Originality Vs Ripping Off Character Ideas - a quick rant

Topic started by SamJaz on July 25, 2014. Last post by Kuma_From_Argentina 1 month, 1 week ago.
Post by SamJaz (12,724 posts) See mini bio Level 20

Alright, taking some inspiration from Lobos here and going to talk about something that irritates me- unoriginal characters. Now at first, let me point out the elephant in the room: My main character uses a keyblade, summons persona, and founded an empire of space marines. That is not what I'm talking about today.

My complaint is about characters we've seen a hundred times before on the vice. Superpowered half-demon half-angels with mortal love interests and a troubled and mysterious past. Demigods. Epic mages. Unstoppable swordsmen.

This guy.

Yeah, we've played Devil May Cry. We know Dante is cool. We know controlling the forces of darkness and slaughtering countless demons is fun to play in a videgame, but it's been done to death and it isn't fun to Roleplay as.

There's a lot of ideas about what makes a perfect character here on the Vice. Originality. Power level. Character interaction. Whether or not it's been tapped. For me, the main thing is how much fun I can have exploring the character.

I'll give a few examples to explain my point. First of, Huntsman.

Huntsman is OP. There is no getting around that except for the obvious route, being that I like Huntsman. He's sarcastic but not a whiner. He's funny. He's completely inhuman and the writer, Justalittlegirl, goes all out with this. Shifting appearance, genders, Huntsman is an eldritch abomination that would still ask a succubus for a quickie on the beach because he GETS annoyed. He GETS frustrated. He has appetites and he gets irritated and the author, and the reader, loves it. That's kinda why I chose Alucard to represent him, because he's a few positive thinking books from being Hellsing Abridged's Alucard who takes enthusiastic walks with a body trial while singing Get Lucky.

Which reminds me.

Hitomi and Haruko at a fashion show. Make it happen.

Altair Vs Gen in Underground Fighting in Osaka. Make it happen.

Grayfly took the form of an old man who controlled a hyper fast insect. This is genius- a weak controller body but a lethal weapon he can control from a distance- and is unexpected.

The thought of a killer insect which, if crushed, leaves the controller character helpless but not necessarily identified, is a brilliant mechanic from an RP perspective. He can get another insect later, if he survives the RP.

How can you ruin this? By making him Shino, with thousands of insects at once instead of one super-lethal insect. By making the focus on one lethal weapon that's too fast, one gets to better explore the character that does this kind of thing.

Centerfold is another brilliant idea that makes the user, and the opponent, really think. Because he dwells inside the mirror, he cannot be conventionally attacked, and leaves very small openings for weakness.

A similar idea is Vanilla Ice- a character with great destructive potential but is completely devoid of all his senses when attacking, and is completely vulnerable when he has to stop using his ability to see where his opponent is. Even the fact that he is completely immune to all damage while attacking is forgiven due to the blindness. Because it's got such a weakness to exploit, it changes the battle from "You cannot possibly defeat me! NO! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!?", to "How can I defend myself while using this weakness as bait to lure my opponent into a trap?" Again, an exploitable weakness encourages clever gameplay from both the user and the opponent.

The third Jojo villain I'll point and call a great idea is Justice- an old woman who can control people like puppets as long as her magic fog can touch their wounds. The fact that she's a feeble old lady makes her efforts to create a wound to control her opponent with completely hilarious and entertaining. Even once a wound has been made, the fact that only a single part of the body is under her control, like a puppet on a string, makes the battle even more entertaining. I could also point out Empress, which took the form of a kung-fu wart on the player's arm, but the idea of controlling a single part of your opponents body is a genius idea that the vice hasn't seen before, and would make great use of the auto hit rules. Fehafare and I are playing around with Rose and Arthur McGrave- Arthur being a young necromancer who gets possessed by a female ghost from the neck upwards- a ghost controlled by a different player to the one that controls the main body. We've had a ton of fun with their arguments and other people's reaction to their antics, but can you imagine if they were enemies?

Which reminds me. Rose and Grave battling against another RPer. Make it happen.

While I'm not saying that people should rip off their favourite shows and games, the practice is not evil as long as it produces something new for the vicers that hasn't been done before. Don't think "What character would win", but rather "What character would be fun for the other players to interact with." And as well as powers, let's not forget that even more important than powers is the character itself- how real they feel to the other players and to you.

Pick a strange idea and run with it. Take other people's advice and suggestions and think about it- because they'll be the ones playing with your character and they deserve to have their say in what they think will be fun.

Which reminds me. @Everybody, fun and creative characters doing fun and creative things. Make it happen.

Post by SamJaz (12,724 posts) See mini bio Level 20

Erm, is this thing on?

Post by Fehafare (9,323 posts) See mini bio Level 13

@SamJaz: It's on man, it's on.

Post by SamJaz (12,724 posts) See mini bio Level 20

@Fehafare: Sweet. Thanks.

Post by Justalittlegirl (919 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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Heh, I've never thought of Huntsman as being like Abridged Alucard. Now that you mention it, I do see a touch of his influence.

Post by Fehafare (9,323 posts) See mini bio Level 13

@Justalittlegirl: Then i demand that he orders someone to get a female character a cannon.

Post by Sonata (35,386 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator

It's ok to have a touch of an existing characters attributes. What's bad is when you blatantly rip off a character to make it yours.

Post by Justalittlegirl (919 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Online Now

@Fehafare: Next time cannons are involved, I'll go right for it.

Post by waybig1010101 (3,231 posts) See mini bio Level 14

@SamJaz: i like to think that Chase is somewhat original lol. But I see and understand the reason behind the OP.

Post by Sonata (35,386 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator

@waybig1010101: I learned when I started RPing 7 years ago that it is near impossible to come up with a totally original character or concept. But you can still have fun by creating your own spin on certain things. I have received a ton of praise for FABLE special forces idea. In their creation I took several peices of of existing military ideas like GI. Joe, Metal Gear's Foxhound unit and even Claymore and fused them together.

Post by waybig1010101 (3,231 posts) See mini bio Level 14

@Sonata: yeah i get what your saying and i agree that being 100% original is pretty much impossible.

Post by Fehafare (9,323 posts) See mini bio Level 13

@Sonata: Heh. What Claymore element if i may ask?

And yeah, there's always gonna be elements of other stuff in everything.

That's just how your brain works.

Post by Sonata (35,386 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator

@Fehafare: The ranking system I had in place for the FABLE. Their rank was effected by accumulative stats of all the their attributes(Strength, Speed, Stealth, Intuition, etc)

@waybig1010101: Yeah just have fun creating something, but don't be a rip off it just shows laziness lol.

Post by waybig1010101 (3,231 posts) See mini bio Level 14

@Sonata: don't worry i plan to have fun with it either way :P lol

Post by Vapovile (1,978 posts) See mini bio Level 16

@SamJaz: Huh, thanks for using Haruko as an example dude. Having a RP between them at a fashion show would be great, or even have the seamstress storyline in general. Don't want to reveal too much right now, but in the future, Haruko is going to gain 2 power ups. One of which will require some space, so having a larger Kaspa will be necessary :3

And I did have some prior RP experience...but looking back on it I was freaking terrible at the time. I guess being in middle school, that was bound to happen. But hey, I went on a 6 year hiatus before arriving here, so yay for being mature now xD. Glad you guys like Haruko.

Post by takashichea (12,293 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

@SamJaz:

I know it's not my place in the RPG forum, but I did see that argument you had yesterday. If you want to convince someone, there is another approach, positive pull. It happened when I had an argument with a battle user over archiving CAVs, so I made a thread called Historians in Anime Vice and told him about it. That put a positive pressure, making him feel acknowledged and at the same time, he carry out his task with pride.

*I use he instead he/or she to make it simple for me.

I'm not saying you should compliment someone you don't like. It's another suggestion.

Edit:

Nice write up, SamJaz. I like how you engage your readers.

Post by SamJaz (12,724 posts) See mini bio Level 20

@takashichea: Cool, thanks.

Post by takashichea (12,293 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

@SamJaz:

I'll record this in the community report as well as the hottest RPG threads. I'm thinking Melon Lord, and I add two more as soon as I comb through the RPG forum.

Nice to see folks adding images from the wiki gallery that my Jojo teammates and I work hard to create! ( Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Wiki Teammates)

Post by SamJaz (12,724 posts) See mini bio Level 20

@takashichea: Ah, nice. Thanks. Needs me to write anything up?

Post by takashichea (12,293 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

@SamJaz:

It's all right. I got time. It will force me to read the thread and summarize in my words. In this way, I get to learn about the RPG forums and help others who are not RPG members to understand.

When you have someone passionate and an expert, they tend to overwhelm their audience who is not on their level. You can lose them. If you have someone who doesn't know and learns it, they teach it people who don't know it. They will understand it.

Okay, that was hard to explain, but I wanted to go with that approach. Your July front page article was awesome, but I notice a lot of folks particular Zaldar were confused about the RPG forums. I'll take another approach to promote your RPG community and explain it from another angle.

Threads I include

Just need one or two more.

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