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Chaos Sonic

The Character Retrospective

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Logo by myself
Logo direction & assistance by Yui


It Began With a Letter

A character starts with an idea, an idea that flourishes and blooms into what the creator has seen within their mind’s eye. Where that character goes is determined by what the creator deems good for their respective creation and remains within the guidelines of the creation’s place of existence.

Whether these characters are of a pure heart or whether they’re created solely for the purpose of evil, aside from an overarching narrative that the character’s find themselves within, it’s the characters themselves that truly make the atmosphere of a story. Isn’t it time we dove into the specifics of these characters and explored them even further than they have ever been?

That’s the purpose of this blog: review characters, dissecting them bit by bit, in order to understand what they have in store. Along the way, we’ll discuss the creator’s views on the character and what the plans for them are (or would be).

However, before we can do this, ground rules must be put into place:

Spoiler
  • Through this blog, I will be conducting interview-like conversations with our chosen character creator, asking about everything that went into the creation of the character we spotlight.
  • The blog itself will serve to hold the interview and character reviews, along with the occasional comments and feedback by you, the readers.
  • Under no circumstances should a character creator post their characters within the blog thread. If you wish to have your character reviewed, then send a message via PM and we will work with it.
  • This is purely for fun and is in no way shape or form an attempt to shame anyone with their character creations. Believe me, if that was the case: I would’ve been on the top of that list with all my Shonen typecast characters.
  • Still debating whether the interviews will just be typed up or made into some sort of podcast format...so don't expect something at first when I don't even know what I'm doing yet.

The Interviews

Edited by Chaos Sonic

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Interview 1 - Thomasin Farros by Radio414

Spoiler

Hello NCM and welcome to the first interview of "The Character Retrospective". I'm Chaos Sonic and today, for the first interview, I have the member @radio414 presenting me with the character from an RP I did happen to enjoy. Presented to me was the character known as Thomasin Farros from the RP by @Comrade Duck, "Persona: Philosophy of Man"! Now, lemme catch you up to speed on this RP beforehand...

This Persona RP, I believe, was the last one Comrade Duck did before he took a bit of a vacation and hiatus from NCM. Now this RP is your typical run of the mill Persona setting, except this is based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Group of kids go to a party, wake up on a strange island and hotel and they awaken their "other selves" in the form of their Personas...and they get superpowers from it, along with some snazzy looking outfits. What was interesting about this RP as well, was that the host distributed the arcanas out to the RPers without us telling anyone else, until it was displayed in the game itself. In short, once Personas were unlocked, we'd have to find time to go beat the final boss of this RP, but alas...we never arrived to that point. Nevertheless, it was a fun time for someone like me, who hadn't played Persona at all.

Regardless, this isn't about the RP...but about the characters! And today, we're sitting down with Radio414 to talk about Thomasin Farros and her Persona, Anansi. Ironic twist...this was Radio's first character upon coming back into RPing and now it's the first character of the blog here. So let's get this show on the road!


In regards to Thomasin Farros, could you explain to me the starting process you had going into forging this character? Where did you specifically start when character crafting her?

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I guess the first thing I latched onto was, well, she was made for a Persona RP, which means she needed to be associated with a major arcana. But in this particular RP, that wasn't something that you had in the application, that was something that was assigned to your character. I wasn't into tarot at the time, but I figured it wouldn't be that hard to game. In fact, it probably made it easier, as once I settled on a card I could use that as a template for her personality, and that in turn could be a jumping off point for everything else.

The Wheel of Fortune was the one I ended up going with. What probably happened is that I spent a little bit too much researching tarot and decided I needed to justify it elsewhere, and a character who used tarot in universe seemed like a good outlet for that. Of course, people familiar with Persona 5 might already notice a problem: that's literally Chihaya Mifune's schtick. So while I didn't want to give up the idea, it did mean I had to do a little more work.

To fix that, here's a lesson I learned in, like, actual writing classes: in regards to characters, it's always more interesting if a simple description has a "BUT" attatched. For example, some of my other, more recent characters, might be described as "Socially anxious, BUT still tries her best to be in groups," or "Talented and raised to emphasize that talent, BUT that upbringing means he can feel a bit distant." It's a little extra internal conflict that can bring surprises out in actual play. With Thomasin, that turned into "Likes tarot and giving out readings, BUT doesn't like treating readings as gospel, in addition to a distaste for the supernatural in general." I settled on that also because that's one aspect of me, too, so I could draw on my own experience.

Building from that generally has that same framework; you either add to one side of that "BUT" statement or the other. And that can be flexible. An appreciation of classical music, for example (which Thomasin also had) might link with an appreciation for the old, similar to tarot, or it might be a shorthand for "intellectual". It can even be both (not that Thomasin was that smart). But it was and is important to have that cornerstone, otherwise it can easily come off as a mishmash of traits.

The Wheel of Fortune, huh? Always wondered about your arcana in that...does make sense now that I look back on it. And even seeing that you've used something from a writing class to help in regards to characters, this is good. If anything, this should definitely help others who may struggle with characters and writing them in general, so thank you for that.

Now, before I get into my favorite part about this character, the Persona...I want to know more about your aspirations for this character. I'm certain you and subsequently, Comrade Duck, had plans for Thomasin, so I'm curious where this would've taken the character. Would you care to give your thoughts on how Thomasin's character arc and future might've been if things continued to progress in the RP?

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Normally, I try not to plan that far ahead. Like, sure, I want my characters to have some intial personal conflict to overcome, but I don't want to limit myself to a planned path based on a character application that can become outdated very quickly. I joke sometimes about how posting an app at all is really just lying to myself about who I'm going to play (for better or for worse). But I do actually have an answer for this because of the circumstances in which she entered the RP in the first place.

Thomasin wasn't accepted right away, but she was given the opportunity to appear as a recurring NPC. Suddenly I had to come up with some sort of arc for her to give the actual PCs something to play off of. The initial seed -- what was given to her -- was that she had been mind controlled into being part of the antagonist cult and would eventually be freed. I just wrote a couple scenes that could play after that. Looking back on them now, it's mostly her trying to get back to a normal life, which, honestly, is probably fine in an NPC sort of way.

When she did become a PC, it wasn't like I wanted to throw all that work away, but also I didn't think "being happy and being normal" isn't exactly the best way to end a protagonist's arc. In changing it around, it became more focused on a fear of regressing back to that mindless cultist helper, wondering if, like her representative arcana, she could change for the better.

Really, all this planning did was give me the idea for a couple of friends, Megan and Beatrice, who interject in each post or so -- there wasn't much done in terms of actually playing any of these scenes out -- but I'm still happy with the prep work in general.

I too was glad the turnout with everything in Thomasin that was displayed, even the Megan and Beatrice portions of your posts. I did noticed the hint of antagonist sprinkled in there with a few posts, which did make me quite curious on how things were going to develop and evolve.

Now, coming to the best part of this character (well for me anyway): the Persona. You went with Anansi the spider and storyteller god for Thomasin's Persona. Now I at first wouldn't associate something like this to the Wheel of Fortune arcana, but then again, I was the Chariot with Date Masamune...sooooo perhaps. Regardless, tell me, what made you choose Anansi for Thomasin? And, what would this Persona end up evolving into, as I'm sure you probably also had that waiting in the wings.

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Anansi was more of a Thomasin pick than a Wheel of Fortune pick. There was some sort of idea, I think, of Thomasin wanting to tell stories (this was lumped into the "likes doing tarot readings" side of that BUT statement) and that was a good enough reason for me. A spider seemed like a good persona to have anyway, like, there could be some sort of visceral reaction to just the idea of suddenly there being a giant spider right in front of a character that would be fun to write. Even better, in actual play Thomasin turned out to have this playful trickster air to her anyway, perhaps because I had the Anansi in mind as I was writing by then.

I hate to disappoint, but all that being said, I don't think I really had any concrete ideas for what they'd evolve into. If I could make a guess at 2017 me's intentions, maybe one of the muses? It was either that or some other spider.

That makes sense...I'm 100% a huge fan of Anansi in general, so this Persona selection was definitely a good choice in the long haul. As for the ideas for later, the muses would make sense in the long haul, as the muses were the goddesses of literature and the arts.

Just about to wrap this little interview up, hopefully I can actually do better with evolving these questions and how to conduct these interviews, but hey...it's the first one, so always experimenting. Wrapping this up, aside from the usage of what you had going in your writing class being a piece of advice for other RPers, would there be anything that you would have them take away from Thomasin as a whole that they could use for their benefits?

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The biggest one is the thing I said earlier, and I know I was kind of joking when I said it then so I'll be serious about it now: a character application is invariably going to end up a bunch of lies and half-truths once the actual role-playing starts, whether because you've realized a better path for your character to take, you fall back on old writing habits, or, in the case of Thomasin, the circumstances of their introduction change. This isn't meant to discourage, though! It just means you have to be selective with which details are integral to the character -- the parts you definitely want to keep -- and which parts you've added to the app to make it cohesive and complete. And that's where those BUT sentences come in. Those are (hopefully) where the core conflict of your character lies.

The other big lesson to learn from Thomasin is to not be discouraged by not being accepted in the initial run-up. Her making it in eventually was a special case and I wouldn't say to expect that every time but I did also get some feedback both from looking at the apps of those that were accepted and from the people in charge of the selection process. I won't say it was the best feedback, but you do start to get a sense of what people are looking for just by talking to people. RPing is a social activity, after all.

Failing that, talking to people also means you stay on their radar so the next time that particular host wants to start something they might be a bit more inclined to let you in .


Thank you Radio for your insight and for sharing Thomasin Farros with the audience. I hope that this has been enjoyable to others, though I will say, please be patient with me. As I said earlier, I am still trying to flesh out proper questions for the interviewee as well as figuring out how to properly do things for these interviews in general. Nevertheless, I hope that this has been enjoyable as well as helpful for those who wish to create characters. I'll see you all in the next retrospective!

Edited by Chaos Sonic

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Interview 2 - Christina Yates by Comrade Duck

Spoiler

Welcome back to the Character Retrospective! As always, I'm Chaos Sonic and today I'm joined with @Comrade Duck and his character of choice: Christina Yates from ".:Alive:. The First Warning" and ".:Alive:. The Southern Suffering". As always, here's the general plot and gist of .:Alive:...

The first RP, "The First Warning", was created by Yosuke-kun on YCM, which was a post-apocalyptic setting in which the cast of characters fought against the demonic creatures known as Majin utilizing the powers of the gods in the form of weapons...a character's Fayth. It gets really interesting and nutso to say the least...especially since the cast is summoned by an Angel to the future and given a mobile app and fairy AI to help them. Like I said...nutso.

Nevertheless, Comrade Duck took over with "The Southern Suffering" as an RP but later converted it into a story that has gone leaps and bounds farther than both the RP predecessors did. In any case, we're going to dive into Duck's first female character: Christina Yates and her Fayth, Ares.


To start off this, firstly, care to explain to everyone the starting process of what went into Christina? Where was the starting point for this fiery girl's creation for you?

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Well, the spark for Christina's creation is actually kind of a mash-up of multiple factors. The premise of OG "Alive - First Warning" (shoutout to my boy Yousuke) and the concept of god-related characters, an obsession with greek mythology, and an equal obsession to (at the time) the "God of War" video game series. The thing that closely ties the three of those together, is Ares. But if I'm being honest, I designed her weapons -- the Ares gauntlets -- before I designed her.

Once I knew how I wanted to play, then I came up with who I wanted to play. I wanted her to be unique and different from any other character I had ever played before. And she was also the first female character I ever played as. When I began writing about her, I fell in love with her design and her history. I fell in love with her personality and her tenacity. That's how Christina was born.

Went for the idea of designing weapons and choosing the deity before making the character, eh? Honestly, that's a great way to do things if I'm honest. It's surely easy to craft and weave a character and their general personality and biography into a manner if you have something like this to start with. So good on you for that.

Now, for your first female character and the red-headed spitfire she was, what were your future aspirations for the character as a whole? This can span between First Warning and the soft-reboot of Southern Suffering, but would you care to divulge any thoughts on how Christina's character arc and future would've been if the RPs continued? Unsure if this'll be spoilers or anything for the story version of Southern Suffering, so answer the best of your ability if you need to.

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Hmm. After drafting Christina, I mostly played her by ear as "Alive - First Warning" called for. During the reboot in "Alive - Southern Suffering", I had a much more clear idea of where I wanted to take her. I wanted her to live in their post apocalyptic world but without having to give up some of the things she wanted most. A relationship. Learning to drive. Close friends to talk with. The ability to make memories.

Now I know how that sounds, given that it was a post-apocalyptic setting. But I felt like these were things that the average person pines for at Christina's age. She was in a tough spot, but she was still human. She still had dreams and wants and needs just like everyone else. Her environment changed, but she was the same. And I'd like to think that if the RPs had continued, that perhaps her future would've been a little different. I can't say for sure that her battles (figuratively and literally) would have been the same. I'm sure many things would be different in that aspect. What I can say is that nothing is set in stone. But if I had that opportunity to pick up where we left off (shoutout to Zack, JT, Stalfos, bad post, and of course the host with the most, yourself Sonic), I'd have liked to explore it.


I understand, cause this is the post-apocalyptic world...for everyone, it's our dreams and new memories that will keep us moving forward and even not succumbing to the gloom and doom. Though needless to say, even if the Southern Suffering would've continued, I don't think it would've actually hit the stride and levels that were represented in the story version of it...but that's a story and not the RP...I'm thinking of them as diverging paths in a sense. The more things stay the same, to a point, the more things change.

Now we come to Christina's deity and Fayth of choice: Ares, the Greek God of War himself. Now earlier you mentioned you were heavy into the Greek Mythos as well as the famed God of War series (even before the Dad of Boy game emerged), but what truly made you choose Ares? Was there another factor in play when the choice was made? Was there other ideas you might've had? And honestly...the best one I have to ask, pulling from your story: her Broken Fayth mode, insight on that?

Spoiler

Haha I'm actually really glad you asked about "Broken Fayth". I'll touch on it in a bit.

So, in regards to Ares, like I said, I designed the weapons before I really designed Christina. But I think what made me settle on Ares as her related god was her history. She had this fire in her personality. She's very independent. She's a prodigy of a boxer. She's a proud athlete. She's got her dad filling her with the idea of going full pro. She was ready to step in the ring and go to war with whoever challenged her. And I think that's why I chose Ares. I think he best represented the challenger in Christina. Not to say she was this reckless asshole who was just looking to beat someone up. I'll go a bit further down the rabbit hole so you can better understand what I mean.

Because Ares is a god and because he loves war, its almost like a sport to him. The bloodshed, the combat, the competition between mankind. It fills the war god with passion and fervor. For Christina, all of that can be found in boxing. It drives her passion high and basically gives her a high that no one can take away. It's her cloud nine. The sport became her world and in my opinion, Ares best represented that.

I had also thought of leaning into other mythos at the time (Hawaiian actually). But I didn't get very far and decided to stick with Ares.

Now, in regards to "Broken Fayth". It's my favorite thing throughout the story and I have to say the idea was far fetched at first. I wanted to take Christina to another level but I wasn't sure how much higher she could go. So I tapped into that same energy that allowed me to put Ares and Christina together. That fire, that passion, that urgency. That's where it came from. And its only natural that someone as explosive as Christina would reach critical mass. And the best way to represent that, was to have Baton Rouge "fall" again.

I put her in a dire situation that allowed her to push herself to heights she had never achieved and I am so happy that things turned out the way they did.

Now the whole sport aspect of war was something I didn't immediately think of, so that did put a whole new perspective on things for me with Christina. As for the Broken Fayth, you knew I had to ask that...cause if memory serves, she was the first Broken Fayth to appear and well...she showed it off with a bang (no pun there, literal bang and explosion...much fire), so I did need to ask about it.

While I'm still working out new questions and the like for this, I think this may be a good time to slowly wrap the interview up. That said, looking back at Christina and the Fayth Ares, to those who see this character (either in the original two RPs or even the story you've written), what advice would you give these aspiring RPers or even things they can take away from the creation of Christina that they could use for their benefits?

Spoiler

Oh, jeeze I don't think I'm really in any position to give advice to aspiring rpers. But, as these things go, I'll do my utmost. I guess, if you could take one thing away from my development of Christina as a character, its to try things you haven't done before. If you've only done male characters, try to develop a female character. Try to develop a non-binary character. Get out of your comfort zone. Because after I developed Christina, I found myself trying so many new things. I've fallen in love with many of my creations and I think it started with trying something new.


Thank you again Comrade Duck for the insight into the character and the development of Christina. That concludes this retrospective, and hopefully I'll come up with better and more involved questions down the line. Either way, still working at this. So until next time, see you in the next retrospective!

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Interview 3 - Ukemei Ayane by Yui

Spoiler

Welcome back once again to the Character Retrospective. Apologies that the latest interview/episode has taken from January 16th to now May, but with me and my current job and constantly being exhausted from it, tends to make it harder on an individual to do just about anything. Nevertheless, I have striven to make sure that this was done...and for today, I have another first: a character not only from an RP that is currently still going but also one who's Biography happens to be in the "redacted" form. How is this possible? Well, for that answer, we'll be diving into the character creation process of our very own @yui to learn about his character, Ukemei Ayane/Riot Hero - 11, in the RP "My Hero Academia: Far Beyond Max Omega" run by (💊) (the "@" method wasn't working for him with me, so oh well).

This RP is the sequel to @Mr. Hyde RP, "Rise Above! Max Omega!", along with it being the adjacent sister RP to the RP, "My Hero Academia: Shooting Stars". Simply put, FBMO continues the story of following young aspiring Heroes with varying abilities known simply as Quirks. New faces show as our main cast with some of the older cast from RAMO making appearances as teachers and now Pro Heroes. A simple plot for the most part.

With all that said, I think it's time we dove into the process of personally one of the many characters in FBMO that I enjoyed interacting with...let's look at Ukemei Ayane!


First question would be, where was the starting point in Ayane's creation?

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The development for Ayane was pretty straightforward at the start. I'd been playing a lot of Brütal Legend shortly before her creation (great game, big recommend) and wanted to bring that sort of loud, goofy, heavy metal energy to FBMO. So I built a character around the general idea of "someone loud and goofy with a Quirk that relates to sound." Unlike my other FBMO characters - including somebody the cast has yet to meet - Ayane's Quirk was actually pretty much exactly the same between the first draft and the final product, with the only change being the name going from Resonance to Compose at Otaku's suggestion. The hardest part of Ayane was her biography, which was a lot different in the first draft than what's going on with her right now. Some key points are the same, but at first, she had a very different and probably rougher life story.

Comparing Ayane to the likes of Yumi and even your RAMO character of Asuka/Ruby Heart, it's obvious that she's completely different and channels the goofy energy. With the interactions I had with this character, be it with Ben or Page Master, it's clear that what you intended for came across. Sad it didn't keep "Resonance" as its name, only because I'd be referring to her as the Soul Eater for a while...I digress though.

Now this is a first for this blog, namely cause the RP is still going but also Ayane has a redacted Biography. That said, what was the deciding factor in making her with a bit of redacted Biography? If this question gets to be where you may slip and reveal stuff too early, you can keep things vague. Can't be ruining surprises 😉

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I kept Ayane's biography redacted because, in the fewest words possible, Ayane is a plot twist on legs. While I can't outright say a lot of what happened - including some of the more important points - I can certainly tease you and the readers to hopefully generate or rekindle some intrigue around the RP. It's possible to piece together at least some of the story based on some details in her app and her actions in the RP so I'll leave that for the investigative types to look into. Instead, I'll share what's safe to share that isn't so obvious. Of all the things I can tease, the most interesting is that Ayane wasn't always a nice person. In fact, she used to be a pretty bad kid, and a non-zero amount of other characters across the RP can attest to that.

These days, however, she's a good girl, albeit not very smart. She puts great effort into helping the homeless or orphaned directly, has a clear-cut motivation for wanting to be a pro hero, and tries to make up for who she was when she was a dumb kid. Since the RP is still going - on hiatus though it might be at present - I'm confident in saying everything about her past will eventually come to light. Hopefully the surprises in her biography will have been worth the wait when they're revealed.

Honestly this character has been elusive to me and has intrigued me just because I knew jack all about her...so you've had me hooked with that from the get go. Same time, you teasing that Ayane actually has a past surprises me. Then again, she's embodying the definition of "punk rocker" so it's not too much of a surprise.

Now for the area of Ayane's Quirk, Compose, we've seen/heard the similarities between her Quirk and another's in the RP, so that's interesting to me. But I'd love to hear the thought process you went through in crafting this Quirk. Compared to Blood Crystals and literal lightning, this seems a bit more complex (well, then again Blood Crystals are crazy complex, but neither here nor there). How much thought went into Compose and the style of fighting Ayane does?

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The hardest part of Compose was getting it just right. "Someone that works with sound" was always the concept, and keeping the effects short was how I planned to make it to where she'd have to play a guitar to keep it active, to really nail that Brütal Legend vibe I talked about earlier. In a very very early concept version of the Quirk, before it had a character attached to it, Compose had different effects entirely based on pitch, where lower pitches would heal people (a reference to basses doing this in Brütal Legend) instead of simply creating matter with different properties. Once I had the effects of the Quirk figured out, the rest wasn't too difficult.

Ayane's fighting style is best compared to a "caster" like build in Brütal Legend. In the game, the protagonist Eddie Riggs does melee attacks with his axe (not like a guitar, I mean an actual axe) and does other attacks by playing his guitar, like creating fire and lightning or causing shockwaves. I wanted to emulate the latter of those two with how Ayane fights, rocking out on the guitar to create an offense that doesn't let up. While I would have liked a way to implement the game's solo mechanic into Ayane's combat, it would feel less like a Quirk and more like straight-up magic at that point. Since she needs louder sounds to be more useful, she always carried an amp around until getting her hero uniform in the RP, which has one over her chest as a piece of support equipment. That alone was a huge powerspike for Ayane, since now she can keep jamming while also moving.

There's more planned for the development of Compose down the line, but it won't likely be for a while. The most game-changing upgrades she'll get for quite some time will just be new techniques.

That's honestly both amazing and fascinating to me. The pitch idea would've been interesting to see implemented in some capacity, but then again, that versus creating matter with different properties...I can see why you went that way. And being in the same RP as Ayane, I've seen this Quirk implemented in quite the showy fashion, especially against the Mecha-Rex, which was a fight scene in that RP that I absolutely love. Heavy Metal Bulwark all the way!

Now knowing your repertoire of characters you've made, were there any that might've sparked your initial creation of Ayane? Or at least a past characters concept? I know you are into recycling to a point with most characters or concepts, so I figure perhaps the same applied here.

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I should note that Heavy Metal Bulwark was actually not me. You've got (the host) to thank for Ayane's actions in that post. He very much did her justice.

As for recycled concepts/ideas, I don't believe there was any such thing with Ayane. Her Quirk is unlike any other ability I've worked with before, probably owing to the fact that it's inspired by something that I didn't use as inspiration for anything else. Her personality is fairly typical of my "loud happy character" type, and her biography has pretty strong shades of "she got no money" which I also do fairly often, but that isn't because I recycle parts so much as I just find those things endearing. In fact, some of the more significant surprises in Ayane's biography only work specifically because she's in this particular RP. Adding it all up, I can pretty safely conclude Ayane is a character that was made entirely for this RP from the get-go, and there probably won't be another character from me quite like her for a long time since she needed this RP's specific set of circumstances to really be who she is the way she is.

Now that's an interesting way to put it. She was created specifically with the needs of the RP in question to be able to be how she is. I'd say that there is something most RPers, myself included, can gleam from and take to utilize in their own character creation.

Speaking of advice for other RPers, what's something that they could take away from Ayane and her creation? The goal is always to learn from others with this, so whatever you can give advice-wise would no doubt be appreciated.

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It's less that she was created with the NEEDS of the RP in mind, and more with the LORE of it. Rather than saying FBMO needs Ayane, it's better to say Ayane needs FBMO.

In any case, I think the lesson to take away from my creation process with her is that if you talk to your host and figure out a biography together, you can get away with a lot of things that you otherwise couldn't do. The plot twists in Ayane's backstory only work because they were approved in advance and in fact suggested to me, and the end result is quite interesting. If you're stuck on a backstory for your character, especially if you know there's some lore behind the RP, talk to your host and see if you can come up with some crazy shit together. You might be surprised what comes of it.


With that, another interview comes to a close and I'd like to thank Yui for giving the time to divulge (as much as he could) on what processes he went through during his creation of Ayane. Basic take away from this is apparently, play Brütal Legend. Until next time (which hopefully won't be too long), I'll see you all in the next retrospective!

Edited by Chaos Sonic

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Interview 4 - Cochlea the Namekian by Chaos Sonic (Ft. Guest Interviewer - Yui)

Spoiler

Well isn't this a surprise! This isn't the 4th interview I was hoping for...but at the same time, I REALLY wanted to talk about this character I've had the honor of playing...and what better way to do that than this little blog! UNFORTUNATELY...someone *eyes Yui menacingly* insisted on it being in the format of an interview...I was just gonna make it an editorial, but alas...it is what it is. So this one is going to be a first for the blog for a HUGE reason: this is for a play by post TTRPG on Discord..."Dragon Ball Shattered Time" as well as a character I'm still playing.

The simple plot is really...simpler than most. Basically this is a TTRPG version of the Xenoverse games, but adding other elements to it. Conton City is still there, New Namek, Earth, Otherworld, the Demon Realm, Planet Glacier (Frieza's planet), Planet Vegeta and Space (which covers A LOT of things). Now this may seem like it's impossible for all these things to happen, but it's Dragon Ball...it's a Xenoverse-esque game...there are no true answers. ANYWHO!!

With all that preamble out of the way, let's talk about my Namekian character, Cochlea! (And after the interview, I may end up putting things in a spoiler that continues on...giving details on how this character is...maybe...haven't decided yet)


Interview time! Now it is you who gets interviewed! Since this isn't a character from a cardmaker forum, please start by telling us a bit more about the character in question.

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The character is a Namekian race individual named Cochlea (Former Appearance | New Commissioned Appearance). Following the rules and guidelines of Namekian names in the DB universe, it either coincides with an instrument (i.e. Piccolo) or a play on slugs or snails (i.e. Dende or Lord Slug). Now one might ask, what the hell does a "cochlea" mean for this scenario? A good question! Let's turn to the dictionary for this! The definition of a cochlea is "the spiral cavity of the inner ear containing the organ of Corti, which produces nerve impulses in response to sound vibrations", so it's got something to do with the spiral cavity of an ear...makes no sense, right? WRONG! Further investigations would show this, that the ancient Greek  κοχλίας (kokhlias) is where cochlea is derived from...that translated comes out to "spiral, snail shell". Was that an over-complicated way of explaining that, yes...but there's also a reason to mention this which I will later on.

This Namekian, at the beginning, I took heavy inspiration from the TFS Piccolo characterization. However, not to make it a carbon copy of said character, I threw in my own flavors here and there...for instance: his backstory was of him being in the Dragon Clan which is primarily the Healers or Dragon Ball makers...but had aptitude to that of a Warrior Clan, namely due to the fact that he was never good at attempting to make Dragon Balls. In a way, I had him be that "Supposive Healer" that wanted not to just be boxed in with the label of Healer, something I would assume you would find most interesting, Yui.

Overtime, he's developed a bit more from a rambunctious attempt of a young TFS Piccolo styled character but now is an older, wiser and stronger Namekian.

A Namekian born into a clan of healers but turned out to be better suited for direct combat. Interesting! I didn't even know they had healers, but that's beside the point. So, when creating Cochlea, was there a particular reason you chose to be a Namekian other than liking TFS Piccolo? A certain racial ability or trait, for instance?

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Actually, a funny story about that...and I'm glad you brought this up. My friend who tossed me the Discord link to the DBRP was my connection to this server and the game, he and I've played PTU (Pokémon Tabletop United) and even a few Power Ranger based ones (using the Tokyo Heroes Tabletop series). We have an enjoyment of Dragon Ball and he's actually was a GM in this server at one point so he invited me to play a different system (using the DB Paper Attack system, if I'm recalling correctly). Anyway, I get into said server and I see most of the characters being Saiyans, a few Arcosians (Frieza Race), a handful of Shinjin (the Kais and Demon Race, the Makai), a Tuffle and of course a couple of Androids. When I joined there was NOT A SINGLE Namekian character. Originally I had an idea of making a Saiyan/Tuffle Hybrid using the Neo Machine Mutant (GT's Baby) style of character...but seeing the fact that there was zero Namekians and due to the fact that they sold me on the idea of a Paladinamekian (and my general enjoyment of the race aside from Piccolo), I relented. Thus, Cochlea was formed and created.

As for traits, well...it's easy to understand why I chose Namekian: Cellular Proliferation, AKA the Grow Your Body Parts Back ability! This here is one of the best abilities to have as a Namekian and it's a Base Namekian trait, along with the second ability trait Nobiru-Ude. This is the Namekian's ability to either go giant mode or give the stretchy arms. Myself personally, I've only used the stretchy arms and legs aspect of this particular ability. Yes you could go giant mode, but I've had Cochlea have a distinct dislike for this application of the technique due to one thing: you gain a lot of strength but immediately lack the speed and mobility to do anything with it, not the best exchange there. Anyway, for Dragon Clan specific, the ability trait they have is Cellular Mending...if the first is able to heal yourself, this one is the healer ability to heal others. I will say, this ability here does tend to get impressively useful when used with other traits and abilities, but I'll get to that a bit later.

I guess your playgroup subscribed to "it ain't easy being green" after all. Now that we know a bit more about the ideas behind Cochlea's creation, there's a somewhat similar question I'd like to ask, since the characters in this thread don't get to have it asked about them often. You mentioned that Cochlea is older and wiser now, meaning this game must have been going on for quite some time. What are some highlights of your experience playing with Cochlea?

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I'll have to snag that question myself now...so thank you...ANYWAY!!

Oh wow, where do I even begin...aside from I've been in the game since March 2019. So this, as you know from experience Yui, was a year that I had a lot of things trying to be dealt with to keep myself from being depressed due to my father's passing in April of that year. This and even you and Sai getting me hooked on FGO were catalysts in keeping me floating. Anyway, I digress...

Well guess for starters it would be the founding of what the group has called "Team Mollusk". This was a group of four players met on New Namek and basically became friends and were the starts of a make shift family: Cochlea, an Arcosian named Kryo, a Shinjin named Tasukasu and a Demon named Asuca. This was my start into the RP and it was the best beginning I could have. After that, well I'm sure it would be the fact that as Cochlea, I practically bitch-slapped a Saiyan's head clean off which has been dubbed "Green Dad's Pimp Slap" (complete with the players in the OOC chat reciting the Pimp's Prayer). After that it would be the fact that I had the character achieve Namekian Fusion with another older Namekian NPC, which is where the wiser part came into play. This Namekian would be able to help shape Cochlea into what he is right now, a protector and father figure to quite a few characters. Another highlight was actually selecting a manner of transformation for my Namekian which was dubbed "Exalted Namekian" and that scene alone was absolutely amazing to do. After that, I feel like I've been putting more character and weight into Cochlea...making him full of sage wisdom, being able to help others not just with fighting. Hell, I even had him help untangle a Artificial Saiyan's mind and actually gave him a clearer path and made room for character development on a player character that many considered to be a very...rough character.

Fascinating! It sounds like Green Dad Cochlea is a pretty popular guy at the table. As much as I'd love to ask about the rest of Team Mollusk, that isn't what we're here for tonight. So we've got a pretty good idea of what you've been up to with this guy, but surely you've got plans yet to come as well? What do you want to do with Cochlea in future sessions? Any spicy ideas in the works?

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Well, considering the game is still going as we speak, there's always some plans to be made. Most recently, Cochlea has already trained with someone I personally wanted him to train with in Otherworld: Paikuhan (or Pikkon, pick your name version). Due to some actually giving this filler arc character some interesting backstory, he helped Cochlea become what is known as a Warrior Guardian. Like how Kami and Dende are the Guardians of Earth, a Warrior Guardian the GMs flavored are the fighters and active role versions of Guardians...a sort of God of Destruction to the Guardian's Supreme Kais. So that's already done and out of the way. This already was something I was excited about...not only for it actually giving Paikuhan a bit more of a backstory on his life before his time in Otherworld, but it actually gave me and Cochlea a path to walk that wouldn't exactly mimic Piccolo's solitary fighter or even being reduced to being a deity that watches from his ivory tower.

Things that are still yet to come, well...of course there are still things I want to happen. Firstly, I'm wanting to have him learn from Xeno Goku the move Dragon Fist, where this technique literally has you punch a Golden Shenron at an opponent. A flavoring that to a Namekian to punch a Golden Porunga that basically ORA ORAs the opponent is too epic not to have. Another plan is to have him do a second Namekian Fusion. There's a Namekian NPC I've been eyeing and if done correctly, I'll have access to the next level of Ki energy: God Ki. And of course (told you I'd come back around to this!!), him earning a new title in the context of the story...I've been wanting him to gain the title Lord Helix...his name is Cochlea, of course I had to do this! Honestly this was the selling point for acceptance in the RP aside from being the only Namekian.

It all sounds like pretty neat stuff! Some of it went over my head, but I'm sure the Dragon Ball fans reading this interview are gonna love it! I suppose with all that being said and done, we have a pretty good idea of who Colchea is, was, and will hopefully be. That just leaves one last question from me. What are some character design lessons you took away from making and planning out Colchea, that you think are worth sharing with the rest of the class?

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I've added some links to this...so even if they don't...they can learn while they read...YAY!

Hmmm lemme think...well, firstly if a character is usually made out of necessity...if you can work it just right it may actually be fun rather than daunting. Originally I didn't want to be the Healer, but working it out like this, not only is Cochlea an adept fighter but now his healing ability rivals that of a number of the Shinjin with their own healing spells, and that's just from being a healer at the beginning of it all.

Another I'd say is, have plans that are flexible. Like I've had Cochlea say in game a few times: "Life is a winding stream" and pretty much your original plans may be put on hold in game. Don't let that discourage you one bit! Me personally, I've just simply vibed and waited until the GMs could do something. Just be patient and remember that GMs are still human, they have things to take care of as well. Go with the flow, your time will come.

Lastly: just have fun. If you RP, be it Discord tabletop or just forum text based, you got to have fun playing the character you brought into existence. Thinking of them as an extension of you, if your happy and enjoying it...the character will reflect it. If not, well...your just playing a part and not having any fun. And honestly, youd be doing a disservice to yourself and the character itself. Just have fun with it, plain and simple!


There it is...my Namekian OC, Cochlea. Honestly I want to share more about him...so maybe I'll add a spoiler at the end of this...then again, I may add a Poll up in the thread. If you want to see more about Cochlea after reading this, let me know up there. That way I can easily edit this Interview and at this point fill you in on more about Green Dad.

Until next time, this has been the Character Retrospective!

Edited by Chaos Sonic

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Getting to turn the tables was fun! Hopefully you had fun receiving the questions instead of asking them as well. I for one would love to hear more about green dad.

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Retrospective Editorial #1 - The Cochlea Agenda

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So there I was, barbeque sauce on my tits…

Welcome to the first editorial piece for the Character Retrospective! There may be more like this, who knows! Anyway, I know I said I'd add it all to the previous interview's post, but I figured I make it an editorial and it's own post and just let it be. Why? Cause there's a LOT to unpack here. Best place to start this editorial is with the current stats and the like and the beginning (more like I'll be hitting the high notes of everything I can remember):

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First, the Attributes and Skills that I've currently gotten. Note this is my build of Cochlea as of current.

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Next, the techniques/magic (Not images because of the way it's formatted):

  • Dragon Bullet - All you need to know was this was Cochlea's first move, based on the Light Grenade used by Piccolo...though it's weaker.
  • Super God Fist - Taught to him by Xeno Goku, this was the first technique to be learned aside from Dragon Bullet. It's a powered move so rolling to hit AND damage rolls are rolled twice, choose the highest from both sets. Also has the condition "Guard Down", which means this may cause the opponent to lose their guard...which brings into effect "Blinding Speed" which only works if Guard Down is assured. Guard Down and Blinding Speed work in tandem with this technique and it's just beautiful!
  • Masenko - Taught to him by Tasukasu, this would be his sort of...Kamehameha. Fitting as this was a Piccolo move as well, seeing as Gohan learned it. Nothing much to talk about here.
  • Namek Assault - An original technique taught to him by the Artificial Saiyan, Arlic. This was known as Power Breaker, but he renamed it for himself, just to keep it in theme. Basically this is the Jojo ORA ORA ORA type of technique, which was flavored to target the weak points in an opponent's body and overwhelm them with a barrage of hits.
  • Hyper Tornado - The most recently learned technique, taught to him by Paikuhan/Pikkon. I've yet to use it in battle though, but my GOD when I do it'll be truly amazing. In short, flavor wise, this has Guard Down as well and has the Custom Advantage of "Vortex". They'll be essentially trapped in a vortex being sliced by blades of wind...so it'll be interesting to see this application with Green Dad doing it.
  • Magic Materialization - Say it with me now guys....CLOTHES BEAM!!! Oddly enough, this and Telepathy was a given for Namekians, so it just worked.
  • Telepathy - Again, it just came with Namekian and it works xD
  • Evil Containment Wave/Mafuba - The technique that was taught to him by the Guardian Guytar. THIS...this here is only applicable in the case of a GM saying it's good for the final attack. That is the only stipulation to this move.
  • Instant Transmission - Had to eventually learn this technique, as it was either use teleporters that cost money, wait for others with IT to come give me a lift...or just use the ship. I found it was time to just learn it and cut my losses at that point.

Now, there's two Talents that Cochlea has that are exclusive to him...these...these are known as Unique Talents!
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And that's generally the low down on Cochlea. I'll add more later on through the explanations!

So after making basically the first Player Character Namekian, Cochlea was put on New Namek. Now at first, he had never left the homeworld so New Namek is all he knew. That said, he's presented three individuals that pretty much are his core friends and family: first we have Tasukasu, the Shinjin Kaio who at this moment is currently the Universe 7 South Kai; Asuca Dolce, the Shinjin Makaio (Demon) who used the play by of a certain Angry Mango from Fate...his whole thing was he is hueman (and yes, that's how the character pronounced it and it's hilarious); and of course Kryo, the Arcosian and also our resident Goku. If my nickname is Green Dad, his is "Arcosian Goku"...and he's lived up to that name.

In any case, they meet and are immediately thrust into an encounter due to time rifts and a group of Rifters...which was the form of King Piccolo, Tamburine and Drum...which we demolished the hell out of them. This was also about the time we met up with Lord Guru and Nail, rifters of their own rights, who presided over New Namek. Through this, there was also an encounter with mecha Mercenary Tao...which basically bodies two of our group...and this was a moment Cochlea went into a rage and was equally bodied. This encounter would be something Cochlea struggled with, so keep that in mind. After this, Xeno Goku appeared to offer us an invitation into the Time Patrol, this would give Cochlea a reason to explore more than New Namek, so after getting his blessing from Guru and Nail, even having Tasu, Asuca and Kryo be named "Honorary Namekians" the group would be sent to Conton and immediately be schooled in the Time Patrol.

The first Time Patrol mission, I believe, was against Vegeta. More accurately, Great Ape Vegeta during the Saiyan Saga. In short, this became a Kaiju fight as we had a Saiyan on our side who did the same. Whole time they were begging me to make Cochlea go Giant Form, to which I declined. My feelings for the Giant Form bled into Cochlea, which honestly does make a lot of sense. They all saw that King Piccolo was slower as a giant, so remove that from the equation and we're solid. The mission was a success and that was that.

After this, I believe was the Planet Vegeta tournament. Now this tournament was a 2v2 tournament, so of course, Cochlea and Kryo teamed up...with the name "Team Mollusk". The idea of Mollusk came when the four were initially introduced, but the name of Team Mollusk was introduced here during the tournament. Annnnnnnnnd we lost...both in the normal bracket AND the loser bracket. Needless to say, it was a combination of the NPCs that were up against...a few PCs we were up against (one was a Saiyan who flashed Kryo and Cochlea, to which it stunned Cochlea due to...what the fuck are those?) and of course, my mortal enemy: the dice bots. Needless to say, about here was where I was really getting frustrated and ended up having to apologize to the GMs because they thought they did something wrong, which wasn't the case. It was simply me being enraged by the dice bots. Anywho, we lost there so at that point Cochlea actually started (or rather I had him) start to attempt to be a bit more mellow, not full blown but the beginnings of it at least.

Next stop was New Namek for a bit of a revelation. With the second player character Namekian after me, Fluut, he and Cochlea were taken by an archeologist who found the ruins of a Namekian Elder known as Gastros, in game lore he was the Grand Elder before Guru. Through some puzzles, both Namekians were found worthy of the Namek Guardian Armor (just no shoulder pads) and the Namekian Guardian Sword, the armor went to me and the sword to Fluut. We later find out that New Namek...isn't just New Namek...and that this is a fusion of worlds: Old Namek, before Frieza blew it up and New Namek. This is quite the heavy revelation, but it's something that did make the story interesting in the long run.

Up next was the biggest moment of Cochlea's adventures (well two): saving a fellow Namekian and obtaining a new ship and then meeting the Guardian of Earth and learning the Mafuba/Evil Containment Wave. With the first, the gang returned back to New Namek with Fluut. Here was where we needed to rescue a Namekian from an unknown metal planet. The shop we took, the newly dubbed "Mollustang",  and thanks to my expertise in piloting that I got ahead of time: Cochlea was the pilot and driver. Arriving on what would later be known as Planet M-2, we divided the group: Fluut and Ascua got Arion while Cochlea and Kryo remained on the ship. A good thing too, as security bots appeared and wanted identification...and this here is the part I'm most excited for. Using the Magic Materialization ability, Cochlea crafted an authentic license that fooled the bots. This was an achievement to say the least...however things went south, we got the group back together hightailed it out of there...only sensing an overwhelming power (which was obviously General Rildo), so that left an impression on everyone. Later once on Earth directly after that situation, the Guardian of Earth, a Namekian named Guytar, enlisted the help of the Mollusks to go after a gator beast man named Gnasher who had originally been sealed away, but was now released. Guytar enlisted their help, begrudgingly by the way, but conceded after speaking with Cochlea. He offered to teach the Mafuba to the Namekian, provided he had no malicious intent or evil within him. All he had, was the doubt that circled back to the time he raged on New Namek when Tao did what he did. After explaining that this isn't evil, but a feeling everyone experienced, he was taught Mafuba. As for the technique itself, the GMs made it to where it's only usable as a Finishing Move. They give me the go ahead and I seal the baddies in a rice cooker. Which is what happened...the gator was whittled down by the Mollusks and Cochlea sealed the gator. This was one out of the two times this happened.

After a bit of this, we were presented with the Future Raid. The future we went to was that of the player character, Dennim Brief, the son of I believe Panty Brief...which makes Bulma his aunt. Anyway! This was where Cochlea was able to practically stretchy arm pimp slap a Saiyan woman's head clean off. Note that this was AFTER having terrible roll after terrible roll in this encounter. My anger and rage definitely soaked into the dice at that point just giving me that...so it definitely helped. Then, that's when things took a turn for the worst, in a sense. Casualties were made, one of which was an NPC Namekian, Escar's entire squad in the Galactic Patrol was wiped by these evil Saiyans. This was the moment Cochlea was granted Namekian Fusion with Escar. Through the story later, he would end up learning more about his fusee, and this would start him on the path of Green Dad.

Then of course, the assassination of Lord Guru. Someone apparently enlisted the talents of Hit from Universe 6 to assassinate a few individuals...Lord Guru was one of them. This would enrage Cochlea...but while others wanted the assassin dead...Cochlea wanted the opposite: Hit was the weapon, the gun so to speak. What he wanted was the person who pulled the trigger. This wouldn't be revealed until much later in which it was shown that it was Cooler, trying to frame Frieza. After a while of knowing this (and due to Cooler being kin to another Arcosian character, Miko), Cochlea would do one thing much harder to do: forgive. Killing the culprit was easy, but forgiving them? That would be the hardest thing...but it would give him peace...as he knew Guru wouldn't want him to have revenge as his drive to continue. Thusly, as this happened and learning about Escar, he took well to Guru's teachings and thus the more mature and sagely moments of Cochlea's character began.

After a while, there was a raid on the demon realm. This is where things really shook up. Cochlea was tasked with Hollin, another Makaio who later became Planet Vegeta's Guardian; Topaz, his Android girlfriend; and an NPC named Chiava who was a Saiyan...we were tasked with protecting the Supreme Makai or Mak for short. The real raid was happening farther off in the demon realm which got really hairy but I digress. We were set upon by two Time Breaker Saiyans...one of which was unlocking the Super Saiyan transformation in battle...same time...Cochlea was having something happen too. In the game, there are Class Ups (based on the concept from Dragon Ball Heroes), and this was the first Class Up for Cochlea. I wanted it to have something to do with the Gastros Armor...and it did indeed. They flavored it to have a reaction to the Saiyan's transformation, like a trigger. With this, I was able to get a Manifestation of this Class Up: Exalted Namekian. This was a powerful moment for all involved, so much so that we left that night's session end right after the transformation, like an episode of the show…it was amazing.

After this, Cochlea would be doing a few smaller things: first of note is untangling the mind of the Artificial Saiyan, Arlic. Now context on Arlic...he was...difficult. Most of the players hated him but it was because of things in the game he did. Whether they were noble in thought, their execution lacked it greatly. Of course, after being swapped with your Time Breaker self for the longest time, yeah shit like that will do stuff to ya. In any case, he took the time to untangle the lad's mind, giving him a chance to reflect and even admit what he did was wrong and how things could've been better. Between this and the Time Chamber thing, to where he even helped Arlic obtain Super Saiyan 3, this was a moment of teaching for Cochlea...so much so that he gave Arlic a Mollusk gi, sorta like the thing Piccolo did for Gohan. Unfortunately, quite a while later...Arlic's character dropped the game...so that never continued. If it did, I believe that would've been Cochlea's Gohan in a sense. Regardless, it was character development for both parties.

Now this next part was where Cochlea was a bodyguard to accompany Future Trunks to a meeting of a coalition that was formed after the demon realm raid. There, Cochlea, Kryo and a Tsufurian/Tuffle named Virgo, fought against Time Breaker Arlic. This was the time Cochlea met his end...and he went out protecting Virgo and Kryo. Note, this is the 2nd attempt at dying, but it was successful. The first attempt was at Virgo's wedding and he got a Special Beam Cannon to the chest by Baby Controlled GT Piccolo...I tried to die like that, but the teammates didn't want Green Dad dead...so alas, he survived. The coalition fight...he didn't...for a bit anyway. On reaching South Kai's planet and seeing Tasu and whatnot, he was brought back almost immediately...to which he wished to remain in Otherworld although he was rezzed. To train to get stronger and figure out his next points in his journey.

Enter Paikuhan/Pikkon. Cochlea saw him in a small Otherworld Tournament (in which he also saw a Namekian with Godly Ki, Raphael) and wished to train with him. After waiting so long for it, I was finally granted this moment (after I actually commissioned someone to draw Green Dad). The GMs finagled a working story for Paikuhan's background, seeing as he was simply just another Piccolo styled character in a filler arc. They made it where he was actually known as a "Warrior Guardian" on a planet. They flavored the Warrior Guardian and a Guardian to that of the Gods of Destruction and the Supreme Kais, one is meant to destroy things, one is meant to bring life...an equal balance. Though I'm doubting the Guardian things will allow for destruction and life bringing, there's a balance here and it's also dealing with the hierarchy that is already established in the Dragon Ball universe. Kami and Dende are lesser deities who are under the Kais (North, West, East, South and the Grand Kai). Those are under the Kaio, the Supreme Kais the like. There's a hierarchy in place and they made it to where things match up with other things. Anyway, I'm getting off track. Paikuhan tells Cochlea to dwell on what it means to be this...and the answer he comes to is to him, he's a protector, like a father is to his family...and he uses Mollusk as an example. Once this is done, he tells Cochlea to deliver this news to the Grand Elder, Moori who resumed his role after Guru's passing. There he took the training and became a Warrior Guardian…

And at this point, that's everything. Like I mentioned before, the game is still going. We're dealing with the Namekian Shadow Dragons now, so perhaps Namek's son shall be able to turn the tide of battle against them. Who knows...but when more happens, I'll add more!

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