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The Wizard's Desk

The Wizard's desk is a blog space where our staff and creative leads offer their insight and experience on engaging with DrachenFest US! We're excited to share what we can, so pull up a seat!

The Avatars are Human Too

In-Game, the Gods manifest human forms called Avatars to have a physical presence in the Dragon World and inspire their followers. Out-of-game, the Avatars are played by real-life human beings who have a very difficult job! In order to develop better long-term play-relationships, we’d like to talk about some of the stresses and challenges that the Avatars face.

  • It’s Lonely at the Top - playing a godlike role can leave the avatar player feeling isolated. There are only a few other people at the game who experience the same pressures.

  • Godlike Expectations - If an Avatars trips over their words, makes a mistake, or makes an unusual roleplaying choice, these moments are often scrutinized and dissected by players. Sometimes it is good-natured but gets carried away (“Something must be wrong with the Avatar, I’ll approach this as a plot to solve.”), but sometimes this has a judgmental vibe (“I expected the Avatar to be more like…”). Avatar attention is always in demand. And great power comes with great responsibility - the wrong word or reaction can ruin someone’s experience, leaving the Avatar player walking on eggshells.

  • Objectification - Don’t get us wrong, the Avatars have FUN in their Godlike role, and love being the spiritual leaders of their factions. They also love helping you build your own stories and plotlines. But people often relate to the Avatars not as other roleplay players at the event, but more like plot dispensers or props in their personal story. Needing continual feedback, demanding the Avatar’s approval or attention, hanging on their every word… Some Avatars have even been spit on, or insulted out-of-game as a product of antagonistic roleplay. American fan culture can get carried away sometimes, so let’s try not to let our relationship with the Avatars become toxic & burn them out.

  • Sexualization - We get it, they’re hot. But please be chill about it–the Avatars are not romanceable characters. Touching without permission, excessive flirtation, sexualization, and unwelcome advances make the Avatars uncomfortable. They don’t mind admirers or compliments, but sometimes people cross the line and make it weird. 

As a general note, the Avatars are not meant to be the functional leaders of their camps, players are! The Avatars make suggestions, or open-ended requests, but they aren’t usually in the camp’s chain of command. If you feel like your camp needs more organization or leadership, or there are (non-safety-related) problems in the camp that need to be addressed, your first stop should be elected player leaders, not the Avatar or their sidekicks.

Please continue to roleplay with, worship, and adore the avatars! They are meant to be larger than life, Godlike, and inspirational. But we want you to know that the Avatars need special “play to lift” support from us. Sometimes that means giving them space to be humans.

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