Monday, June 25, 2012

Battle Reportification Part 6 - Narrating Character

First I would like to make a call for everyone that reads this blog to go check out all of the different networks that I posted on the right side of the blog that have been there since the beginning, all of them have quite a few good blogs and you probably have noticed based on my list of blogs towards the bottom of the page that I read a lot of blogs, most of them having been found by following those links when I was first looking into the different networks. I would also like to thank wargaming tradecraft for accepting me into their network, and would advise you all to look at the blogs that are posted there (it is an old network that is moving, so hang in there, more blogs will be put up there with time as they are moved from the old list to the new). Once again thanks for the plug guys, and now on to the normal blog post. (btw Graven Games is still awesome. I love giving them shout outs lol) Again this post is involved with the previous one, so I will do my best to not repeat myself (though I think that last time I did a good job of not getting too off subject). The topic up for discussion today is designing your Narrating Character which you will use for your Battle Report (or most of it anyways). Now there is tons of stuff on character creation that I'm not going to go into, just the basic stuff that you can use to put in some work to make something awesome while not too much that you spend hours on just the character creation. Again you are going to want to examine how everything that happened in the battle fits together. Once you have that figured out you have to start hearing voices in your head. What attitude do you hear that would really help make the story you want to tell excel? What tone of voice will accentuate the best parts of what happened? Should it be snarky, quirky, humorous, sadistic, sarcastic, sassy, intelligent, depressed, who will do the best for you? Oftentimes the character should reflect your own personality as your personal tendencies will mean that you have a knack for doing a good job of that attitude, but don't be afraid to experiment! If nothing else take some inspiration from your friends, enemies, public figures, anywhere that you look! A second part of making this narrating character is that you want to have a small bit of background assigned to them. I don't mean totally defining every detail and part of their history, just enough for you to work with and refer to in your story and that you could use to craft their personality (or you could reverse engineer the history based on their attitude or vice versa). Sometimes depending on the lore for your army you will know where the character came from if they are a part of the army, sometimes you will have a wide assortment of options. For instance you may have an imperial guard army composed of a variety of companies or platoons that come from all sorts of backgrounds that change frequently, hence the reason that you don't know all the homes of all the people. This option provides some flexibility in your story telling and the background of your force. Another possibility is that you could utilize someone not even part of your army as a narrator, or a non-combatant that travels with it. A local that gets caught up in the action that goes down in their home hive or a city slummer that is fleeing the law crosses into a field and gets sucked into the battle with no way out. It does not have to be a role that is played out on the tabletop at all, you could make up everything about them just because you have an awesome vision in your head. This will allow you to make full use out of the work that you already put into the planet that you designed already. You could take someone that was from a completely different system or sector and insert them for some narrative flavor that contrasts the behavior and style that is evident in the rest of the army or conflict. The key to all of this is to use your imagination, run with anything that you think will work and that you can totally see happening on your battlefield. Whether it advances the plot because the character is an inquisitor investigating the army as it performs maneuvers in the name of the emperor or a child of a cook ran off of the ship and is now running under the wing of the imperial guard platoon commander is up to you, there are NO limits to who could be involved with the battle. As a final thought remember that it does not have to be someone that actually showed up on the tabletop, just make sure that you think they could do a good job of telling the amount of the battle that you think is appropriate to advancing the plot and the events that are surrounding the story that you are trying to tell.

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