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New General SOTF Discussion Thread; Yep
Topic Started: Nov 20 2013, 11:42 AM (20,544 Views)
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Guy Maddin's favorite A.D.
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I just can't conceive of writing a character whose background is so key to their concept as to be immutable yet whose location is an afterthought.


This. This. Thiiiiiiiissssss.

Even though pregame isn't THAT important in the end (sorry :c), I still think it really freaking helps a character if they feel like an honest byproduct of the setting. And one of the things I find is that we get a lot of cases where handlers have their characters almost completely planned out seemingly months or years before the version actually starts, and then the bare minimum is done to plant that set-in-stone character's background into the location where it's taking place. And I dunno, I find when reading these characters that it just seems off. It feels artificial, and that's kind of detrimental to the character, again to me. Even in extremely successful characters and concepts like, say Hansel Williams. Or the Fiamettas in v4.

And I think the other thing that kinda gets to me is that it shouldn't be too hard to tweak one's character into something that fits the setting better without sacrificing anything. If you want your character to be "upper middle class", you don't have to make their parent's lawyers because that's a generic rich-person job, especially when you're in a town that has a whopping 0.7% of the population involved in the legal profession, and where less than 10% of households make over $100K a year (compared to 25% in Seattle). You can just as easily make your kid's dad a successful plumber, as Tre said. You can make their mom some kind of administrative manager at Kingman Regional Medical Center. That makes them upper middle class as HELL in a place like Kingman, especially given how dirt cheap it is to live there as compared to downtown Seattle, and is anything really sacrificed? I don't think so, except that you've now got a character who I at least will be way more likely to pay attention to, at least at the start, because they feel authentic.

v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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Guy Maddin's favorite A.D.
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Thinking on this lovely debate a bit more, I think it's important to note that yeah, we all obviously have different standards of realism that we find acceptable, and not just for pre-game stuff, either. I've complained about plenty of island stuff in the past that's not particularly realistic to me, whereas I've also schizophrenically defended other unrealistic stuff as being "the nature of the game".

And that totally applies to pregame characters as well. Like, we accept that any given SOTF class is going to have more gay kids or Japanese kids or any number of things than a regular class would, simply because the only way around that is to put some kind of arbitrary limit on that sort of thing in the name of "realism", which isn't desired or feasible anyway. So if I grumble about having too many lawyer kids or whatnot, I don't even think anymore it's such a specific issue of being "unrealistic" as much as it comes off as being... not willing enough to expand the initial boundaries of the character, which (especially with newer handlers), can come off as being shallow.

Like, let's take a prospective handler that I promise isn't based off anyone. Hey handler, how many characters do you have for v6? Three? That's cool. How many of them are extremely liberal? Huh. All of them, you say? All three kids in rural Arizona? Yeah, I know that high schoolers are more liberal than old people, but we're still in RURAL FREAKING ARIZONA, and even in the entire state of Arizona kids are only about a 60/40 Left/Right political split. You're sure you don't want to broaden your horizons just a tad, and make more authentic characters at the same time? Please?

Now, we can't force prospective handler to do that, but I think it should be encouraged. And I also feel very strongly that it'll make them a better writer as well.

v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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Guy Maddin's favorite A.D.
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Quote:
 
Take this with a grain of salt, especially in rural areas. Statistical representations of youth political affiliations are notoriously slick because 9 out of 10 just don't care.


Yeah agree there, it's just more of a case that even your average lazy apolitical high school kid in Arizona will probably be significantly different in their lazy apoliticism than a kid in Seattle would be.

And I know from experience how tough (and sometimes frustrating) it can be when you're not really able to get into the head of a character you're trying to write. But I just feel that making the effort to add in a least a bit of local flavor can be done by most people in ways that are subtle but will make a good difference. Just my opinionating. Probably all I have to add on the subject, so thanks!

v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
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Guy Maddin's favorite A.D.
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The vaguely ironic thing is that Kingman should be the most likely location to have pregnant kids/parents, as it'd almost certainly have the highest teen pregnancy rate of a SOTF city. Ah well. (I'd planned to have a kid with a pregnant non-island-bound girlfriend at one point, but he bit the dust).

v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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