@SteampunkBanana Your cliches read more like abilities.
From the Risus PDF:
Clichés are shorthand for a kind of person, implying their skills, background, social role and more. The “character classes” of the oldest RPGs are enduring Clichés: Wizard, Detective, Starpilot, Superspy. You can choose Clichés like those for your character, or devise something more outré, like Ghostly Pirate Cook, Fairy Godmother, Bruce Lee (for a character who does Bruce Lee stuff) or Giant Monster Who Just Wants To Be Loved For His Macrame – anything you can talk your GM into. With a very permissive GM, you could be all these at once.
Each Cliché has a rating in dice (the ordinary six-sided kind). When your character’s prowess as a Wizard, Starpilot or Bruce Lee is challenged, roll dice equal to the rating. Three dice is“professional.” One die is a putz. Six dice is ultimate mastery.
Please rewrite them to be more cliché-like
GM’s choice: Potion Dealer (2)
Update: Looking good
Spoken like a true studio executive.
(image by Sedeptra)
Hail, Good Souls!
Sir Jeremy Axelrod Pholcain Bentham the Fourth at your service.
Everyone calls me “Bent.”
My grandfather insisted we were once nobility who “traded the stars.” We certainly trade a lot. From my Father to my Aunties to the second cousins once removed, my sprawling family always seeks The Deal - the mutually beneficial exchange.
Our approach: Talk to everyone, Deal with anybody. As Grampa said, “If you wanna get, you gotta get along.” My family knows people who Deal in all sorts of interesting things, places, and services.
Like my supposed aristocratic background, my lineage is murky. I self-identify as Human, but my visage suggests elves in the family tree. My favorite uncle, a moose-looking old bastard called Glumpf, always called my mother “Dwarf Fucker.” Aunt Lizzzz favors the Lizard side of the family. Like I said, we try to get along with anyone who will Deal. One group I hope to befriend are the hallowed, nearly mythical “Bea-Min”. Under-appreciated by many, my family greatly desires to bring one these buzzing beings “into the fold.”
My constant companion is Strix. Please be respectful – those owl talons rip off fingers that attempt undignified pokes. Strix has an uncanny sense that Bad Shit Impends. She also has unusual appetites.
Whether or not we’re an old aristocratic family, we do have a family estate. Ustoret House is the finest Manse in the county. The Precursors had odd ideas about comfortable living spaces, but they left rooms full of Magic
Indeed Uncle Glumpf died in a flash of magic while liberating the Arcane God “Mercury Fulminate” from her tin can confinement. There are many more gods and demons contained in that room. Indeed, that room set me on the path to being a Trading Mancer.
I am but a journeyman Mancer, and a junior one at that. Some Mancers claim that I am not a real Mancer because my Artefact doesn’t require a shrine. That’s fine with me. While they venerate Tesla, I will bow to Nobel and Saint Mendeleev. Even the haughtiest High Mancer may deign to Deal with me, because base potash can be Magic in knowing hands.
Sir Jeremy Axelrod Pholcain Bentham the Fourth, aka "Bent"
Trading Journeyman Mancer — Human (mostly)
(4) Principle Artefact: Surprise Powders. Between the Tinned Gods of Ustoret House, Uncle Glompf’s experiments, and my own work with unusual soils, I have an uncommon ability to make dry powders do interesting things. Often in loud or flashy ways. Sometimes.
(3) The Deal Network. My family network is extensive and far-ranging. No matter where I go, some old family contact might turn up to pitch a Deal.
(2) Portentous Strix. That owl sees more than the rest of us. Her comments are cryptic, cautious, caustic, unkind, and usually unwanted. Ignore her at your peril.
(2) Dealer’s Choice
I think we’re going to get along very well.
I think I may recognize this. It has a familiar smell…
Mother always said I played well. May I see your hat for a moment? I might be able to tweak that hatband…
As you too, have written your character with abilities and equipment rather than cliches, let me propose a rejig.
Chemist (mancer) (4)
- ‘surprise powder’ collection, lab tools, books, etc
Well-Connected Aristocrat (3)
- The Deal Network, “family network is extensive and far-ranging. No matter where I go, some old family contact might turn up to pitch a Deal.”
Bird-of-Prey Keeper (2)
- Pet owl “Strix” who is ‘portentous’, gloves, owl food.
GM’s Choice: Unemployed Actor (2) – maybe you dabbled when you were young, maybe you once had a part in an ‘off-Broadway’ ‘swede’-ening of some pre-cataclysm fable, like “Thy Second Terminationer”. Ham it up.
(swede: to make a homebrew version of, ala “Be Kind, Rewind” starring Jack Black.)
The more general your cliches, the more improv material you have to draw upon.
Be my guest, “Bent”. Damned if I can make it work. See what you can do with it.
I love love love what everyone is doing with the little world I’ve painted!
I’m really scared that I’m coming across as a stickler for ‘the rules’.
Fcuk the rules.
Your characters are awesome! I’m just trying to make it easier for you, and I, to eventually engage with the gameplay part of this endeavour.
Please see the cliches as gameplay hooks that just happen to describe your character – everything you’ll be doing game-mechanically will be springing forth from the cliches. Please do not see them as a restriction over how you choose to roleplay your character out. A compelling roleplay should always trump the gameplay minutae!
Renli the Human
Steerswoman Renli lives for knowledge and the pleasure of discovering the world’s mysteries and understanding them. She has wandered far, far enough from her fellow steerswomen that the locals barely know of the steerswomen and their creed:
A steerswoman’s knowledge is shared with any who request it; no steerswoman may refuse a question, and no steerswoman may answer with anything but the truth. And if she asks, you must answer. It is the other side of tradition’s contract – and if you refuse the question, or lie, no steerswoman will ever again answer even your most casual question.
New rumors of creatures from ‘The Under’ has peeked her interest. Dust-addled engineers and day-blind squaddies have been found in taverns, nursing their ales absentmindedly, whispering about monstrous horsemen, pulsating acidic cubes, and of an inky dark presence that is only ever visible out of the corner of your eye. The more questions she asks, the more convinced she is that these creatures do exist, as the minute details match more tightly than any fanciful fairytale retelling.
With no other steerswomen in the area, it’s up to Renli to investigate. It’s not a task without dangers. As a precaution she has sent back copies of her journals detailing her queries and travels so far. Even if she were to be lost in ‘The Under’ another steerswoman would eventually continue the quest.
Fresh with coin and provisions after doing odd jobs for a traveling caravan, Renli is eager to begin her descent into the depths. After all, knowledge is everything.
Traveling Scholar - (Raider of Knowledge) (4)
Knowledge is power, and as a steerswoman it’s Renli’s duty to catalog all that she sees, and to share it freely to anyone who asks. She’s fluent in multiple languages and is a merchant’s dream when needing an odd hand to help out with the ledgers.
Dirty Fighter (3)
Wandering the land alone has it’s dangers. Renli was trained in the basics of sword and bow, but when going against a lizardman twice your size, fighting nice is not an option.
Fanciful Cartographer (2)
A needed skill when wandering in new lands. Good maps also fetch a fair price on market. She leaves doodles of animals she sees in the margins.
Terrible Poet (2)
The Under Is Deep, Dark, and Dank Filled with creatures Of unpleasant features And you should always carry a match
GM’s Choice: Poet (2)
(( Huh. Almost appropriate. FWIW, I’m rolling a d100 against a list from the Risus Companion ))
Con Hổ Nguyen the Human(…?) Engineer
aka Hoa (pronounced “hwa”)
Con Hổ Nguyen was born in the jungle, under mysterious circumstances, and grew up as an orphan. Nobody is quite sure how she was raised as a baby, but she appeared in a jungle village at age four or five (she’s not quite sure) not able to speak the local language and wearing only animal-skin clothing - and a necklace made of some sort of unique metal, engraved with the name Con Hổ Nguyen. She’s not sure if it’s actually her name, but she adopted it. She was taken in by an elderly couple in the village who were never able to have children of their own, who took to calling her by the nickname Hoa.
Obviously bright as a child despite not having language (…human language, anyway), she quickly absorbed the local dialect. Strangely, later in life she found difficulty in learning other languages, but can now speak both the eastern and western common tongues passably. However, she is often able to rudimentarily communicate with non-humans. She vaguely recalls being better at this before she arrived at the village, but her memories are foggy from that time.
In the jungle, everything is covered with foliage or heavily chemically altered by water and bare rock is rare. One of Hoa’s favorite places near the village was a ravine that a river flowed through, where tall cliffs on either side were exposed and relatively fresh. Within the exposed surface was visible cracks and intricate folds in the layers of rock - to Hoa, these hinted at a fascinating story about how the mountains formed, but lacking scholarly resources (and any contact with the outside world for that matter) in the village she was only able to come up with her own fanciful ideas.
At age 14, her elderly adopted father passed away, followed shortly by her adopted mother. Though they loved her dearly, she had not really made any other friends in the village. For some reason, the other children didn’t like her. She realized later they were scared of her, but at the time she just felt excluded.
So, she packed up and left the village - she followed the river that she so loved downstream, eventually reaching a port city on the ocean. There, she quickly adapted to the city (as big of a shock as it initially was, coming from the jungle) but as a young girl felt constantly in danger. She was taken in by a man who seemed quite friendly and eager to help her. She worked for a brief time in his shop, which is where she met the famous female pirate of the eastern seas. Hoa could barely understand the eastern common tongue yet, but was immediately taken with her.
Later that night, the shopkeeper who took her in betrayed Hoa’s trust, as men do. Though she didn’t intend to, she ended up killing him. Soaked in his blood and fearing what would happen to her, she stowed away on the pirate’s ship, which set sail the following morning.
After a few days of hiding aboard the ship and scrounging for food the blood started to smell quite bad, which led to her discovery. To Hoa’s surprise, the pirate understood without hesitation and invited her to stay in her quarters. For the next few years Hoa was raised as the pirate’s protege. They amassed an impressive library of scholarly works, from which Hoa learned about the structures she’d seen in the cliffs at the river, among many other things.
At eighteen, Hoa came to terms with something rather crucial, now that she thinks about it - the sea doesn’t really agree with her. She’s not sure if it’s the salt or the constant movement but she always feels a bit uneasy.
So she’s decided to head off on her own, on land of course, having heard about the open invitation by the King of Ridwhick to delve into what she’s decided is her calling - the subsurface.
But first, she needed a crew - she wasn’t sure why, but she decided to go back to the jungle village where she was raised. As expected, nobody there was interested in helping. They all seemed so backwards to her now, anyway. As she started walking away, the wind rustling in the trees caught her attention and she turned to look - in the direction of the river gorge. She decided to go have a look at it for old time’s sake, and was rather taken aback by what she found - several female tigers sunbathing on the rocks. Upon seeing her, they became alert. Scared, she started to slowly back away as the tigers approached. She reached for her sword, at which point the tigers started purring. They bounded up to her and started rubbing against her, and she slowly let go of her sword’s handle as a smile crept onto her face. She’d found her crew.
Structural Geologist (4)
Intuitively understands subterranean structures, both natural and otherwise, and geometry. Pocket transit (geo compass), basic rock hammer/pick.
Stealth Pirate (3)
Super-sneaky. Does not require shadows, but they help. Silent shoes (…sneakers). Eye patches for increased night vision. Pirate sword. Can’t handle alcohol very well, actually.
Non-Human Whisperer (2)
Can communicate, rudimentarily, with non-humans (especially cats). Anti-static - fur does not stick to clothes. Feather on a stick.
Dealer’s Choice (2)
Editor’s note: though my backstory is riddled with cliches, I’m not sure if my attribute cliches are quite cliche enough, so let me know. Also, as my backstory is significantly longer than 200 words (849 words) I guess I get an extra point, but some others with stories didn’t take the point, so I’m not clear. I expect this thread isn’t where our final answers will ultimately go so some changes will be made I suppose. Anyway I feel like I’m starting too strong if 6 is the max and I have 4-4-2-2 (which is how I’d distribute, as per my story my whisper ability isn’t very developed yet) already but then I don’t really know how the game works yet so I don’t know.
You better warn those tigers of yours to stay away from my dogs. Actually, while you’re at it, would you tell these mutts to stop pissing on my boots? They don’t listen to a damn word I say.
<bad-tempered bee-man coming soon />
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GM’s Choice: Undercover Agent (2) – Who are you working for, really? Is it the bees?
Don’t worry: Your character has general enough gameplay cliches. And your character is excellent!
Overlanders, the pub is open and the first optional mission posted. Continue to post characters here before 1st September.
aaaaahhhh gah not ready yet!!!
Would you bee-lieve the mascot of my alma mater is a bee:
Which, according to the generally understood properties of school mascots, means that I am a bee?
and, apparently, St. Ambrose is your Patron Saint.