Award Dove Brown January's Featured Character!

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Dove Brown January's Featured Character!

Postby Gossamer on January 1st, 2017, 3:12 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 January 2017 is Dove Brown. Dove has been around Syliras for a few years and is one of this big city's resident roleplayers. Dove has been selected because there was honestly nothing special about her background and nothing super extraordinary about her present self other than the fact that she is incredibly well balanced. Dove's writer took the time to take a very realistic farm girl with a very realistic past, pepper it with some of the games IC happenings, and create a super realistic character. Dove stands on her own. People can relate to her. She's not propped up with deformities, mental illness, or unusual features or abilities. Dove is what I consider one of the most legitimate solid realistic PCs out there. And her writer does a fantastic job in her threads. Please take a moment to read her interview below and congratulate her on this prestigious award.



The Interview


1. Your PC is very wary and shy. Why did you pick these traits and how has that impacted your RP in terms of forming in and ooc rping friends?

When I joined Mizahar, I wanted to create a character that I could sustainably write about over a long period of time. I've been rping for a long time, tabletop and online, and previous experience has taught me that I'm much more likely to find a shy or wary PC sustainable than one that's cheerful and outgoing, so that's what I chose. She did form an ic friendship with Nivel after she fell off a wall into the middle of Nivel's picnic, which was a bit of an oddity, because they are almost total opposites, but for the most part she has friendly acquaintances ic. She's also had a series of encounters with Alex Faircroft - though you couldn't call the pair friends of any kind - and when they meet, sparks and snark fly thick and fast, which is fun to write, though not as much fun for Dove herself.

On the ooc front, her shyness doesn't affect things nearly as much as the fact that unlike most of the characters in Syliras, she lives in the Mithryn Outpost, and there isn't much opportunity to just bump into people and randomly make friends when you're the best part of a day's journey away from them. On the other hand I enjoy writing solos as much as writing collaborative threads, and I still get plenty of ooc offers to thread with other people, it just takes a bit more figuring out to find a reason for them to come across each other.

2. Your PC is primarily in Syliras. Why did you select this city and what are its strengths and weaknesses?

I came to choose Syliras as much by elimination as anything else. I spent quite a while reading the forums before I officially joined, and during that time I read threads and lore in and on most of the cities that were open at that point. Some, like Wind Reach, got crossed off the list of possibles at that point because shyness was just such a bad fit for the race(s) living there. Others were crossed off because I wanted to start somewhere relatively peaceful while I found my feet in this new world, and still others for the simple reason that my weird eyes found their ST's boxcodes a pain to read (and I need to be able to read them). That left me with two equally good options, so I created a basic concept for each of them and let those sit for a few days to see which one sprouted more plot bunnies. The winner was Dove.

Syliras is big and busy. It's both a strength and a weakness. There are always plenty of people to thread with, and plenty to read, but it's also easy to get lost in the noise of so many people playing. It isn't the place to play if you need a lot of ST attention or modded threads, because great though Reflection, and Nightmare, and Plume are and have been, the sheer size of the city means that their attention has to be spread very thin. I'm happy to play with minimal ST attention, and not looking to get a gnosis or anything like that, but I acknowledge that it's a problem for some.

3. Your PC has a lovely well developed back story. It's realistic and yet tragic, and definitely something we consider well balanced. Tell us a bit about your process for creating this or any back story, incorporating elements like the big storm and the death of a loved one. How did you come up with it?

I started with a name and the storm, and began asking myself questions. Why 'Dove'? How would this major event have affected her? Why is she living alone? If I want to start with these skills, why would she have learned them and when? Doves became linked to the mourning doves that flock around Mithryn Keep, so who was she or the person who named her mourning?

I do a lot of historical research for my day-job, so common deaths like childbirth are familiar to me, and I like to make backgrounds that are realistic so that's what I reached for. Her siblings died in the Storm because it didn't seem realistic to go through something that massively destructive without losing anyone, and gave her a reason to be living alone so young.

4. How are you the writer and Dove the PC different? How are you the same?

We're both quiet, stubborn, and more likely to listen than talk. I'm a fair bit older than Dove though, and gnarlier. I've learned to recognise jerks, idiots, and missing stairs in short order, and keep them at a distance. I don't have a lot of tolerance left for, or desire to interact with, them. I couldn't do Dove's work any more, though I grew up surrounded by farms, and she'd get bored with mine.

5. MIZAHAR has remained fairly stable over the years. If you could change the game however you wanted to what would you change?

To be honest, I'd love to see a break in the constant roll of disaster, invasion, and destruction. I'd like to see more chances to recover and build things up, to create and expand as well as destroy. I'd like to see what happens when everything goes so amazing well that it causes trouble in the other direction. What happens when so many new animals and babies are born that you haven't the food or the shelter for them? What happens if all the crops produce so well that you haven't anywhere to store it, but you know if you leave it out in the fields you'll lose it? Abundance doesn't have to mean problem-free.

With disaster constantly repeating, it gets repetitive and harder and harder to top, until you end up with something like this season's out of the blue genocide and religious persecution (both topics I consider too serious and politically charged to want to trivialise by turning them into plot points) or on a more unreal note, Alvadas's zombie apocalypse.

6. You do a tremendous amount of grading as well as rping. How do you balance this out? What keeps you grading so much? What keeps you plotting?

I consider grading to be the flip side of the rping coin. They balance each other out, and they use different thinking muscles, so I can grade a good thread and reading it cracks through a block and inspires me to write again, and I can write until that muscle is tired and then grade to give it a rest while still immersing myself in Miz. Grading is a way to give back to other players, because STing is beyond me, and a good reason to read threads all over Miz. I like to read, and I like variety, and I also read very fast, so I get through threads faster than some do. I can't speed through them like Dravite, but he taught me a lot about threading and grading. I learned a lot about the way Miz works just by watching him.

7. What's been your favorite thread to write so far and why? If you can't pick one just outline what elements you love to see in "good threads".

Slings of Misfortune was incredibly fun to write - very much a case of 'How can this go wrong? Let me count the ways...' - but I think overall The Scars, Like Dust was more satisfying. It was very different from anything else I'd written for Dove up until that point, and I really enjoyed being able to dig deeper into that side of Dove's character and let it all blast out. Thanks Alex!

8. What drew you to MIZAHAR? How did you find us and why did you stay?

Mizahar was mentioned in a conversation about various other games, so I wandered over to have a look. I spent a long time reading the forums and the lore before I finally registered and created a character. It looked like a good place to stretch some of the writing skills that I'm not so good at (like description) and a change from writing non-fiction or gaming material. I've seen my skills improve a lot, so I stay here and keep stretching them.

9. What do you look for in a good writing/role playing partner?

I'm pretty picky about longer term threading partners. One thread chance is available to most, but if that thread shows us as incompatible for some reason, then there won't be a second chance. This is particularly true if I see from threads that I'm grading that you haven't actually learned anything and are still doing whatever it was. One thing that pushes me away are partners that don't read what I've written, but instead write in response to what they want me to have written (For example, if I spend most of a post describing the meal I'm serving you and then you sit down and start eating a completely different meal, I am not going to be pleased about it). Another is if I can't read your box-codes (all these people who think that black makes a good background send me reaching for the colour over-ride set up on my browser).

I prefer partners who give back as much as they take, because that's just more enjoyable, on both sides, and sometimes good writing will make me look past cosmetic problems. You can't always tell who you're going to mesh with on the writing front, sometimes you just have to try it and see how it goes. I have often found that other graders make good writing partners, possibly because as a grader you get to see, read, and learn from, both good and not-so-good threads.

10. You utilize NPCS very well. Please talk a bit about where and why you find them important and how you tend to use them in your character's stories. In your opinion what makes good usable NPCS?

Basically, I use NPCs to fill out the world around Dove and give her someone to interact with even in solos. It matters that she isn't alone in the world - Syliras is the most crowded city on Miz - and I find that being able to pull in dialogue and bounce off another presence keeps a lot more energy and enthusiasm in a thread than not having it there. That presence might be a thread partner, or it might be an NPC, or occasionally, it might be both. Mostly these are city NPCs, or a one use NPC that I've created for that thread. They supply the shopkeepers for her to haggle with, other farmers to work with - because unlike the large numbers of knights, there don't seem to be any other PC farmers around - and more experienced people to teach her the tasks she doesn't know yet.

11. This is your soapbox. Anything you want to say?

The timing of this is a bit ironic, because I'm actually taking Winter off as an active PC. It's busy season at work, so I haven't a lot of time, I have less than zero interest in taking part in the Vantha genocide plot in any capacity, and I have rather too many old grandfathered threads and job place-holders that need to be finished and wrapped up. I'm hoping to get those loose ends sorted out and caught up and come back to the present in Spring.

That is all.
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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows where the rivers flow.
And I call it home. And there's no more lies. And the darkness is light. And nobody cries. There's only butterflies."


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Dove Brown January's Featured Character!

Postby Aladari Coolwater on January 2nd, 2017, 11:36 pm

I like the idea of reversing the death and destruction trope. Eutopia-style writing is never Eutopia, truly, so it may create a good dynamic for hardened characters to play with, even on a smaller scale. It's interesting to think about, at the very least.

Anyway, congratulations Dove! Well deserved for a hard-working gal.
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Dove Brown January's Featured Character!

Postby Sayana on January 3rd, 2017, 1:27 am

Congratulations Dove :D Well-deserved.

Whenever I read your threads, I find it refreshingly realistic without added fluff to make your character seem 'unique'. She's also very down to earth - quite literally at times.

So nice to see you get a spotlight and I look forward to the Featured Character award returning for future months. :)
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Dove Brown January's Featured Character!

Postby Ball on January 3rd, 2017, 3:08 am

nice congrats
Avatar CreditsMy lovely Avatar was drawn and created by the most awesome Nivel

Graders Please Note :
As Ball is getting closer and closer to maxing out Pyken as a skill, I would like to request that in places where Ball is not doing enough to constitute Pyken XP if Pyken technique lores could be issued instead.

Examples of proper XP level for Pyken would be: Ball developing or refining his technique by adding new thing against an actual moving target, not a dummy.

The use of basic skills alone are not enough to accomplish XP at Ball's current level of Pyken.

Thank you.

I will be handling all Ball related posts on Mondays @ 1800 my time *
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Dove Brown January's Featured Character!

Postby Kaie on January 3rd, 2017, 6:00 am

Congrats!
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Dove Brown January's Featured Character!

Postby Estrellir Konrath on January 3rd, 2017, 12:47 pm

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Congrats, Dove! The interview was quite interesting, now I'm curious about your writing. :)

And it's awesome to see the featured character being awarded again!

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