Monday, October 9, 2017

Playtest Characters: Teams Basilisk & Python

Now that y'all have gotten to see the playtest pages if you want to, here's a little closer look at the playtest characters! They're brand-new mortal Heroes who have only played a session or two, so we anticipate that they'll branch out in many directions as they grow.

(Yes, according to John, the team names have Relevance to the Plot, but since the players don't know that yet, you'll have to speculate on your own.)

Team Basilisk: Agent, Soldier, and Chef

Character #1: Jaime Dienas, called by Demeter

Jaime is a chef at a local Cuban restaurant, which he built up himself and runs in order to support his family and carve out a little space in the thriving multicultural landscape of Miami. The son of aging immigrants, he does his best to take care of his parents while growing his business, dreaming one day of being financially solvent enough not to have to worry about taking care of everyone (and of one day not having to worry about his parents being deported if something goes wrong, an issue that is becoming more worrisome by the day). He was a farmer originally, and his intimate familiarity with the way food is grown and harvests adds to his ability to create food that is seldom appreciated as well as it deserves.

He became a Hero when his divine patron Demeter arrived at his restaurant and sampled his food, revealing herself only after she had decided that he was worthy of being encouraged. After she impressed upon him the need to choose local ingredients and be mindful of what people had to do to grow and harvest them before he received them, she sent him into the world to act in her name, bringing comfort and life in a new age that she hinted might need it more than ever before.

Jaime has so far been excellent at creating sustenance and art in the kitchen (Vision), wrangling and working with his employees as a team (Diplomacy), and making sure to encourage his companions to be cautious and look back over decisions before running headlong into anything.

Character #2: Neel Sharma, called by Ganesha

Neel is an ICE agent, a government worker who specializes in investigating, discovering, and deporting illegal immigrants and aliens on United States soil; for years, he did his job without qualms until the new restrictions came into play and he found his own parents were being targeted for deportation when their paperwork expired and they were not allowed to reapply. After helping them illegally evade notice, he began to have moral questions about his job, wondering how many other families he had torn apart who were no danger to anyone, and these days has begun subtly working against the system from the inside, hoping to make a difference without getting caught. His cover job is as a bartender at a local club, where he generally feels less conflicted about his life.

He fell abruptly into the life of a Hero when Ganesha, remover of obstacles and granter of good fortune, appeared to him one day and in no uncertain terms made it clear that he did not approve of a career spent trying to bar people from citizenship and send them back into poverty and danger. After feeling judged and extremely wanting, Neel was intimidated into feeling more than ever before that he needs to effect change - even if it costs him everything he has.

Neel has been great at projecting carefully cultivated faces to the world (Empathy), scouting out strange situations for information about the political and crime landscape (Streetwise), and being deeply suspicious of everyone and everything until proven otherwise.

Character #3: Nicholas Buchanan, called by Tyr

Nicholas (Nick) was a soldier for most of his adult life, serving in Afghanistan in capacities redacted from most files until he lost a leg in the line of duty and was honorably discharged to find some other way to make his way in the world. Since his talents mostly lie in physical and military areas, he has made quite a small business out of bodyguarding and protection gigs for local celebrities and businessmen. Of course, not all these businessmen are particularly legitimate, and his side business of helping smuggle people in and out of the city without asking where they came from or why is probably not strictly on the up and up, either... but when life gives you lemons, sometimes you have to make lemonade with an unorthodox luxury goods smuggling operation.

He became a Hero not long ago when the sudden appearance of a boat full of apparently human-intelligent canines interrupted his bodyguard patrol around an eclipse party and Tyr, in the larger-than-life flesh, appeared out of nowhere to encourage him to help him fight them off and demand that he decide to push his boundaries. He was informed that this was only the tip of the weirdness iceberg, advised to work on staying in shape, and then left on a boat without little more idea about what was going on than he started with.

Nick brings skills to the table including action sports on land and sea (Athleticism), the ability to shoot enemies with artillery (Weaponry), and very motivational impatience to get up and go deal with things already.

Team Python: Two Waitresses and a Barista

Character #1: Helena Aguado, called by Dionysos

Helena is a barista at a local coffee shop, but that's just her Clark Kent cover. When she's not working, she's a crusader for justice, specifically focusing on conservation and environmental concerns. Humanity is killing the planet and she is determined to slow or stop that process: she wants to save the whales, prevent rainforest logging, and she will go to Washington and punch a senator in the face with brass knuckles that read CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL if she has to. She's very passionate and intense, so much so that her relationships tend to be short and explosive. She wants to make a change in the world, for the better, but although she knows what's wrong, she isn't sure exactly what to do yet; she's looking for a direction and a way to make an impact.

She recently became a Hero when Dionysos called her out to a nightclub, got her extremely drunk, and explained that the world was about to change and she would have the power to make a real impact on that change - exactly what she wanted to hear. She doesn't know what all the babble about satyrs and morality and so on really means, but she knows this: he was looking for someone with the passion and power to go to the limit to make a difference, and she's exactly the right person for the job.

So far, Helena has been a superstar when it comes to searching for clues (Tracking), demanding people pay attention (Persuasion), and providing a refreshing and frank voice of reason when people get too emotional. Not that she isn't emotional, too, but she always keeps her eyes on the prize.

Character #2: Islande Chery, called by Hathor

Islande (Issy) works two jobs, one as a waitress at a Haitian restaurant and one as a personal assistant (read: errand-runner) to an international businessman and landlord, and between the two just manages to make ends meet. Born in Haiti but relocated to Miami with her family as refugees from the 2010 earthquake, she is a sweet-natured and happy person, just trying to make sure her family, roommates, friends, and everyone else are all happy and comfortable at the end of each day. She often shoulders a little extra financial burden or does extra chores or errands, but she never minds as long as it brings a smile to someone else's face. She hasn't yet found a real driving passion or ambition in life; for her, it's enough right now just to be happy in little ways while she learns more about where life will take her.

She became a Hero when Hathor in all her goddess glory appeared to tell her that she was needed to be a moral compass for Heroes with dangerous and driving jobs, destined to do big things (it doesn't hurt that those Heroes are also her friends!). She also heard a declaration that she would help restore the monarchy of Haiti - not the French monarchy of its colonial days, but the short-lived monarchy that replaced the invaders after the country overthrew them - but she doesn't yet know enough about either history or the divine to have the faintest clue what she's supposed to do about all that.

So far, Issy has been excellent at reading peoples' moods and needs (Empathy), physically toting her friends around when necessary (Brawn), and coming up with compromises for her two strong-willed and passionate friends (who can use a good mediator!).

Character #3: Valencia Rosales, called by Zeus

Valencia is technically a waitress, but that's just what she does now and then in between being fabulous. The daughter of a rather notorious Cuban crime boss (currently in jail for administrative misbehavior, which is sad but not forever), she is the definition of a carefree party girl: she loves boys, pretty clothes, expensive gifts, and fun days and nights at beaches and clubs. She's an Instagram model and a burgeoning artist of about fifteen different kinds, and she's all about finding excitement, happiness, and people to spoil her, getting fun out of every bit of her life she can. She's sure her life will burst wide open any minute when her obvious talents bring her fame, and she works hard to get noticed by photographers and talent scouts now that she has to support herself without her father's influence.

She found her way to becoming a Hero when a very sexy gentleman by the name of Zeus invited her out to a club, gave her jewelry, and then was really weird about not making out with her while loudly declaring that she had to scream her devotion to the city and be ready to be a powerful new force for change in the world. She wasn't really clear on what that meant or why he was being so weird, but apparently it's a thing that's happening now.

Valencia has so far been instrumental in convincing people to let her go places and do what she wants (Persuasion), being distractingly hot at strategic moments (Beauty), and reminding everyone that vague divine mandates are all well and good, but no one should lose sight of the fact that their own wellbeing is pretty important, too.

In the future, we expect one more character in each of these groups, as well as a third team (Team Elk is waiting to represent!), but they'll have to be saved for another post when they finish firming up and get started. Hopefully they give you a little more insight into the world of the very newly minted divine!