"Who Is Your Character?" 2.0
Posted Star Date 21904.16 @ 18:10 (06:10 PM)
Posted Star Date 21904.17 @ 02:34 (02:34 AM)
I'm still pretty new having only been here for a few months, but I thought I'd share a little about the inspiration behind Simon and why I've made some of the decisions about his character creation.
Having played RPGs in many forms, I've always found the most fun characters to play those that have a motivation for doing what they do, something to push them and something that keeps them going, even when the going gets tough. So I thought how classical can I get with it, and went with an old fashioned murdered parents scenario, that's where the thought process behind his creation began. Cheesy? Yes, and I'm proud to admit it.
The next step was to make that interesting, so I thought of the most unlikely (or most likely, depending on exactly why his parents were murdered... What I call a GM nugget... more on that soon) situation to have this sort of situation happen. So, I made him upper middle class (which is totally not me, a working-class guy much lower down that food chain, and maybe thankfully) so he had a life where he got what he needed, but not in a snobbish sort of way. That comes from a British stereotype that fellow Brits may understand, but I wanted someone that doesn't necessarily meet all those stereotypes.
I mentioned before about GM Nuggets, these are little bits of bait for my personal torture, because having GM'd tabletop games myself, I know GMs will put that away for some possibility later - so I deliberately give the GM permission for some part of my character to be used in whatever way the GM sees fit. Am I a glutton for punishment? Absolutely!
So, with the basic concept set in place, it was time to start going into the next step - how did he end up here? That was pretty simple, he wanted to find his parents killer, and made sure he was equipped to do so. His life went from having everything he could need given to him to a world where he has to fend for himself, and that the weight of everything his family had was on his shoulders - he decided to train to become a detective. That answered how he got the inspiration to go into Security (which had been predecided before I wrote the backstory, obviously), and why he is so... particular about focusing on the task at hand.
With those basics, the final step was getting him to the Academy, a recommendation from his mentor later, the next development for Starr begins, and he can finally put a close on everything that happened at home and move forward with life, the common "new chapter" moment.
So, that was how it started. As I mentioned, still pretty new here so I haven't had too much time to develop Starrs story further, as his story itself is still new, and that is the thing that keeps me coming back to RPGs day in, day out. Of course, having met the chief of Security on his first ship, and his busy first day (which is technically not even over yet...) his learned that when a Starship gets busy, anything can happen - and well, any more will depend on what happens next... I look forward to looking back at this in a year, two years, five years, and remember where the character started and how he developed and grew since today. A reminder of where it all began.
So, a bit long winded, but hopefully it's given you a look to inside my brain a little bit and see what sort of intentions I have for Starr in the future, and help you join in his journey with me as we all see how the hell he turns out.
TLDR: A complicated character, with a rather simple base concept, that's Starr in a nutshell
Posted Star Date 21904.22 @ 03:21 (03:21 AM)
Those few that know me, they know that I build with depth. Alex Talion is very loosely inspired by the character of Tony Stark (Iron Man). Naturally, he isn't a superhero, but he grew up privileged, yet isolated. He has brains and resources, but his list of flaws is long. His struggles with emotional issues of his past are the foundation that I built his crazy life upon. Then, doing too good of a job at his research (combined with some accidental discoveries) has made him his own biggest problem.
I love that I designed him to have such deep flaws and subplot points to build on that it is still playing out all these years later. Time will tell if it becomes a good story or is ultimately his undoing. It has been great food for GMs to torture me with, but that was always partially planned. The guilt of everything weighs heavy on him. This is all fuel for the flames, because ultimately, we're writing a never ending space opera and some of the personal drama is what makes it all fun.
Even my creation of my NPC friends he interacts with are controversial and deeper than some people design their main characters. Not many people try to build in ideas intended to take years to come to the surface, so others often don't see it coming, but I love the complexity of it all. I do it so that I will never really run out of things to write about, no matter how the missions go. At the same time, the effects of missions and relationships with other players are amazing variables to play off of.
I mentioned Tony Stark and used him not because he is such a great hero template (I don't think he is), but because he is so broken. In some ways, he might seem so great, but he is really messed up. He means well though and is insanely smart. This justifies the GM allowing him to both know things others might not, but also being too messed up to always get it right. Those flaws allow readers to connect and relate to such characters, so they're my favorite things to focus on when creating a character.
I hope people have enjoyed writing with me and interacting with my character. I know I've been having a great time and look forward to what is yet to come.
Posted Star Date 21904.22 @ 21:21 (09:21 PM)
Depends on which one of my characters you look at I guess.
LCdr Brooks was loosely based on me. As I was new to RPG'ers and I thought I make it easier to start with.
However, over the years and the torments and destruction as well as the good times he has seen I felt him grow away from me and on a different path to what I originally intended. Even, through his reactions are based on mine at that moment upon reading what my character comes across. It is all the little changes that has happened to him over the years thanks to GM's torturing or the such like. The missions he has ended up on and the characters that he's either fallen in love with or lost through either death or them resigning from StarFleet gives him a different backstory then I ever did think of when I started all those years ago. The growth of Brooks now feels like he is different to me in so many ways, but there is still a connection to his past that I can call upon to give him some flaws.
LCdr ch'Alev on the other hand is completely out of my usual comfort zone and I try to play him with a more of alien approach at times, while in other moments he seems well connected to the other species around him.
Posted Star Date 21905.04 @ 20:44 (08:44 PM)
Shione was one of the most complex characters I've ever put together in an online or F2F format.
An unusual Hybrid, growing up in a small community where to be different was to be shunned as a child or picked on. She learned to defend herself and became self-sufficient as a result, but she remained a loner. Any likelihood that she would come out of that shell was sabotaged by a not so innocent encounter with a family 'friend'; and she has kept that awful afternoon secret. But it became her motivation to 'get away'; to never have to lean on anyone again.
The vulnerability that day created in her is a side of her that only her Imzadi Jelaya has seen, and she guards that part of her fiercely, which generally kept her from seeming approachable, except in non-social circumstances where she does have her training as a touchstone for her confidence. But even within that she often overcompensates and tends to over explain her decisions, which generally comes across poorly with people she doesn't know well.
With Jelaya's help she has been able to make a few friends, but her past failures in social circumstances often cause her to lose confidence and she misses opportunities to add new people to a circles of trusted friends, and at times even miss when someone is reaching out to her.
Career wise she is an over achiever, which often rubs potential friends and coworkers the wrong way; a fact that she is usually oblivious about. As a security officer she sees herself as a protector, and often sacrifices her safety so that others; less durable than herself remain safe; while she takes the risk. Again this is something she considers a strength, but it is often misread being too pushy; and again she is unaware; preferring to believe that people appreciate her actions.
She does not aspire to command; the Command test caused her to realize that while she can make decisions based on her need to keep them safe; a Captain often does not have that luxury. Because of that test Shione and Jelaya no longer serve together on the Copernicus since they both realize the distraction that possibility creates. As a result Shione is trying to keep as busy as possible, throwing herself even further into her job.
Her dedication to Star Fleet is one of her greater strengths and she aspires to keep her skills constantly at their peak, whether it be combat, linguistics, engineering and or her racial telepathic gifts. Her time, training and SOCOM service gives her advantages but occasional awkward moments with her CO have begun to make her realize that she also picked up some bad habits. The casual and less formal protocols on the Reciprocity seemed to have dulled her 'military' instincts; and that is likely to be a challenge for her going forward as a Lieutenant Commander.
At her core Shione is "Samurai; having been inducted into that 'Way of life' by her sensei; a 25th generation Samurai. To honor him Shione bears two tattoos; one a manual ideographic Japanese language representing the three words of the Code of Bushido; Duty Honor Courage: the life blood of the ancient warrior caste.
The second; a more elaborate artistic drawing of her sensei's daughter, who was like an older sister to Shione during her Academy years, and who preceded her into Starfleet only to die on a mission before Shione finished her training. Shione wears the tattoo proudly to remember and honor her friend, and in gratitude for her Sensei's adoption of her into his family caste.
As for the future both of the women do not intend to be 'lifers', aspiring to own a quiet patch of ground somewhere, and live a quiet rural, family farm kind of retirement.
Who knows; they might just get there!