Award Timothy is December's Featured Character!

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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Gossamer on December 1st, 2014, 10:33 pm

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Hello Fellow Mizaharians!



Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Regional Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Character of the Month December 2014 is Timothy Mered. Timothy is one of Mizahar's very rare child PCs. He's only 11 years old and has had a rocky background. The player has some challenges playing a child and that's why we decided to interview him. Fantastically written, Tim's evolution has been something many of us have watched with great interest. Formerly of Sunberth, recently of Kenash, Timothy is a boy on the move and in transition. Please take a moment to read his interview below and congratulate him on this prestigious award.


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The Interview

1. What made you decide on a child PC verses a PC that had already reached maturity? What are the main differences between playing a child and playing an adult that you’ve found? Do you have to approach things differently?

1. It’s a tough question as there are many things that made me decide to go with a child rather than an adult. First and foremost, writing –realistically- from a child’s POV is a challenge, one I was eager to take on. Adults can be difficult to tackle for all kinds of reasons, whereas for children, it’s hard to get the voice exactly right. On the one hand I try to portray a sense of naivety and curiosity that practically all children have while, on the other, I try not to tip the scales too much and dumb Timothy down to a blabbering, two-dimensional cookie-cutter child character that’s only there for Spielbergian effect. Too often children are written either too smart to be convincing, or too stupid. I won’t pretend I can do better, but I damn sure will try!

Secondly, I discovered that there were hardly any child PCs on Mizahar, so I thought it would be both interesting for me, and for Mizahar as a whole, to make one (win-win)!

Thirdly, I am just a sucker for coming-of-age stories so I thought this would be a nice opportunity to try and write my own. An added benefit I realized only weeks into making him is that Timothy could potentially master certain skills whilst still being a teenager. It’s a cool, funny thought, but should it come down to it, I’ll probably underplay his abilities to account for his youth.

Lastly, my approach to Timothy is different (as opposed to how I would write an adult) in the sense that I want to avoid falling into the trap of melodrama at all costs. That’s why I’ve tried to include a good, relatively happy moment for every bad thing that happens to him. Being a child, it also means I will steer clear from certain topics, though this hasn’t hindered or limited me in any way yet. Lastly, a child is naturally more vulnerable and perhaps you would expect me to steer him away from danger. Well…when do any of us writers steer their characters away from danger? :P

2. Why did you pick slavery for your PC? Is it because Timothy is all alone? How do you go about finding an owner? Do you prefer PC owners over NPC owners and why?

I picked slavery because I felt it would allow for a lot of character development in a short amount of time. I can't predict if a character will work for me until I put him, or her, into a situation and test the waters. It's also a rags to riches kind of thing; I had a few lofty goals in mind when I started, such as becoming a Syliran Knight, but there's no story there without an obstacle to prevent him from achieving that goal. Granted, I could have gone about it differently but Kenash really appealed to me and I felt that having Timothy at rock-bottom from the start would give me the most space to allow him to grow. I hope he will become a Knight eventually, but he'll have to earn it.

As for finding an owner, I just read a couple of threads in Kenash, came across Jed/Neo and asked her if she was interested in taking Timothy on. She was, and the rest is history. The only thing I wanted to ensure was that Timothy's owner would be a PC. If I would've had to NPC his owner I would've stopped a long time ago as I thrive off what the other player(s) bring to the table. That's also why it takes me ages to get through solos (I want that shiny xp though :P).

3. What initially drew you to Mizahar? And along that line, why did you stay?

It being the Writer's RP. And that is really what it is, to me at least. It doesn't take a genius to see that the plots, characters, lore and just about everything else here is on another level. On other RP forums you get to meet maybe one or two people who sink as much time and effort into their posts as you do. Over here, it is very clear that everyone puts time, thought and effort into their writing and that's what makes this place a gem to me. What made me stay were the people in Kenash who plotted with me and helped me along the way, Jed Radacke in particular. She's a great partner and we bounced a lot of ideas. That certainly kept me going!

Currently, I am just enjoying myself so much and my mind is buzzing with plots, and I still have so many interesting places and people to visit! I like to sometimes just click on a random character and read their CS. More than once I've been intrigued to the point where I start reading entire threads, so that's also something that keeps me here.

4. Is playing a cheerful bright child easy in the face that your PC is on his own and enslaved? Have you found Timothy’s personality has changed over the time that you’ve played him and the circumstances he’s been in?


Timothy's personality has definitely changed over time. In hindsight, he was probably already much less cheerful when he arrived in Kenash than how I envisioned him in his CS. Let's just say that Tim certainly has the capacity to be cheerful, and it has flared up a few times now, but there just hasn't been much to be cheerful about. After two seasons in Kenash, there have been a few noticeable changes: he has grown more quiet, reserved, and more adept at hiding his emotions, probably a little bit thinner too. All thanks to Jed Radacke ;)

Little cheesy thing I did: Mered means rebellious, and that certainly showed when I first started playing him, but I've muted those tendencies as time went on.

5. How did you justify a child PC surviving in Sunberth and being raised under that environment? Did you find that challenging or was that the reason you picked that setting? Would another one have worked better?

Well, even in the festering, rotting shykehole that is Sunberth, some children are bound to survive beyond their most fragile years. I’ve tried to represent this survivability by giving Timothy a good deal of points in Endurance from the get-go. I’ll probably have to equip some plot armor to explain why he has remained a goody two-shoes despite his surroundings, but I don’t see too many issues there.

Another reason I picked Sunberth was because I felt that would explain his anti-authorial, rebellious side. He is a goody two-shoes but the culture he was born into has, of course, still rubbed off on him. As such, I don't think any other location would've worked as well. Ravok would've obliterated his faith in Yahal and I must confess I just felt attracted to the swampy mess that is Sunberth.

6. Timothy seems like hes a very faithful little boy. What drew him to Yahal and why is he so steadfast in his belief of this diety?

Faith was always a part of Timothy as his first name means "To Honor God". Yeah, it's a little cheesy I attached meaning to both his first and surname, but I guess it shows that both his faithful side and rebellious side were part of him from the beginning.

While there are many things about Timothy that arose from within, the decision to make him a follower of Yahal was an OOC one, though it does make sense in his story so far. From a story perspective, Tim got his faith in Yahal from his mother (Stella Mered) who, in turn, got it from Hirem. At least, that’s how I imagine things would’ve went, I still have to flesh out the backstory with Hirem, but I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination that the faith of his people would carry over to Stella after their brief encounter. After all, she did end up loving him a great deal and carrying his faith over was a way for her to pay respect to Hirem, after having abandoned him (It’s complicated lol).

From an OOC perspective, practically every decision I made came forth from inverting an existing cliché. I took the orphan cliché and tried to flip it around by giving Tim some considerable time with his mother and leaving the whereabouts of his father deliberately vague. His faith in Yahal followed by taking the average young, pick-pocketing vagabond stereotype (which you would expect in Sunberth) and flipping it around by making him a very honest, faithful boy. He isn’t immune to his surroundings though and, as Jed Radacke has found out, possesses an extensive vocabulary of curse words that he picked up from less savory types.

7. What are some of your favorite aspects of Mizahar? What do you wish you could improve?

The Lore. Oh god, the lore. It is a truly impressive feat that a world this large has been constructed with such great consistency and yet with so much room for players to weave their stories and truly make their characters part of the larger whole. And that is precisely what it feels like: a larger whole!

Simultaneously, the lore is a terrifying, looming monster with razor-sharp teeth and claws. It’s like one of those multi-headed mythological creatures: you chop off one head, and then ten more links to other parts of the Wiki appear. You just pray your computer can handle having that many tabs open at once…For beginners, the Lore is rather intimidating, though I suppose it also acts like a firewall against your average TwilgihtSparkleLove99 user, and that is a good thing.

Second in my list, but not second in importance, is the community itself. On the whole, the writing quality here is astounding and all the people I’ve met are kind, gentle, and generally keen to help out. Timothy wouldn’t have become the character he is now without the help of Jed Radacke (also known as Neologism), Vice, Edmund Morealis, Adelaide Sitai, Kaitanu, Verena Lorak, and many others!

Third on my list, which perhaps could be tagged as Lore, are the locations in Mizahar. In a sense, every location is its own character. From lawful Syliras to deceiving Ravok, every single city has so much thought and effort behind it that I find myself very eager to explore every corner of Kenash, just to experience a different culture. This ties back in to my fellow RP’ers as well. What a job people do at making these cities come to live! It’s nothing short of fantastic how the Ravokians act and behave like true Ravokians would and how bratty some of the Dynasts in Kenash can be. In any other RP you’ll always have some character that just has to break from the general style, but not here, and that is an achievement worth recognizing.

Travel times, in my opinion, could be improved (read: reduced). Now I know why they are as long as they are. I watched a video of Gossamer on it just yesterday. Yet I feel, as a gamedesigner, that I may have something worthwhile to say about travel times. I bring up game design because, whether you play games or not, we deal with realism vs fun a lot. Sometimes, in order to improve the flow of the game you just need to dial down on the realism. It's not a big deal, but I feel it could be improved to encourage people to move around a bit more.

8. What do you look for in a good roleplay partner? Are there qualities you seek or are you one of these players that find themselves not too picky?

It’s only after I’ve established where the story is leading to that I start searching for suitable roleplay partners. For example, my decision to start out in Kenash constrained my search to that area. It’s not that I go looking for a partner first and then fit the story to that, but rather the other way around. I think my only searching bias is that partners are in it for the long term, but maybe that is just the result of the whole slave dynamic…I don’t know, I don’t think I am particularly picky.

9. You managed to snag yourself an IC father. Was that a goal of some sort or something you set out to do? Or was it a happy circumstance?

It wasn’t a goal in the start, though I did leave the details on Tim’s father deliberately vague, just in case I wanted to NPC him at some stage. The thing is, I really didn’t want to do your typical where-is-love schmaltzy orphan but at the same time I needed to do away with Timothy’s parents or risk having two NPCs constantly near him. I don’t know if other people have this as well, but I can only really focus on one character for an extended period of time or they’ll begin to average out and merge into a bland, grey whole.

I don't recall what triggered me to go looking for a father, but something did. I kept age into account and that soon narrowed down my search. Hirem, given his backstory with Yahal, was just too perfect and I was (and still am) very happy that he took me up on my offer. After all, it's no small change for his character either!

10. Betrayal is a huge aspect of Timothy’s past. Is Timothy capable of such things? If not, then why not? And if so… how far can he take things?

I don’t see him betray anyone soon, but that isn’t to say he isn’t capable. As a child, his beliefs and values haven’t really solidified yet and so whether or not he’ll ever betray someone largely depends on how other characters will influence him. I can see him being corrupted into betraying someone but right now, he wouldn't even think of committing such a horrible crime. If he does, it'll surely be a drastic change for him!

11. Here’s your chance to hop on the soapbox and speak about anything you’d love to talk about.

TEST TEST...is the mic on? Okay, cool. It's cheesy, I know, but I really didn't see this one coming. I feel honored though I have no idea if anyone really finds my character interesting enough to read through that wall of text ^ :P

First things first, a big thanks to the staff for giving me this opportunity and for managing the site. I am doing just a few grades now and that's already too much at times, I can't believe how much hard work each and every one of you puts into this place, so here's some more recognition and a imaginary virtual pie as a reward!

Big shoutout to Jed Radacke as well. You're awesome, and I am really quite sad to take Tim away from you but I am sure we'll keep in touch on chat and through PM. Without your ideas and endless creativity Timothy wouldn't have been where he's at. Have a space brownie!

Lastly, congratulations to you dear reader, for having made it through to the end without snoring, yawning or slamming your head against a wa-

-you still awake?

Good.

I feel a bit tired talking about my own character now, so I would like to do something experimental and pass the mic, so to speak. I have a question for the readers which I would like them to answer, if they so desire:

Would you ever allow your character to be enslaved? Why/why not? (And if he/she is already enslaved: Will your character escape slavery? If so, how?

My final note is this: I think Kenash needs a staff member -pwetty pls- it is a really awesome place, so if anyone feels up to the task (I just don't have the time myself) I am sure Gossamer would like to see some applications, right?

Cheers!
Gossamer

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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Mayhem1 on December 1st, 2014, 10:38 pm

Congrats Timothy!
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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Ricky Maze on December 1st, 2014, 10:46 pm

Ah wonderful interview, and I hope the challenges of playing a child prove to inspire you further! Congrats Timothy. :)
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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Estrellir Konrath on December 1st, 2014, 11:07 pm

Congrats! I'm sure this is very well deserved and yes, I read the entire wall of text!

To answer your question: Strangely (or not?), as much as I love Est, I'd also like to see what she does and how she changes in slavery. I can totally see her screwing up big time, being exiled from Kenash, then kidnapped and enslaved somewhere in the sea of grass. It seems like a lot of fun!
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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Aventis on December 1st, 2014, 11:18 pm

Well congratulations to you, ya' tyke! Still up for that thread when you get to Syliras? c:
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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Verena Lorak on December 2nd, 2014, 12:55 am

Wooo! Congrats little Tim XD

Well, as a Dynast, being thrown into slavery will be a major change for Verena and I'm actually not against that idea! I have always tried to imagine for her to be banished and be enslaves instead. Maybe some day . . .
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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Khara on December 2nd, 2014, 2:04 am

Congrats Tim! I've always found the concept of trying to pull of a child character on Mizahar to be a rather amazing undertaking and have been rather curious about your PC for a while. I'll just take this as an excuse to start that overdue post-stalking I've been meaning to do. :p

And to answer your question: I think Khara already is a slave in a way. She's not part of the lowest rung of Inartan society but she doesn't have a ton of room for free will either. I don't think I could ever put her into a proper slave position though, at heart she's still a very free spirit and I just couldn't entirely crush her like that. :lol:
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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Jed Radacke on December 2nd, 2014, 4:09 am

Congrats TimTim! *hugs* I knew you'd get this sooner or later :D. You are too good of a writer not to have gotten it. I'm glad I'm not the only one who recognizes how awesome your character is too! To say this is well-deserved is an underestimate.

I'd like to contribute to this and simply say that Timothy is an excellent partner in roleplay. I've planned and written all sorts of dynamics with him, and he is an extremely versatile writer, which is not something I've come across often (surprisingly enough). Since he is now moving on and leaving me (*insert hysteric crying*), we don't get to plot anymore, but I'm glad I got to work so closely with him for the time I did.

To answer you're question: Honestly I never would have been willing to put my character in slavery. I can't stand the thought of someone else (even and NPC) having control over my character, but lately, I think I wouldn't have a problem with it. From writing with you, I've had my eyes opened and I realize now that it is actually not a horrible scenario (well, maybe for your character it is).

Anyway, I'm really glad you finally got to be the featured character! :D
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Timothy is December's Featured Character!

Postby Yoona on December 2nd, 2014, 4:43 am

Congraaaaats, Tim! After reading that interview, I can wholeheartedly say that you deserve this awesome recognition. 8D

AND HEY, looks like you'll be in Ravok this season! Which...well, from the looks of things, Tim better be prepared to have bibles shoved down his throat. Ha ha!

In response to that last question: Yoona's been physically enslaved for a while, now; I can't say the same for her mindset, though, since she's a stubborn fighter and will most likely always be (woo, mental freedom!). Occasionally, I wonder what it'd be like for her if she were freed, one day...but I can't see it happening anytime soon. For now, it seems as though the progression of her life is left up to the people around her.

And after a bunch of failed attempts, I'm thinking her escape days are over, too. X3
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