Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
A character's age can have a lot of influence over many other elements in a signup sheet, from personality and description to techniques and history. By far, the most obvious element influenced is a character's looks. Usually people get wrinkles and grey hairs as they get older, unless your character goes in for hair dyes and Botox injections. But beyond the superficial aspect of it all, there are other things to consider. Can your 15-year-old really wear a full suit of armour? Can your 75-year-old really swing around a heavy spiked mace like nobody's business? Issues such as these tie in with a character's history and abilities. Young characters should normally have limited experience in fighting, unless you were an abandoned orphan found outside a dojo and were trained in martial arts since the age of 2. On the other hand, older characters may have the necessary experience in times of war, but might be plagued with physical difficulties such as arthritic knees and lessening strength. And then there's personality: usually, people get more conservative and, for lack of a better word, wiser with time. If your character is not human, of course, then your character may have different age milestones depending on the race you choose. If so, think about the race's average lifespan, coming-of-age, middle age, old age... Think about your character's general personality, description, training, and so on; then you can peg an approximate age in human years and adjust it to fit the race's scale accordingly.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. There are plenty of healthy older people around today, just as there are relatively sensible young kids. But the trick is knowing when to break the mold and when to go with common sense. If you think your character is too ordinary (even with kickass powers), then you may want to go against the norm in one aspect of the character sheet. Go with your instinct, here, and keep in mind that too many exceptions make a character look too good to be true.
In closing, I'd like to share an anecdote about this particular subject. I've been RPing for the past four years now and I've known several RPers who managed to get away with the silliest things because they were long-time RPers and had somehow gained respect. Many of them had characters with the most exorbitant ages imaginable, but one really stood out for me. This particular character had many... issues that I had problems with, but I'm sure at least one reader can relate to my frustration when I found out he was over 9 billion years old and looked not a day over 19 -- and actually acted about that age, too. That's something to think about when you think you can get away with your age because it looks cool on paper.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Oily and blackened and brazen gold, the sky boiled with dark tufts of smoke and cloud and threatened to pour out tears for the fallen, the dying and the emotionally distraught. No stars, no points of light to throw hope out to--only the flames and the heat and the labored sweat of turmoil. Blood was on the air, carried by a whisper. Orange coals, too, followed, tasting the wind and giving to it their fleeting warmth before dying cold. He couldn't feel the cold or the desperation or the fear. He only felt the hatred and the rage and the desire to murder, to kill each and every one of them, to raise his jaws to their throats and rip them free. That is what he wanted this night, and any night, from before, from now and forever forward.Just one paragraph in seven of the set. I think it's good; could be better, but as Don said to me, "It really grabs you." I could improve my writing more, as there is always room for improvement. I'm just wondering if I'll have the time to sit down and write while I'm in the army, since I did enlist not too long ago. And in the vein of thought brought about by that, I got for my testing to see whether I am worthy of the army life on Dec 13. Not bad, plus it's at a late enough date that I can relegate myself to working toward some kind of physical fitness, and after the testing, go home for Christmas once my exams and finals are finished up. All in all, a good thing.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Sandurz: Prepare for light speed. Helmet: No, no, light speed is too slow. Sandurz: Light speed too slow? Helmet: Yes, we'll have to go right to...Ludicrous speed! Sandurz: Ludicrous speed! Sir, we've never gone that fast before. I don't think the ship can take it. Helmet: What's the matter, Colonel Sandurz...CHICKEN?!With that little snippet in mind, I think the majority actually do have this mentality--that light speed is never fast enough. Never mind that your opponent may be directing a hurricane in your direction with winds in excess of 386 kph (240 mph). Let's be honest, if you were on the Florida coast and you were at the peak of physical fitness and you tied yourself to a palm tree under the impression that you could weather the storm, that's your prerogative. But face it, it isn't that the wind is blowin', it's what the wind is blowin'. If a Volvo hits you at 386 kph+ (240 mph+) winds, it don't matter how many sit-ups you've done that morning*, it's gonna hurt. Seriously, you aren't fast enough to outrun that. I don't expect a normal human being to be even capable of withstanding that much pressure. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule here, super-powers, magic, technological gadgets and so forth, but don't quite expect me to think you've got the kind of speed, or even the endurance to keep up that kind of speed, to evade and dodge anything moving that fast for an extended period of time, or even a short amount of time without some kind of object, device or power. Yes, I know this is fantasy. Yes, I know we all have super powers, but what ever happened to some kind of limitations? A Chinese PL-12 air-to-air missile has a speed of Mach 4. A Chinese C.801 Anti-Ship cruise missile has a speed of Mach 8 at sea level. What does this say? It says you don't dodge or evade missiles, even on a good day, not unless you can pull off similar speeds, and in reality, considering the payload of some of these weapons, coming away alive just isn't happening even if you could dodge to the left in the split-second needed to get out of the way. Now, I know that most people aren't packing missiles, lasers or high-yield explosives in a duel, and that they don't even have weapons even capable of those speeds, but coming out of that alive just isn't feasible under any circumstance (unless you happen to be packing a massive blast shield, or even some kind of techno shielding gadget, then I suppose it is, but how many of us pack away one of those for a rainy day?). So, back to my original thought, you aren't the fastest thing ever, you aren't capable of complete split-second movements, nor can you obtain speed-of-light as you break wind. Our characters might be super-powered, come with loads of stamina and endurance, but eventually they slow and get worn out, especially if you're facing someone of equal caliber in level to your own. Where am I going with this? Well, it comes down to dodging everything. Lightning strikes could be deflected, but unless you have the capability built in, you aren't going to be dodging those. Much as you might like to, even in a fantasy realm, some aspects of reality and physics must sink through, otherwise what's the point? You can do anything, so why didn't you just slit your opponent's throat at the start with all that velocity you could attain? Because doing so would make it boring; it's also annoying and stupid for all parties involved if there isn't any real fight. I can't say I haven't fallen for these pitfalls before either, or that I'm anywhere near perfect in my own right now, but at least I can come down to the conclusion that I at least try. We talk about fantasy, but what about some reality to the fantasy? Or are we just speeding away from the reality of that at light speed? - W. Visarett * Paraphrased/taken from comedian Ron White.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Your mother, your father, your siblings, your friends, what the hell do they mean to you. Well possibly nothing but they might be the focus of your life. In a situation like that they’ll affect your writing in profound ways. You could end up involving your best friend in a story and only realize it when they ask if you based said character off of you. You’ll give them a weird look and then look at the piece of writing and laugh out loud. They’ll grin and laugh with you like a friend is supposed to and you’ll admit to basing the character off of them.
Now if you like to break clichés (We all do) your character will have a family and friends that will affect them. When you involve these family and friends they might sound familiar to you. There is a high chance that they’re your family and friends. You’re character’s bets friend could be killed and in reality your friend could have died recently. That may sound uncaring but it’s the truth, large events that happen in real life. I’ll cover that later though so I’m going to get away from that topic.
Now as you write about your characters over protective mother or their controlling father you might want to think about what this means. You’re calling on interaction with your family and your subconscious might be trying to tell you something about your life. Of course what does your subconscious know?This is ahead of schedule so don't expect anything tomorrow dear readers.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
Sorry…Anyway, let’s take the mood of Joking for example. This one can be a real pain if you catch the right duelist. Some duelists just don’t know how to handle a joking realm-like the realm of Super1mm. A duel between him and Genesis Dragon isn’t short on Chickens that fight…You heard me, chickens….that fight. Even I would have a tough time devising a plan for this; you just don’t run into a lot of chickens in this day and age in dueling. I really have to give a hand to Super; he has used things such as a talking ordinarily-sized cat, fighting chickens, or a man named Cardiac (Yeah, I thought he might have a heart condition too) who uses playing cards to duel with. You know, Card-iac=Cards, uses ‘em to fight…Ah, you don’t care.
Anyway, let’s move to the other end of the spectrum. I recently played around with a twist in setting the mood. I’ll post my first paragraph to show you a switch.
The sky slowing darkened as if dieing against the shadow of the night. He watched as the blackness ate away the cold blue sky. Such an inescapable nightmare it can be at times, but sometimes it can give way to the simplicity and elegance that leave you speechless.
As the red dusk sun glowed upon the rolling hills and flowing rivers. The deep blue of the water faded into an inky black. The last of the gallant sun’s rays bounced from within its shallow depths refracting prisms of midnight light upon the dulling surroundings that claimed home nearby. The river had rolled across the landscape for ages, carving out a deep valley, met by two extremely green hills, equal in height. The rocks on the bed had been smoothed into crystals and rubies over the vast time they had resided there. It was a thing of splendor; the piece of land had long since been untouched by the murderous hands that were humankind. Its rolling fields of barley and wheat gave nourishment to the animal kingdom that called the area home. Up until now, it had been the perfect example of grace and exquisiteness, but unfortunately it would be destroyed in the blink of an eye. It would be represented by but a single grain of sand on the timeline of the Universe, in a matter of hours, it would become a wasteland.
So, as you can see I start off dark, notice the use of dark, deathly words and metaphors such as the sky dieing to the shadows of the night, etc. Using the negative words like nightmare, but yet the next paragraph goes on to explain a rather beautiful scene with a river and valley. Kind of confusing, right? Well I clear it up at the end with a bit more depression and destruction to make sure you know were I’m going.
Now you may ask, “How will this make the opponent change?” Alright, you remember Super from up above a few paragraphs? Probably not, I know how short of an attention span you all have. Well, he uses a lot of not-so-dark characters as mentioned above, yet faced with situation he falls into a perfect trap set up just by the intro. He is lured into using a dark marauder named The M Man, who seems to be a death-bringer of sorts. Also one of my favorite characters to combat…especially with the outlook that my character has towards death.
All you really need to know is how to set your opponent up, and hopefully he will fall into a category you know how to defend and overcome. That is the main case from setting the mood of the duel-placing your opponent in an environment that you are accustomed to, and hopefully giving you the other hand.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Aouyen: Aouyen are naturally green-scaled, like a reptilian species, with small short barbs or horns along their entire body. They are bald, and sport a set of red eyes set in a flat, nose-less and narrow face with pointed jaw. They have simian-like hands and feet (three digits with an opposable thumb) with retractable claws--their palms and feet also have soft pads to soften the noise they might make in movement. Thin, tall and lithe, these creatures are built for short bursts of speed. The things that make them dangerous though are these: The Aouyen are capable of changing their skin color to hide within their environs. Their chameleon skills are in fact astounding, allowing the Aouyen to run at a good pace and not appear to the eye. The second dangerous aspect about the Aouyen have is that they have a set of glands in the back of their throat. The Aouyen can control the molecular makeup of whatever is produced within these glands. They can secrete anything from sedatives to poisons to balms. They can also spit an effective range of twenty meters.Rather simplistic, isn't it? Yet it gets the job done of saying what the creature is, what it looks like, and what its skills are. While the creatures are described as reptile-like, there are also characteristics of a cat-like abilities. In reality, picking a race is completely set upon both your style as a role-player and your preference. Some people like celestials, some like stock humans, some like custom races and creatures, or even mutants. You can do nearly anything with a race to make it unique in its own right. It's all up to you and what you want out of it. - W. Visarett
Friday, November 11, 2005
For those that don't know, today is Remembrance Day in Canada; solemn day where we honor the dead who fought in WWI and WWII for freedom. Probably too late to say that we pause nation-wide on the eleventh hour (AM) to reflect on it, but that's what we do. Anyway, just a random Canadian fact for the non-Canadian's out there who read this (although I think today is Veteran's Day in the US, similar to Remembrance Day in Canada or something). - W. Visarett
Monday, November 07, 2005
Name- Morgan Zolgalman Age- 17 Sex- Male Description- Morgan dresses in all black, wearing a long trench coat that drapes around his ankles. He has jet black combat boots and always has an assortment of silver jewelry that studs his eyebrows, nose, lips, and ears. His hair is spiked into a dark, black mohawk, and he wears jet black lipstick. He is the perfect image of goth.Short character sheet, I know, but I didn’t want to put spoil the twist. Now, I want to show you a good way to surprise anyone after reading this sheet.
Morgan walked drearily through the streets as a fine downpour of rain fell upon his ebony locks. His makeup was running and he looked like a scary funhouse attraction, but he wasn’t looking for fun, he was looking for a fight. He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and bent over, keeping the precious smokes dry, with a flick of his finger, the cigarette was lit and in his mouth. He pulled long and hard and then flicked it into the drainage ditch nearby. His opponent had arrived. As the other man gently drifted into the street, Morgan’s heart began to race. His mouth just couldn’t keep it shut in any longer, “Wow, aren’t those jeans just so cute! Oh! My! Gosh! I just can’t believe how vibrant your eyes are! We have to go shopping, I saw this pair of torn jeans that would look absolutely stunning on you!”Alright, you probably weren’t expecting that right? Exactly, thanks to a comment by Clovis, I thought about this. Taking the cliché and making it unique, a very good trait of any writer, taking what they are comfortable with and making it something actually enjoyable to read. Now, when you read the first part of that sample, the tone of the duel is dreary and dark, correct? But as it nears the end, it turns into something…well, fruity. Not only can you deceive your readers, but you can start it off with something fun. Make your character spit out random, lame jokes during a fight, or make some cheesy fighter who uses a bunch of lines from…I don’t know, E.R. You can do a limitless amount of things to make your writing unique, because in truth, isn’t that what we all aspire for? Take Libram’s writing for example, he has a stunning ability to integrate characters with truly charming and creative personalities into his writing, such as Big Boy, the child-like Android who is an excellent example of man-made machine, or his creator Amy, who is very nerdy, yet has a sexy side like Laura Croft. All I am saying is, people need to find ways of making the same old, same old into something new and worth my time to read. The days of heroic, Hercules type fighters should be gone, and an era of frightfully charming, or devilishly cunning characters should begin. *** Next Blog- Setting the tone of the duel in the intro. Corbow6
Friday, November 04, 2005
If you hadn't noticed, I seem to be on a binge of writing about traits for characters and their creation. Or if you even bothered to notice that funny little trait, I've now put it out explicitly so if you say hi to me you can blab about how you knew it all along. Sure ya did. Anyway, I'm doing a series on character creation, running through all the main points; name, age, gender, race, appearance, personality, history, etc. If you think what I've done so far could use some improvement, drop me a line. Hell, leave a comment or two to critique Corbs and my work and we'll make sure to improve ours so you can improve yours. Something like that, yeah. - W. Visarett
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
(Hybrid) Ares is the definition of suave. He stands just over six feet tall with long flowing black hair and chiseled muscles. He likes to wear casual clothing because his power supplements a natural armor. He is most usually seen wearing a dark red, silky t-shirt that exposes his ripping biceps. It fits nice and tight for the joy of the many ladies he meets on his travels. He also wears a set of black leather pants accompanied by black combat boots. The most unusual feature that sets Ares apart from normal mean is his beautiful angel-like wings. The long, crimson red feathers are all almost a foot long. The wings stretch almost half a foot above his head and extend all the way to his lower calves. His skin is tanned giving him an even better look as well. His eyes are also very sheik; they are an odd silver, smoky color and whenever he gazes upon something, it feels like they are able to look into the thought of the subject.Ugh! Now, I really do love Ares, I have used him for over three years now, but he is full of clichés. Let’s start off right- he is of course of human/dragon, duh. I thought that was a given. We then move on- Yep, very smooth and sexy, par for the course. Just over six feet…what a perfect height. Chiseled muscles…ewww, tempting. A dark red shirt and black pants you say? Well, I just described that up there! Black combat boots?! No way! Never would have guessed…combat boots. Angelic wings?! But of course. With long, crimson feathers? Fancy! Tanned? Even more appealing. And to top it off, we have the classical silver eyes, couldn’t do without… That’s right, Ares is terrible when it comes to being unique, but you must forgive me, for I didn’t know this at the time of his conception. I have since found the error in my ways, and would like to show you another character that is a bit more, comical and distinctive;
Ringer- Such a funny thing is luck. Clyde had a sort of ironic luck; he always seemed to get himself into trouble, but he always came away unscathed. He was one of the most peculiar men you might ever happen to meet, but he had a certain air or contentment. As long as you could get past the black ring around his eye, thus the name Ringer, you might actually enjoy his company…or make his life a living hell, whichever happened to be your fancy. Such was the destiny of the lowly Pirate-tormented by the oddity of his luck, and the cruelness of his crew, he was doomed to live a life of not caring, and being made fun of, but as long as he was happy, that’s all that truly mattered. Such was the black ink-ring around his right eye. After falling asleep in the nest as he usually did, his crew mates decided to line his favorite telescope with a think, tar-like ink. With a blast of a whistle, he was abruptly woken and yelled at for not keeping his eyes at sea. He then naturally picked up his scope and slammed it to his eye to make sure as to not get in trouble again. From that day on his nick-name was Ringer, and to this day, he hasn’t figured out the reason why his alias is such. He simply goes on about his business and doesn’t think much more of it than possibly being glad that they even gave him a nickname.Such is my newly beloved pirate named Ringer. Now, first off I would like to point out that pirates are not used near enough in a duel setting. It seems they may always remain synonymous for battling the ninja in the many polls that once littered GameFAQs, but that doesn’t change the fact that they have a special place in my heart. Now, first off you can see that Ringer has a defining feature that may make him an outcast or laughing stock- the dark black ring around his eye. Now, in a duel setting you may be able to use this as a distraction of sorts, but to do so you must first lure you opponent into noticing it. Secondly, Ringer lends to more uncommon attacks and counters because of his unusual luck. Instead of purposely dodging a knife or sword, you can describe a situation between him falling into something and it takes the blunt of the attack instead of the beloved Pirate. This will help in that ever-sought after category of creativity, and if you know how to play your cards right, you can give your readers a good laugh or two while they browse through your posts, thus making it more appealing to others. For now, we shall only look at how the physical aspects of a character can change the very nature of the duel itself. In my next blog I plan to address the different personalities of each character and how they can be a very cunning adversary, or a very boring foe in terms of your writing. Corbow6
Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
DeePee: “dueling is fighting... not meant to be character interaction.”Now, to some degree, I would say that this statement is true, but there is that other 160 degrees that leads me into my next point; wouldn’t forum dueling be a bit more fun, and a bit more appealing to the masses if there was a little background to it? For example, take a look at dueling in its most linear form;
"All right, it's starting," Lizard thought to himself as the gate on the opposite side began opening. All nervousness was lost. The feeling of battle overtook him. His hand was instinctively led to Reiniku's handle. Then suddenly, an unexpected calm washed over the stadium. Was it usually this quiet when the fighter entered the ring? No, the noise was quite loud on his entrance. What could- "Wait a second, it's a woman," Lizard did not commonly see women on the battlefield, and those he did see were rarely his target. As she walked closer, more detail could be identified. Especially that of her face. Instantly, Lizard's thoughts strayed from the battle... 'Is this my opponent... or some pre-fight entertainment? I can't fight like- wait, the fight!' The steel gates from behind closed. "That's it," Lizard's eyes widened, the direct focus taken off his opponent. He took this opportunity to make a strike. He made a direct charge towards the female fighter, making a jump just a few feet in front of her. Propelled by the extra force from his tail, Lizard would attempt to end the match quickly by taking a slash at his opponent's throat...Look at this, I give my opponent the outmost opportunity to take a stab (Not literally, but emotionally) at the female character, and yet he could care less how beautiful she is, and instead charges headlong in to kill her. Now, if I see a female character that I am about to fight, I shall at least hit on her. Now, I’m not saying this guarantees some sort of relationship, which would be up to the other writer, but it does give way to a bit more fun and clever ways to play out the duel. Now, everyone can run and slash, but to try and plant a gentle kiss on the woman’s cheek while you attack, now that is an art my friend. So what if you leave that attack with your face imprinted by five fingers and an angry palm, it’s better than a slice by a sword into the gonads, right? Now, the reasoning behind this isn’t to just put interaction into the duel, it may also put your opponent into an unforeseen corner, somewhere that they may not be familiar, and it will lead way to you holding the upper hand. Now, instead of being a gun-totting, magical sword-wielding robots that live to fight, go out there and show some emotion. It lets the readers enjoy the duel more, and it may give you that key advantage to winning… Corbow6
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
First, you take an ordinary name: MatthewSecond, you take the name and split it in half: Matt hewYou then switch these two pieces: Hew mattAdd a "yk" to the end of "Hew": Hewyk MattSubtract the "tt" and add "nz" to the end of "Ma": Hewyk ManzFinally, change the "a" to "ae": Hewyk MaenzPronounced: He-EW-ick Muh-enzMy method doesn't work for everyone, so only try it if you feel comfortable with it. The trick is the addition and subtraction of specific letters to produce a certain sound. As a follow up to the name, then we decide whether the name is masculine or feminine, as this will decide whether the character is a guy or gal. I, personally, think the name Hewyk is masculine, so our character in question is male. Next we then describe the character, what he/she looks like, how he/she acts, etc. Most people follow a preformatted guideline, using name, age, gender, race, appearance (eyes, hair, build, clothing, etc) and finally some kind of personality. I, on the other hand, try and just start writing about the character. Put the character in a situation and then write a way for the character to get out of the situation, and based on that, ascribe specific traits to the character. But for the sake of convention, I'll use the traditional method.
- Name: Hewyk Maenz
- Gender: Male
- Name: Hewyk Maenz
- Age: 29
- Gender: Male
- Race: Human
- Personality: Calm, cool, collected with sarcastic/wry humor
It's ten PM. The sky's dark; pissing rain. His trenchcoat is soaked, the fedora atop his head along with it. The streets are turned slanted under the streetlights. It's twisted how the world changes in the dark. He stands about six foot, with cruel blue eyes, and a glint of blonde hair beneath the dripping outcrop of hat. A business suit, he wears, with one hand at his face holding the smoldering remains of a cigarette while the other is perched in his pocket. He holds himself like a man of class, but the shifty look in his eyes says anything but.That's a pretty good description of the man's appearance. What you really need to do, then, is take the key points and put them into the appearance portion. The hardest part, mind you, is creation a back-story, a history or origin for your character, and there I can't help you. It's completely up to you what to do. Anyway, I hope this little example proved at least somewhat useful. I'd hate to think that I'm wasting my time writing all this. - W. Visarett