As part of our growing series of rebooting old lost blogs, I’m revisiting one of our original guild core concepts: the signature character. But what does that exactly mean? Well, I’m going to use a fairly interesting character to describe it to you, Major Armstrong.
Manly Muscles and Yet Depth
Full Metal Alchemist is a well known and beloved anime with its own well known characters. So why is Armstrong a “Signature” individual? First, he stands out in a crowd. Now, standing out is not at all the entire basis of what makes him a signature individual, what lies in this is his depth of character. When we first meet him in the story with the Elric Brother’s Armstrong is this somewhat crazy, muscular man, who has a high sense of being photogenic. As an individual he fought and did horrible things in the Ishvalan war. He is a man with his own struggles, and in the story he brings not only his backstory, but adds a strong sense of honor, and humility with the other characters.
Characters in BlackSky do not exist to be a group of badasses, we seek to create our sense of epic achievement through what we do, and how we accomplish what we do. We are not here to just take names and chew bubble gum. When Armstrong was a badass he did so for good reason, and came off that way for what he did to keep his friends safe and to fight alongside his comrades.
Case and point, Signature Characters are characters that as a group add to each other and meld the story to make it more entertaining and fun for those participating.
Spotlights getting Shared
Every time a character jumps into the “Saga” they are establishing themselves as a cast member of the ongoing drama. This is no different than when we first meet the main characters of a Game of Thrones, or when the Cast of Sons of Anarchy first appears on screen. Each individual in BlackSky is their own person. There is not a singular titular character to our story. As we mentioned back in the grey line, Rp for us is based upon balancing various story elements. This means giving everyone a chance at the spotlight and also shining the light on the groups achievements. Now, in that regard there will be times when no one in BlackSky wins. Even in FMA there were times when the brothers were outfoxed by the Hormunculi, or when the Lannisters pulled the red wedding.
A cast of strong characters pulls through the bad and brings greater characterization in the end. When the good happens the characters emphasize the sense of personalities and the variety that the story has shown.
Feeling with the Entire Cast
As I mentioned BlackSky does not have a singular main character as much as we have one big cast of main characters. Everyone in this guild is encouraged to act the part of supporting cast and mainline focus. Seems a bit weird, right? The truth is that we’re here to build a collaborative story that is self sustaining to a point. Sure, the episodes of our guild will have Officer, Player, and Leader backed ideas. Yet, we want to take much of the inspiration for those stories from the actions and back stories of our members! Perhaps someone has an old flame and we decided to introduce that element into the game. The Tide (the ongoing changing of the plot) strikes this character hard which then in turn effects everyone else to some degree.
In a way we want the group to feel how its members do. If someone gets it good there should be jealousy, well wishing, and much more. If someone gets killed it should be a horrendous situation where the brothers and sisters morn. Every character matters, no one is THE HERO and its all about being a good sport and working together.
The Curious Cast and the Rogue’s Gallery
Our aim at the end of the day is to forge a rogue’s gallery for faction so that people can pick out the top rivals, frenemies or budding relationships just by watching the story in front of them. Each member of the cast brings something or affects the group in some way. The push and pull by every member of the our Curious Cast (the group of signature characters) will thus forge the Tide, and then over time the Saga. In a way our guild is designed for heavy connections between our characters.
Let me take a small explanation from Gangs of New York as an explanation:
The story of the Gangs of New York bridge a story of families, of players, and of people. Nexus offers a new frontier to either claim as our Homeland (so says the Dominion) or as a last chance for a land outside oppression (so says the Exiles). Our stories as a over all community will focus not only on the struggle of the Talyn and Reily families, but also the struggle of those affected by the ancient blood feud. Gangs of New York told us a story of the irish forming with the Dead Rabbits and the other immigrant gangs to fight the bullying of the Confederation of American Natives. At the end of the day that is the story of the Saga along with the elements of Nexus and whatever fun idea we can come up with.
Our mythos is or backstory is created by our members, each character a signature unto themselves. Each addition to our story will add a new dynamic to the Saga, and weave new paths for our members to walk.