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No, Seriously, Tell Me About Your Character(s)

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  • No, Seriously, Tell Me About Your Character(s)

    Now, if you have been in this business long enough, you may think I am joking. Being forced to hear about someone else eagerly talk about their character is a pain so familiar to roleplayers it has ascended to the level of a meme. But I am quite serious!

    I am starting up a Mage game and my plan is for it to be an open sandbox. That requires many plot hooks, a deep understanding of the various organizations... and people! So many people. I want this world to feel vibrant and alive, and to that end I’ll quote the bard himself and say:


    Besides, I am introducing new players to the game and a more extensive list of vices, virtues, aspirations, and obsessions would be awesome. So please be as detailed as you like! Background pre-awakening, function in Mage society, on-going struggles, character defining quotes, all of it! I’ll only be all the more thankful for the inspiration ^^

  • #2
    Haven't played as much as I'd like, but here are a couple of mine.

    Higgs was a Celestial Master. He wanted to be on the cutting edge of Mage exploration of whatever realms were out there, while being a dedicated school teacher because in his opinion you can't be a Thearch worthy of the name without being inspiring to the Sleepers. He was full of ideas and yet none of his desperate machinations considered the cost that others would have to pay for them. Not for lack of caring, but for lack of foresight.

    Jacob was a Mysterium guy initiated in the Tellurians, and the second he found an advantageous Mystery he figured out how to weaponize it for about the same reasons that a guy looked at TNT which was supposed to be a mining tool and went, "What if...?" He didn't mean to, but he carried a nuke in his back pocket just by being too clever for his own good, and then had to get paranoid about anyone finding out about it. He also had the goodest of dogs which also happened to be an Artifact that was supernaturally good at sniffing out whatever he decided he was looking for.


    • #3
      Cerberus was a Moros Guardian of the Veil (and Eleventh Question) in the 1940s. His passive mage senses manifested as a tickle in his nose in the presence of the supernatural, giving him the appearance of a hound catching a scent and inspiring his shadow name. His trenchcoat and fedora were his Order tools, and while it never came up in the game where I played him, his ceremonial attire included a triple-faced lead mask (with a custom triple-hooded robe or cloak to go with it). In the present day I imagine he's a semi-retired multiple-degree master who still keeps in touch with the network of apprentices he trained over his lifetime, though he's still willing to pull his old coat out of mothballs if his experience and knowledge is needed. His nimbus manifests as the feeling of being watched from multiple directions.

      Never got the chance to play this character yet, but Mjolnir is a rather dim but brawny school bully whose Acanthus awakening prompted his attempted heel-face turn in an effort to avert a vision of his destiny. Very much a defiance of stereotypes of mages in general and his Path in particular, he's begun his magical career at a starting disadvantage compared to other Awakened, but still determined to make the most of it, helped along by his mentor/guidance counselor. His defining Virtue is stubbornness, while his Vice is either Recklessness or Loyalty; he doesn't always think before he acts and has an unfortunate habit of trusting people he probably shouldn't, but when he decides on a course of action he sticks with it. His nimbus manifests as inevitability, making him appear to onlookers as either an unstoppable force or immovable obstacle, depending on circumstances.


      • #4
        Shadow Name: Toymaker
        Sympathetic Name: Miriam Nyska Silvers
        Age: 32; often mistaken for being a high school or middle school student.
        Age of Awakening: 23
        Birthdate: October 4, 1987
        Hair: Red and curly
        Eyes: Green
        Ethnicity: Ashkenazi
        Nationality: American
        Height: 4'8"
        Weight: 72 lbs
        Sex: female

        Virtue: Generous; Toymaker feels deep satisfaction when she's able to give either without receiving anything in return or only receiving a token payment.
        Vice: Sarcastic; Toymaker rarely misses the opportunity to make snide remarks or sarcastic observations when the opportunity presents itself.

        Concept: Magitechnician

        Path: Obrimos
        Order: Free Council
        Legacy: Thaumatech Engineers
        Mental Physical Social
        Power Intelligence 5 Strength 1 Presence 2
        Finesse Wits 3 Dexterity 3 Manipulation 2
        Resistance Resolve 4 Stamina 2 Composure 3
        Mental: Academics 2, Computer (programming) 3, Craft (robotics, dolls, equipment) 5, Investigation 2, Occult 1, Politics 1, Science (physics solid-state physics) 5
        Physical: Athletics 1, Firearms 2, Larceny 2, Stealth 1
        Social: Empathy 1, Expression (fashion) 3, Persuasion 2, Socialize 1, Subterfuge 1

        Small Framed; Order Status (Free Council) 3; High Speech; Professional Training (Scientist: Investigation, Science, Crafts) 5; Good Time Management; Shadow Name 3; Safe Place 2; Sanctum 2; Hallow 3; Status (Task Force Valkyrie) 3; Techne (doll making tools); Allies (Los Angeles Changeling Freehold) 3; Status (Consilium) 2; Contacts ({IEEE, University Researchers,} Silver Ladder, Network Zero, Interpol, US defense industry); Library (Science 3, Crafts 2, Computers 2); Interdisciplinary Specialty (physics, robotics, dolls).

        Health: 6
        Willpower: 7
        Gnosis: 6
        Wisdom: 4
        Fate 3
        Forces (ruling) 4
        Matter (ruling) 4
        Mind 2
        Prime (ruling) 5
        Space 2
        Time 1

        Size: 4
        Speed: 9
        Defense: 3
        Initiative Mod: +5

        Craft items
        Activate imbued items
        Spend time with Margot

        Magically Enhance/Imbue Items
        Reverse Engineer Magic to Mundane

        Dedicated Tool: Soldering iron
        Tools: antenna, thumb drive, doll making kit, this coffee mug
        Praxis: Dispel Magic (Prime 1); Wards and Signs (Prime 2); Warding Gesture (Fate 2); Sworn Oaths (Fate 3); The Right Tool (Fate 3); Magical to Digital (Forces 2 + Prime 1)
        Rotes: many, Toymaker goes out of her way to learn rotes of spells useful to Imbued Items so that she can create Schematics

        Long Term: Complex devices begin to function more optimally, while a device completely destroyed will not be repaired, items that with intermittent faults will no longer have those faults.
        Immediate: diagrams and schematics in High Speech runes surround Toymaker.
        Tilt: +2 dice to Science & Crafts rolls, -2 to all rolls to notice surroundings.

        Attainments: All appropriate for her Arcana; the first four Legacy Attainments plus alternate attainments.

        Enchanted Items: Yes, lots. From Iron Man style 5/5 Armor with flight imbuments to magical drones capable of reactive spellcasting.

        Born in Los Angeles as the only child to a progressive, Conservative Jewish family, Miriam was encouraged to pursue her passions without hesitation. She took a strong interest in arts and crafts; carving her own dolls, dollhouses, and doll furniture and sewing their clothing and other accoutrements; and the sciences; constantly asking how and why things worked as well as performing practical, though often rudimentary, experiments to verify what she was told. This inquisitiveness caused her to major in physics in undergrad and then to study condensed matter and solid state physics for her doctoral degree. It was while pursuing her thesis she Awakened to the path of the Golden Key and inscribed her name on the Watchtower. She was recruited into the Council of Free Assemblies by her cousin, another Obrimos by the name of Cecil "Oscillator" Gluck. Shortly after Awakening, Miriam stumbled into the Hedge, where she found a beautiful woman made of crystal and music box parts being chased by equally strange pursuers. Miriam used her magic to save the woman, Margot, from those chasing her and deliver her safely to the human world. After trying to keep her distance, Miriam eventually reconnected with Margot, now a rising star, and is currently dating her. Miriam has been inducted into the Thaumatech Engineer Legacy; she also joined the US government Hunter organization Task Force Valkyrie as a technologist with the goals of helping protect humanity and in helping trigger more Awakenings.

        Miriam likes to dress "cute," further reinforcing her young appearance caused by her small body. In conversation she's usually sarcastic and biting, but can be sweet when her barriers come down (a classic tsundere). If the current situation bores her, she has a propensity to wander off to indulge her curiosity. Her "mage outfit" is futuristic looking lightweight body armor (more a rigid skinsuit than space marine armor) with a purple tabard with her Cabal's sigil stitched in silver, a dark purple cape, an oversized dark purple witch's hat, and a blank black mask. Her "dolls" that she animates wear the same outfit.

        In play:
        When dealing with others she tends towards the abrasive, bordering on rude, in her speech, but has a tendency to do her utmost to go above and beyond expectations when fulfilling requests.
        When in a dangerous situation, Toymaker prefers retreat, if that is not an option she uses animated dolls and imbued items coupled with her Legacy Attainments to neutralize any threats without risking Wisdom loss.

        __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___

        Magical to Digital (Forces 2 + Prime 1)
        Practice: Ruling
        Primary Factor: Duration
        Rote Skill: Science

        A spell created by the Thaumatech Engineer Toymaker, any digital device with this spell active upon it can convert magically gathered data (e.g. from a camera imbued with Supernal Vision) to digital data that can be processed by a computer. This allows for an AI program to process and react to supernatural situations or for large amounts of supernaturally collected data to be analyzed via computer.

        __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___

        Spell Drone MK VII
        Size: 3
        Speed: 20
        Durability: 7 (2 natural, +5 from magic enhancement)
        Structure: 10

        This drone is made up of multiple Imbued items linked to a single computer. The passive magical sensors feed the computer data by way of multiple Magical-to-Digital converters, active Imbued Items are imbued with the Rapid Access Memory modification to allow software to activate the spell.

        Passive Effects: Supernal Vision with +1 Reach option; ; Kinetic Efficiency; Perpetual Motion; Supernal Veil; Wards and Signs.
        Activated Effects: Supernal Dispellation (Instant Cast, Sensory Range, Advanced Duration); Gravitic Supremacy (Instant Cast, Advanced Scale: Area); Ephemeral Enchantment (Instant Cast, Sensory Range, Advanced Duration); Invisibility + Control Sound for inaudibility (Instant Casting, Advanced Duration); Channel Mana (Instant Casting, Sensory Range).

        Each of the Imbued Items with Activated Effects contain 5 mana, there is also a mana battery with a capacity for 30 mana; the drone knows how much mana it has in each device and can use Channel Mana to redistribute mana or take recharge from a Hallow or other external source (though this costs 1 mana to do).

        The drone can be outfitted with other imbued items for spellcasting, Toymaker usually deploys it as a literal status buff-bot.
        Last edited by proindrakenzol; 06-27-2021, 01:46 AM.

        proin's Legacy hub


        • #5
          Seraph Du Salomon, Voice of the Concordance

          Billboards and web banners all over the city display those words to Mage and Sleeper alike, alongside the logo of the Concordance of Crows, a live radio broadcast that releases as a podcast the day after each show. On the air, he introduces spoken story segments, reads letters from his audience, and generally covers dark and strange topics, all carefully edited to protect the mundane masses. Mysteries and surreal horror play out as if they were entirely fictional. Most just accept it as what it appears to be, a strange, but harmless show for the locals. Most also assume that the host is acting as some form of character, with such an obviously fake name. He wouldn't have it any other way.

          In person, Seraph is all sharp angles and lines. Hooked nose, mahogany hair and hazel eyes, and are typically rather pale compared to others who get the same amount of sun. He isn't particularly attractive, nor does he look that athletic. What he is, however, is fairly tall, and usually scented with tea and charcoal. His style of dress is overly formal for most days, and often impractically so. Just as out of touch as his radio presence makes him out to be, if not more. He's a fairly minor celebrity, doing his best to stay poised and expand his unorthodox platform.

          And as you might expect, he's also hiding quite a few secrets. He lives each day in a twisted sort of morality play as spirits he cannot perceive go out of their way to arrange opportunities for him to cause pain for his own enjoyment, instinctively knowing they'll be compensated should be go through with it. A member of the Mysterium by long-standing family tradition, he compensates for his many, many, flaws by studying sleeper demonology, alongside the lowest levels of Supernal lore, higher understanding forbidden to him.

          Even though he has recently become somewhat involved in the Consilium's dealings, he remains steadfastly mundane, refusing to use anything but his real name or derivatives of, refers to his lack of attainments as a disability, and while not vocal about it, continues to deny that Exarchs exist as anything other than a theory and the Seer religion. He avoids casting anything at all when he can, not out of any philosophical reason, but rather due to finding the potential consequences of invoking the authority of Pandemonium not worth casual use, and hesitating just the same to do so under even pressing circumstances. Letting his powers over Space and Spirit remain theory, never to be practiced unless his hand should be forced.

          And through it all, he retains that same formality, keeping up appearances in all but his worst moments. A pillar of serenity in a world already bent to his will at its worst, a storyteller who mythologizes the events of five days ago, and a sadist able to forgive any past wrong. The last of which is built of an expectation of reciprocity, for while Seraph is built on self-control, the trials of the Iron Gauntlet always catch up eventually.

          Sympathetic Name: Seraph du Salomon
          Age: 29
          Height: 4'8"
          Weight: 120 lbs
          Sex: Male
          Virtue: Forgiving
          Vice: Sadistic
          Path: Proximus [Mastigos]
          Order: Mysterium

          [More to come later?]
          Last edited by Gryphon's Feather; 11-30-2019, 09:42 PM.

          Currently Playing: A large, mixed splat game of CofD. As: Seraph du Salomon, Voice on the concordance. Unsubtle man reluctantly participating in the business of Magi. Awakening 2E homebrew


          • #6
            A Sleepwalker like Seraph can be very handy for the GM to have, serving multiple functions:

            - His show can be a way to drive home the consequences of the character's actions, like Three Dog in Fallout 3
            - The broadcast can act as an indirect way for the GM to present his thoughts or provide hints via anonymous callers (or to seed plot hooks)
            - He can ground the chronicle, providing a non-mage perspective, being the Sane Man.

            Plus he comes with the challenges of being almost Awake, yet not having access to the whole mage toolkit and possessing a responsible outlook.
            Last edited by KaiserAfini; 12-01-2019, 01:24 PM.

            New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

            The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
            The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy whose invisible hands guide through the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)


            • #7
              These are great! Super-extra-special thanks to proindrakenzol for the wonderfully detailed post!

              If you people have more, please keep them coming!


              • #8
                You might be interested in the random NPC Mage generator I threw up about a week ago. Or maybe not - it's certainly not the same as having actual characters, though a lot of random sheets seem to write their own stories.

                With that said, here are some of the characters I've played over the years.

                Aether (Angela Reid) - An ex-CIA operative, she has a dark and violent past, but is attempting to rise above it. She tends towards the philosophical and introspective, and takes on the role of 'river guide through life' for those she interacts with, helping to guide them towards better choices. Last seen with her partner-in-crime and fellow Mage Wormwood, turning a biker gang into a cult and riling up students to protest / riot outside the local megacorp. Mind/Matter (with custom Path, though she could very easily just be Mastigos), Courageous/Hasty - though Hasty tends to cover "fall into old habits and apply violence until the problem stops moving" rather than 'moving without thought.' She's a very recent Awakening, but a complete lack of inhibitions can help make up for that if you get on her bad side. She's currently stabilized at Wisdom 5, but it could get worse quickly if bad things happen. Has a goetic familiar Niri ("Not Siri"), a brain-in-a-jar that she rescued from running the megacorp's computer systems. Niri manifests as a younger version of Aether, cheerful and eager to please. She MUST answer any question asked of her, and has powers for gathering information.

                Rhea (No sympathetic name. At all. It's a mystery.) - A grad student in pure mathematics, she Awoke as Obrimos and now struggles to juggle her intense desire to graduate and continue school with the responsibilities that come with being a Mage. Her most defining characteristic is Wisdom 8 and Occultation 3 - she'd really rather just do her own thing, not get caught up in her adventures, but she also has an intense sense of justice that makes it impossible to turn away from those in need. Combines every spell she casts with Supernal Veil. Has Cloak Nimbus up 24/7. Pretends to be a Sleepwalker as much as possible, reveals as little about herself as she can get away with. She always keeps a cool head, regardless of how traumatic the circumstances - turns her troubles inward in order to present a strong outward face. Tends to cast optimal spells - the smallest possible spell that exactly solves whatever problem she's facing, and this in turn makes her unnaturally effective as whatever power level she happens to be. You could pick her up at any point in her journey - at the beginning she's cautious of other Mages, and tries to always have one more trick up her sleeve. Later on, she becomes a Master of Prime and Dual Adept of Matter/Forces, as well as several dots of Space, utterly devoted mother, and caught up in all-out magical war with her progenitor / father, Mathias. You can read more about her here, in the Lets Play I've written about her game, or see here for her legacy).

                Holo (Inazuma no seigi) - Rhea's daughter and literal foxgirl (Rhea named her after the anime character, and she looks exactly like that). She was originally created as a teenage body without a mind or soul by a member of Rhea's cabal, as part of a bargain with a Kitsune, but Rhea, being rather horrified by this Unwise action, adopted her and raised her as her own. By the point Holo is a Mage herself, Rhea is a distant figure of incredible power (Mentor 5), who gives her daughter space to live her own life. but is, to an undetermined extent, watching over her. Holo is enthusiastic, energetic, and always getting in over her head chasing the next thrill or exciting adventure. Neat! Has a tail and fox ears, but these are usually hidden magically unless she gets too excited, in which case they pop out. Thyrsis through and through, bloody in tooth and claw. She's an ecologist at heart, considering humans, animals, plants, spirits and goetia all part of the same vast ecosystem which is "the world." When you get to know her better, you realize that underneath the Over the Top Enthusiasm!!! she projects, she's actually a fairly thoughtful and caring individual. For all that her own life has been fairly charmed (see: Mentor 5 doting mother), she cares deeply about those around her.

                Utena (Sam / Samantha, don't recall her last name) - Free Council punk kid with issues. Sex and drugs and motorcycles and kicking in that asshole's teeth, she ended up working for the Seers as bodyguard / attack dog while still a Sleeper - somehow, magic has a tendency to just slide off her. Didn't help protect from Breaking Points, though. She had just about hit Integrity 0 when they decided to do away with her. She Awakened in the graveyard where the Seers took her to kill her, mixing a Mastigos Awakening with a would-have-been-fatar overdose. She's Mastigos, and rather unstable. Actually has the soul of a Prelate lodged in her Oneiros, and is kind of obsessed with Seer stuff in general, since she keeps seeing this Iron Gate in her dreams... Also, she has Shadow Name 3, and takes it really seriously. Utena (yes, chosen based on the anime character) is who she wants to be but isn't. She's not a hero, she's just a fucked up kid. But she could be a hero... anyway, she uses her Shadow Name to run from her problems. It's not healthy.

                Eutalia (Nicia Andretta) - Seer of the Iron Throne, Acanthus, Hegemony. Nicia's family runs a pizza parlor in New York. Well, they actually run a money-laundering scheme for the mafia, but they make pizza too. She grew up in that world - saw someone executed in front of her at age 7, started helping with the books while she was in middle school, became sort of a mascot for the local mob, their cute little girl whom they doted on and brought gifts to and helped out with her homework. She adapted to that world and thrived in it, rapidly becoming not just a mascot, but a a full member and rising rapidly through the ranks, based on a combination of charisma and intelligence. Awakening and joining the Seers was just a natural next step - she doesn't really believe in the Exarchs, but she owes them, and they owe her, and it's all in the family, you know? She's always poised, in control, wearing a suit, her hair is perfect, knows exactly what you want and has the best win/win deal ever if you'll just work with her instead of against her. Absolutely loyal to her subordinates and superiors, isn't it better to be on her side? She's just so reasonable it's hard to say no. And, really, this isn't just a facade - it's her strength, that she's absolutely honest and really would rather go for win-win even with her enemies. She's a member of the SIsterhood of the Blessed (see here for my take on it).

                That's... uh... enough for now. Hope someone enjoyed reading this.


                • #9
                  Muse De Novo, Scion of the hidden Schools.
                  Once a Bored socialite in the High Fantasy land of Velethia, Muse awoke by throwing herself through a Verge into the Supernal Arcadia and somehow not Dying. Walking away from the incident with purple eyes and a sense of immortality, she joryuned to the lands greatest school of Fate and... Made some friends, made some enemy's, fell in love, and graduated A disciple of Fate and a powerful Witch.

                  Muse left the Schools, made some more friends, fell in love again (a common habit), and went on a road trip across the country with them. She met powerful fey, stole a bit of their souls and let herself be corrupted by them, becoming Kin to those strange Alien beings. This was of course, the start of the end.

                  Muse ended the game, deep in the underworld, a Master of Fate, immortality within her grasp, and wanting nothing to do with it. She was sick an tired of the world, of life, of the Tragedy that was her Destiny.

                  Muse died, at the command of her best friend and to the Knife of her apprentice. She died and felt nothing but Relief.

                  She was short and Willow, pale of skin and blonde of hair, her eyes were a vivid Amethyst that saw future and past alike. She wore good silks and comfortable shoes. She liked to pretend to know French and refer to people as "Mine".

                  I still miss her


                  • #10
                    Since I'm writing this on a phone, I'll be brief.
                    Three mages, three archmages.
                    They say that the Three are of ancient origins.
                    Three kings, three wise men, three angels.

                    Their names lost to ages long gone, their histories forgotten or edited out of reality, none can say who they exactly are.

                    But in the beginning, they were there.
                    Janus, the Master of Space.
                    It's said that he could open a portal to any realm or world of he wanted to. He would bend and break space to create what the Three needed at that point.
                    Chronos, Master of Time.
                    Sometimes the Three would be late. Someone would be dead, or an object or artifact would be destroyed. Thats where Chronos would step in. Bending time, traveling to past or future, or turning back the clock on the entire locations, nothing would remain out of reach of the Three.
                    Saphramos, Master of Prime.
                    The Three are seen as gods among men, and Saphramos is the one that propagates that myth. The strongest and the strangest of the Three, some say that Saphramos was never a man to begin with. He is the leader of Three, and perhaps he is the only one of the Three not wearing a mask.

                    The Three all wear masks and ceremonial robes.
                    Janus the Two Faced Mask
                    Chronos the Gaping Maw Mask
                    Saphramos the Crystalline Dragon Mask

                    The Three are gone now. Dead, or to another world, who could say. Only the Mysterium keeps records of their existence for they were Nameless.
                    The Three refused to join both the Diamond Orders and Seers. They sought to forge their own path. Or so the legend goes.

                    In reality, legends and myths, worlds and timelines aside, the Three were mortals. I played the two of them for a long time in campaigns, and Janus and Chronos are actually one guy from different timelines, while Saphramos was Janus's mentor and lover.

                    In the end, as all things must end, Saphramos was killed by the power hungry and jealous Chronos. This made Janus broken and angry, so he decided to punish Chronos himself. They battled it out throughout time and space, and to this day no one knows what happened in the end.


                    • #11
                      The first thing to understand about StrifeStalker is that he's an asshole spoiling for a fight. I mean, just LOOK AT HIS SHADOW NAME. He basically took the Adamantine Arrow magical philosophy as gospel and then went full fanatic.

                      This is tied into the second thing about StrifeStalker: he outright rejects and scorns the Fallen in favor of the Supernal. He'll never do something mundanely that he can do with magic (without invoking paradox). So for instance instead of getting in the car with the rest of the party, he'll hop into Twilight and ride a giant spider made of shadows. Or alter his history so that he was already at the destination. And his home and Demesne is in a storm drain because he has no money

                      Furthermore StrifeStalker is nuts** and an adrenaline junkie. The only reason he survived plan "Use a Matter Shaping spell centered on me to fall to the center of the planet" is because of his legacy*. And when his cabal found out Werewolves were raping women as part of a ritual to make spirits with all of the advantages of both ... well after a (botched) prophecy spell told him the birth would cause more good than harm he had a Thyrsus turn him into a woman and used Time to "steal" the moment of impregnation and to accelerate the pregnancy. So thus he gave birth to his son/familiar. That he named "Kill the Gods and Topple their Thrones" or Topple for short.

                      Oh, and he's a Moros with a Time Death legacy

                      *He's a member of the Eternal Soul Sentinels legacy found here:
                      ** part of the reason he's crazy is that he's a member of a cult that uses self-induced crazed obsession as a tool for over-achieving. See here