Character Sheet: James Elwood

 :: In Character :: The Cast :: Primary

Go down

Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  James Elwood on Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:00 pm

Name: James Elwood

Gender: Male

Age: 24

Occupation: Courier

Description: A man of about 5’ 10” with a slender, toned, slightly lanky build. He has shaggy dark brown hair that falls just below his ears with matching dark brown eyes. His face does not reveal any signs of hardship and often wears a slight grin.

Elwood’s appearance does not call any immediate attention to him and often goes unnoticed when entering an area. Dressed in dark grey and tan colors, he wears a grey duster jacket over a simple off-white undershirt. Over his messy hair, he dons a duster hat and over his hands, he wears a pair of brown gloves.

Bio: In his early years, Elwood worked with his father in running a unique courier service. They transported contraband and information to select individuals in both the North and South during wartime using a secure network of informants his father had set up. However, the work came with its share of danger. During Elwood’s teenage years, his father disappeared without a trace after accepting a job from a shady client.

Not knowing what his father had done to this client, Elwood fled from any pursuers that came for information on his father. Confused, he spent much of his remaining teen years running and hiding. The network his father had spent his life to create disbanded almost overnight, leaving Elwood to look after himself. The only thing that kept him alive was the ability to stay one-step ahead of anyone else.

Several years after his father’s disappearance, Elwood was tired of running and reemerged with the will to continue what his father had started. Using what he had learned over the years, Elwood reestablished the network. With his growing network, Elwood begins his journey to find what had happened to his father and who the people chasing him were after.

Combat Ability: Though not noticeably muscular, Elwood possesses above average physical strength. He much prefers the safe way out and avoids fighting if at all possible. His hand-to-hand skills are near unbeatable when provoked into a melee confrontation and at times, he is known to wield a knife with great precision. Rarely does Elwood ever pull out his small pistol that he carries for those ‘unavoidable’ gunfights.

Affinity: Magic - Throughout his life Elwood has had the uncanny ability to make himself disappear. Over his travels, he discovered that after breaking the line of sight with any of his pursuers he could simply “vanish” from their sight for short periods of time. In dire situations, Elwood claims he can disappear in plain sight. He decides to use this ability defensively and it seems to be less effective if he is trying to fight.
avatar
James Elwood

Posts : 2
Join date : 2010-07-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Ethan Ramey on Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:36 am

First, the Magic ability seems like a problem to me. Any abilities so far have only begun to manifest in full after the explosion at Little Bethlehem, so it doesn't make sense that your character has been enjoying this ability for some time. Also, the ability itself seems a little bit fantastical, even for this setting. That's just my opinion, and I'd be curious to see what the other admins think.

Second, the bio seems a little cookie-cutter RPG. Lost family member, hunted, easy motivations and drives... In practice, it might work, but it reads like just another RP character on just another RP site.

Last, the screening process is about to be revamped, so if your character goes into screening, be on the lookout for new information concerning that process in the next week.
avatar
Ethan Ramey
Reluctant Doctor

Posts : 84
Join date : 2010-01-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Jessamine Blake on Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:26 pm

I agree with Ethan Ramey that the magical ability doesn't really work in the context of this universe. I mean, maybe he was exceptional at out-foxing others or at escaping pursuit, but it makes little sense that such an obvious magical talent would begin to manifest itself so long before the catalyst for everyone else's talents. If you notice, most others have latent personality traits or abilities that are magnified to the point of seeming magical after the cannon goes off.

Also, I can't help but think that the character's physical description makes him sound like a Westernized Spike Spiegel. I do agree that the bio seems a little bit cookie-cutter, but I also think that it depends on how the character is written. You could easily start with a completely generic character and turn it into an amazing one, depending on how it's written. But that remains to be seen. It has possibilities, I suppose.

_________________
"[These]...settlers are churlish types who are accustomed to live apart from each other, as neither fathers nor sons associate with each other."
--Fermín de Mendinueta, Governor of the New Mexico Territory, c. 1776.
avatar
Jessamine Blake
Clairvoyant Madam

Posts : 103
Join date : 2010-01-23

View user profile http://nobubblegum.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Mr. Pearse on Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:37 pm

I think this holds promise.

The magical ability needs a bit of reworking. Characters' powers begin to manifest only after the initial Little Bethlehem blast (although further blasts may accelerate the process...). You'd be better to say that Elwood was long a master of going unnoticed, and that exposure to the blast may make the ability otherworldly in effect. I'd also stick to the word 'unnoticed' instead of 'vanish.' Vanishing completely seems a bit too high fantasy as compared to other magical talents revealed so far. However, being supernaturally 'unnoticed' is cooler anyway - maybe opponents find it impossible to keep their eyes locked on you during combat, and maybe wearing a black cloak at night is enough to shield you almost completely from detection.

Concerning the backstory, I think its 'generic' quality was due to lack of adequate exposition. Most any character on this site can be reduced to something 'generic.' After all, if I'd skimped on Pearse's early life in my own character sheet, he'd just be another cookie-cutter megalomaniac trying to maintain an empire. Let's learn more about the night Elwood's father disappeared, and more about the kinds of cargo the Elwood family smuggled. What kind of father was the senior Elwood, and why is his son so intent on finding out more about him? Does he have any objects he particularly cherishes, like a prized talisman or rusty old ring, and how does this relate to his quest? What about his other family, if he has any? Siblings are a wonderful way to add richness to a character yarn - just ask Thanatos.

One way to fix this exposition problem will be through the screening writing sample, preferably drawn from an interesting chapter of Elwood's journeys. Not only will this let us evaluate your prose, but it will also help us see this backstory in action. PM this sample to Mr. Ruggeri when you're able - it should be at least 500 words (the length of an average post), and preferably longer. Assuming it's good, it will also make for a great character-related vignette.
avatar
Mr. Pearse
Gentleman of the West

Posts : 118
Join date : 2010-01-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Ethan Ramey on Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:02 pm

Hopefully I didn't come off as being too harsh. I was coming from a PS3/Xbox fanboy argument and brought a little bit of that frustration over.

As I said before, the story seems a bit generic. Adding a trinket or ring or something, despite Mr. Pearse's suggestion, would only make that worse. I heavily reinforce the idea that how the character is written will prove him to be an RP or anime stereotype, or an original and truly interesting addition to the story.

I should also have mentioned before that I like the idea of this information network, and I'm curious to see what Pearse will do when he discovers it - if he doesn't know about it already.

EDIT: For some interesting reading, you should Wiki the name James Elwood.
avatar
Ethan Ramey
Reluctant Doctor

Posts : 84
Join date : 2010-01-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Seth Ruggeri on Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:46 pm

I agree with Pearse on a couple of points. First, some fine-tuning of the magic description would be a good idea. The description you gave would be the kind of power that might eventually manifest itself later on in the story or after continued use of the power. I don't feel that the ability to vanish is too outlandish for this universe. Considering that we've already given the okay on things like a charismatic ability that will eventually lead to mind control, I'd say that the ability to vanish is rather tame. I also like the ability because it suites the nature of the character quite nicely. For someone who smuggles information and goods, the ability to make ones-self scarce would be a necessity.

As for the bio itself, while the background is a little vague and borders on being cliché, I don't feel that the character as a whole will necessarily be that way. While the concept may be standard fare for many RPs, if the writer can avoid using certain tropes and stereotypes when role-playing the character, he might be able to develop something more original and unique than the character sheet leads the audience to believe. Adding a bit more to the character’s bio, such as what kind of goods Elwood and his father smuggled, the nature of the network you mentioned, or what drives James to search for his father would be great for fleshing out the character.

With a little work on the bio and the magic ability, I think you might have something.


Last edited by Seth Ruggeri on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Whoops!)

_________________
"Four Gods wait on the windowsill
Where once eight Gods did war and will
And if the Gods themselves may die
What does that say for you and I?"
avatar
Seth Ruggeri
Phantom of the Badlands

Posts : 75
Join date : 2010-01-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Jessamine Blake on Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:31 pm

Seth Ruggeri. Spell check your posts. Ahem.

That aside, I also don't think the ability to vanish would be that outlandish, but it does kind of smack "typical" whereas most of the other magical abilities have been pretty subtle. Also, I still contend that whatever else remains, the character simply cannot have had this ability--or anything even remotely close to this obviously magical--his whole life. It doesn't make sense within the narrative. To fit with everything else developed thus far, it would have to be some version of the ability that one would expect a normal human being to have. A mild natural proclivity for stealth, or something.

I also don't think it's necessary to add all that much to the bio. The details everyone is asking for to ensure that the character will not be generic could be revealed in the story just as well as in the character sheet. I do think, however, that a writing sample needs to be examined by all...err...examiners, post-haste.

_________________
"[These]...settlers are churlish types who are accustomed to live apart from each other, as neither fathers nor sons associate with each other."
--Fermín de Mendinueta, Governor of the New Mexico Territory, c. 1776.
avatar
Jessamine Blake
Clairvoyant Madam

Posts : 103
Join date : 2010-01-23

View user profile http://nobubblegum.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Seth Ruggeri on Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:08 pm

I never said the character should have had the ability his whole life. We must also consider that any new characters coming into the story might witness the event that the majority of us saw or a similar one that could serve as a trigger for their abilities. I think the idea that James had was to describe what the power would eventually become, not what it currently is. As you suggest, to start out the power might be a more subdued version of the one described and as time progresses, the power might manifest itself further.

Please, if you would be so kind, bring to my attention what was misspelled in my previous post.

_________________
"Four Gods wait on the windowsill
Where once eight Gods did war and will
And if the Gods themselves may die
What does that say for you and I?"
avatar
Seth Ruggeri
Phantom of the Badlands

Posts : 75
Join date : 2010-01-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Jessamine Blake on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:27 pm

Well, I'm 90% sure you wrote "scare" while meaning to say "scarce."

That aside, I wasn't going off anything you said, but the raw material of the character sheet, which clearly stated that he had possessed this ability his whole life. Thus all of the emphasis on changing this aspect.

_________________
"[These]...settlers are churlish types who are accustomed to live apart from each other, as neither fathers nor sons associate with each other."
--Fermín de Mendinueta, Governor of the New Mexico Territory, c. 1776.
avatar
Jessamine Blake
Clairvoyant Madam

Posts : 103
Join date : 2010-01-23

View user profile http://nobubblegum.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  James Elwood on Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:19 am

Thanks for the feedback everyone. The character sheet was slightly rushed so I knew there was bound to be some problems at first. I'm in the process of making changes and getting a sample writing ready. Expect something in the next couple of days.
avatar
James Elwood

Posts : 2
Join date : 2010-07-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Allie Johnson on Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:20 pm

Well... I like him pretty well. I would agree with Pearse on his idea about the magic, though. Maybe if you gave a bit more information about his vanishing, it would seem much less fantastic. Even though we do have a fantasy setting, the idea of somebody simply becoming invisible or vanishing altogether is a bit out there (in my opinion). When I read your character, I thought that the ability to simply disappear without a trace fit him very well. I had this idea in my head that his ability might start out as him being impossible to track. When he doesn't want to be found his footsteps are quickly and mysteriously wiped away. Somehow his figure is lost in the heat waves rising off of the dirt. A shadow welcomes him into its arms completely and dims even the brightest article of clothing. Almost like luck, maybe he can make use of every situation he's in so that he goes by unnoticed. At its peak, the new magical ability might give Elwood the power to warp light around himself, working as effectively as Harry Potter's cloak. (; I hope I'm not intruding on your character at all. Just tossing what I thought into the picture.
So yeah, my overall point was that if you explain your ability a little more, it might not seem so nuts to some people. Mind control/reading and the uncanny ability to work with machines as if they were play dough are also a bit out there if you didn't know that Pearse's mere appearance can cause men and women alike to cringe and run to do his bidding out of fear of his power, or that Jessamine has the kind of empathic soul that wants to listen to people's problems until she can pinpoint them by the look on your face, or even that Ramey's medical knowledge and my own knowledge of animals (particularly horses) have given us an intricate knowledge of the way things work inside of something.

Hope that helps. (:
avatar
Allie Johnson
Clockwork Cowgirl

Posts : 73
Join date : 2010-01-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Mr. Pearse on Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:00 pm

Thirteen days since the initial character posting...what's an update?
avatar
Mr. Pearse
Gentleman of the West

Posts : 118
Join date : 2010-01-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Character Sheet: James Elwood

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 :: In Character :: The Cast :: Primary

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum