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Article - 'When Emotions Run Free: Love' by Mateui

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

Learn to evoke LOVEly emotions in your RPG.

Body

When Emotions Run Free: Love
By Mateui

You Said you loved me,
Although it was all a lie
But now that I am without you
I feel like I might die.

I trusted you with all my strength
I gave my heart to you
Why must have you committed this?
My heart is now in two.


Wasn’t that just so pretty? Yes, I wrote it myself. ^_^! You thought I didn’t have it in me, did you? Hmm.. Yeah, sure. Anyways, onto the more important matters. This article, will most likely force you to express different emotions about what I will write. I am really sure that a certain argument will come up, so to prepare for that, I will prepare a rebuttal for it.. Muhahahwawa!

Anyways, what is love? (You’ll be surprised for sure when I tell you something… but that will be expressed in the next section. Want to know what? So read on!)

Defining Love:

Did you know that there is more than one type of love? How many do you think there are? 2, 3? No. There are actually 4 different types of love, and I will get to explain them all. Interestingly, there is no specific name for all of them, only for 1, so I will have to describe them fully.

Love Type 1:
This is a lot like amity, or friendship. This love exists between close friends and is a warm, personal affection for someone. Think of this as your love for your various close friends.

Love Type 2:
This love grows between family members. This is definitely not a romantic type of love, and it is hard to express this in words. You have to have a family to understand it. It’s like trust and reliability mixed together. You surely trust your family more than anyone else in the word, and you can generally depend on them for various matters.

Love Type 3:
This love is often referred as Romantic love. According to Dictionary.com, a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.

Love Type 4:
This type of love was called “agape” (pronounced: a-ga’pe) in the Christian Greek Scriptures. This love is usually used in a religious context, such as the scripture, found in the Bible, stating: “God is love.” This type of love is governed by principles such as unselfish concern for others, and doing right according to their beliefs.

Now that you know the different types of love, you can choose the correct kind to reflect upon onto your characters. This is easier than one may think.

Ok. Now for the question that most may pose, and which I believe most have heard before: “You have to have experienced love in order to show it in a story/RPG setting.” Now, this statement is both true and false.

In what way? Well, generally, if you have not experienced romantic type love, than you probably will not be able to show it nicely, but since there are three other types of love, many of us have certainly experienced some of these to a certain degree.

The only way you can state that you cannot portray love in a story is if: You are a person who has no family, no close friends, have not experienced romantic feelings, and are not a religious person. So, unless you are that person, you can’t really complain.


Making Love:

No, the subheading does not suggest anything sexual.. Anyways, to get back on topic: Do you remember the method we discussed about emotions? No, alright, I’ll just copy and paste it from the introductory article, and add some more hints and tips. This will save me some time, and will make you look like I wrote more! Hurray! Everyone wins!

Recalling a Past Emotional Experience:
When beginning to assume the role of a character, you should first vividly recall a similar emotion that you have experienced in the past. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the exact same situation and emotion, but it should be similar enough that you could give the character in choice a just reaction to everything. In the case of love, this will be trickier depending on the type. Family type won’t be that hard: think of the love for your parent(s), and/or sibling(s), and/or relative(s). For Friendship type, think of your friends and how you would react to situations with them. For Romantic type, I really can’t help you, as this type you need to have experienced to portray.

Transferring to the Character:
Ok. You’ve thought long and hard about your past emotional experience. Now you have to transfer these emotions into a character. Think about your past experience, what you felt, what caused it, and how you reacted. If you do this, you will be able to use this, as to create a logical action for the character in question.


Expressing Love:

You have an emotion and past situation in mind, but know you need to create something realistic in your RPG. No problem, I’ll guide you through all 4 Types of Love, and give examples of places where they could be used.

Love Type 1:
(Friendship, Amity) Ok. Close friendship. This obviously involves the friends of the main RPG character(s), or other Non-Playable Characters. This love can range from weak to strong, as no person can have the same intensity of feelings toward many people. The more friends he/she the more different reactions you could get from the characters.

Example: Your best friend comes up to you and asks you to take care of his 99 sheep while he goes out and looks for the 1 that is lost. You have a choice:

- Take care of the 99 sheep
- Tell him you’ll go out to look for the 1 lost sheep
- Tell him that you’re currently busy
- ...

All of these choices range in emotional intensity toward the character that is asking you to take care of his sheep. The first choice and second are closely related, but are different in the way the player wants to play the game. You’ll have to decide, does the character oblige with his friend’s command, or does he take the initiative to find that lost sheep? This depends greatly upon the character’s personality and character traits.

The last choices are sort of the “I don’t care what you want, I look after myself only” type attitude. The intensity of love in this situation is weak.

Love Type 2:
(Family Love) This involves emotional encounters with the character’s family members. This love can also range from weak to strong, as usually his parents or siblings are on the strong side, whereas distant relatives could be on the weak side.

Example: You notice that your mother is very sick. She is in her bed. You approach her. She asks you to help her to get up. This is what you can say:

- You look sick, stay in bed.
- Sure mom! Here you go.
- No. You can get up yourself.
- Ask my brother instead...

The first choice is what a truly loving character would say. The second choice is that the character is oblivious to the fact that the mother is sick, or that he just doesn’t want to disobey her. The third choice is starting to get on the weaker side of the spectrum, with disobedience and a harsh remark. The fourth choice is what a passive, lazy person would say.

Love Type 3:
(Romantic Love) This involves two or sometimes more people who are in love with each other. This can range from something weak to really intense depending on the emotions of the character(s).

Example: You are currently dining with your interest. She/He are sitting in front of you. What are you going to do?

- Kiss them.
- Talk to them.
- Ask them to dance with you.
- Do nothing.

Now, the first three are positive type actions, if you could call them that. Kissing, talking, and dancing generally have affirmative attributes, while keeping quiet can be neutral or negative. The choice however depends on the character’s personality. Is he daring? If yes, he/she will go for the kiss. If he/she is moderately daring, they might go for the dance. If he/she is not that bold, but still socially inclined, then they can go through the talking route. If they are passive however, most likely they will be too overcome with fear and shyness to do anything.

Love Type 4:
(Agape, Religious) This is the religious type love. It generally deals with the character’s love for his God(s), religious icons, and actions.

Example: The minister (Religious type leader) asks you to go out preaching a message to the inhabitants of the town. What will the response be?

- Yes. For caring out the will of God is the most important.
- Yes. Because I will do whatever you tell me to do.
- No. Because I am in fear of the people.
- No. Because I do not believe in religion.

Yes. Varying sides of the spectrum can be seen from the choices. The first one is the most intense, showing agape love to a high level. The second one, surprisingly, whether you believe it or not, is actually weak. Agape love is governed by someone doing right because of what their believes are, yet the only reason the character is carrying out the action is because he will do whatever the minister will tell him to do. The last two also show weaker agape love, but the last one shows probably the most, because it is the action of not believing in religion at all.


Controlling Love Actions:

Now, in your game, you’re not always going to allow the player to have total control over all the characters emotions, as that could make the game unrealistic. Have the character react to what happens, whether it may be a good decision or not. Imperfectness only strengthens the game’s realism.

If they are passive in nature. Do not have them asking a significant other to dance with them. If they are not religious, do not have them talking to others about religion. Try to see things from the character’s standpoint, and try to speculate what they would do. It’s like that saying, “Put yourself in their shoes.”


Conclusion:

Wow. That was a lot of material to cover. I hope I helped some of you to notice the different types of love and what goes along with each form. Now, since the teaching is over, and I have a few spare minutes, I can go on rambling about something, or give you some homework. What will it be?

Choice:
- Have Mateui talk about something unrelated to this article.
- Have Mateui assign homework.

(NOTE: 95% Voted Choice 1.)

Ok. So you want me to talk about something. Hmm.. No, that’s not a good idea.. Hmm.. Ok. I got it! I will pose a random weird question, and you can think of what they answer would be.

What do you think that the question is? Is it true or false?

MuHahaha! It’s in front of you! (Alright, I admit, it’s stupid, but nevertheless still amusing..)

Well, goodbye, as there is nothing else that I can say. I just LOVE this part, don’t you? => ^_^!


- Mateui