Page 557 - Value of a Footsoldier

17th Feb 2015, 6:00 AM
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Value of a Footsoldier
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Newbiespud 17th Feb 2015, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
There's a part of me that likes somewhat mysterious characters that still find a way to comfortably coexist with the party. Yeah, sometimes all you get is a moody miseryguts, but other times you have an otherwise normally likable character that can still surprise you later on. But that may be me as a current DM talking.

21 Comments:

Raxon 17th Feb 2015, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
I love playing mysterious characters, though I tend to make them extremely mysterious, know they're mysterious, nd talk like, "my mysterious past is as mysterious as my mysterious goals, and my powers, which are a mystery."

After a little while, everyone discounts him as a village idiot, and he can completely catch them off guard when he commands the driders to turn around and walk away.
Toric 17th Feb 2015, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
In my experience, it's less fun to act mysterious and more fun to perform specific mysterious acts. Something simple and repetitive, close enough to mundane to be forgotten but just odd enough that you mention it every time.

For example, taking a vial of blood from every enemy. I never DID anything with it, but everyone knew that I took it. Being an alchemist, they thought it was for something yucky and sinister. Point of fact, my character was secretly researching a "deifaction" serum to become a god, and it would take him 20+ levels to complete it, but he never mentioned that part, so he was just a weird guy taking blood trophies.

Otherwise he was a pretty open and shut elitist snob with a superiority complex.
Digo 17th Feb 2015, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
One of my favorite mysterious characters was a merc in a modern campaign. He was former US Army, but there was mystery behind why A) He's over-trained for what he passes off as just an 'infantry man', B) Why he's no longer with the Army when he doesn't seem to have ant mental or physical problems, and C) Why does he always hate going to Argentina when we got missions out there? XD

It was an incident I wrote in the background that he regrets. The short of it is that there was an incident and a stray bullet she shot off killed his girlfriend. Didn't come up in the game though. Too bad, it would have made some nice character building.
Specter 17th Feb 2015, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
Specter
(Most campaigns and GM's I've had don't do backstories)

But when they do, I usually have a character who is trying to fit-in with society, and adventuring (or whatever the group is doing) is the most likely of option.

It's kind of sad to say, I don't make too many mysterious characters, but most of them are, especially when no one but the NPC's ask for the character's history.

... For some reason, the term "immersion" runs thin where I live. It makes me sad. *Cue nostalgic visions of heroism while listening*
Tatsurou 17th Feb 2015, 11:58 AM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
I remember my favorite mysterious character.

It was a lawful neutral barbarian who stayed under an all concealing cloak at all times and never spoke. Between a few other things, I was able to get an okay from the DM to have unhindered strength and intelligence (so I could easily solve complicated puzzles and translate old text, had perfect memory...but for a large part of the game couldn't communicate it). Everyone was cool with this mystery character, since he was really useful and good at intimidating...because the only thing anyone saw under the robe was a single, glowing red eye.

Then came a fight halfway through the game where a bad roll on my part led to the robe being torn...and I got to reveal who and what my character was...with a single line.

"Hasta la vista, baby!"

My planar displaced T-850 promptly ripped the ogre to shreds.

(850 was the same basic combat type as the 800, but with an experimental AI meant to enable it to better imitate humans. The Planar displacement fried his mind to forget his mission, so he wandered around sticking to the mission of 'don't be discovered'.)
Mykin 17th Feb 2015, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
Sad to say, I've never had a group that cares to actually know anybodies characters. At all. So mysterious characters tend to backfire because no one is interested in finding stuff out about them. It doesn't help that I tend to get my head bitten off when I try to find out why they are doing things because I'm holding up the game.

PbP games seems to be my sole exception to this, but I've yet to see any of my efforts in writing a mysterious character pay off in any noticeable way. But that's my curse, I put way too much effort creating interesting characters with unique backgrounds that no one cares about outside of how effective they are in game. I.E: my spellthief is paranoid and never removes his mask, but no one seems interested in finding out why.

So in short, I just don't get the chance to play a mysterious character and actually have it pay off in any meaningful way. But that's fine, I like playing my tsun tsun cleric in an over the top manner just fine, thank you. It just too much fun to alternate between being eternally ticked off at the universe for putting that bulls-eye on his back and selflessly jumping into the jaws of death to save his party.
Kirby 17th Feb 2015, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
My most mysterious characters tend to fall under the line of, "When I snap I'm going to murder the thing that pushes me over the edge." level of quite mysterious.

Side note, it is an opposed roll to try and shove your warlock orb up the paladin's a**.
RinaldoLuke 18th Feb 2015, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
I tend to prefer characters who *seem* straightforward, and it is only after a couple years of playing them that the other players start to go, "Wait, what?" with regard to my character's background.

The current group I play with has now been trained pretty well into thinking my characters always have at least that level of depth to them, though. So maybe my next character will really just have one level, and everyone will be waiting for the other shoe to drop, *knowing* it could take years, when nothing will happen.
Jennifer 17th Feb 2015, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I'm confused. Why is the question moot -- because she doesn't appear to have lowered herself to sabotage like a mere initiate? Or is the captured slanderer Rarity, but disguised?
Kereea 17th Feb 2015, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Because she's been blacklisted from the guild.
SP 17th Feb 2015, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Because, Rarity is no longer a member of the Thieves Guild. Thus, it is moot because the Thieves Guild, presuming that this isn't a huge fakeout, will not be telling Rarity to commit the political sabotage we now know she may have done.
Jennifer 17th Feb 2015, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
And... they wouldn't have told her to, as, say, a prerequisite for getting back in?
Alice 17th Feb 2015, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
My current game has started up a B-team. Every single one if us has a mysterious backstory that we don't talk about.

Both the rogue and my pixie are wanted fugitive. The other pixie regularly uses negative energy and says she is "trying to change her ways" and the chef we just picked up is probably a paladin. (the half-mimics like him though. he makes food.)
redwings1340 17th Feb 2015, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
redwings1340
I'm a big fan of noodle incidents. I've done a few campaigns with my current group now. In my first campaign, my character made it a trope of dropping little hints to stories that happened in her past. Things like, "Aww, I hate getting chased by zombies too! It was really scary last time it happened!" were a common theme with her.

In my current campaign, it's a little different, because I'm really one of the few characters without a deep, dark secret. We have a couple of former witches from Madoka Magica in the party, Professor Oak, a secretive and silent version of Red from Twitch Plays Pokemon, two sisters of a powerful endgame boss who have no idea their sister became one of the ten most powerful beings in the universe, a former GM who's just trying to stay alive, and a girl who is constantly asleep and doesn't know she's a ghost, among others.

Meanwhile, I play as Annie, a bright, young student from another universe with no special powers or weird history at all. She's the Kyon of the group, I suppose, the only one who isn't hiding anything. It's pretty fun playing as her.
An honest Joe 17th Feb 2015, 7:00 PM edit delete reply
Mystery characters are generally played by the selfish and attention hogs who want to be the center of it all via a roundabout path. The best way to deal with them is to ignore their veiled attempts at "mystery" and get on with things that concern everybody.
Kitten 17th Feb 2015, 10:12 PM edit delete reply
Xencarn.
Good example.
terrycloth 18th Feb 2015, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
Eh. In my groups they're usually played by the really shy people who barely talk. Going out of your way to ignore them would just be mean since they really *do* need more attention than they otherwise get.
Ponikon 18th Feb 2015, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
I prefer utter left-fielding to mystery.
Night Sage 18th Feb 2015, 4:33 PM edit delete reply
Night Sage
I do mysterious characters slightly differently. Being a GM, when I need a character who is mysterious, I tend to create them with knowledge they shouldn't have, and it is up to the players to figure out why he knows what he knows.

Usually, it is because he is a very old person, older than that of even elves. Or maybe they are a great and powerful being, like a dragon disguising oneself as a "mortal." The dragons I play tend to think themselves immortal compared to humanoids.

Or maybe they have a past even the character himself doesn't know about, and all he knows is what he has been trained to do (Like Jason Bourne, from the Bourne Series).
Quinn 18th Feb 2015, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
I just "forced" one of my players to play a mysterious character.

I'm DMing a homebrew conversion of 4e set in space, and I literally gave my party Chekov's Gun as a loot item (one of my players totally freaked and told them they should leave it behind, but the other two actually fought over it!). So, the nanotech the gun is made out of is slowly brainwashing the character who picked it up. Luckily, that player is my best role-player and is totally on board, plus I'm letting him play a second character so it's not like he'll have to leave the party after his inevitable heel-face turn.

Of course, that player's other character is also a disgraced biochemist who secretly (and accidentally) invented a zombie virus that the players haven't even encountered yet... so...
Zilfallion 19th Feb 2015, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
Zilfallion
Mysterious Characters you say... Right, I think the current character I'm playing qualifies.

So during character creation, I had a lot of one on one time chatting with the GM waiting for others on various things. I outlined the basic premise of what I wanted the character to be, aka child assassin. She's 12. So the GM then went during the large amount of weeks we had, created an entire assassin organization, spread it across the continent. According to what I've gotten from hints, shaped half the campaign around this character's backstory. Rest of the party has no idea this character is this mysterious, they're all straight murderhobos [One of them quite literally called themself one OOC] Meanwhile I've got this young assassin with the group as part of social training. The rest of the party hasn't noticed anything strange yet. Meanwhile, I'm stuck trying to figure out EVERYTHING about my character. The GM has told me I know practically nothing about the organization that raised and trained me. I basically don't remember ANY sort of family. And my only contact with the organization after training by a dozen different instructors who'd come and go, is a Winter Wolf who acts as my handler[and cuddle toy]. My character is rather set in her life, she enjoys the challenges the job presents her. Doesn't really realize it's evil, she was just raised this way, and acts like a somewhat nice person. Meanwhile, I as a player am working to try and piece together the smallest of clues to figure out my own backstory the GM ran away with on a freight train.

Most Fun Character In Years.

Edit: Okay, I take that back, currently it's tied with the book-wormy transmutation-specialist Wizard who is an aspiring mystery novelist, and uses the spell Secret Page to make the reader have to figure out the clues to reveal the command word to reveal the next part of the story. All while a good portion of her skill points went into baking. [She made amazing snickerdoodles]