Tuesday, July 5, 2016

BUILDING CHARACTER: Teszn'orr'antala

Chiss are cool. They're blue and suave and arrogant as kriff. So when I killed off my character in my group's ongoing Star Wars campaign, I decided to play a Chiss. I looked over a bunch of information that is no longer canon, but none of that really mattered in the end. Our game is set in the years leading up to The Force Awakens, so we kind of have a blank slate. Here are the main sticking points:

Names. Chiss have crazy ass names. From what I gathered, their names were three-part words with the first and third words being family names, and the middle word a given name. The names were separated by apostrophes. To outsiders, they went by the middle name, but with one rule: From what I can tell, the male Chiss add the last sound of the first name and the first sound of the last name to the middle name (Mitth'raw'nuruodo becomes Thrawn, Kres'ten'tarthi becomes Stent, and Brast'alshi'barku becomes Talshib), but the female Chiss used only the middle part on its own, as seen with Hess'irolia'nuruodo (Irolia) and Ina'ganet'nuruodo (Ganet). I decided that Norra would use the male styling, but still have a name that resulted in a female name, so I slapped the keyboard until I got the name Teszn'orr'antala. (The reason I chose Norra in the first place was as an homage to my first RPG character ever, Nora Freeman.)

Chiss are also known for being somewhat mysterious, so I made her a spy. This worked out well, since the Chiss inhabit a region known as the Unknown Region, which is also where most of First Order has set up shop. That immediately set me up with a backstory: ex-First Order spy. But I'm not one to let the opportunity for suffering go to waste, so I had to complicate the situation. Not only was Norra a defecting spy joining the Resistance, but she also had defected from the Chiss Ascendancy to First Order in the first place. She was spying on First Order when her cover was blown, and instead of withdraw, she defected to save herself. Did I mention this character is essentially Neutral Evil? This brings me to Joy, or JY-421 as she was once known. Joy was an ace TIE pilot who Norra fell in love with during her time with First Order. Norra gave her the nickname, and it quickly caught on with the other pilots in Joy's squad. When Norra left First Order, a lot of the heat fell on Joy, and Norra didn't come back. As a result of her association with Norra, Joy was severely punished. Now she has reemerged in recent sessions, mind hooked up to a small, state-of-the-art starfighter. She's angry, and has a right to be, as there's probably some Deus Ex stuff going down there.

Norra's relationships with her crewmates are varied. She tolerates the bumbling Zabrak Former-Nightbrother and Tusken bounty hunter. She and the Chadra-Fan technician clash over morality. She confides in the Togruta diplomat at times, and has recently bonded with his pseudo-girlfriend. She and our other Force-sensitive, a spice addict, have had minimal interaction, and she gets on great with the human Black Sun hopeful that occasionally joins the group. In our last session, she spent the day with the female Togruta, and they bought groceries and swimsuits for the pool in the crew's stolen space yacht. She spent that whole session at 10 Strain with a threshold of 11, so it was nice to wind down and not worrying about the past showing up with a pair of white-hot turbolasers.

I have a lot of fun with Norra most of the time, some of which comes from the other players losing their minds when I get close to passing out/dying (If you don't know, it's really hard to die in Star Wars, and we've only had one character loss. That was my Zabrak Surgeon/Force-Healer, who we killed for plot reasons). She's my first "Evil" character, which we only rarely even point out because alignments, am I right? Tomorrow I'll be back to talk about Norra's progenitor Nora and my first tabletop RPG experience.

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