Step 2: Ohdd Character Elaboration

Author: Andrew /

Alright, a lot of you have posted your character back-stories. Thus far, these are the classes we have:

Minli - Deva Paladin
Rho - Half-Elf Bard
Eliza - Human Rogue / Ranger

I know that there are two more players interested, at least, one of which may also want to play a Deva Paladin (He talked with me about his idea way way back). And I also know the other character is a rogue, if I remember right. As the back-stories come up, I can push and mold them and stick them in where they can go and we'll blend these chars together.

Alright, down to business.

Minli, I like your story for the most part. I'm altering a few things, if it's alright.
-Barrochio isn't gone.
-Now, to remain in keeping with the books (which I really want to do), Devas, when they die, do not wake up with accurate memory of their previous lives. They have vague memories, but they don't reincarnate as if they just woke up from a nap. It's a new character with a few shadows in the back from their previous lives; think of it almost like repressed memories, except you didn't repress them, it's just naturally that way. So, this is what I had in mind.

Minli hasn't ever really died, or perhaps she had, way way back in the first wars with the primordials and whatnot, but that was it. When she came back, the god who was in charge of her, Folio, decided she wasn't capable of being a "front-lines" soldier. He saw how you fell and was a tad disappointed so he re-posted you. You, having come back, don't really know what happened, so you accept your post. This post was being Barrochio's guard, and guard to the Galleria Eternia. Since it was such a mellow post, you haven't died. Being immortal, you've just been there the whole time and, as years go, are centuries old. You've been there since the Galleria was plans and stones scattered on the ground. You've seen Barrochio through all the stages of his work and come to know him on an almost first name basis. You still defer to him because your station demands it, but you don't necessarily like it. Through the ages, you've seen Barrochio go from being a literal instant master, creating works that defied comparrison to centuries later having grown lazy, listless and possibly even bored. His work still is good, to the casual observer or even occasionally the conniseurs but you, having seen his work over time, know it's not near what it used to be. You look at your current existence, seeing it as being a glorified door-woman simply existing to keep intruders out of a gallery which you, as time goes on, grow less confident that it's even worth guarding in the first place.

At current, you are doing your duty outside the Galleria Eternia with less than maximum enthusiasm, mulling over the conundrum that is Barrochio, and possibly even wondering what Folio sees in this and why he thought you needed to be the one to stand here.

-Do you, Minli, see this as an adequate compromise? I think this makes things fit with what you were going for in a backstory and still seems to me to fit within what the book says about Devas. I really like it, myself and it leaves me with options as to what I can do with your character.

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Rho, I really like your story. It's rather simple but not to the point where it lacks things to play off of. What I would like to see from you, once we get a few more little stories up here, are a few ties with characters within the game party. Perhaps you can just start coming up with some ways your character could create ties with others?

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Eliza, you're looking good so far, except that I'm not quite understanding your class and what you're saying your character is capable of. What I would like to see if your back story more clearly layed out and explained, or at least explain outside the backstory how your character will actually work.

Also, I'm not sure I'm going to have you working for the thieves guild, although I still may. A bounty hunter could be utilized by many sides, including even the actual law men themselves. You could even work as a contractor.

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To you who haven't posted, post your backstories. They're important and factor greatly into the game and how we work with your characters. Once we have those, we can establish character ties, which I want to do here, and then we can get rolling! WooHoo!

Homework:

I'm going to be working on finishing the pantheon as well as creating an actual map for Ohdd, so that we have something to reference, as it's taking place in a city with lots of neat places. Most of you will have been there for a month at least, if not more, so most of you should know the most basic places at least.

Players: refine your backstories and talk with other players to create ties between you. A good way to think about it is to have a character that has a strong positive tie to you and one where there's a "weak" negative tie. Not where there's genuine animosity but could perhaps create interesting playful banter, but will never risk true discord or disharmony within the group. Remember (I know I don't have to remind some of you) this is a party game where you're a team (or at least will be). Lets make this interesting.

Lets see a lot of posts and if you need help with your backstories or have questions about ANYTHING, feel free to let me know!

Looking forward to seeing your stuff!

~Andrew

19 comments:

Adam said...

Magus said that he is grabbing the multiclass feat to get the panther form which is totally legal. The panther form itself is more or less just aesthetic, all animal forms do for the druid is allow them to use certain attack powers the druid has. In order to gain those powers he'll have to take more feats.

I think that an easy way for Rho to join up with Eliza would be the fact that Eliza is a bounty hunter. Perhaps Eliza bagged and tagged someone who either wasn't actually guilty of the crime or was tied to corrupt government who got him off, and either way is now counter sueing her. Rho could be defending Eliza in court and could decide to leave with her since they have similar parentage. Or it is possible that he could get "disbarred" for trying to defend her when the plaintif is defended by a corrupt system.
As far as Minli goes, he might have to defend her in court for being falsely accussed of stealing the art herself, or for killing someone in defense of the gallery.
really rho could easily be used to legally defend the rest of the group. You could also do this in one fell swoop by having the rest of the party meet up first, having them get in trouble, then having rho defend them as a group in court, and then deciding to leave with them in the end. should be putty in your hands, enjoy

Adam said...

basically as long as i get to be the half elf alan shore i am happy, lol

Lincoln said...

Just a heads up, this is also in the take before this...

------------------------------------------

Dirzjra Dax'elvmur'ss -- Drow Rogue

(for convenience, keeping it just Dirzjra)

Dirzjra Dax'elvmur'ss grew up in the drow city of Valshrii. He went through life, being trained as an assassin since he was a small child, completing his daily routine of completing any assignments that may have been given to him by his family. The problem was, he didn't like it, he always felt "strange" about the reasons, and the fact that he was doing it at all.

One night, he was sent to assassinate a man who had cheated his family out of money through gambling.

Dirzjra arrived in the mans bedchamber, ready to kill him, but as he hesitated, the man woke up, and... well... he panicked a bit.

Dirzjra, not being able to decide what to do, out of curiosity, simply asks. "Why did you cheat the Dax'elvmur'ss family?"

The man explained that he was, in a fassion, stuck between a rock and a hard place. He was in debt to another family for a large sum of money, and if he wasn't able to pay them, he knew they would find him, torture, and then kill him. His only choice was to either die by their hands, or risk cheating the Dax'elvmur'ss family and hope he got away with it, knowing that if he didn't, he would most likely be killed.

Dirzjra didn't feel this situation was fair, or right, in any way. The whole situation made him realize that the reason he was so uncomfortable doing what he was doing was because he hated all the conspiracy, murder, back-stabbing, and the general manner that the drow society worked in.

Dirzjra then decided that he would leave Valshrii, and find a better place, away from the place he regretfully had been calling his home.

As a precaution for the man, Dirzjra decided to take the nice Bone Dice the man had in his chambers, as a way to discourage the man from doing any more gambling, as it seemed to get him into trouble.

Dirzjra then abruptly left the city, with much haste.

Dirzjra then found his way to the city of Ohdd, where he set about making himself familiar with the goings on and the places inside the city.

Dirzjra one night found himself in a tavern, where he overheard some men wanting to gamble a couple rounds, but could not, as they had no dice.

Deciding that it couldn't hurt, he stood up, and offered them his dice.

The men, deciding it only right, being they were his dice, asked him to join them.

Dirzjra, after the whole fiasco in Valshrii, knew that he shouldn't, so he declined, but after much coaxing, ended up sitting with them around the table rolling the dice.

Surprisingly to him and the rest, being that it was his first time gambling, he was a natural. He won the first few rounds and got a surprising kick out of it, as well as leaving him more exhilarated than he had felt in a long time. this exhilaration would later become somewhat of an addiction.

Dirzjra learned through his gambling a few things about himself that he never really knew, maybe they were caused by the gambling. Firstly, he had a strange drawing to the numbers 7 and 13. Secondly, he loved to take part in a gamble, when the chance arose, if the gamble happened to be too tempting.

Upon being in the city for roughly half of a year, he managed to acquire a membership to the Grunge Hole, which he frequents, to play his favorite games Voyage, and Ship, Captain, and Crew. When he is not in the Grunge Hole, he spends his time in his temporary home in Stilt row, or wandering the streets & alleyways.

Lincoln said...

Just rolling a few ideas around in my head as i read this, keep in mind please, these are just ideas that popped into my head right away, so they may not make a ton of sense, or you may want to shoot them down, feel free, just pass me your thoughts on them

---- "tie" to Eliza --> Maybe, after reading Andrew's idea of Eliza being a contractor or something of the sort, Dirzjra had been a target of Eliza, but had evaded her or something. And sooner or later it became less of a "you're on my shit-hit-list" and more of a playfull "i'm gunna getcha" "no ya aren't" sort of thing, which, as they group up would change to a sort of challenging relationship between the two, of her trying to outwit him, and him trying to outwit her, in their daily routine, whatever that may be... I don't know, it's just the start of an idea.

--- Tie to Rho --> Perhaps Rho and Dirzjra were in a situation in a local tavern or something, where they happened to be at the same time (kind of a big issue, being that you can decide where you were, not me, i'm just thinking of stuff, we'd have to talk about it for this stuff to work, i think) and maybe Dirzjra got into a gambling incident or some sort, where he needed someone with the skills a lawyer would have, or some sort. Perhaps Rho helped Dirzjra out of a bind with someone he maybe lost a bet to or something, through possible smooth-talking, or what have you (you decide, it doesn't matter much, like i said, i'm just tossing out the idea's that popped into my head). Just maybe a situation like that, I don't know.

--- Tie to Minli --> I'm not exactly sure how i may have met you... being that I can't imagine Dirzjra needing to go to the galleria... Maybe he needed to do something there, and ran into you, and being that he's not a noble or anything, in Ohdd anyways, you threw him out or something, maybe you perceived him as more on the unruly/uncivilized side of the spectrum. That's about all i came up with for that, not really sure how else to explain it... Those are just a few of my ideas for each character...

FEEDBACK Greatly appreciated, for myself and Andrew's sake... I'm thinking of idea's and sorta running them by him to see what he thinks, etc, just as an extra brain for me... So yeah, feedbackfeedbackfeedback! :)

Lincoln said...

that shouldn't be "tie" for Eliza... should just be Tie... don't know why i did that >.>

Magus Stragus said...

I like both ideas to tie Eliza with your characters. Lincon's idea struck me as "Catch me if you can". Really interesting.

Oh, btw, Eliza is a ranged ranger, with an unique fighting style (that character builder really gets you some nice ideas....)

Andrew said...

Sweet Mag. Just so you guys know, I want you to create character ties, but the emphasis is on you creating them. I can give you tips and thoughts, but ultimately I want you all to take ownership and decide what ties are what and how you want them to work. Your characters are more or less your domain, unless you include the world or where they're coming from, which is where I'll put input. I want to see interaction between you guys, as much as with me. If you come up with ties you think are interesting and have a way to do it and make it work, go for it. We'll do what we can to run with it!

Andrew said...

Also, if a certain tie involves the start of the game, I can work with you on that as well. I'm still thinking about how it's going to open, but I've got some ideas.

Zato2TWO said...

Firstly, I'd like to do just a bit of snipping on Minli's backstory. Let's drop the bit where she fought in some primordial war and died, and simply put it such that she was created by Folio for the sole purpose of defending the Galleria. The largest source of her frustration, after all, is the idea that in a hierarchy of divine bodies, she's on the bottom of the corporate ladder.

Anyway, party ties. Here we go =D

-- RHO
Seeing how large the Galleria is on the map, it's no surprise that small time thieves from the nearby Stilt Rows from the North and Southeast have attempted to break in and steal from it. Minli makes it a point to demonstrate to intruders why no one's ever stolen from the Galleria in the 1,000 years she's been watching it... and sometimes she chooses to 'demonstrate' with an unnecessary, but casually dispensed excessive force. In theft cases such as these that occur around the richer parts of town, when Rho isn't calling upon Minli as a witness to a nearby crime, he's probably defending her for "failing to demonstrate the Deva's penchant for grace and mercy".

Minli actually has a good opinion of Rho. In her centuries of life in Ohdd, it's refreshing to actually see a good-natured mortal who does noble things. She doesn't mind doing any legal favors for Rho, especially if it'll help in a case.

-- ELIZA
Seeing that Minli doesn't ever leave the Galleria, it's a bit of an impossibility for her to fraternize with a bounty hunter-type. It's likely she would have only seen Eliza on an incidental basis; perhaps Eliza chases her quarry into the Galleria and Minli helps her to smoke him out, or Eliza and her quarry engage in a fight on the Galleria grounds, and Minli sees to punish the both of them for it. Perhaps Eliza relies on Minli as a contact; not that Minli owes anything to Eliza, but if Minli could let someone ELSE take care of all the rabble so she doesn't have to, then it doesn't hurt at all to spare a few details.

Minli attempts to keep relations with Eliza on a strictly professional level. She doesn't like being in the sights of someone with a competitive streak, so she tries to be as mellow and unimpressive as possible in front of Eliza. However, if she just *happens* to be present during an 'excessive show of force', there's nothing Minli can really do about it.

-- DIRZJRA
For one month, Barocchio opened a particularly odd exhibit of food-based "taste arts"; not "food assembled in an artistic fashion", but pieces of art using food as the base medium, regardless of what taste it produced. One night in the Grunge Hole, drunken banter between Dirzjra and his gambling buddies produced the following bet: "I bet you can't sneak into the Galleria and lick the Golden Cabbage Throne". Comparably sober and always eager to gamble, Dirzjra agreed, and set out to the Galleria. Minli was more alert that night than usual, mainly because the smell of week-old food doesn't contain itself well. Dirzjra swiftly and silently maneuvered through the exhibit, evading Minli's vigil until he came upon what could only be described as golden, throne-shaped, and made of cabbages. Upon executing the bet-winning lick, however, his tongue and his nose experienced something a lot more foul. His body's rejection of the inedible art was made audible, and Minli was quick to find the drow hacking and wheezing, attemping to rid his throat of "Barocchio's Throne of the Byzantine Agriculturist". Almonst sympathetic to the drow's self-inflicted pain, Minli chose to forgo her personal punishment and elected instead to simply boot him from the Galleria. Beyond this encounter, it's unlikely that Minli ever saw Dirzjra again, but it's hard to forget the face of "That one drow who tried to eat the cabbage chair".

If Minli ever did get to know Dirzjra, she probably wouldn't like him very much. This isn't really the classic "Paladin hates Rogue" model, since Minli isn't really the paragon of law here, but Minli can't trust someone who thinks that chance picks sides.

Zato2TWO said...

Oh, and Minli is in fact a Prot Paladin, so I will be your tank for this game, in case anyone wanted to know =D

Zato2TWO said...

On a second glance, my writeup with Minli and Dirzjra is, while quite silly, not very well elaborated. This is partially because I was running out of room, but it's also because it's late and I can't think straight =O I apologize to Lincoln if it doesn't seem satisfactory, so I'll make a much more elaborate post on it later, when I'm able to hold my head up straight without blinking out every 5 seconds.

Adam said...

ok I will take a shot to bringing this all together. You can all take it or leave it, either way its cool, but here you go.

Since the city of Ohdd stood, there has been the temple of folio and the royal gallery. It's sentry, Minli, has ever stood vigilant over its priceless art. Even the very presence of Minli has swayed any desire theives have had to steal from those sacred halls. As Minli is not known for her violence, but rather her statuesque and beauty she has become a beloved member and even symbol of the great city of Ohdd.
Rho, the adventurer defense attourney, has often called upon Minli to aid him in several cases as an expert witness since as a deva and paladin she can be relied upon to be just and impartial.
One day, the royal gallery of barrachio suffers its first missing piece! But instead of a piece of art, it is in fact Barrachio himself! Immediately Minli contacts a bounty hunter to help track him down, since she herself must remain to guard the rest of the gallery.
The bounty hunter Eliza, having been hired by the beloved Minli to find the missing Barracio can find no trace of him. Eliza scours the city and as a result stumbles upon one who doesn't seem to belong. Eliza, wearing her armor with her bow noched scares the newly arrived Drow refugee, Dirzjra, and sets him off in a panicked run. The chase itself and the fact her target is a Drow convinces Eliza that she must be on the right track. The drow is incredibly elusive and difficult to chase down, but it is his lack of knowledge of the town which stops his flight. Unknowingly, Dirzjra runs right to the gallery, where Minli bashes him with a shield.
As Dirzjra is a stranger, a Drow, and poor, and no other suspects have been found, no other attourney will defend him in his trial for the missing Barrachio. And so the case passes into the hands of the half elf Rho who must defend Dirzjra in court. Eliza and Minli have both been witness to the capture of Dirzjra and will be called to testify. When Rho recieves the witness list, he is shocked to find Minli both testifying for his client, and against him, making his case even more impossible.
The game could open up with the trial of the people vs the Drow, and at the end of it the only way to acquit Dirzjra is to find Barrachio and the drow is released into the custody of Rho who is stuck on this finding errand. Minli goes with them since she has to find Barrachio anyway, and since none of them are really trackers they also hire Eliza to go with them who has become sympathetic to Dirjra. And so they set off to find Barrachio, and the adventure begins!

feel free to edit this, make suggestions, etc, or even come up with something else.

Magus Stragus said...

I like it. One thing, Eliza doesn't use bow, instead she uses two hand crossbows. Another thing I want to ask Minli's player: does she ever leave the gallery? It will be kind of hard to play with her if she doesn't, and for her backstory, I deduced she didn't.

Adam said...

i think that could be part of the whole call to adventure process, the thing which actually takes her away. Immediately after the call to adventure in the hero's journey is the refusal of that call, the thing which holds the hero back. For example, Luke Skywalker couldn't go off with Obi Wan because he had to stay for the harvest. When he came back and found them dead the refusal was gone and he was able to go on his quest. The point you bring up is actually quite integral to Minli's story.

Lincoln said...

I sort of like it Adam, except I think you're getting slightly the wrong idea about my character as far as livelihood goes. just a couple notes as a heads up, for information purposes
A: Dirzjra is not necessarily new to the city, he's been there for about half a year.
B: He's not necessarily poor either, he's got some gold on him, he does well enough for himself, he just happens to live in stilt row because it works for him and he can't really afford a HOUSE.

So all in all, he's not really a stranger, and he's not really poor, so those 2 things don't make much sense. I apologize for "shooting down" your idea, I like it, it just doesn't seem to fit the character i have in mind.

Chris, I like your idea as to how we meet, as for the fact that he's EAGER to gamble, you're a tad off, he's not necessarily LOOKING to gamble, etc, asides from the grunge hole (sadly, i'm still trying to work out whether he does it for fun, money, need, whatever, it's a bit difficult to hash out completely, i've got the idea pretty much down, but not 100% quite yet... if i had to say a specific "nearness" to completion that the idea is, i'd say about 85-95%)

What i've thought of as far as his "eagerness" to gamble is, it's not that he's out looking for gambling and EAGER to gamble, more that he won't necessarily turn a good gamble down, especially if he knows it will turn out well for him, or whatever. Like if someone offers him a bet, and the gains possible for him are very large, then he is more likely to do it than if it is of no real worth to him, and he understands the consequences. If he's worried, or knows he can't do it, i'm not going to go as far as saying he absolutely won't do it, but he will definitely think pretty dang hard about it if he isn't sure...

Like I said, I don't have him 100% hashed out yet, he's going to be a character i'm going to have to build up as we play, because there will be some things that will happen, or need to happen, that will shape him much more than he already is... He isn't incomplete, just more on the Anonymous side as far as background, ideals, morals, likes/dislikes go... some things he may end up loving, and other things not so much... as stated before, still sort of a work in progress, but yeah, those are just some heads up on things i'm pretty sure about as far as his attitude goes...

Hope this helped :)...

P.S... forgot to mention this earlier, it seems to me like you guys are seeing him as a gamblaholic/refugee/bum etc... he's not, he just left his city, and happened to, because of how he was trained, make a relatively clean getaway, if something is going to happen with his family chasing after him, I'll be talking to Andrew about it, because at the moment, I'm going to stick with him not being a refugee, he just was different in terms of morals and things of the like, when it came to him and the society he lived in for Valshrii. :)

Zato2TWO said...

For people with a concern about Minli's permanent position in front of the Galleria, it could be entirely possible that Rho could pull some strings and work something out with the city officials to have city guardsmen watching the Galleria in Minli's absence.

As for Dirzjra, I was working with a rather vague image of the character's circumstances (and was also a little lightheaded) when I wrote that story, so like I mentioned earlier I'm due for a rewrite, although I really like Adam's version. Until then, I'll wait for you to elaborate a bit more on the character before I try and write anything else.

And for anyone who needs a bit of a temp visual aide, here's a descriptive paragraph of Minli:

Deva, as beings crafted by the gods, are commonly seen as things of divine perfection; tall, slender, elegant, and enigmatic. Minli is none of these. She's not very tall, and doesn't boast a particularly striking figure, especially when slumped into a lazy slouch. Her skin, instead of being brilliant blue or violet, is instead a pale, dull tone somewhere between alabaster white and mauve, giving her a skin tone close to flesh, but with a quality not unlike finely carved marble. She has short coppery-orange hair that *would* be neat if not for centuries of negligence, and majestic gold eyes which are robbed of their brilliance by the constant scowl on her face.

You might even say that Minli looks the *least* like a Deva is supposed to look, but perhaps her close-to-human traits are what make her charming to the locals. It might even be that Folio created her with such little care as a means to not outshine Barocchio, who himself is tall, slender and lanky, and whose skin is a lovely shade of lilac.

Zato2TWO said...

And now for a real visual aide. Enjoy!
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v46/Zato-2TWO/?action=view&current=minli_ohdd.jpg

Lincoln said...

Nice, and Chris, is what i have in my post enough elaboration for you? or are you looking for more? like i said, i'd like some feedback on what you guys are looking for as far as information about Dirzjra, If you let me know, I'll see what i see fit to tell you and not tell you... Some things about him i'd like to be slightly more mysterious than others, etc.

Lincoln said...

Oh, also, don't be EXPECTING any visual aid to my character unless I can get Andrew to draw a concept on him, and tweak it from there or something... not really sure... but as far as art with a pencil or drawing things go, i suck :[

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