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Topics - ReaperJoe

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1
AMA Section / What side of the chess board do your characters prefer?
« on: April 22, 2019, 11:46:05 PM »
So, if you've played chess enough, chances are you prefer one side of the board over the other.  So, my question is "if your characters were chess players, which side would they prefer?"

For instance, Aurelia, Clara, and Toast would prefer white side; Aurelia is a very proactive person in general and would prefer the opportunity to set up her board before her opponent; Clara, in a similar sense, would look to cripple her opponent at the first opportunity; while Toast would simply want to make the first move, and would set up feints to manipulate the opponent.

Lucas and Smokey, on the other hand, would prefer black side; Smokey generally performs best when his opponent comes to him, and he'd set up very defensively; while Lucas is someone who wants to observe his opponent and make moves based on how his opponent plays.

Coincidentally, if all my characters played each other in a round robin tournament, the results would probably look like Lucas-->Toast-->Aurelia-->Clara-->Smokey

2
Teams / Looking for a 1st Year Beacon Team
« on: March 12, 2019, 02:55:25 PM »
Clara just got approved and needs a team.  She's a blaster caster that uses dust to wreck the battlefield.  Outside of combat, she's an outgoing, nerdy girl that likes to rope nearby people into potentially dangerous experiments.

3
Approved Characters / Clara Meridiem
« on: March 08, 2019, 02:42:15 AM »
CHARACTER

Name: Clara Meridiem

Age: 17, born 2nd of Huā

Species and Gender: Female Human

Symbol:  A sword crossed with a staff.  Above it, a goblet pours out coins.  Below that is an infinity symbol.

Occupation: 1st Year Beacon Student

Appearance: Clara stands at 5’6” and has a slender build.  That is, save for her chest, which is rather ample to say the least.  She has dark, straight, shoulder-length hair, light blue eyes, and a tan complexion.  She has angular facial features, like her brother, though her lips are much less prone to frowning compared to his.

She wears a long, cyan, fitted coat that stretches down to her lower calves.  Underneath, she wears dark pants, a light blue blouse, and a pair of sleek boots.

History: Clara was born to two loving parents, a huntsman by the name of Lucien and a dust shop owner named Serena.  She also had an older brother named Lucas.  Unfortunately, her father died when she was very young, and as a result she has few memories of him. 

But many of her family’s friends did, and while she grew up she was constantly told stories of the courageous deeds her father performed and how much of a hero he was.  As a result, Clara grew up admiring her father, even though she never really knew him. 

However, her brother didn’t seem to share her opinion. For some reason, he seemed to hate their father, and Clara could never figure out why.  The two would argue almost daily, but, no matter how she tried, she could never convince Lucas of Lucien’s heroics.  Eventually, the two simply learned not to bring the subject up around each other.

Yet, this still didn’t sit well with the young girl, so she went to the only other person she could ask about her brother, her mother.  And Serena took the opportunity to introduce her daughter to her hobby of fortune telling.  She took out a deck of cards and rifled through them, before placing a card on the counter.

The card depicted an old man on a snow-covered peak with a staff in one hand and a lantern in the other.  Lucas, her mother would tell her, is The Hermit.  The Hermit represents solitude and wisdom, and his lantern acts as a guide post for those who are lost.  Lucas doesn’t travel the beaten path or follow conventional though, he forges his own path so that others can follow in his wake.

Naturally, after an explanation like that, Clara wanted to know what card she was, and her mother happily obliged.  For her daughter, Serena laid down a card depicting a man clad in red and white, standing before a table laden with various objects.  Clara was the magician, who was a master of the elements.  Her mother explained how Clara was talented and resourceful, how she could always find the right tool for the job. When she has a clear goal, there’s nothing that can stop her!

Her mother’s explanation was roundabout, but Clara gleaned insight from Serena’s readings, and would often come back to her for advice and to have her fortune read.  It was also thanks to her mother that she could make up with her brother, despite their differences.  She understood Lucas’s motivations a bit better, and she wasn’t absolutely shocked like her mother when he decided to attend combat school.

That being said, there was still an underlying ideological difference between them, and that difference only became more evident when Clara entered Sanctum.  She, like her brother, excelled in the classroom, and quickly proved to have a knack for manipulating dust.  Like her brother.  She found novel solutions to problems, and had little trouble thinking outside the box.  Like her brother.  She was constantly compared to her older brother, who had done incredibly well at preliminary combat school. It was frustrating, she felt like she was simply trying to escape her brother’s shadow.  Yet, the only thing she could do was simply live up to expectations.

Except for one area.  When given a tactical scenario wherein she was tasked with saving a group of civilians from a Grimm attack, she immediately chose to actively save the civilians from getting attacked, like her father.  It was the only class where she received a significantly lower grade than her brother.  She tried to impress on her teachers that she was defending people that couldn’t defend themselves, yet they would argue that she was merely putting herself in needless danger.  They told her what her brother would do, yet Clara could only see civilians left in danger while Lucas protected himself.

It was then that Clara finally decided she had had enough of living in her sibling’s shadow.  She wasn’t going to follow in his footsteps.  Instead of heading to Haven, where her brother would be constantly watching over her, she told her family she was going to study at Beacon.  Her mother was initially hesitant, but eventually relented, and Clara packed her bags for Vale to begin a story that hopefully wouldn’t be overshadowed by her brother.

Personality: Clara is a very intelligent woman, especially when it comes to dust.  At the same time,though, she can also be a bit empty-headed, and she’ll occasionally forget to eat if she’s engrossed in a project.

She’s also quite outgoing, and loves spending time with friends.  Those friends should be careful, though:  she might try to rope them into experiments, which can possibly lead to explosions.

Speaking of explosions, she gets a kick out of using her semblance.  If she launches an enhanced blast of fire dust at a pack of encroaching Grimm, she might yell obscenities at the monsters, or at the very least tell them to ”DIE!”

That being said, she’s generally cool-headed, even in the midst of battle (so long as she isn't thrown/forced into the midst of a heavy melee or under heavy fire).  As long as she has space to work with, she can be counted on to think for herself, which is a boon considering the variety of dust she keeps with her.  However, she can easily get flustered if she’s left in charge of an entire team, as there’s suddenly much, much more to consider in any given situation.

She also keeps a tarot deck with her in a small pouch, and she'll occasionally read her own fortune.  She might read other people's fortunes if she's close enough with them.

Aura and Semblance: Clara’s aura manifests in a cyan color.  Her aura level and control are typical for a student of her level.

Clara has named her semblance Burst!Burst!, in short, allows her to amplify the effects of the dust she uses in combat.  In more mechanical terms, she expends a “charge” in order to enhance the dust she’s using.  When the enhanced dust activates its effect, the effect is amplified (generally speaking, Burst! enhanced dust is three times more volatile).  What’s more, Clara can use her semblance on any dust she can get her hands on, so long as it isn’t protected by another individual’s aura.  However, if she tries to enhance a large amount of dust (say, an entire crate’s worth), there’s a significant chance the dust will activate immediately, causing potentially disastrous results.  Furthermore, she has to be close enough to touch the dust (or at least the container of dust) that she wishes to charge.  Because of this, Clara normally only uses her semblance on a small amount of her own dust reserves at a time.  (For mechanical clarity, if Clara uses her semblance on an amount of dust greater than 5% of her maximum reserve, the dust will almost certainly explode the moment it is enhanced.)

She can only use Burst! once every 30 seconds, however, and only about 10 times in an hour.

Whenever she’s about to use her semblance, her aura manifests and glows brightly, giving a clear sign to anyone watching as to what she’s about to do.  She has to channel her semblance like this for about three seconds, standing relatively still for the duration. However, once she completes the channel, she can “sit” on the charge for about 10 seconds before deploying the dust, if she chooses.  The cooldown begins once the charge has been expended, not when the initial channel completes.

Combat Behavior:  On the battlefield, Clara acts as a “blaster caster”, using dust to wreak havoc on enemies at medium to long range, be they human or Grimm.  With the variety of dust available to her, her tactics change depending on the situation:  she can choose to do as much damage as possible with fire dust, or she can decide to use ice dust to lock enemies in place.  If her team needs defensive cover, she can use earth dust to erect walls and barriers to block enemy attacks.  And this is only a short list of what she’s capable of.

Furthermore, she can add Burst! to her attacks, whose effects can easily shift the tide of battle in one fell swoop.  With her semblance, she can potentially do things like freeze an entire enemy team in place with ice dust, scatter a pack of Beowolves with wind dust, or just create a fiery blast by enhancing fire dust.

However, this versatility and power is reliant on dust.  In fact, all of Clara’s battle prowess is reliant on dust.  If she is deprived of dust, she’s stuck with nothing more than a glorified club and a soul-powered forcefield.

Even with dust, Clara’s fairly immobile.  She could use wind or kinetic dust to maneuver herself out of a pinch if she needs to, but if she’s constantly harried, she’ll crumble under the pressure.  Keep in mind she needs to stand still to activate her semblance.

Speaking of which, Clara’s semblance is powerful, but it comes with a hefty cooldown and a limited number of uses.  If she wastes a charge of Burst!, a huge chunk of her firepower is gone.  Furthermore, if an opponent manages to get up close, Burst! may be closed off as an option, as the enhanced effect may include her in the onslaught.

Finally, it’s worth noting that most of her dust-enhanced attacks will have a bit of wind-up (i.e., sparks coming out of the tip of the weapon when she prepares lightning dust, frost for ice dust, a flame for fire, etc.).  This can tell opponents what attack she’s planning on making before it’s fired, giving them more time to react.

WEAPON

Name: Torchlight

Primary Form: Torchlight is a staff that stands a little taller than Clara.  Near the top is a windowed, revolving cylinder with different chambers for her various types of dust.  Above the dust cylinder, the staff eventually comes to a sharp point, resembling a square pyramid.  This point isn’t sharp enough to be used as a spear, though the staff is durable enough to be used as a club if need be

Whenever Clara launches a dust attack with Torchlight in this form, she points the tip towards her intended target and the dust launches from there (think Weiss’s ranged attacks against the Nevermore in vol 1.), and has a max range of about 300ft.  Individual attacks use about 5% of her reserve of that particular dust type.

Primary Dust Functions:

Fire: When preparing a fire dust attack, the tip of Torchlight begins to glow red and ignite, before a red bead of energy is hurled out towards the intended destination.  On arrival, the bead explodes in a 10ft radius, dealing damage to those caught in the blast and setting flammable objects on fire.
With Burst!, the radius is increased to just under 20ft, and the damage is significantly increased.

Ice: When preparing an ice dust attack, the tip of Torchlight begins to accumulate frost, before a icy bead of energy is ejected from the tip.  Upon impact with an area, object, or creature, the bead explodes into an icy blast, causing whatever it hits to ice over. 
With Burst!, the radius of the ice blast is increased to about 15ft, and any ground affected by the blast becomes filled with icy spikes that can further impede movement.

Wind: When preparing wind dust, the tip of Torchlight starts to generate a small breeze, before a green bead of energy is shot out.  (Note: this wind up is difficult to see, giving it a small element of surprise)  When the bead detonates, a blast of wind knocks any nearby creatures or loose objects within 10 feet away from the center of the blast.  It doesn’t do much damage unless the blast knocks a creature into a wall, tree, or other obstacle.
With Burst!, the radius of the wind burst is increased to 20 feet, and the damage (both from the blast itself and from colliding with any potential obstacles) is also increased.

Lighting: When preparing lightning dust, the tip of Torchlight sparks with electrical energy.  However, instead of shooting out a bead of energy that detonates into a blast, a bolt fires out from the tip in a straight line, damaging the first thing it hits.  The bolt is very fast, difficult to dodge, and is effective at long range, making lightning dust a “go-to” option for Clara.
With Burst!, the bolt’s damage increases, and the bolt “arcs” to up to four nearby targets, dealing the same amount of damage.

Earth: When preparing earth dust, the tip of Torchlight seems to “leak” dirt for a brief moment, before a bead of brown energy is ejected.  When the bead detonates, a boulder is formed.  While landing the boulder could potentially do heavy damage if it connects, this dust is most often used defensively, usually to block off passages or create obstacles for Grimm to overcome.
With Burst!, the boulder is bigger.

Kinetic: Unlike every other type of dust, this dust has no unique wind-up.  This means the only warning opponents get that an attack is heading their way is the white bolt of energy coming towards them.  This bead is also fairly quick, and this combination of factors makes Kinetic another “go-to” dust type for Clara.  On hit, the dust does a decent amount of damage and knocks the target back.
With Burst!, the damage and knockback is increased.  This is the only dust type that is purely single-target.

Gravity: When preparing gravity dust, the tip of Torchlight glows purple for a brief moment before a bead of purple energy is hurled towards an intended destination.  On arrival, the bead pulls everything within 10ft directly towards it.  The effectiveness of this pull depends on the weight of the creature.  The pull itself does not do any damage, though any collisions that occur as a result of the pull might.
With Burst!, the range of the pull extends to a 20ft radius, and the force of the pull increases.

Secondary Form: The tip of Torchlight opens up, revealing a “Dust-thrower”.  Like the primary form, there’s a bit of a wind up before the thrower activates.  Also, while Burst! can enhance the potency of the thrower for a short time (generally 1 round or 5 seconds), the thrower can continuously spew dust for as long as there are resources to fuel it.  The thrower generally only reaches a max range of 15 feet though, and Clara’s semblance does not extend the thrower’s range.

Secondary Dust Functions:

Fire:  Before the thrower activates, the tip begins to glow red and small flames may ignite.  Pretty much acts as a typical flamethrower.

Ice:  Before the thrower activates, the tip begins to accumulate frost.  After activation, the thrower spews ice particles, which can quickly freeze over enemies and objects that stay in the cone for an extended period of time.

Wind:  Before fully activating, opponents will feel wind start to pick up within the cone.  During activation, anything within the cone will get blasted back.  At the same time, Clara can use this to blast herself in the opposite direction, making this a useful escape tool.

Lightning:  The thrower will spark with electricity as the thrower warms up until it finally starts to project bolts of electricity.

Earth: The thrower will initially start to leak dirt during warm up.  However, once in full swing, the thrower will spew “liquid earth” that quickly solidifies into a solid form.  Useful for creating more intricate defensive barriers if the need arises.

Gravity:  The thrower will glow purple during the warm up phase.  Once fully warmed up, the thrower will pull everything within the cone towards Clara.  This is useful in the occasion Clara needs to pull a teammate or civilian out of harms way, though she could end up pulling enemies toward her as well.

History: Torchlight was built during Clara’s time at Sanctum.  The overall design was based off of her father’s weapon, though the dust thrower and the cylinder more closely resemble her brother’s weapon.

4
WiP Characters / Clara Meridiem
« on: March 06, 2019, 03:32:54 PM »
CHARACTER

Name: Clara Meridiem

Age: 17, born 2nd of Huā

Species and Gender: Female Human

Symbol:  A sword crossed with a staff.  Above it, a goblet pours out coins.  Below that is an infinity symbol.

Occupation: 1st Year Beacon Student

Appearance: She is a girl.  She wears clothes sometimes

History: Her past happened

Personality: She has interests, hobbies, and stuff

Aura and Semblance: Clara’s aura manifests in a cyan color.  Her aura level and control are typical for a student of her level.

Clara has named her semblance Burst!Burst!, in short, allows her to amplify the effects of the dust she uses in combat.  In more mechanical terms, she expends a “charge” in order to enhance the dust she’s using.  When the enhanced dust activates its effect, the effect is amplified (generally speaking, Burst! enhanced dust is three times more volatile).  What’s more, Clara can use her semblance on any dust she can get her hands on, so long as it isn’t protected by another individual’s aura.  However, if she tries to enhance a large amount of dust (say, an entire crate’s worth), there’s a significant chance the dust will activate immediately, causing potentially disastrous results.  Furthermore, she has to be close enough to touch the dust (or at least the container of dust) that she wishes to charge.  Because of this, Clara normally only uses her semblance on a small amount of her own dust reserves at a time. 

She can only use Burst! once every 15 seconds, however, and only about 10 times in an hour.

Whenever she’s about to use her semblance, her aura manifests and glows brightly, giving a clear sign to anyone watching as to what she’s about to do.  She has to channel her semblance like this for about three seconds, standing relatively still for the duration. However, once she completes the channel, she can “sit” on the charge for about 10 seconds before deploying the dust, if she chooses.  The cooldown begins once the charge has been expended, not when the initial channel completes.

Combat Behavior:  On the battlefield, Clara acts as a “blaster caster”, using dust to wreak havoc on enemies at medium to long range, be they human or Grimm.  With the variety of dust available to her, her tactics change depending on the situation:  she can choose to do as much damage as possible with fire dust, or she can decide to use ice dust to lock enemies in place.  If her team needs defensive cover, she can use earth dust to erect walls and barriers to block enemy attacks.  And this is only a short list of what she’s capable of.

Furthermore, she can add Burst! to her attacks, whose effects can easily shift the tide of battle in one fell swoop.  With her semblance, she can potentially do things like freeze an entire enemy team in place with ice dust, scatter a pack of Beowolves with wind dust, or just create a fiery blast by enhancing fire dust.

However, this versatility and power is reliant on dust.  In fact, all of Clara’s battle prowess is reliant on dust.  If she is deprived of dust, she’s stuck with nothing more than a glorified club and a soul-powered forcefield.

Even with dust, Clara’s fairly immobile.  She could use wind or kinetic dust to maneuver herself out of a pinch if she needs to, but if she’s constantly harried, she’ll crumble under the pressure.  Keep in mind she needs to stand still to activate her semblance.

On top of that, Clara’s semblance is powerful, but it comes with a hefty cooldown and a limited number of uses.  If she wastes a charge of Burst!, a huge chunk of her firepower is gone.  Furthermore, if an opponent manages to get up close, Burst! may be closed off as an option, as the enhanced effect may include her in the onslaught.

Finally, it’s worth noting that most of her dust-enhanced attacks will have a bit of wind-up (i.e., sparks coming out of the tip of the weapon when she prepares lightning dust, frost for ice dust, a flame for fire, etc.).  This can tell opponents what attack she’s planning on making before it’s fired, giving them more time to react.

WEAPON

Name: Torchlight

Primary Form: Torchlight is a staff that stands a little taller than Clara.  Near the top is a windowed, revolving cylinder with different chambers for her various types of dust.  Above the dust cylinder, the staff eventually comes to a sharp point, resembling a square pyramid.  This point isn’t sharp enough to be used as a spear, though the staff is durable enough to be used as a club if need be

Whenever Clara launches a dust attack with Torchlight in this form, she points the tip towards her intended target and the dust launches from there (think Weiss’s ranged attacks against the Nevermore in vol 1.)

Primary Dust Functions:

Fire: When preparing a fire dust attack, the tip of Torchlight begins to glow red and ignite, before a red bead of energy is hurled out towards the intended destination.  On arrival, the bead explodes in a 10ft radius, dealing damage to those caught in the blast and setting flammable objects on fire.
With Burst!, the radius is increased to just under 20ft, and the damage is significantly increased.

Ice: When preparing an ice dust attack, the tip of Torchlight begins to accumulate frost, before a icy bead of energy is ejected from the tip.  Upon impact with an area, object, or creature, the bead explodes into an icy blast, causing whatever it hits to ice over. 
With Burst!, the radius of the ice blast is increased to about 15ft, and any ground affected by the blast becomes filled with icy spikes that can further impede movement.

Wind: When preparing wind dust, the tip of Torchlight starts to generate a small breeze, before a green bead of energy is shot out.  (Note: this wind up is difficult to see, giving it a small element of surprise)  When the bead detonates, a blast of wind knocks any nearby creatures or loose objects within 10 feet away from the center of the blast.  It doesn’t do much damage unless the blast knocks a creature into a wall, tree, or other obstacle.
With Burst!, the radius of the wind burst is increased to 20 feet, and the damage (both from the blast itself and from colliding with any potential obstacles) is also increased.

Lighting: When preparing lightning dust, the tip of Torchlight sparks with electrical energy.  However, instead of shooting out a bead of energy that detonates into a blast, a bolt fires out from the tip in a straight line, damaging the first thing it hits.  The bolt is very fast, difficult to dodge, and is effective at long range, making lightning dust a “go-to” option for Clara.
With Burst!, the bolt’s damage increases, and the bolt “arcs” to up to four nearby targets, dealing the same amount of damage.

Earth: When preparing earth dust, the tip of Torchlight seems to “leak” dirt for a brief moment, before a bead of brown energy is ejected.  When the bead detonates, a boulder is formed.  While landing the boulder could potentially do heavy damage if it connects, this dust is most often used defensively, usually to block off passages or create obstacles for Grimm to overcome.
With Burst!, the boulder is bigger.

Kinetic: Unlike every other type of dust, this dust has no unique wind-up.  This means the only warning opponents get that an attack is heading their way is the white bolt of energy coming towards them.  This bead is also fairly quick, and this combination of factors makes Kinetic another “go-to” dust type for Clara.  On hit, the dust does a decent amount of damage and knocks the target back.
With Burst!, the damage and knockback is increased.  This is the only dust type that is purely single-target.

Gravity: When preparing gravity dust, the tip of Torchlight glows purple for a brief moment before a bead of purple energy is hurled towards an intended destination.  On arrival, the bead pulls everything within 10ft directly towards it.  The effectiveness of this pull depends on the weight of the creature.  The pull itself does not do any damage, though any collisions that occur as a result of the pull might.
With Burst!, the range of the pull extends to a 20ft radius, and the force of the pull increases.

Secondary Form: The tip of Torchlight opens up, revealing a “Dust-thrower”.  Like the primary form, there’s a bit of a wind up before the thrower activates.  Also, while Burst! can enhance the potency of the thrower for a short time (generally 1 round or 5 seconds), the thrower can continuously spew dust for as long as there are resources to fuel it.  The thrower generally only reaches a max range of 15 feet though, and Clara’s semblance does not extend the thrower’s range.


Secondary Dust Functions:

Fire:  Before the thrower activates, the tip begins to glow red and small flames may ignite.  Pretty much acts as a typical flamethrower.

Ice:  Before the thrower activates, the tip begins to accumulate frost.  After activation, the thrower spews ice particles, which can quickly freeze over enemies and objects that stay in the cone for an extended period of time.

Wind:  Before fully activating, opponents will feel wind start to pick up within the cone.  During activation, anything within the cone will get blasted back.  At the same time, Clara can use this to blast herself in the opposite direction, making this a useful escape tool.

Lightning:  The thrower will spark with electricity as the thrower warms up until it finally starts to project bolts of electricity.

Earth: The thrower will initially start to leak dirt during warm up.  However, once in full swing, the thrower will spew “liquid earth” that quickly solidifies into a solid form.  Useful for creating more intricate defensive barriers if the need arises.

Gravity:  The thrower will glow purple during the warm up phase.  Once fully warmed up, the thrower will pull everything within the cone towards Clara.  This is useful in the occasion Clara needs to pull a teammate or civilian out of harms way, though she could end up pulling enemies toward her as well.

History: Torchlight was built during Clara’s time at Sanctum.  The overall design was based off of her father’s weapon, though the dust thrower and the cylinder more closely resemble her brother’s weapon.

5
RPG Discussion / Is Ice Dust OP?
« on: February 23, 2019, 03:00:13 AM »
So, this is another post where I rant about something that’s probably fine but has potential abuse cases that can be cleared up by mod rulings.  This time it’s about ice dust and how, in my opinion, it’s the single best type of dust to use in pretty much every circumstance in any given fight.  Now, before I continue, this is going to primarily concern pvp bouts, not threads run by a thread mod who throws swarms of Grimm or a giant boss monster at a team of characters.

Now, ice dust is generally used for one thing: it freezes things.  In combat, most of the time it’s used to freeze an opponent in place.  I’m going to refer to being frozen in place in this manner as “snared”.  When someone is “snared”, they can’t move, but are most likely still capable of reacting and fighting. 

But how would a character escape from this “snare”?  Well, they would have to break or melt the ice, it’s pretty much the only way.  Otherwise, the character is just stuck, at least until the ice melts on its own, I guess.  Now, let’s compare that to the commonly listed effects of other types of dust.  Fire generally just increases the damage of an attack.  Sometimes it’s used to ignite flammable objects, but most of the time the effect is an instantaneous blast.  Wind dust is most often used to create a knockback effect, increase the speed of a shot, or just a flat increase in damage.  Pretty much any effect created with this dust is instantaneous unless the character spends a continuous amount of dust to create a continuous wind effect.  Kinetic dust (possibly also known as repulsion dust) is similar in this regard, as is gravity dust.  The effect is either a push or a pull that lasts for a brief moment, and doesn’t create a long-lasting effect except in rare circumstances.

The only types of dust that consistently generate longer-lasting effects like ice dust are lightning and earth dust.  Earth dust generally creates, well, earth.  Depending on how it’s used it can harden an attack to make it hit harder or be used to create a defensive barrier which can last however long it needs to in some circumstances.  Lightning dust, on the other hand, seems to generate a variety of effects, depending on what’s convenient to the user.  In some cases, lightning causes a hampering slow, in other cases, it causes the jitters.  In my character Lucas’s case, it causes characters to potentially drop whatever they’re holding.  And while those effects can lead to heavy advantages in the right scenarios, none of those seem to be as blatantly strong as a straight-up snare.

The ice snare is the only case where the affected individual has to pay attention to the cause.  Even in the case of lightning dust, there’s nothing the character can do about it once they’ve been struck, so they can just carry on fighting with the knowledge that the “debuff” put on them is temporary.  However, if a character doesn’t have a way to deal with ice, they’re just stuck until the ice-user arbitrarily decides they can go free.  And that’s why I say ice dust crowds out every other dust option on the market, at least at the moment.

Now, I’m not calling for a nerf or any kind of balance change, I just wanted to bring up a talking point.  Due to the nature of the site and the variety of characters that can be created, any kind of blanket restriction would have to come with an asterisk.  With that said, though, does anyone else feel this way?

6
Teams / Looking 4th year Haven team
« on: February 21, 2019, 05:22:43 PM »
So, this is probably going to sit here a while, but I figured I'd post something anyways.

Lucas got approved, and he'll probably need a team.  His semblance is a lantern that creates AoE "debuffs" (i.e. fire damage increased in the area, knockback increased, creating fog clouds that obscure vision, etc.) that changes depending on what type of dust is used.  He tends to work best as a scout, using his slippery nature and misleading abilities to confuse enemies and keep out of harm's reach, though his teamfight presence is arguably just as impactful.

Personality-wise, he's the lawful good, bookish, stoic type that tends to keep to himself.  He tends to put his team and the lives of others ahead of the mission at hand.


7
Approved Characters / Lucas Meridiem
« on: February 10, 2019, 04:52:45 PM »
CCE9AE

CHARACTER

Name: Lucas Meridiem

Age: 21, Born 1st of Machlud

Species and Gender: Human Male

Symbol:  A lantern.  An infinity symbol is painted where the flame would normally be

Occupation: 4th year Haven Student

Appearance: Lucas stands at 5’8”, has tan skin, and is lean in build, making him appear smaller than he actually is.  He has sharp, angular facial features and dark, black hair that he keeps short and combed flat.  The gaze of his pale, green eyes is equally pointed, and his expression seems to be set into a permanent frown.

His combat attire consists of a pale green, hooded overcoat that stretches down to his mid-thigh.  The pockets of the coat are outlined in a yellow trim, and the top left pocket displays his symbol.  His pants are a dark forest green that stretch down and cover the top part of his black boots.  He keeps Sophist’s Lantern strapped to a belt that wraps around the waist of the coat, and he wears brown gloves with brass plating on the knuckles (which are useful in the event that he ever has to throw hands).  Underneath his coat he wears a black turtleneck.  He also wears a green bandana around his collar, as well. 

History: Lucas was born in Mistral to two loving parents.  His father, Lucien, was a huntsman, and his mother, Serena, owned and operated a dust shop.  A few years later, his sister, Clara, was born, and, for a time, the family lived happily.

However, as is often the case for a huntsman’s family, tragedy struck a few years later.  When Lucas was six, he answered a knock at the door, where he was greeted by a somber face.  A friend and comrade of his father had come to tell the family terrible news: Lucien had been killed in action.

Lucien had apparently died saving a family of strangers in the midst of a Grimm attack.  The family’s child had been trapped under debris, and Lucas’s father had gone to assist him.  However, after the child had escaped, an Ursa caught Lucien off-guard, creating an opening for other Grimm to attack, which created another opening, which led to another opening, and so on and so forth.  Fortunately, the family whose child he had rescued had managed to escape, and Lucien Meridiem would be remembered as a hero.

Remembered, not welcomed

It was never said, but, in his head, Lucas made that distinction.  There was a funeral service remembering his father.  There was a plaque in the shop’s front entranced labelled “In Remembrance of Lucien”.  Lucas remembered his father, but he could never again welcome him home again.  People would come up to him on the street and tell him that his father died doing the right thing.

But each and every time, Lucas would wonder, ”If he was doing the right thing, why did he have to die?”

It was thoughts like these that guided most of his childhood.  As he grew up, he heard other stories of “valiant” heroes who died in conflict.  Even in fiction, the self-sacrificing “heroes” would always be painted in the most positive light, and that bothered the young boy to no end.  He never related to them, first of all.  He always felt more of a connection with the characters that told the “hero” he was a blind idiot, and that there had to be another way.  Lucas always noted that those characters never seemed to die.

Strangely, though, Lucas seemed to be in the minority.  Other kids he grew up with, even his own sister, seemed to be more enamored with the reckless idiots of the world than the sensible ones.  And every time his friends or his family would express their admiration for “self-sacrifice”, Lucas’s thoughts would return to the night he heard a knock at the door.

He didn’t want to go through that again with his friends.

However, simply arguing with them with (what he thinks is) logic and reason wasn’t going to be enough to dissuade them from chasing their dreams.  Nothing would, really.  So, Lucas decided to do the next best thing and enroll at combat school.  If his friends were going to be dumb enough to risk their lives for the sake of strangers, then he’d make it his goal to make sure his friends came back alive to the people they actually know.

Surprisingly, Lucas thrived in the formal training environment.  Growing up, he always quiet, studious, and disciplined.  Given his philosophies on not recklessly risking his life or the lives of others, he would always approach problems with the intention of keeping him and his team alive first and the mission second.  Judging from the high marks he received, his teachers seemed to agree with him.

When it came time to transfer to Haven, Lucas passed the written and theoretical exams with flying colors.  His only stumbling block came in the practical portion, where he barely completed his objective just as time expired.  However, examiners noted that his aura had only taken minimal damage.

During his time at Haven, he’d gained a reputation for taking slow, methodical, and stealthy routes to completing missions, much to the chagrin of more “action-oriented” classmates.  However, he also carries the distinction of never losing a teammate while out on a mission, an honor he plans to hold onto for as long as humanly possible.     

Personality: If asked to describe him in a few words, most friends would say Lucas is “aloof and intelligent”.  He tends to keep to himself.  Even when he’s out with friends, he stays relatively quiet, only chiming in with occasional one-liners when appropriate.  He tends to avoid confrontations, most of the time choosing to walk away from arguments (even if he’s in the right).   

Other people would describe him as a “teacher’s pet”, as he tends to sit in the front of the class, get high marks, and often tutors others in their areas of struggle.  He doesn’t do any help for his image when he offers advice in practical combat (that instructors would most likely agree with) but fail to deliver in the arena himself (though, he’d argue its because fighting isn’t his specialty).

The last descriptor people would use is “cynical”.  Lucas is not the person to go to for a shoulder to cry on.  He’s a firm believer in the saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”.  When on missions, he’s likely to tell his teammates to not risk their lives on a lost cause.  In this regard, he has trouble getting close and opening up to people.  Because of this and his philosophies, some of his methods might be called outright cowardly.

In fact, to some, he probably is cowardly.  But if anyone asks Lucas, he’d say he just has a different view of heroism:  ”My heroes have to come back alive.” 

Aura and Semblance: Lucas’s Aura manifests in a pale, ghostly green color.  His overall level of aura and control is typical for a student of his level.

His semblance takes the form of a freely-floating ephemeral lantern.  Lucas can move it at will, and it moves at about the same speed as a typical huntsman in a full sprint (relative to Lucas).  It can travel out to a range of about 300 feet.  It doesn’t have a physical body, and any strikes aimed at the lantern pass through it.  Summoning and dismissing the lantern is instantaneous, though he can only summon the lantern to a spot within 5 feet of him.  While the lantern is summoned, Lucas has a general idea of where it is at any given point, though he can't "see" through it and otherwise has no idea what's happening around the lantern if he can't directly see the situation himself. 

The lantern can also switch between a dormant state and giving off light.  In either case, normally, the lantern requires negligible aura consumption, allowing Lucas to shed light indefinitely.  The light’s radius extends out to 15 feet.  This light can be affected by dust use, and, depending on what type of dust is used, the light produces various effects.  However, combining his semblance with dust in this way is more strenuous on Lucas’s aura control, and using his semblance in this manner drains his aura reserves.  The more unique types of dust used at once, the more aura is consumed.  At his current level, Lucas can use three different types of dust at once.  Dust used in this way is drained directly from the stores inside of Sophist's Lantern, which allows Lucas to manipulate what effect his semblance is taking despite being possibly hundreds of feet away.  The drain-rate is about 5% of his stores for every 5 seconds for each type of dust used, meaning Lucas can channel one particular type of dust continuously through his semblance for about 100 seconds.  His semblance reserves drain at about a rate of 2% per 5 seconds if one dust type is used, 5% per 5 seconds with two, and 10% per 5 seconds with 3 unique types of dust.  Once his aura reserve runs dry, he'll need a few hours to recuperate before he can channel dust through his semblance again. 

Spoiler: ShowHide
This is a list of dust effects Lucas can manifest with his semblance.  If certain combinations are not listed, assume the combination would manifest in a combined form of the individual effects.

Key: (F)Fire, (I)Ice, (E)Earth, (W)Wind, (L)Lightning, (K)Kinetic, (G)Gravity

(F): The area increases in temperature drastically, becoming uncomfortably hot.  Ice quickly melts, fire damage is increased, and fire spreads more easily.

(I): The area decreases in temperature drastically, becoming uncomfortably cold.  Any use of ice dust is granted an increased Area of Effect if activated inside the light’s radius (if an effect only affects a single target, the area increases to a radius of 5 feet).

(E): Small particles of sand gently float down amid the lantern’s AoE.  Structures made with Earth dust within the light’s radius are more durable and require less dust to make.

(L): The area becomes filled with static.  Creatures will notice feeling “tingly”.  Metal objects will become charged and stick together if brought into contact with each other.  Notably, if a weapon can transform, that weapon will be unable to shift while in the radius.  If creatures touch a metal object or another creature, they will receive a shock (akin to a minor
static shock).  Compasses and other objects affected by electric currents will start acting haywire, as if a magnet was placed directly on the object in question.  Interestingly, attacks using lightning dust might “arc” from the initial target to another within close range. 
 
(W): The area experiences in increase in wind activity, as heavy gales blow through.  Flying creatures experience mild turbulence, and light, loose objects get blown away.

(K): Everything within the lantern’s light travels faster.  Bullets accelerate through the area, while running speeds are moderately increased.  Knockback effects are granted increased potency, and, generally speaking, attacks deal more damage
 
(G): Everything within the area experiences an increase in weight.  Movement speeds slow, bullets drop, weapons become harder to wield (but do more damage).

(F)(I): The area becomes enshrouded in thick fog.  The light from the lantern is visible from outside the fog, as are vague silhouettes, but everything else is heavily obscured.

(F)(W): The area rises in temperature and wind activity increases, similar to the individual effects.  However, fire spreads much more rapidly inside the radius than if either effect were used alone.  Adding kinetic dust (K) would further increase the rate of spread.

(I)(W): The area lowers in temperature and wind activity increases, similar to the individual effects.  However, open flames are quickly snuffed out within the radius.  Adding kinetic dust (K) makes the winds more violent. 

(E)(W): The area becomes enshrouded in a sandstorm.  Figures and objects become difficult to make out, and sand particles are dispersed evenly throughout the radius.  Breathing can become uncomfortable while in the radius unless precautions against sand are taken (i.e. covering the mouth with a cloth, such as a bandana).  Silhouettes can still be made out, though fine details are obscured.  Adding kinetic dust (K) can increase the wind speeds of the sandstorm, making it nearly impossible to fly or see.  Alternatively, adding lightning dust (L) can distribute an electric charge throughout the radius, causing a small amount of consistent environmental damage.  This is in addition to the normal effects of lightning dust.

(E)(L): Similar to a combined version of the individual effects, but earth dust constructs made within the radius will hold a magnetic charge.  If metal were to touch these constructs, the metal would stick to it and require some effort to remove.  This property would persist for 10-15 seconds after the lantern effect ends/switches, depending on how long the effect was held for.

(W)(K): The winds in the area become incredibly violent, and the area becomes filled with extreme turbulence.  Flying creatures, such as griffons, will have a terrible time trying to fly through the area and have a chance of being ripped from the sky outright.  Larger Grimm, such as Giant Nevermores, won’t be knocked out of the sky but will have trouble navigating through the area. 

(K)(G): A combined version of the individual effects.  Notable in that the speed boost and debuff of kinetic and gravity, respectively, effectively cancel out.  However, since objects such as weapons will experience in weight, attacks will hit incredibly hard while in this radius. 

Combat Behavior:  If he’s alone, Lucas prefers to avoid combat if at all possible.  Ideally, he’d rather not have enemies know he was there at all.  If he needs to give enemies the slip, he can use his semblance or Sophist’s Lantern to make smoke screens and other distractions in order to give him a chance to hide or get away.

If he is forced into combat, Lucas will try to stick to long range with his weapon’s sniper form, and use the spectral lantern to harry his opponent(s) with environmental effects.  He’ll fight to escape, looking to mitigate the threat rather than outright eliminate it (i.e. freezing a pursuer’s legs, sealing off a corridor with earth dust, etc.).

Generally speaking, this kind of “flighty” fighting style lends itself to reconnaissance and “search and rescue” operations, both of which Lucas excels at.  Simply using the light from his semblance, he can distract Grimm while he evacuates   

Working in a group, however, changes how he fights.  He’d still prefer to use stealth if at all possible, but he’s very good at coordinating with allies in a wide variety of situations.  If the team he’s with is equipped to go in guns blazing, his semblance can enhance the damage of his compatriots while also covering for their weaknesses.  If the party needs to retreat, he can cover them with smokescreens.

In the event of pitched battle, Lucas’s first move will almost always be to hide, preferably in a spot with a good vantage point of the fight that’s within range for his semblance.  From that point, he’ll act as a phantom on the battlefield, hampering and debuffing enemies with his semblance while allies take them down.  He’ll often go through entire fights without firing a single shot, as shooting his weapon could reveal his position and force him to find a new spot to hide in.  If he does take a shot, it’s to cripple an opponent or to assist an ally in a way that his lantern alone couldn’t handle. 

The worst possible thing to happen to Lucas in a fight is to be forced into a melee.  While he has plenty of tools to give most opponents the slip, enemies that are particularly persistent or can see through his smokescreen shenanigans will find that he’s not particularly effective as an out-and-out combatant.  While Lucas can swing around the heavy Sophist’s Lantern and its dust effects, he’s not proficient in close-quarters combat.

Furthermore, if he tried to use his semblance to gain an advantage in melee, he’d be subject to the lantern’s effects as well (this also applies to his allies.  Teammates that prefer melee will often find themselves on the wrong side of Lucas’s abilities if either they or he make a wrong move).  If he can’t get away from an enemy, Lucas won’t be able to manipulate the battlefield to his favor.

It’s also worth noting that, while the lantern has an incredible leash range and doesn’t give away Lucas’s position, the area under the lantern’s influence isn’t very large.  Groups of intelligent opponents that split up will force Lucas to choose which enemy to target.

Furthermore, Lucas’s battle strategy hinges on him having dust.  If he doesn’t have dust, his semblance is reduced to nothing more than a glorified night light.  On top of that, Lucas can’t just keep feeding the lantern dust, either.  If his aura reserves run out, he, again, won’t be able to utilize dust effects.

Lastly, the lantern itself doesn’t do any damage (save for one effect which is used rarely).  By itself, Lucas’s semblance doesn’t accomplish anything, and is mostly just kind of annoying.
 
WEAPON

Name: Sophist’s Lantern

Primary Form: Sophist’s Lantern takes the shape of a large lantern. It has 8 “windows”, or compartments, each of which contains one type of dust save for one, which contains several cannisters that Lucas uses to create smokescreens with.  Only one of these windows opens, however, and Lucas chooses which compartment uses that window with a series of buttons located underneath the handle.  When the window opens, the lantern acts as a “dust thrower”, ejecting the dust in a manner akin to a flamethrower out in a 20ft cone.

Alternatively, the lantern is heavy, and Lucas can swing it at an opponent when forced into close quarters.  It makes a nice *thunk* sound when it connects.

Surprisingly, Sophist’s Lantern makes for a poor light source.

Secondary Form: A section extends from the bottom of the lantern that quickly transforms into a barrel, scope, action and everything else needed to form a sniper rifle.  The windows of the lantern become the butt of the gun, and the handle is moved to the side, allowing Lucas to still manipulate which type of dust he has primed.

Dust Functions: In lantern form

Fire:  A typical flamethrower.  Can do a lot of damage fairly quickly

Ice:  Freezes opponents caught in the blast

Earth:  Used to quickly erect a barrier of rock.

Wind:  Blasts enemies away

Lightning:  Shocks enemies within the cone, possibly causing them to drop anything they’re holding.

In rifle form

Fire:  The shot explodes on hit, causing extra damage.

Ice:  The shot freezes the target on hit.

Wind:  Enemies will be knocked back on hit.

Lightning:  Shocks enemies on hit, Possibly causing them to drop anything they’re holding.

Kinetic:  Knocks back any enemies hit, similar to wind dust.

History: Lucas created his weapon shortly before entering Haven, modifying it over the years to better suit his needs.  It used to function as a proper lantern as well, but scrapped that portion when he gained the ability to keep his semblance’s light on indefinitely. 

8
WiP Characters / Lucas Meridiem
« on: February 09, 2019, 08:49:01 PM »
CHARACTER

Name: Lucas Meridiem

Age: 21

Species and Gender: Human Male

Symbol:  A lantern.  An infinity symbol is painted where the flame would normally be

Occupation: 4th year Haven Student

Appearance: Lucas stands at 5’8” and is lean in build, making him appear smaller than he actually is.  He has sharp, angular facial features and dark, black hair that he keeps short and combed flat.  The gaze of his pale, green eyes is equally pointed, and his expression seems to be set into a permanent frown.

His combat attire consists of a pale green, hooded overcoat that stretches down to his mid-thigh.  The pockets of the coat are outlined in a yellow trim, and the top left pocket displays his symbol.  His pants are a dark forest green that stretch down and cover the top part of his black boots.  He keeps Sophist’s Lantern strapped to a belt that wraps around the waist of the coat, and he wears brown gloves with brass plating on the knuckles (which are useful in the event that he ever has to throw hands).  Underneath his coat he wears a black turtleneck.  He also wears a green bandana around his collar, as well. 

History: Lucas's past is Dark and Mysterious.

Personality: Edgey af.

Aura and Semblance: Lucas’s Aura manifests in a pale, ghostly green color.  His overall level of aura and control is typical for a student of his level.

His semblance takes the form of a freely-floating ephemeral lantern.  Lucas can move it at will, and it moves at about the same speed as a typical huntsman in a full sprint (relative to Lucas).  It can travel out to a range of about 300 feet.  It doesn’t have a physical body, and any strikes aimed at the lantern pass through it.  Summoning and dismissing the lantern is instantaneous, though he can only summon the lantern to a spot within 5 feet of him.

The lantern can also switch between a dormant state and giving off light.  In either case, normally, the lantern requires negligible aura consumption, allowing Lucas to shed light indefinitely.  The light’s radius extends out to 15 feet.  This light can be affected by dust use, and, depending on what type of dust is used, the light produces various effects.  However, combining his semblance with dust in this way is more strenuous on Lucas’s aura control, and using his semblance in this manner drains his aura reserves.  The more unique types of dust used at once, the more aura is consumed.  At his current level, Lucas can use three different types of dust at once.

Spoiler: ShowHide
This is a list of dust effects Lucas can manifest with his semblance.  If certain combinations are not listed, assume the combination would manifest in a combined form of the individual effects.

Key: (F)Fire, (I)Ice, (E)Earth, (W)Wind, (L)Lightning, (K)Kinetic, (G)Gravity

(F): The area increases in temperature drastically, becoming uncomfortably hot.  Ice quickly melts, fire damage is increased, and fire spreads more easily.

(I): The area decreases in temperature drastically, becoming uncomfortably cold.  Any use of ice dust is granted an increased Area of Effect if activated inside the light’s radius (if an effect only affects a single target, the area increases to a radius of 5 feet).

(E): Small particles of sand gently float down amid the lantern’s AoE.  Structures made with Earth dust within the light’s radius are more durable and require less dust to make.

(L): The area becomes filled with static.  Creatures will notice feeling “tingly”.  Metal objects will become charged and stick together if brought into contact with each other.  Notably, if a weapon can transform, that weapon will be unable to shift while in the radius.  If creatures touch a metal object or another creature, they will receive a shock (akin to a minor static shock).  Compasses and other objects affected by electric currents will start acting haywire, as if a magnet was placed directly on the object in question.  Interestingly, attacks using lightning dust might “arc” from the initial target to another within close range. 
 
(W): The area experiences in increase in wind activity, as heavy gales blow through.  Flying creatures experience mild turbulence, and light, loose objects get blown away.

(K): Everything within the lantern’s light travels faster.  Bullets accelerate through the area, while running speeds are moderately increased.  Knockback effects are granted increased potency, and, generally speaking, attacks deal more damage
 
(G): Everything within the area experiences an increase in weight.  Movement speeds slow, bullets drop, weapons become harder to wield (but do more damage).

(F)(I): The area becomes enshrouded in impenetrable fog.  Anything inside the fog becomes nearly impossible to see, and creatures inside the fog are essentially blinded.

(F)(W): The area rises in temperature and wind activity increases, similar to the individual effects.  However, fire spreads much more rapidly inside the radius than if either effect were used alone.  Adding kinetic dust (K) would further increase the rate of spread.

(I)(W): The area lowers in temperature and wind activity increases, similar to the individual effects.  However, open flames are quickly snuffed out within the radius.  Adding kinetic dust (K) makes the winds more violent. 

(E)(W): The area becomes enshrouded in a sandstorm.  Figures and objects become difficult to make out, and sand particles are dispersed evenly throughout the radius.  Breathing can become uncomfortable while in the radius unless precautions against sand are taken (i.e. covering the mouth with a cloth, such as a bandana).  Silhouettes can still be made out, though fine details are obscured.  Adding kinetic dust (K) can increase the wind speeds of the sandstorm, making it nearly impossible to fly or see.  Alternatively, adding lightning dust (L) can distribute an electric charge throughout the radius, causing a small amount of consistent environmental damage.  This is in addition to the normal effects of lightning dust.

(E)(L): Similar to a combined version of the individual effects, but earth dust constructs made within the radius will hold a magnetic charge.  If metal were to touch these constructs, the metal would stick to it and require some effort to remove.  This property would persist for 10-15 seconds after the lantern effect ends/switches, depending on how long the effect was held for.

(W)(K): The winds in the area become incredibly violent, and the area becomes filled with extreme turbulence.  Flying creatures, such as griffons, will have a terrible time trying to fly through the area and have a chance of being ripped from the sky outright.  Larger Grimm, such as Giant Nevermores, won’t be knocked out of the sky but will have trouble navigating through the area. 

(K)(G): A combined version of the individual effects.  Notable in that the speed boost and debuff of kinetic and gravity, respectively, effectively cancel out.  However, since objects such as weapons will experience in weight, attacks will hit incredibly hard while in this radius. 

Combat Behavior:  If he’s alone, Lucas prefers to avoid combat if at all possible.  Ideally, he’d rather not have enemies know he was there at all.  If he needs to give enemies the slip, he can use his semblance or Sophist’s Lantern to make smoke screens and other distractions in order to give him a chance to hide or get away.

If he is forced into combat, Lucas will try to stick to long range with his weapon’s sniper form, and use the spectral lantern to harry his opponent(s) with environmental effects.  He’ll fight to escape, looking to mitigate the threat rather than outright eliminate it (i.e. freezing a pursuer’s legs, sealing off a corridor with earth dust, etc.).

Generally speaking, this kind of “flighty” fighting style lends itself to reconnaissance and “search and rescue” operations, both of which Lucas excels at.  Simply using the light from his semblance, he can distract Grimm while he evacuates   

Working in a group, however, changes how he fights.  He’d still prefer to use stealth if at all possible, but he’s very good at coordinating with allies in a wide variety of situations.  If the team he’s with is equipped to go in guns blazing, his semblance can enhance the damage of his compatriots while also covering for their weaknesses.  If the party needs to retreat, he can cover them with smokescreens.

In the event of pitched battle, Lucas’s first move will almost always be to hide, preferably in a spot with a good vantage point of the battle that’s within range for his semblance.  From that point, he’ll act as a phantom on the battlefield, hampering and debuffing enemies with his semblance while allies take them down.  He’ll often go through entire fights without firing a single shot, as shooting his weapon could reveal his position and force him to find a new spot to hide in.  If he does take a shot, it’s to cripple an opponent or to assist an ally in a way that his lantern alone couldn’t handle. 

The worst possible thing to happen to Lucas in a fight is to be forced into a melee.  While he has plenty of tools to give most opponents the slip, enemies that are particularly persistent or can see through his smokescreen shenanigans will find that he’s not particularly effective as an out-and-out combatant.  While Sophist’s Lantern can transform into a mace and use dust effects, he’s not proficient in close-quarters combat.

Furthermore, if he tried to use his semblance to gain an advantage in melee, he’d be subject to the lantern’s effects as well (this also applies to his allies.  Teammates that prefer melee will often find themselves on the wrong side of Lucas’s abilities if either they or he make a wrong move).  If he can’t get away from an enemy, Lucas will find trouble manipulating the battlefield to his favor.

It’s also worth noting that, while the lantern has an incredible leash range and doesn’t give away Lucas’s position, the area that is under the lantern’s influence isn’t very large.  Groups of intelligent opponents that split up will force Lucas to choose which enemy to target (he’ll aim for a commander, if there is one, otherwise he’ll target snipers).

Furthermore, Lucas’s battle strategy hinges on him having dust.  If he doesn’t have dust, his semblance is reduced to nothing more than a glorified night light.  On top of that, Lucas can’t just keep feeding the lantern dust, either.  If his aura reserves run out, he, again, won’t be able to utilize dust effects.

Lastly, the lantern itself doesn’t do any damage (save for one effect which is used rarely).  By itself, Lucas’s semblance doesn’t accomplish anything, and is mostly just kind of annoying.

 
WEAPON

Name: Sample Text

Primary Form: Sample Text

Secondary Form: Sample Text

Tertiary Form: Sample Text

Dust Functions: Sample Text

History: Sample Text

9
WiP Characters / Arashi Kawa
« on: November 30, 2018, 03:57:04 PM »
CHARACTER

Name: Arashi Kawa

Age: 30


Species and Gender: Male Human


Symbol:  An silhouette of a smiling man carrying too many swords at once while running away


Occupation: Huntsman


Appearance: Kawa stands at 5’10”.  He wears loose clothing that gives him a seemlingly “average” body type, but in reality, he has very well-defined musculature due to years of training and fighting.  He has a faint goatee, and his hair is short and messy. 

His clothes are simple, a shirt with long and baggy sleeves and some trousers underneath a hooded cloak.  He wears a conical hat which, along with his hood, he uses to conceal his expression.  He’d honestly look positively unremarkable if it weren’t for the twelve swords he has strapped to his waist and back.



History:  Arashi Kawa’s past is dark and mysterious…



Personality: Kawa’s soft, smooth, and low-pitched voice gives the impression that he’s a laid-back, easy-going person.  In fact, that’s not far from the truth:  there’s nothing he’d like more than to sit back in a quiet bar and casually drink the nights away, especially if he can chat up pretty women.  In most situations, he’d prefer to talk it out over resorting to violence.

However, his years of huntsman experience have given him certain habits that prevent Kawa from truly relaxing.  His eyes always quickly dart around any room he walks into, looking for traps, weapons, and angry meatheads.  He doesn’t trust easily, and he immediately mistrusts any beautiful woman that starts a conversation with him, especially if they’re faunus.  In his experience, if she’s hot, and she strikes up the conversation, something’s probably up. 

Furthermore, he’s a smooth-talker and a schemer.  He’ll use the guise of innocent conversation to gather information, using his keen observation skills to find details in words and appearances.  For instance, he spots a necklace on a woman, and he asks about it.  If she says it’s from her ex, then he’ll reasonably deduce that she’s not over the ex, since she’s still wearing a gift from him/her.  He’ll also play dumb and drag out conversations in order to prep his semblance if things look like they’ll go south.     


Aura and Semblance: Kawa’s focused too much on mastering swordsmanship and his semblance to train his aura in the finer uses.  It manifests in a light blue color.
He never gave his semblance a name, but it allows him to telekinetically wield up to 10 of his swords from as far as fifteen feet.  With two in his hands, he can essentially use 12 blades at once.

However, he needs time to get to this level.  He needs to spend a fair amount of time (generally speaking, around three posts) focusing his aura into each blade before he can let his semblance take over.  This involves physically touching the sword with the palm of his hand.  If he lets go of the sword during the charge-up period, he’ll have to start over.

Similarly, the maximum range of his semblance is fifteen feet.  If a sword completely crosses that threshold, it will fall to the ground, and Kawa will have to re-charge that blade if he wants to control it with his semblance.

Once he has a weapon charged, though, he can control it as if it were still in his hands.  The swords won’t be moved against Kawa’s will unless a force is applied to them that would move a sword in his hand.

Kawa can use his semblance for an extended period of time, even while using it to its limit.  With all 10 swords under its influence, he can keep it active for an hour before needing time to recharge.  On top of that, there is no visual cue when he’s using his semblance, a fact Kawa takes full advantage of.
     

Combat Behavior:  Starting off with weaknesses, Kawa has no damage potential outside of a fifteen foot radius.  As a huntsman-level combatant, he does have the agility and speed to close gaps rather efficiently, but if anyone keeps out of his circle of pain, he can’t cut them.  He has no guns, and doesn’t use dust.

Secondly, his semblance takes a long time to ramp up to a point where it shines.  At the very early stages of a fight, Kawa is merely a swordsman, albeit a very good one.  Hitting him hard early will pay dividends later on.

Thirdly, if he gets to a late stage with many of his swords out at once, he can be “reset” if his weapons are pushed outside of his semblance’s range, or vise versa.  Keep in mind that, while he can consciously move all of his swords at once, he still has to consciously move them as he moves.

That all being said, Kawa is a damn good swordsman.  In fact, it might not be unfair to think him as one of—if not the—best swordsman on Remnant.  He’s learned to use a massive variety of weapons, ranging from standard broadswords, to cutlasses, to rapiers, and even huge buster swords.

When adding on his semblance, things start getting nasty.  At first, Kawa will use his semblance to play mind games with his opponent:  he’ll sheathe the blade he just charged and draw another.  He’ll then wait for an opening and use his semblance to strike in three directions at once.  Bonus points if he can pull this off without his opponent understanding what happened.

As fights go on and more swords are added to the air, Kawa becomes increasingly aggressive.  Not only does his damage potential skyrocket, but his defensive capabilities rise as well.  With more swords comes more ways to deflect enemy fire.

On top of all that, if an opponent steps into the fifteen foot “Circle of Pain”, they’re going to have a hard time leaving due to the sheer volume of steel coming at them from all directions. 

In Summary:
+ Master Swordsman
+ Astronomical Damage Potential
+ High Defensive Potential

- Very Low Range (15 foot radius)
- Long “Ramp-Up” Time
- Progress in “Ramping-Up” can be undone with clever strategy   
 

WEAPON

Name: “The Dirty Dozen”

Primary Form: Kawa carries twelve different swords of varying shapes and sizes.

Standard Broadsword x4
Buster Sword x1
Rapiers x2
Katana x1
Cutlasses x2
Scimitars x2 


Dust Functions: None


History: All of these swords are either keepsakes from fallen comrades or trophies from defeated enemies, save for the scimitars.  Those were his first blades.

10
Plot Zone / Caravan Blues
« on: November 18, 2018, 11:53:46 PM »
Mission Brief:

Recently, a cluster of villages southwest of Vale have reported a heavy increase in bandit activity.  Caravans loaded with essential goods have been raided, depriving villages of what they to need to survive.  This increase in criminal activity has also been correlated to an increase in Grimm activity. 

The objective is to escort a caravan to its destination while gathering clues as to the origin of these bandits.  Once the caravan has successfully arrived, track down and apprehend the bandits, while doing the utmost to cull the local Grimm population.

WARNING:  Reports indicate these criminals are organized, and have shown the capability to perform fairly sophisticated operations.  Be prepared for multi-staged ambushes.



This is mostly an interest gauging thread that may double as a signup if enough people volunteer.  This mission will probably take a few in-universe days, and there will be few opportunities to restock on dust, so resource management will be important.  You'll be dealing with low- to medium-level Grimm and generic bandits for the most part. 

11
RPG Discussion / Miss-Mechanics
« on: November 05, 2018, 02:06:31 AM »
So, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I wanted to take some time to talk about it at length.  To make a long story short, I don’t like miss mechanics in RPGs.  When I say “miss” I mean when a character makes an attack, the attack ends up having no effect.  For instance, in the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, if you’ve never played, to hit an enemy with an attack, you must roll a d20 and add a modifier.  If the result is less than the target’s Armor Class (or AC), then the attack misses entirely and deals no damage.  Only a certain amount of attacks can be made in a turn, and, especially at low levels, missed attacks can mean a wasted turn. 

On the other hand, miss mechanics act as an effective release valve, as they force characters to invest in stats other than offense and defense/HP.  These types of mechanics allow for tanks to even have a hope of closing distance against a sniper without sacrificing all of their “hit points”, as an example.  If the tank remains behind the shield, the bullets won’t do any damage. 

However, a system like that works in D&D because there are rules in place and details to consider.  AC is determined in part by what armor you’re wearing, characters only perform crazy feats of acrobatics if they succeed on a skill test, et cetera.  On this website, we use a very bare-bones system to judge combat.  That allows for much more freedom in weapon design, clever strategy, and attack descriptions, but it also leaves a lot of room for bias.

As an example, consider a glass-cannon type character that’s described as “nimble and agile” in the related character profile, presumably letting them dodge attacks with relative ease.  Now consider a tank-class character that’s equipped with armor and shields, but moves slowly.  Finally, let’s pit them in a 1v1 fight against a hypothetical invincible sniper.  Which character would the sniper have a harder time taking down?

Theoretically, the tank should last longer because that character invested heavily into defense.  However, if the agile character can dodge one sniper bullet, what reason would he not have to dodge all the bullets?  And this is where I feel there’s a bit of a problem.  Under certain circumstances, nimble, “glass-cannon” characters that take advantage of “dodge-tanking” can potentially be more survivable than tank characters while also dealing more damage.

Now, I’m not pushing for a change in the system, I just want to critique it and point out flaws.  No system’s going to be perfect, and I’ve taken advantage of miss-mechanics myself.  I just wanted to share my thoughts on the subject.         

12
Approved Characters / Wabul "Toast" Paka
« on: October 31, 2018, 11:51:12 PM »
Hex code = E55812

CHARACTER

Name: Wabul “Toast” Paka

Age: 17, Born 25th of Machlud

Species and Gender: Male Cat Faunus (Tabico)

Symbol:  A slice of toast, butter-side up.

Occupation: 1st year Shade student, former professional acrobat/circus performer

Appearance: Wabul is long, slender, and lithe in build, standing at an even 6’ and weighing in at around 170 pounds. He has short, reddish-orange hair and a caramel skin tone that comes with a lifetime under the desert sun. He seems to have a permanent smirk on his face that give his brown eyes a keen sparkle.

His clothes are simple, yet brightly colored.  He wears a red, long-sleeved, open vest that cuts off just under the chest with a sand-colored hood that he pulls up to keep sand out of his face, along with white, sand-dusted pants. He wears a bandana and a set of goggles around his neck, only really wearing them on his face during sand storms. Strapped to the waist of his pants are two pistols, one on each side.  A long cat tail snakes behind him.

When he needs to, he dons a cape for traveling to protect himself against the harsh Vacuan weather, though most of the time that’s stored away.

His symbol can be seen on the back of his vest, when he isn't wearing his Bag o' Extra Dust

History:  Wabul was born to a cat faunus father named Sabor and a human mother named Especia.  Sabor is a huntsman, or rather an ex-huntsman, who took it upon himself to establish Sabor’s Spectacular Stunt-Show Supreme, a small travelling circus that consists of himself, his wife Especia, and a few other members.  Each member would have their own act: Especia in particular was an adept sleight-of-hand magician who made of show of pulling peculiar objects from her rather well-endowed cleavage.

But the biggest draw of the circus by far was Sabor’s own act.  During his huntsman career, Wabul’s father made a bit of a name for himself as a flexible martial artist that excelled at using dust to outmaneuver his opponents and deliver powerful strikes.  In the circus, he used those skills to perform incredible feats of acrobatic skill, crossing large expanses of space with no platforms, no trapezes, and no nets.  He’d simply use dust to propel himself across, save himself from terrifying heights, and blast himself through death-defying stunts.  During one such performance, his own son once cried out, ”He’s toast!”  Wabul has carried the nickname “Toast” ever since.

As he grew up, Wabul naturally became more involved in his parent’s performances.  At first, he would help collect money and distribute tickets, mostly because he was too young to be of much use anywhere else.  But as he grew older, he was assigned different tasks behind the scenes.  Here, he would learn both the draw of the spotlight and also the importance of sharing it.  The performers would feed off of each other, and not only figuratively.  While on actor held the spotlight, another would use the limited time available to prepare for the follow-up.

It was also during his behind-the-scenes career that he started practicing his own act.  Naturally, his parents helped him, but they both wanted young Wabul to take after their respective selves.  His mother taught him the basics of magic, most importantly the value of misdirection.  His father taught him the ways of the acrobat, and practiced with him constantly.  But most importantly, he imparted the knowledge that while the expert and the adept may recognize skill, the layman only recognizes spectacle.

With his parents’ teachings in mind, Wabul crafted his own unique act.  Applying the finesse of his mother along with the spectacle of his father, Wabul would stupefy crowds with his acrobatic feats before disappearing into thin air—in mid-air!  The crowds loved it every time it came on, and Wabul relished the spotlight every chance he got it.

But, as time went on, something started to bug him.  His act, by all accounts a crowd-pleaser, was never the big draw.  He was always over-shadowed by his father and mother.  His parts in the show were short, more often than not used as transitions.  Wabul understood he needed to share the spotlight, but he wanted more.  But he wouldn’t get it if he stayed with the circus.  After all, while the layman only recognizes spectacle, the adept can recognize skill, and Sabor was simply far better than Wabul.

If Wabul wanted to surpass his father, he was going to need to take on every challenge Sabor had faced.  He was going to need to become a huntsman.  And so, in a strange twist on the traditional story, Wabul ran away from the circus for Shade Academy, leaving only a note that said ”If you don’t hear from me, I’ll make sure you hear of me!.” 

Of course, the sentiment here is all well and good, but Shade is a prestigious academy.  Wabul’s obviously not going to get in without combat experience.  That’s why it was fortunate that Sabor’s Spectacular Stunt-Show Supreme was a traveling circus.  Because they had to spend so much time trekking through the desert, the group had to be ready for combat at a moment’s notice.  Every member had some degree of combat proficiency and survival training, otherwise the trek from desert village to desert village would be impossible. 

This went for little Wabul, as well.  In fact, he holds the world record for youngest confirmed Grimm kill:  at age 6, he had fired a crossbow bolt at a large Deathstalker.  Naturally, the bolt itself didn’t do any harm, but it did trigger a series of Rube Goldberg-esque events that led to dropping a two-ton crate of steel on top of the beast.  It was a complete accident, but it counted.

Of course, flukes don’t contribute in dedicated examinations of skill, but the point remains that he was trained by his father, an ex-huntsman, to survive outside of the kingdoms.  Naturally, practical exams posed no problem to Wabul.
   
Personality: Wabul has gone by “Toast” for so long that he almost doesn’t respond to his real name.  As such, he introduces himself as “Toast”, not “Wabul”.

Wabul is also a very flashy individual, and is generally the best kind of person to invite to parties.  Between party tricks, acrobatic stunts, and an overall positive demeanor, he can quickly turn strangers into friends in a matter of minutes.  He loves being the center of attention.

And even though he loves the spotlight, he’s okay with sharing it.  His time with the circus taught him the importance of teamplay and giving others the time to shine.  After all, the best performers not only know how to make an entrance, but also when.

That being said, Wabul’s personality is a bit shallow.  He’s not one for deep conversation, as he tends to laugh off serious topics with a joke.  He doesn’t really care for politics, and is more likely than not to be involved in gossip circles. 

Even his motivation to attend Shade is mostly selfish in nature: in the end, he wants to hog more of the spotlight and prove he’s better than his father.  At his core, Wabul seeks attention and thrills. 

Still, beyond all that, he does still have two more positive qualities.  He’s fearless, and he’s committed.  An acrobat practices in dangerous conditions as a necessity to perform their act, and Wabul has countless hours under his belt.  It will take more than a few big scary monsters to veer him off this path, and he’ll do whatever it takes to succeed.       

Aura and Semblance: Wabul’s aura manifests with an orange hue, and his experiences traveling along the Vacuan desert has enhanced his aura’s “danger sense” ability. 

Semblance: Captive Audience—Whenever Wabul touches another creature, be it human, faunus, or Grimm, he can activate his semblance to surround them in an orange, translucent sphere. This sphere is large enough for the target to make an attack, defend, or dodge, but not large enough to significantly reposition.  If a target breaches the sphere, they will take a small amount of damage.  Weapons may breach the sphere without consequence (save for natural weapons, such as long claws).  Once set, the sphere does not move under any circumstance.  Only the target suffers the consequence of breaching the sphere, others may pass through it freely.  It is also plainly visible to see.

The sphere lasts a very short amount of time (generally only a post’s worth, sometimes less), and if the target remains inside the sphere, it will disappear harmlessly.  Furthermore, this semblance does not stack, and only one sphere may be active at a time.  If a new sphere is created, the old sphere immediately disappears without triggering.

This semblance can be triggered multiple times in rapid succession, but Wabul is limited to only 25 uses before needing time to recharge.

Dust Catalyst:  Inside both of Wabul’s swords is a dust catalyst, which is separate from the dust used in the pistol portion of the weapons.  Whenever Wabul applies his semblance, he can choose to apply one of the following effects.

Fire: Increased damage

Ice:  The area/limb that first breached the sphere is encased in ice.

Wind:  When the target breaches the sphere, they are immediately knocked back in the opposite direction of the breach.

Lightning:  Sends jolts through the target’s body, causing slowed movement and decreased accuracy.

Kinetic:  Accelerates the target in the direction of the breach.

It should be noted that Grimm come in much more diverse shapes and sizes, and Wabul’s semblance gives the same amount of movement space to those creatures as it does to human opponents.     
 

Combat Behavior:  Wabul relies on a combination of stealth, speed, agility, and dust to combat his enemies.  He’s primarily a skirmisher, using hit and run tactics to apply multiple dust effects with his weapon and semblance in rapid succession.

His time as an acrobat has given him incredible agility and athletic ability, and, in tandem with dust, he uses his skills to make unorthodox routes throughout the battlefield, with the general aim of getting behind his opponent.  This, when used with his semblance, makes him particularly adept at targeting mobile back-line opponents.

Wabul uses kinetic dust in the pistol portion of his weapons to give him added mobility, while also using it to knock opponents back into his semblance and trigger its effect.  A common combo is to strike an opponent, activate his semblance with wind dust, fire a kinetic round at point-blank to knock them into the sphere, and then tag the target once again during the sphere’s knock-back effect.  If Wabul chooses to apply wind dust again, the target would be knocked back again.  This process could potentially repeat again and again until his semblance or his dust reserve run dry.

However, in reading through his strengths, his weakness becomes evident.  Wabul relies on a combination of effects and circumstances.  Wabul may be athletic, but he isn’t particularly strong.  Individually speaking, Wabul’s attacks are actually quite weak.  If an opponent manages to stand their ground and not trigger the sphere, Wabul’s damage and combo potential is essentially neutered.  Note that if a sphere disappears without triggering, both the semblance use and the dust are wasted.

Furthermore, Wabul has very little in terms of defensive measures.  He relies almost entirely on his agility and speed to evade attacks.  If he’s restricted from moving, he’s almost entirely defenseless.  It’s also worth noting that Wabul needs to be in melee range to apply his semblance, and although he has impressive gap-closing capabilities, opponents that can keep him at range only need worry about weak kinetic rounds.  His dust reserve is also somewhat limited.  If he ever runs out, a lot of his damage, mobility, and crowd-control potential goes with it.   

On another note, Wabul has no fear of heights, and will use his weapons to propel himself into the air if need be.  He is also capable of twisting and dodging in mid-air with little effort, and can maneuver somewhat freely as long as he has dust.

WEAPON

Name: Butter Knives (x2)

Primary Form: Two rapier-pistol hybrids.  There are two separate compartments for dust in each weapon:  1 compartment for the dust catalyst for Wabul’s semblance, and another for kinetic dust rounds to launch Wabul and/or his opponent across the battlefield.  Note that there’s limited room, so both compartments are fairly small.  The catalyst compartment in particular takes a degree of tinkering to reload, generally around one minute.  The other compartment can be reloaded quickly, however.

The trigger for the pistol is located in the hilt, which has a slight curve to allow for an easier grip. 

Secondary Form: The blades retract, reverting them to pistol form.  This form is used almost exclusively for storing and holstering.

Dust Functions: As stated, both weapons are loaded with kinetic dust rounds that Wabul uses to blast himself and his opponent (to a lesser degree) around the battlefield.  In addition, both blades are equipped with a second dust compartment that is used to fuel Wabul’s semblance.  However, that same dust can be used to empower his blade strikes, though he will only use this feature if he feels he can finish his opponent off quickly.  Dust used in this manner has the following effects.

Fire: Increased damage on hit

Ice:  The targeted area will start to freeze.

Wind:  Has a slight knockback effect, can be combined with kinetic dust rounds to increase knockback effect.

Lightning:  Sends jolts through the target’s body, causing decreased accuracy.

Kinetic:  Similar to wind dust, generally not used in this manner.

History: The Butter Knives were forged as a reward for Wabul’s first successful performance.  Wabul did not choose the name, though he does think it’s clever.

WEAPON

Name: Bag o’ extra dust

Primary Form: This isn’t an extra weapon, just extra dust for long missions.  Wabul’s flashy fighting-style tends to burn through dust quickly, and he’ll have to take breaks to replenish the dust in his weapon when he can.  The main pocket holds the dust for the dust catalyst, while the more easily accessible pouches hold spare kinetic ammunition for the pistol.  It also has extra pouches for other extraneous items.

History: This is simply a necessity, Wabul’s swords can’t hold all the dust he’d burn through on missions. 

13
WiP Characters / Wabul "Toast" Paka
« on: October 27, 2018, 01:05:39 AM »
CHARACTER

Name: Wabul “Toast” Paka

Age: 17

Species and Gender: Male Cat Faunus (Tabico)

Symbol:  A slice of toast, butter-side up.

Occupation: 1st year Shade student, former professional acrobat/circus performer

Appearance: Wabul is long, slender, and lithe in build, standing at an even 6’ and weighing in at around 170 pounds. He has short, reddish-orange hair and a caramel skin tone that comes with a lifetime under the desert sun. He seems to have a permanent smirk on his face that give his brown eyes a keen sparkle.

His clothes are simple, yet brightly colored.  He wears a red, long-sleeved, open vest that cuts off just under the chest with a sand-colored hood that he pulls up to keep sand out of his face, along with white, sand-dusted pants. He wears a bandana and a set of goggles around his neck, only really wearing them on his face during sand storms. Strapped to the waist of his pants are two pistols, one on each side.  A long cat tail snakes behind him.

When he needs to, he dons a cape for traveling to protect himself against the harsh Vacuan weather, though most of the time that’s stored away.

His symbol can be seen on the back of his vest, when he isn't wearing his Bag o' Extra Dust

History:  Wabul was born to a cat faunus father named Sabor and a human mother named Especia.  Sabor is a huntsman, or rather an ex-huntsman, who took it upon himself to establish Sabor’s Spectacular Stunt-Show Supreme, a small travelling circus that consists of himself, his wife Especia, and a few other members.  Each member would have their own act: Especia in particular was an adept sleight-of-hand magician who made of show of pulling peculiar objects from her rather well-endowed cleavage.

But the biggest draw of the circus by far was Sabor’s own act.  During his huntsman career, Wabul’s father made a bit of a name for himself as a flexible martial artist that excelled at using dust to outmaneuver his opponents and deliver powerful strikes.  In the circus, he used those skills to perform incredible feats of acrobatic skill, crossing large expanses of space with no platforms, no trapezes, and no nets.  He’d simply use dust to propel himself across, save himself from terrifying heights, and blast himself through death-defying stunts.  During one such performance, his own son once cried out, ”He’s toast!”  Wabul has carried the nickname “Toast” ever since.

As he grew up, Wabul naturally became more involved in his parent’s performances.  At first, he would help collect money and distribute tickets, mostly because he was too young to be of much use anywhere else.  But as he grew older, he was assigned different tasks behind the scenes.  Here, he would learn both the draw of the spotlight and also the importance of sharing it.  The performers would feed off of each other, and not only figuratively.  While on actor held the spotlight, another would use the limited time available to prepare for the follow-up.

It was also during his behind-the-scenes career that he started practicing his own act.  Naturally, his parents helped him, but they both wanted young Wabul to take after their respective selves.  His mother taught him the basics of magic, most importantly the value of misdirection.  His father taught him the ways of the acrobat, and practiced with him constantly.  But most importantly, he imparted the knowledge that while the expert and the adept may recognize skill, the layman only recognizes spectacle.

With his parents’ teachings in mind, Wabul crafted his own unique act.  Applying the finesse of his mother along with the spectacle of his father, Wabul would stupefy crowds with his acrobatic feats before disappearing into thin air—in mid-air!  The crowds loved it every time it came on, and Wabul relished the spotlight every chance he got it.

But, as time went on, something started to bug him.  His act, by all accounts a crowd-pleaser, was never the big draw.  He was always over-shadowed by his father and mother.  His parts in the show were short, more often than not used as transitions.  Wabul understood he needed to share the spotlight, but he wanted more.  But he wouldn’t get it if he stayed with the circus.  After all, while the layman only recognizes spectacle, the adept can recognize skill, and Sabor was simply far better than Wabul.

If Wabul wanted to surpass his father, he was going to need to take on every challenge Sabor had faced.  He was going to need to become a huntsman.  And so, in a strange twist on the traditional story, Wabul ran away from the circus for Shade Academy, leaving only a note that said ”If you don’t hear from me, I’ll make sure you hear of me!.” 

Of course, the sentiment here is all well and good, but Shade is a prestigious academy.  Wabul’s obviously not going to get in without combat experience.  That’s why it was fortunate that Sabor’s Spectacular Stunt-Show Supreme was a traveling circus.  Because they had to spend so much time trekking through the desert, the group had to be ready for combat at a moment’s notice.  Every member had some degree of combat proficiency and survival training, otherwise the trek from desert village to desert village would be impossible. 

This went for little Wabul, as well.  In fact, he holds the world record for youngest confirmed Grimm kill:  at age 6, he had fired a crossbow bolt at a large Deathstalker.  Naturally, the bolt itself didn’t do any harm, but it did trigger a series of Rube Goldberg-esque events that led to dropping a two-ton crate of steel on top of the beast.  It was a complete accident, but it counted.

Of course, flukes don’t contribute in dedicated examinations of skill, but the point remains that he was trained by his father, an ex-huntsman, to survive outside of the kingdoms.  Naturally, practical exams posed no problem to Wabul.
   
Personality: Wabul has gone by “Toast” for so long that he almost doesn’t respond to his real name.  As such, he introduces himself as “Toast”, not “Wabul”.

Wabul is also a very flashy individual, and is generally the best kind of person to invite to parties.  Between party tricks, acrobatic stunts, and an overall positive demeanor, he can quickly turn strangers into friends in a matter of minutes.  He loves being the center of attention.

And even though he loves the spotlight, he’s okay with sharing it.  His time with the circus taught him the importance of teamplay and giving others the time to shine.  After all, the best performers not only know how to make an entrance, but also when.

That being said, Wabul’s personality is a bit shallow.  He’s not one for deep conversation, as he tends to laugh off serious topics with a joke.  He doesn’t really care for politics, and is more likely than not to be involved in gossip circles. 

Even his motivation to attend Shade is mostly selfish in nature: in the end, he wants to hog more of the spotlight and prove he’s better than his father.  At his core, Wabul seeks attention and thrills. 

Still, beyond all that, he does still have two more positive qualities.  He’s fearless, and he’s committed.  An acrobat practices in dangerous conditions as a necessity to perform their act, and Wabul has countless hours under his belt.  It will take more than a few big scary monsters to veer him off this path, and he’ll do whatever it takes to succeed.       

Aura and Semblance: Wabul’s aura manifests with an orange hue, and his experiences traveling along the Vacuan desert has enhanced his aura’s “danger sense” ability. 

Semblance: Captive Audience—Whenever Wabul touches another creature, be it human, faunus, or Grimm, he can activate his semblance to surround them in an orange, translucent sphere. This sphere is large enough for the target to make an attack, defend, or dodge, but not large enough to significantly reposition.  If a target breaches the sphere, they will take a small amount of damage.  Weapons may breach the sphere without consequence (save for natural weapons, such as long claws).  Once set, the sphere does not move under any circumstance.  Only the target suffers the consequence of breaching the sphere, others may pass through it freely.  It is also plainly visible to see.

The sphere lasts a very short amount of time (generally only a post’s worth, sometimes less), and if the target remains inside the sphere, it will disappear harmlessly.  Furthermore, this semblance does not stack, and only one sphere may be active at a time.  If a new sphere is created, the old sphere immediately disappears without triggering.

This semblance can be triggered multiple times in rapid succession, but Wabul is limited to only 25 uses before needing time to recharge.

Dust Catalyst:  Inside both of Wabul’s swords is a dust catalyst, which is separate from the dust used in the pistol portion of the weapons.  Whenever Wabul applies his semblance, he can choose to apply one of the following effects.

Fire: Increased damage

Ice:  The area/limb that first breached the sphere is encased in ice.

Wind:  When the target breaches the sphere, they are immediately knocked back in the opposite direction of the breach.

Lightning:  Sends jolts through the target’s body, causing slowed movement and decreased accuracy.

Kinetic:  Accelerates the target in the direction of the breach.

It should be noted that Grimm come in much more diverse shapes and sizes, and Wabul’s semblance gives the same amount of movement space to those creatures as it does to human opponents.     
 

Combat Behavior:  Wabul relies on a combination of stealth, speed, agility, and dust to combat his enemies.  He’s primarily a skirmisher, using hit and run tactics to apply multiple dust effects with his weapon and semblance in rapid succession.

His time as an acrobat has given him incredible agility and athletic ability, and, in tandem with dust, he uses his skills to make unorthodox routes throughout the battlefield, with the general aim of getting behind his opponent.  This, when used with his semblance, makes him particularly adept at targeting mobile back-line opponents.

Wabul uses kinetic dust in the pistol portion of his weapons to give him added mobility, while also using it to knock opponents back into his semblance and trigger its effect.  A common combo is to strike an opponent, activate his semblance with wind dust, fire a kinetic round at point-blank to knock them into the sphere, and then tag the target once again during the sphere’s knock-back effect.  If Wabul chooses to apply wind dust again, the target would be knocked back again.  This process could potentially repeat again and again until his semblance or his dust reserve run dry.

However, in reading through his strengths, his weakness becomes evident.  Wabul relies on a combination of effects and circumstances.  Wabul may be athletic, but he isn’t particularly strong.  Individually speaking, Wabul’s attacks are actually quite weak.  If an opponent manages to stand their ground and not trigger the sphere, Wabul’s damage and combo potential is essentially neutered.  Note that if a sphere disappears without triggering, both the semblance use and the dust are wasted.

Furthermore, Wabul has very little in terms of defensive measures.  He relies almost entirely on his agility and speed to evade attacks.  If he’s restricted from moving, he’s almost entirely defenseless.  It’s also worth noting that Wabul needs to be in melee range to apply his semblance, and although he has impressive gap-closing capabilities, opponents that can keep him at range only need worry about weak kinetic rounds.  His dust reserve is also somewhat limited.  If he ever runs out, a lot of his damage, mobility, and crowd-control potential goes with it.   

On another note, Wabul has no fear of heights, and will use his weapons to propel himself into the air if need be.  He is also capable of twisting and dodging in mid-air with little effort, and can maneuver somewhat freely as long as he has dust.

WEAPON

Name: Butter Knives (x2)

Primary Form: Two rapier-pistol hybrids.  There are two separate compartments for dust in each weapon:  1 compartment for the dust catalyst for Wabul’s semblance, and another for kinetic dust rounds to launch Wabul and/or his opponent across the battlefield.  Note that there’s limited room, so both compartments are fairly small.  The catalyst compartment in particular takes a degree of tinkering to reload, generally around one minute.  The other compartment can be reloaded quickly, however.

The trigger for the pistol is located in the hilt, which has a slight curve to allow for an easier grip. 

Secondary Form: The blades retract, reverting them to pistol form.  This form is used almost exclusively for storing and holstering.

Dust Functions: As stated, both weapons are loaded with kinetic dust rounds that Wabul uses to blast himself and his opponent (to a lesser degree) around the battlefield.  In addition, both blades are equipped with a second dust compartment that is used to fuel Wabul’s semblance.  However, that same dust can be used to empower his blade strikes, though he will only use this feature if he feels he can finish his opponent off quickly.  Dust used in this manner has the following effects.
Fire: Increased damage on hit

Ice:  The targeted area will start to freeze.

Wind:  Has a slight knockback effect, can be combined with kinetic dust rounds to increase knockback effect.

Lightning:  Sends jolts through the target’s body, causing decreased accuracy.

Kinetic:  Similar to wind dust, generally not used in this manner.

History: The Butter Knives were forged as a reward for Wabul’s first successful performance.  Wabul did not choose the name, though he does think it’s clever.

WEAPON

Name: Bag o’ extra dust

Primary Form: This isn’t an extra weapon, just extra dust for long missions.  Wabul’s flashy fighting-style tends to burn through dust quickly, and he’ll have to take breaks to replenish the dust in his weapon when he can.  The main pocket holds the dust for the dust catalyst, while the more easily accessible pouches hold spare kinetic ammunition for the pistol.  It also has extra pouches for other extraneous items.

History: This is simply a necessity, Wabul’s swords can’t hold all the dust he’d burn through on missions. 

14
Beacon Academy / Weathering the Storm [Open]
« on: September 05, 2018, 05:13:20 PM »
In the hot mid-afternoon sun, Smokey had been laboring for the past thirty minutes on the outdoor practice range.  The coat he normally wears had been left draped on a nearby wall, along with his shirt.  Maybe it was because he had just gotten back from Atlas, but if felt especially hot today for whatever reason.  So, since Smokey was currently alone, he figured no one would care or even mind if he went shirtless for a bit.

Anyways, as much as Smokey would like to admire the way his muscles glisten in the sunlight, that’s not the reason he’s out here.  For the past thirty minutes, he’d been setting up custom target dummies.  At least, they look like target dummies.  Although, oddly-proportioned scarecrows might also be accurate.  Somehow, Smokey had managed to acquire seven bales of hay, which he has used as the bodies, and stuck a smaller foam target on top of it.  He had stuck sticks into the sides of the hay bale to make arms and legs in an attempt to make them appear humanoid, but they look like caricatures at best.

The strangest thing, though, were the additional pieces that set each “target” apart.  Each of the scarecrows save for one had been equipped (read “duct taped”) with, well, trash.  Anything from a round piece of wood, to a trash can lid, to a giant piece of cardboard that covered and extended beyond the height of the original scarecrow.

It also seemed this last target was giving Smokey a bit of grief, as the cardboard wall keeps shifting around as Smokey tries to set it in place.  After a few minutes of wrestling with it and applying copious amounts of duct tape, though, it was finally properly set.  Taking a quick breather, Smokey stepped back and examined his army of junk.  What could he possibly be doing?

15
RPG Discussion / Meaningful Strengths: "I Can" vs "You Can't"
« on: August 08, 2018, 12:57:27 AM »
So, with the Vytal Festival going on and a bunch of PvP fights taking place, I got to thinking about game design and interactions.  So, I figured I'd take an opportunity to share some of my thoughts and let other people decide if they're relevant. 

So to start off, I'm going to describe two encounters, one that I think is interesting and one that I find uninteresting.  The first encounter starts off with Character A and Character B controlled by Player A and Player B, respectively, and the following dialogue occurs.

Player A:  Character A does this!
Player B:  Well, Character B responds by doing that!
Player A:  Character A reacts to Character B by using his ability!
Player B:  Then Character B will use his ability to counter Character A!

In this scenario, both Character A and Character B act and react in response to their opponent, and have the means to do so.  Now let's look at the other scenario which looks very similar to the first on the surface.  There is still Player A and Player B controlling their characters, but their interaction is very different.

Player A:  Character A uses his ability!
Player B:  Character B responds by doing this!
Player A:  He can't do that, my character used his ability.
Player B:  Oh, well then Character B will do thi--
Player A:  Nah, can't do that either.
Player B:  Then maybe--
Player A:  Nope
Player B:  What can he do?
Player A:  Not much.  Run, maybe?

Now, of those two interactions, which one seemed like the more interesting one?  Because, from my point of view, the second one was bogged down by Character B's inability to meaningfully respond to Character A in any shape or form, while the first dialogue involved constant action and reaction taking place between the two characters.  Essentially, the first interaction was made more exciting by "I can" abilities while the second was ground to a halt by a "You can't" ability.  Obviously, this was taken to the extreme, there's almost always something that can be done most of the time; but I think my point is clear: "You can't" abilities rob agency from other characters and make interactions less dynamic as a result.

Now, to some of you, this may seem obvious, especially when given in a context like this.  But if you take a look through my characters' profiles, I'm pretty certain you'll see at least one "You can't" ability.  And if you look through the Vytal Festival fights, I'm sure you can find one fight where said ability made the fight uninteresting, if not two.  And the reason those fights are uninteresting is because that ability robbed the opponent of potential options.  Because said options were denied, they were put at a tremendous disadvantage. All because I pushed a button that did a certain thing. 

Now, does my character have weaknesses?  Of course!  A "You Can't" ability is not in and of itself almighty.  It simply lacks engagement.  They deny opportunities instead of creating new ones.  Similarly, "I Can" abilities aren't necessarily weaker than "You Can't" abilities.  But, "I Can" abilities give something to react to.  For instance, "I can shoot a bullet of ice that will freeze you in place!"  "Oh man, it hit me.  I try and break the ice with brute strength and continue my charge!" 

Anyways, I have more thoughts on the matter, but if I write any more, this'll end up being nothing more than a ranting stream-of-consciousness post.  So for now, I'll leave it here. 

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