Hey folks! Right on time after our call for community article submissions, Owlette sent us this gem about Roleplay and how we present our characters in-game. She outlines the basics of different kinds of attire, and compels us to really think about the choices we make - click read more to examine the full article!

RP: Know Your Clothes

If anyone knows me, they know I love fashion. One of the biggest things that draws me into a game, whether it be RPG or MMO, I look for character customization. This usually impacts how I feel the game will turn out, first impressions are important, of course. If I can make a character I want with what is given, I am a happy camper. Sadly, there are some games that don’t do well in this category. This usually lowers my expectations of the game, but doesn’t make me stop playing it. I feel that making the character look exactly like you want them to be an essential part of the gameplay.

Some games allow you to change what you wear. Skyrim allowed you different armor types as well as clothing options. With TESO around the corner, the possibilities of different clothing options are open up, and the fact we are not limited in what we can wear, it opens even more choices up, however, as any good RPer knows, keeping within certain realms of realism is important, this not only pertains to combat situations, magic, and lifestyle, but it also applies to what one wears.

We don’t know much about TESO clothing options, other than having Heavy, Medium, and Light Armor and clothing; we will just have to go with the basics.

Everyday Clothing

We all go about our day to day lives, wearing different clothing. What we wear has a significant impact on what others think about us and what we think about ourselves as well. We usually dress for the situation we are going to. Business workers wear suits and ties, dress skirts, modest heels, and khakis. While people going to a bar for a night out will usually wear a t-shirt and jeans or a cocktail dress, depending. It is important to know what to wear for any situation.
In TESO times, however, some people are not allowed the luxury of picking and choosing. More often than not, you wear what you have on hand. Middle Class and Nobles have the option to wear more clothing, and often ones of their choosing.

In game, know where you stand in accordance to this. Just because you play a relatively poor person, does not mean you are limited in what you have, but do know that most people low on income does not walk around in frilly dresses and fine clothing. They will more than likely wear torn clothes and aprons, work boots, and gloves. Nobles will typically wear finer clothing, women wearing gowns and dresses, men wearing fine clothing as well, fine shoes, and of course accessorizing with jewelry.

This does not mean that if you come across a dress outfit as you RP a poorer person, you must immediately toss it. It is important to understand the situations though, again a poor person has no need for a fine gown, other than maybe tearing it up to use the fabric for something else, perhaps that being the reason you keep it.

Understanding the simple basics will help RP, even in the littlest sense.

Light Armor

When we refer to light armor, it is armor that is light in use, and typically does not protect well against blades and arrows, but it offers protection in other regards. Most typically, robes worn by mages would be considered Light Armor. Magic users are the first to use this, allowing for easy movement to dodge and avoid attacks while still protecting you from the elements. Magic attacks can still harm, but offer a degree of protection from them.

Agile users will prefer the light movement as well, those typically wanting to remain hidden and unseen. In TESO terms, Leather armor is considered light armor. Leather protects better than robes, but does not protect as well as metal armor. It offers free movement to allow easily dodging attacks.

To understand this, light armor users typically like to remain away from close combat situations, unless they feel skilled enough to handle it. Most rely on magic and ranged attacks to get the job done, but some feel close combat is necessary. In these cases, they rely on their own skills rather than the armor to do the job. Robes do not protect as well as leather armor, so if you are hit with a sword wearing a robe, you will feel it more than others.

Medium Armor

It is easy to understand this set, whatever are not robes and leather, or heavy metal plates falls into Medium. The problem with this set lies in, it takes from both categories. They can’t easily move around like a light armor user, nor do they have amazing protection like heavy armor users. This however, does not mean this set should be avoided.

Medium armor, some would argue, can be leather armor as well, as it offers more protection than robes and cloth armor; however, it is still vulnerable. More likely, this would be simple chain mail and not metal plated armor. Something that allows more protection, but not enough to block everything coming your way, and movement is still hindered.

The types to wear this can range, which is what makes this a good choice for anyone. A magic user that wants protection to a soldier that wants more movement than plate armor provides. It is a nice concept to consider.

Heavy Armor

Metal plates and shields make up the heavy armor category. Like the name implies, heavy armor is heavy and is typically used for those who like up close and personal fights, as the armor allows for more protection, without the need to dodge. Heavy armor restricts movement, however, and one must be prepared to face this penalty when moving on. Heavy armor users can stand up in a fight longer than most, though, and are beneficial.

Heavy armor users are never the sneaky type. Due to restrictions and the noise itself, a heavy armor user will find it difficult to sneak in on an enemy.

Soldier types are the ones who typically go for this or those that want protection. Training and muscle are required to wear these normally, so someone not endowed with muscles will have a harder time when fighting. Running away is also a bad option, though not impossible, but it will be harder getting away while lugging all that armor.

Work Clothes

We all have jobs, and thus, we all have a certain uniform we must wear. Even those whose job allows them to wear what they want, there is a certain "dress code” there as well. I mean, you wouldn’t show up in your underwear, would you? (Unless you could pull it off, I guess.) Depending on what job your character has, they will have to look the part.

Soldiers are easy; armor is always a safe option. This not only shows they are ready for a fight, but that they have the authority and power that comes with their job. People will take notice of a man or woman donning armor walking down the street. Merchants need to look the part as well. Whatever they sell, be it jewelry, clothing, books, goods, etc., they must look like they don’t need to be there. Fine clothing helps and makes it look like you’ve sold stuff before, increasing your chances of customers coming back. Farmers will wear clothes meant for work in the fields, they will get dirty. Blacksmiths wear protective clothing from the fire. Scholars and Mages wear robes even out of combat situations.

Whatever the job is, you have a certain style you need to have to convey this.

What Have We Learned?

RP is amazing, let’s face it. It adds elements to a game that weren’t there before. We create stories from our characters as well as the situations we find ourselves in. These can add to our experience, but my point is this: One must look the part. Think of it as a play, you need the right costumes to show everyone who you are and what you do. It is also important to know what you can’t wear, Nobles wouldn’t be walking around in rags, unless they choose to, and beggars wouldn’t have nice necklaces and fine clothing, unless given to by someone. You would be surprised how often the look deals with RP, people judge based on appearance; it’s a fact of life one must all realize.

Hopefully this gives you a little insight for when TESO comes out. TESO will offer a variety of clothing options and we can all use what we are given to further our RP experience.