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Community Highlight: Jarec Davies

By Qog - Posted Jun 25, 18

Community Highlight: Jarec Davies

This month I spoke to Jarec, an awesome roleplayer who definitely did not bribe me to say that.

One of the friendliest people I've had the opportunity to speak to, Jarec is a genuinely creative, open person and a solid writer in our community. It's always fun to find someone who doesn't only play a character well, but has the aptitude to keep a story going and find something to appreciate about each interaction and roleplay consequence. His advice for roleplay is also worth reading on for if for that alone.

Jarec also runs the Station Nightside: Jobs Board thread, which is a thread for IC jobs being advertised at an Exchange owned space station within the Carto Asteroid Field. Check it out for good rp opportunities or just to keep up with the sort of awful, terrible illegal activities currently festering in the galaxy.

Curious about more? Check out his Q&A with the link below (and look out for that sweet irl shot of his face at the bottom)

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

Star Wars is strong in my family. My Father has it, I have it, and my sister has it. Brought up in a family of nerds it was inevitable that some of that was going to rub off on me and it most certainly has. I think like most people here I was brought up with Star Wars, surrounded by it, bound by it-- Ok, enough with the Star Wars quotes. It stuck as well, it's difficult to shake off and whilst I might vanish for a while and roleplay in other games or however much I might badmouth the new films or the story of SWTOR or whatever else Star Wars related... I always end up coming back. I think SWTOR and Star Wars RP in general holds something that's quite special and perhaps is reserved for something so culturally important as a universe like this. When you have that really great roleplay moment on SWTOR you can't quite nail what, but you can comfortably go "That was Star Wars." and you know you've nailed the right feel.

Who is your main, and what's their story?

Let's get this out of the way: I am an altoholic. I know it's far from as bad as some people with 50+ character slots I've seen but I'll pick up one idea for a character one night, and by the morning I'll be singing the praises of its opposite (and don't even get me started on choosing the outfits. I dress my characters better than I dress myself!). Looking at the re-occuring NPCs I have makes me wince as I wish I could use all of them all of the time.
But one character does stand out from the rest, and that's my charming scoundrel of a smuggler Captain Jarec Davies. Suave, sophisticated (?), full of talent, heart-breaker, Freighter Captain Monthly's man of the year (?), are just a few of the words he'd used to describe himself and potentially lie about. He's definitely inspired by the Harrison Ford or Nathan Fillion type of wise-cracking, Hard-hit, action and adventure seeking character.

A freighter Captain and Smuggler about as Corellian as they come, he's been busted by law enforcement on Coruscant and twisted in to doing their dirty-work, thrown across cantinas by burley Zabrak thugs, explored ancient ships, and even aided in breaking a blockade, all with a healthy amount of firefights and duels mixed in. He's definitely had an exciting life and if he ever got the private tropical moon to himself he's always wanted I'm not sure he'd give up his life for it.

Maybe until the booze ran out.

I do wonder whether Davies is a character that perhaps might want to pull back and simmer down, he's very much the 'action-character' he's the one pulled out for grand stories and adventure and that's natural for characters to gather so much experience over years of roleplay but you don't ever want a character that's been there and done it all. I think that's when you need to pull them back with your position as a writer, only so much someone can take after all.

I enjoy roleplaying him too much to ever put him on the back-bench though and what's been interesting instead is figuring out ways of showing that 'it's not the years it's the mileage'. I think I enjoy roleplaying Davies because he's not as stiff or as a serious as my other characters, he allows for such a broad range: From brevity and most importantly sarcasm to tones of seriousness and weight, as well as his (often flirtatious) interactions almost always leading to a humorous encounter with other players, sometimes at his own expense!

What advice would you give to someone new to roleplay?  
Oh I've plenty to tell but I'll keep it simple and say....
Show, don't tell...and show sparingly! Give weight to your words and actions, make them a struggle and you add so much value to what your character achieves or has achieved. Having a bunch of Jedi lightsabers around your characters belt, or a den kitted out with Wookiee pelts might sound cool but with each new addition you add.... the value of the rest is lowered. The extraordinary becomes the mundane. Why not give your character that lightsaber as a trophy, but a cybernetic arm was the price? Yeah it breaks down because it's a cheap replacement, but he only needs the one hand to beat you with anyway! That's a badass. Pull of a crazy feat? Discretely wipe that bead of sweat and let him collect himself from being a heaving mess before having him play off any notion he might've been worrying!
It's always better to over exert than to downplay. Saying you're a badass is much less impressive than showing you're a badass. Take a lesson from the Harrison Ford school of fights, make each hit really feel. Poor Davies is a ragdoll.
And lastly and maybe most importantly... If you've an idea... Just go for it! Some ideas work and some don't and the loudest and the most negative comments will always stick because they're always louder than the positive ones (Which I feel is something that goes both ways. When giving advice, think on how it looks. Whilst there may only be a handful speaking, I guarantee there's far more listening in). If it works, it works, if it doesn't then it doesn't and move on to your next idea! There's no harm in trying anything. For me if there's at least some fun RP drawn from it then it's a success, that's what we're all here for anyway!

Currently you are are active in the underworld community. What drew you to this setting?

The fame, fortunes and Zeltronian women.

I think there's some truth to the idea that there's freedom in criminal RP, you're not locked by a faction or by politics or law, you are free to pursue a wide range of stories. The hero, the villain, the in-between, and you can interact with all sides as well. I'll try out different character concepts and ideas but I always end up with the Scoundrel and a scoundrel is always at home with crime. It's meant to be.

There's such a great underworld community as well, so many interesting and bizarre characters that I love to meet or to continue roleplaying with.

What is a character concept you have always wanted to try, but haven't had time/the opportunity to yet? 
There's a lot of strange aliens out there that I would love to roleplay at some point but I can't find the time or nail the right concept or just get the look of them right. A shape changer, a Wookiee or a trandoshan bounty hunter top the list, or (And I'm sure those that know me will agree that I've said a lot of "Right, now I'm definitely going to make this!" about the next char...) a Gen'Dai but I just can't pin down the concept that would work outside of a private storyline or a guild when it comes to a creature that's so powerful. I say all these ideas now but I'll have another three or four lined up tomorrow as the new must-haves!
And lastly - what is one of your favourite roleplay stories to tell?  
There's plenty of little one-off stories I think I could point to here that still make me chuckle or I might find quite endearing or rather badass but I feel like they may be too 'in-joke' material to really be cracking stories. As im more than sure if I ever see someone with a 'Nope' T-shirt IRL I'm going to burst out laughing, Papers Please is a game I can't take seriously anymore, and Life-Day holds an entirely different meaning to me now.

But there is a series of RP that I am so happy to have been involved in, and am so thankfully for everyone that took part. It was Roleplaying a Smuggler's fantasy and it was done with some amazing people, so many different roleplay sessions that built up to busting an Imperial blockade.

it was the ultimate finale that brought together so many different plot-points from so long ago, all bringing them together into this single meeting point, this single event and the pay-off was fantastic. From Crime-Lords with grudges, smokey-backroom dealings and backstabbings, to pirate attacks and even a close-up fight against cruisers. So many different plots that came together in a story that came about by chance and just a natural progression. So many different RP sessions that were added on, turning what could've been a simple matter of a single night spent roleplaying a blockade into several of planning, buying people to their side, setting the right scene for it to pull off. For me it showed me what you can do if you have a destination in mind for a character but you just let the roleplay happen, build around it and let other characters shape the destination.

Then there's also one that I had on Davies a fair while ago, which above all was just fun. Using the Microbinocular quest to help us roleplay jumping from speeder to speeder on a busy NS rush-hour, annoying drivers and nearly slipping to the depths below, horns blasting and aliens swearing all as they chased down a thief. Topped off with 'The Basket Game' from Indiana Jones playing in the background. Something about it just felt so... Star Wars.

Psst! Know someone who needs a highlight? Get in touch and let me know - I will add them to the ever-growing list!