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  #31  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 05:16 AM
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I've added to my Writing Sample, to better reflect Rudy. He's a desperate man.

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Originally Posted by Rockerboy View Post
@EMIW: Would you be interested in Vinny having xrossed paths with Rudy? Maybe he was sent to strong arm or something? Or maybe they were both caught up in the Mafia leadership change that caused some mutual recognition of their situations? Or maybe when they were both on the out, they could have found some common ground and formed more of a friendship (like the Mafia outers frequenting the bar)?
@Rockerboy: In the situation we both get picked: I imagine that Rudy is also in trouble with the Outfit. They wanted whatever he was being given at the time of the MURD incident, and he was the last person known with it. When he woke up after the explosion it was gone - taken, fallen into the harbour, he never knew. Maybe Vinny was sent to bother Rudy about the item, the higher-ups not believing that he doesn't have it, and to try to get Rudy back into the fold - they then realised they were in a similar situation in regard to the Mafia, and formed a kind of friendship.
Although, reading your application again, it looks like Vinny doesn't really actively work for the Outfit any more, he's basically out and just owes them money? I wonder if Rudy's wife's cousin Adamo was the one pushing him for the item, and mentioned incidentally that Vinny was laid up sick after the MURD blew. Rudy could make a connection between his own new 'situation' and Vinny being 'sick', and seek Vinny out to try to establish if they are 'suffering' (in Rudy's mind given he doesn't want his powers) from the same thing. Debateable whether Rudy would have even heard of Vinny before this, Rudy was hardly in the inner circle, he was just slipped money to more stuff around.
Interestingly, the organic steel/Colossus idea was what I first thought of doing before I remembered my old character idea!

Last edited by EMIW; Nov 7th, 2023 at 03:26 AM.
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  #32  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 05:18 AM
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Character Concept
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Brianne "Bri" Donnelly
Character Name: Bridget "Bri" Donnelly
Age: 27
Gender: Female

Nationality: Fourth generation Chicago native. Great-grandparents were Irish immigrants, and while the extended family still tries to keep in lockstep with the Irish-American community, Bri doesn't care as much.

Physical Description: Bridget "Bri" Donnelly presents herself with a practical elegance that befits a field journalist of her time. Her hair is a cascade of auburn, typically drawn back in a neat, no-nonsense bun to keep it out of the way while she's working, with perhaps a pencil tucked behind one ear. Standing at a modest height, she has a wiry frame that she's learned to use to her advantage in the field, blending into crowds or darting after a lead. Her eyes, a deep hazelnut, are sharp and attentive, reflecting a perceptiveness honed by years of seeking out the truth. A small, well-earned scar just beneath her jawline speaks silently of her time in Korea, usually hidden beneath the collar of her sensible blouse.

When Bri harnesses her abilities, the subtle energy that now resides within her makes itself known. Her eyes, once a warm shade of brown, shimmer with a kaleidoscope of colors, flecked with specks of silver and gold that catch the light unnaturally, mirroring the lens of a camera. The strands of her hair that turn white with power like a flashbulb are just a few and blend seamlessly into the natural highlights of her auburn locks, often tucked behind her ears or lost in the shadows of her bun.

Occupation: An investigative journalist at the Chicago Sun-Times. Bridget "Bri" Donnelly delves into the city's underbelly, unearthing stories of corruption and social injustice with unwavering tenacity and keen insight. Her background as a war correspondent brings a fearless edge to her work, often leading her to shine a light on the truths many would rather keep hidden.

Powerset:Lens Manifest
Bri was looking down the viewfinder of her camera the the MURD went awry. As a result, much of her power is associated with her camera.

Enhanced sight. Postcognition snapshots by looking through the viewfinder of her camera.

Backstory: Bridget "Bri" Donnelly was born into the vibrant pulse of Chicago in 1931, the middle child in a bustling Irish-American family. The Donnelly brood was a medley of laughter and defiance, but Bri's narrative took a darker turn with her father's death— Her old man had been a casualty of the war, but not the kind that got you medals and a folded flag. He'd died in a training exercise, a mistake swept under the rug by Uncle Sam. It was in his silent, absent testament that Bri found her calling. That injustice had lit a fire in Bri, one that burned for truth, and it's what drove her to the newsroom of the Chicago Newspaper name here.

Bri cut her journalistic teeth on the battlefields of Korea, dodging bullets and barbed wire to deliver stories of soldiers and strife back home. The experience had granted her a gritty resolve and an unflinching dedication to the stories that lay hidden in the margins, often overlooked but never insignificant. The war had changed her, left its mark in the form of a steely gaze and a resolve that only comes from staring down the barrel of mortality. It had sharpened her senses, honed her instincts, and when she returned to the States, it was with a reputation as a reporter who could handle the heat, who wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty for the sake of the scoop.

After returning from the front lines of Korea, Bridget "Bri" Donnelly found herself navigating the tempestuous landscape of 1950s Chicago, where post-war optimism clashed with undercurrents of social and political strife. Her typewriter clacked late into the night as she chased leads on the city's burgeoning organized crime syndicates, corrupt political machines, and the contentious labor movements of the era. This period sharpened her instincts as a muckraker—a term worn with honor as she exposed racketeering rings and the plight of the working class, often facing down threats that lurked in the shadows cast by the towering cityscape. Her reports not only made her a target for those she exposed but also cemented her reputation as a journalist unafraid to challenge the status quo.

Bri's assignment to cover Olympus Power Corp's unveiling of their Multi-Universal Rift Device, or MURD, at the festival was less a matter of choice and more a consequence of her recent journalistic escapades. After a series of hard-hitting, risk-laden articles that had ruffled more than a few influential feathers, her boss at the Sun-Times decided it was time for her to take a 'break' from the gritty exposés. Her editor, seeking to cool things down and perhaps remind Bri of her place, assigned her to cover the MURD event—a far cry from the gritty stories she was passionate about. Regarded as little more than a glorified PR stunt by Bri, she approached the assignment with a mix of disdain and resignation. The event promised nothing more than polished speeches and self-congratulatory pats on the back, a far cry from the kind of journalism that got her heart racing. Resigned to her fate, she was there amidst the pomp and fanfare, camera in hand, capturing images she thought would never make it beyond the second page. As she peered through the viewfinder, framing the mundane spectacle of corporate self-congratulation, the world suddenly erupted into chaos and everything went white...



Boons:
  • Photography: Her camera is her most treasured possession, not only as a tool of her trade but as a means to capture the world's stark realities and fleeting moments of humanity.
  • Jazz Music: It's the soundtrack to her late-night writing sessions and a symbol of the cultural vibrancy she defends through her work.
  • Coffee: Many a long night has been spent over a typewriter with a cup of strong, black coffee at her side.
  • Truth: Above all, Bri seeks the truth, believing that the public has a right to be informed about the machinations of those in power
  • Adventure & Discovery: She has an innate curiosity and a love for uncovering the unknown, which drives her into the depths of every story.
  • A Better World: Returning from the horrors of war, she wants to believe and invest in the possibility of a world where such conflicts are a thing of the past.

Malus:
  • Corruption
  • Red Tape
  • Loss of Credibility: As someone who values truth, the idea of losing her credibility or being unable to convince others of the veracity of her discoveries is a haunting prospect.
  • Tangled Film Roles
  • Mice
  • Getting stuck in elevators

ContactsPOSITIVE
A grizzled veteran of the newsroom, Paddy has been a stalwart presence in Bri's life since she penned her first byline. A friend of her late father's from the war, Paddy took it upon himself to look out for the Donnelly family, particularly Bri, whom he saw as a bright spark in the gloomy world of post-war journalism. His mentorship extended beyond journalism; he became a surrogate father figure, especially after her father's untimely death. With a lifetime of connections and a talent for sniffing out stories that matter, Paddy continues to guide and protect Bri, often tipping her off to the big scoop while quietly keeping tabs on her well-being. Their bond is one of mutual respect, and while they may bicker like family, the loyalty between them is unshakeable.Patrick "Paddy" O'Connell
A fellow photojournalist who served with Bri in Korea. They developed a bond under fire, and he respects her eye for photography and tenacity. Charlie occasionally passes along tips about happenings in the city and is someone she can always call on for backup in a sticky situation.Charlie "The Lens" Levenson
A local jazz musician who doubles as a street informant. He keeps his ear close to the ground in the clubs and back alleys of Chicago, funneling Bri tips on the city's pulse and more shadowy movements. In exchange, she ensures his band gets favorable mentions in her columns, boosting their local fame."Doc" Daniel Abrams

NEGATIVE
A medium-time mobster with big-time aspirations who holds a grudge against Bri for a scathing piece she wrote exposing his racketeering activities. He’s constantly trying to discredit her work and has a network that occasionally throws wrenches into her investigations.Frankie "Fingers" Malone

NEUTRAL/COMPLEX
A savvy rival reporter from a competing paper, Vivian shares a tangled past with Bri, which includes a brief but secretive and intense romantic fling. Their relationship now oscillates between professional rivalry and reluctant camaraderie. Vivian works for a competing paper and isn't above using underhanded tactics to scoop Bri or spin stories in her favor. Vivian respects Bri's talent and occasionally tips her off to stories that she can't pursue herself, but their history and current rivalry make every encounter a dance of conflicting emotions and professional one-upmanship.Vivian Rockwell
A hard-nosed Chicago PD detective with a strict moral code, but who isn’t above using unconventional methods to close a case. His relationship with Bri is complex; he admires her guts and determination but disapproves of her sometimes reckless pursuit of the story. They frequently find themselves in an uneasy alliance, as each's success can hinge on the other’s cooperation.Detective James "Jimmy" O’Shea
The sprawling Irish-American family network is a pillar in Bri's life, providing a sense of belonging, history, and more often than not, a burdensome expectation. Among them, Bri's relationship with her mother, Eileen Donnelly, stands out as a complex weave of support and tension. Eileen is proud of her daughter's independence and success, yet she also harbors hopes for her to settle down and start a family, often playing matchmaker. The clan's network of uncles, aunts, and numerous cousins offers Bri a treasure trove of resources, from the city's political gossip to the latest street-level happenings. However, their traditional views often clash with Bri's modern lifestyle and career choices, especially regarding her discreet bisexuality and rejection of conventional roles. The family gatherings are a mixture of warm reunions and subtle battlefields where old-world expectations meet new-world dreams.The Donnelly Clan
ComplicationsMotivation: Truth at Any Cost Bri’s driving force is her unyielding pursuit of the truth, a principle that is both her greatest strength and her potential downfall. This dedication to uncovering the truth has earned her respect, but it has also painted a target on her back.

Secret Bri harbors a secret that could upend her life: her bisexuality. In the conservative societal climate of the 1950s, such a revelation could not only tarnish her reputation but potentially destroy her career and estrange her from her family and the conservative Irish Catholic community she belongs to. She must navigate her personal relationships and public life with caution, knowing that a slip could lead to her personal life becoming scandalous front-page news.

Enemy The tenacious nature of Bri's reporting has earned her a formidable enemy, a corrupt political figure or perhaps a crime boss whom she exposed in one of her stories. This adversary is biding their time, seeking the perfect moment to exact revenge.

Responsibility Bri's sense of responsibility extends beyond the search for truth in journalism. As a middle child of a large family, she feels a strong duty to support and protect her siblings, especially after her father's death. This sense of duty often pulls her in two directions, as she struggles to balance her time-consuming career and her family obligations.

Writing Sample
 

Last edited by Lorelei; Nov 12th, 2023 at 05:45 AM.
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  #33  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockerboy View Post
What if Vinny was interrogated by Charlie, back when the incident took out the cash/car of the Mafia, because the head honchos wanted to make sure Vinny hadn't stolen it? It could also be a chance for Charlie to see/glimpse that Vinny wasn't happy with how things were going, or the way he was being treated by the new head of the family, which could provide a mutual "our situation sucks and needs to change" connection?
I am ok with all of that. it's probably easier to only have one "mob" in the story anyways.

@Boss Nadar, that's a great compliment, thanks! I'm not sure where I want to lead Charlie yet, for now, at least the prologue for sure, I'll keep him nice, meek and trapped by circumstances and then we'll see.
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  #34  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 11:43 AM
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Mod note: Lorelei's app was caught up and hidden by the auto-mod. I've approved it and it's now visible - I don't want it to get lost since you won't get a notification for a new post in the thread.
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  #35  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 02:34 PM
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Mod note: Lorelei's app was caught up and hidden by the auto-mod. I've approved it and it's now visible - I don't want it to get lost since you won't get a notification for a new post in the thread.
Soon all the mods will be a.i.
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  #36  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 02:51 PM
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Hexcursed
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Originally Posted by HexCursed View Post
Being there seemed natural because it was the biggest event to happen in Chitown. Going with some friends (mixed company... but don't tell daddy) would probably have been her reasoning. They were intending to make a social fathering out of it - a shared experience with friends. Going on her day off would make the most sense, though if the even was in the early to mid-morning that could work too.
that'll work for me!

Arczero
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@Boss Nadar Ah fair enough, a greater threat unites us kind of thing?
Eventually, yes, though that's a long way off. Think of it more as everyone getting their own individual comic book with crossover potential.
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Originally Posted by ArcZero View Post
Sweet, I do enjoy those first baby steps of power, as long as it's not something that needs to be perfectly balanced like worrying about always having your defenses and attack/damage capped for you power level. I feel like there is a lot of potential for M&M to worry less about the exact balance and focus on a new power that's having an effect on their life.
You'll probably eventually want to hit those caps, especially as you get closer to PL 10+, but in the early game the focus will definitely be on discovering your abilities more than anything.

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Originally Posted by ArcZero View Post
I don't know the ins and outs of it, if only those there at the event can develop the powers but I left it pretty open for the cousin to get involved in something nefarious. If she learns that he's in a gang that could pull her in to trying to stop him. Her sister may fall on hard times and I leave it up to you if the uncle develops something after his recovery/coma. I like having those possibilities but not dictating to you who or what and kind of discovering along the way.

I wrote that scene as her being very new to it, but clearly she's in denial if she thinks she can hide something so explosive. It's just a matter of time for her to have a meltdown at work or something. So I see some Daily Planet shenanigans happening. Trying to stay normal at work but ultimately being unable to hide it.
That should be fine, more than anything I'm just more concerned about her inclination to move away from trouble rather than moving into it, but there are enough attachments to family members that won't have that luxury that I should have no problem writing you into the plot.
AlphaZ
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I had this one character, a long time ago... things have changed a lot since then. But some things always stay the same.
An interesting character, and hopefully he can find a home here. Though, speaking about homes, in the writing sample it seems suggested that he returns back home after the incident. While the writing sample is non-cannon, does Dr. Holland intend to make the return trip right away? Or is that part also part of the 'what if'? Having an estranged daughter lost in Chicago is plenty of motive for you to return regardless, but it would be good to know when writing your post-timeskip posts.

Rockerboy
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Originally Posted by Rockerboy View Post
I can make adjustments, for sure, I'll make it 3 months to align with the prologue. I had considered keeping Vinny in the Mafia proper, but thought having the potential to go either way (he does well and gets back in, or doesn't and things get worse) gave you the most to work with, if he's selected.

And more than happy to connect with EMIW's character, having IC connections is always fun!

And the sample was mainly just to add some grief and tragedy to Vinny's potential start, but also to establish his crossroads situation; but if you have a preference on the Mafia angle (being in fully, or being on the out like the bio sits currently) I can adjust and provide the meeting sample instead. Just let me know and I can make changes, no problems!
That'll work well, because then post timeskip you'll only have a few weeks remaining, which will give you an incentive to light a fire beneath you and get involved somehow. And leaving that door open is probably wise, who knows where you'll be after a few issues-maybe the mafia won't look so bad next to the fed goons or the MURDer superiority groups that form up!

DraconigenaArma
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraconigenaArma View Post
You make a good point, I suppose, if staying unknown remained his primary influence the entire campaign. That would be kind of dull, plus I don't think it's fair for everything to just, "go back to normal" after the first major threat to his family/community. Someone'll find out something, somehow and that will move things. Plus I don't foresee him keeping a secret from his wife for too terribly long, especially a fiery spirited ride-or-die Irish catholic one. So the focus would likely switch more from avoiding exposure in his community to protecting his community, to enriching his community.

Also other details are fluid, such as he could have worked for na Olympus Corp. factory when he has a kid and still does a lot of shipping for them. He could also be in the Teamsters, there's no strong reason he can or can't, and they have always had covert and overt ties to the mob.
Fair enough. As long as he has an out to get involved, that should be good enough. Having ties to Olympus Corp, even tangential ones, could give me a few additional levers to pull, but its not necessary either if you think it feels too forced.

Blackdragon0
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Originally Posted by BlackDragon0 View Post
I hope this is M&m 3e. It's the only book I have. Let me know if my ch needs anything else. Or if you just have a idea to throw at me...
Don't worry, this is absolutely 3e. And if you don't have the books, the core rules are available online. Not sure what the rules are for link sharing here, even if its publicly available, but if you need access, PM me and I'll show you the website. I don't have any specific suggestions for you, but if one of the other applications seems like the kind of person Oni would know, it couldn't hurt to see if you can't set up some sort of pregame relationship. Its not required, but having more potential for interactions with other players, friendly or otherwise, is definitely a plus in my book.

Actually, now that I think about it, I do have one question. As a half-japanese, are you adopting their naming conventions of family name then personal name, or are you adopting the American naming style of personal name then family name. In other words, are you Mr. Oni or Mr. Kage?

YsoldeBold of you to make a character with a nonstandard orientation in the 1950's, but as I mentioned earlier, most people are far too worried about MURDers to be concerned about social issues, so the worst you'll likely face is a few nasty remarks. However, unless I'm missing something, you don't appear to have a negative contact-everyone in your list seems to be a positive or at least neutral contact. I'd like you to create someone at least that I can use as a personal antagonist of sorts if possible. It could be a bully in the workplace, a bean counter for the hospital that cares more for profit than saving lives, or a neighbor that's figured out your secret and is blackmailing you to keep it secret.

PalladiaMorsWell written, with ample hooks for me as a DM. I might make a very slight modification, and suggest you have one or both of the couple at the car before they run off for the ceremony, just so you'll have someone to talk to for a bit in the prologue (and for me to possibly drop some hooks of my own), but beyond that, my only question is how you intend to design her mechanically. Are you going to limit her to "mundane" feats of intelligence like the classical sherlock discombobulate scene, or are you planning on eventually going down the path of an inventor? Either is fine, but if you are planning on going down the device creating path, we'll eventually need to have a conversation about the scope and nature of your inventions.

LoreleiFirst of all, welcome to the site! Glad to have you here, and hope you stick around. Regarding your application, you sure you haven't done this before? There's a lot to unpack there, plenty of hooks, and your character's integrity and determination as a journalist photographer gives Bri plenty of motive to throw herself into the thick of it without much prodding on my part. My only note is that you never actually spelled out what you were doing at the MURD unveiling, but its not hard to guess why a journalist might have been there that day. Working for a fictional paper would probably give you more creative license for making up names and stories, but I do plan on having the Sun-Times involved in several plot points-being attached to them could give you more tie in to the plot. Either works for me!

RemorazzKeeping options open is probably for the best, that way you can switch up based on circumstance.


Whew, that should cover it. If you posted something between my last post and this one, and I didn't respond to it above, I apologize, but I probably missed it. Apparently checking in once a day isn't going to cover it with this thread, is it? Such a lovely problem to have!

EDIT: Also, I want to take a moment to call attention to a few things, since multiple of you have made characters that would traditionally be highly discriminated against in this era. I want to accurately portray the era, though it will be tempered by the fact that a much bigger 'out-group' has been formed by MURDers. However, this is also supposed to be a enjoyable game we play in our free times, and no one should be made to feel uncomfortable in their play-space. I'm going to be doing my best as a straight white man to present it accurately and tactfully, but if you feel I've missed the mark on either point, or for any reason feel uncomfortable with the direction something is heading, call me out in a PM and I'll work with you to figure out the best way to move forward.
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Last edited by Boss Nadar; Nov 6th, 2023 at 03:12 PM.
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  #37  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 03:16 PM
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@Boss Nadar - Since it was non-canon, I was kind of rolling with the idea that he spent some time looking and came up empty, so he went back home and tried to move on. In my head (non) canon, the writing sample takes place 2 years after the MURD incident. I didn't actually expect it to go down like that, but if it does, it does.

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Old Nov 6th, 2023, 03:18 PM
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PalladiaMorsWell written, with ample hooks for me as a DM. I might make a very slight modification, and suggest you have one or both of the couple at the car before they run off for the ceremony, just so you'll have someone to talk to for a bit in the prologue (and for me to possibly drop some hooks of my own), but beyond that, my only question is how you intend to design her mechanically. Are you going to limit her to "mundane" feats of intelligence like the classical sherlock discombobulate scene, or are you planning on eventually going down the path of an inventor? Either is fine, but if you are planning on going down the device creating path, we'll eventually need to have a conversation about the scope and nature of your inventions.
I can easily make the adjustment to have her meet the couple at the car and talk for a bit before they head inside, will do that later today. And I am very pleased that you mentioned the discombobulate scene because that is exactly what I was going to use as an example of her abilities, along with this scene from the Librarians. I don't plan to make her an inventor, her lack of actual scientific knowledge or experience was for just that purpose. At best she'll have a souped-up car. She'll probably end up a very weird sort of martial artist - think Marvel's Taskmaster mixed with Karnak the Shatterer. Then add in Commander Data, minus the super strength and durability from being an android.
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  #39  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 03:28 PM
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AlphaZGotcha. The planned timeskip is only a 3 month jump, so he'd still be in Chicago then, looking for his daughter. Either option worked for me, just wanted to clarify so I knew what to expect!

PalladiaMorsKarnak, now there's an criminally under-respected character. And throwing Data into the mix? That sounds good to me!
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Old Nov 6th, 2023, 04:50 PM
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In other words, are you Mr. Oni or Mr. Kage?


He goes by Oni Kage.

And Kage is from his mother's side of the family.
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Last edited by BlackDragon0; Nov 6th, 2023 at 04:53 PM.
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Old Nov 6th, 2023, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PalladiaMors View Post
I can easily make the adjustment to have her meet the couple at the car and talk for a bit before they head inside, will do that later today. And I am very pleased that you mentioned the discombobulate scene because that is exactly what I was going to use as an example of her abilities, along with this scene from the Librarians. I don't plan to make her an inventor, her lack of actual scientific knowledge or experience was for just that purpose. At best she'll have a souped-up car. She'll probably end up a very weird sort of martial artist - think Marvel's Taskmaster mixed with Karnak the Shatterer. Then add in Commander Data, minus the super strength and durability from being an android.


1950s batmobile!!!

Ohh I got it the black beauty

Or the Star rocket racer.
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Old Nov 6th, 2023, 06:51 PM
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Character Name: Jonathon “Johnny” Henry Cobb
A.K.A.: Aeolus
Nationality: American
Age: 26
Physical Description: 5’10”, unruly brown hair, blue eyes, scrapper’s build, nose looks to have been broken a time or two, otherwise unremarkable.
Occupation: Socialite/Playboy/Heir
Powerset: Body transformation – wind/air (concealment, gaseous form, flight, the ability to cause suffocation and the limited ability to move objects/people by pushing against them).

Backstory: The heir apparent to his family’s fortune, Johnny was born with a silver spoon in his mouth so to speak – and he knew it. He was a Cobb – he didn’t need a career or a steady interest, just to be seen. He dabbled in sports and the markets, hit all the hot clubs and major social events of the year, did brunch and dinner with all the right people, but he didn’t have any real goals for his future. His father though had aspirations enough for the both of them. He expected Johnny to go into politics and to that end ensured his son received a classical education that culminated with a law degree, but Johnny wasn’t ready to run for a seat just yet. He still had plenty of wild oats to sow.
While he played the field, Johnny did have a steady girl, a proper match for his father’s political ambitions. Her name was Daniella “Dani” Renee Richardson and she was an heiress as well. Johnny and Dani were one of Chicago’s power couples for years. She was every bit the free spirit that he was so it was only natural that they would grow close, but both of them understood that while there was love between them, theirs was a relationship of convenience first and foremost. Their engagement was formally announced just a month ago, and their impending nuptials – despite still being almost a year off – were already shaping up to be the event of the decade if not the century.
When Olympus Power Corp held their launch, it was only natural to find Johnny, Dani and their closest friends on the family yacht to witness the event. After all, the Cobb family had invested heavily in Olympus Power Corp and it was high time they saw a return. Johnny remembers seeing a bright flash and then feeling as if he was being torn apart, atom by atom. When everyone regained their vision the yacht had taken a few hits but was still afloat, Johnny however was nowhere to be found. All that was left was a black scorch mark on the deck where he had been standing.
The Cobb family was understandably devastated, both financially and personally. Johnny was officially declared dead and ‘buried’ in a small private ceremony as the family dealt with the fallout. Johnny missed the service, having not yet managed to pull himself back together but heard Dani was there and that she was properly inconsolable. From his perspective the pain of that blast had gone on for seemingly years, only to be replaced with a strange, diffuse sense of nothing – a complete lack of focus, a sense of drifting. Johnny’s attention was as scattered as his atoms. It was days before he was able to pull himself back into some semblance of order only to discover he had no corporeal form. At first he thought he was a ghost, but he couldn’t seem to move through walls and he certainly couldn’t possess anyone. He couldn’t make himself heard, rattle chains or do anything ghosts were famous form. Soon he realized that he was alive, somehow, but he seemed to be a being of wind and air. With effort he was able to pull himself into a roughly humanoid shape but he could not reform his body, it was just gone. With concentration he could hold this form and be at least semi-visible, if only as a ghostly figure. He spent days following his family around, trying to be noticed, even learning how to shove things over by hitting them with his new form, but all he succeeded in doing was driving his mother into rehab and nearly giving his baby sister a break down. His attempts at producing noise eventually yielded a whispery voice that sounded as if it was coming from a great distance, but generating even that much sound took enough concentration that he could not do so and keep his form visible. In the end he stopped ‘haunting’ his family for fear of what harm he was causing and simply took to watching them.
Johnny also took to watching some of his old crowd, in particular Dani. Now that he couldn’t have her it struck him just how perfect a match they had really been. It hurt when after only a few weeks she had started seeing someone else, hurt even more that they were already talking about getting married – a real life whirlwind romance. It didn't help that he had met the guy - or that he was actually a pretty stand up guy. Johnny wanted to hate him.
Out of boredom and a need to feel alive Johnny has taken to playing pranks on some of his old acquaintances, business rivals and generally anyone he perceives as a bully. He will push or tug at them, steal a hat or move a purse, perhaps drive them stir crazy with whispered secrets, petty stuff really but a way to feel involved. In observing his old friends' lives what has startled him the most is how quickly they all seem to have moved on. It was as if Johnny had never really mattered, that the world didn’t miss him at all.

Boons: Johnny is a free spirit of sorts, quick to find the humor in almost any situation – even recognizing the irony of his current circumstances. He also has a fairly big heart. While alive his family participated in several philanthropic ventures, and they were the only part of being a Cobb that Johnny found at all rewarding. In particular Johnny has a real soft spot for kids. He and Dani spent many weekends at local orphanages and hospitals, entertaining and treating the children.

Malus: Unable to interact with the world in any meaningful way and watching his family struggle, not to mention how quickly Dani moved on from him, has left Johnny in a somewhat dark place of his own. His father’s apparent callousness has him questioning his whole life purpose, for what was the point of all that money and influence in the end? Much of his humor has turned bitter and almost spiteful, though he still maintains a soft spot for kids. His practical jokes often have a bitter edge to them – as if he is trying to teach his former friends how meaningless that playboy lifestyle really is. Johnny also feels personably responsible for driving his mom to drink and making Viv question herself.

Contacts:
Richard Theodore “Theo” Cobb – father – big and boisterous, Theo is the center of attention wherever he goes. If he isn’t, he will do something to make himself the center of attention even if it is at the expense of another. He made his money early on in shipping, started playing around with stocks, then investing in manufacturing. For the longest time it seemed like he had the Midas touch – at least until the MURD incident. While not in the poor house yet, the Cobb fortune has definitely been set back a ways and Theo is more than furious. He will find a responsible party, or he will make one, and he will ring every penny out of their hide that he can. Compared to this burning anger the loss of his son and heir seems merely an inconvenience.

Charlotte Henrietta Cobb – mother – Charlotte married for position and money, she has never made any qualms about that. While once classically beautiful, she is not aging well and has taken to drinking a bit much. The recent decline in their family fortunes and the death of her eldest have sent her to a very dark place. It doesn’t help that Theo barely seems to acknowledge the loss unless it is to extoll just how much someone is going to have to pay for it. Charlotte even contacted a few supposed psychics and mediums, trying to contact Johnny, only to have them milk her for every dime they could - at least till Theo would get wind of it and run them off. When he finally got fed up with her hysterics and drinking he shipped her off to a swanky rehab. In a way she was almost relieved to get out of the house.

Viviane “Viv” Theodora Cobb – younger sister (18) – Viv and Johnny were close when he was younger, before he started spending so much time with Dani and “that” crowd, but they grew apart. Unlike Johnny, Viv is very grounded. She knows what she wants – and what she wants is to be taken seriously. With Johnny out of the picture she sees herself as the heir apparent. Her father sees her more as a brood mare for a male heir, or a bargaining chip to be married off, but Viv has no intention of going quietly. She has enrolled herself in college, pre-law, and fully intends to take up the family mantle. For a while she thought that Johnny’s spirit was trying to speak to her, and she drew some encouragement from that fact, but more and more she has started wondering if the many strange incidents weren’t just in her mind. Her mom has crawled into a bottle, her dad is unreachable though his rage, and Viv is left to try and hold it all together. The pressure has started to get to her and she thought she might be cracking up.

Daniella “Dani” Renee Richardson – former fiancé – Dani’s carefree days are over. Unbeknownst to Johnny, Dani had just found out she was pregnant. She had planned to tell him that very evening on the boat and to urge that they move up the wedding so they didn’t have a child out of wedlock. While the loss of Johnny has affected her deeply, she knew that for her child’s sake she could not afford to mourn for long. Playing down their relationship she quickly stepped out with another man, Bryce Allan Adair. Friends for years Dani is one of only a few people who know that Bryce is a homosexual, so the marriage is one in name only. Bryce gets the societal acceptance he needs to cover his activities and Dani’s child gets to carry the name of a respectable family. They plan to marry quickly, then take an extended honeymoon abroad to conceal the child's actual birthdate.

Charles Allen Forsythe - rival - Charles and Johnny have been rivals for years, starting back in high school. At first, at least for Johnny, it seemed a friendly enough rivalry - competing in the same sports, one upping each other, etc. It turned more serious when they both pursued Dani, and especially so after Dani chose Johnny. From then on Charles did everything in his not inconsiderable power to thwart Johnny and his family - including backing rival companies. When the Cobbs backed Olympus, the Forsythes went all in on the Commonwealth Edison Company, Chicago's main electric power company. Charles and Johnny still traveled in all the same circles and were, if anything, overly nice to each other - at least publicly. He was even invited to witness Olympus' successful MURD launch from the deck of the Cobb family yacht.

Complications: Johnny is currently only able to interact with the world in the crudest of fashions. While perfectly capable of hearing someone he cannot make himself understood without effort and then to only one person at a time. And while he can form a vague humanoid shape it lacks features, in particular there is nothing about the form that says “here’s Johnny!” It is amorphous and mostly translucent so even if he did know ASL his control is not yet fine enough to allow him to communicate that way.
Johnny’s family is struggling, each in their own way, and he feels powerless to help. Even if he could communicate his situation to them, he has begun to wonder if that wouldn’t do more harm than good. Perhaps he is better off “dead” as each of them seems to be finally adjusting. That isn't to say he isn't planning on trying to help them "from beyond".
Should Johnny's status become public knowledge it could cause additional family drama. In a way, Johnny's death (and the resulting lawsuit) is the only hope Theo has of turning a profit out of this fiasco. Additionally, having a freak for an heir isn't something that would sit well with him. And then there is Viv's ambitions, which Johnny's return to the fold could jeopardize. She loves Johnny, but there is no way she is going back to being daddy's little princess. Not to mention the complications for Dani's new relationship, fake as it may be. In fact, the only one likely to have no reservations about his return would probably be his mother.
Dani is going to have Johnny’s child. While currently only her parents and Bryce know this, it is highly probable that at some point Johnny will learn of it and yearn to be involved. Additionally, as she was pregnant on the yacht that means the child could have been exposed as well. Would a fetus be more or less susceptible, and was there a genetic component to who was and wasn't affected? At the very least, should the truth come out, I could see Dani's child garnering much scientific inquiry.
Johnny's rival, Charles, was heavily invested in Olympus's competitor. Would he have gone so far as arrange for the launch to be sabotaged? Will his rivalry now extend to the surviving members of the Cobb family or Dani? And, having been exposed himself, could he have been affected?

Motivations: More than anything, Johnny wants to be able to interact with the world. He wants to be heard and to be able to make some sort of impact with his life. He doesn’t know what form that could take in his current state but he knows he doesn't want to return to the pointless parties and socializing of his former life. Having lost everything, Johnny has come to realize how fragile life can be – and how superfluous material possessions and connections really are to a meaningful life. He wants to feel alive, but now that means something slightly different to him.
Johnny wants to continue to help his family. He knows his return would be problematic so he intends to try and help them from the shadows, not that he knows how he will be able to help. He will just have to watch for opportunities.
In as much as it might lead him to a cure or more understanding of his current state, Johnny is curious about what happened. He has come to realize that even without the ability to ask his questions directly, his current form might lend itself very well to a little investigation on the sly. He will be particularly interested in Olympus and in any rumors of people being affected by the MURD incident.

Writing Sample:
It was the third time he had seen the red head today, was she following him? And if so, how? Since his supposed death no one had been able to see him, let alone follow him. How did you track, let alone keep up with, the wind? But it couldn’t be a coincidence, not when he saw her at the site of his grave, outside his family estate, and now outside his mother’s rehab facility. If she could detect him, then maybe others could as well. Maybe there was even a way to communicate with them.
Not hesitating for a second, his better sense blinded by the first real chance at interaction since he had awoken to this state, Johnny zipped down to hover near the woman. She was at a payphone, talking to someone.
“No sign of him yet, are you sure about this? . . . Alright, I’ll give it a few more minutes before moving on to the next location.” Hanging up the phone she moved out from under the streetlamp, blending almost naturally into the shadows.
It seemed she couldn’t see him directly, though somehow the woman or whoever was on the other end of that call had managed to trace his movements. It was a start at least, enough of one to make Johnny want to learn more even if it meant revealing himself.
Using what he had learned only just days before, Johnny concentrated on pulling himself in, forming a roughly humanoid shape of swirling wind a few feet in front of her. If she was startled to see this manifestation, it didn’t show.
“Mr. Cobb, I presume, you have been a very hard man to track down. I don’t mind telling you it looks like it was an effort well spent. I would like to make you an offer, one which I think you will find most intriguing. I understand that you are finding it difficult to interact with the world these days. As you can see we were able to track you down, while we don’t currently know enough about your situation to help you communicate we believe that with a little more time and experimentation we can help you. All you need to do is help us with a little job we are planning.”
She paused, possibly waiting for some sort of response though it was equally possible it had just ben for dramatic effect. Either way it wasn’t like Johnny could actually respond while holding his form, so he just waited to see where this was going. She had extended the carrot, now she would likely show him the stick.
“Of course you could ignore me, go back to haunting your family, but I have to warn you that if we could find you it is likely that others will as well – others who may not be nearly so inclined to help. And just imagine the kind of upheaval that might incur should the papers or your family learn of your state. I will give you some time to consider, should you like to try your luck with my organization just be here at this time tomorrow. Have yourself a good evening, Johnny.”
With that she walked over to a waiting vehicle, entered, and drove away. For a moment he considered following – but if they could detect him, how would that go over? She had as much as implied that she would spill the beans, though what proof she could offer for his existence he could not imagine. Still, Johnny kept coming back to the fact that they had seemingly traced him. And if they could do that, just maybe they could do more.

Last edited by Ghrimm; Nov 14th, 2023 at 12:34 PM.
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  #43  
Old Nov 6th, 2023, 09:26 PM
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[I'd like you to create someone at least that I can use as a personal antagonist of sorts if possible. It could be a bully in the workplace, a bean counter for the hospital that cares more for profit than saving lives, or a neighbor that's figured out your secret and is blackmailing you to keep it secret.
Thanks! I fixed it to give her some negative contacts.
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  #44  
Old Nov 7th, 2023, 02:57 AM
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Man, if I knew I was going to get this many quality applications this quickly, I would have set the deadline a lot sooner. While I don't think the applications will keep this crazy pace forever, so far we have (by my count) 12 finished applications, and we're less than a week into the three week recruitment drive! Given that we already have more applicants than I have slots for, I figured I'd put together an unofficial guide for what I'll be looking for to narrow my choices down. Nothing that follows is required, but I thought in the interest of transparency I'd list what I'll be looking for when it comes time for me to start making cuts.

Boss Nadar's Respected Reference for Receptive Roleplayers1: Create a Unique and Interesting Character- This is the most important, but also the hardest to offer advice for-what's interesting for one may be banal to another. In my case, I'm looking for multifaceted characters with unique yet believable perspectives. Also, try to avoid too many similarities with other people's applications-I probably don't need two different loudmouth former soldiers with regeneration powers in my campaign. If your character is too similar to another, you're not just competing with all the other applications for the 6-10 slots, you're directly competing with the other person for the "merc with a mouth" slot. If you do notice a similarity with another app, maybe try to emphasize the differences. As long as they are different enough that I feel each will bring something different to the table, I'll have no problem with selecting two excellent applicants with some overlap. This is more about personality than powerset, but I don't want six people all running around with lightning powers either.

2: Be Self Driven- This is a sandbox campaign, and while there are certainly plenty of plots going off in the background, your level of involvement in any of them is going to depend on you. That's not to say you need to be a trouble maker to get in, you just need to have something driving you to take risk and get involved. That could be a personality trait, but it could also be a debt, a missing family member, a search for a cure, a hatred for the way the government is treating MURDers, ect. The less effort I need to spend on creating contrivances to get your character involved, the more time I can spend on making the involvement interesting and engaging for both the player and myself.

3: Give me Hooks- At first, this looks a lot like the above-its all about creating incentives I can use to guide you in the direction I want. However, the above is more about having reasons to move away from safety, to venture out into the world. This is more the reverse, the attachments that hold you back, or that bind your fate to something, or someone, else. The conflict between this push and pull is core to making a compelling character, and in a typical game, these two points would be equal in value. However, since the campaign is going to have less of a plot-given drive to participate especially early on, I'll be weighing your reasons to get out slightly higher than your reasons to stay in.

4: Integrate Yourself Into the Plot- This is lower on the list than it would normally be, since the campaign is going to focus more on the character's personal stories rather than an overarching plot, but it is still something that looks favorably in my eyes. Having ties to Olympus Power, the Mafia, or the government can be used as a motivation, a hook, or both, but it also means that when the main plot does start kicking off, it it easier for me to make your involvement more personally involved, so that its less 'taking down the evil corporation because I'm a hero', and more 'taking down the man that sacrificed my uncle for money'.

5: Integrate Yourself With Other Players- While the campaign will start with lots of separate solo games, half the fun is seeing how you all eventually bump into each other and affect one another. Chicago's quite a big place, but as you get stronger, it'll get progressively smaller. Having a connection to another player from the get-go shortcuts that process, and creates predetermined dynamics I can utilize. However, such relationships will develop over time anyways, so I'm generally far more concerned with your own personal dynamic than your starting with connections to other players, which is why this is lower in the list.

6: Formatting, Spelling, and Grammar- This is at the bottom of the list for a reason-I'd much rather have a well-written character with perhaps a bit more than a couple of misspellings than a beautifully formatted application that's more style than substance. However, if I have two very good and well written characters and only one slot remaining, this could absolutely end up becoming the tiebreaker. To clarify, I'm not worried about whether you used the correct form of their, they're or there, so much as I'm looking at readability. If I have to read something twice to figure out what you put down, then make sure what you put down is worth reading twice!


Again, nothing in the above is a requirement to be considered, but given the number of apps I already have, I figured you all might want to know what I'll be looking at when making cuts. And now for some more specific comments to those that have replied since my last comment.

Blackdragon0So to clarify, you always go by your full name regardless of who is addressing you? Would it be offensive/improper to simply call you 'Oni', or 'Kage'? Just want to make sure NPCs are using the correct name when addressing you/

GhrimmI'm honestly surprised it took until app number 12 before we got a more wealthy, 'socialite' character, and ironically you've effectively lost all the advantages of wealth the instant you became a MURDer. Nevermind, I read it a bit too quicklyI do have one question regarding Johnny and his relationship with Dani. You said that Johnny is homosexual, and that Dani knew his secret, but also that she is pregnant. That would seem to imply that Johnny had no interest in Dani sexually, and that Dani knew that, yet the two got intimate anyways. Did you perhaps mean to say that Johnny is bisexual, or am I completely missing something here? Beyond that, while being invisible and mute makes for an interesting experience, I am a bit worried that you might struggle to get involved when no one knows to involve you. If you make it in, finding someone you can at least approximate a conversation with should be your first priority-perhaps a chance encounter with Remorazz's Charlie Marton could be a strong pairing. Since you still have a mind, he should still be able to communicate telepathically, and I'm sure the cowardly overly cautious mob informant would appreciate an invisible bodyguard.

YsoldeI only needed one, but I'll never complain about getting more than I asked for .
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Last edited by Boss Nadar; Nov 7th, 2023 at 12:27 PM.
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Old Nov 7th, 2023, 04:43 AM
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GhrimmI'm honestly surprised it took until app number 12 before we got a more wealthy, 'socialite' character, and ironically you've effectively lost all the advantages of wealth the instant you became a MURDer. I do have one question regarding Johnny and his relationship with Dani. You said that Johnny is homosexual, and that Dani knew his secret, but also that she is pregnant. That would seem to imply that Johnny had no interest in Dani sexually, and that Dani knew that, yet the two got intimate anyways. Did you perhaps mean to say that Johnny is bisexual, or am I completely missing something here? Beyond that, while being invisible and mute makes for an interesting experience, I am a bit worried that you might struggle to get involved when no one knows to involve you. If you make it in, finding someone you can at least approximate a conversation with should be your first priority-perhaps a chance encounter with Remorazz's Charlie Marton could be a strong pairing. Since you still have a mind, he should still be able to communicate telepathically, and I'm sure the cowardly overly cautious mob informant would appreciate an invisible bodyguard.
Speaking for Ghrimm, if I may, Johnny isn't homosexual, his former fiancé's new fiancé, Bryce, is homosexual.

Incidentally, I've added an image for Rudy.

Last edited by EMIW; Nov 7th, 2023 at 04:47 AM.
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