Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 41
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    I just had what I think would be a really cool and almost scarily thought-provoking character concept, but I wanted to share it with you guys and get your opinions because, well, Mary Sue concepts can very easily seem dandy until you put them down and get a reality check from others, so I figure I'll nip that in the bud early if it's the case.

    For whatever it's worth, the system I got the idea from is Fantasy d6, and it's got the rules frame necessary for me to make it work in that system, but I feel it's a lot more setting-dependent than system-dependent in most ways.

    So, I'm going to divide this into two parts, "outer" character concept description (what the character is and their general history) and "inner" description (what I'd be playing) for reasons that will soon become clear.

    The character when taken as the sum of their parts is a physical god, older than recorded history, with immense knowledge in basically all subjects (including magic, making them terrifyingly powerful). Their purpose, as much as can be known, is to observe and record the path of the world, particularly focusing on mystically significant events. That is almost certainly just a means of achieving another goal, but that isn't actually relevant, because it's not what I'd be playing.

    The character I'd be playing would be, effectively, a young teen with something like delayed anterograde amnesia.

    Spoiler: Amnesia Specifics
    Show
    For those unfamiliar with the specifics, the type of amnesia you usually see in media is retrograde amnesia, where the subject can't recall memories that happened usually before a certain point (generally the time of the incident that caused their amnesia) but could still form new long-term memories without difficulty (assuming this form of amnesia is independent). Anterograde amnesia, on the other hand, doesn't inherently mess with pre-existing long-term memories, but instead could be comparable to a late-acting version of alzheimer's disease; where alzheimer's disease (in a nutshell) inhibits the formation of any short-term memories, anterograde amnesia doesn't inhibit the creation of short-term memories, but rather the transference of those short-term memories into long-term memory. So a person afflicted with anterograde amnesia won't forget what you told them three minutes ago any more than a normal person would, but they will forget that you, say, visited them at the hospital yesterday, or even being in the hospital might be a daily shock to them.


    The idea here is that while the physical god mind can handle that amount of information, the brain of the human form the god takes can't, resulting in something somewhat reminiscent of but distinct from split personality disorder taking place. In order to avoid driving their humanoid brain insane, the god keeps its vast knowledge sequestered away in its effectively self-conscious spirit, while keeping the brain itself mostly wiped clean of memories after a fashion, leaving in the essentials (make sure you don't forget how to talk or dress yourself now) and giving most everything else an expiration date ranging in the weeks or couple of months range.

    The character I'd be playing would be the amnesiac body, who, aside from immortality and maybe occasional bits of suddenly-relearned lore in desperate situations, would gain nothing positive from the relationship and lose the ability to recall much more than perhaps blank faces or wisps of places and feelings that the spirit didn't fully erase or let back in on accident (or intentionally, who knows?). I might or might not have her generally understand her circumstance such that she would, for example, be horrified at the prospect of a friend going on vacation for a month, knowing she won't have any idea who they are when they get back.

    It would also work with character advancement. In Fantasy d6 specifically, I'd be regularly using the option to spend character points on improving important rolls, representing how she doesn't change much over time but can suddenly acquire great competence when necessary (as she forgets any newly-learned skills quickly but gains flashes of needed insight from the spirit), but even systems more rigid about how much a character can or can't accomplish at any given power level (D&D, Mutants & Masterminds, etc.) can be justified by the fact that the threats faced tend to grow proportionately to character strength, so her leveling up would effectively represent the spirit being forced to grant her more knowledge at any given time to get her out of increasingly dangerous scrapes.

    I'm feeling like it would offer a very interesting group dynamic and could let the DM drop plot-critical information in a fun and mysterious way, and since it would either stay confined to the game rules or be entirely within the GM's purview there wouldn't be an issue of me over-special'ing anybody else. I could also see it being extremely frustrating to other players that she just remembers being friends with the party members rather than their specific experiences more than a month or so behind them. Plus it may be rather hard to RP bonding moments since you can't, for example, reminisce much over past events.

    What do you guys think?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    My DM did something very similar to this concept. The character in question was originally a teenage girl that achieved demi-god status as some kind of magic goddess. We did an entire dungeon where we had to gather up her parts before they could be reassembled. See, originally, she was deconstructed to keep a greater deity from finding her, because she could be used to help evil characters to ascend to godhood. In addition, only she was able to destroy the artifact that could cause this ascension, which is why she wasn't killed outright.

    When we finally put her back together, she spent the next 10 levels of gameplay or so in an amnesia-like state where she had all the characteristics of a really ditzy girl, but there were some really creepy things about her. For starters, you couldn't cast detect magic spells, and some other divinations around her because her magic was so powerful, but it was sort of locked inside of her. If you cast a detect magic spell you would fall unconscious (or possibly dead) for between an hour to two weeks where you would be trapped in a pocket plane with something closer to her real personality. This part of her personality tended to speak in cryptic answers to questions and was otherwise unhelpful. We eventually found some macguffins that restored bits and pieces of her memory and personality to the outer person.

    She had a fairly annoying personality. In addition, toward the beginning of our association, she was unable to cast spells reliably. This resulted in random effects of varying strength. She once summoned a stinking cloud so strong that we had to keep about 100 yards away from her.
    Meddle ye not in the affairs of dragons my friend. For you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    The way to a dwarf's heart is through his liver.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Tanngrisnir's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    To be honest this is a character I really would not want to have in the party.

    It is way too much, way too big. The immortality aspect strips away most if not all the threat of encounters, and the amnesia aspect would just be irritating to have to be around. The other characters will not be able to build anything meaningful with yours since your character will just forget it, so there is no point in trying to build a relationship in the first place.

    Also, I'm not sure I see what you think is "scarily thought provoking" about the character? It doesn't seem to raise any hard questions or anything like that, it's just a person who can't die, forgets stuff, and is unreliable.
    Last edited by Tanngrisnir; 2015-10-10 at 12:04 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    While it seems like an interesting concept, I think that playing anything other than a mortal with mortal powers is likely to cause problems- Especially when the rest of the party is just mortals, it would be really easy to steal the show. Might make a good DMPC, though, or a plot-important NPC.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanngrisnir View Post
    To be honest this is a character I really would not want to have in the party.

    It is way too much, way too big. The immortality aspect strips away most if not all the threat of encounters, and the amnesia aspect would just be irritating to have to be around. The other characters will not be able to build anything meaningful with yours since your character will just forget it, so there is no point in trying to build a relationship in the first place.

    Also, I'm not sure I see what you think is "scarily thought provoking" about the character? It doesn't seem to raise any hard questions or anything like that, it's just a person who can't die, forgets stuff, and is unreliable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rusvul View Post
    While it seems like an interesting concept, I think that playing anything other than a mortal with mortal powers is likely to cause problems- Especially when the rest of the party is just mortals, it would be really easy to steal the show. Might make a good DMPC, though, or a plot-important NPC.
    +1 to both of these. Being immortal or a deity is really not a good concept for a PC in any game. Played well, the amnesia is annoying at best, and will grind the game to a halt at worst. If you perhaps ascended to godhood(or planned to) and it fractured your mind in the process, that is great-it gives you a story arc and path for your character, albeit ambitious. The idea is not alien, to have a powerful NPC, or perhaps a deity express these qualities.

    I do like the idea of having some kind of extraordinary connection representing how you gain powers and abilities; perhaps divine heritage that needs to be awakend, or abilities you really did forget and suddenly re learn? But that can only go so far- a half ascended mortal would have to take a pretty big hit to go back down to level 1 joe blow PC.
    Guides
    Monk dipping for pathfinder druids, a mini guide
    Trapped Under Ice-Geddy2112's guide to the Pathfinder Winter Witch
    I contributed to this awesome guide to chaotic good

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Well, the immortality and godhood things would largely be dependent on the system. In D&D, there really wouldn't be any mechanical alterations; I'd probably just play an Outsider of some kind that looks human, to cover the lack of death from age. Normal combat would be just as risky from a meta perspective; sure, the character herself would reform on some other plane over time, but that would still functionally take her out of the campaign about as well as death.

    The system the concept was designed for, d6 Fantasy, actually has rules for immortal characters, and in that system, while she wouldn't be very likely to directly die in many situations, cutting her in half would still functionally take her out of the fight the same way a downing blow would (and being downed without dying is much more common in Fantasy d6 than D&D), and she's not any less susceptible to falling unconscious. The godhood thing would practically be pure fluff, since I wouldn't actually be doing anything mechanically that anybody else couldn't do, I'd just be doing a particular thing (sacrificing character points for bonus dice on a roll) a lot more often than most would choose to. (And build my character around the concept, of course, but that doesn't give me access to unique things, it's mostly just fluff justification for what I would be taking.)

    With the above things in mind, I doubt I'll be doing any particular show-stealing, at least mechanically.

    I can understand the concerns about the amnesia and its roleplaying implications, though. Maybe I could change how that functions? Since the in-universe justification for it would just be to prevent her from going mad due to information overload and there's a sentient force overseeing the memory erasure, maybe she won't have a time limit for things she has regular contact with? Like, if she's adventuring with the party and spends most of her days with them, she'll remember all the things she's learned about them, so the relationships can grow, and if she's regularly focused on some world-saving quest, she won't forget the important details of said quest just because they were brought up a while ago, but she may utterly forget minor NPCs and have no idea what she was doing before she joined the adventuring party. Would that perhaps work better?

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PersonMan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Duitsland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    One way to deal with immortality is to, in a system that uses something like Hit Points, have the character 'die' when they hit a certain threshold of HP. They are effectively dead, but after a short time they rise up again, their mortal wounds faded. Maybe work something out to make it a trade-off: it might heal, but it could take one or more rounds (in round-based systems) to go off, so it can take you out of a fight for a while. Maybe it takes more time the more damage was taken.

    Agelessness is, in my experience, pretty much only a factor if the character is incredibly old to begin with and might have knowledge the others lack, so the only real matter is that of dying and coming back to life. I think it's fairly easy to deal with that - they still Lose if they die at the wrong time, they just don't have the same type of worry as the others do, of dying then having the party win the fight.
    Not Person_Man, don't thank me for things he did.

    Old-to-New table converter. Also not made by me.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Steampunkette's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Male the character male. Then it becomes a Fizban/Paladine and all is forgiven. Your party will find him kooky and interesting.

    Isn't that a sad thought?

    More seriously, or at least more contributive to the conversation, I highly recommend going with a different concept. Being directly tied to a Deific figure and having early onset immortality is going to fix the spotlight on your character more than any other. You should aim for something a little closer to the party average and let everyone shine, together.

    If that is the party average, go for it. The biggest Mary Sue in existence is still Batman and he doesn't get much flack about it, why should you?
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Gender
    Intersex

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    I might present an entirely different (but DM-dependent) concern, as well. I personally disagree with the others here about the godhood issue - especially since, if your character and the party starts off not knowing, it wouldn't draw much any more spotlight in Fd6 than other as-of-yet unexplained PC abilities and could be revealed in little hints over time - but I would never allow a character to start with the sort of amnesia you describe for the very reason you point out. A character who just doesn't remember "unimportant" people and who from their own perspective did absolutely nothing before joining the party sounds like a great first step on the way to murderhoboism, and GMs who like tying character backstory into the campaign (in the form of NPCs your character would care about, and setting up obstacles to your character's specific goals) would have almost nothing to go on.

    Just my two cents on the issue.
    Only when one becomes the juncture of a meeting of two forces can one begin to understand either...

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    The Fury's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    How does the character feel about not being able to hold onto memories? If it's something that really bothers her, maybe she'd become an obsessive note-taker always carrying around a journal in which she's always scribbling in. Heck, maybe she'd have a backpack full of them. At that point she might just come off as a quirky, obsessive nerd and not really a Mary Sue. I'm not sure that's the angle you'd like to go with, but it'd be different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    Male the character male. Then it becomes a Fizban/Paladine and all is forgiven. Your party will find him kooky and interesting.

    Isn't that a sad thought?
    I'm not so sure. I've played in games with male Mary Sues, (or Marty Stus if you prefer,) and I've found them every bit as infuriating as female ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    More seriously, or at least more contributive to the conversation, I highly recommend going with a different concept. Being directly tied to a Deific figure and having early onset immortality is going to fix the spotlight on your character more than any other. You should aim for something a little closer to the party average and let everyone shine, together.
    I think this point in particular hits the nail on the head. This is why Mary Sues are so maddening in tabletop RPGs-- they end up with that much more story focus. Now, I'm not of the opinion that all player characters need to be in focus all of the time, but everyone should get that moment where they're special.
    Iop brain.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Tanngrisnir's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    Male the character male. Then it becomes a Fizban/Paladine and all is forgiven. Your party will find him kooky and interesting.

    Isn't that a sad thought?
    Making the character male would have no impact on my feeling about the character, I'd still not want them in the party for all the reasons I gave.

    I have another concern though, why is the god getting so involved as to send it's body avatar? And if the issue is worthy of a god's attention, why doesn't the god do more than send an unreliable amnesiac to sort it out?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanngrisnir View Post
    I have another concern though, why is the god getting so involved as to send it's body avatar? And if the issue is worthy of a god's attention, why doesn't the god do more than send an unreliable amnesiac to sort it out?
    Physical god (or godlike being). Not "above the clouds" god. As for "why it's getting involved," it's less that there's a specific issue to get involved in, and more that she'll just generally be there for the campaign because it works its way around big magic and artifacts and reveals; this concept, like many many concepts, doesn't work with the ridiculous standard power a game like D&D assumes relative to other systems. A god of magic and knowledge with no followers in D&D still automatically sees basically everything there is to see in the whole world involving magic and knows all the arcane secrets and such inherently. A (physical) god of magic and knowledge with no followers in lower-power settings/systems could viably decide to acquire knowledge and magical experience by blanketing areas with general divinations and wandering to a new spot if nothing is there to be found. And using the immortality to read through several libraries throughout the ages, of course.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    My 2 cents:

    The problem with this character concept isn't any kind of godhood, or having weird powers, or being a wish-fulfillment-author-insertion. The problem with this character is she has way too much of an overbearing backstory. Your character's got some personality quirks that you'll have to explain through your backstory. Your character's a physical god, but that's only expressed in her backstory. Your character's this thing and that thing in the backstory.

    It can seem like the more, the weirder the backstory a character has, the better. After all, "I'm a dwarf who likes to drink and hit stuff" is the other side of the spectrum. But my experience is it doesn't actually work out too well.

    Consider the following:

    1. In your RPG party, every player is going to get the same amount of limelight time. It is doubtful that you will even get to express your entire backstory in the time you would have until a relatively long time into a campaign, unless you are playing an especially small game. Dwarf who likes to drink and hit stuff is always going to get to be dwarf who drinks and hits stuff.

    2. An intricate backstory can be a trap as much an asset. When you are playing your god-vessel amnesiac teenager, you will pretty much have a god-vessel amnesiac teen answer to every situation you come across. There will rarely be any time when you can add to your character because she is so, for lack of a better word, full. That dwarf who likes to drink and hit stuff, however, is going to constantly be able to add onto, expand, and fill in his character as the campaign goes on, because "drink and hit stuff" is relatively low maintenance compared to "anterograde amnesia."

    3. Dwarf who drinks and hit stuff is easy to recognize and communicate. With an... all that stuff... kind of backstory, you will have other players at the table constantly and annoying asking, "wait, explain anterograde amnesia again" and "what's the deal with being a physical god and not, like, godly?" and "wouldn't a god do this and that instead?" You will constantly be stumbling around with other players, including the GM, who aren't on the same page as to exactly what you are.
    It always amazes me how often people on forums would rather accuse you of misreading their posts with malice than re-explain their ideas with clarity.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Tanngrisnir's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enran View Post
    Physical god (or godlike being). Not "above the clouds" god.
    In your first post you refer to the character as a master of all knowledge, including arcane and magic, thus making them terrifyingly powerful. I don't see why a terrifyingly powerful being uses an unreliable amnesiac to bumble their way through things.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanngrisnir View Post
    Also, I'm not sure I see what you think is "scarily thought provoking" about the character? It doesn't seem to raise any hard questions or anything like that, it's just a person who can't die, forgets stuff, and is unreliable.
    Each of those traits taken alone has pretty thought-provoking works written about it. The rest of the post I can see, but this complaint really just seems out of nowhere.

    That said, my complaint with the assembled character would be that the traits run at cross purposes; most of the more thought-provoking or at times even horrifying elements of immortality, for example, lose their sting for someone who can't remember. How do they endure the loss of countless loved ones, the despair of seeing a world repeat its mistakes and atrocities countless times in countless variations each more grotesque than the last? Well, in this case, she doesn't; it's something new she's experiencing for the first time, every time. While this dimension of the character can also go interesting directions, it undermines the aspects of immortality and great knowledge. Moreover, while those aspects don't harm it thematically (as it does immortality), they impugn its verisimilitude; since this amnesia is not a relatively recent affliction, but something from which the character has suffered for centuries unto millennia, how has she not yet developed even the most basic countermeasures, especially since she's aware of the condition? It didn't take the dude in Memento innumerable lifetimes to learn to leave himself notes, you know? (Aside from the problems of verisimilitude, there's also the fact that reason most amnesiac characters in fiction have such a method is to prevent the audience from viewing the same scene over and over and over and over which, while doubtless full of pathos, is repetitive and boring.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    If that is the party average, go for it. The biggest Mary Sue in existence is still Batman and he doesn't get much flack about it, why should you?
    Regardless of your feelings about the character, this is either a decidedly non-standard usage of the term or reflects a mercifully limited knowledge of terrible media.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    I'm not so sure. I've played in games with male Mary Sues, (or Marty Stus if you prefer,) and I've found them every bit as infuriating as female ones.
    It's a reference to a generally well-liked character in Dragonlance with a somewhat similar schtick. Although instead of gaining flashes of his divine insight, he's basically an inept goofball who just casts fireball as a solution to all his problems. So he wasn't so much a Mary Sue as a totally straightforward and typical example of an AD&D wizard.
    Last edited by Zrak; 2015-10-11 at 03:10 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Tanngrisnir's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zrak View Post
    Each of those traits taken alone has pretty thought-provoking works written about it. The rest of the post I can see, but this complaint really just seems out of nowhere
    Thought provoking yes, "scarily" thought provoking though? I get that the concepts engender discussion, interesting discussion at that, I just don't see where the scary part is. Especially since they concepts have already been explored in depth multiple times.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    This is why Mary Sues are so maddening in tabletop RPGs-- they end up with that much more story focus. Now, I'm not of the opinion that all player characters need to be in focus all of the time, but everyone should get that moment where they're special.
    Solo campaigns FTW

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    Solo campaigns FTW
    This is my thought as well. Your character screams "Video Game Protagonist." She has an interesting backstory, an explanation for game mechanics, a handy source of Deus Ex Machina to move the plot along when things get stagnant, and in a video game only one person needs to understand what is going on.

    Video Game Protagonists don't generally work out so well in tabletop RPGs, at least at that scale. Theyre complicated and have far more people who may or may not understand the point.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    I've DM'd and been part of what could be called solo campaigns. The focus is on the romantic relationship between the characters of the player and the GM (who swap roles every now and then). The campaigns also have a lot of roleplay compared to combat, and since it's freeform, even the combat is roleplay.

    We play DMPCs with no problem, somehow avoiding many of the problems associated with them. Probably because power levels aren't much of a problem with our style of gameplay. Also, we play by PbP, which means no 'talking over each other', and romantic relationships mean a lot of interactions between the PCs and DMPCs.

    In video games and solo campaigns, two people must understand and buy into what's going on: the player and the GM.
    Last edited by goto124; 2015-10-11 at 08:49 AM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanngrisnir View Post
    Thought provoking yes, "scarily" thought provoking though? I get that the concepts engender discussion, interesting discussion at that, I just don't see where the scary part is. Especially since they concepts have already been explored in depth multiple times.
    Oh, yeah, totally fair. I just sort of glossed over "scarily," but I agree, that seems fairly hyperbolic, yeah.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zrak View Post
    Oh, yeah, totally fair. I just sort of glossed over "scarily," but I agree, that seems fairly hyperbolic, yeah.
    I am still a teenager. So maybe I find it scarily thought-provoking because things that are thought-provoking scare me.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    The Fury's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zrak View Post
    It's a reference to a generally well-liked character in Dragonlance with a somewhat similar schtick. Although instead of gaining flashes of his divine insight, he's basically an inept goofball who just casts fireball as a solution to all his problems. So he wasn't so much a Mary Sue as a totally straightforward and typical example of an AD&D wizard.
    Ah. Thanks for filling me in, I don't know much about Dragonlance in general. I only own one Dragonlance book and when I got it it was hollowed out and made into a box. It's one of my most favorite things ever.
    Iop brain.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enran View Post
    I am still a teenager. So maybe I find it scarily thought-provoking because things that are thought-provoking scare me.
    Haha, also a fair point. I'm a bitter "old" dude who read too much Foucault to be scared of anything, more just sort of weary and detached.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    Ah. Thanks for filling me in, I don't know much about Dragonlance in general. I only own one Dragonlance book and when I got it it was hollowed out and made into a box. It's one of my most favorite things ever.
    I think I've only ever read the original trilogy, which I think holds up pretty well to years and age, provided you encountered it young enough; I don't know if I'd recommend reading it for the first time as an adult, the "comic relief" characters would probably prove insufferable without nostalgia on their side.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Tanngrisnir's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enran View Post
    I am still a teenager. So maybe I find it scarily thought-provoking because things that are thought-provoking scare me.
    That's absolutely fine, in fact I applaud you for trying to explore bigger and challenging ideas. My concern over the 'scarily' descriptor was that others in your group may not see it that way. It is clear that you really love the character idea, and that is great, everyone should love the characters they intend to play, but I know that when your expectations of the impact your character's dilemmas will have don't match the reality of the other players it can be disappointing.

    What seems like a huge, life altering question to you may be seen as boring, or over-used, or unimportant by the rest of the party (not saying that your ideas actually ARE any of those things), and this may lead to the game experience not being anywhere close to what you hope it will be.

    If that is the way the rest of the party do see your character, then the amnesiac angle will only make it worse as well.
    Last edited by Tanngrisnir; 2015-10-11 at 08:32 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GungHo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    I think you may be trying too hard to rock the boat with a character concept that is by its nature going to rock the boat. You seem to be focused on whether or not you'll be stealing the show mechanically but I think you're probably going to be stealing the show narratively if the DM and the rest of the party are expected to play along with your concept, and that can be just as bad as stealing things mechanically. If the rest of the party (assuming they're played by humans) is okay being a hanger-on to a nascent god, then maybe that's okay. But, if you're in a group of 3 or 4 (or more) people, they may want their stories to be told, too. Generally, tabletop roleplaying is more like a ensemble play than the adventures of one crazy guy/gal and his/her harem. If you're newish to roleplaying, you may consider a more basic character to start with. I realize "dwarf who hits things" sounds incredibly boring, and that's not what I'm suggesting, but you may want to start small and grow a concept rather than going all in with "my character is special and I'm going to be special until you smile or pass out."

    Have you approached your DM or the other players about your idea? Is that something that they're keen on?

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    I'm young, but not new. Been roleplaying for five years now. So I've played a good number of simpler characters.

    As for stealing narrative spotlight, I'm not so sure I'm convinced. I mean, yes, I can see there's totally potential for that, but only if it's emphasized more than I'm planning for it to be. Now, for some context, my usual experience with RPing has always been that people have backstory NPCs and events that are important to their characters, and these things usually get their turn in the spotlight and take large roles throughout the campaign, even pushing it along, but don't tend to dominate it (like, in a previous campaign, we were trying to save the world from a Sealed Evil in a Can orchestrating his own escape, but one of my backstory NPCs ended up drawing us into that by defecting to his side). I figure this would be the same thing. My character isn't aware of being a "nascent god" and thus it's not brought up unless the DM decides to make it important for a scene. I'd simply be having visions/reappearing memories or people interested in my metaphysical nature popping up to help move the story along rather than a guy I wrote a few paragraphs about as being a childhood best friend or what have you.

    Was your first sentence in typo? Because I'm not really trying to rock the boat, I just think it'd be a fun experience. Granted, it'd be a personal fun experience, so I'll consider scrapping it if I can't make it work in a way that'll be fun for others as well, but I don't want to just offhandedly give up on it either.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Faily's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    First of all, this is a special snowflake, and I probably would not allow it in tabletop or PbP. In tabletop, this is the kind of character that takes attention away from the rest of the group, because you have so much you're bringing in from the get-go. In play-by-post, this is the kind of character that is a nightmare for a GM to handle because it will either a) be forgotten by the GM in the mix of many things you need to do and keep track of, leading to feeling that your character isn't getting any attention, or b) the GM will remember the character concept and work with it, but that could seem like favoritism by other players.

    I fully agree with the above that this is a character that fits *very well* into a solo-game. Because it does sound like a Video Game Protagonist, and they don't nescessarily mesh well with a group of 2-3 other Protagonists.

    Lastly, I'd just say that if you still really really wanna do this, even when your guts tell you that this is a Mary Sue, talk with your GM first, and depending on how that goes, talk to your group as a whole. Communication in a playgroup is key for a well-functioning playgroup.
    RHoD: Soah | SC: Green Sparrow | WotBS: Sheliya |RoW: Raani | SA: Ariste | IG: Hemali | RoA: Abelia | WftC: Elize | Zeitgeist: Rutile
    Mystara: Othariel | Vette | Scarlet

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Honest Tiefling's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    Would I accept this concept?...Probably not. However, I think you are firm in your opinion of it, but still quite aware of it potentially causing problems. I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise as I think others have made good points better then I have.

    What I will say is that if you really think you can pull it off, go ahead. Just be upfront with it. I could conceivably see a party with a nascent god and the wielders of the seven artifacts who are assembled by fate to protect her or whatever. What I do NOT recommend is springing this onto a group. If you want some surprise, I recommend asking the DM to ask the group about this plot and asking if everyone is good with it. They don't even have to know which player character it is. They could be set on a plot to find out who the goddess is, with a bunch of red herring NPCs to investigate, but I would use that idea carefully and only if I knew the group would be okay with it. This way people can judge how this will affect the tone of the game and adjust or decide not to play BEFORE things get too far.

    Also, I'd warn of being Macguffined. In many stories with such characters, they often get kidnapped/get their soul stolen/turned into something/stuffed into a box. I'd work with the DM exactly how much of this is okay, and when it should be done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    Man, I like this tiefling.
    For all of your completely and utterly honest needs. Zaydos made, Tiefling approved.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    The most memory-tortured character I played as a chimera in a Slayers game. He was a sorcerer, and looked far younger than he was, because his chimerism came with immortality. However, the price he paid for it was a mayfly memory. He literally could only remember the last day or so; his memory of events before that faded in real time.

    He maintained extensive and detailed journals, storing days' events for the last hour or so of each day before sleeping, and keeping a smaller notebook of important factoids that were relevant to his current situation to reference whenever he needed to.

    He was in constant fear of losing track of his current journal, and had a minor side-quest of trying to track down journals which had been lost.

    Knock him out for more than a day, and he'd wake up a total blank slate in terms of event-memories. He'd know facts, skills, etc., but names and faces, events he'd experienced...those were gone, and he'd not even remember remembering them. (That was the primary purpose of reading the journal each morning: to keep him at least remembering reading about things that were important. And remembering that he had once remembered something.)

    He was largely functional on a day-to-day playing scale; he did require...reminders...of specific things that were relatively minor and didn't make it into his smaller reference journal.

    He didn't dominate the story because it was mostly of concern to him, rather than being a problem the party had to resolve. He was capable and talented as a spellcaster, which made him useful to the party.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Steampunkette's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Help Improving and De-Mary Sue'ing a Character Concept?

    So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects them all because she dedicated to what is Pure and Good. She has genius level intellect, Olympic-athelete level athletic ability and incredible good looks. She is consumed by terrible angst, but this only makes guys want her more. She has no superhuman abilities, yet she is more competent than her superhuman friends and defeats superhumans with ease. She has unshakably loyal friends and allies, despite the fact she treats them pretty badly. They fear and respect her, and defer to her orders. Everyone is obsessed with her, even her enemies are attracted to her. She can plan ahead for anything and she’s generally right with any conclusion she makes. People who defy her are inevitably wrong.

    Batman is the ultimate Mary Sue.

    His only flaw is his angst, which rarely if ever has any impact on the action and when it does it's to open up a moment of weakness his enemies capitalize on. For most Mary Sues (Read Female characters with Batman levels of awesome) that flaw is clumsiness. But that's not saying much, since Clumsiness is the go to flaw for women in any form of media. Whether it's Bella from Twilight or Sandra Bullock's character in Miss Congeniality.

    He fights with Darkseid and Barda and Wonder Woman and dozens of heroes and villains for whom straight up murdering "Dude in an Armored Suit" would be child's play and in many cases the unintended effect if they didn't pull their punch so much that they can't harm tissue paper. And comes out on top. Because he's so amazing and awesome and gosh darn it being human -is- a superpower!



    Superman, who can punch Batman into a fine red mist in the time it takes Bats to think Superman might go rogue, gets a faceful of kryptonite because he delays his murderfist just long enough for Bruce to open his belt pouch or whatever the heck holds the weakness stone.



    He's connected to all the biggest and most powerful characters in his universe, and can beat them every single time because the plot demands he be able to do so. This despite the fact that he's a "Normal Human" at the peak of physical and mental ability (at the cost of emotional stability, I guess?). And he's got Catwoman playing with his bat bits while he dates (and presumably has sex with) fashion models, scientists, beauty queens, reporters, and loads of other people who would probably be quite willing to engage him in a healthy long term relationship. But he must be forever alone because his guilt over being a kid when bad things happened is so overwhelming. Angst Angst Annnnngst! Seriously, the amount of Angst in Batman comics over his guilt over family/friends/sidekicks is enough to make the CW say "Whoa whoa whoa, let's tone it down a bit!"

    [IMG][/IMG]

    He's infinitely wealthy and hangs out with high society, smiling and laughing and generally being a happy person, but when he's alone (or in his alternate batsona) he becomes a darkity dark dark emo kid hair flip toothgrinding buttkicker that can and repeatedly does punch gods in the face. Even when his biggest baddest nemesis (Joker) became a -deity- with the ability to snuff out his existence in an instant he still "Won" because the Joker couldn't/wouldn't get rid of him because he was obsessed with Batman. And his obsession with Batman lead to him losing his Godhood. Because... uhh... REASONS!

    That's right, in a 9 arc Superman comic in which he fights the Joker with 99% of Mr. Mxyzptlk's powers, an arc where the "True Villain" wasn't revealed until the 5th chapter, Batman wins simply by existing because Jokers can't destroy the universe without destroying Batman and he can't do that. Batman is literally indestructible with all the powers of Godhood given to his Archnemesis.

    And all his sidekicks and stuff getting hurt/killed/fridged/whatever? The same thing happens to almost every other superhero that exists. And about half of them are orphans, even within the same (DC) universe. Yet we continually see that Batman is the only character who clings to his grief to the point of psychosis and eschews any form of healing in the future. Why? Because he needs something that brings him down and makes him "Human" compared to everything he can magically do when the plot calls for it. Meanwhile everyone else gets past their grief and goes on to form healthy relationships with new people. Batman's constantly assuming everyone around him will die gruesomely and/or turn on him.

    Oh, and if something does go wrong for him it's okay. It was all a Xanatos Gambit, anyhow.



    Sure, Batman isn't a badly written fanfic character tied to an ongoing universe through questionable backstory. He's just a badly written canon character who fits a Mary Sue with all other traits. Everything in Batman's life and existence is awesome and he himself is amazing in all things but has a single flaw that has minimal actual effect on anything.

    To give you an idea of just how badly Batman is a Mary Sue: Terry McGinnis of Batman Beyond exists specifically because Amanda Waller realized Batman was too important to allow to die, so she stole his DNA and used it to overwrite some other guy's reproductive DNA so that Batman would have a son by a woman he'd never impregnated.

    He's "So Important" to the canon universe (TV in this example) because he is compassionate that they REWROTE the background of a character from a different TV series that ended 4 years prior to be "Batman Jr." because taking up the mantle of Batman wasn't enough, he had to have the same genetics (because compassion is genetic, I guess?).

    You wanna talk about bad Fanfic writing, feel free: But the Canon in this case is just as bad.
    Last edited by Steampunkette; 2015-10-13 at 02:25 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •