I’ve always had a lot of respect and admiration towards roleplayers. As someone who previously used to write fan fiction based around the games I was playing, I often found myself stopping in my tracks in game to idly watch roleplayers’ conversations and how they integrated the world around them into their stories. Some of the scenarios we’re casual- individuals happening across each other in a tavern, compelled by mead to tell each other their tales of heroism or sorrows. Others were incredibly detailed instances that you know had to take a lot of time and planning, where multiple individuals on both the sides of good and evil came together at the peak of some character created quest. It’s truly captivating- and is the experience I wish more people would acknowledge instead of focusing on “Balmung ERP” jokes.
This will come as a surprise to absolutely no one- but one of the most interesting aspects of roleplay to me is the character creation. Most specifically, how these roleplayers design their characters as a visual representation of the personalities they mean to portray through their glamours. As a glamour artist, I have the capability of making whatever kind of glamour I want on any given day just because I want to look cool. Roleplayers, however, have to put in quite a bit more thought into this process. Yes, the Nezha Lord’s Togi looks awesome- but it doesn’t look like something an Ishgardian member of the Holy See would wear, does it? Active roleplayers have to constantly be mindful of their persona and that their looks are an actual representation of that.
That, my friends, is what we will be focusing on: The Roleplayer’s Closet. What’s in there? Why is it in there? Is it ironed? (Just kidding on that last one- much like male viera, Yoshi P. didn’t think there was a need for wrinkles in this game. Too soon?)
I had the absolute pleasure of getting to know three roleplayers and discussing with them their thoughts on glamming with their specific characters in mind. Be respectful as they allow us to browse their walk-in wardrobes; and I don’t care how much you like those shoes- put them back. They aren’t yours. That’s more of a reminder to myself, because lord have mercy do I love me some shoes…
Monk and culinarian/Chef de cuisine
Hiro has a wife he misses dearly, no children, and 11 brothers and sisters. His immediate older brother died while on a mission with him. Hiro is the youngest.
Hiro enjoys fighting, cooking, and traveling the length and breadth of the world.
Hirokuli (or Hiro) as he is called by his friends is a young and spirited Lalafell Pugilist. Starting out from a family of 13 brothers and sisters, he is used to a large family and constantly being surrounded by people. Growing up on the tail end of his parents breeding campaign he was subjected to physical labor by his older siblings and constant teasing and the pressures of being the “low man on totem pole”.
However, due to his upbringing, young Hiro is near impervious to mental subjugation and once he sets his mind on something, he is going to do just that. He is physically shaped just like any member of the Lalafell race with the exception of his muscular constitution. Constant labor and chores have toned his muscles to a very peculiar hardness.
In the terms of his 4th oldest brother Jarakuli, “Hitting him is like trying to punch a mountain face.” He is not bulky nor abnormally huge in his peoples’ standards, just much more solidly built. His body type quite naturally drove him to more and more physically demanding roles, such as the pursuit of the Pugilist way of life. Even as a novice he could usually just shrug off blows from monsters several times bigger than himself, and the training only enhanced his speed and tone even more.
His eyes on becoming one of the most acclaimed Monks in the world, Hiro is constantly training both his body and his mind daily trying to reach his goal.
During discussion, Hirokuli described himself as having some “slight narcissistic tendencies” where no one enjoys looking at Hiro more than he, himself. With this in mind, his creator tends to look for clothing pieces that would flaunt his assets- such as open shirts to expose his muscular chest or sweeping styles of clothes that billow in the breeze.
His first glamour is a perfect representation of all of this. Here he wears the Griffin Leather Coat of Striking, in a bold sky blue that really pulls the eye in towards his torso and bare chest- I’m sure that type of attention would suit his ego well! In order to keep the focus on the area of his body that he’s most proud of. I love that the rest of the outfit maintained a more muted and subdued color scheme. And get a load of those pants! The Quan pants are the epitome of relaxed and flowy items within this game and match his character’s preferences perfectly.
This particular glamour has a very special meaning to his character. From a roleplaying perspective this brilliantly blue jacket was a honeymoon gift crafted for him by his wife, Popoto Poto. To make it even more special, the gold and blue coloring matched his beloved’s hair and eyes! He describes the coat as an, “extension of her hugging her husband, even if they couldn’t be close.” From a personal perspective, the actual player of Popoto left the game and the glamour was a reminder of all the memories and stories she and Hirokuli created together.
His second look is considered more along the lines of loungewear; after all spending all that time training and toning his muscles should earn him some reprieve. In a brief interview, Hirokuli’s creator stated that tight-fitting clothing didn’t totally fit with his character’s personality, but he would occasionally sneak in a more form fitting piece as long as it’s paired with something more loose fitting. This outfit is the perfect representation of this! The look feels very light and casual, and the Survival Shirt is relaxed just enough to contrast the structured look of the pants.My favorite part about this look is even though it’s very neutral toned and laid back, all the jewelry adornments, belts and the design on the pant still give off the “look at me” vibe that Hirokuli seems to enjoy. It’s subtly flashy… If that is a thing. If it wasn’t, now it is. Taking it to trademark.
I asked all our roleplayers what they would recommend to a new roleplayer as a good place to get started building their character wardrobes, and what tips and tricks were beneficial to them. Here was Hirokuli’s response: “I would tell them to take FULL advantage of the glamour chest. Pick a class or two whose armor you like visually the most, and make glamours off of that. I like the Monk and White Mage outfits better than most other classes I’ve seen around the city with the possible exception of bards, glorious bastards that they are. Also, when making your glamour chest, consider where your character will be roleplaying most often.
With only 10 slots available, you have to be a bit picky to save some inventory space, so choose carefully. Give yourself a comfortable lounging outfit, a summer and winter outfit, indoor casual and professional attires. Something that you can change on the fly should the opportunity for roleplay come up randomly when you’re out gathering, fishing, or fighting. Some of the greatest In-Character conversations I’ve had were 100% improvised, unplanned shenanigans that I often look back on with a smile.“
Alastair “Hely” Helyous
Miqo’te (Keeper of the Moon)
Sharlayan and his master
Sharlayan Colony in Dravania
Hermetic Apprentice, Aetherology Student, working as Alchemist to survive. Double-Agent as a Gentleman Thief.
Average. His family is wealthy, so jewelry and fine clothes are common in his wardrobe, but at this point making a living in Eorzea is becoming tougher than he expected.
Hely had a good childhood as far as he can remember. His father was a Seeker of the Sun Tia who met a brilliant mathematician Keeper Miqo’te in Dravania during one of his many travels and they settled in Eternal Bond. But that was many many years ago, way before the Sharlayan gates were locked shut.
His father was allowed entry as a citizen of Sharlayan after his relatively long time spent among them, living as one of them. Hely was but a baby during the exodus and he does not remember anything of his time in Eorzea.
Hely spends most of his time studying arcane formulae or a dusty, Nymian tome. When he is not using his time to advance his research, he may be found on the ground floor of his cottage working in his alchemy shop mixing concoctions to sell. If he decides to mark something to be stolen or accepts a request in the Electrum Quill newspaper, he’ll write a very elaborate letter to the victim informing them of their “visit”, only to appear in the dead of the night, suns later.
Hely trained under a friend of his mother, Professor Gerraltdieux – influential Archon and writer of the legendary essay on arcane geometries called Dynamics of a Meteor. Stern and rigid, he has one of the most strict traitsounning plans in the motherland, even for an Archon. Relying on the physical development of his pupils as much as magical and mental, his students were expected to be as skilled at mining ores as they were at classifying them and their purity. As a Hermetic, his skills are in Astromancy, Alchemy, and Aetherology. Of course, being a gentleman himself, etiquette was demanded of every one of his pupils.
Hely is following on his mentor’s footsteps and diligently training under his tutelage, including his goal of one day becoming an Archon whose work on Aetherology compare to his own master’s. And thus he came to Eorzea to undertake a deep and profound research on Nymian fairies, including their Aetherial nature, their constitution and characteristics.
In the meantime, his master entrusted him with an alternative job – not a Bibliothec himself, Professor Gerraltdieux believes that while knowledge should one day be of open access to all, not every tome or object should be available to the eyes and hands of the unprepared. Thus Hely often engages in mysterious heists where he attempts to disappear with copies of the Necrologos, Belah’dian daggers, and Mhachi rods of Void arts.
He recently married an Au Ri Onmyoji and Geomancer who co-runs his own newspaper in Ul’dah. He uses it to secretly take requests to rid poor people of their master’s unholy possessions, after hearing of the suffering of a Gridanian staff member after their mistress engaged in Voidsent dealings.
Hely’s glamours do an excellent job pulling in factors of his past and upbringing, changing them into a physical representation. When asked what aspects of his character inspired these glamours, he made note of Hely’s pride in being Sharlayan. This is beautifully represented by the use of teals, whites, silver, and gold which are colors typically seen within the Sharlayan flag. Many of his glamours also include long ceremonial like robes one might expect from an astute intellectual, as well as appearing put-together and gentlemanly in a way his predecessor would be proud of.
He describes this first glamour as his more “day to day” attire that is suggestive not only of his alchemical mastery, but also fits in with the guise that he is wealthy. The vials that hang from both the front and back of his coat are functional in purpose- as Hely likes to be prepared in case he stumbles upon something he’d like to collect and study later.
I find that his alchemist glamour is a wonderful nod to many aspects of his character’s life. The smart choice of using the Cauldronmaster’s Overcoat dyed that vibrant green not only ties in the cool toned Sharlayan color scheme, but some of its smaller details are reminiscent of his other areas of interest. The trim that looks like the changing phases of the moon, along with the star upon the chest, serve as a reminder of his interest in Astromancy. Never overlook those small details- not only do they serve in adding general visual interest for your look, they also could also serve in adding another level to your characters story.
His second glamour is far more ceremonial in nature, and is described as the type of look he would wear while practicing his magic in Aetherology. This glam allowed him the opportunity to finally use the Cane of the Round- but not simply just to wield as a cool, glowy weapon. For his story, this staff is described as an “aetherial torch” that is only kept alight with Hely’s concentration. The constant glow of the staff is attributed to the mastery of his craft. This particular choice in weapon is smart, as that soft blue glow is similar to the tone that the game uses for the actual flow of aether.The gloves here also serve a really interesting purpose: not only do the gems upon the Star Velvet Long Gloves of Healing give off the impression of wealth, but Hely also describes the stones as being functional. Each gem serves as a representation of each of the six elements, which allows him to better attune with and manipulate aether.
When asked for his opinion on recommendations for new roleplayers, his response was as follows: “Write down your story (doesn’t have to literally have it written, by the way! It existing in your mind is fine!). Who is your character? What kind of personality do they have? People one way or another dress themselves in a way that expresses something about themselves that they want to show (or hide). A brooding and tough person with a harsh past is possibly going to dress in more practical clothes. Their robes will be shorter to allow more movement if they are mages, their staves will be simple and practical, may not even have much glowing elements or even be small and portable to hide their magical aptitude entirely. In the other hand, a pompous, aristocratic person will show their high-birth and snobbishness even in a supposedly dark and brooding role, such as a Dark Knight. They may wear armor that is simultaneously a lordly coat, favoring silver instead of black to better reflect reddish against their magic. Their sword will be intricate with a beautiful gem on the crossguard or pommel to act as a medium.
The first one is trying to hide their magic to appear “tougher” and mysterious. They want to keep people looking at them wondering, “what does that person do?”. The second is putting who they are, their nobility, way above everything else. They may be defending the oppressed, but only because in their eyes it is all that could be expected of a noble to do.
First, ask “who is my character?”, and then ask “what are they trying to say?”. You got a glamour!”
Raised by a single father with four older brothers (one deceased) and one younger brother.
Sketching strangers, stealing small starters from other adventurer’s gardens and cooking way too much food. She also enjoys assisting her friend, Ariel, with her bakery and appraising relics and their level of safety.
Hely trained under a friend of his mother, Professor Gerraltdieux – influential Archon and writer of the Adopted by a traveling merchant, Proud Moss found her way to Ul’dah in the hopes of perfecting her training in the ways of goldsmithing and weaving, in order to assist her father’s business. Instead, she found her calling among the mysterious and strange curiosities left behind by ancient civilizations. With her companions throughout the City- States, Moss tends to keep herself busy with relics, the occasional healing and medical calls, and some very bizarre plants that almost have a mind of their own.
If you haven’t had the “aha!” moment yet, color schemes are a great basis for your roleplay character’s creation. Much like how we are prone to having favorite colors, or owning more clothes in certain shades because we feel like we look better in them- our characters are the same way. As her name implies, Proud Moss just can’t get enough of those earthy, green tones! When asked why these particular shades resonated so much with her beautiful roegadyn, she stated that these more muted shades help portray the low key vibe of her character. Green is typically considered a soothing and relaxing shade, and those deeper tones are far more calming than, say, a vibrant metallic green. I also found myself relating to her character on a personal level when she confessed that her love for this hue was also due to the fact that “it’s a lovely shade and goes well with her hair color.” Girl, yes! You make those colors bring out the best in you!
Proud Moss’ first glamour is all about casual comfort, but still chock full of her characters personality and lore. That dainty Green Viola Corsage seen in both glamours presented here today was actually a gift from a special suitor that had been preserved by a friend to allow for daily wear, making it not only a sweet token of affection, but also a potential discussion point when engaging into a roleplay conversation!
The Ala Mhigan Gown, while being just an overall great glamour item, also gave a small glimpse into the family background of Proud Moss. As she stated in her biography, Proud Moss was adopted by a travelling merchant. During discussion she stated that this top was a well-made piece of her adoptive father’s culture that she enjoyed being able to wear.
Her second glamour still heralds the importance of comfort, but also takes into account the need for flexibility, as well as her clan’s lore. Some of the Hellsguard lore often talks about showing off their incredibly muscular physique, which Proud Moss stats lead to her creating several outfits that showed off her arms and torso. For this glamour Proud Moss likes to keep her arms bare to allow for the ease of those sweeping caster motions, allowing for full range of motion. Still, she keeps the palms of her hands in mind by using the Pagos Field Dressing to provide extra cushion as she climbs through ruins in her quest for relics.
She also took care here to provide me with her logical choice in using the Eastern Journey Bottoms. While there aren’t any belts with functional items on this piece, she roleplays in this glam as if there is. And that’s totally okay! Roleplay is all about the imagination- and guess what? As if this item wasn’t cool as is, she also roleplays that this particular pair of pants has pockets. POCKETS. Everything’s better with pockets!
She recommended this to new roleplayers just starting their dive into the sea of glamour possibilities: “The Gold Saucer is your friend! There are tons of basic pieces that aren’t terribly expensive to stock up on! Don’t be afraid to dress down some until you can make money or level crafters to make those more expensive level 1 glamour pieces. Also, make sure to look through the Disciple of Hand/Land pieces as well. There are great shoe and glove options there that fill very specific niches.“
I know the saying goes “there’s more to ___ than meets the eye,” but for roleplay part of what defines the character is what we physically see. The very clothes your character wears should tell part of your story, and the roleplayers featured here did a fantastic job of showing multiple ways of doing this. Fill up those glamour dressers with items you feel would appeal to your character- whether it be a piece in a color they fancy, or seems to be appropriate for the job you want them to do. The most beautiful thing about it is, it is personal to you and your character, and it’s up to the rest of the roleplaying world to find out why those pieces are so special to you.
A very special thank you to Hirokuli, Hely, and Proud Moss for graciously offering to be a part of this piece.