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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Can Open. Angst Everywhere.

This is a Totally Gamer Post, so, Mom, you don't have to read it if you don't want to.

I've posted here and here and here about this new character I'm making for my husband's Friday Night game (GURPS at the moment). It's been years since I played a character this young, not to mention one with this many self-deprecating neuroses and behaviors. In some ways my vampire character (Lyric) was in her mid-teens, but you know, vampire - with all the bloodsucking and very adult behavior that can entail. She was as shallow as a trashy fifteen-year-old can be, vain, selfish, etc., and quite young for a vamp - only about 30 years on the planet all told. She was a caricature of a Shallow Teen with Vast Cosmic Power, with personality based loosely on the characters in Abby's Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows. She was a brat.

The character for this game (Rica) is not a brat, and is in fact what we in these more enlightened times would consider to be the victim of constant emotional abuse from her mother, and neglect from her father. You see, she's horribly nearsighted, and although she has magic goggles to mitigate this, her mother will generally not allow to her wear them because they're "ugly". And then gets on her case for being clumsy. You've all seen it - in life or in fiction - an adult who constantly cuts her children down verbally. And since Rica is an only child in a medieval city where this is not the norm, she gets a lot of crap from her mother. So she has the Low Self-Image and Severely Shy Disadvantages, and just for flavor I gave her Skinny (can't eat if you're constantly afraid you'll make a fool of yourself by knocking over your wineglass when you can't see it), and Nightmares (something she can't see chasing her); coincidentally, these are usually occurring the nights she spends in her parents' house, not the barracks where she lives during the week (being on duty as a Gryphon Rider).

So then I had a small dilemma; how is Rica going to join this adventuring party - even if ordered to do so she would not have the courage, and even the Curious Advantage and the Broad-Minded Quirk might not do the trick. So I had to put the question in her mind - was she really as bad/stupid/ugly/clumsy/useless/poor-husband-and-social-climbing-bait as she'd been told she was all her life?. Best way to create that seed of doubt in a shy fifteen-year-old girl? With a kind seventeen-year-old boy, of course.

So I did. And the conversations between these two characters wrote themselves. They are over-dramatic, impassioned, as angsty as Final Fantasy 90210 VIII, and so much fun to write.