Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ask the Editors

Ask the Editors 
The Editors 
Episode 5 

Hello, and welcome back to our fun little column where you ask and we answer. This weeks question comes to us via email: 

How do you handle your in-game and your out-of-game romances and relationships, if they're not to the same person? (The Hawks, Stromgates, and Harkons are together, but Kiira and Shandar are not IG, for example)

An excellent question! Unfortunately only a few of us felt comfortable and/or qualified enough to answer, but hopefully you will find them to be fulfilling answers none-the-less. 

First, let's see what Sara 'Zarine' Jessop has to say:

"Game relationships vs real life relationships can be weird. I have had two IC/OOC relationships. My first was with Cole, who along with some other friends introduced me to the game. We decided before I came to my first event that his character, Dhamon, and mine were married. It happened 'off screen' and we never really had to RP anything different than our normal relationship. When we separated I took an extended break from the game, and when I came back Dhamon had moved off to the Southern Realms. I decided that the best way to handle that was for our characters to be 'divorced', and it turns out that Achorian divorce is handled just like everything else in Achoria: by Trent's whim. His whim of the moment was, "sure, whatever", so viola, we were divorced and Zarine was a single woman once again. 

Now, I was not single, I was solidly in a relationship with Lord Sir What's His Face's alter ego Jon. But Zarine was single, so how to handle that? At first I really didn't. At the time I wasn't overly worried about RP as long as I wasn't ruining someone else's so I just let it go as it was, with most of the Realms assuming that Trent and Zarine were a couple. Recently I became far more concerned with the RP aspect of the game (someone has to be, right?), therefore I have been thinking a bit more about what our IC relationship actually is. We spend a lot of time together when we happen to be on the same event site, as do most OOC couples whether they are together in game or not, and I needed a reason for that. So I decided,  without consulting with Jon of course, that we were more like 'friends with benefits' than just friends. Does Zarine want more than that? Well, of course she does, but Trent's not nearly as romantic as Jon, which should tell you all you need to know about just how much of a dried up old shrew Trent is. 
Why is something I just associated with Trent so damn cute?
The hardest part of being in a OOC relationship that is not also IC is that it seems to be impossible to get into an IC one. I've spent a lot of time spreading the word that Zarine is single, but no one seems to want to court her (including my own OOC husband). I often wonder at the reason and the biggest one I can settle on is that people are afraid of OOC consequences. Would it be easier if Trent were the one to court Zarine? Of course it would! I wouldn't have to worry about anyone else's feelings or comfort level with an awkward situation. But I would be willing to have an IC relationship with someone else provided that everyone involved could be mature about it an it did not effect anyone's OOC relationship." 

I feel like she is trying to tell someone something....

And second, how does Lani 'Gwen' Grayson feel about the subject: 

"Ah, Realms relationships. How do you separate OOC and IC? Nighthawk and Gwen did recently get married IC (that ceremony was only slightly shorter than when we actually got married), but Jeremy and I have been together much longer than that. It was a challenge to explain in a meaningful IC way why I would spend so much time with Nighthawk and why on earth he would want to do so many of my dishes. In order to give my character a reason to be hanging around Nighthawk so much, I decided that I would spend time trying to court him IC. Mostly this meant following Nighthawk around and giving him presents. My personal favorites include the heads of plant monsters, the book The Night of the Hawk (which I rescued from a library I visited at Ashenbounty and carried dutifully all day in the rain under my cloak), and pickle rolls that were made for him at a Leviathan held in his honor (To Catch a Hawk).

This courting took many years, in fact, Father Yule once gave me the ability to marry Nighthawk, but that ended in a Borderlands annulment (read: scalping). For those years that we weren’t together officially, but before I began my courting, I didn’t always do a great job of roleplaying the difference in our relationship. By making a conscious decision about how I wanted to play my character’s relationship, I was able to develop my character, have fun, and explain why I would want to spend so much time around Nighthawk."

As you can see, balancing an OOC and IC relationship can be difficult even if it is with the same person. It seems that the most important thing is that everyone involved is comfortable and having fun! We are playing a game after all, and we should be having fun. It's in the rules.

Join us next week, when we answer the great question: "What makes an event NOT enjoyable for you?"

Questions can be sent to Sara “Zarine” Jessop via email (, facebook messenger, or in person. The question box will also be making the rounds at various events. Please note if you'd like your question to remain anonymous and/or if you would like to address specific editors

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