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    Lothlorien Rebuild

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Campaign Stuff, Characters, Gamers

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    While gaming face to face, whether in one of the two White Heron hobby shops or at my house, I have enjoyed the acquaintance of a great number of RPG players, from the novice to the genius. The novice, those that treated playing an RPG like a pickup game in baseball, usually didn’t last long. They’d drop into the shop, take a look at what was on offer to play, maybe try it, then wouldn’t come back. Probably a small percentage of my players overall.

    Then we had the ‘journeyman’ players. The one’s that showed up on a semi-regular basis, had fun playing, but were really there to play anything. Lots of those. Then we had the ‘cadre’ players. The dedicated, the involved, the occasionally willing to GM types. They came for Champions, or Rolemaster, depending on what our game de jour was at that moment.

    In all the years playing/running face to face RPGs, of any stripe, I think I only had one ‘genius’ player. What made him a ‘genius’? The fact that he could get inside the head of his character, reacted like him, talk like him, rant and rave like him. Mark, wherever you are, you were genius, ya tickturd.

    When I moved to online RPG, I found almost no novice players, a few, sure, but far fewer than FTF. Same with journeyman players. A few but not many. These are the ones that I may have actually designed a character, once. Usually pretty basic so as to introduce them to The One True Game. Generally everything that ever went in to this type of character was extracted from the player by asking basic questions. I never got any background for these characters.

    Just now I am involved in a rewrite of many characters that have been on my site for a couple of decades now and that will include the removal of a number of these half-formed characters. That is, unless I find something compelling in the build or I have some ideas about the character from the hundreds of thousands of pages of online chat I’ve recorded over the years. Not all stick in my head, mine you, and there’s no way I am going to scan through a hundred thousand pages to find something I don’t remember. Sometimes a one-off character becomes involved with a storyline I have already worked into my narrative. Those I remember.

    My current rebuild is a character named Shaun Kato aka Uriel. This character was part of the Lothlorien class trip to another planet to help re-establish Raven’s Fire Oak elves. Not much, but enough that I built the character. Trouble is, no background other than what I could gleen from the disads. I was going to dump him anyway … until inspiration hit.

    One of those ‘geniuses’ players I had the privilege of playing with for quite a while had given me this character, Everith, a Fallen angel. Uriel claimed to be THE Uriel, Archangel. What would happen if the two met? Off I go with a story. Everything’s cool, right? Fallen meets Archangel, how bad can it get? I had to refresh my memory about Everith.

    Here’s the thing about my genius, Lauren … she doesn’t know game mechanics … at all. But that’s okay, I am the one that has all that knowledge. She just RPs with me and I make notes then gradually build the character. As we RP, she adds things, I modify the character. This doesn’t bother me one bit as a GM or player OR the keeper of the Wild Hunt. Lauren, I love you treasure, can be pretty secretive. She doesn’t always explain what she’d doing or why … like why Everith is a FALLEN angel.

    Now, decades later, I am trying to write a background for Uriel that involves Eve because it will make a good story. This leads me to Everith’s backstory. Lauren gave me one. It is all her stuff on the Everith page, not mine. I have to read it to get some ideas for Uriel. She wrote Everith was never trained for combat, yet she, Lauren, asked for martial Arts training for Eve. I am having trouble reconciling this in my mind. I am not sure if I want to remove the MA training or change Lauren’s story. I think the story is more important here so I am going to remove the MA. Sorry, Lauren. (SCRATCH THAT, FOUND JUSTIFICATION FOR MA, IT STAYS.)

    One of my other ‘genius’ players is, of course, Domma, aka Raven. The woman has mad RP skills and an evil turn of mind when it comes to fucking with a character. From her I have Raven, naturally, but also Pam Hawkins, wife of Icehawk, and Jessy Fireoak, the third wheel in the Nat/Wren/Jessy triangle. All three of these characters, including the non-super Pam, are fully developed persons, not only in her mind, but mine.

    But … we tend to weave an intricate path through the RP worlds, changing stories, changing genre, trying new stuff when we get cold on a certain storyline. We end up making more characters then we really have time to fully develop. Domma is particularly good as coming up with new characters to fit into a proposed storyline.

    Now we drift into my current project, re-building the Lothlorien part of my site. Turns out, a couple are Domma’s, the two Mina/Minna characters. Not much background there, darlin’ … so I had to provide some. Not that I mind or anything, it’s fun and makes me think.

    For Lothlorien I decided to actually think out the damn thing rather than the usual organic growth of most of my stuff. A side effect of trying to organize my Legacy. I decided to make all the characters the traditional, FOR ME, 350 points and give them a common set of disads that would be appropriate to teens.

    Genocide, long a thorn in the side of the mutant world, was pretty much devastated by a collection of mutants, villain and hero, from around the world in one massive ambush. For that reason I have lowered the value of being Hunted by Genocide by dropping the Non-Combat Influence they once enjoyed. Since the entire class is made up of teens below the age of 18, disads have been added to reflect this. The Academy, being within the confines of the Hunt Valley, is under constant surveillance by the Wild Hunt computer, Spock, so a Watched by was added there. Secret ID, of course, but in a couple of cases this has been changed to Unknown ID for the same point value. I have done pretty much the same thing with the Legacy and the Minuteman Teams.

    This is what I am working now and I find it has taken me away from Lord of the Rings Online and my work on my 1/350 scale KM Bismarck (okay, I am going blind working with those tiny pieces of brass on that ship and needed a break).



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