respece

One of the unexpected benefits of running a tabletop RPG with a transhuman sci-fi setting is that if you’ve got That One Player who respecs their character out of boredom every other session, you can account for it within the fiction. No need for retroactive continuity or avoiding awkward IC discussions, just “oh, I see Annie is a squid today”.

2

Mei’s teacher! Itou Fukumi? I was thinking of steampunk/mechanic design with a robot arm. Please feel free to wince at my backstory.

[information! caution: this includes canon characters}

As a disabled kid with no left arm, she was very quiet and studious. Fukumi was labeled as weak for her quirk, which only pulled small metal objects at the time, and physical body. In high school, she became close friends with Yamada Hizashi and Aizawa Shouto. Fukumi slowly crawled into a extrovert, loud-mouthed person. Pursuing her true dream of attending UA, she rigorously trained during the day and crafted oddball tools at night. Fukumi graduated and became a department of support teacher with her handy quirk. 

One of Fukumi’s dept. of support prodigies include Mei Hatsume.  Fukumi is also married to Yamada, causing Aizawa to destined to 3rd-wheel the rest of his life.

Okay I want to point out a few bits of dialogue in “Thud!” that are further apart but connected thematically.  First:

‘Right, right,’ said Detritus.  'Look, Mister Vimes, he Mr. Shine, okay?  We don’t talk about him much.’  The troll’s expression was a mixture of misery and defiance.  Vimes decided to go for a weaker target.

‘Where did you find him, Brick?  I just want to–’

'He came callin’ to help you!’ snarled Detritus.  ‘What you doin’, Mister Vimes?  Why you go on askin’ questions?  Wi’ the dwarfs you have pussy feet, must not upset ‘em, oh no, but what you do if dey was trolls, eh?  Kick down der door, no problem!  Mr. Shine bring you Brick, give you good advice, an’ you talk like he bein’ a bad troll!  I’m hearin’ now where Captain Carrot, he tellin’ the dwarfs he the Two Brothers.  You fink that make me happy?  We know dat lyin’ ol’ dwarf lie, yes!  We groan at it lyin’, yes!  You want to see Mr. Shine, you show humble, you how respec’, yes!’

This is Koom Valley again, though Vimes.  He’d never seen Detritus this angry, at least at him.  The troll was just there, reliable and dependable.  At Koom Valley, two tribes had met, and no one blinked.

‘I apologize,’ he said, blinking.  ‘I didn’t know.  No offense was meant.’

The Two Brothers thing is a reference to dwarf lore wherein the creator, Tak, made a geode from which were born the first Man and Dwarf.  The two are called Brothers.  Another part of the lore–which ‘appears to have been added by a much later hand,’ refers to the first Troll as being made from a bit of Tak’s spirit that remained trapped in the broken stone of the geode, and says that this creature was ‘unbidden and unwanted.’  Detritus is angry that even Carrot, probably someone he’d consider a friend, would reference this story, and he’s angry at Vimes for treating trolls differently than dwarfs and men even if Vimes doesn’t realize he’s doing it.

And then, Vimes asks Detritus if he should take anything when he goes to see Mr. Shine, and:

The troll thought about this.  ‘No,’ he said, ‘but maybe dere’s some finkin’ you could leave behind.’

And then Vimes has a conversation with Mr. Shine, in which:

‘You really know very little about us, Mister Vimes.  You see us down on the plains, shambling around, talkin’ like dis.  You don’t know about the history chant, or the Long Dance, or stone music.  You see the hunched troll dragging his club.  That’s what the dwarfs did for us, long ago.  They turned us, in your minds, into sad, brainless monsters.’

‘Don’t look at me when you say that,’ said Vimes.  ‘Detritus is one of my best officers!’

There was silence.

Preeeeetty nice callouts for a major protagonist on his deeply ingrained racism he doesn’t even realize/acknowledge that he harbors, you know?  Vimes is a good-guy character and a genuinely good man, and he HAS made BIG strides toward diversity in the Watch (it’s notably the most ‘integrated’ major organization in A-M).  But he’s still got some racist views of people!  And “Thud!” involves a LOT of calling him out on it!  These are just a few bits pertaining to trolls, but the book also has some revelations about Vimes’ treatment of dwarfs (ex. wanting to take out his anger at a few particular dwarfs on some other completely unrelated dwarfs, thinking racist things against dwarfs) and vampires (not wanting to hire even one who’s harmless, his thoughts about Otto), and other groups.

“Thud!” has its first-layer story about trolls and dwarfs fighting between themselves and how their racism toward each other (particularly the dwarfs’ racism against trolls) is harmful and ignorant and pointless, but it also has this character development for Vimes.  Pratchett did a good job showing how even an otherwise GOOD PERSON, even someone who is pretty progressive for the place where he lives and who OFTEN has nasty thoughts about obvious racists and conservatives, can still be hanging on to racist opinions WITHOUT REALIZING IT, because his culture is steeped in it. 

And Vimes gets called out on it at every turn in this book, either by others or by sudden self-awareness–you the reader are NOT supposed to let it pass because ‘Vimes is good though’ or ‘Vimes hires a lot of non-humans so he’s doing enough.’  Pratchett went further than just ‘it’s a race war between two fantasy species, overt racism is terrible’ to ‘there are more insidious kinds of racism and maybe everyone ought to reflect on whether they harbor this kind of thought or do this kind of hurtful thing without realizing it.’  IT’S SO GOOD.

10

First day of PAX South was a BLAST! We got great seats at the Rooster Teeth Panel, and I got to use my super nice new camera to take pictures.  Here are ten of my favorites out of the 170 that I took!

Please, do not repost these anywhere and please do not remove my watermark/copyright thing.  I worked very hard to get these pictures and posted them for the enjoyment of others!

© Kinley Rice 2016