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Players:PVP And Roleplaying
A small repository of information for those interested in either player-vs-player (PvP) combat, or roleplaying (RP) in the world of Norrath.
Almost nonexistent on Project 1999. The occasional duel result (globally broadcast) is almost always for corpse banking / raiding purposes. Duels at the EC tunnel or brawls in The Arena are rare.
See this thread. A guild for red-flagged alts in mid 10s-30s to have some fun and try to drum up interest in general on the server.
Again, not much to report on Project 1999. The most active RPers seem to divided a few camps: the Ogres and Trolls, with the occasional die-hard with indecipherable speech, the Gnomes, who are universally proud of their short stature, the Iksar of the <Harbringers of Thule> and the Dark Elves.
Roleplay Dictionaries of Common Languages, Common Phrases & Name Generators
<Harbringers of Thule>
See this thread. The Harbingers of Thule are an all iksar guild obviously awaiting the opening of Kunark. The story behind the guild is that the iksar believe they are the superior race in Norrath and the Harbingers of the elite militia of Cabilis, chosen by Thule. When someone sees an Iksar with *Harbingers of Thule* by their name, they know they are looking at a specialist in whatever class they may be.
Dark Elf Roleplaying Guide
Dark Elf roleplay is most commonly based around R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy, a series of books based on the dark elf Drizzt Do'Urden from Menzoberranzan. Menzoberranzan seems to be the descriptive basis for Neriak. Neriak is ruled by King Naythox Thex (patron of swordplay and the arcane), and Queen Cristanos Thex, (who favors The Dead).
Drow society is highly matriarchal - that is, run by the females of society. This seems to have been changed in EverQuest, starting by changing the goddess Lloth into the god Innoruuk. Drow are the evil counterpart to their surface-dwelling elven cousins. They rarely - if ever - see daylight and live solely to survive and improve their station in life. They have strong night vision and are a highly magical race.
Looking for a character name that isn't a dictionary word? Try Seventh Sanctum's Dark Elf name generator.
Iksar Roleplaying Guide
Everyone knows the typical fantasy stereotypes of Norrath's current races, so much fantasy literature has been devoted to describing their every detail that it's difficult to tell where 'public domain' information leaves off, and Verant's "Vision" begins. (ref)
With the addition of the Iksar to the ranks of player characters, that's all about to change. We now have the opportunity to build characters that are uniquely Norrathian, beings with no real equivalent in the annals of fantasy roleplaying. True, there are lizard men in other fantasy settings, but they are more akin to the followers in Cazic Thule's temple than the Iksar.
What follows are some suggested guidelines for roleplaying the Iksar. While it is agreed that there is no single correct way to portray any character in Norrath, I believe that these capture the essence of the Iksar as thus far revealed by official stories. Use them as you see fit, either as is, or merely springboards for your own imagination for defining your character.
Note that this article is 'Iksar friendly,' in that everything presented here is how an Iksar perceives itself, now how the world necessarily sees them.
An Overview of the Iksar
While precious little 'official' information has been provided regarding the Iksar and their culture, this section contains such facts as are known, and makes logical extrapolations based on this information to provide a more complete view of the Iksar.
Created by Cazic Thule thousands of years ago, the Iksar are a cold-blooded, reptilian race. As befits minions of Cazic Thule, they are creatures of deliberate action, guided as much by their basic needs for survival as any moral code. Unlike the other creatures spawned by Cazic Thule, the Iksar have been granted intelligence and wisdom that rivals that of humans, allowing them to develop a powerful shamanistic and necromantic understanding of magic.
Physiologically, Iksar are the most alien of all Norrath's playable races. With their tails, scales, and cold blood, Iksar share very little commonalities with other races. Outsiders may view them with disgust, but the Iksar are equally repulsed by the 'soft skins' and their appearance.
Adding to their cultural ostracism, the Iksar have not been seen in areas other than Kunark until very recently. Their long isolation has led to a cultural xenophobia that is compounded by the hatred other races exhibit toward the Iksar. They aren't liked by any other race, and have little evidence to suggest that they should trust or aid those who despise them. Because of this, Iksar are very loyal to their own kind, but their trust must be earned by others.
Psychologically, Iksar are results-oriented. While they are capable of deep philosophical thought and long-range strategic planning, they understand that all of this means nothing if it does not result in a tangible measure of success. The Iksar philosophy can be summed up succinctly: "If it works, do it."
The Language of Scale
Perhaps the easiest way to define a character in roleplaying terms is through its use of language. The Iksar have several very obvious language hooks which can be used to enhance their roleplaying, as well as many not-so-obvious traits which will lend them a definitely different feel.
First off, the Iksar drag their sibilants when speaking, giving their speech a fluid, hissing quality. Get used to adding an extra 's' or two in everything you say, this quick and easy trick will immediately set off what you say as coming from an Iksar. Example: "When sspeaking asss an Ikssar, hisssss with your forked tongue."
Secondly, Iksar are not likely to make the effort to use the common tongue if it can be avoided. If there is a group of five Iksar and one dark elf, the dark elf had best be prepared to learn the tongue of the lizards, because they certainly aren't going to make concessions to the inferior minority. Use your racial tongue with pride, it is one of the few enduring qualities of the Iksar culture which has not been tainted by their turbulent past. When forced to use the common tongue, do so grudgingly, and keep your sentences short. The other languages are physically difficult for the Iksar to form coherently, and extended use can become painful.
Because Iksar sexual traits are not as readily apparent as that of other races, their language has developed no sex-specific pronouns, instead using the neutral 'it' or the proper name of the person being discussed. This can take some getting used to, but using only gender-neutral pronouns will give your Iksar an alien sound to his speech as well as giving you an excuse to discuss your culture with outsiders. A ready-made excuse for dragging others into roleplaying!
The forthcoming "Iksar to Common" dictionary will also provide you with many cultural phrases to sprinkle through your speech, which will further set apart the Iksar from the others.
Iksar Emotive Actions
Cold-blooded creatures do not have energy to waste, and the Iksar are no different. While the Iksar are perfectly capable of exerting themselves as long and as thoroughly as any other race, they tend to conserve energy when possible. This means that you won't see a lot of Iksar jumping and bouncing around for no good reason. Physical demonstrations are reserved for threatening encounters, or when actual effort is necessitated to achieve a goal.
Remember this when using emotes. While there's nothing wrong with an Iksar who hisses a lot, one who shouts and stomps around all the time is likely to be viewed as deranged by other members of his race. Think of how lizards and snakes move and act in relation to their environment, and portray your Iksar appropriately.
Calculate every move, consider every action, then do what needs doing swiftly and deliberately.
The Inherently Alien Iksar
Iksar are not like any of the other Norrathian races. They have existed in virtual isolation for centuries, if not millennia, and are the only developed race that is reptilian in nature. While the other 'soft skins' have much in common with each other, from their warm blood to the lands that they share, they have no such ties to the Iksar.
This should be emphasized when roleplaying Iksar, giving them an exotic, alien feel that is not found among the other races. A simple way to add alien motives to your Iksar involves the concepts of 'food' and 'enemy.' To the Iksar there is no real distinction between the two - any enemy they feel they can defeat is often referred to as food (in the Common Tongue, anyway, where much is lost in translation).
Iksar Player vs. Player Conflict
There are some who might see the Iksar as noble warrior-savages who handle their disputes in formal duels. Forget that idea. Iksar are reptilian, and they are pragmatic: if they have a chance to strike a foe down without risking real damage to themselves, they will. However, they almost never feel the need to lash out against others of their kind, both because it is needlessly wasteful of energy, and because generations of history teach them that the Iksar must band together to avoid future enslavement. The lessons of the Sarnak have been learned well.
When it comes to other races, and this applies primarily to the PvP servers, the Iksar will not go out of their way to destroy others, but they won't pass up the opportunity to repay a past slight, either. An Iksar who goes hunting other players should be a rarity because it simply isn't in their nature to engage in such deadly 'sport.' The danger-reward ratio is not particularly good, in most cases, and there are usually better ways to spend that energy.
Now, should someone be so unfortunate as to give an Iksar a reason to kill them, all bets are off. Like other reptiles, once engaged, the Iksar will rarely back down and will use every possible weapon to their best advantage.
If you're an Iksar, and you feel the need to engage in PvP conflict, do so quickly, decisively and by stacking the odds as much in your favor as possible.
The Nature of Iksar Evil
The Iksar are not wantonly evil, and some may debate whether they are truly evil or merely exceptionally ruthless and efficient. Whatever the finer points one may put on their world view, it is so callous and self-serving that there is little doubt that the Iksar are, at the very least, not on the side of the angels.
As can be inferred from the rest of this guide, the Iksar are not randomly malicious (such as ogres and trolls) or determined to destroy or enslave the rest of the world (as with the Teir'Dal). Instead, they want to preserve their own lives, their homeland, and their culture by any means necessary. The Iksar will resort to terrorism, assassination, foul necromancy, or any other tactics they can dream up in their scaly little brains, all in the name of survival.
Important to remember is that, while Iksar may indulge in despicable acts, they do so because history has taught them that to not do such thing is to insure that someone else will do them to you. In some ways, evil has been thrust upon the Iksar; the lizard men have only embraced it as a means to their most imperative end - survival.
Freedom and the Iksar
Few of the other races of Norrath have suffered through the generations of slavery and conflict that have shaped Iksar culture. This has shaped them in profound ways, but none so much as the Iksar value of freedom for themselves and their race in general. Few Iksar fear injury (after all, they can virtually regrow lost limbs) or death (for Cazic Thule will surely reward them in the next life), but they have a deep and exaggerated fear of imprisonment or servitude.
While an Iksar may shrug off an insult or threat, if they are confronted with the possibility of being captured and held for any length of time, they will fight to the death. No quarter will be asked or given in such a conflict, no Iksar could or would live long as a prisoner or slave.
This attitude has also lead to their disgust with servants in general. The Iksar have forced the local frogloks into such servitude, but you will never find a lizardman who is willing to so indenture himself to another. It comes too close to slavery, and to an Iksar, freedom is life. To an Iksar, those who allow themselves to be subjugated get whatever they deserve, and are worth no more than the swamp slime under the tail-scales of their Iksar masters.
It is difficult to draw much from the official material on Iksar culture, but from what has been seen of their quests and NPCs, it seems safe to assume that the Iksar share many traits with the ancient Egyptians of earth. Their use of traditional mummification tools (canopic jars, for example) and their controlled use of indigenous slave labor certainly seem to verify this, but there is little else that can be said for certain.
Like all races, the Iksar value magic very highly, and those necromancers and shamen among them tend to fall into positions of leadership. Outside of this, little is known about the true culture of the Iksar and we can only roleplay as best we are able with this limited information.
As time passes, players may eventually learn more and be able to incorporate a deeper understanding of 'official' Iksar culture into their roleplay, but with the track record of the other races, this is by no means certain. Don't feel constrained about possibly contradicting the "Vision™," move ahead with your own interpretation of Iksar culture and make the most of it!
As with any guide, there are exceptions to the rule. Roleplaying is no different, and in a world as subjective as Norrath, everything is open to interpretation. The game world itself can be contradictory (such as the Iksar bandits which attack other Iksar with glee, even while other Iksar proclaim the need for racial unity in light of their troubled past), and player characters are notorious for being outside the norm. Just as there are honorable and just shadowknights walking the face of Norrath, so too there may be compassionate, caring Iksar who seek to spread the word of Erollisi Marr, not Cazic Thule.
The important thing is to have fun, and to remain internally consistent and true to your character. That, really, is the true essence of roleplaying, no matter the race or class of your chosen alter ego.
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