Posted by: Jess Riley | December 3, 2008

Theme Week Undead: A More Personal Note…

We’ve talked about how much I love the undead (for all that I didn’t really follow that up by posting much this week), and I won’t stop talking about how god-damn awesome they are. But, alright, there’s something missing here – Sean soapboxed about why he loves humans and how he came to love the trolls and for all that I’ve talked about my love for the undead and how I think they’re awesome, I’ve never really gotten down to it and established why I think they are so fantastic.

I wasn’t going to do one of these, but Sean baited me. This is the transcript of our conversation.

Sean: You should make a post about why you love the Forsaken, like my humans post.
Me: But you only did that because I said I don’t like the humans.
Sean: Jess, the Forsaken suck.

Alright, so ‘transcript’ is used a bit loosely here. This is my memory of the conversation, more or less, probably how it happened. Maybe.

But the gist is that Sean baited me, and now I have to talk about why I love the Undead.

It’s so simple to me. See Sean’s post about the humans? Well, you take everything in that post (except for the John Hodgeman wannabe, and the special snowflake bit), and that is exactly what the Forsaken used to be. Sean likes to claim that the humans have the most intense and detailed lore – I am here to counter that. It is not, in fact, the humans or the orcs that have the most detailed lore – it is the Forsaken. The Forsaken have all the human lore, plus a bit of elf in there somewhere (but nothing compared to the humans, right?) and then, they have possibly the most interesting twist ever.

They all died and became mindless zombies.

And then they cut it out, and became zombies with free will.

So, if humans are awesome because they have a tonne of lore behind them, and the Forsaken have all the human lore plus the inherent awesomeness which is being zombies with free will, it follows that Forsaken are more awesome than humans.

This is scientific fact. No, let me rephrase. This is mathematical fact. Human Awesomeness (HA) = amount of lore (n). Forsaken Awesomeness (FA) = n + zombies (z). n + z > n, therefore FA > HA.

Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “But surely Jess is wrong! There is no awesomeness inherent in being a zombie!”

But, aha, I say, there is. For a start, as I have spent the week talking about, the Forsaken have possibly the most interesting psychology of any of the races. The things that they have been through, the things that they have seen and done and will do again… it all adds up to a very interesting mindset, and interesting mindsets lead to interesting characters and interesting roleplay.

Secondly, the Forsaken are in a position where they are neither entirely trusted by nor entirely trust the majority of their allies. In some cases, this is warranted. In some cases, it isn’t. The Forsaken are still very much individuals – very strongly individual, as a matter of fact. Either way, it provokes nuanced roleplay; questing with a personal friend who knows you can be fun, but what about questing with someone who has no reason to trust you farther than he can throw you – and let’s face it, you’re not very aerodynamic, being a hunk of bone. There’s lots of ways that you can provoke interesting roleplay with a Forsaken.

Finally, they look cool. What? They do. If you’re allowed to use that justification for liking the blood elves (well, ‘hot’ rather than cool, but whatever), I’m allowed to use it for liking the Forsaken. Who doesn’t want to play a character who has no elbows and whose face is half-rotted away? That also gives you roleplay possibilities, incidentally – how many other races have their own bodies rebelling against them as they walk? One of my very first scenes as an undead mage was my mage and a priestess who had run into each other in the starting area, one of whom was getting anxious over the fact that she was physically decomposing, and one of whom was getting nauseated (in mind, if not in body) about the fact that her arm bone was poking out and it needed to be slotted back into place.

It sounds weird, but that was surprisingly compelling. Imagine being in that situation.

So there you are. Zombies (z) are awesome. Lore (n) is awesome. Therefore, z + n > n.

Thank you for listening. Sean, I expect a written apology for saying the Forsaken suck in four to six working days.

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Responses

  1. “One of my very first scenes as an undead mage was my mage and a priestess who had run into each other in the starting area, one of whom was getting anxious over the fact that she was physically decomposing, and one of whom was getting nauseated (in mind, if not in body) about the fact that her arm bone was poking out and it needed to be slotted back into place.”

    Then, of course, you have my undead warrior, who is cheerfully rotting away and repairs himself with glue.

    I don’t deny the Forsaken are fun. Written apology forthcoming.

  2. This was too funny. But yes, if humans are great then of course the forsaken are better. There humans plus a few other races wrapped up in a nice undead bow, so of course their way better.

    And yup, playing an undead from a humorous perspective due to their biology has loads of potential. I am surprised you all didn’t do an entry on it yet..or should we expect it later this week?


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