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Hero Critique Thread (Because it's about damn time for this too!):

[up] I must say, the character is very complex, which is a good thing.
 
 152 Prime of Perfection, Wed, 3rd Apr '13 6:44:13 PM Relationship Status: P.S. I love you
A noble thief is not seen, heard, or felt
Curious to ask if anything more, well, meaningful I can work with? Such as things in particular that stand out to you you like, things against, something you'd want more explored if you were following, what you think your reaction to them would be, etc.? I only ask because telling me she has layers doesn't serve any purpose. I already know that & it's just a vague observation. It's the more subjective things I'm interested in that gives me real meat and actual stuff to work with.

And alright, my own in critique first begins with an important question I have to ask you: Why do you want to deconstruct heroes in general? What about it makes you feel that what you're doing involves a careful use and analysis of what The Hero is?

Also, another question I have involves his identity outside of being The Hero & their promise. Generally speaking, who are they beyond that? What are the more facets that make them a human individual in their own right instead of just another character using familiar tropes?

There are two things I can leave for you, and others, to consider. The first involves tackling these questions which ultimately are what make up who a character is:

- What they do

- Motives

- Their past

- Their reputation

- Stereotypes surrounding them, how they fit them, how they violate, etc.

- Their network as a whole, general connections, who they know, how they feel about them, how they treat them, why, etc.

- Their habits and patterns as a whole,

- Talents and abilities

- Their tastes and preferences as a whole

- Appearance finally, how they choose to present themselves, how they feel about certain things with them, etc.

The second comes from a book I have called "Who Am I? The 16 Basic Desires that motivate our actions and define our personalities." A technique I've found useful is to apply psychology to characters to learn more about who they are and build them as people. Anyway, these are the 16 elements of a person to consider and how strong such things are in them. Generally speaking, people feel certain things strongly, moderately, or weakly. The 16 are the following: Power, Independence, Curiosity, Acceptance, Order, Saving, Honor, Idealism, Social Contact, Family, Status, Vengeance, Romance, Eating, Physical Exercise, and Tranquility. Hopefully this can help you better learn about who your character is beyond your current concept.

To note, various other theories one can use if you wish to. This is one of few I personally subscribe to.

Side note there, Good Is Not Soft and Good Is Not Nice aren't played together. Good is not soft requires them to be nice in the first place plus willing to get cutthroat when required. Good is not nice requires the character to be essentially a jerk. Now, if he starts as one and evolves into the other, that would be interesting character development which shows how things effect them. Personally, with whole hero thing, I feel it would probably be best to show them at the beginning and show their evolution throughout things from wherever they begin with ideas to heroes then wherever they end up.

On the purely subjective side, one thing I do wish to draw attention to real quick. I like his motivations surrounding that chick there. I just have a soft spot for motivations like Because You Were Nice to Me at times, so that easily gets a thumbs up from me. Another thing I do like is them being as scared as anybody else and just managing their fear. Another thumbs up there from me for things I wish to highlight that I like.

Finally, I do approve of the attitude of earning your happy ending. I'm curious to ask as to how do they? Or more to go into it, if bloodshed and all that is their chaos which they face, how to you intend to approach getting them to an idealistic conclusion with things?

To note, right now I feel like you have a solid starting point thus far, but yet to iron out many of the finer details which call upon really a magnifying glass on the character. I remember when I was at that stage long while back and I can definitely say it's fun working out of it, figuring out more about the character, etc.

edited 3rd Apr '13 8:57:11 PM by Prime_of_Perfection

That was a very informative post. It's going to take me quite some time to reply to all of that so I might have to add in piecemeal.

For the first question about why deconstruct, its all about making heroes more relatable to the viewer. I want to show that heroes are not the fearless, mentally indestrucable gods they're cracked up to be. By showing that the chaos, tragedy, and suffering that's inevitable in the line of duty takes its toll (mentally and emotionally), the aim is to show that heroes are people just like the viewer. This asks important questions that are left for the viewer to decide; What is real courage? What makes a true hero? These questions leave me to my prime blockage: the subsequent optimal method for the Reconstruction of heroes. Its an important point since the Reconstruction is paramount to earning the hell out of that happy ending.

The value of 16:
  • Power: Low for Votul, since his desire for it is purely pragmatic for the mission; moderate for Delana due to background and needing it for her dream.
  • Independence: High for Votul (see Chaotic Good), low-moderate for Delana.
  • Curiosity: Low for Votul, High for Delana (due to her interest in scientific pursuits) * Acceptance: High for both but for different reasons (Votul's insecure about his worthiness to Delana, she wants her family to be proud),
  • Order: Low to Votul (Chaotic Good), moderate to Delana (order is a means to an end, refer to Neutral Good)
  • Saving: Not sure if this is about money or saving other.
  • Honor: Moderate to Votul (Votul's code is informal), Mid-high for Delana
  • Idealism: High to both (Votul still tries to cling to it despite his pursuit being the root cause of his pain)
  • Social Contact: Low to Votul (like much of his flaws, likely correlated to PTSD), High for Delana
  • Family: Low for Votul (his is gone and has been since he was young) high for Delana
  • Status: Low for Votul, high for Delana (background)
  • Vengeance: Non priority for both.
  • Romance: Low for Votul (complex combination of being practically "A" barring single target, insecurity regarding worthiness, and his focus on the mission which feeds into the previous), high for Delana (has been wanting Relationship Upgrade for 3 years and is trying to slowly nudge him in that direction)
  • Eating: Low for both.
  • Physical Exercise: High for Votul, moderate for Delana
  • Tranquility: Low for Votul (doubts he's ever going to find inner peace due to his traumas, nightmares, etc), high for Delana.

Getting that prototype for Delana. Note: Less progressed than Votul. Realized she's just as important as a co-protagonist. Will get back to this later as there's much work to be done with her.

  • Name: Delana Orion
  • Gender: Female
  • Appearance: 5'6", long blonde hair (down to about the navel), Innnocent Blue Eyes, all the dimensions of an ironing board.
  • Age: 18
  • Alignment: Neutral Good
  • Personality: Out going, charasmatic, energetic, and highly sociable. Is quite The Gad Fly, taking harmless humor at pressing the right buttons. Also stealthly a pervert capable of some pretty raunchy thoughts.
  • Background: Heir to a very powerful (financially and politically) family that can best be described as "white nobility" (basically the family leans strongly to Lawful Good).
  • Relations: Both parents (father 43, mother 40) are alive and Happily Married. Has a 14 year old younger brother who's just started puberty. Her 2nd closest bond is with him, as she's very protective of him, which unfortunately causes a major misunderstanding (which she eventually apologizes for later after the eventual Heel-Face Turn) when she discovers him with one of the antagonists; a Broken Bird Dark Magical Girl (a dangerously powerful one at that despite her True Neutral alignment) Anti-Villain (type 2) who unbeknownst to Delana considers him both a Morality Pet and her only friend (at heart she's not a bad person so much as heavily rejected and lonely. Delana's bond doesn't stop her from considering her brother a favorite target for her friendly spirited "trolling"/teasing, which is made easier by his shy nature and recent puberty.

-Abilities: No powers. Very sharp scientific and political mind, especially regarding the medical arts. Her skill in medicine is the result of her being trained by the family doctor after showing a certain curiosity and natural compassion towards life.

-Weaknesses: Not very strong physically. Her gentle mindset makes her unsuited for combat (she doesn't fight so she doesn't get involved in combat situations).

-Relevant Tropes:

edited 7th Jun '13 2:00:46 PM by magnum12

 
 154 Prime of Perfection, Tue, 9th Apr '13 12:13:06 PM Relationship Status: P.S. I love you
A noble thief is not seen, heard, or felt
Alright, there we go then! I had to ask why you wished to deconstruct for two reasons. I've noticed some deconstruct all for the sake of deconstruction, which I wanted to see if that was case or not with you. Other deals with a little something I read when going over this book by Alan Moore on his approach to writing. He brings up early on about ideas which one wishes to hit on and explore in their writing.

With the blockage part you mentioned on how to reconstruct, I personally think the only way you can come to an answer there is for you to have an answer in your heart. Personally, while you can leave it to others to come to their conclusions and people will, I do feel it's best to have your own answer still though. And ultimately, the only place that can come from is you. Just look into yourself and figure out what you feel brings things back together. I can say exploring others approaches to such answers or reading into philosophy can help, though still, it has to be whatever clicks with you on a personal level.

On side note, I do like the heroine there thus far. Now, this is clearly my personal bias and I'm not speaking objectively whatsoever, but there are just elements to her I personally enjoy. First, there is the whole being an oujo, instant points with me. Plus hidden perv side, which can make for few good laughs. I do know some people can be turned off by that such, so I would suggest just keeping it as a facet to it and not forgetting other elements. With her being more support character, don't mind at all. I feel people can be either and sometimes good to have those around. One thing can toss out in combination with the Knight Templar side to consider is fact that someone with The Medic style skills would also know how to really hurt somebody if properly motivated.

 155 Connor Bible, Tue, 9th Apr '13 1:21:08 PM from Port Royal, SC
Southern Style Scribe
Here I go.

Name: Evangeline "Eva" Elliot

Age: Eighteen

Personality: Depressed, neurotic. Haunted by her mother's suicide. Socially, a shy girl with "zero connections to the human race". Desperately wants to achieve a happier life as a means of both acceptance and validation. Hides much of her problems under a snarky demeanor. When not wearing a social "mask of normality", she is isolated and numb. When cornered, will immediately become defensive, and in some cases, have a nervous breakdown.

Abilities: After volunteering for the Catharsis project, Eva's physical and mental capabilites have been boosted to the highest levels any human can achieve. She is able to control 99% of her bodily functions. That's all I know.

Weaknesses: Need to think about this one.

Goals: Getting to the bottom of the Catharsis conspiracy which she has been shanghaied into, as well as getting out of her existential funk.

Motivation: Another thing I have to work on.

Backstory: Used to be a happy girl, until her scientist mother killed herself. Alcoholic father, also a scientist, loves her, but is torn between her and his job at Prometheus Corporation, which funds the Catharsis project. Eva volunteers after being "offered" the opportunity by Klaus Krieger, the boy genius in charge of Catharsis. She reluctantly accepts, and becomes her dream self, only for her world to turn into a waking nightmare.

Relevant tropes are:

edited 9th Apr '13 1:22:20 PM by ConnorBible

 156 Prime of Perfection, Tue, 9th Apr '13 1:23:37 PM Relationship Status: P.S. I love you
A noble thief is not seen, heard, or felt
You're supposed to give feedback to whoever came last before you, gent. In this case it being Magnum. After you do that, I'm more than willing to respond to this.

 157 Connor Bible, Thu, 11th Apr '13 12:31:34 PM from Port Royal, SC
Southern Style Scribe
[up]Gotcha. Well, I found The Gad Fly element of Delana to be intriguing, and the idea of a clash between an otherwise Lawful Good character against an Anti-Villain has definite potential. Go for it, Magnum.

 158 Prime of Perfection, Thu, 11th Apr '13 6:56:55 PM Relationship Status: P.S. I love you
A noble thief is not seen, heard, or felt
The character is pretty much just Shinji from Evangelion. Since I DESPISE the original, I can't say I'm all that warmed up to what your hero. Beyond that, it would have to fall heavily on how well you can execute the writing because the main vibe I get from reading that is Captain Ersatz Spear Counterpart. A particular element which really makes me think you just saw Shinji, liked him, and decided to copy his exact template is the fact that you don't even know the character's motivations yet. All characters must have a drive. I think what could help you separate this character some from Shinji, if you intend to, is to give them motives completely outside of Shinji's.

The concept of them as an unreliable narrator could be intriguing though, depending on the execution. Really, I can't say much on the character beyond that. I hate them with regards to subjective stuff due to my bias against Shinji and everything else comes down to your ability as a writer. Regardless, I wouldn't worry too much about my subjective feelings anyway because I have a feeling I'm not your target audience. I will also add that being a Captain Ersatz is not a good or bad thing at all. It just is. Or at least that's how it all comes off to me, someone else could interpret it another way.

I think I'll throw my previous character back into the fray. If the next person can give feedback to one from page before (Cassidy Cain), I'll be thankful and return it via giving own feedback on whatever is posted. If there's anything in particular I'd like to hear, it's elements you'd like to see explored, what you'd like to see explored if you were following, any impressions & why, or so forth. Just anything meaningful that's actually helpful and gives me an outsider's perspective. Particularly because I'm an extrovert and this is just a necessity for my style.

edited 12th Apr '13 11:03:40 PM by Prime_of_Perfection

[up] Nice work. I can see a successor to Lelouch, there.

Also, how about a Hero Antagonist:

Name: Beagleman, HOUND OF JUSTICE!!! aka Marion Poindexter

Age: 19

Personality: First, go over to the Ascended Fanboy page and then read it at the same time as Keet. That is Beagleman's personality in a nutshell-he's basically every idealistic "naive fanboy turned superhero" stereotype known to man, and is quite cheerfully mocked by the main characters for that fact. A kind-hearted Idiot Hero and Fearless Fool due to his Nigh Invulnerable Flying Brick (the Fearless Fool bit, the Idiot Hero bit is all him) powers, Beagleman is the living embodiment of Silver Age cheese combined with the archetypal shonen manga protagonist. He is also rather gullible, regularly falling for the Wounded Gazelle Gambit and Schmuck Bait, no matter how many people spring it on him. This is actually one of the reasons he's survived so long and has managed to earn Hyperion City's respect despite being a complete doofus; most Masks, being largely Affably Evil, can't bring themselves to really hurt him; it's like kicking a puppy.

Relatively early in the story, however, he becomes infected by Pathos, a substance created from the grudges and anger of the dead seeping into Nether. This causes him to become progressively Darker and Edgier as it feeds on his own understanding of his failures as a Cape. At the nadir, he becomes a shallow Nineties Anti-Hero with Eyes Always Shut, and his complete swerve from his previous self freaks out our actual protagonists. Thankfully, Phantasmic and company are also Noble Demons, and beat the Pathos out of him, causing him to return to his normal, cheery, personality, after a Heroic BSOD from the Mind Rape experience of being corrupted. Of course, this goes from heartwarming to annoying when his Wrong Genre Savvy kicks in and he immediately assumes that this is a set up for Phantasmic's Heel-Face Turn and begins treating her team like best buds.

Abilities: As mentioned by the personality write-up, he's a Flying Brick who is Nigh Invulnerable, and has literal New Powers as the Plot Demands as one of his abilities (another reason why Masks try to avoid hurting him-fighting him is unpredictable enough to be entertaining). He's also a Determinator and Plucky Guy par excellence, and can neutralize magic thrown directly at him (very useful ability to have in an Urban Fantasy setting). Also, his sense of smell is massively amplified, which is how he got his name.

During his Pathos infection, he also gains no small amount of skill with a gun and some very lethal powers as well, which is part of the reason Pathos!Beagleman calls himself Deathbringer Bloodhound.

Weaknesses: As mentioned, he's also a complete moron, due to his utter Wrong Genre Savvy (his Establishing Character Moment is when he automatically assumes the Big Red Button he found at the end of the long hallway of Mecha-Mooks is the self-destruct...when it's the escape antigrav, and this is in a verse where you need to show you are Dangerously Genre Savvy in order to be officially accepted as a supervillain, and everybody knows this). He also has no freaking idea of how any of his new powers beyond the normal ones work, and he loses them soon enough (though it could be he forgets they exist), and everybody knows he's immune to direct magic, so they use magic for environmental attacks''. His Nigh Invulnerable nature makes it so that a lot of it only stuns him, but he's also weak to his own powers and bad smells. Thus, fighting him is really more of a test to see how long it takes before he develops a power that thrown back at him or is identical to his opponent's own. More than once he's also been knocked out by tricking him into the men's locker room or a sewer.

During his corruption, he becomes a lot more lethal, but he's still just as daft, if not more so due to his Fighting from the Inside. What's more, Bloodhound can't fly (because honestly, what Nineties Anti-Hero does?), and has a hard time seeing due to his squint. He can also be tricked into a soliloquy on his "tragic past", despite he not actually having one at all, and is in fact normally one of the most chipper and cheerful characters in the story (thus a lot of his "tragic past" involves Easy Amnesia; "You think you're a tragedy!? Let me tell you about my...Army buddies? Girlfriend? Parents?....well, thanks to my near death experience that I must have had, I can't even remember what relation they were."

(will continue)

edited 13th Apr '13 7:37:11 PM by Leliel

I'm as normal as anyone can be. Which is to say, not bothering myself with an impossible standard.
 160 Morwen Edhelwen, Sat, 13th Apr '13 10:51:03 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
Here's mine:

Name:Kullervo Kalevanpoika or Kalervonpoika (Sotijalo, Kulamagakinax, Kullervoinen)

Age: 14

'"Personality''': Sullen and not very sociable, with a Hair-Trigger Temper. Perceived insults often set him off. He often defies authority and is spiteful and vengeful. He has mental issues due to his brain not developing properly.

Backstory: He's a "clone", a biosynth or artificial human who is the image of his dead "father", Kalervo or Kalerva, son of Amudax, the mixed-blood chieftain of a Kalevalan indigenous tribe living on the border with Pohjola (the Northland). Kalervo worked for the Kalevala Corporation, the ruling organisation which controlled part of his tribal lands, helping to create Super Soldiers for the Corporation's biosynth program. He used his slave, Untamala, as the surrogate mother for two of the embryos. Untamala was halfway through her pregnancy during the most dangerous events of a feud between Kalervo and his brother Untamo over fishing rights and other resources. Eventually Kalervo and his household, except for Untamala, were killed by Untamo.

Untamala was taken into Untamo's household as a slave and shortly afterwards gave birth to a son, Kullervo (Kulamagakinax), who Untamo called Sotijalo, meaning "Pearl Of Combat", in Kalevalan, and a daughter, Kivutar (Ayagakuchax). As babies, Kullervo and his sister were treated badly by their uncle's family. When Kullervo was three months old, he swore to kill Untamo when he grew older. Untamo, thinking that the baby would grow up to be useless and afraid that Kullervo would kill him, sold him away to the blacksmith Ilmarinen and his wife Tähetär in exchange for some copper pots and farming tools, while his twin remained as a domestic slave.

Kullervo grew up on Ilmarinen's homestead as a foster son, with the blacksmith's wife caring for him in isolation due to his artificial (created in a lab) origins, temper and raw magical power, causing most of the household's servants to reject him. His superhuman strength caused him to ruin any extra task he was told to do while he worked at his usual duties as a cowherd. For example, when told to clear trees, he cut down an entire clearing and cursed it so that nothing would ever grow there. His foster mother's emotionally abusive attitude caused his hardened personality to harden further. Five months before the story starts, Kullervo was no longer allowed to do extra tasks for Ilmarinen.

Strengths: Magical power, Superhuman physical strength.

Weaknesses: Spiteful, vindictive personality. Easily angered and prone to violence.

Goals: Get revenge on Untamo and be reunited with his sister.

Tropes that apply to Kullervo:

Abusive Parents: Has an emotionally abusive foster mother in Tähetär, Ilmarinen's wife. Ilmarinen himself doesn't know this fact about his wife.

Anti-Hero: So much. He is based on Kullervo from The Kalevala.

Artificial Human

Born Into Slavery

Butt Monkey: He's born in his uncle's household and his uncle hates him, so he's sold away to a foster family where the foster mother treats him just as badly.

Dark-Skinned Blond

Enfant Terrible: Untamo believes him to be this.

Evil Uncle: Untamo

Fantasy Counterpart Culture: His original culture is based on the Aleut/Unangan culture of southwest Alaska. He lives in Kalevala, which is based on Karelia and southern Finland.

Friendless Background: He only saw two people in his life due to his isolation and has been emotionally abused.

Hair-Trigger Temper

Meaningful Name: "Kullervo" means "golden yellow hue" and he has blond hair.

Mixed Ancestry: He's part Pohjolan.

No Social Skills

Parental Substitute: Ilmarinen, strangely enough.

Separated at Birth

Wicked Stepmother: Tähetär.

edited 15th Apr '13 4:59:46 AM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
[up] I'd hold back on the meanness if I were you. There's a place and time for that, but I'd prefer someone similar to Asura for my "mean" protagonists-they definitely aren't nice, but they have understandable reason to be angry and bitter, and they have elements that make them nicer, however occasionally.

And now, continuing Beagleman, HOUND OF JUSTICE!

Backstory: Marion Poindexter was originally a very normal teenager living in Hyperion City, with Good Parents, not particular popularity but not hated, an average amount of friends...statistically speaking, the only think notable about him was the lack of anything notable, not even his grades (he was a B student, in case you were wondering-he's a space cadet variety of dumb, not a complete idiot incapable of learning). Personality-wise, he was as notable as anyone else-perhaps a bit hyperactive for his own good, perhaps a bit obsessed with the adventures of the various Capes and Masks in his world, but nothing special.

And then he, through a series of events that, to this day, he cannot get straight (the haze of memories involve driving while drunk, a magical idol of Set, a dimensional portal to the Nether, playing fetch with Ammut, and the three-time winner of the Mister Hyperion male beauty contest, and only start getting clear when he woke up to a very embarrassed Hathor), he found himself becoming the "Dog of Duat", Anubis' hand to enforce justice on Earth. He then immediately went to Anansi to take away his more threatening death powers, on the basis that in fiction and generally in his world, death powers are not associated with Capes, and he wanted to be a Cape (which is why Anubis will not speak to him unless he really has to: nobody likes being snubbed like that). Of course, Anansi, being a Trickster Archetype obsessed with making interesting (read: hilarious) stories, proceeded to play Literal Genie and grant Marion's wish of "make me more like a classic superhero" by making him exactly like the Narm and Big Lipped Alligator Moments. Beagleman, for his part, is okay with this, seeing as how his new Flying Brick powers have saved his bacon on more than one occasion, and made him one of the more popular capes (he doesn't seem to realize that it's because of the sympathy vote and the citizenry find him hilarious).

Of course, there's a rather large difference between "doesn't seem", and "is not", and behind closed doors, he's actually aware of how much of an Idiot Hero he is and how frequently his Wrong Genre Savvy gets the better of him. Because he is The Messiah, however, this never really progresses beyond Heroic Self-Deprecation, but unlike the typical Heroic Self-Deprecation, Beagleman has some pretty awful friends. See, the larger team of which he is a part, the Peacebringers, has long since succumbed to internal corruption due to arrogance and increasingly insane morals, thanks at least in part to their Batman expy, Noir (basically, imagine what would happen if the version Frank Miller writes (aka Crazy Steve) was The Chessmaster, believed Utopia Justifies the Means, and owned a PR Firm). Beagleman has the misfortune of being the sole member with Incorruptible Pure Pureness who hasn't been blackmailed into playing along, both because he's never made a mistake that, with Noir's Propaganda Machine, can be turned into a way to ruin his life and he manifests some pretty unbeatable powers to defeat anybody who threatens his loved ones (and presses his Berserk Button so he doesn't play around).

This doesn't sit well with Noir, who, getting increasingly fed up with Beagleman fouling up his False Flag Operation to take control of Hyperion (the Hyperion police department is neither corrupt or incompetent, and Beagleman is an excellent distraction for them to sneak up and nab supervillains), so he gets Omegaette (looks like female Robin, thinks like Ender thanks to Noir's manipulations) to infect Beagleman with Pathos while the latter has a Heroic BSOD after the utter failure of one of his missions (sabotaged by Noir, of course). Noir hopes that, as the Pathos slowly causes Beagleman to twist into a dark version of himself, he'll turn into a useful tool.

And after that is where our story begins.

(will continue).

edited 14th Apr '13 12:54:53 PM by Leliel

I'm as normal as anyone can be. Which is to say, not bothering myself with an impossible standard.
 162 Morwen Edhelwen, Sun, 14th Apr '13 2:15:19 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
@Leliel: He wants revenge and he's been ill-treated. Plus, he's mentally ill.
The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
[up] Oh, if that's the point...

Also, review plz? He isn't complete yet, but still.
I'm as normal as anyone can be. Which is to say, not bothering myself with an impossible standard.
 164 Morwen Edhelwen, Sun, 14th Apr '13 2:47:39 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
[up] Pretty good.
The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
Sorry, double post.

edited 14th Apr '13 9:14:08 PM by Leliel

I'm as normal as anyone can be. Which is to say, not bothering myself with an impossible standard.
Thank you.

Now, the trope page, including some revisions I found on another board:

  • Animal Motifs: Beagles, obviously.
  • Anti-Villain: He's actually a Hero Antagonist, he just has bad taste in buddies. He later becomes one morally, after he decides that the Midnight Crew, Phantasmic and pals, are going to Heel-Face Turn anyway (I'm still not certain if he's right about this or not), so he becomes an "honorary mask" as they root out the Peacebringer corruption.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Threaten his friends and family at your own peril-he will kick your ass. This is because at least part of his Wrong Genre Savvy persona is faked, and he's actually quite aware that the world he lives in doesn't run on normal comic book laws.
  • Break the Cutie: Being slowly turned into a pastiche of everything you hate about fame-driven Capes and shallow comics, then having the snot beat out of you to return you to normal, then discovering your "girlfriend" was working for your "mentor" to do this to you is not good for anyone's chipper attitude. It's also revealed that the mockery he faces stings him pretty deeply, to the point where he himself believes he's an incurable screw-up despite the fact he chose to be the clown. He gets up right afterwards though.
  • Butt Monkey / Iron Butt Monkey
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He' a little...fanciful. Though much of it's an act; he can tell his flights of fancy from reality but chooses to indulge in them because he thinks people will follow his lead if he tries hard enough.
  • Dating Catwoman: Subverted. Thanks to getting the entirely wrong idea from Dr. Thrope and her constant flirts, and the fact she's a werewolf, he thinks this is what is inevitably going to happen. She doesn't have the heart to tell him otherwise. Subverted, as with so many things-he likes her, but he recognizes how damaged she is beneath her fur, and would more likely want to drag her off to a therapist before even thinking about romance ("Dad told me to not stick it in the crazy, especially when the crazy has the ability to turn into a six-foot three-inch engine of destruction and is a Mad Scientist"). He doesn't get her anyway, and he's fine with that.
  • Deconstruction: Of Idiot Hero. Literally nobody views him as a threat, to the point where Masks fighting him are advised to avoid getting overconfident lest the cops sneak up on you while you're toying with him. Later turns into a deconstruction of The Chew Toy; as it turns out, he could be a real awesome hero if he wanted, but deliberately turned down his chance at being anything more than a joke because he wanted to change the world for the better rather than revel in the fame. And the jokes hurt.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He actually went over this before the story began when he realized how difficult his mutating powers were to control, in the worse way possible. He pulled himself right back together, and in fact his Determinator personality is a result of this-he's been through Hell already, what the hell can you do to him that he hasn't already cracked?
  • The Ditz: Thanks to his Honor Before Reason and Wrong Genre Savvy, he comes off as being, as mentioned, a bit dim. Although it turns out he's actually just too honorable for his own good.
  • Dumb Blonde / Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He's a blonde, he's The Messiah, and yep, he's an idiot. Though if you've read the spoilers, you know the former trope ain't true. He's actually trying to be a Warrior Therapist through example. He's not very good at it-at least until Character Development kicks in-but still, he has more up there there than just head fur.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: No matter what ending I'm going to do, I plan on him to finally catch a break. I'm thinking leader of the new Peacebringers after Noir and the irredeemable ones are kicked out and arrested.
  • Epic Fail: Has mastered this.
  • Expy: Of Silver Age Superman, at least in powers.
  • Guile Hero: What he is underneath his Obfuscating Stupidity. He isn't very good at it, at least at first, but dammit, he's trying!
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Becomes a Mission Control and The Mole for the Midnight Crew and the Bavarian Club...after it becomes clear how corrupt the Peacebringers are, and he keeps on needling the Crew to change sides.
  • Heroic Resolve: His real superpower. No matter what the hell happens to him, no matter what the mockery he has to endure, He. Will. Not. Give. In.
  • Hidden Depths: He's actually fairly intelligent, and not at all naive. He just thinks one should Turn the Other Cheek to Masks and other crooks, and knows that he's viewed as less of a threat if he's apparently an idiot rather than a Warrior Therapist.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Honor Before Reason: In spades. This part's actually not an act-he's The Fettered, and that comes with the downsides of not breaking a moral code ever.
  • Large Ham
  • Morality Pet: To Phantasmic and the Midnight Crew.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: It already shows when it's clear that Beagleman has some Heroic Self-Deprecation issues, then later it turns out that his Wrong Genre Savvy is entirely invented. He still doesn't have a lot of self-confidence in the ability to control his own powers.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech / "World of Cardboard" Speech: Combines the two during The Reveal.
—>Beagleman: You think you're something, Omegette? You think Noir has done anything except break you apart into something he can use? No, don't answer that, with the power I currently have I can tell when you're lying. Let me tell you the truth, though-what you are now is empty. You're empty, Omegette, except for the Pathos your boss put in where your soul used to be. You claim you're the perfect Cape, the perfect general, but really, all you are is a gun. You're a living gun Noir made to shoot at people who realize how insane he is, and even you know that despite how deeply in denial you've sent yourself-you're a practical empath after all.

—>These guys, on the other hand? Yeah, I don't agree with their professions, but you can't help but admire how full they are. Phantasmic? Yeah, she lost everything of worth to her, but she rose so fast she broke reality in the process, and has a dream we can all get behind. And she's the mild one! How can I-let alone you-possibly imagine the kind of dream and spirit it takes to change a species, or perform surgery on your soul, or break through the barriers between life and death, or hell, the ability to keep up with the rest of the team when you're the only one who hasn't done any of that! Above all else, sinyou? They overcame the hand fate dealt them. You, on the other hand? Noir says "jump", you say "off a building?" And you know how weak this makes you; you could be a goddess of light and justice, and you're his willing slave, all for a dream you can't even name.

—>"These guys beat destiny, Andrea-they can sure as hell crack you!"

edited 14th Apr '13 9:15:45 PM by Leliel

I'm as normal as anyone can be. Which is to say, not bothering myself with an impossible standard.
 167 Prime of Perfection, Mon, 15th Apr '13 1:52:27 PM Relationship Status: P.S. I love you
A noble thief is not seen, heard, or felt
I'll respond to it all in just a moment. There's something I'm just failing to understand at sec. Why should one make giant detailed stuff for people to work with and critique if there technically is no real critique in these? From what I've overall seen, the majority of this can be summed up as people putting all sorts of effort into their own characters yet when it comes to feedback to another, whatever they say in response is something basic & generic that can be created in under 30 seconds. Perhaps I'm missing the point, but how is any of that helpful to anyone here? Or how has any of it been helpful to some, if you wish to argue that the style of critique is helpful? And why should anybody care to even participate if you really don't get anything out of it?

In any case, I'm writing something up in response to Leliel's character filled with my thoughts on elements alongside a few questions on a few things. He's given me quite a bit to work with as well, which is why this will take a bit longer.

Beyond that, Leliel, I do thank you for liking character and saying what you did with regards to Lelouch. I'm curious to ask what in particular makes you feel that way?

[up] ...Because we don't feel like it if we see nothing obviously wrong?

As for Ms. Cain, I saw Lelouch in her because she's essentially a nicer version of him-smart, rich, and frequently flawed heroine who uses brains and a vast social network to do what is essentially a good thing through somewhat amoral means. Unlike him, I don't detect an intentional slide into Evil Overlord to fix her own mistakes, because frankly she doesn't seem like that kind of person.
I'm as normal as anyone can be. Which is to say, not bothering myself with an impossible standard.
 169 Prime of Perfection, Mon, 15th Apr '13 7:57:11 PM Relationship Status: P.S. I love you
A noble thief is not seen, heard, or felt
Obviously wrong in the character or the approach? If the former, I don't feel a critique has to be purely negative. If one likes something, no reason one can't go into details as to why to help them figure out what people are responding to and enjoy seeing.

If just in the approach, I'd say reason why I feel it's wrong is because I don't see how it's helpful. It feels hollow. Moreover, it makes me wonder if the only reason a person said even says as much as they do in the critiques is just to get to their character. Which, obviously, is absolutely self-absorbed. I'll show you what I mean.

Version 1: Your character is good. Nice!

Version 2: Alright, starting with the back story, I actually do like the whole being an average person for the most part aside from their love of comics. Maybe it's just me, but I get small vibe they'd be the top more focused on fantasy & escapism in general. If so, I'm curious as to why for them? Given how mundane everything was, I'd personally make it a case of I Just Want to Be Special. Up to you, of course, but just a thought throwing out there. Unless it's already there and just subtext.

Also, I really like them as a Hero Antagonist. A part of me does feel that nowadays that the Silver Age Superman expy types get tossed into that role more often than some of the others, but I'm not at burnt out point of it yet. Some might be, who knows? I am curious how much spotlight does his character have for a Hero Antagonist in it, least in relation to others too. Curious to ask how long the phase regarding his change to darker character lasts. I'm exactly sure how I feel on that side, though I would have to see the execution to ultimately decide. I can see potential since it shakes up the status quo and redefines the threat they offer. Plus the whole change to 90's style anti-hero could be pretty cool, though only reason I'd have concern is with regards to audience reaction. I can easily imagining some people wanting the old variant of character back and, even though you outright said they do comeback, just a factor to toss out there. Actually, yeah, more I think on it and potential threat they could offer, plus how it could effect them once they get back to their normal, I'd say it's worth it.

Besides that I think they could make for pretty good comedy moments and threats. Really, with them, balance I feel is the key. Really, if played right, could easily see that character being a fave due to their humorous personality and depth beneath it. Can you give any examples of type of comedy you'd pull? Directly showing or giving an example as to how he'd do things is fine by me.

Also, I really like the way you balanced our his weaknesses in particular. Personal favorite is one with him actually just forgetting his powers at times. Really, given whole element of New Powers as the Plot Demands and so forth, he makes for someone who works well to make the other heroes look strong facing alongside me makes them look well when dealing with him. Such as attacking the environment with their magic. I'll admit when I first read their powerset, I was worried about them seeming too strong, but overall, I think you've compensated pretty well. I will say one thing I could see becoming old is if defeated by sense of smell too many times. Hell, if I was the heroes, I'd just bring a stink bomb or something along to neutralize him swiftly and efficiently after the first time learned about that. That or if I was him, take that into account to stop it from happening... which just gave me hilarious image of someone with those type of powers coming into battle with nose plugs or nose pinched close. [lol] Then they get knocked off during the fight to finally exploit the weakness or something. Such as someone uses magic on them alone once in the situation since they aren't immune or anything. Or something, not sure. Only reason I bring it up on that weakness is because it makes me reflect back on Venom and his weakness to sound. I don't mind it being used at all, but I love it when other options are pulled out too. Or we all know how tired people got with Superman and Krypotine, which is a shame since Superman is vulnerable to magic and there are other things which can effect him.

But yeah, as a whole, I think they can make for a pretty good character and those are the reasons why I say it.

So yeah, if people honestly feel Version 1 of these critiques are what's for the best for everybody, I just want to understand why. I just don't see how it's all that helpful. Even in version 2 when one feels things are positive, saying why one feels it is positive and what they respond to can be helpful when writing. Or at least that's how I feel. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I know from my experience, I know which is more helpful and which I'm indifferent to.

Now, I know they can't all be lengthy. Sometimes one just doesn't have that much to work with. But still, I feel one can at least put a bit of effort into it. I feel that's the true spirit of this. Really, it's very basic "Do unto others" type deal. It's just cooperation as fellow artists and being a support group for one another.

Do you like receiving the Version 2 edition more in return for all that hard work you put typing it out? If yes, then why not pay that same respect to someone else, who would feel the exact same way? If no, if it doesn't make any difference to you whether it's version 1 or 2, I'm curious to ask why not? And why put all that effort into trying to share something when there is barely any payoff in doing so? Or is there some form of payoff here that I'm missing? I just fail to understand and asking questions is the only way for me to learn a different perspective.

Also, kudos for answering that. Actually hadn't thought about that at all with Lelouch aspect. I think I'll take that into account for a little bit of analysis, contemplation, and so forth.

edited 16th Apr '13 5:50:21 AM by Prime_of_Perfection

Dapper Gentleman
[up]I, for one, would like to offer my thanks to you for addressing the brevity of the critiques. I can't speak for anyone else, but as an author, I appreciate in-depth commentary and analysis for my work an immeasurable amount. True, it can be something of a pain in the posterior to type out a lengthy critique every time, but what goes around comes around.

As for myself, I'm putting the finishing touches on a summary of my hero. She should put in an appearance here tonight or tomorrow!

edited 15th Apr '13 8:55:20 PM by BrotherMycroft

"And every life is a special story of its own." —The Stargazer, Mass Effect 3
 171 Prime of Perfection, Tue, 16th Apr '13 3:30:43 AM Relationship Status: P.S. I love you
A noble thief is not seen, heard, or felt
I look forward to seeing whatever you put together! Hopefully there are others who share my sentiments and put effort into it. If not, sigh. While I can take it or leave it, I much prefer to take it and I think plenty others would too.

My new rule may be to just put as much effort into responses as people do for others. I genuinely like the concept of this thread and villain one, so I don't wish to give up on these. I just think some reform is needed on how we approach it. I don't care solely about myself in this either for replies. While I won't deny I wish to employee this to my advantage too, I want to see everybody get way more out of this.

To further illustrate my point, look at my above ones where I actually did put effort into the responses and then the coming one (which is me being legit in doing this, though it's mostly to show how I feel this comes off as & I apologize in advance since this feels "wrong" to do, but I feel showing is best in this case), which is me following the same spirit of the majority of these I've seen thus far:

@Morwen Edhelwen, your character is okay, I suppose. Don't know why, I just don't have much strong feelings to them one way or another.

And tossing own character in Cassidy back in to continue seeing what I can get out of this. Please look back on the previous page for more on the character.

edited 16th Apr '13 10:12:34 AM by Prime_of_Perfection

 172 Night, Tue, 16th Apr '13 8:39:11 PM from PSNS Intrepid Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Who you are does not matter.
No specialization.

I'll elaborate in a moment, with a specific complaint, but I'd note that "no specialization" in general sums up the character kind of painfully. They are everything, socially adept, intelligent, trained with weapons, pretty, etc. At age 20. And hence they are nothing, because in being everything so soon in life they stretch credulity and seem less a character and more a collection of handy plot devices. Without viewing Cass in their native environment, I can't definitively say this is bad, but from what's said here, I am not encouraged. (And I'm also sensing Batman influences. Even in the name.)

Now, no specialization in a more specific sense. This isn't an uncommon problem in a lot of stories, but people fight and train to a specific idea of combat usually, and history has produced only a few disciplines that can be considered true generalists. I'm not reading Cass's style out of this. Rapier training and aptitude suggests an in-close parry-rather-than-block methodology, so you might want to keep that in mind. Similarly, tactics and strategy is a vast field, and while one might be well-trained, it is usually to a specific type of warfare executed in a specific fashion. Even today infantry officers still need to be talked out of using armored vehicles like bunkers a lot of the time.
"Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other...and rise."
...can still bite
@ Leliel: Beagleman sounds well thought out and entertaining. I love me a good deconstruction. Although in the trope list, it's difficult to figure out which tropes apply to pre-Pathos, Pathos, and post-Pathos Beagleman.

@ Prime of Perfection: Same criticism as Night. You need to explain how someone at such a young age could learn all those skills, it kind of breaks Willing Suspension of Disbelief.


Name: "Mute" Marvin

Age: 24

Personality: An intelligent Deadpan Snarker and The Gadfly, who as his nickname suggests happens to be a mute Surrounded by Idiots. Hilarity Ensues. Somewhat of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, he's not really a Jerk Ass, but his inability to speak often gives the impression that he is a shy, innocent, Cute Mute when he's anything but (although he's not above playing it for all it's worth). While he loves playing pranks, especially on his telepathic Tsundere Love Interest Rinna, he actually can be serious when the situation calls for it.

Abilities: Skilled in archery and fast handwriting (his method of communication). He is also very observant, and is able to deduce things that others don't pick up, including when his group is in danger (which can often lead to a frantic game of "charades").

Weaknesses: As mentioned before, he can't speak due to a curse.

Goals/Motivation: To get his voice back.

Role in Story: As he is 5-10 years older and more mature (when not playing pranks) than his other traveling companions, he acts sort of as The Mentor. He could be the leader, but he's too lazy.

Backstory: <still working on this one>

Associated Tropes:

edited 17th Apr '13 6:09:34 PM by shiro_okami

@ Shiro: None of them apply to during-Pathos Beagleman. The point is that he's a one-dimensional thug during his corruption, nothing except a danger to overcome, not a character at all. It's really to show what Pathos does to people before the plot really starts to focus on it.
I'm as normal as anyone can be. Which is to say, not bothering myself with an impossible standard.
 175 d Roy, Wed, 17th Apr '13 9:00:08 PM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
@shiro - I am not entirely as to how a silent character could be a snarky mentor figure. Does Rinna do the talking for her?

Okay, so let's try this...

Name: Mael Strauss

Age: 32

Personality: Cultured, humble, and benevolent, he seeks to offer as much help as he could to those around him. However, he tends to get easily annoyed and stressed out, although he would never let is show, thinking that his own needs come after that of others. Despite his warm appearance and actions, his thoughts can be surprisingly cynical.

Ability: Martial arts, markmanship, quick organization/analysis/decision making skill, and diplomacy. He also has an artificial right arm that can crush most materials and fitted with a retractable blade.

Weaknesses: Cares about appearances a bit too much, especially when it comes to his father. Also, considering his occupation, he is not too good at socializing.

Role In The Story: He is the main character. He and his friends are basically six-people problem solver of the town and he is the leader.

Goals/Motivation: He is not entirely sure himself, but he sure wants to do as much good as possible. Also, stop trying to please his father.

Backstory: He was born in a prestigious family, son of Rowel Strauss, a senator who was also one of the founding members of Special Assistance Service during The White War. Since he was a child he heard a lot of tales about his father and greatly admired him. Soon his goal was to become a governor so he could work alongside him as a colleague. He started to spend all his time studying and training, and being a prodigy, he entered the most prestigious university in the country at the age of 15 and had an attorney license by 21.

Immediately after that, he hears about Young Assistant Training Program, a 4 year long experimental officer training program whose graduates will be directly put in charge of Special Assitance Service (whose members are referred as "assistants"), and for some strange reason open to civilians. Wanting to be like his father, he immediately applies for the course. Unknown to him, it was also an assassin training program and out of 400 applicants, him and one other applicants finish the program and were put in charge of a SAS unit.

In his third year as an officer, now a captain, he is tasked with killing Bachiel Morinth, the leader of Versius Liberation Army, a terrorist group sworn against Elterlein Republic. The mission goes horribly wrong and out of five, all but one of his men are killed. In a fit of rage, he leads a two men suicide mission to the village Morinth and other VLA were staying, slaughtering most of the inhabitants, including Morinth himself and civilians. Despite the "success", in the ensuing fight against retaliating VLA soldiers, his last man was killed and he loses his right arm. He gets discharged (honorably, but the upper brass just wanted to kick him out) and admitted to a mental hospital for a year when he realized the atrocities he commited, combined with PTSD (which stays with him for the rest of his life).

After getting out, he renews his attorney license and ashamed to face his father, he immediately takes his father's suggestion and moves to Riverach, where the story takes places. There he stumbles upon five people who would become his friends and decided that he will put the past behind and do good deeds.

Relevant Tropes:
  • Antiquated Linguistics: From time to time.
  • Artificial Limbs: Had to amputate his right arm after it was practically shredded during the gunfight during his way out of the village.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: In some way; Sergei, a policeman who is more or less the top authority of the town, immediately began to treat Mael like the leader when he defeated him in a sparring.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Again, in some way; in his SAS team, he was the best martial artist.
  • The Atoner: Greatly regrets his massacre and shows particular soft spot for any townfolks with Versius heritage and does his best to be a helpful member of Riverach.
  • Badass
    • Badass Bookworm: Graduated Royal Institution of Higher Education, the most prestigious university in Elterlein, at age of 15 (typical age is 18)
    • Badass Transplant: His right prosthetic arm allows him to knock people in one punch, punch through wall, grab a blade barehanded, and so on.
    • Cultured Badass: Enjoys drinking tea and listening to classical music.
  • Bash Brothers: With Sgt.Maj. Whitehead during SAS days and Sergei in Riverach.
  • The Captain
  • Combat Pragmatist: In a rare cases he fights, he ends it quickly and painfully.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: By the end of his shortlived military career he killed at least 65 civilians.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: His true goal after getting out of the mental hospital.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: One of the reasons that compelled him to join Special Assistance Service.
  • Ensign Newbie: Started off as one; before the program (which was aborted after Mael, making him the first and also the last graduate), SAS units were strictly led by non-commissioned officers with at least 15 years of service. Luckily for him, he earned his squad's respect quickly enough.
  • Gentleman Snarker
  • Improbable Age: He is only 32 and is a licensed attorney...with 7 years of military experience.
  • The Leader
  • Nerves of Steel: Although he gets stressed out easily, he is quite good at controlling his emotions and quickly making decisions.
  • Nice Guy: Very polite and helpful.
  • Nice Hat: Often seen wearing fedora or flat caps.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Before his last mission, that is.
  • Perpetual Smiler
  • Super Soldier
  • Teen Genius: See Badass Bookworm.
  • Training from Hell: And many of them stuck.
  • Waistcoat of Style: His default wardrobe.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: In fact, his whole life was about getting his father's approval. Ironically, Rowel is very proud of him; he never says much because he thinks it's so obvious, when in truth everyone thinks that he is a very distant father.

edited 17th Apr '13 9:26:21 PM by dRoy

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Total posts: 483
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