View Full Version : "Interesting" character idea

2009-01-27, 07:19 PM
Not once have I posted an idea without it being improved, so here is the new one (in short), a character for Cadwallon (a system I have never played, advice appreciated).

My idea is to play a city. And entire population of thousands, maybe even a million. To survive, this community has crafted itself a mobile fortress, that looms into the distant sky by their view. To a 'normal' view the fortress is about human height.

The individuals are a race of tiny people living inside a fortress shaped like a suit of armour. In this way they can acquire food and water as well as other resources through adventuring and trade, as a tankard of water could quench the thirst of all the inhabitants for quite some time.

In game terms, I will likely run this as a normal character being a "guy in full plate" for combat purposes.
For roleplaying, his thoughts will be slow as each decision has to filter through beurocracy and council meetings before being approved. Also, the personality will slowly change over time, as the inhabitants lifespans is incredibly short. While commanding individuals will change quickly, it is the change in the culture that will alter the personality of the whole.

What do you think?
Any suggestions much appreciated. Still thinking of a name too...

2009-01-27, 08:02 PM
Every ship needs a captain. Sounds like the captain of the mobile city would do most of the decision making and dictate the personality. If everything was democratic the actions of the city could be almost random. Like a roll on a chart thing. Not much for role playing.

2009-01-27, 08:30 PM
Sounds like an awesome idea. For roleplaying purpose you may want to clearly define what the goals are (so the townfolk have something to fight over), what the government system is, what are the competing schools of thought are, and how things will change independent of the events that are going on. Of course, you will really just be deciding how a group of people would react to such an action, but now you'll have a process to describe it. Of course, you'll be strongly influenced by major setbacks and successes (more so than a normal individual would).

One piece of advice, have it very popular in your culture for fathers/mothers to pass along their personal name and family name to their children and have power generally run in families. That way you have continuity between the rivalry of John Smith and Vlad Igor and the rivalry of John Smith XIV and Vlad Igor XVII, even as you make it clear how the circumstances and viewpoints have changed. Otherwise, no one will both to learn the sub-characters of your personality and just nod whenever you try to explain why you do what.

If you made him full of evil creatures you would name him LEGION (or Linoge, his name in a Stephen King novel). You could always go with a silly-government name- United States of Eric, Democratic People's Republic of Great Freedom for All, Republic/Kingdom of Flarshatopia, New Mechaland. Of course, you could finally go with a normal (fantasy) sounding name that is also a pun like Thar Manius (There are many of us), Wee Da'Pipol (We the people), Minit Urami (Miniature army), or Pop Yule Ashun (Population).

The Glyphstone
2009-01-27, 08:35 PM
If the DM allows non-core sources, try using Warforged as your race - it'll solve the potentially nasty problem of having to take off your armor...and after all, a city never sleeps, does it?

2009-01-27, 08:46 PM
It's not for D&D. It's for Cadwallon, whatever that is.

The Glyphstone
2009-01-27, 09:44 PM
Riiiight, missed that. Whoopsie.

2009-01-27, 10:19 PM
Pop Yule Ashun (Population).
This is win.

Keep a chart of the various power centers in the city, the merchants guilds, a minority that lives in the left arm, the nobility, some kind of religious cult, farmers who live in the legs. When you take a decent chunk of damage, then roll on this chart to see which group ends up in power.

Shades of Gray
2009-01-27, 10:27 PM
Remember to make the slums in his armpits.

2009-01-27, 11:29 PM
A crazed group denying the existence of the outside world might be fun.

Hey... "he" also could, maybe, come up with some decent engineering ideas for the party. I mean, he thinks slow on time related stuff, but he has the equivalent of years to deal with problems the party has only known for weeks. Just one Tesla could lead to...

Does the system have leveling? Because the tech of society increasing would be a pretty fun explanation.

2009-01-27, 11:35 PM
Sounds like Meet Dave (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765476/)

2009-01-27, 11:50 PM
Sounds like Meet Dave (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765476/)

Only (This is important) good.

One would hope.

Iku Rex
2009-01-28, 02:09 AM
Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward (http://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Egg-Del-Rey-Impact/dp/034543529X/)could provide some inspiration. It's about a civilization of tiny creatures living fast-forward lives.

2009-01-28, 03:00 AM

It would probably be best not to try to pass your character off as human or elven, but rather as a self-willed Sphinx construct with, well, odd fueling requirements (some of these things draw blood, so a tankard of ale and a side of mutton won't raise any eyebrows). Also means you can use the Cynwäll warrior-construct, if your DM wants to use the Rackham minis.

Play the inhabitants as human as you can, that will make everything that much easier for your fellow players. If the character is too alien they will have trouble relating to him. But it sure would be funny to have your character stop dead for a while, due to Parliament discussing whether to "declare war" on that ogre bouncer.

Also I love the whole election/change of culture thing. Character development of another kind. Lost the war with the ogre bouncer? Well, perhaps the peace party comes up in elections next, and your character becomes unfailingly polite and almost pacifistic. Or perhaps some revanchist movement now wants to put all ogres down....
Cultural change would feel more like "normal" character development, I guess, as far as the outside world is concerned. After all, your citizens will react to how other "nations", i.e. people, deal with them and build trust and distrust accordingly, over generations. In our terms, you're making friends and foes.
I suggest you do not let on from the beginning what your character is about. When the other players finally get it, they can still have a lot of fun figuring out what caused the latest change in your character. But until then, just getting their heads around how he works will be very cool.

For the name: Ray Public? Sid Izens? There's no end of lame puns here. But an acronym might also work: Upotlor (United People of the little old republic) ot something. Again, gives your fellow players something to crack their heads against.


2009-02-01, 11:35 AM
Hurrah, the first game was a success! Thanks to all who posted info here. Here is the info sheet I ended up using (first section for all, second for me and GM only).

General Knowledge:
• Written on plaque on front: Pop Yule Ashun
• It is a city, mechanical with numerous inhabitants
• He is part of the group, and has been ‘certified’ to a certain extent
• He understands and speaks Common, although slowly
• Rough size of a large human, could be mistaken for someone wearing full plate
• Weapon use: Ranged - Steam Cannon

• Inhabitants are smaller than a grain of sand
• An estimated 6-10 million live within, depending on food availability, plagues, medical breakthroughs, lost technology etc. Therefore living conditions can swing dramatically from Japan to post apocalyptic America.
• The average lifespan is 6 ‘standard’ hours // 60 Years
• Time Scale:
• 1 Hour – 10 years
• 30 Minutes – 5 years
• 1 Minute – 2 Months
• 1 Second – 1 Day
• There are several groups that are commonly in existence:
1. The Feeders: Those who collect and distribute food and water, as well as using ancient secrets to keep food from rotting. Food is places in mouth and moved from there (gravity makes this job easier). Appetite is similar to average human
2. The Rulers/Leaders/People’s Voice or “Government”: Current leaders. Depending on culture, will control the City. May hide fact from people or put decisions to a vote
3. The Hollowed: The name given to those who have seen the outside world. Often their minds are destroyed by what they see, others bring the truth back to the people.
4. The Spoken: A school of people trained for the sole purpose of using the speech equipment. The equipment slows their voice and amplifies so that outsiders may hear. A sentence may take several days. Starts sentences with Start, finishes with End. If people do not use the same, expect minor delays. They also record everything that happens in huge tomes, and follow generations old instructions
5. The Wrenches – Engineers who coordinate to cause movement and repair damage.
• Originally built 800 generations ago (6 months) so no-one remembers time before the City. Construction is often attributed to the race, but with a design from ‘God’
• Current religion follows Parlock, Lord of Design, but will change often. May alter as those who interact pass down tales of the Ancient ones.
• Motivation changes depending on the situation. When stores are low, acquiring money to buy food is a top priority, while a government in power when stores are full and times are good may be more interested in acquiring improved technology or improving living conditions.
• Generally, new Spoken will come and go during a conversation. The City’s ‘personality’ though is defined by the slowly changing culture of the people. This can change drastically after dramatic actions, such as revolution.
• Uses firearms as the swirling melee is… difficult. If in CC, attacks are less than elegant.

Highlights include the mage trying to mind probe me and getting a headache, starting and ending every sentence with "Start Transmission...End Transmission", and a party member getting it to try beer, resulting in a short shutdown as riots rocked the streets.

2009-02-01, 02:52 PM
I have this fantastic vision of the Nac Mac Feegle inside their suit of armour here. This is a fantastic idea, keep us posted how it plays out in the future :D

2009-02-02, 12:54 AM
evisiron, that is the most awesome character idea I have ever heard of. I'm going to subscribe to this thread and look forward to updates.

2009-02-04, 12:38 PM
evisiron, that is the most awesome character idea I have ever heard of. I'm going to subscribe to this thread and look forward to updates.

Hehe. Mind if I sig that? :smallbiggrin:

2009-02-04, 01:21 PM
I see you're set on the name, but I'd name him Descittee (The City). This way the character could refer to himself in the third person to announce The City's intention.

Descitteee Ovepop Yulashiun declares war on this ogre!
(The City of Population)

2009-02-04, 04:25 PM
Testing a format for the Archives, written account excepts from the view of the Spoken. Any advice appreciated. :smallbiggrin:

For context, one of the players was convinced I was a robot, and kept asking weird questions. And then beer happened.

Data Entry xxxxxxxxxx001

[Dotted line denotes passage of time, minimum single day. See reference CS55-4B for details]

Spoken Adapt Gideon

“Personal Note - It is my first day after graduating from the Academy. I am honoured to be the voice of this fine city at last!”


“After reviewing the notes of my predecessors, I believe I have something of an understanding of this particular group, ‘the league’. Apparently they work in a large group, and we are to be assisting a smaller group within the whole known as the Order of the Stick. What a curious name. Perhaps it is a stick of religious significance? I must ask if the opportunity presents itself!”


“These Ancients are strange to say the least. One in particular is behaving in a most curious manner, asking me to define certain phrases and item names. I have set 4 scribe assistants aside on constant alert to scour our archives for information should the need arise again. Still, I may have set the precedent by inquiring as to the name of the establishment. He was able to inform me that we are in a ‘tavern’ known as ‘It’s Just a Tavern’.

This ancient has apparently procured drinks for all. He once again queried my knowledge of the term “beer” but none has been found. Other ancients can be viewed drinking it, so surely it must be safe. Activating Liquid Nourishment Portal as I type…


“…finally regained control. That liquid …”beer”… had a strange effect on the populace. Riots ensued. Only regained control now. Much work to be done…”


Refer to:
 Encounter: Goblin
 Combat – ‘Battle of the Upper Realms’

2009-02-04, 06:23 PM
Hehe. Mind if I sig that? :smallbiggrin:

I would be honored x)

2009-09-09, 07:04 PM
(Hmm, not page 3 and relevant info, guessing not Necromancy?)

Just to announce, PopYule Ation died earlier tonight.

The short story is, he arrived late to a gathering between the party and the BBEG (and 40 or so associated guards and mercenaries), passing by a character in the party fleeing the scene. Nothing had broken out and it looked like things would be resolved peacefully. Then this conversation happened:

[Start Transmission] What is the Situation here?[End Transmission]
Him: Fubar!
[Start Transmission] How many of the Order (us) are still breathing? [End Transmission]
Him: All of them for now.
[Start Transmission] Who are our enemies?[End Transmission]
Him: Everyone!
[Start Transmission] Are you sure? [End Transmission]
Him: Yes!
[Start Transmission] Opening fire! [End Transmission]
Him: *Flees*

So, I opened fire on the peaceful negotiations to save the members of my group from this enemy intensive environment. As luck would have it, I unwittingly hit the BBEG. As fire is returned, one of MY TEAM (a Wulfen) charges out, and kills me in one hit, to "Save face in front of the BBEG". He then proceeds to try to kill a random unarmed guy standing near me (another players character, his first night of the game) and almost succeeds. He cites his 'Wulfen battle fury' as reason for killing all in his path (as opposed to subdual damage for example), though immediately becomes complacent when the armed guards arrest him 6 seconds later.


Well, at least he last phrase uttered before the steam engine exploded was [Start Transmission] Firing Escape Pods![End Tranmisssssssss].

Now, the survivors are working on the Mark 2 suit... :smallamused:

Admiral Squish
2009-09-09, 07:36 PM
And now I have to do this. Warforged, definitely.

2009-09-09, 07:38 PM
The problem I see with this is that if you are playing a giant city, "adventuring" isn't a particularly safe option to use, and "Hmm, +1 sword or a wand that creates loaves of bread big enough to feed us for a month" is going to lead to a bunch of easy but non optimal decisions.

2009-09-09, 10:37 PM
Non-optimal makes for better games.

2009-09-10, 12:20 AM
Maybe have MkII as a smaller sized city with a cultural enmity to Wulfen

2009-09-10, 01:51 AM
The problem I see with this is that if you are playing a giant city, "adventuring" isn't a particularly safe option to use, and "Hmm, +1 sword or a wand that creates loaves of bread big enough to feed us for a month" is going to lead to a bunch of easy but non optimal decisions.

Well, the city-armor does have some abilities that makes them perfect for adventuring and combat.

It isn't limited by his eyes alone, so it can see to all directions, 24 hours a day.
Combined with the time changes, it also has amazing reflexes that allow him to sense danger and react instantly. If the engines are good enough, the city can even dodge arrows since it has days of warning.

2009-09-10, 09:31 AM
Maybe have MkII as a smaller sized city with a cultural enmity to Wulfen

Close. The transitional period will see PopYule operating like a 40k Servo Skull from the helmet with small steam jets.

Until the Mk II is built.

The Mk I Looked like this: http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g122/evisiron/PopYule.jpg

I already have the model, and if I can swing it, the Mk II will look like this:
http://www.users.bigpond.com/brianhallhaw/Other_images/warmachine1.jpg Not my paintjob, just googled the model.

Having learned from the destruction of the city, this version should be tougher with a greater focus on close combat, and a racial loathing for feral Wulfen! :smallamused:

2009-09-10, 11:41 AM
After all, who would believe that cities were just great, big, living battle-suits we just haven't figured out how to operate yet? Colossal war-machines with heads and hearts and a blood-supply rushing around in the form of millions of tiny people?

No wonder nobody breathed a word about what really happened on the night a future city with a bad attitude came back to kick the arse of the 20th century. They'd have been sodding certified.

-- Jenny Sparks, The Secret History of the Authority by Millar, McCrea, Hodgkins & Hannin

If not Jack Hawksmoor, then your new character has to be called Greg Bear, or possibly Eon... :smallwink: