The Story of Player Character

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May Member 2011


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Our character, the Adventurer, is one of the most important figures in the history of Gielinor. We've watched them grow from a nobody to one of the most important beings in the world, thanks to the gifts obtained and skills mastered during their adventures and involvement with practically everything and everyone in Gielinor.

And yet, the Adventurer is perhaps the most mysterious character in RuneScape. We have no confirmed information about the character's past, family, how they began their career as an adventurer: we don't even know the Adventurer's canonical appearance, name or age.

In this thread, I discuss what we know about our character lore-wise, what we have speculated about their past, why it would and wouldn't be a good idea to have a fixed protagonist, and what the Adventurer has against cabbages, among other things. I hope you'll enjoy this thread and have time to read it. If not, at least check the Long Story Short.

Oh, and just to clear confusion: I tend to switch between 'the Adventurer' and 'player character' quite often depending on which one suits better, so don't be confused.

1. The Clouded Past: What we know about the Adventurer
2. Wild Mass Guessing: What we can theorise about the Adventurer
3. The Word of God: Jagex's opinion
4. Long Story Short: This thread in a nutshell
5. Final Notes
6. Additional Material 1: Further information about the Adventurer
7. Additional Material 2: Further theories about the Adventurer

27-May-2013 13:48:11 - Last edited on 03-Jun-2016 00:59:39 by Aquamancer

May Member 2011


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The Clouded Past

The Adventurer, the player character, has no official lore at all. However, what Jagex tends to do is that they drop small, most likely unintentional pieces of information that gives more info about our character. I have done everything to find information about the Adventurer, and this is all the official information I have found.

Lunar Diplomacy

One of the largest pieces of information about the Adventurer was revealed during Lunar Diplomacy, the book My Life being the most notable source of information. Here's the dialogue:

''It was in the age of the fifth that a child was born of simple beginnings. Even though he/she started his/her life with little money to his/her name, and nothing but a dream of adventure, he/she began his/her career by...''

Let's analyze this a bit. The book reveals that:

• The Adventurer was born during the Fifth age, which seems to be true, considering our character is a young adult at the time of the year 169, when they start their career as an adventurer.

• The Adventurer is from 'humble beginnings' and 'grew up with very little money’; meaning that the player is definitely not from a wealthy, powerful or important family and most likely grew up in a poor family.

• The Adventurer had dreamed of the career as an adventurer since their childhood. Whether the Adventurer tried other career paths or did their parents support the idea or not are unknown.

During the quest, we also learned that the Adventurer has received basic education (the examine text of Ethereal Numerator says 'he reminds me of my old mathematics teacher'). This clearly implies that the Adventurer used to attend to school as a child. Their school performance is unknown, but seeing that poor children tend to get lower grades than richer children, we can assume that the Adventurer didn't do well at school. That does not mean that they're stupid though: they may be intelligent but just don't fare well academically.

27-May-2013 13:48:28 - Last edited on 13-Nov-2013 06:29:16 by Aquamancer

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Many other sources in the game give some insight to the story of the Adventurer. For example, the Adventurer's family: thanks to Halloween 2011 and Tower of Life, we know that the Adventurer was raised by their parents and knew them well, meaning that the Adventurer isn't an orphan.
We also know that the Adventurer has a brother (mentioned during The Restless Ghost), a grandmother (mentioned during Troll Romance), an aunt (mentioned in an examine text of a Penance Runner statue at Barbarian Outpost) and an uncle (mentioned in Sam's hat's examine text), which might imply that the Adventurer might have a reasonably large family.
We do not know if the Adventurer has more siblings, but seeing that the poor families tend to have more children, it is safe to assume that the Adventurer has plenty of siblings.

Examine texts offer insight to the Adventurer's opinions about things around them (like cabbages, which the Adventurer hates), but perhaps the most important examine text info regarding the Adventurer's past is the examine text of a piano in Yanille: ''I was always forced to play this as a child.'' This means that likely one of the teachers of the Adventurer, or their parents, forced them to learn to play the piano. Playing the piano reveals that the Adventurer plays it well, meaning that the effort didn't go to waste.

Regarding the aforementioned cabbages, the Adventurer clearly has a grudge against cabbages. It is possible, and likely, that the Adventurer started to hate cabbages because the Adventurer had nothing to eat but cabbages while they were children, and considering the fact that the Adventurer was from humble beginnings, it's easy to imagine that the most common food available for the family were the cheap cabbages. And if the Adventurer had to eat cabbages for years, it's quite easy to understand why the Adventurer dislikes cabbages.

27-May-2013 13:48:41 - Last edited on 11-Jul-2014 21:13:13 by Aquamancer

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Personalitywise, the Adventurer shows many heroic tendencies regardless of their motivations. They are willing to journey across the world, slay powerful foes and face difficult challenges, while remaining strong-willed and ambitious no matter what they go through. They frequently go on quests to help people in whatever way they can, often in hopes of a reward. Unfortunately, the adventurer is easily manipulated, which is often taken advantage by more cunning villains. However, the Adventurer also shows signs of great intelligence, such as solving the puzzles of the Elemental Workshop without any assistance. What I find odd is that the Adventurer doesn't seem to show any sort of emotional baggage despite all the emotionally intense and heart-stopping they have gone through.

Despite we can change the Adventurer's gender, skin tone, hair color and clothing as we please, one thing can't be changed, and that is the color of the eyes. The Adventurer seems to have brown/amber/hazel eyes (most of the time, at least: certain head gear like the Cooking hood swaps the eye colour), which are a sign of a trustworthy and stable character, someone who is ’’down-to-earth’’. Then again, a majority of humans have brown eyes, thus brown eyes seen as the norm and don't often symbolize anything significant. In fact, this may be may symbolize that the Adventurer is not naturally special.

However, the most important characteristic of the Adventurer is that they have a great destiny on their shoulders, so great, that according to the Death, they can't die yet because their destiny waits them. Maybe Death was ordered by Guthix to spare us if we happen to die, because our survival was the desire of Guthix. Then again, this may be a handwave to try to explain why we can’t die, or our deaths are never canon in the first place.

27-May-2013 13:48:54 - Last edited on 12-Jun-2013 17:27:07 by Aquamancer

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Alternatively, the Adventurer might have multiple destinies that need to be completed for us to die: during Blood Runs Deep, we die multiple times and are spared since we have to defeat the Dagannoth Mother, and at the end of The World Wakes, we learn that Guthix has watched them grow since their birth and granted them the power to protect Gielinor from gods.
It could be that the very birth and existance of the Adventurer is something special, and that Guthix followed and manipulated the events so that the Adventurer would grow them to become a World Guardian and banish the gods from Gielinor.

Speaking of Guthix, the Balance Elemental talks to the Adventurer as if they had been friends. It tells that the Adventurer had died young and had participated to their funeral. Here's the most important pieces of dialogue:

''Do you know what, playername? I've really missed you. It's been such a long time, and your funeral was just such a lovely event. And what was it you used to say to me? Oh, I remember it well, since it was like yesterday. Ah, well, I guess you know better than anyone that the good die young!''

''The bloom of youth only lasts so long. What can any of us aspire to but a glorious death, and yours was glorious. Oh, and the other day someone else was talking about how much they missed you. How you used to light the place up with your laughter, but it's all gone now. But you know that better than any of us!''

''But of course, it's always nice to talk, though, and 'manners maketh the man', is what you always told me.''

The dialogue raises more questions than it answers, and even Mod Osborne, the head of Jagex’s lore team, said in RuneRadio interview that even he has no idea what the dialogue meant. This leads us to the next part of the thread, the theories about the Adventurer.

27-May-2013 13:49:11 - Last edited on 12-Jun-2013 17:27:57 by Aquamancer

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Wild Mass Guessing

• If we are to believe that the Balance Elemental is telling the truth, the Adventurer might have lived before. Before the World Wakes, I assumed that the Adventurer is an incarnation of a dead Guardian of Guthix, since Balance Elemental claims that it and the Adventurer were friends, it would make sense that the Past!Adventurer was at least Guthixian, if not a Guardian.
Though after The World Wakes, this theory is proven wrong, since 1) the Adventurer is a World Guardian, 2) there have been no implications that a Guardian of Guthix has died before, 3) Balance Elemental is not a Guardian, and was a human before it became what it is today.
Then again, it is still possible the Adventurer is a reincarnation of a young Guthixian who knew Balance Elemental before it was granted its current form by Guthix.

• Some sources, such as the unofficial RS Wiki, claim that during the Lunar Diplomacy, the Adventurer is mentioned to have born in Misthalin. However, when I played the quest through, there isn't anything like that mentioned during the quest. The dialogue may have been changed

• The Adventurer might be from Lumbridge (Assuming the information from unofficial RS Wiki is true). There are only four known settlements in Misthalin, and since Edgeville was inhabited in year 169, we can count it off.
That leaves three possible hometowns, and since Lumbridge is where most of the beginning players have started their adventurers and has hosted two out of the four tutorials with third one nearby, it's safe to assume that the player character is from Lumbridge.
Also, the Lumbridge loadstone activated at the start of the game, which would make sense if you're from there and the accent of the Lumbridgeans has been described to be cosmopolitan, which would fit well for a character wandering across the world without settling down for a long time.

27-May-2013 13:49:29 - Last edited on 13-Nov-2013 06:25:31 by Aquamancer

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• The name the Adventurer uses (the username) is not their true name: instead, it's merely an alias, so that their true identity wouldn't be discovered and their family and friends harmed. This theory is supported by a dialogue with Narf:

Player: That's a funny name you've got.
Narf: 'Narf'? Do you think that's funny? At least I don't call myself 'playername'! Where did you get a name like that?
Player: It seemed like a good idea at the time!
Narf: Bah!

Emphasis on the part 'it seemed like a good idea at the time'. This means the player character invented the name they are using, not their parents.

• There have been theories that the Adventurer isn't a human at all, based on the fact they can, amongst other things, fight gods and their generals and win them, sing crystal and come back from the dead whenever we die: all of these are feats incapable to other humans.
Some have speculated that the Adventurer is an amnesiac being of immense power, such as a mahjarrat or a god, but those theories seem to be proven false.
In addition, there are plenty of other extremely strong mortals around (the Mahjarrat, the Dragonkin, GWD generals, Char, Slayer Masters exc.), which means that while the Adventurer is a human; they are a very powerful human.

27-May-2013 13:49:44 - Last edited on 13-Nov-2013 06:25:45 by Aquamancer

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The Word of God: Jagex's opinion

We know close to nothing about the Adventurer, since Jagex wanted to encourage the players to create their own background story instead of being bound to what they already wrote.

Here is a bit of transcript taken from Live Lore Q&A. When J-Mods were asked (have a lucky guess by whom) if they will reveal anything about the player character's past, Mod Mark replied:

''With a game like RuneScape we want everyone to be able to create their own characters. They’re not inheriting a character. It’s not like a game with a defined storyline or a linear progression. It’s not a console game where you’re playing a character, like a Halo game where you are Master Chief and your history is defined. In role-playing games, particularly in games like RuneScape I want the player to be able to decide what their background is rather than have us define it for them. I think there will always be times where when they’re visiting the past, we’re allowing the player to explore elements of the history of the game, but really it’s entirely up to them what their history is. What we can do is provide them with cool content that they can define what their future is by the way that they consume the content that we give them. I don’t want to do anything that defines their characters’ past because that’s not what role-playing is.''

As hypocritical towards the threads and my intentions it may sound, I admit that he has a valid point: RuneScape isn't called a Massive Multiplayer Online ROLE-PLAYING GAME for nothing. After all, what Jagex wants us to do is to create a backstory to our characters, instead of having a fixed main character. This adds more depth to the game, and allows the player to gain a better gaming experience.

27-May-2013 13:50:18 - Last edited on 13-Nov-2013 06:26:17 by Aquamancer

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However, this system causes problems as well. Since the player character has no official appearance, name or personality, the player character cannot appear outside the main game in other materials, such as stories, fan art, other games, and so on.
Other games allow you to custom your character as you wish, but they have an 'official' appearance and name, making it easier for fans to include the game characters in their works.
Also, in their home site, RuneScape is described as a MMO Strategy Adventure Game, rather than MMORPG. Why worth mentioning? It's lacking the 'ROLE-PLAYING' part of it's name.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Jagex has changed their opinion about stuff during the years. First they say that Old Wilderness and Free Trade won't come back, few years later they arranged a poll for it. So who knows, maybe in a few years even the backstory of the Adventurer will be explored.

27-May-2013 13:50:29 - Last edited on 13-Nov-2013 06:26:54 by Aquamancer

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Long Story Short

Don't feel like reading the whole thread? I have compressed it to a miniscale for your convenience.

The Adventurer, the player character, has very little official lore, but there is actually a lot to tell about them when we dig a little deeper. We know following things about the Adventurer:

• Was born during the 5th Age, at least 18 years prior the games events
• Is a young adult human
• Is at least 5 feet 6 inches/1,68 meters tall, and most likely taller
• Is from 'humble origins'
• Knew their parents
• Has a brother, a grandmother, an aunt and an uncle
• Hates cabbages
• Likes hot chocolate and tea
• Doesn't have any middle names
• Has brown eyes (some headwear can change eye colour though)
• Is ambidextrous, but right-hand dominated
• Received basic education
• Dreamed of the career as an adventurer since their childhood
• Started their career during the year 169 of 5th Age
• Has a great destiny on their shoulders
• Is either from Misthalin, Asgarnia, Kandarin or Varrock

There are also speculations and unconfirmed theories that the Adventurer

• Is a reincarnation of a young Guthixian human
• Is a reincarnation of an ancient hero
• May be from Lumbridge
• Created the username as an alias
• Is not a human after all
• Has amnesia
• Is from a band of travelling performers

Jagex enforces that the Adventurer's past is not clarified further and that the players should create their own backstory instead of relying into what they wrote, because that is not what role-playing is. However, this may not be the case with individual J-Mods, and this can change in the future.

Final Notes

Well, that was it. Feel free to post if you liked this thread or if you have anything to say at all. Your theories and opinions are welcome, and if there is anything I haven't mentioned here yet about the lore of the player character, feel free to leave a comment. And thanks for reading this thread.

27-May-2013 13:50:41 - Last edited on 23-Jan-2015 10:22:42 by Aquamancer

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