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.
Juniper Jacks thought she was pretty boring. She thought she wasn’t special. She thought that if the time came to step up, she wouldn’t, not really. Oh, sure, she had a drive to try – but… like, everyone had that, right? Everyone could see things they’d do, and just lacked the power to do them, right?
Then she became the host for the BOUND symbiote, from a mysterious Praetorian-Primal science project. and found, to her surprise, that when she had power, she absolutely wanted to do something with it. Stepping up, acting, fighting and finding evil and battering it unconscious: She was here to spring into action.
Oh, sure, she’s a rabbit girl – but she’s a loud, brash, brawling, rabbit girl who gives 10,000%.
If you’ve shown up on the field in a lot of superheroic fracas, you’ve probably seen the Wild Hare. She’s not a subtle hero, at least as far as most people know, leaping around the battlefield, loudly and brashly crowing about her ability, daring enemies to try and stop her. And the arrogance, well, that seems a natural side effect of being a rabbit, something normally regarded as timid, scaled up to human size, and having kicking force fit to break through police armour plates.
That’s all people know, really — she’s visible, she’s obvious, she’s brash and she’s aggressive, and almost all she ever does is fight. When heroes are called for, she puts her hand up for the very obvious, very simple task of fighting people. She fights baddies. She’s really good at it. The public persona of the Wild Hare is absolutely nothing but a fighter type.
This is very deliberate. The Wild Hare is an identity that is known for one thing. This is something JJ wants, because she, essentially, has three identities; her civilian life of Juniper, her hero identity as Wild Hare, and then a third, unnamed identity, doing work for a secret organisation, all linked back to a set of Symbiotes from the alternate dimension of Praetoria.
The Wild Hare, if you know her, would be a beater, whose primary limitation was her difficulty fighting at range. Heavy kicking martial artist, known for being not invincible or unstoppable or even remarkably tough by the standards of superheroes, but much more unassailable. The Wild Hare is resourceful and plucky and responds to losses by trying to find a new route forward.
She’s very much a mid-tier hero who nonetheless shows up at events where she should be outclassed; not someone who you’d think of when you need to take down a threat out of her league, but nonetheless, when circumstances conspire to have her face something bigger than she should be asked to handle, she will come out of it, okay, and alive, and well.
I do a lot with Stalkers lately? I don’t know why, but I really jam with Homecoming Stalkers. They’re efficient at their job and their big drawback of lacking AOE is usually the first thing I try to overcome somehow. In this case, I was coming at the character with a theme, not a mechanical plan. I wanted a character who could kick very hard, and that meant Martial Arts. I wound up checking out an unused option on my spreadsheet, and that brought me to a Martial Arts/Willpower Stalker.
Her build is what I think of as a ‘pretty standard’ build, cost-wise and power-wise.
- Soft-capped defense to Smashing and Lethal
- 32+% defense to Fire, Cold, Energy, Negative and Melee
- 60% resistance to Smashing and Lethal
- A truly ludicrous quantity of HP (+50% of her base)
- Ridiculous endurance recovery
- Permanent Hasten (150% global recharge)
If you want to look at the build, it’s here.
That’s not all there is about her mechanically. For one thing, I did not get the name WILD HARE or wild hare. Instead, I am using a known cheeky trick – technically, her name is wiid hare, or, in all caps, WIID HARE.
Also, she’s a character who can make use of the variety of character costumes you can get in City of Heroes. She has one predominant look, her hero identity with the rabbit ears out. Then, there’s her ‘casual’ look that’s meant to hide her as a normal ordinary citizen. Then there’s the infiltrator look, as a symbiote monster, and then there’s a look for concealing that.
When you have ten character costume slots, you can play with a lot of them. Plus, she’s dark-skinned, because of her inspiration (and yes, that’s obvious, I know, more on that later), that means I can use the dark clothes textures and give her heavily defined abs, adding to the ‘muscle hero’ feel.
Alright, first things first, there’s a very obvious element of Wild Hare’s look if you’ve been on the internet recently. In My Hero Academia, there’s a character called Mirko/Rumi, who is, well, she’s a bunny girl. She’s a dark-skinned, unstoppable bunny girl who beats the shit out of people with powerful kicking legs.
I haven’t read My Hero Academia, but I thought this character looked cool as hell, and that’s why all I knew about the character at first was the combination of ‘bunny’ and ‘kicking things in the face.’ A bunny who wasn’t timid or cutesy, but instead played with the way that a rabbit was both a symbol of luck and something I associate with a relentless urge to survive.
Anyway, that’s all I needed to start.
The actual place in the story, the idea of the symbiote, that was a result of one of the most fun things about shared RP spaces. See, I do have another character in that ‘symbiote’ creative space, Astray. And Astray got involved with my friend’s character, Gabrielle. Gabrielle and Astray did a detective story, in which both players threw in things that we thought would make the story more exciting. Then that meant there was a common link and now that introduced a character, Rie, who was related to the symbiotes that started with Astray.
When Rie’s story then expanded to include the Chameleon and Superbrava, there was a need for the symbiote story to expand, and that meant that this extra dimension to my cool tough bunny lady came up, with this whole story arc that related to the symbiotes. That meant she had a secret, and that secret worked with the existing secret identity, and expanded on it, and that’s cool too.
One of the things I love about this kind of play, is the way that these stories can develop and emerge, just as long as you trust and share with the people around you. The story is more real, because I trusted in someone else with parts of it, because I included their ideas along with mine.
No great conclusion. Just thinking about how cool all my friends are.