Tag Archives: character names

Character Study: Yun/Psyche/Mageris

…This character went by a lot of names, okay? This was the warmage character…that eventually got turned into a favored soul/warmage gestalt and had a lot going on, both in front of and behind the scenes.

Short story on why her classes changed: we had one campaign going with her as the warmage, and the DM realized the story was going in a direction he felt was in his comfort zone and he wanted to stretch himself. We all agreed to a restart, most of the players changed their characters entirely…but I am the sort of person who wants some conclusion for characters, so I just modified her (only I didn’t, we’ll get there). The campaign, through no one in the current group’s fault, ended up dragging and then getting wrapped up quickly, but the conclusion was definitely there and so I am quite content with this character.

First off, I got to play with the amnesia trope, which is one of my favorites. This character was raised as Graceella (childhood name, elves are weird) and took on Mageris as her adult name. She was a lower born noble, but was lifebonded with the heir to the empire. But considering how being lifebonded can make life complicated, the adults in the situation decided to separate them in hopes of weakening it a little. Unfortunately, one adult (who Mageris thought was her mother, actually her aunt and this was a lot of fun later) took it too far and wiped all of her memories. All that there was for this poor girl to figure out who she was was her scrawl of her signature at an inn, which she thought said “Yun.”

Now, while I was pretty careful about fleshing out the mother’s side of the family…I hadn’t paid attention to the father’s side. So the DM got to have some leeway with them, and boy did he take it. It also led to us having to keep two different histories straight. Yep, we had parallel world hopping going on, and while most of the party was from the same world, I was from the original RP’s world, which was two different situations. At several points, we ended up killing that world’s version of Psyche, as several different possible outcomes to her situation played out. This is also how I ended up with the sword I used, which was pretty epic and I loved. The DM really worked hard to make sure everyone in the party stayed balanced, which is great when you contrast people who understand how the classes are in strength compared to others…and then people like me, who just create a character and find the appropriate class and run with it, regardless of how strong of a class it is.

And what’s really fun is the change that happened to this character without her memories. She had been raised the gentle, retiring lady who happened to have warmage capabilities, someone who was frequently overwhelmed by the lifebond who was used to getting his way as they got older. But without those memories, away from friends and family, she had to learn to stand on her and found her own voice and authority. When her memories returned, she had to try and mesh those two different personalities together. Thus, when she started going by Psyche. This was also when she started having real trust issues with the adults in her life, because she was very upset over how they had treated her, and God can elves hold grudges. And it was fun when she met her paternal uncles, and she was full of stubborn authority instead of being demure. (One really didn’t like it, it was funny.)

The favored soul aspect was fun too, because Psyche was Neutral Good, the Good is Not Nice trope at times, definitely not the gentle maiden anymore. But she was chosen by a draconic deity who was true Neutral, and his focus was on maintaining balance and stability…even if that stability couldn’t be considered “good” by an objective eye. There were a couple of instances where Psyche had to convince her deity to do something that was going to destabilize the world they were in at that time, where the “good” argument wasn’t going to work. Usually she managed to pull it off by arguing that they were about to throw the balance off anyway…it didn’t always work.

Something fun I did with her (just because I could) was do an elemental thing with her spell choices. While warmage’s known spells are set, with lots of fire and lightning, I got to pick her favored soul list. I ended up going with ice and holy light offensive spells aside from the request healer spells, creating what I consider this interesting contrast in the two sides to her nature, and what ended up being the two conflicting personalities in her head:┬áheadstrong and authoritative Yun and the more retiring and quiet Mageris. Funnily enough, it was the favored soul stuff (which matches Mageris better) that flared up with the loss of memory.

As for the lifebond, there was a lot of shenanigans, but things ended up working out there well…sorta. We didn’t get to RP much with him, or rather the real him (which is probably for the better for everyone’s comfort level), but I imagine the epilogue was pretty entertaining. Both end up being chosen favored souls of draconic deities, but he doesn’t get as much of a chance to interact with her after she has her memories back and both of them are aware of it until it has ended and they are now being the clean-up crew. I have mental stories and musings about how he would handle the change in personality in his lifebond, and the different path their lives have taken. Though really, he is probably happy about the difference–he has magic now, when previously he didn’t, so yay equalizer.

I honestly think I might return to Psyche at some point, though not as a DnD character. Rather, I’d like to play with her as an original fiction character. I think it could be a lot of fun, and let me explore some things with her that I couldn’t in a DnD setting, since there’s either no mechanic for it, no point to it without possibly taking up time that isn’t fair to the other players, or just be something I’m more comfortable writing rather than RPing in a tabletop setting.

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Review: Willow

…I wish I was reviewing something cool titled this. (I can think of a couple things that share this travesty’s title.) Instead, I have to delve into George Lucas’s insanity. Super. /sarcasm

Okay, so what exactly is this 80’s wonder movie about? A special baby is born, destined to bring about the end of a cruel queen’s reign. Obviously, the queen doesn’t want this to happen, so she sets out to kill the baby. A few shenanigans later, and she is put in the care of a humble farmer named Willow who has aspirations of being a great sorcerer…just struggles with the execution. He has to deal with a bumbling “great” swordsman, a warrior daughter of the queen, and a great sorceress who has been turned into an animal…which one tends to change throughout the film. They have to bring an end to this queen (despite it being the prophecy that the baby is supposed to do this), and… I don’t know. Live happily ever after?

Now, let’s get this out there. I have issues with George Lucas. I think he contradicts his own canon in everything he writes, which is one of my Cardinal Rules (Obey your own rules!), he tells stories about how things went in the story-planning process (or at least that’s the impression I’m under, I could be wrong), and he basically has no idea how to tell these great premises that he comes up with. And there is almost always a lot of potential in everything he touches. But then he just…throws it at us in this big blob and expects us to do half the work for him.

Where does that leave us for the plot of this movie? Well, in a quagmire from minute one and it just sort of gets worse from there. Seriously, it takes forever to find out who exactly Elora is, what impact she is supposed to have on this world, or even how we know that she’s the right baby just by looking at her. Characters go unnamed far too long so you’re left going, “That guy,” or “that girl,” rather than getting attached to them as characters. It takes most of the movie to get any proof that the evil queen is the one actually doing these horrid things, rather than just characters saying so (and seeing as they flip flop so much on what they are going to do, reasonable doubt can be given until that point). Most of the movie is Willow running around with the baby strapped to his chest or in his arms. And a young Van Kilmer running around in drag, half-naked, or in armor.

That helped make up for the rest. A wee bit.

Speaking of characters… Sigh. Not only were there severe portrayal issues that I’m not sure how to even describe without offending some ethnic or socio group. Not only could they not make up their darn mind what culture they were drawing from, either for armor or for culture. Not only did none of the characters show enough depth for me to really get attached. The one character who I almost started going, “Okay, I can work with this, there is potential here…” She was also his primary female protagonist. So she had to be involved in some romance. And since Lucas can’t write romance, he instead settles for ruining this strong, powerful character because she “falls in love” with Van Kilmer’s character and not only becomes an idiot, she becomes incompetent after a few lines of trite poetry. Just gag me. I like sap as much as the next person, if not actually more so, but it needs to make sense or at least have some build-up to it!

You may notice I’m not saying any of the character’s names. That’s because I have no idea how to spell them. I can guess. But this is what happens when you go with overly complicated fantasy names. People aren’t certain of the spellings, or in case of books, pronunciations.

The world was equally confusing. Again, no real cultural basis. Lucas did what Lucas always does and has to put “his” stamp on every single thing. So the humans aren’t humans, they are some clanky word. The magic chants are long, equally clanky, and even the characters couldn’t keep them straight. And while yes, I respect the facts of the technological limitations of the 80’s… The trolls were just sad. I got extremely grossed out by the way the magic transformations were done, since they were done just to be grotesquely as possible. I got frustrated with the swordsman juggling of his sword, trying to be fancy and show off that he was as great as he said. Every time he did it, I went, “Aaaand, you’re dead.” Weapon work as a whole though was far more realistic than usual, though some of the rest was comedic as all get out. There, there’s a minor pro to it.

So overall, I cringed and snorted my way through it. But Ginny has promised that the three books that follow the movie are love (okay, not the first one, but the other two!), so those are next on the list.


Review: The Dresden Files 7 – Dead Beat

Okay, next weeks posts are confirmed! Ugh, finally, things are starting to straight out. (Including my office, maybe I can actually be unpacked before Halloween… *eyeroll*)

Dead Beat picks up a year after Blood Rites (such an awkward time skip…), with Thomas and Harry having a little bit of a struggle with their current living situation. They don’t have much time to worry about it, though. Someone is blackmailing Harry in order to get their hands on a very particular book. One that’s drawing every necromancer worth their salt to Chicago for one special Halloween. Harry isn’t strong enough to face them on his own, but with the White Council busy with the vampire war, who will he be able to turn to for help?

After the last book’s collosal fail, this one sat a little easier for me. Most of the cast of characters were new or some people we hadn’t heard from in a while (why hello Morgan, aren’t you still a buttmunch?), but they were focused enough that it wasn’t too tricky keeping them and their goals separated. The ones I really had trouble with were Cowl and Corspetaker, mostly because both were C names, both had a minion, and that just made telling them apart difficult in a conversation unless the minion was also mentioned or they were present and one of their physical tags were used. Not that they HAD many physical tags, especially once Dresden started using male pronouns for Corpsetaker despite “his” habit of taking female bodies… But I loved Anastasia, and I’ve been discussing theories on alter-Harry with my best friend since I got to that part of the book.

Butcher relied a lot on multiple villains in this book, like he has in previous ones, but this time he gave all of them a centralized goal with each of them just being out for themselves. It made pacing a lot easier to be honest, and the plot didn’t feel clunky in the slightest, except, well. I thought the mentions of the Erlking were off, and I still don’t know if he jived well in the book’s overall plot. Meh. As if to make up for that, we had some progression with the demon coin. Lord, did we have some progression with the demon coin. And I have mixed feelings about Lash right now. On one hand, I think she is a handy tool. on the other, I think he needs to be careful not to rely on her. I guess I agree with Alter-Harry, which is weird since as a reader, I don’t like him. As a writer, I don’t like him either but that’s because he doesn’t serve a real PURPOSE yet. Butcher hasn’t done enough with him to explain how Harry can meet this alter. (And being a wizard doesn’t explain it, not when Harry doesn’t know what’s going on either.)

I found myself siding with Thomas a lot in this book, which was weird at first until I figured out what was going on. Thomas got more than his fair share of the common sense (which Harry is lacking in a bit), and then I also figured out that he is being himself and thus smarter than he has appeared in the earlier books. I feel like this brother dynamic thing is going to be slowly building up…or at least I hope it does. If Harry can remember Thomas’s rather elegant way of showing what a vampire’s Hunger feels like. Another character I liked the build up for was Shelia. I know, that sounds weird. She should bother me. She is portrayed very sexy. But that’s the thing. It isn’t the only part of her character that Butcher focuses on. Is it a component? Yes. But it didn’t beat me over the head with it (too badly). If anything, her sheer pushiness set off just the right alarm bells that she should have been ringing. Her reveal was the closest I came to being surprised by a Dresden book (and that takes some doing now that I’ve read this many on top of my training).

I had my moment of iffiness, but I think was more a matter of personal taste this time. I’ve never gotten into the big zombie craze, not even a little. (But I like vampires, I make NO sense sometimes, sorry.) So the final battle was all sorts of iffy for me except for the parts with Anastasia (because she’s my new favorite) and Sue. Sue was also what about threw me out of the book because seriously, holy crap on a cracker. But it was so silly and ridiculous, I giggled and kept right on going. Because what else can you do with that? I might need to reread the ending with Bob, just because I think I didn’t absorb the content well enough on the first read through to really piece together what all happened.

Overall, a much better book. I didn’t even miss Murphy too much. Now, what am I getting into with Proven Guilty?