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Terrible Character Idea's turned into concepts (TCITIC) - Part 1 - Azura

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Alright, as promised, here’s a short blog about how I turn shitty ideas into worse characters.

The process with Humphrey unfortunately was somewhere in Fall 2020, so I can’t quite remember my thoughts there, but while Humphrey was waiting for approval I continued working on my next Character, well knowing how long those things take given my ‘English’.

Her working Name is Azura, but she isn’t posted yet. As I want to avoid flooding the forum, I shall wait until Humphrey is approved.

Most of my ideas start with a single word or thought. Just to give a simple example ‘Werewolf’ or ‘Mage’ would be such words.
Azura’s Story started with ‘Reaper’ or ‘Grim Reaper’. I think it was because of a Tv show…. Or even an advertisement. God knows.

Anyways, after deciding, that I wanted to create a Reaper, I first faced the question ‘Why a Reaper?’.

The Answer is rather simple. The Death is an incredible intimidating topic for me. Up to unhealthy points or experiences. I don’t really have a perspective there. I figured, that talking about the big question ‘What comes after’ could not only help me there, but it also might be interesting to find out what others are thinking. Find out, what could come, rather than what comes. If other player thought about the Religion on their worlds, it could also offer them an option, to further elaborate on that or to present the things they thought of.

I also think that a Reaper, having to do with the death day for day and…. Another reason I just forgot, there would be a new perspective on that discussion.

So, the Theme is set and justified, now onto the execution. What kind of Reaper do I want to have?

Certainly, a Hitman 47 Type of Reaper, going around killing people is definitely not what I am aiming for. But what then? What kind of role does the Reaper take in the Universe I am about to create? And what kind of perspective does it have?
One thing however is set. The Reaper does not have access to the afterlife. Otherwise that discussion would be hard to have or to start. Even with the nature of Kaerwyn,
it could still be … hard.

That basically just leaves us with one option: The Role of the Reaper must be somewhere between life and afterlife. And since I am not aiming for an Anubis kind of character, the Reapers task will be to escort the souls of the dead ones to the afterlife. Now that I think of it, an Anubis type of character might also be an interesting choice for a character, focusing on judgement and moral. BUUUT we are here for the Reaper, which I called Azura, so I will add it to the list of ‘The words’ and work with that idea later.

Now I continued with the universe… or at least parts of it. Not everything needs to be written in stone.

Given Jakk’s rule about planes, I can’t make it easy for myself and say ‘Well the reaper just has to escort the soul through the space between the universe and heaven/hell’.
Soooo Heaven/Hell whatever and the Place where the judgements are made will be in one part of the universe and the earth will be in the other part of the same universe. The parts are separated by an ‘Entity’. This even allows for a Rift or Plot, which answers the questions ‘Where the frick did that thing came from?’ ----- as soon as I have figured that question out myself.

As the we now know what kind of world the reaper will be working in, we can specify what the job looks like. For this point… I have decided to drive two trails.

Personally, I could think of two options:

First: The Reaper will be a defender. Their task will be to secure the passage through the entity.

Second: The Reaper will be emotional support? Going through, the entity is supposed to be a path of remorse and an emotional backup could certainly be helpful.

I can’t really remember why, but I decided to go with both. Only one of them seemed a bit unsatisfying. However, the focus definitely sits on the second path. That being said… I think I should let the reapers memory be… weakened. Their job would definitely wear them down otherwise and for data protection reasons (imagine the upside down emjoy, we don't have it yet).

EHH I forgot the most important thing. I forgot to explain what the ‘Entity’ does. The ‘Entity’ will be a …. Wall kind thingy between the earth and the afterlife. But why does a person need a reaper to get through there? That’s also what defines the two options for a reaper job up there.

So, the entity is a wall, which can only be passed through by demons and angels, gods, reapers, souls and, that’s the important part, monsters. The soul devouring kind of monsters. And, to make it harder, the wall itself will change itself around the souls trying to pass it. It will reassemble situations, which were elemental in the soul’s life. It could relife a certain turning point or a situation it regrets.

And the reapers task is to make the soul reach the other end of the wall, to face judgement. That means they have to push the soul forward, past the memories or through it, while trying to keep the monsters at bay.

Now we are down with the unique attribute of the character and at least wildly the world they life in. Now… who are they?

When creating character’s backgrounds, I often start with maybe a fixpoint or two, before going over the story chronologically. Several times.

However, with our Reaper it is a little different. I can’t just throw them into their childhood, as we haven’t talked about where tiny Reapers are coming from yet.

The most obvious approach would probably be that they are made for the job… but I throw that idea away rather quickly. It would open a lot of questions: What kind of character do the reapers have? Is everyone the same? and a bunch more. In general: More questions then I am ready to answer.

So we have to find a way to create a reaper on other ways. My initial thought would be that they are breeded for that, but that could quickly turn into a cult. Despite… I am not sure how exactly their culture would look like. But… I think it would also come to a point I don’t want to reach.
The character is supposed to be somewhat of a normal person – despite the job. That leaves us to the last option I can think of. The reapers are all formal souls/deceased humans.

But there is a thought I didn’t wrote there yet, which I also had in mind all the time. I just didn’t know where to place it.

I want the person to have a character. Like, lovely, rude, whatever, but definitely a somewhat normal person. I am not sure about the words. BUT some things, such as the reapers being made for their job or a cult, would not allow for a lot of development. That’s also a reason for a few of the decision I made up there.

The next two bigger things which need to be clarified are: What shape does the reaper have? And what about magic?

I don’t see any reason why I should make the reaper a spirit. It would maybe make conversations… even harder and it doesn’t really add a lot. And it is just simpler to give her a normal body, which is then be disguised via magic. Therefore, she will get a new body to fulfil her task.

The question about the magic is similar simple to answer. It doesn’t really add anything to the character and is therefore just useless work. Therefore, the solution will be plain and direct. The magic the reapers are using, is actually the magic of the responsible god. It is used remotely and therefore can’t be used on Kaerwyn.

So after that there are only a few things which need to be clarified. What kind of person is the Reaper, which I called Azura? I also think she should have a goal and point in life she is trying to reach. What is that? And finally, what does someone has to do to be punished/Committed to work as reaper?

As this text is already about twice the size of the cs, I will cut the answers short.

The Person I am trying to create should value family. She shall be caring and a bit protecting.
Therefore, her backstory will twist a bit about family live probably and so on.

To allow her to fulfil her duties as a reaper, her memory will be suppressed and come back, once she isn’t connected to the gods anymore. Her goal will on the one hand be to figure out, what happened to her family and to regain her memories (I have to figure out the details) and after that it will be to build up a small normal live. A family, maybe with adoption and a small farm to live on.

Now to the last question:
The thought I had was, that the person, who will have to work as a reaper, has to not only be of the right character, but also do something that is cruel, but at the same time the right thing to do, as such a person couldn’t be easily thrown into hell or heaven. Instead they are making amends by helping other souls, before they would be allowed to heaven.

I think that covers most of the planning. I’ve decided for a medieval setting and a simple background, which ends in Azura’s cruel defence of her family. All the remaining details however are of minor importance and I think all what is left to do now is, to actually write the CS. Or rather the bits I haven’t written yet.

If you have questions, remarks, ideas feel free to poke me about it on the IRC.

I love conversation where I can say something else then ‘I don’t know’.

The last point I think I should address is the sensibility of the topic. I know and understand that some people might not want to talk about that. Due to that, as long as Azura hasn’t regained her memory, she will look like most people would imagine a grim reaper, so that people can dodge her in the first weeks. I am trying to think of other solutions, but I would like to create this character instead of tossing it. If you got ideas, shoot them.

Updated 02-17-2021 at 09:33 PM by Rylee

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