Announcements

Looking for the Missing Worlds Media store? Find it here: https://store.missingworldsmedia.com/

For everything you need to know about setting up your second chance account, follow this link:https://cityoftitans.com/content/now-released-avatar-builder-and-second-...

Our All-New, OFFICIAL public Discord is now open. Follow the link https://discord.gg/Z6D3ssP and join in the conversation.

Google Pay, PayPal, and STRIPE. Find out how to connect all these together in this week's UPDATE!
(This week, there's free stuff in the update!)

Making a Compelling Thief

23 posts / 0 new
Last post
Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
Making a Compelling Thief

Just like the title says, I kind of want to make a rogue character, a thief who isn’t evil but skirts the line with their crimes, has a nice gimmick or theme, and most of all has a sort of compelling backstory or reason as to why they are who they are.

Homages to draw on would be specifically Black Cat, with hints of Catwoman.

I was thinking potentially animal themed, but again with a sort of compelling background and appropriate tech/powers. Specifically I was thinking the Fox, perhaps with a name along the lines of Vulpes, Reynard, or Vixen perhaps (as a female).

Thoughts and ideas?

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 11 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
My character Kitsuneko might

My character Kitsuneko might have become a rogue, but instead became a sorceress. Rebelling against an abusive power-structure and plotting revenge/redemption. She chose the 'More Noble Than Those um, People' route.

Foxes are popular rogue-types, but no farmer raising small critters likes the predators that kill them. Selina Kyle could have gone 'Fox', but Cats are more widely socially acceptable. I know people who prefer a Ferret or Mink even though they are rather vicious predators.

Vixen or Felice (Reynard or Felix) seem like good names, even without an overt animal theme. Crow or Sparrow, Blackbird or other bird might work, too. 'Minx' could be a theme-name. Other than bunnies and chickens, Cats and Foxes hunt 'vermin', which is another reason they are popular. Skipping the over-used Robin Hood angle, reversing injustice is an effective motivation for otherwise anti-social behavior. You might go 'Freedom Fighter'. Also, if you can walk the razor-edge, try Vigilante, only considered villainous by certain unsympathetic people, but otherwise heroic.

For more inspiration, consider katfood25's DA page https://www.deviantart.com/katfood25 and her CoX OCs Feral Kat/Kitty, who take 'Catwoman' a bit farther. Mmm, or Hit-Girl, or even Elektra (Marvel). In a lot of ways, Black Widow (Marvel) is a sympathetic rogue, too.

I often find inspiration in folktales and mythology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_tricksters might work for you, too.

You might crib, heavily, from Laura Croft. Perhaps as a 'Collector' of cursed artifacts for PIT?

Anything unclear should be looked up!

Be Well!
Fireheart

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 1 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
One could go with a bird

One could go with a bird theme.

Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

My character Kitsuneko might have become a rogue, but instead became a sorceress. Rebelling against an abusive power-structure and plotting revenge/redemption. She chose the 'More Noble Than Those um, People' route.

Foxes are popular rogue-types, but no farmer raising small critters likes the predators that kill them. Selina Kyle could have gone 'Fox', but Cats are more widely socially acceptable. I know people who prefer a Ferret or Mink even though they are rather vicious predators.

Vixen or Felice (Reynard or Felix) seem like good names, even without an overt animal theme. Crow or Sparrow, Blackbird or other bird might work, too. 'Minx' could be a theme-name. Other than bunnies and chickens, Cats and Foxes hunt 'vermin', which is another reason they are popular. Skipping the over-used Robin Hood angle, reversing injustice is an effective motivation for otherwise anti-social behavior. You might go 'Freedom Fighter'. Also, if you can walk the razor-edge, try Vigilante, only considered villainous by certain unsympathetic people, but otherwise heroic.

For more inspiration, consider katfood25's DA page https://www.deviantart.com/katfood25 and her CoX OCs Feral Kat/Kitty, who take 'Catwoman' a bit farther. Mmm, or Hit-Girl, or even Elektra (Marvel). In a lot of ways, Black Widow (Marvel) is a sympathetic rogue, too.

I often find inspiration in folktales and mythology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_tricksters might work for you, too.

You might crib, heavily, from Laura Croft. Perhaps as a 'Collector' of cursed artifacts for PIT?

Anything unclear should be looked up!

Be Well!
Fireheart

I think anti hero would be the best moral description for this character: they will do heroic things and aren’t chaotic evil or irredeemable, but they know that their actions, or at least most of them put them on the other side of the law.

While I have the Highwayman as my seducing gentleman thief, I wanted this character to take more inspiration from Black Cat then say Robin Hood or the Three Musketeers.

Since the character will most likely be milk and I think fox themed (as an animal that is cunning and hunts vermin or ‘weak willed powerful men’, I think it fits). I was thinking that aside from the usual suite of enhanced physical attributes and senses, he perhaps has a single power, like Black Cat’s bad luck ability.

I was thinking something like limited pheromone manipulation or charming? Not so powerful he relied on it all the time but it does help with stealing and getting close to marks.

I just need an idea for a backstory, with a little tragedy and a reason why he does what he does, stealing from people who can afford to lose some, helping heroes and police on occasion, but not able to give up a life of theft and crime to go straight.

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 1 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
Gladatoria wrote:
Gladatoria wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

My character Kitsuneko might have become a rogue, but instead became a sorceress. Rebelling against an abusive power-structure and plotting revenge/redemption. She chose the 'More Noble Than Those um, People' route.

Foxes are popular rogue-types, but no farmer raising small critters likes the predators that kill them. Selina Kyle could have gone 'Fox', but Cats are more widely socially acceptable. I know people who prefer a Ferret or Mink even though they are rather vicious predators.

Vixen or Felice (Reynard or Felix) seem like good names, even without an overt animal theme. Crow or Sparrow, Blackbird or other bird might work, too. 'Minx' could be a theme-name. Other than bunnies and chickens, Cats and Foxes hunt 'vermin', which is another reason they are popular. Skipping the over-used Robin Hood angle, reversing injustice is an effective motivation for otherwise anti-social behavior. You might go 'Freedom Fighter'. Also, if you can walk the razor-edge, try Vigilante, only considered villainous by certain unsympathetic people, but otherwise heroic.

For more inspiration, consider katfood25's DA page https://www.deviantart.com/katfood25 and her CoX OCs Feral Kat/Kitty, who take 'Catwoman' a bit farther. Mmm, or Hit-Girl, or even Elektra (Marvel). In a lot of ways, Black Widow (Marvel) is a sympathetic rogue, too.

I often find inspiration in folktales and mythology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_tricksters might work for you, too.

You might crib, heavily, from Laura Croft. Perhaps as a 'Collector' of cursed artifacts for PIT?

Anything unclear should be looked up!

Be Well!
Fireheart

I think anti hero would be the best moral description for this character: they will do heroic things and aren’t chaotic evil or irredeemable, but they know that their actions, or at least most of them put them on the other side of the law.

While I have the Highwayman as my seducing gentleman thief, I wanted this character to take more inspiration from Black Cat then say Robin Hood or the Three Musketeers.

Since the character will most likely be milk and I think fox themed (as an animal that is cunning and hunts vermin or ‘weak willed powerful men’, I think it fits). I was thinking that aside from the usual suite of enhanced physical attributes and senses, he perhaps has a single power, like Black Cat’s bad luck ability.

I was thinking something like limited pheromone manipulation or charming? Not so powerful he relied on it all the time but it does help with stealing and getting close to marks.

I just need an idea for a backstory, with a little tragedy and a reason why he does what he does, stealing from people who can afford to lose some, helping heroes and police on occasion, but not able to give up a life of theft and crime to go straight.

Well actually an anti-hero is a protagonist that's not supposed to be completely likeable, while an anti-villain is an antagonist that not supposed to completely hated.

Foradain
Foradain's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/25/2013 - 21:06
Might I suggest a Mongoose

Might I suggest a Mongoose theme? Rikk-tikk-tikki-tikki-tchk!

Foradain, Mage of Phoenix Rising.
Foradain's Character Conclave
Millennium City Refugee.
Avatar courtesy of Satellite9

Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
Foradain wrote:
Foradain wrote:

Might I suggest a Mongoose theme? Rikk-tikk-tikki-tikki-tchk!

I remember reading this story as a kid, it could work as well as the fox angle.

Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
Any more suggestions?

Any more suggestions?

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 1 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
not that I can think of

not that I can think of

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 11 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
I like the weasel/ferret/mink

I like the weasel/ferret/mink/mongoose angle. It's more atypical. The character does not need to be 'furry', just as Batman is not a man-bat. Just 'inspired' by the creature.

Key elements would be supple strength and speed, with a very predatory outlook. Mongooses (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongoose) were kept as guardians and vermin-control, just as cats were and they are very catlike.

I think the core of this character will come from "do they steal?" and, if so, "Why do they steal?"

Since the OP specifies a 'Thief' and a 'Compelling' one, I presume they Do Steal, so the key is definitely 'motivation' and if they have any principles guiding who they steal From and how. The creature inspiration becomes largely irrelevant, at that point. Just a supporting detail.

The difficulty comes from the question of whether 'society' is supposed to consider the character as sympathetic (ie. basically 'good') or unsympathetic, like any plain, ordinary criminal. Are we, the audience, supposed to like them?

Establish that, and other questions should become easier.

Be Well!
Fireheart

Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

I like the weasel/ferret/mink/mongoose angle. It's more atypical. The character does not need to be 'furry', just as Batman is not a man-bat. Just 'inspired' by the creature.

Key elements would be supple strength and speed, with a very predatory outlook. Mongooses (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongoose) were kept as guardians and vermin-control, just as cats were and they are very catlike.

I think the core of this character will come from "do they steal?" and, if so, "Why do they steal?"

Since the OP specifies a 'Thief' and a 'Compelling' one, I presume they Do Steal, so the key is definitely 'motivation' and if they have any principles guiding who they steal From and how. The creature inspiration becomes largely irrelevant, at that point. Just a supporting detail.

The difficulty comes from the question of whether 'society' is supposed to consider the character as sympathetic (ie. basically 'good') or unsympathetic, like any plain, ordinary criminal. Are we, the audience, supposed to like them?

Establish that, and other questions should become easier.

Be Well!
Fireheart

To answer that question, I think that perhaps society sees the character as a criminal BUT, would note that there seems to be donations to shelters in Weston and other struggling businesses and such, so he almost seems to be like a Robin Hood like figure.

I was thinking that he is a mutant, with two sets of abilities, the first being pheromone control, the second being his fox-like traits and claws and the like. I believe that his pheromone abilities contributed to his background, and his bouncing a bit from foster home to foster home and eventually into a Weston orphanage.

Thoughts?

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 11 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
I would counter that

I would counter that 'Pheremones' are not 'Mind Control' but simply trigger chemical affinities in those who experience them. So pheromones would not 'make' a person behave in a certain way, but make them more inclined to behave that way. "Do I make you horny, baby?"

Therefore, I would encourage you to focus on what Effect you want to produce, rather than the mechanism. If you go around stinking up the place, then the 'Bloodhound' character would have few problems tracking you to your 'batcave'.

Also, some people have idiosyncratic reactions to such input. Instead of feeling 'friendly', they might decide you smell 'threatening' and shoot you on sight.

Generally speaking, the 'Orphan Makes Good' angle seems likely and reasonable. Also, I figure there is no reason to mimic the morphology of your iconic creature. No reason to burden the character with 'inhuman' features, just to make a point. They might have senses and abilities resembling that creature, while still being 'human' to the last percentile. Take your 'inspiration' to the costume shop. That way you can still go out for pizza, without alarming the natives.

Be Well!
Fireheart

LeadWanderer
LeadWanderer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 11 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 22:41
Unnamed Fox could use the

Unnamed Fox could use the pheromone control as a way to weaken reflexes and like a debuff to those who get in melee range and contact or maybe he has to use the power proactively? uses equipment that stores his unique chemical weapon and expels more os less of it, perhaps his mood even changes it so they feel his agitation or relaxation?

Fox themed seems like it would be a stealth package with maybe some weight or sound reducing power to provide stealth or maybe enhanced reflexes, maybe a spiderlike sense when someone is close by?

Origin of foster care could be compelling, though what if he never when into the system or opted out and disappeared at a young age from a bad home and started early, taking care of the indigent and much less fortunate. As bad as foster care could be there is worse to be seen on the street, part of his heroic aspect could be guiding kids he helps away from becoming hardened criminals.

I am at a loss for fox names though, and i am unfortunately thinking of Foxbat a little as i consider it... Not that there is any similarity at all.

Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
I like the name Reynard or

I like the name Reynard or perhaps Kit, as it refers to a male fox and in this case a bit of a wild child or Casanova, something I think his powers give him credence of and while it personally may not be the case, it sells the package so to speak.

Nos482
Nos482's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 7 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/25/2013 - 14:50
A little late and not too

A little late and not too serious... make a thiefing nun and call her Mother Magpie. =P
Why is she stealing stuff? To support the chronically underfinanced orphanage she's running of course.

When people ask me about my religion, I tell 'em I'd worship Cthulhu.

How bad could I possibly be? Let's see...

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 11 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
Gladatoria wrote:
Gladatoria wrote:

I like the name Reynard...

That's certainly a Classical name for a Fox Character.

Be Well!
Fireheart

Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:
Gladatoria wrote:

I like the name Reynard...

That's certainly a Classical name for a Fox Character.

Be Well!
Fireheart

Do you think it begets powers of persuasion or pheromone manipulation? Along with aspects like being able to climb, claws, and senses?

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 11 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
'Persuasion' is certainly

'Persuasion' is certainly part of the 'likable scoundrel' archetype. Han Solo typifies it well.

Almost 'Mind Control One-Half' "Look! Stormtroopers!"
(while running away) "Hah! Made you look!"

I only question the "I'm not saying it's Pheremones, but it's Pheremones." as a mechanism. In fact, I'd call it 'Charm' or 'Persuasion', rather than citing any particular method. Methods can be blocked, while 'powers' might not be so easy to deal with. Your 'Pheremones' won't affect somebody on the Intercom, when you have 'accidental' blaster discharges in the prison block, or seduce the cute girl with a head cold.

That's why I suggested you think in terms of effects and applications, rather than mechanisms. Name the effect and don't worry about why it works.

Be Well!
Fireheart

Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

'Persuasion' is certainly part of the 'likable scoundrel' archetype. Han Solo typifies it well.

Almost 'Mind Control One-Half' "Look! Stormtroopers!"
(while running away) "Hah! Made you look!"

I only question the "I'm not saying it's Pheremones, but it's Pheremones." as a mechanism. In fact, I'd call it 'Charm' or 'Persuasion', rather than citing any particular method. Methods can be blocked, while 'powers' might not be so easy to deal with. Your 'Pheremones' won't affect somebody on the Intercom, when you have 'accidental' blaster discharges in the prison block, or seduce the cute girl with a head cold.

That's why I suggested you think in terms of effects and applications, rather than mechanisms. Name the effect and don't worry about why it works.

Be Well!
Fireheart

I see, that makes sense.

As far with background and motivations for a lovable scoundrel like character, do you believe a mutation as an origin makes sense from a story perspective?

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 11 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
I guess that depends on what

I guess that depends on what you mean by 'mutation'. Many of the more extreme 'Natural Origin' powers would be 'mutations' in an otherwise 'normal' human. Heck, look at Shaquille O'Neal and tell me that guy isn't a 'mutant'.

One way of clearing that up is to ask if the character makes the powers, or if the powers make the character? Or, ask yourself what the character sees when he looks in a mirror? Is your purpose to make a fox-person and then tell the story about what they DO with their part-fox abilities? Or do you want to tell a story about a person with fox-like abilities and describe the (possibly horrible) details of how they got those abilities? Or will you tell a story about a person with extraordinary abilities, who is inspired by tales of fox-characters, to take on the fox-mantle and disguise themselves behind it? Do they model their behavior on the fox, or is the fox the Reason for their behavior? Are they 'human' inside, or 'creature', or 'human-creature' trying to deal with their inner conflict?

As I may have said, earlier, I prefer a character who is externally 'normal', so they Can live among the humans, peacefully. A character that puts on the 'batman mask', so they can express a different part of themselves. My own 'Nightwolf' character has experienced many social problems due to his appearance. On the Other Hand, if you Want to tell a story with such built-in conflicts, then go all the way, or make the character a 'were-critter'. Then they could be ostracized by their peers for their beastly appearance and play the whole "I am NOT an Animal!" meme.

In fact, that may be the strongest argument to settle Any questions you have. What kind of story do you want to tell and what assets and options do you want to build into the background? Even if you don't expect to need a particular meme until later. In your mind, roll the character back to age-five, or whatever, and pick the elements you want, or Might want to deal with, then work them into the background. Think about what such elements might mean to the character, growing up and how they might affect the grown character.

Have Fun!
Fireheart

Lothic
Lothic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

I guess that depends on what you mean by 'mutation'. Many of the more extreme 'Natural Origin' powers would be 'mutations' in an otherwise 'normal' human. Heck, look at Shaquille O'Neal and tell me that guy isn't a 'mutant'.

Back around 1992 I actually physically came face-to-face (it was more like my face to maybe his lower chest) with Shaquille O'Neal at of all places a local movie theater in Orlando. This must have been right around when he first signed on with the Magic in Orlando. He was being escorted by a couple of police officers but otherwise I assumed he was there to see a movie just like we were. It was honestly amazing to look up and see how tall he was IRL. His wiki page says he's 7'1'' and I'm sure I've never been around anyone as tall since.

Sorry... not trying to derail the thread. Just wanted to confirm it was impressive to see such a person IRL. :)

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Gladatoria
Gladatoria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/08/2013 - 14:20
Or do you want to tell a

Or do you want to tell a story about a person with fox-like abilities and describe the (possibly horrible) details of how they got those abilities?

To quote you, this would be kind of what I would be going for, with a bit of the taking on the persona of a fox or rather after a sort of character and animal they felt compared to and often likened to, hence the nom de guerre.

I am struggling though with the pieces of his backstory coming together with that in mind, where he was or is from, etc.

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 11 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
Well, you answered most of my

Well, you answered most of my usual character-building questions, by saying he grew up in an Orphanage. That's a generally understood environment, presumes he has no family available, etc.

So, it seems the remaining hard question is 'how he got the powers'. There's always the 'orphans stolen for nefarious experiments' meme... I understand 'Foster Care' is the popular method, these days. Then you just need a villain... possibly Tyrosine Corp. Or the alien Vrill. Or possibly getting ahold of something extra powerful/bad as an 'edge', while running with the Rooks street gang. Or all of the above. Something like that might set the rogue/thief pattern and then the story can be about working out a path to redemption.

Remember, there won't be 'origins' in CoT, like there was on CoX. So, 'origin' is story-fluff, now. You could even go full-on 'Elephant Man' and have the 'mutation' or other 'change from normal' be something the character was born with, rather than something imposed on an otherwise 'normal' person. Then, 'Quest for the Origins' can be part of the story. A child born with frightening differences might be put up for adoption by 'anyone'. Perhaps the Fox's mother was a victim/escapee from 'Nefarious Plot' and unable to raise him?

Myriad plot hooks might revolve around parents/family. Are they dead, or not? Would they want him, or not? Can he find them, or not?

Have Fun!
Fireheart