CoX – Ghostwright

Time to time, I write up an explication of characters I’ve played in RPGs or made for my own purpose.  This is an exercise in character building and creative writing.


“You’re back early, how was the party-“

“Birthday’s haunted.”

“What?”

She loaded her bag with all the rock salt she could carry as she headed back to the front door. “Birthday’s haunted.”

Reagan got a lot of things from her parents, like the cute little magic shop (which is nice) and the cursed connection to a moon cult (which isn’t so nice) and the regular customers that want curses, hexes, and boner pills (mixed bag) and the speakeasy full of monsters and nightkin underneath it (pretty cool but lousy tippers). Now, she’s doing hero work, you know, as part of the business, because it needs doing.

Her name, officially, is Reagan. She’s not a mage, but she’s magical. You may have seen her, working the counter at her little hole-in-the-wall magic shoppe, with its uncatalogued shelves and the sweary skull that tells people rude things (his name is Boneathan). If you needed something, a potion or an obscure bit of research, chances are, she was able to help you, if you left the thing with her for a few days.

Or maybe, if you’re the night kind of person, a monster or a bogey or a weird or strange persona, you might know the business she’s in charge of; the speakeasy, safe zone and private bar known as The Roxbury. Down underneath Paragon City (kind of), the interdimensional bar brings together a whole host of strange people, misfits and weirdoes, including the bar’s bouncer, a kumiho known as Mitsy, a neurodivergent dragon known as Jeej, and bartenders that include a chaste succubus that makes deals, an oni and a Tanuki, not to mention familiar sights like an interdimensional thief known as the Magpie.

The Roxbury is a strange place, and Reagan, the woman in charge of it, is surprisingly not. She’s a little embarrassed about all the magic and power that flowed into her when she got it in the … nonstandard? Way she got it?

Mechanics

Reagan is a Dominator. My target priorities for her IO set was to have good resistances to the most common damage types (smashing and lethal), running a minimum number of toggle powers (because dominators need to use their endurance to use powers), enough recharge to have permanent Domination, and doing all this with a minimum of expensive set pieces. That means that yes, she has some Purples (ultra-rare sets) and two PVP pieces (two globals). Her build is lacking a lot of very expensive pieces, at the moment, though, you know, I could afford to goose it.

The build has:

  • Perma-dom, with a total recharge of 110% and permanent hasten
  • Soft-capped resistance to smashing and lethal damage
  • 33% ranged defense

Honestly, this build, looking at it now after a year from building it, with changes to the market and my own liquidity means I feel like I could really improve this with more money. The link for the current build looks like this.

A hypothetical pricey build for this might look something like this. A lot of the same numbers, but Dark Grasp is slotted as an attack, Soul Drain is more reliable, and Heart of Darkness is faster recharging.

History

Once again, Ghostwright is a product of a project. When I came to Homecoming, I wanted to make sure I didn’t have a bunch of redundant characters who all did the exact same thing and felt the same. With that in mind, I looked at the archetypes I liked, and made a spreadsheet. That spreadsheet had a slot in it for every primary I liked, every secondary I liked, then I’d see how they lined up in ways I thought were cool. That’s how I selected Dark Control/Radiation Assault.

That gave me a ‘spooky’ build, and then fishing around for punny names/names with surprising assonance got me Ghostwright. A wright is an occupational term – so a shipwright’s job is ships, a playwright’s job is plays. That meant that Ghostwright’s job is ghosts.

I borrowed a concept from a friend who isn’t on Homecoming. Back in the day, Captain Tractor released the single #3 Roxburgh Street:

Which he used as the inspiration for a a haunted pub, a pub he built back on live, on the server I want to say Guardian. The idea of a haunted pub tickled me, so I concepted my own version – the little magic shop in Paragon, with a magical speakeasy for the supernatural underneath it.

I thought that was that – I’d explain the idea, then tell people oh hey, no, I don’t have an SG for it, that sounds like a huge pile of work. What I didn’t expect was that the idea would inspire other people, especially one of the best base builders I know. And bear in mind, that first friend who concepted it? Also one of the best base builders I know.

What I was asked is ‘hey, do you want an SG base for this?’ and I said ‘uhhh sure?’ and then she went and made something that blew my mind. This beautiful multi-room bar with weird fey portals (don’t touch the fey portal) and a magic shoppe and rooms and kitchens and – it’s stunning. I don’t know how to describe how happy the Roxbury makes me. And it happened because I was willing to accept help from someone better than me at something I couldn’t do.

Reagan kind of followed in stages from this; I wanted her to be in charge of the Roxbury in a very untransferable way, but I didn’t want her to necessarily be this sort of seasoned expert. Instead, she’s someone who got thrown into running the Roxbury, isn’t necessarily going to turn to some kind of expert, and is willing to muddle along. The result is that Reagan has a nearly unique middle name – there’s only been one other person with it, and that’s the previous boss of the Roxbury. The name is cursed – it binds you to the Roxbury.

When she turned a certain age (I dunno), then the curse activated, and suddenly she found herself inheriting a home and business and a suite of complications with it. And why does she stick with it…?

Because it’s a rent free apartment, omg, can you imagine.

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