From The Ground Up (FTGU) is a series of posts based around character creation and roleplay, building from the ground up, obviously. In this post we’re going to talk about your characters story and their development and how to do that. But if you have missed any parts this far you can catch up with them here:
If you’ve been keeping up with the From The Ground Up series then you may have an idea in mind for your character concept, you may even have a decently fleshed out character at hand, perhaps you have rolled up an avatar perhaps you haven’t yet, but in this installment I’m going to briefly touch the surface of how avatar ‘class’ can reflect into your role-play. If you haven’t caught the previous installments you can catch up below:
Some people will use their class as the be-all and and-all of their role-play, all the way down to using only the skills outlined in their spell-books and action bars in their RP. But those skills are created by Blizzard to balance a video game, not to pay acute homage to the lore, they are game mechanics that often times do not function overly well in RP. That said the degree of affect your class can have over your character is a sliding scale rather than a set value. You have eleven classes on offer when you create a character depending on the race you choose; but think about it honestly, in life there is not eleven pre-set roles that everyone In the world slots into so while it is always good to tie your concept to your class for functionality, it does not I believe need to be locked in and limiting.
For example you could be role-playing a merchant, a blacksmith, or a tutor. Which in itself adds more variety to the game and to the community at large. So how to choose and what to think about when selecting a class for your role-play character? I have below listed all the classes available for play in World of Warcraft at the moment, and given you a brief summary of their limits and variations to hopefully help you find which one best suits your concept.
Death Knight Class
Death Knights are one of the more restricted classes as it does set certain pre-sets on your role-play; being dead for example. Whatever you do in RP please don’t be one of those people that have ‘not-dead-IC’ DK’s. Death Knights are undead, they are also ‘unfeeling’ to a degree in that to the best of my understanding they feed off negative emotions, suffering and pain but are untouched by anything else. However while limiting that in itself can prove interesting, it opens doors for a hundred different shades of redemption story. There is also potentially some flexibility in what generation of Death Knight your character is, but that will be its own topic entirely.
Only blood elves, draenei, dwarves, humans and taurens can be armour wearing Light-benders. So if rolling one of these it is a good idea to have the Light featuring somewhere in their story, be it a case of them being devout, begrudging, a rising trainee or a slipping veteran. There are several spins you can take on that aspect along and several plot mechanic you can breed from their ability and relationship with the Light itself, to farther deepen the opportunity they could also be or have been affiliated with one of the Light-user groups, the Scarlet Crusade, The Silver Hand, The Blood Knight Order, The Argent Dawn, and then the Argent Crusade.
Warriors are one of the most flexible classes to fit around more outlandish or unusual concepts, as they do not have any pre-made ties and bonds as it were. They are soldiers, fighters, brawlers; any character that can hold their own and can display some fighting ability could easily work as a warrior class and it is commonly used for all manner of mercenaries and sell-swords.
Only four races can be druids; trolls, tauren, night elves and worgen. Which somewhat limits your flexibility with them. But the class itself is very interesting and hold a host of different faucets depending on the race you choose to play it with. The trolls for example consider their shape-shifting a boon from the Loa gods they worship, taking their form to fight in their name. The tauren consider it more of a communing with the Earth Mother and taking on a form of nature, similar to the night elves. So there are various paths to take with druids even then, and you can always adjust the scale of ability to make it more interesting; perhaps your character is a troll that struggle to shape-shift due to a waning disillusionment with his Loa?
All races can have shamans save the blood elves, worgen, humans and gnomes. Shamans are spiritual visionaries of tribes and clans, a hybrids of priests and seers they commune with spirits and forces invisible to normal eyes and draw their power from that. In the trollish culture they are called witch doctors for their dabbling and revered. Another versatile tool for any of the more tribal character concepts. They are also revered in orcish culture and tauren.
Everyone can be a hunter save gnomes and they are one of the most versatile classes for almost any concept, a range of skills, a range of ability and a very flexible manner in which to meld that into any kind of story or character. Hunters could be anything from travellers to merchants, game hunters to bounty hunters, soldiers and sell-swords. Beast tamers even. The options are almost endless for their skills range from animal-kinship to archery, and even to basic tracking, and survival skills that a character could have learned or adopted in a hundred different ways.
Draenei and tauren cannot be rogues but for every other race this is the usually adopted go-to class for any level of civilian or non-hero character concepts, and particularly those that require more sleight of hand and quick of wit styles characters. They can range from assassins to street thieves, crafters, merchants and traders. Rogues can be about anything in a role-play concept, save obviously the more niched ideas like a powerful mage, or priest, as they don’t have any magic to speak of unless they are of elven race.
Goblins and Worgens are the only races that cannot have Monks. Monks are relatively new, another hybrid class that can be and do many things. Their role-play aspect however is focused around mediation and martial training. They harness chi, which is like a natural life force of the world, and are all about peace and calm and balance. As for how you could use that IC, it would depend on the race and the character concept as to how to work it. Chi not so much a magic like Arcane and Light, as far as I am away but more like a belief of balance and life-force and energy.
Tauren cannot be Mages, Night elves couldn’t either until recently but they have since taken up the class. Mages can also range over a wide variety of things, from fledging to expect, someone actively studying or perhaps someone cast out with what meagre skill they had. Depending on the race too, you can do different things with it, for example all elves are inherently magical, so you can work that alongside a mage toon in any manner really, and their Spire based ‘government’ (in the loosest sense of the word) is likely to have hired magically adept souls in all manner of official and administrative roles.
Orc’s cannot be priests, but other races can and like the Paladin, priests are to some degree bound to the Light. But how tightly and how affluently can be decided by yourself and your character. They could be a temple bound light worshipper or they could be a hermit hedge priest travelling from town to town healing the needy, or anything in between.
Draeni, Night Elves, Tauren and Pandaren cannot be Warlocks. Warlocks are like Mages in a way but they have turned to darker magic’s; fel and demons. There are somewhat limited in that if you are playing a warlock you likely have to account for their connection to dark magic’s, but it should be noted that there is flexibility in this; think about how your character got into such things in the first place, choice? Accident? Misled? How deep did they go and how skilled are they? Are they in control of their magic’s and their demons or vice versa? Too many people assume warlocks are inherently evil and bad and that is not the case, there is of course mileage in the corruption story but they could also be scholars, power seekers, knowledge seekers, artifact hunters, all manner of routes could come from and awareness and affinity for such magic’s.
All in all there is enough variety in class that I doubt there is much that cannot be slotted in neatly to one or the other. The crux comes with play style. Some people like their RP main to be their game play main as well, and so their class choice is limited to classes they enough playing. Then again some people like having their RP characters separate from the game play toons. That is all down to personal preferences but it is a note to be considered when trying to pick the right class for your character and the right combination for yourself.
What class do you role-play and how does it affect your role-play? Let me know in the comments below!