The original Grey LIne blog was lost in our site move a few months ago. In honor of it I’ve decided to reprise what the Grey Line is and go into depth about how we define it here at BlackSky. First, and foremost, I want to break down something I’ve as an Rper usually encountered in Roleplay.
Dark Vs Light
There is this notion that certain forms of Rp = Dark Rp. This is something that many people can agree on such as criminal Rp = Dark RP, where as Paladins = light Rp. This is where in general I find things starting to get a bit, confusing. People like to label Rp in a manner to define its connotations. Is it heavily filled with dark themes such as violence, drugs etc, or is it focused on more lighter themes. To me, and to BlackSky any either of these forms are fun, and pitting them against each other is just kind of well, its silly. Let me take a step back and give a greater sense of how things work.
In all good books even at the darkest moment unless you are reading a tragedy you often Will get a light hearted. Another way to go about it is that if we truly characterize and humanize the villain there are moments where we can sympathize with them (unless you are a crazy clown murderer like Kefka, or a whiny brat like Shinji). A mixture is what provides entertainment and allows us to keep things moving. If you jump on the path of dark all you will get is darker and darker. Your tunnel will run out of light and you’ll be left in a world of grit and grime. Some people like pure dark unapologetic Rp, me I like to mix things up.
The same goes for Light Hearted Rp, if we avoid dark themes then things can get stale, just as if we focus on Dark Themes we get stale too. Roleplay thus with the Grey Line is about balancing and pacing the various elements. So lets take another step (forward this time) and look a few instances of more greyish aspects of story telling.
Greed the Avaricious
I like Greed from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (his story is much thicker in the second rendition of FMA), mostly because he’s a jackass, but he is sympathetic in the end. So why does Greed walk the Grey Line? Well, first Greed’s motivations are to help himself. He has no interested in destroying the world, he would rather have a bunch of women or eat a lot of good food. He’s a simple guy, but he DOES take care of the things he owns. In that strange twisted regard in the instance where he kills a for compatriot Greed has a mental break down and realizes, I NEED PEOPLE. He’s not just a monster, he is a creature that by definition yes is a murder, but he DOES want to help people and in the end of the story he basically assists in saving the world against Father.
Greed didn’t have a set alignment, he was chaotic, his actions and how people viewed them rather than arbitrary assignment is what made him walk the Grey line.
I would say Data is a strange instance, but I do think there are a few instances where he has walked the Grey Line. As a character Data seeks to be human and in that journey he partakes in debauchery (he did randomly have drunken sex with Tasha Yar), and he did kill. He had a child and experience a lot of emotions, he also sacrificed his life eventually. What makes Data a resounding character is dimension, just like Greed (I realize I am just parsing over the complex character that is data so bear with me!).
Grey Lines as a means to create Depth
In BlackSky we want to make it so players can truly have fun Roleplay and form stories from common interaction. Does the Mordesh Scientist really wish to assist the Club or cure herself? IS the Captain truly a war criminal, or just a soldier doing his job. Basically lets toss out alignment and labels and walk in a world where sure there is morality, but it WILL get tossed on its head now and then. Through our common storytelling and the biased created from each Guild we can truly take time to see how our characters are heros to one faction and villains to another. How a War Criminal is in fact a War Hero, and a former Skipper is in fact a blood thirsty gang lord.