In the top MUD I play, Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment, there are four major beast races: the insectoid horkval, the cat-like rajamala, the frog-like grook and the reptilian xoran. Whatever your game of choice, if there are beast races, there are people that play them well and people that play them poorly.
Sometimes, this can be a practical choice. Maybe a particular race gets better stats to support the class the player has in mind. For others, it's a role-play choice. Maybe humans and elves are boring and the player wanted to try something different. Either way, there are good ways and bad ways to roleplay this.
For part one of this two-part series, I'll be going over the do's of playing a beastman. Let me say that I'm an avid fan of beast races. In almost every game I play, I will choose to be one if the option is available. Not just the furry ones, but reptiles, bugs, frogs or whatever is available. I enjoy roleplaying something alien to what I actually am (a human, for clarification). But I see a lot of people making a mockery of what should be a wonderful RP opportunity.
Here's a quick list of good things to keep in mind when playing a beastman:
- Play to the animal nature, especially in emotionally or physically taxing situations. For instance, a warning growl and showing of teeth instead of an insult can really turn an argument into something special. If you’re a reptilian, try flicking out your tongue and tasting the scents in the air.
- Move like a beast. How would a cat person walk? How does an insect-man reach for a mug of ale?
- Sound like a beast. Your average lizard-man isn't going to sound like a game show host. He'll probably speak with a raspy voice because his vocal cords are arranged differently to those of a human. Conversely, a frog-person would probably speak with a wet-sounding, guttural voice.
- Figure out your physical traits and use them. Do you have claws? Are they retractable or fixed? Would you drum his fingertips when bored or tap those claws?
- Figure out what your character's diet consists of based on their animal side. It may not be appetizing, but it makes sense.
- Encourage racial RP when you see it and help others to do it if they're interested.
I hope this has helped you understand a bit more about racial RP. It can be a lot of fun when done correctly. When it's bad, which I'll cover in part 2, it can ruin someone's fun and cause them to avoid you. Achaea is probably the best MUD to try this kind of thing, just for the amount of options available in an established community. Check it out, if you haven't already! Thanks for reading and I hope to see you for part two!