Script follows below the foldContinue Reading →
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 might have met Karash Ejinn wandering around Limsa Lominsa, or perhaps out by Ul’dah, Idyllshire, or Radz-at-Han. It’s not like he doesn’t stand out – he’s the largest Au Ra you’ve ever seen, large even by their standards. If you’ve spoken to him, you’ll have heard the deep, rumbling voice, which speaks with a deliberate care in what is clearly his secondary language. While he’s obviously very dangerous — nobody his size would be seen as helpless — he seems to mostly do trade with people, bodyguarding work, and travel along riverways as a strange kind of nomad.
On the other hand, you might have met him on the battlefields, or in the trenches against the Garlean Empire over the past few years. You might have seen him, clad in black armour, repurposed from Garlean war machines, that made him seem even more massive and dark, as he walked through rivers of blood in an unflagging wall of violence pushing deep into the heart of the empire. You may have heard the rhyme the soldiers said about him.
It doesn’t think
It doesn’t feel
It doesn’t laugh or cry
All it does from dawn to dusk
Is make the soldiers die
There shouldn’t be anything that counts as a story spoiler below.Continue Reading →
I play a lot of games where you get to make characters. Sometimes it’s TTRPGs, sometimes it’s MMORPGs, sometimes it’s single-player CRPGs, and sometimes it’s just for the other games I design. I like making characters, I think it’s a fun exercise and I like it as a way to create the elements of a story, or express new ideas or give a characterisation to mechanics. It’s something I really enjoy, and if the regular posts about different City of Heroes characters isn’t giving it away, it’s something I really enjoy doing.
Playing Final Fantasy XIV, I thought I might wind up doing the same thing – after all, it’s a world with a big creative space! There are lots of different ways for your character to look! There’s glamours that let you change your outfit and they’re tailored to interact in interesting ways! So many classes, so, similarly, so many different ways to express a different kind of character. A fighter with an axe is not a fighter with a bow, after all! There’s so much here, and you have a lot of slots so – you could make all sorts of alts!
That didn’t happen, because Final Fantasy XIV is a dreadful experience for making alts.
I guess to back that up I need to explain to you what I mean by an alt.Continue Reading →
In How To Be we’re going to look at a variety of characters from Not D&D and conceptualise how you might go about making a version of that character in the form of D&D that matters on this blog, D&D 4th Edition. Our guidelines are as follows:
- This is going to be a brief rundown of ways to make a character that ‘feels’ like the source character
- This isn’t meant to be comprehensive or authoritative but as a creative exercise
- While not every character can work immediately out of the box, the aim is to make sure they have a character ‘feel’ as soon as possible
- The character has to have the ‘feeling’ of the character by at least midway through Heroic
When building characters in 4th Edition it’s worth remembering that there are a lot of different ways to do the same basic thing. This isn’t going to be comprehensive, or even particularly fleshed out, and instead give you some places to start when you want to make something.
Another thing to remember is that 4e characters tend to be more about collected interactions of groups of things – it’s not that you get a build with specific rules about what you have to take, and when, and why, like you’re lockpicking your way through a design in the hopes of getting an overlap eventually. Character building is about packages, not programs, and we’ll talk about some packages and reference them going forwards.
In deference to this being Final Fantasy 14 Week, a sub-theme in Talen Month, I figured it was time for us to give the fan, singular, what she wanted, and finally write an article about her favourite character, and how I’d go about playing her in a game that she doesn’t play and has no reason to care about.
It’s also an opportunity to talk about negative space and harmonisation.
Let’s talk about Minfilia Warde.Continue Reading →
Some of the dates her are a little general, sorry, it’s just what you gotta deal with. Here’s the long walk version: Sometime, around 2016 by my best information, a Japanese blogger who played a character named Maidy Maidy in Final Fantasy XIV made a blog detailing his story of connecting with his father through both playing the game Final Fantasy XIV. Maidy’s plan was to get his dad into the game, and befriend him there, without his dad knowing his friend was his son.
This was successful in the way that autobiographical blog posts relating to videogames rarely are.
The real-life account of this was so compelling there was a book made (2017), then a TV series (2017), then a movie (2019), and at each step of this process, the original author, who was a real person talking about his real relationship with his real dad resisted changes that were suggested to make the story more tragic or heartbreaking or more classically dramatic. The movie uses in-game footage captured by an ordinary player account, though dramatically enhanced through crime programs, and Maidy ‘plays’ his character and his guildmates play their roles with him. It is effortlessly charming, very funny, classic to its form, and a movie I really enjoyed.
It is a personal story about a relationship and a videogame.
Content Warning: Cancer!Continue Reading →