really notices. A powerful mage capable of teleportation, massive explosions, and yes, even KNITTING! Makes perfect sense, right?

No it doesn't.

So today we have gathered a few ideas for how to weave your cloth-wearing character's capability to create cloth wearables into the actual story and roleplay of your character. You think making clothes is a tedious profession? A pastime just for old ladies? No, tailoring is an avant-garde artistic activity of the elite, an excellent way for a starving hero to make cash, and even a mystical philosophy all on its own.

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Filed under: Mage, Priest, Warlock, Tailoring, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Alchemist


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-sixth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

Too many people roleplay alchemy as a glorified fast food restaurant, with typical phrases such as, "Would you like some healing potions to go with your strength elixir?" or "If you give me just one more herb I could throw in a mana potion too..." Of course, the game mechanics often put us in the salesman position. Limited supply and demand force us to compete with other alchemists for herbs and customers, so to some extent we may have to deal with the capitalist food chain to matter what we do.

But there's so much more to an alchemist than just magical boosts and bonuses! An alchemist has the potential to be the other mad scientist! Why should they let engineers have all the fun? Just because engineers can craft their own vehicles and whatnot doesn't mean that alchemists don't have something (or someone) of their own to experiment on.

Today we shall take a closer look at the depths of madness which alchemists are capable of reaching, if only they dig a bit into the unlimited supply and demand of the imagination.

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Filed under: Undead, Alchemy, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Hunter

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-fifth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

The Hunter is probably the oldest class in World of Warcraft. Before anyone in Azeroth took up an axe or sword, or learned anything of how to cast spells -- even before they learned to write -- they had to hunt for food. If they were like early Earth societies, the people of many nomadic groups would have relied on their hunters to bring in the meat they needed, as well as to protect the community from enemies. Back then, there would have been no such thing as fancy armor or complicated magical weapons. The relationship of a fighter to nature was just as important as the weapons he carried, if not more so.

Modern hunters in World of Warcraft come from the ancient tradition of those who learned to keep themselves and their families alive by living in harmony with nature. They learned the essential mysteries of survival in the wilderness, killing animals with stealth and primitive weapons, trapping them, and eventually turning predators and prey alike into friends and servants.

As time went by, those fighters who took up the path of the druid would learn to become nature itself; shamans would learn to call upon it; warriors and rogues would make battle their art, each in their own way. But hunters remained at that pivotal point between sentient races and the natural world -- they are connected to nature, but not manifestations of it; they work together with nature, but they do not worship it or call upon its spirits; they fight their enemies with the utmost passion, but they do it with the tools that hearken back to the dawn of civilization.

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Filed under: Hunter, Engineering, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Alliance Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Many of the most famous rogues outside of the Warcraft setting have been nuanced and exciting characters. Bilbo Baggins, the Prince of Persia, and James Bond, could all be reimagined as rogues if they had existed in Azeroth instead of their own settings.

As an Alliance rogue, you have a certain amount of freedom to borrow from other settings, or from the real world, since the Alliance races tend to be more similar to heroes of other stories we've heard before. To a certain extent, Blizzard has already based its Alliance rogue guilds on stories from other settings, and left some aspects of these institutions rather vague. There is certainly enough room for roleplayers to fill in a bit of the blanks with their own creative inspiration. The only danger is that it could be easy to overdo it and descending into Mary-Sueism: one ought to feel free to reach for a bit of the flavor of James Bond, for instance, without ever believing your character is the single best secret agent Stormwind could ever have.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Rogue, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Horde Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-third in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Any class needs its role models. Rogues don't have all that many great heroes from lore, but the ones they do have stand out, especially for the prominence of women in this class.

Garona Halforcen is probably the most famous of rogue protagonists, one of the main characters of the original Warcraft I storyline that launched the whole Warcraft series. She's been strangely missing ever since the end of the First War, actually, but it seems that she is finally making her comeback to the story in the World of Warcraft Comic Book. Her full story is best left for others to tell (such as the immensely talented Elizabeth Wachowski, or the mysterious collective mind known as WoWWiki), but for now, suffice it to say that she represents a lot of what makes rogues who and what they are. Here's a few reasons why:
  • She's incredibly cool.
  • She doesn't talk about how incredibly cool she is.
  • She has conflicted loyalties, neither all good nor all bad.
  • There's so much we don't know about her, and so much we want to discover.
  • She's something of a lone wolf, extremely independent and active.
  • Her skill with words was just as important as her skill with weapons.
  • She has a great wealth of complicated emotions and ideas that drive her deeper into the story.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-second in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Rogues are the masters of shadows. While two other classes actually use the shadow as a source of magical power, it's the Rogue who can potentially live and breathe the shadow, and make it an essential part of who he or she is what he or she does.

"The Shadow" as a concept, could mean a number of different things to your character, however -- anything from literal shadows that he or she might disappear in, to underground networks, knowledge of the street, and secret societies few others know about. An advanced rogue might even possess an intimate relationship with "the Shadow" as a mystical force he can wrap around himself in as a kind of cloak, or step through the shadows to appear behind his enemy in a flash.

In fact, your rogue may not even use the term "shadow" at all, and may simply think of himself as a simple bandit, thief, pickpocket, detective, scout, special agent, assassin, bank-robber, or even a venture capitalist. In fact, the Rogue class is suitable as a broad catch-all class for a number of seemingly unrelated character types, from a court jester to a penniless tourist.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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