positive: optimism, candor, cheerfulness, logic, honesty, daring, enthusiasm
negative: recklessness, emotional confusion, carelessness, lack of tact, rudeness, fickleness
– from Linda Goodman’s “Love Signs”
Sag is a natural personality for a role-playing game character. Frequently, what RPGers want out of a game is positive adventure. Why bring the negativity that everyone experiences in life into one’s fantasies (whether they be in a fantasy world or not)? People are fairly risk averse and those that aren’t likely have on average shorter lifespans. With someone else’s life, we can afford to be more daring and more reckless.
It should be obvious that sometimes I’m forcing the theme with this series. In Sag’s case, though, I have what seems like a reasonably appropriate situation. I have two characters in Heroes of Rokugan. My main character has had to take a back seat since before Gen Con as I first needed to rank up my backup character for the Doom of the Crab event and, then, later he got involved in our (now quite extended) group’s storyline in ways I didn’t expect.
That’s likely to change after January 2nd. The upcoming mod, Essence of Toshigoku, is one of the few mods that is consistently deadly to PCs. And, I don’t really have any problems with my character dying in it. His retirement goal makes more sense if he’s dead. I need to get back to playing my main character as there’s less than a year left in the campaign. It’s very appropriate to end things in a mod that is the sequel to the first mod I played him in.
Being described someone’s RPG character is often excruciatingly painful, so I’m not going to go into that. But, suffice to say, he’s no Sag. Optimistic? Cheerful? Enthusiastic? Um, no. Pessimistic, bitter, and disinterested certainly applied for most of his history.
Don’t fight human nature. That’s something Magic’s lead designer has brought up reasonably often in the last year when talking about designing mechanics. Don’t fight what people want. Well, there’s also not fighting genre conventions, in this case, I’m thinking of conventions of fiction. Extremes, in particular extremes within a family, make for more accessible stories than subtle contrasts.
So, an extreme. Where one brother was a sad, bitter man who eventually found what he needed to get over that, the other brother is a cheerful contrast. The other brother?
Well, I likely need a backup character as something could always happen to my main. I have a lot of options from character ideas I’ve already thought of, but they tend more towards trying to do wacky things mechanically. A younger brother is far more meaningful from a story standpoint … and he’s wacky mechanically, too … of course.
While I think Sag is a personality type I can play better than most others, I still need a lot of help with fully realizing the entire personality and not just pulling out one aspect (bluntness would be the one most people would probably think of) and trying to hang a hat on that. So, as per the mission statement of this series, I can study multiple dimensions of the character to really try to bring something authentic to the table (well, computer, since that’s where I play most these days).