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Why, how and when to end your character


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1. Introduction

There are plenty of great guides on how to create and develop one's character, but what about the eventual demise? We are taught that every character is like a book that's being told in real time, but as we all know - books have endings. In this guide we will explore what are the benefits of ending your character's story, how you can do it and when is it time to say goodbye. Do note that this guide is just there to give you the general outliers, you do not have to follow everything word for word if you can understand the meaning of what I am trying to say.

 

2. Benefits of giving an end to the story

 

Let's imagine you have a character named George Picaro, you have been roleplaying on George for a long, long time. You know a lot of people, you've amassed a lot of fame and renown and you generally enjoy interacting with others as George Picaro. Why give all that up? Here's the reasons why:

 

• You will not only have experienced the world from George Picaro's perspective. The roleplay world offers many opportunities to be anyone you want to be without leaving your in real life home. You can find out what it's like (at least to some extent) to be a bartender, a criminal, a police officer, a politician, a paramedic, a lawyer, a taxi driver, a truck driver, a loving husband, a cheating husband, a loving wife, a cheating wife, a homeless person and much, much more. Those are all great experiences to have. Every new story will be different so by being George Picaro you only have that one experience.

 

• You will learn new things. Let's be real, if you are portraying a character in an accurate and meaningful way, you will learn new things as you go. Which ever field of roleplay you pick, there's a huge chance that there's someone out there doing the same thing but being way more knowledgeable. With portraying a character from that field you will be learning from other RPers who are also doing the same thing and improve your in real life knowledge. However, if you stay as George Picaro, you will only have learned what George Picaro has to know.

 

• Money, power and fame are just resources that are obtainable. They are also a tool. Just because you actually posess a lot of money, does not mean you have to roleplay a rich person. You may have 5 million dollars but still roleplay a homeless person. One of the greatest takeaways from this guide to take away is that money is just a tool and not the goal. Sure, you will be able to roleplay rich if you have a lot of money, but you don't HAVE to.

 

• Your stories will make sense. No matter how good you are at character development, somewhere along the timeline your story will stop making sense. This is only a video game so things take place way faster. Sometimes things just disappear due to OOC reasons that you struggle to account for ICly. There is a time in one's story where it all really just stops making sense. Let's say George Picaro is an Italian-American mobster associated with Fiscari Crime Family. You are roleplaying along when suddenly the faction, after you've been there for over two months, decides to close down. You're left alone. Since you were lucky enough to never have gotten arrested and have no criminal record, you decide you'll give it a shot at med school and become a paramedic. You do that, you develop George Picaro to be a paramedic and boom, you get fired for some reason. Now you're back on the street so you become affiliated with some local gang. On and on it goes until the story just becomes ridiculous as hell and convinces nobody on it's realism.

 

• It can become boring. If you've roleplayed a character long enough you may just become bored, or others who have spent a lot of time with your character will be bored of it. Pretty self explainatory.

 

3. When to put an end to the story?

 

So, each story is different, it can end in different ways. You must keep track of what has happened to your character and the world around him. There are several things to keep in mind when you are considering the time for a character's end.

 

• Way too many bad things has happened to your character. Again, this depends on how mentally (and sometimes physically) strong your character is. Do remember that things can have emotional consequences on your character and if enough bad things happen, they may be led to insanity or suicide.

 

• Your character's story is beginning to make no sense. While this is an OOC indicator, it is just as valid. If your story begins to make no sense for one reason or the other, you might look into why that is and if the issue can not be solved - find a way to end the character.

 

• A person with a very serious reason to kill you, kills you. Now, this is when we talk about a scenario where the murder is not a forced character kill. You should consider every murder you catch. If it is let's say over something that is not as significant such as your faction being in a war with another, or you get killed in a robbery gone wrong. Sure, you can take it super far if you want to, but those alone aren't a significant reason. However, if let's say your character is married and you drive your significant other mad enough to slaughter you it is a very valid reason to end your character.

 

• Too many wounds. Now, it is a trait of a good storyteller to keep wounds from his prievous injury-ful encounters that his character survived. I personally had a character who had his arm blown off by a 12-gauge, but due to the quick arrival of medics he managed to survive. I then proceeded to roleplay being one-armed and made a gofundme for a prosthetic arm. However, you must realize when your character has had too much injuries and would be in massive pain to go on living or manage to survive another serious injury.

 

• The faction your character was attached to closes. Now, this is only a suggestive indicator since technically, you would not be in the wrong for not doing anything. However, from a storyteller's standpoint, it is way easier to tell a realistic story if your character is known for one sphere only. Don't be afraid to try new things.

 

• Your character has been in prison for way too many times. I'm sure you can handle a prison sentence on a RP server. Sure, it's inconvenient, but it's nothing you can't handle. Thing is, prison sentences aren't that easy to serve in real life, especially for harder crimes. If your character's been sent so many times to the can that he's officially a recidivist, you should really consider the end of him.

 

• You have done everything you wanted to do / you are bored. Again, it sounds a little bit silly but it is a valid argument. You will gain more fun and put in more interest when your character brings you actual interest. If your current one does not, maybe it's time to end things.

 

4. How to end the story?

 

Some people make the mistake of wanting a "grandiose" death scene or even a bigger mistake of just namechanging out of the blue without creating any roleplay for others. Most deaths in real life are pretty mundane or even funny at some times. With that said, you can also explore unique ways of kicking the bucket or... you don't have to kick it at all - just leave the country. Here are the key ways of ending one's story:

 

• Leaving the state/country. This will give you a shot of bringing back your character at a later date, but make sure it all makes sense story-wise.

 

• And they lived happy ever after... this one works mainly for cases where you've reached all you wanted to reach. Just declare the end of your, as a storyteller's involvement in the story, make a new character and assume your old one continued to live happily ever after.

 

• Death by accident. Probably one of the most common ways to go out that I have seen in my 8 years of roleplay. This can be a scripted MVA, it can be something more unique like accidentally getting electrocuted to death while trying to fix the electricity generator for your house. It is a quick way to end a story without much development prior.

 

• Death by own's hand. If you decide that your character has had enough and would like to end their own lives, do keep in mind that nobody just decides to off themselves because the weather outside's really awful. You should roleplay heavy depression and signs of suicidal behavior before your character takes their own life away. This gives a chance for others to intervene, but also keeps your story to a realistic note.

 

• Death by illness. One of the rarer methods I have seen, but it works well. Maybe your character is fighting a deadly illness from the start, or he/she gets it during the development, it's a good way to hit the death button when your character really runs out of steam or is taking too long.

 

• Death by murder. It's simple - the next time someone player kills you, you just take it as a character kill. This also works along with the strongly reasoned murder point which I had mentioned earlier.

 

Note: Do not aim for "awesome" or "badass" death scenes. We want to keep realism here. If, however, it accidentally happens to be badass then why not.

Edited by Copa Cabana
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