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.
Name’s Mack. Mack Morito. Syndicate, yeah. Imperial city, too! Yeah, that’s me, that’s the gal. One of those martial artists, the kind who can break tanks and beat guns. How? Channeling chi, the force of will made flesh. Or as Mack likes to say it: She’s got Big Dragon Energy.
If you see Tatsuhime around the city, chances are good she’s Not Doing Anything Illegal. She’s a hitter, a supplier, and she’s definitely a crook, but she’s good at keeping layers of insulation between her and anyone directly doing crimes. If you see her in a hero situation, it’s often under the Enemy of Enemy clause of the Might for Right Act – someone who is mostly going to show up to crack skulls of worse threats, like Arachnos and the Family, and then quietly slip off and not answer questions.
She’s a martial arts death machine, and the kind of martial artist who demonstrates powers that seem unnatural; her eyes are golden and slitted, she has fangs, she can seemingly grow wings in some situations – there’s just something about her that ‘seems dragonlike,’ and there’s no good explanation as to why. It’s just something she channels, something that arises out of her, deep and abiding.
Basically, she’s a hot curvy kung fu movie crime lord.
Tatsuhime is a staff/fire armour brute. This was a build I picked very early on in the account’s life, because the purpose of Tatsuhime was not to handle general content, but to do fire farms on her own. She levelled herself up to do this, and she did it by doing a type of farm we know of as ‘CEBR’ or ‘level 1 patrol farms.’ The point with this is to have a character as low a level as you can – like, the farm locks at level 1 – who still has a number of AOE effects from level 1-6. Since you get inspirations every time you level up, you can do a mission at *8/+1, and in the 90 seconds of an inspiration’s buff, if you stack enough, and if you level enough, you can streak through from level 1 to level 25 or so very quickly. Do this quickly enough and you get a large enough inspiration tray to run in and repeat.
I like Staff/Fire for this because Staff also gets to keep its power Staff Mastery at level 1, even if you exemplar down. Staff Mastery lets you get a +recharge bonus that at level 1 is really noticeable. The result was that Tatsuhime was a level 1 character on my second account, who levelled herself without enhancements, and could level other characters on my main account (which included my second, more focused fire farmer).
Tatsuhime was my #2 farmer, but she was admittedly a slower, weaker one outside of the level 1 farming. This is because Staff Fighting is a powerset that causes redraw on almost every attack and whenever you move, when you’re running fire aura. This frustrated me enough that I actually rebooted her to another fire farmer on that account, Burnwillow. But in the interest of fairness, since Tatsuhime did so much hard work, I got her to level 100.
Tatsuhime had three builds, in sequence. The first was just a build that maximised powers that were available at level 1. This meant including things like Hasten, which you can fire off at level 20 or whatever, then click the door to jump into the mission. This didn’t involve any IOs.
The next step was to make a build that without any rare or expensive IOs, could get a capped fire resistance and fire defense of 32%. This meant that I could run at *8/+1 at level 50 in a fire farm just fine, and use that to make money and level up other characters more safely and conveniently.
That build then financed a basic build that got a 45% defense to fire, which is the final build here: Link. The build works just fine, but I feel that I should address it and give her an even fancier build, since she did do so much work getting me up to the current state of established money I do.
Back when Praetoria was a city of splendour, it was still a city. It had people, living their lives, doing their industry, fighting the government, being narcs, all that. One of the things it had going on was a crime family, the Syndicate, who were a little bit black-bag CIA style, and a little bit Yakuza crime families. Black suit and tie, sunglases and phone.
It was an organisation and it had structure and then the world ended and the only people who got out got to jump from Praetoria to Primal earth, where you couldn’t be the Only Game In Town. A lot of Syndicate workers restarted at the bottom, or reformed into small cells, much more regional than national powers. But then they’d never had to be ‘large’ before, when the world was the size of a city.
Mack was a terrifying enforcer for the Syndicate. She was a one-woman army they called upon to go destroy whole buildings’ worth of people; a martial artist who could channel a dragon’s soul through her own and trash guys with guns.
Then the world ended, and Tatsuhime had to restart on the Primal Earth with a dragon’s sense of entitlement and a bag full of iPhones.
Tatsuhime runs her own small criminal network now; entirely composed of people she considers ‘her girls’ – though not all of them are girls of course – they’re people she can protect, can rely on to move products, and people who she can trust. She rebuilt herself her own personal version of the Syndicate. She runs and owns a club, now, and there’s even a dojo underneath it and an actual lair, with a big pile of cash she sleeps on.
Something else that’s important about Tatsuhime is the way her story ties in with a friend’s character, who has gone through numerous name changes. See, when Tatsuhime came over from Praetoria, she did have a bag of iPhones – and a single lackey, someone she rescued from a Syndicate action once. Of course, the thing she rescued them from was herself.
The result is that I’ve had a lot of reason to think deeply about Tatsuhime and her relationship to her criminal network, the kinds of businesses she owns and runs, and the kinds of people she keeps protected. It’s very sneaky, a war of whispers; her agents are people who can keep themselves safe and inconspicuous, and who the protection of Hime is enough of a threat to keep them safe otherwise.