RP versus PvP – Why Neither is Mutually Exclusive in an RPG Setting
RP stands for roleplay, and it is the primary purpose behind RPGs. It means to play a role, and in Achaea as the scroll HELP 15.6 ROLEPLAYING and OOC explains, “,,,roleplaying means that you play as if you were your character. Achaea is a roleplaying game: some level of roleplaying is required.”
But there is another side to roleplaying games and that is PvP, also known as Player versus Player. In Achaea this is also known as PK, or Player Killing. PK is such a common aspect to Achaea that the administration has compiled a set of guidelines that allow people to explore the combat side of playing the game while respecting the right to roleplay such in character lifestyles.
Comparing and Contrasting Mentalities
There are some areas of the game where RP and PvP are exclusive and rarely ever mix. Let’s take for example the city of Cyrene in Achaea, where one house is decidedly RP-based, and another is more focused on PvP. Here are some details about each.
The Wardens of the Cerulean Spire
Ty Beirdd, the House of Artists
|This house has dedicated itself to preserving knightly ethos, while progressing forward into the future. They serve the city in roles that are both military and constabulary in nature. Here is a bit about what life is like for each stage of house membership.||Ty Beirdd is a house of artists who pride themselves on their talents. They have won more Bardic and Artisanal contests than any other house. Every New Year’s they hold a concert in Cyrene. Here are details about each phase of house membership.|
|Novices – These newer members to the Spire go through basic newcomer information material, which is largely based on house ethos. Otherwise the basic training is mostly geared towards helping equip novices and teach them survival basics.||Novices – These little bardlets are expected to prepare for their interview by learning the bare basics of survival. The other part of their preparation for sponsorship to House Rank 03 requires preparing an artistic audition for a path of study.|
|House Ranks 03 and 04 – Passing through these ranks involves passing one large trial. It is difficult and involves comprehensive exams based on combat. The members who hold these ranks live and breathe combat, and must know things like curing, limb damage, venom locks, and similar PK-related terms.||House Ranks 03 and 04 – Graduating beyond these ranks involves passing a path of artistic study. Aside from the basics of anti-theft and self-defense, all of the requirements are artistic in nature whether the path is based around dance, poetry, lore, music, or theatrics. The house has a combat path, but few ever sign up for it.|
|House Ranks 05 and Higher – After passing the lower rank requirements and passing the big test, members enter the Cyrene City Guard and swear fealty to a Knight. Then more roleplay is introduced that, if done correctly, seamlessly blends with a new layer of roleplay. This roleplay is based on embodying Knightly virtues and ideals that provide a foundation for the house.||House Ranks 05 and Higher – After graduating to House Rank 05, house members in Ty Beirdd are free to begin another path of study, join the ranks of leadership, run for city office, or do most anything else they please so long as they do not violate house and city laws. Regardless of what the members choose, you can be sure that it is almost always based on roleplay before combat.|
Despite the fact that these two houses are both located in and dedicated to the city of Cyrene, it is obvious that each one is very different from the other. One is dedicated to protecting the city through use of bloodshed, while the other is dedicated to preserving the culture of the city through events and other artistic endeavors.
Neither house is wrong in what it represents, but someone obsessed with PK is not going to have a happy future in Ty Beirdd. And likewise, someone who hates combat would probably be miserable trying to suffer through the PK-related requirements necessary to advance in the Warden house. There are exceptions to these generalizations but they are few and far between.
It Takes All Kinds
As you can see, even though one house revolves around RP and the other is very PK-heavy, neither is mutually exclusive. That is because just like in real life, your favorite RPG takes all types to be a success. Imagine how boring the world would be if everyone chose the same class, race, and city. Part of what makes Achaea fun is the free will to try new things, and if it doesn’t work out, go on and try something else.
If you are a die-hard PK player, sheath your weapon and enjoy an RP event that doesn’t involve bloodshed now and then. And if you are a bard, take that dusty rapier out of your pack and get off the stage and into the arena. Even if you end up completely hating a walk on the other side of life, at least you can say you tried!
About the Author
If freelance writer and college student Seth Grayson had his way, he would game from the comfort of a hammock hanging between two palm trees on a tropical island. But since he doesn’t have the benefit of playing his favorite MUD game while being waited on by cabana girls in grass skirts, you can probably find him in his dorm room after a long day of studying. Working as a barista in an off-campus café helps to support his gaming habits.