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My FFXV Comrades character! I tried to make her look like me, I think I got pretty close. She even has dark circles under her eyes and a constantly worried look just like the real Jessamyn XD  

So far she is a clumsy Insomnian spellcaster who is chronically out of HP and MP, can’t aim or block, and favors the shuriken style weapons (I love them so much). 

I think Comrades is pretty great so far! I really enjoy playing it. 

Things I love

1. Parts of it really feel like ffxiv, which I have been wanting to play again, but it isn’t as complex and involved so it suits more casual play I think

2.  The Chocobo’s in old lestallum, I was so worried they actually were extinct

3. Monica’s face when she has to cook the Malboro dish, she is so done

4. The magic pot solo quest (GIMME AN EXLIXIR). I feel like that really captured what I would be like as a Glaive (i.e. an idiot). Running around in circles swearing: “Come back here! Hold still! Warp Strike! Gah! I missed! GOT YOU FINALLY!…. Aw…I miss him…he was kinda cute…WAiT. I was supposed to give him something wasn’t I…”

5. I like how to combat roles are flexible so you can try new things

6. NEW RECIPEHS

7. Seeing Iris, and Talcott, and Cindy etc. again!

Things I think could be improved that don’t relate to glitches

1. To me, it’s hard to figure how to level efficiently in this DLC. Unless I am missing something obvious I kinda haphazardly unlock quests but I can’t really tell what level they are beforehand and there doesn’t seem to be an even distribution of quests for each level. Leveling is pretty slow. 

2. At least in the quick play there are people who join quests way under leveled, I don’t know if this drastically affects the outcome but it seems kind of weird and may relate to the previous problem. 

3. It would be so great to have checkpoints in the quests, especially the escort ones. It’s so frustrating to get to the very end and then just die and get nothing for all the previous work and time you put into it. 

Problems I’ve had (EDIT: not glitches, yay! I am just dumb)

1. Gladio comes to town but I can’t find him anywhere: I had to go right to the spot he is supposed to be and then he loads, from a distance I coudn’t see him.

2. I can’t seem to use any of my purchased greetings: It’s under the Chat menu option to change the greeting sets

It’s been really fun overall though, can’t wait to play more

Astrology Witches

Your Sun, Your Presence

  • Aries:  tattoos and leather
  • Taurus:  herbs and knit sweaters
  • Gemini: books and sigils
  • Cancer: gossamer and starlight
  • Leo: light and gold
  • Virgo: glow and denim
  • Libra: silk and incense
  • Scorpio: bone and black
  • Sagittarius: neon and moonlight
  • Capricorn: rich soil and wool
  • Aquarius: rain and burlap
  • Pisces: crystals and salt

Your Moon, Your Gift

  • Aries: curses and potential
  • Taurus: kitchen and green magic
  • Gemini: sigils and glamours
  • Cancer: astral projection and dream magic
  • Leo: divination and fate alteration
  • Virgo: banishment and cleansing magic
  • Libra: illusions and truth
  • Scorpio: spirit work and possession
  • Sagittarius: flight and transformation
  • Capricorn: runes and protection
  • Aquarius: foresight and storm magic
  • Pisces: healing and crystal magic

Your Rising, Your Companion

  • Aries: wolf
  • Taurus: tortoise
  • Gemini: fox
  • Cancer: axolotl
  • Leo: snake
  • Virgo: rabbit
  • Libra: deer
  • Scorpio: ghost
  • Sagittarius: coyote
  • Capricorn: elk
  • Aquarius: owl
  • Pisces: chameleon

Your Venus, Your Item

  • Aries: bone charm
  • Taurus: cauldron
  • Gemini: enchanted spectacles
  • Cancer: skull
  • Leo: tarot deck
  • Virgo: book of shadows
  • Libra: magic mirror
  • Scorpio: witches hat
  • Sagittarius: broom
  • Capricorn: staff
  • Aquarius: wand
  • Pisces: crystal
Some Oddly Specific Character Quirks (taken from my real-life friends)

Giving a character strange, highly specific quirks is one of the best ways to humanize them and make them feel more real. So I figured I’d share some real, actual Character Quirks™ from real life people that could serve as inspiration or as writing prompts for people’s characters. Let me know if you use one!

  • Always has a kazoo on them, and if ever a situation calls for it, will simply produce a kazoo. Often unclear where they were keeping it.
  • Can mimic any accent perfectly after hearing a small sample of it once. The one exception? The accent of the region they’re from.
  • Has strange and very long chunks of text memorized perfectly, from 40 digits of pi to several Shakespeare monologues to poems to favorite passages from books. Often forgets their own name or the words for everyday objects.
  • Has never once lost a game of Jenga, ever.
  • When stressed, participates in conversations largely through strange and loud vocalizations instead of words. Somehow, everyone still knows what they mean.
  • Their idea of treating themselves is buying lapel flowers, silk pocket squares, and ties.
  • Once biked 30 miles to the Mississippi River just so they could sit on the bank and play the harmonica. Could only play for about 3 minutes before having to immediately turn around and bike the 30 mile return trip to get home before dark.
  • When they get nervous they just drop and start doing push ups. Doesn’t matter where they are.
  • Ordered 13 boxes of garlic triscuits off of Amazon.
  • Whenever they hear the song “Dancing Queen” they start stripping. It started as a joke but it has become involuntary and has lead to some uncomfortable situations.
  • Every time they tell a bad joke, they stand up and take a lap around the room yelling “AND THE CROWD GOES WILD”
  • Primary mode of transportation is a razor scooter that is much, much too small for them.
  • Has an “off button” on their back. A spot where, if pressed, all of their muscles give out and they collapse to the ground. Their identical twin has it, too.
  • If no emoji exists to capture their feelings about something, they will draw a new emoji on the nearest scrap of paper and text a picture of that.
  • Has developed an intricate burp rating scale with specific and standardized rules and uses it to rate every burp they hear on a scale of 1-10.

Feel free to reblog and add some Real Life Character Quirks you’ve come across in your life!

Writing: The Villain

In most stories, there is a tangible villain that works at every opportunity to stop your hero from reaching their goal. They are oftentimes the epitome of evil and hatred, depending on how extremely their villainy runs. In many ways, they are almost as important as the main character, so here are some tips on developing them well.

  • Villains should be handled with the same deep thought as heroes.
    • Just because they’re the villain doesn’t mean they aren’t a very major character, and complex characters are always more favorable than simple, boring characters. Develop their appearance and personality in detail. Formulate a backstory. Understand the motivations behind what they do, and let their actions reflect their internal desires.
  • Find ways to make your villain stand out from other villains.
    • Most villains are maniacal. They are almost all willing to do terrible things in order to get what they want. A lot of villains are related to their character in some way, and sometimes this relationship is revealed in a plot twist. These are all well and good, but trying to make these ideas seem fresh and interesting is difficult nowadays. Play with your ideas and tweak these tropes, or maybe even disregard them all together. Do what you can to make your villain not sound like another Voldemort or Darth Vader. (Reading your work and/or having others read your work is a good way to see if your villain (and other characters, too) are interesting and unique enough.)
  • Consider that your villain is (probably) still human.
    • Even if they aren’t human in the technical sense, they probably still have human emotions. Give your character depth by exploring their sense of morality and where they came from. Why do they think what they’re doing is acceptable. Do they think it’s acceptable? What happened that lead them up to this point of villainy?
  • Explore your villain’s relationship with the other characters.
    • Are they closely connected with your hero and the hero’s friends? Are they in no way related? What did the good characters do to get on the villain’s bad side? How deep does your villain’s anger or hatred for your hero run? Do they hate them at all, or are they doing what they’re doing for another reason? Are the things that your villain is doing a direct result of the hero’s actions, or was there another cause?
  • Decide what the end result of the villain’s actions will be.
    • You have one of two very basic routes this can take: your villain can either defeat or be defeated by the hero. The hero also has one of two routes (if they defeat the villain): they can defeat them by force and kill/imprison/etc. them, or they can “convert” them to the good side. How will this decision affect your villain? How will it affect the overall story? How will it affect the other characters? What will the long-term effects be?
  • Their motivations must be believable.
    • Too often the villain comes off as cheesy or unsatisfying because there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for them to be acting against the main character. Their actions and motivations should be just as definitive and interesting as any other character’s. Try to avoid falling into the trap of “sworn revenge” for no good reason–or, even worse, copping out by saying the villain is “just crazy”.
Writing Strong Emotions

@chemistreat asked: “How can one control and write the pure emotion of learning you aren’t who you think you are- in ethnicity, religion, race or otherwise? Something that makes a character rethink all of their traditions?”

When it comes to writing these moments of epiphany or emotional overload, it might feel like your writing in these scenes just can’t get to that level of emotion you hope to achieve. With some of these moments, the emotion might start to feel cheesy or just not enough, or it might be such a mess of different emotions, like anger, shock, disappointment, and betrayal that you don’t really know how to show it all. 

In either case, the big emotions are not easy, however there are a few techniques you can use to become better at putting them into words. 

1. Describe the setting after… This is one exercise that helps you write with emotion in a way that goes beyond what the protagonist may be able to directly express. Examples of this might include, describe a living room after an argument. Or describe a bride’s bedroom the morning before her wedding. These exercises force you to think of how emotion can shape the world of your novel beyond just the protagonist’s experiences. 

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Rick and Morty- Aliens of the Multiverse

Now on its third season, Rick and Morty follows mad scientist and self-proclaimed ‘smartest being in the universe’ Rick Sanchez as he hops across the multiverse doing mad science, getting into trouble, and generally having ludicrous nihilistic-themed adventures with his grandson Morty. In their adventures, they happen upon countless alien beings; be they dream beings, ambulatory faces of famous actors, flying cthulus, or any other number of impossible creatures. 

Creating a Character Arc for D&D

So I saw someone ask a question that I myself have asked before. I have seen the problem take place all the time with no one really knowing what the problem is and whether or how to fix it. That question was:

How do I make a character that I won’t get bored with?

I have often seen people make characters that seem really cool and badass and have plenty of backstory and are incomparably unique. Yet, they will get bored of it after a session or two and want to kill off their special character to make a new one. This will go on with people making new characters and never getting attached to one. The solution to the problem is complex with many intricacies, but the main focus of the problem for many people, I think, is that their character has no story.

Creating a Character with a Story

A story, when referring to a character, is how that character changes over time; their character arc. D&D 5e tries to solve this by forcing players to choose aspects of their character background including their character’s traits, flaws, ideals, and bonds. This is all well and dandy, but this alone won’t define a character arc. To create a character arc, figure out how you want your character’s story to begin and how it should end using those four background characteristics.

Traits: A character’s traits could change over time. They don’t have to, but it can create an interesting character. Traits make a character who they are, and in an RPG it is often a reflection of the player. So while traits can change, I would probably suggest to change a flaw, ideal, or bond before a trait.

  • A trait could become more specific, like from “angry” to “vengeful” once they understand why they are angry. Think of the trait as evolving.
  • A trait could disappear or be replaced after some moral turning point, like a callous character becoming guilt-ridden or even benevolent after they see the sort of pain they have caused firsthand.
  • A trait can become reinforced or strengthened based on their decisions. An antihero’s traits would likely follow this route. “Do you see what happens when you trust people? They betray you!”

Flaws: A flawed character is a great character, but a character arc involves a person being confronted by their flaws. Their flaws directly oppose their goal. When faced by their flaws, they either choose to suffer their flaw or overcome it. This is why sequels are usually terrible. A character that heroically overcame its flaw in the first movie is now un-flawed. Be aware of this in an RPG. The character should always have a flaw, even after overcoming a flaw. The only time they should ever NOT be flawed is at the very end of a campaign, facing off against the main antagonist, using all they have learned on their heroic journey.

  • A flaw could be worsened. Usually a good early option in a character’s arc, as things seem bleaker and bleaker for your character until they manage to overcome the flaw later in the game’s story.
  • A flaw could evolve or become more specific, much like a trait.
  • A flaw can disappear or be replaced, especially later in the story once it has been challenged by the game’s story.

Ideals: A character’s ideal is what they believe in. Maybe it’s a religion, moral code, or instinct. A character’s ideal is a great concept that can change in a game. This is where you see tragic falls from hero to villain or redemption arcs from villain to hero. In an RPG, a good player will have strong ideals and a good GM will recognize those ideals and challenge them. This is the moral quandary, and it’s the player’s job to identify it and make a choice that will affect their character forever. Changing an ideal should always be some sort of turning point in a story.

Bonds: A character’s bonds in D&D 5e are their ties to the in-game world. It’s a fabulous definition because it’s sort of like asking “why are you playing this character?” right to your face. If your character has a family, then your character probably cares for them. Or not. If your character had a mentor, you are probably on a sort of hero’s journey from nobody to somebody. If you have no ties to any person in the game world then you are (or should be) finding a reason to belong, maybe a team of other heroes, perhaps? Your bond can affect how your ideals, flaws, and traits change, and they can change your bonds, in turn. Your character makes new memories, meets new people, and experiences new things all the time.


Update all of these things at the end of every session. Whether or not they ended up changing that day, making a habit of checking each session will keep you invested in your character and help to create a character arc. In addition, know where your character begins their arc and how it will end. Talk with the DM about your plans, and they should add some moral and character quandaries to test your character’s… character!

Examples of Character Arcs

Coming of Age: The character begins the game morally or psychologically immature or inexperienced. They grow into a more mature and experienced character by the end of the campaign. A ridiculously blunt way to put it is going from an angsty teen to a true hero. Such an angsty teen could be either a rebellious murder hobo or a distant brooding loner that when a turning point happens, they grow a moral backbone and answer the call to action. Look at Spirited Away, Dead Poets Society, or The Karate Kid.

Redemption: The character begins as a legit villain with evil intentions but finds a reason to change their ways after a turning point. Maybe they find a moral line they won’t cross and then start to wonder if what they have been doing all along is right. The character is not truly redeemed until other players and other people see them as a changed person, which should finally happen at the end of the campaign. Look at Wikus in District 9, Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List, or Prince Zuko from Avatar, the Last Airbender.

Disillusionment: The character believes in one thing at the beginning of the campaign but slowly discovers that what they believe in is morally wrong, utterly pointless, or a flat-out lie. They may go back and forth between believes a few times before making a transition, or they might be in denial. But by the end of the campaign they have realized the true path. Look at movies like Office Space, The Truman Show, Conspiracy Theory, or Fight Club.

Tragic Fall: The character follows the hero’s journey only to make the wrong choice at every turning point. Their morality comes into question, and they just don’t have it in them to change or become a hero, usually thanks to a “fatal flaw.” At the end of the campaign, this character should either retire, die, or be killed by their flaw to be a true tragedy. Look at Hamlet, Tom Powers in The Public Enemy, and McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Corruption: Unlike the tragic fall, this character is not destined to die. They are destined to become a villain. Rather than refuse a call to action, they have moral quandaries which they make the right choice at first, but then they start to question their choices. They start to think evil is easier or better than good. Then they start making the wrong choices and eventually join or become the villain they were trying to stop in the first place. Look at Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, Michael Corleone in The Godfather, or Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight.

Cynic to Participant: This character is a loner and cynic and is miserable because of it. They eventually realize that they cannot accomplish what they set out to do without help. They become less selfish and more cooperative with the rest of the adventuring party. Look at The Incredibles, every buddy cop movie where the buddies don’t get along, and every Batman team-up ever.


These are the more common character arcs, but there are plenty of different changes that your character can go through to grow, change, or fall over the course of a D&D campaign. Again, talk with your DM about where you are starting and where you want to end up. That way they can insert those pivotal turning points and put pressure on your flaws and ideals!

You are Not Your Characters

Anonymous asked: “I find myself creating main characters that are similar to each other. The problem is I put them in a situation and write about how they deal with it based on how I would react, because I don’t really know another way. Do you have any tips on diversifying my characters?”

I think writers have a lot more in common with actors than you might think. Really, writers are more like their shy, introverted, and awkward cousin - I say that affectionately of course, I’m a writer, not an actress. 

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D&D Stats in Simple Language

By MssngrDeath:

I’ve heard a lot of interpretations of ability scores. 

The most common of these is “Charisma correlates strongly to good looks”, which is incorrect and tends to irritate players of low-Charisma characters, but anytime there’s something the stats don’t cover explicitly (like weight and build), we try to draw conclusions about them based on the hard numbers we have. 

The problem is that this still leave a lot to interpretation. 

What’s the actual strength difference between a person who can lift 80 pounds and a person who can lift 100 pounds? 

How tough is a bard with Constitution of 14, really? 

What does it mean for my character when I roll poorly and have to drive the 3-Charisma barbarian?

I put together this list a few years ago to try to put this in simple language. 

Below are some quick descriptions of every stat, from 1 (a modifier of -5, or as low as a character can get without being undead or a construct) to 25 (a modifier of +7, or as high as a PHB character can get without magic):

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Your Character: A Masterlist of CC Guides

Character creation and development:

Character Arc:

Character dialogue:

Relationships:

On the page:

There are tiny details that are easy to add to your character that add a surprising amount of dimensionality to them. An irrational fear’s a good example, but you could also do: pet peeves, nervous habits, childhood obsessions, and the like. Those tiny things can really make a character come to life, and they can be just as important as the big things. Having even a couple of tiny details that you can use right off the bat is really good. You don’t have to have a huge-ass character sheet, but at least have a few details in your head for when they could come in handy. 

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Character Creator in Mass Effect: Andromeda

I go into Mass Effect: Andromeda’s character creator! Facial profiles, makeup, hair, choosing Commander Shepard, and more.

SPOILER LEVEL: Super low. No story spoilers. Only three short cutscenes, one from the first minute of the game and another seen in a Bioware-released trailer.

Describing Character Appearances

Anonymous asked: “Do you have any tips on how to describe characters effectively? I always find myself dumping a paragraph on their appearance the moment they appear which often really halts the action.”

Even in great manuscripts, character descriptions can come off pretty clunky. Some writers will get pretty creative to minimize that aspect of it, but it’s usually there to some degree no matter what. Though character descriptions might bog down the writing to some extent, I know they’re necessary. As a reader, I would feel that something is missing if a character wasn’t adequately described. With that said, descriptions do not have to be long, just long enough to help the reader picture him or her. 

There are a few ways strategies to describing characters that can help avoid that long description dump at the first sight of a new character:

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Native Superheroes and Avoiding Stereotypical Roles

@wordsmithkg asked:

Sorry to bother you guys, this is a bit of a weird one, but if I’m writing something and part of it features a group of Native American (specifically Navajo) superheroes, are there powers I should avoid for cliché/stereotyping reasons, or that would feel disrespectful? For example, I can’t help but feel geokinesis would be too much of a literal manifestation of the “closer to earth” stereotype. I unfortunately don’t know any Navajo, but I did find an online community I plan to ask as well

Animal. Powers. If I see one more Native shapeshifter and/or animal speaker, I feel like I’m going to scream. Trackers, too. Plant manipulators. Spiritual mediums. Archers with superhuman aim.

Basically, look up Magical Native American and if it shows up on that list, avoid unless you manage to justify it in-universe with something other than “Natives have x”. 

Geokenisis sounds fun! The thing I like about it is it sounds modern. A lot of the icky part about Natives with powers is people assuming that the powers are “ancient” and therefore detached from modern society. They rely more than they would like to admit on Noble Savage, so if you break that with either modern sounding powers and/or non-nature based things, you’re good.

The main thing about Native powers I’ve found is they rely on sixth sense/otherworldly connection, instead of having anything that’s a pseudoscientific explanation. So if you had “felt the earth’s natural heat rising and falling”, that would be one thing, but if you had “telepathic abilities focusing on dense objects such as stone or metal”, that’s another. The former is flirting with Magical Native, the latter sounds like a superhero power.

Give it the same BS explanation that non-Native superheroes get. If you’re just going for “oh, they’re more ~*in tune*~” then I would have problems, but if you’re going with something that is at least trying to sound scientific, you’re much safer. Even something just like “genetic mutation allows for x” is cool.
The problems with tropes like Magical Native American or even Magical Nergo is the principle tends to stop at “because they are this ethnicity, they have these powers.” Meanwhile, if the reasoning is built into the character— ie- Black Panther has powers because he is king of Wakanda, and therefore has access to a plant that enhances ability to the point of a supersoldier— then you’re avoiding the heart of the trope which is that some skin colours just inherently have magic.

So, make it pseudoscientific, and try to avoid “spiritual” based stuff. Then, you’re good.

~ Mod Lesya

Character Development Checklist

How well do you know your character? 

Basics are a given. You know their eye color, hair color, and maybe even their height and clothing preference. You know she isn’t a morning person. You know he has a preference for dogs over cats. But how well do you really know them?

Obviously, every character is not going to need all this information, and some will not be applicable for every character. Use your better judgement. I know you have it.

Basics:

  • Character’s Name
  • Character’s Nickname(s)
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex/Gender
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Scars
  • Tattoos
  • Birthmarks
  • Piercings
  • Dress/clothing preferences
  • Right/left handed/ambidextrous
  • Glasses/contacts

Family and Relationships:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Marital Status
  • Significant Other
  • Children
  • Pets
  • Other family members
  • Friends
  • Enemies

Religion:

  • The religion they follow (if any)
  • Beliefs
  • Superstitions

Location:

  • Country of Birth
  • Place of Birth (State, city, etc)
  • First Language
  • Accents

Schooling:

  • Highest Education
  • Degrees

Work:

  • Occupation
  • Salary
  • Employment history
  • Work space
  • Mode of Transportation

Home:

  • Rent or Own
  • House, apartment, etc
  • Mode of transportation
  • Living space
  • Address

Inner Workings Of Your Character:

  • Secrets
  • Fears
  • Worries
  • Eating Habits
  • Food preferences
  • Sleep preferences
  • Work preferences
  • Book preferences
  • Music preferences
  • Introverted/extroverted
  • Optimist/pessimist
  • Hobbies
  • Pet peeves
  • Prejudices
  • Proud of
  • Biggest vulnerability
  • Embarrassed by
  • Worst memory
  • Best memory
  • Skilled at
  • Unskilled at
  • Attitude
  • Obsessions
  • Stresses
  • Addictions
  • Handicaps (physical)
  • Handicaps (emotional/psychological)
  • Allergies
  • Medical history

Habits:

  • Verbal quirks
  • Physical quirks
  • Gestures
  • Work habits
  • Sleeping habits
  • Annoying habits
  • Irrational habits
  • Eating habits
  • Healthy habits
  • Unhealthy habits
  • Mannerisms
  • Drinking habits

Objects Kept In - And Why:

  • Their closet
  • Their bedroom
  • Their purse/bag
  • Their fridge
  • Their car
  • Their desk
  • Their pockets
  • Their junk drawer
  • Their glove compartment
  • Their backpack
  • Their locker

Other:

  • Talents
  • Political preference
  • Strengths
  • Flaws
  • Prized possessions
  • Special/favorite memories
  • Time and date of birth
  • What they love
  • What they hate
  • Favorite season
  • Social class
  • Sports/clubs