Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stealing Characters From Videogames

Bit of a videogame kick, but I figured I'd talk about something else I am doing in my L5R game. What is this thing I am doing? Well, I am taking several characters from League of Legends and converting them to fit into the game as monsters that my PCs will fight at some point or another in the future. Today I'm going to talk about one of them in particular. In my game he is known as Tessa. In League of Legends he is known as Thresh.

Why Steal?
The first question to answer here is why steal a character? Well, first off, because the concept is very cool. I am all for making up my own creatures and threats, but at the same time I know that I have some weaknesses when it comes to making demons and monsters so why not borrow some, conceptually at least, from other sources?

Beyond that, taking the character also gives me access to other things. What kind of things? Well, pictures, theme, and a beginning point for ideas. Finally, it is a fun mental exercise to take mechanics from one game and convert them to try and make them work in another mechanical setting. Especially when the narrative setting is also different.

Who Is Thresh?
You can find out everything you need to know about Thresh by clicking here. Ultimately though I'm more interested in the visual and lore background than the actual role in game. Thresh is a spectral creature that fights with a kusari gama (chain and kama) where the weighted end of the chain ends in a lantern. Thresh keeps the souls of his victims in the lantern where he serves as a sort of warden to a prison and torments them. He fights using the chain and kama to grab targets from afar, strike from a distance, and otherwise manipulate where people are with the chains.

What About Tessa?
Tessa is very similar with some slight changes. I don't want to go into the narrative changes here as some of my players read the blog and I want it to come out naturally for them. However, the core of Thresh's appearance and fighting style does remain.

Moving Abilities
Moving the abilities is where things get interesting. Tessa needs to be able to be a credible threat in fights while still having his own unique flair. The flair comes from the Thresh inspiration with the ability to realm transport people, grab them from a far, or throw them around with his chains.

However, there are also changing in the narrative realm as well. What that means is I get to play things up and try to show these abilities not as they are in the game but as they would be in the world itself where the creature doesn't have to be "balanced" to fit in with 100+ other champions.

What this means is I got to take some fun liberties. I extended the range of the chains that Tessa wields and gave them almost a life of their own. They can reach very far, but in doing so it leaves Tessa vulnerable. At the same time though Tessa still has other devices to help make him feel more powerful.

For anyone who knows L5R I essentially took the concept of Techs, merged them with Shadowlands Powers, and gave Tessa a full school of special abilities to help make him stand out. It's not something I expect to ever let anyone have as a PC - it is after all both techs and powers fused together - but it does bring about something special to the character.

So far Tessa has only had a small debut. I am looking forward to when he gets to really show off what he can do.

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