Sample Character Application
Below is a sample application graciously donated to us by the player of Romilly Draid! Question 1 has been redacted for irrelevance to a Sample Application.
2. Please give us the finger profile of the character you'd like to play, if they haven't been made before. If you want changes to an existing finger, please note that you're making changes.
Name: Romilly Draid
Job: Reformed Mercenary
Homeland: Arizona, Britannia
Signature Unit: NHI-78 'Kingmaker' Wanzer
Profile: Romilly grew up on romanticized stories of ace pilots doing battle, and wanted nothing more than to carve his name into history. The very moment he was legally able, Romilly signed five years of his life away to Nergal Heavy Industries in exchange for what he saw as a world of possibility. His time doing the company's dirty work desensitized him to the more ignoble side of piloting, and instilled in him a certain cynicism. The powers of the world had already staked their claims, and weren't likely to let go--so the wisest choice seemed to be courting their wealth and power to earn a slice of his own. Cynicism mixes poorly with glory hunting, and from the late 0080s on, there wasn't a job he wouldn't take or a role his versatile machine couldn't fill. In 0094, with the beginning of the Bloody Valentine Conflict, he made perhaps his most drastic decision--traveling to Moralia to undergo treatment to become a cyber-newtype, in the hopes of standing out from the proverbial crowd. Now 27, Romilly's found something he never imagined—an intense, overwhelming empathy, and with it, crushing remorse for the trail of ruined lives his ambition left in its wake.
Groups: Celestial Being
3a) Tell us the highlights of the character's background, about a paragraph or two for each question. We are looking for boilerplate highlights, not minutiae. Cover these in any format you like; do not feel obligated to break it out section by section, but make sure you answer all of the following:
3a1) What specific events made them decide to fight for the world? If the decision to fight was made for them, how was it made for them? Or, if they're not someone who fights, what events most colored their perception of the world?
Romilly grew up with a fairly romanticized idea of mobile weapon pilots, thanks to his mother, Talia, a decorated pilot who helmed one of the early-model wanzers in the Huffman Island conflict. More than any sense of national identity or serving his country, what appealed to Romilly was the idea of joining an exclusive 'ring of honor,' where his skill would earn him the respect of other pilots, just as his mother's had. Throughout the early years of his life, as cracks in the Federation widened, and development of mobile weapons continued, he was validated in pursuing this dream. It's not that there was any one specific event which spurred him to become a pilot, but rather that he grew up with a role model who encouraged it.
3a2) How did they gain the power to fight, and access to the units that dominate combat of the era? Or, if they do not fight, what is it that draws them inexorably into the orbit -of- fighting?
The EFSF and the Britannian Union do not make habits of giving untested young pilots with no experience valuable military hardware. Romilly knew this, however, and had a plan—Nergal Heavy Industries' 'work-to-own' program for young would-be mercenaries. He signed five years of his life away; two for training and apprenticeship programs, three for a tour of duty doing the company's dirty work, in order to own his own wanzer by the time he was 23.
3a3) Are there any formative, lynchpin moments in the character's history that, without them the character simply does not function? Explain them briefly, and what they mean.
Childhood – Bedtime Stories – As a child, Romilly's favorite story was his mother's recounting of a duel with a rival pilot. As the last remaining member of her unit, she held off the advance of an OCU ace known as Deep Blue among the Union forces. The two stalked each other through the bombed-out skeletons of colonial fixtures, low on ammunition and fuel, each unable to get a clear advantage over the other. Deep Blue made one mistake in taking cover behind a crumbling multi-story garage, and when a strong wind caused a portion to give out, Talia forced him into a retreat with a snap-reaction missile salvo. Talia was a natural storyteller, and had a way of giving stories like this a life of their own. Romilly was fascinated, and this story in particular was one of his stronger motivations to sign on with Nergal's work-to-own program.
0089 – Never Meet Your Heroes – On his off-hours during his first year of training with Nergal, Romilly had a chance encounter with one of the pilots his mother fought alongside in the early Huffman Island conflicts, by the name of Otho Clark. Buying him a drink in exchange for some stories and advice, Romilly was stunned to discover that this man's recounting of those days was far less rosy than his mother's. Otho wasn't an ace with storybook charm, he was old and tired and used up, and he cautioned Romilly that life as a pilot would do the same to him. There was no glory to be found, because there is no glory in the consumption and exploitation that the powers of Earth demand. Out of youthful spite, Romilly doubled down on his dream, and vowed that no matter what dirty work Nergal asked of him, he would do it, if it meant the chance to truly test himself against other pilots.
0091 – Reality Check - One of Romilly's first assignments for Nergal involved a smash-and-grab on an independent laboratory operating out of Huffman Island. He had been lead to believe by his supervisor that this was a dangerous rogue operation, but what he found instead was one old woman's passion project. Development of an advanced wanzer OS had attracted the attention of someone higher up, who didn't much feel like paying or asking nicely. It was Romilly's first exposure to what mercenary work often is: questionable and ugly. He realized that Otho may have been right--but he still wanted the romanticized life of an ace, even if it meant helping tighten the grasp of the world's superpowers over people's lives. Secretly, Romilly copied the OS before handing it in to his supervisor, and had it modified by a company programmer in exchange for a favor. Installing this OS without the safety measures the scientist originally included caused his wanzer to slowly, over the course of several years, develop a personality of its own.
0094 – Opportunity Knocks – The life of a mercenary enforcer served Romilly well. Three years of freelance work, living in Moralia, watching the news carefully and keeping an ear to the ground, had earned him a decent standard of living. People were beginning to speak his name with respect and a little fear. The ejection of PLANT from the Federation seemed like the perfect opportunity to advance his career, as he'd developed a keen nose for conflict. He knew, however, that competition would be fierce, and so, in the hopes of standing out from the crowd, spent most of his savings to undergo the cyber-newtype process. It was a tremendous success—and it also marked the end of his mercenary career. Suddenly being awakened to the feelings of others cast every decision, every dirty job he'd ever done in new, unflattering light. He realized that what he really wanted, all those years, was to understand and be understood through the medium of piloting; but war as it presently existed was not and never would be a means of understanding. When Celestial Being violently entered the public eye, he knew what he had to do to atone for his past deeds, and to set a good example for the newly-sapient AI in his Wanzer.
3b) What are the core traits of the character's personality? Again, we don't need a novel here unless you want to write one, but there's some questions we'd definitely like to see covered, in the same way as above.
3b1) What are your character's core motivations and goals?
Romilly wants to fundamentally change how people approach conflict. He doesn't expect it to just outright go away, but believes that there is, or should be, a way for people to 'fight' that allows them to truly understand one another, without destroying homes and lives in the process. He also believes that the powers of the world will never allow this, because it represents a shifting of power out of the hands of institutions and into the hands of individuals. Therefore, his motivation is to pry the fingers of empires off of Earth and its people, to give humanity a chance to evolve past war as we know it.
3b2) How does your character relate to others?
Romilly is making up for lost time. Before his awakening, he only cared to spend time with pilots, and even then, only those that seemed worth emulating. Now, he wants to know, understand and be understood by most everyone he meets, even if they've never touched and will never touch a mobile weapon's control panel. At the core of this desire is a feeling of other-ness, as having spent so much time laser-focused on his ambition and trying to 'make it' as a pilot has deprived him of many of the social bonds other people typically form.
3b3) How do they feel about the world as it is? If they're satisfied with it, what is it they want to protect? If they're unsatisfied with it, what is it they wish to change?
Romilly is very unsatisfied with the world. He realizes now that pilots with a rosy-eyed view of past engagements are still effectively pieces in a game that the powers of the world play for effectively no benefit. He wants individual people to be able to understand each other in the way that newtypes can, and wants an end to the exploitation of lives and the planet by the powers that be. He wants to protect the bonds that people form with one another from being broken apart by geopolitics, colonialism and imperialism.
4. We ask that all applications use the character sheet located here:
Please make a copy, then link us to the copy in the application.
4a) For Pilot: Please explain your placement reasoning for your pilot at their performance level at the point of application.
Romilly purposefully selected a highly modular wanzer for Nergal's work-to-own program, so that he could take the most broad range of assignments possible. After his two year training period, he spent three years doing Nergal's dirty work, and another three living in Moralia to do the dirty work of the highest bidder. He's experienced, but he's yet to truly test himself, and his story is starting at a point where there's some come-up sure to happen.
4b1) Please explain to us the goal or core idea behind the personalizations applied to your unit(s) that makes it uniquely yours, from Kamille building Zeta Gundam out of the Gundam MkII, to the designs or systems that turn 'a Gundam' into 'your Gundam'.
What makes this Romilly's Kingmaker in particular is the Checkmate OS, which allows for on-the-fly improvement of the wanzer's combat capabilities and weapons based on data gathered during the engagement. In this way, the unit becomes stronger and stronger as the fight goes on. The Checkmate OS is partially based on data stolen from a rogue scientist in his first operation, surreptitiously copied before he handed it over to his supervisor. Romilly had it modified by a programmer in exchange for a favor, with the removal of certain safety features having an unexpected effect. Namely, the OS is now a fledgling consciousness unto itself, which Romilly refers to as 'Junior' owing to the Wanzer's serial number of JR-4090. Since his awakening, he's given it a new paint job, as well, featuring a butterfly motif on the cockpit hatch to signify his and Junior's metamorphosis, and his hopes for a more beautiful future.
4b2) Please explain your placement reasoning for the unit(s) at its performance level (before Personalization Bonus).
The Kingmaker should scan as a 'main-character season 1' kind of robot. It should have a strong starting floor while still having places to go.
5. Does your character have some supernatural ability, great prowess in unarmed combat, some resources beyond those of a typical Neo-Colonial citizen, some heritable title? Great fame, or a major secret in their family history? Mention those sorts of things here. It is important to consider the skillset your character has that is not fighting things that are five meters tall or taller; very few characters are strictly obsessed with fighting to the exclusion of all other things, and those that are, well. That's a specific character point equally worthy of mention!
For years, Romilly was obsessed with being a pilot, and he did earn himself a degree of infamy among the AEU and Nergal Heavy Industries as an unflinching gunfighter. He might still be known in these circles as 'Deadeye Draid,' though now that name reminds him of a past he'd rather leave behind him. His mother was Talia Draid, an ace in the early Huffman Island conflicts. He doesn't have many skills not related to piloting, and is trying to change that—Romilly is learning the guitar and wants to try his hand at singing.
6. What excites you about playing this character? What is it you absolutely want to do on the character? What do you see as potential concerns or problems, especially if you're playing an antagonist or a character who explores some themes that need to be treated with care? If there are things you'd like to downplay or avoid, please note that as well.
I'm excited to develop friendships and rivalries with this character, as that and the strong anti-war vibe are his primary goals. I absolutely want to have at least one other character that's the Amuro to his Char, where you get those really meaty ideological conversations going on through the course of a battle or even outside of the suits. I also just love the romance of 'two aces duking it out' in that regard, and it's probably my favorite thing about the genre. The only concern that I really have was addressed pretty neatly and effectively by the policy on tone, and I think I'll be able to set a very consistent tone in keeping with that policy in order to make sure everyone is having fun.