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There is no dragon mode

Or How to Roleplay a Dragon

Anyone who’s had any experience roleplaying in WoW have seen them. As labeled by my guild, they are the werewolf vampire dragon blood elf shaman warlocks who always seem to be hanging around in Silvermoon or Goldshire in skimpy outfits.

Sadly, it’s these people who give the real roleplayers a bad name, which in turn frustrates us. Because not only do we have to deal with these people, but also the RP griefers, the god moders, and the out-in-the-open ERPs. (I have no problem with erotic roleplayers in general but for pete sake, keep it to whispers. There are little children playing this game too.)

Having said that, I should tell you that I roleplay Saraku as a dragon. As mentioned above, this is generally a big no-no. However, I seemed to have pulled it off successfully, at least according to the people I have asked.

The biggest rule to remember when roleplaying in WoW is: Keep within the confines of the game. Let me go into more detail of how I did it with Saraku.

He’s a netherdrake.

Netherdrakes are seen most often in the game as mounts, working in close association with adventurers to fly them to remote places. It’s gotten to the point where it’s not even unusual to see them. They are not above getting down and dirty to get the job done. I’m not saying that other dragons are uppity, but in general they are more worried about the larger picture. I believe it’s still possible to roleplay another type of dragon but if I had to choose one that would make the most sense as an adventurer, it would be netherdrakes.

He’s not a dragon of uber pwnage.

When Saraku is in human form, he’s confined to the same restrictions that any other player character would be. He can’t breathe fire or tear a man apart with his bare hands or shoot lasers from his eyes. For fighting purposes, he is just another blood elf. He can be bruised, beaten, slashed, and killed just like anyone else of his class and level.

Saraku is also a young dragon who’s very naive. Having been raised as a slave, with all his needs taken care of by his slavers, all he really needed to know was how to fly them around when needed. Once he became Niqora’s charge, she took over feeding and taking care of him. In dragon form, he wouldn’t even know how to hunt, much less how to fight anything.

He can’t change on a whim.

At this point, he can’t change in while in Azeroth at all. To neatly explain away why, I decided that he needs certain energies in order to be a dragon. In this case, he needs either the nether energies in the Outlands, or the auroras in Northrend. Of course once Cataclysm comes out, I’ll most likely have to find a reason for him to now be able to fly in Azeroth.

He also can’t change into a dragon to rip things to shreds. For one thing, the change between the two forms leaves him vulnerable so it would not be a good idea to shift in the middle of a fight. Also, by the time he got to the Outlands, his blood elf form was stronger and more experienced at fighting than his dragon form. At this point in his life, he is comfortable in the blood elf skin and will probably not attempt to change back for a while.

He has a reason to be in humanoid form.

Why take the form of a less powerful species when you can just scorch your enemies in one pass? Saraku has two reasons. For one, he greatly admires Niqora, who freed him from slavery in Shadowmoon Valley. She has been the only real friend he has had, and his inspiration to see what it’s like to be a humanoid. In addition, he became intensely curious about life as a humanoid and what Azeroth was like. He has a wanderlust just as she does and since the only way he could see Azeroth was to become a humanoid…well, the result is obvious.

More recently, he has also thought of returning to his birthplace in the Netherwing Ledge and freeing some of his kind who are still slaves there. He could not accomplish this as a dragon, as I doubt the Dragonmaw orc disguise would work that well. Hence just another reason to be a blood elf.

He’s no one important.

There are other dragons in the game who can change into humanoids so Saraku is not an unusual case. And he is not the Commander of the Netherwing flight, or the bastard son of Alexstrasza and the Lich King (I don’t know how that would be possible even, nevermind make him a netherdrake). In essence, he’s merely another adventurer on a mission to help fix some problems in the world. He has realized, through Niqora and his own work, that you don’t have to be someone special to make a difference.

I did research before creating him.

You don’t have to be a lore nerd in order to come up with a decent background for your character but you do have to know something about where they come from. For example, when deciding his name, I did some searching and discovered that netherdrakes often end their names in “-aku” or “-us”. After some playing around with different letters and sounds, I came up with Saraku, which I think rolls nicely off the tongue and sounds natural. If I had went with a red dragon-type name, the character wouldn’t have made any sense.

I have to admit that I’m not the one who came up with the basic idea in the first place. While I was playing Niqo, I would imagine Saraku’s personality and the conversations the two of them would have as they flew around the Outlands. I had wanted to roleplay him in dragon form as a companion of Niqo’s (like how I roleplay with my pets) but I never seemed to find the opportunity to. Then one day a guild mate mentioned how an alt they had rolled was a nether drake in disguise and I said “BRILLIANT!” and then asked if I could steal the idea for Saraku.

I do love playing him though. He’s so naive and literal minded that I can usually make my guildmates laugh with his antics. So far I’ve had no one grieve me over the fact that he’s a dragon. So I’m assuming that I’ve successfully created a character that side-steps the whole “werewolf vampire dragon blood elf shaman warlocks” taboo.

And no, he does not turn back into a dragon to do the nasty. Anyone on a RP server will know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, read this from Rotten Apples (NSFW).

Does anyone have any comments/tips/rants about this post? Please post them, I want to hear your views.

4 Comments

  1. Posted September 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Having personally encountered and RPed with Saraku, I think you really have managed to shine a light on quality dragon RP.

    Saraku isn’t some completely outrageous, uberpowerful, godmode bastard son of Illidan and Alexstrasza who can’t be touched by mortal weapons, etc etc etc.

    He’s a simple guy, a young drake (hardly more than a hatchling in dragon years, I’d guess). He’s a complete laugh riot, but still manages to get his fellows thinking.

    I’m truly impressed.
    .-= Kotabear’s last blog… Random Amusements =-.

    • Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Aww shucks *blushes* Thanks Myst 🙂

  2. Posted September 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I agree, it can be done quite well.

    I actually have encountered more than one dragon-in-disguise (almost always blood elf, and usually paladin, for some reason), and the ones I have come across are done well. So yeah, I don’t see any reason for it being weird at all!

    I sort of envision my dragon mounts already as turning into humanoid form on occasion and conversing with Tawyn… although I don’t think I would actually roleplay them. (Primarily because I see them turning into blood elves and Tawyn is Alliance so… *cough*)
    .-= Pike’s last blog… “Well, DPS… it’s all up to you.” =-.

    • Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Hmm…they could turn into a human I suppose…or a gnome like Chromie!

      I’ve never actually seen one of these Mary Sue dragons but I have heard people talk about them a lot so I suppose they’re out there somewhere. For that matter I haven’t actually seen anyone RPing a dragon, but I could have not been paying attention.