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Riley Eriksen

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:12 pm
by Obfuscon
Okay, so I figured I'd take a whack at this whole RPG thing. No guarantees, though... I don't know if I'm a decent enough writer for it and I know I can't dedicate a whole lot of time to it. But here I go.

Name: Riley Eriksen
Sex: M
Race: Human
Age: 36
Image: Image
Occupation: Security Guard Captain
Physical Description: 5'11 and 160lbs, on the mildly fit side. Tried bulking up a couple times, never could manage to keep the weight on for more than a few months. Rather unremarkable facial features, short-cropped dusty blond hair with hazel eyes. Well-calloused hands with several tiny scars from minor burns and cuts (works with knives and cooks his own meals.)
Mental Description: While not necessarily predisposed toward a stable psyche, he's had a lot of time to build up enough mental barriers to be functionally more stable than most. He's incredibly difficult to phase unless you cross the threshold and break down those barriers, so he can go from stoic to gibbering loon in 0-crazy if you push him hard enough. Those barriers are mostly built around logic and order. Present him with something that makes no logical sense, or that he can't rationalize, and you'll rattle him, making him vulnerable to, well, going off the deep end faster than a speeding lemming. Quite intelligent, though he never felt inclined to go beyond a bachelor's degree or even use that degree to get a better job. He's very much a creature of habit.

- Basic Stats -
Intelligence: 6
He started out smart and developed it.
Mentally Stable: 3
He can handle the same amount of stress as normal people, but once he reaches the level that most people just start to break down, he goes nuts all at once.
Strength: 4
He was in the military and the habits carried over, but his stress has always been on agility-based workouts.
Agility: 6
Gymnast when young, taking martial arts now and has a personal preference in workout style.
Speed: 5
Anaerobically predisposed, but the Corps made him run like a marathoner. All in all made him pretty fast.
Appearance: 3
So plain he's almost distinctly plain, if that makes any sense.
Charisma: 2
Versed in a large vocabulary, proper diction, and good grammar, he nevertheless never developed the skills to use them very well.
Spiritual: 5
Taken to church weekly while raised, he continues to this day, and still believes it strongly.

Taint: 1
While mostly dedicated to order and honesty, he recently was rattled when a frivolous prosecution was brought against him for a paperwork issue at his last job that he did, in fact, knowingly do wrong. Granted, it was a trivial matter that both the judge and jury agreed should never have been brought to court, and he was quickly acquitted, he nevertheless still feels shame for it. He's essentially still in the process of cleansing himself of it.

Elemental affinity: Darkness
Not an open book. Despite being dedicated to the advance of logic and reason, he defies it in many ways, being quite a paradox. This alone makes him something of an enigma. But more than that, it becomes quickly apparent to anyone who meets him that discerning anything about him, from his thoughts, his presence, his emotions, to his past, is for some odd reason distinctly difficult, even though he himself strives to have nothing to hide.

Special Skills of note:
Math-on-demand: almost never needs a calculator, and can come up with formulae on the fly.
Paperwork: has become a little neurotic about doing paperwork properly since the issue he had in a previous job.
Vigilance: While most security guards tend to slack off after a while, Riley sort of has a thing about actually doing the job he's paid to do. Not to mention he's still new and hasn't had time to become jaded about it yet. Will notice whenever things are being stolen, people are in danger, or if security is in any way unsound.
Cooking: He's far from gourmet, but can turn spare ingredients into good food better than most people. He's spent too long as a bachelor.
Diagnose and Repair: still works on his bike, even if he can scarcely use it anymore. If something has an engine in it, he can usually fix it. Also knows enough about helicopters to probably manage flying one, having repaired them for four years.
Survival: Already taught most wilderness survival skills by the Corps, he's now turned his attention to urban survival. Scavenging, escape routes, finding a place to hide out, etc.
Martial Arts: Started taking Tae Kwon Do, (is decent, but a far cry from top student yet)
Sculptor: Whittles as a hobby. Usually balsa or cork, but he'll occasionally get ambitious and do something in oak.

Special Racial Abilities: Um, he's half Norwegian, half Irish, and all American. The best 'racial abilities' he gets is an affinity for cold weather and a severe sun allergy.

Mimicry: This includes demeanor, noises, and even skills to an extent– if he watches someone do something that typically only they can do, it usually doesn't take longer than a day for him to figure it out and be doing it himself. Limited to basic skills, though... the fine-tuning will still require study and practice. It essentially just means things tend to be easy to learn, but still hard to master for him.
Prestidigitation: While only an amateur, he has a fondness for anything that involves sleight of hand or the like. Tends to spin a pen, knife or coin when bored. Will occasionally go so far as to juggle. Makes for steady hands.
3D Spatial sense: All his work with orientation and fitting parts together mechanically were made easier due to his natural bent for spatial sense.
Acute vision: Less a talent than an upgrade. He just shelled out the extra cash to make sure the doctors fixing his nearsightedness went above and beyond. He figured it would be a waste not to.

Allergies/Banes : Sunlight. Seriously. 15 minutes and he's red. 30 and you'll see blisters. Being on the night shift the past few months hasn't helped, either.

Insanities: He has minor levels of paranoia, anti-social disorder, OCD, and PTSD, which he is 'managing'.
Don't push him too far and he'll seem more normal than normal people. Do push him too far and he'll seem crazier than three loony bins.

Turn Ons: He's not so much asexual, as very determinedly repressed. He likes to think of himself as 'disciplined' in his virginity, but he sometimes lets it get under his skin. This does not mean he's an easy target for seduction, either; quite the opposite. He just throws up all kinds of defenses when one tries. If you try hitting on him he will most likely shut down and play dumb. Lay it on heavy and he'll run away. This of course conflicts with his desire for more basic social interaction, which leaves him almost catatonically ambivalent. In such a situation, he's bound to trip over his own tongue trying to find the right words.
As for what he likes... Riley's a survivalist nut, and an academic nerd. Anyone who can impress him with either survival skills or academic knowledge will be his new best friend. Especially if they share their toys (likes cleaning or maintaining equipment – finds it cathartic.) He can rarely be found without a book to read, and likes puzzles enough that he occasionally dabbles in mensa magazines.
Turn Offs: Anti-thought. Riley's a firm believer that the pandemic stupidity rampant in humanity is not the result of poor brainpower, but people refusing to think things through. When people think only three steps into a problem, and refuse to take a fourth step, even when it's shown to them, it irks him terribly. Doesn't like things that don't make logical sense, and given how much of the world makes sense, he's understandably almost constantly annoyed.

Waking World Reputation: He's on the grid with a decent resume'. Whenever he meets new people after a while they start to think he's a little 'weird', but nice and polite.

Veil Reputation: None

Veil Teacher: No official teacher, but his grandfather tried to convince him that some stories were real. Made an impression, and caused Riley to be fascinated with mythology and cryptids of all sorts, but nothing more.

Personal Quote/motto: “There is no such thing as thinking too much.”

Favored Prey: Rabbit. No, really. Particularly roasted, but likes stew now and then. Loves seafood too, though... and steak is always awesome...

Personal Style: Somewhat eccentric at home, but in a lazy way. Likes jackets and tends to dress in monochromatic or earthy tones. Mostly though, you'll just see him in his work uniform.

Cybernetic/bioaugmentation: Vision corrected to 20/8 (was mildly nearsighted – paid for out of pocket), and kidney and aural implants, as recompense for damage taken in service.

Equipment carried: At work: Phone, air taser, nightstick, flashlight, handcuffs, keys, and radio. Depending on the security required in a contract, the company will sometimes up the ante to armor and firearms.
Everywhere: The above (minus radio and nightstick), leatherman, boot knife, wallet, pen, handkerchief, watch, lighter, emergency cash (In his boot, not in the wallet) and his trusty .45.

Character History:

Riley grew up pretty simply, a regular kid in the Midwest suburbs raised by a simple baptist family with his brother and two sisters. His mother was a homemaker, his father worked for an internal affairs office with Ashram long-distance. Always the shy kid at school, he never had much practice at social interaction, just buried himself in his studies and occasionally comic books. The only extracurricular activity he took was gymnastics, and though he liked it, the mocking he received for it only made him more introverted.
One day his father returned from work deeply disturbed by something and insisted his kids move out (even though the two sisters, Evelyn and Faye, were attending a local college, and his brother, Wallis, was still in junior high). He arranged for some relatives to take in the boys and the girls moved into the dorms. The fear that inspired his father's actions left a mark that plagued Riley with curiosity and paranoia for the rest of his life.
Being young and recalcitrant, This drove him to leave home and enlist in the military just after high school, where he served one term and two deployments as an aircraft mechanic. He came home a month early from his second when he was shot down while being ferried by a chopper. The crash broke some ribs and he wound up having to protect the more distinctly wounded pilot from a small band of scavengers intent on salvaging the vehicle until help came. The military fixed up his kidney which took damage in the crash and threw in hearing implants to repair the loss taken working with all those aircraft.
Honorably discharged, he then proceeded to reap the benefits of tuition from his enlistment, and began work on a bachelor's degree. Already into engineering, and having a preference for learning things at their most fundamental level (the meat of the matter), he chose to major in physics. In retrospect, however, he's begun to wonder if he wouldn't have preferred mathematics, going even to an even more fundamental level in the sciences.
In college, he secluded himself into his studies yet again, having difficulty adjusting to civilian life at first, unaccustomed to the lack of order and structure he had become used to. Nearing graduation he got better, rooming with four other students and attempting to involve himself socially, but he's still got a long way to go on social grace. He never did involve himself romantically... his roommates said he was too "picky".
Upon graduation, he was completely at a loss regarding what to do with his new degree. All the positions offered him for some reason held no interest, and he didn't keep any one job for long.
Vexed, he thought a change of scenery would help a bit, so he accepted a position with security firm Silver Star in Shade City. While offered a more administrative position, he refused to take it without first working the floor for a couple years first. He's currently a night shift supervisor and is usually in charge of security of a couple-three buildings at a time (depends on the contract with the firm).
He still keeps in touch with his family, albeit distantly. Occasionally one of his siblings will pop into town and say hi, or he'll take some time off to go see his parents. His father's gotten fixated on investigating his own employers, his mother keeps him from going completely nuts over it, one sister's happily married, the other a successful fiction writer, and his brother's going through the same jumping-from-job-to-job thing Riley had.
His distinct paranoia (not of an impending apocalypse, but merely a nagging suspicion that the world is not nearly as safe as it appears to be) has led him to take up an interest in survivalism, and it reflects in what he carries, the martial arts school he's now attending, and the carefully laid plans he has set up should he need to turn his apartment into either an escape route or fortress. Some people joke about their 'zombie plans'. Riley takes his seriously. He has both bugout supplies and bars on his doors and windows... it helps him sleep at night, however absurd he may know it to be.
So far he's been working in Shade City for a few weeks, just having finished his brief training cycle and just now getting into the swing of things doing his job. So far the job itself is easy in theory; it's the difference in suburban to urban culture that throws him off. He didn't quite expect to have to act as a bouncer almost every day on the night shift.
For some time he's been quite frustrated by the fact that he's reached the age he has without finding out what he really wants to do with his life. He just knows he can't stand to stay in any one career too long.

Feelings on:
Oldgen Vampires - “The old stories are kind of neat, but anything new enough you can't call it folklore stinks.”
NewGen Vampires - “Okay, you keep saying 'Jenn'. Is this some newfangled author? I probably won't like it.”
Shifters - “Stick in the middle only. Automatics aren't any fun, and three on the tree makes you old.”
Espi - “Gazundheit.”
Humans - “Every day I remind myself of two important things: that people suck, and that I'm people too. Wouldn't want an overinflated sense of self, you understand.”
Veil Humans ( Mages/Escari/Psion) – “Anyone with a veil has something to hide. I can respect that as long as it doesn't sneak up and bite me in the rear.”

Friends: He has decent rapport with those he works with, but is still new to town and doesn't really have any 'friends' per se. His lieutenant, Shaffer, is the one he's most familiar with, being instrumental in acclimating him to the posting. He desires social contact, but having no aptitude nor skill in the matter, progress has been slow.

Alliances: He's got an ally in his coworkers, I suppose... though half of them are only as loyal as their next paycheck.

Enemies: None yet.

Experience Earned: 0

Re: Riley Eriksen

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:47 pm
by Gorble
Stats- Not nearly as important at this point as the rp system is getting restructured eventually as time permits us. Still well explained. You could probably drop his strength a point or two and be fine.

Special Skills of Note- True he'd be trained in a lot of this, but to par down the list which is he particularly skilled in still? Some skills degrade with time and being an aircraft mechanic does not qualify you for all things mechanical. Similarly doesn't his security job supply him with more relevant current skills?

Mimicry- This is probably far to abuse-able and if he's such an awesome mimic of skills how would he not be a master of Tae Kwon Do? Or at the very least not a top student.
Prestidigitation- Interesting enough

Insanity- Yeah Mental stability is one of those stats that I've had some difficulty with for reasons like this. Surprised he's not a tish obsessive compulsive with his love of order and such.

Turn ons/offs- All personal perception really. Perhaps it will become likes/dislikes in the next incarnation of a character sheet.

Rather subdued overall. Upper City? Under City? What was the mild domestic issue and why did he go straight to enlisted to solve it? We only learn he wasn't an only at the very end. Why did he choose physics in college? Did nothing of particular note happen? Friends, love, what? So he joined a security firm and worked his way up in how many years? His siblings and parents don't live in Shade City? Where do they live? It's come up before but people live in the Megacities these days and travel isn't quite as easy as it used to be. Why the survivalist streak? Where does this need to prepare for the worst (ie. zombie apocalypse) come from?

Overall this character isn't particularly sociable and will have trouble stepping outside of normal situations to interact with other pcs. Problematic in a socially driven rp. There is no pc halo so why will people interact with him? How will he get into situations as he's a habitual person that has no reason to step outside his normal boundaries or interact with strangers beyond what minor social interaction he'd have on the job?

Friends: So he's new in town? How? Since when? Did he get a transfer from the Security Firm?

Re: Riley Eriksen

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:18 pm
by Obfuscon
Stats: Thanks, I'll do that.

Skills: So... I should try to generalize it less? I'll see what I can do.

Talents: I wanted to convey that he was good at imitating people, and that this *helped* with picking up skills, particularly ones some people just have trouble with (whistling with fingers, crossing eyes, dance steps, etc.) And regardless of any talent, he's pretty new at the martial arts shtick. Talent does not a master make. Still, I should probably flesh it out better.

Insanity: He's not OCD? I meant to put that in there... I'll fix it later.

History: Yeah, this was a bit tough. Largely the reason it's so truncated is that I wanted to start out basic and flesh it out later. He's starting in the Upper City. As for the mild domestic issue... well, I've got to leave *something* to unfold as he's played, right?
And I should've stated his family structure at the beginning, true. Poor setup on my part.
Still working on the college years, I've got nothing yet. Suggestions are welcome.
His siblings and parents are still in the midwest.
The survivalist streak is related to the mild domestic issue and I mean to explain it later. That and it's been somewhat reinforced by his lines of work.

As for sociability, I wanted to make a character that would be lacking in social grace, yet forced to interact with people anyway. I figured a security guard would fit the bill, his job requiring him to interact with people and events constantly. Security guards do a lot more than just sit behind desks or make rounds; they have to respond every single time someone calls 'security', which is more often than you might think. And given that a big city like Shade City would have quite the night life, I expected he'd probably see more action on that shift.
He didn't work his way up the ladder, so to speak; he was offered an administrative position due to his resume' but turned it down in favor of a supervisory position, so he could work on the ground, and not behind a desk. He's still pretty new to the job, just over two months in the firm and less than a month working the job itself.

Thanks for the tips, though, I'll get back and work on them tomorrow.


Re: Riley Eriksen

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:15 am
by Gorble
Skills: Somewhat. Certainly he's able to use skills inside his field, but for a more rp analogy which ones are the ones he spent most of his skill points on and which has he just relied on natural stat bonus.

Talent: Indeed that's what I figured you meant, but the wording gave me pause.

While I'm all for fleshing out a character through rp. The history helps to define your character the way he is. Mild domestic issues can mean a lot of different things and giving something a little more substantial would be helpful. So it's not as much of a surprise in the rp? Depends really how far you explain it and that still doesn't stop one from playing things out in the rp. The characters don't have access to each others sheets and even then there's the emotion and psychology involved as how the character tells of this history to others. Does he lie? Does he make it seem worse than it really was? Does he gloss over it as really unimportant?

Well Middle America is pretty much a no-mans land and I think Shadecity is the megacity of the West Coast. Any particular reason for wanting the family to be out of towners? I mean Shadecity does take up two states so it's not all that tiny and easy enough to lose touch with relatives.

While a sec guard would be forced to talk to people that doesn't mean he'd have reason to go above and beyond or for a person to go above and beyond talking to them. There's no pc halo or sim diamond demanding that a player continues to interact. Being an introvert it's unclear whether he would really want to make friends or talk to people. As for Shade City nightlife, that depends on the place both location in the city and what exactly he's securing. So what does he do in his off time? I'm not saying you need to remove his social faults, they're a character and if you can play with it and engage with others with them more power to you. The problem right now is one of hooks, outside of his job there's not much to this character. No indication really what he'd do in his spare time (Other than whittle, which isn't a very social hobby and take a martial arts class, which has potential I suppose). Think of it from other's perspectives, why and how would you interact with the character? What would keep it from being a passing "Good morning" to a stranger that is soon forgotten?

Re: Riley Eriksen

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:50 am
by Obfuscon
Still having trouble on the skills thing. I think I get the idea of what you're saying I'm just having trouble coming up with anything good.

I'll try to provide some clearer hints in his history before I submit it. As it is I've still only the barest idea of how I want that particular back-story to work, so it's difficult to hint at what's not quuiiite complete. Don't worry, I don't plan on making him completely without depth prior to starting. I'm just taking my time.
As for why I chose the Midwest, I wanted him to come from a somewhat rural setting, but not quite out in the boonies. If I'd just placed him in the suburbs of a big city, there'd be no culture shock moving to Shade City, since he'd probably have spent his weekends in an urban center anyway. I wanted him to be from the fringe of a big town or small city, medium at best.
And... Darn. I had figured the guard shtick would be a pretty good hook on its own... I guess I relied too much on it. There are three main things I can think of that a security guard would have interaction in: Dispute resolution, eviction, and breach investigation ("Excuse me, but is there a reason you're carrying bolt-cutters at this time of night?"). They'd also be instrumental, if not central, to any process involving criminal charges.
So the interaction would be long and involved enough to get a ball rolling, but it's true; without motivation to continue the interaction beyond what is required it'll go nowhere. Any recommendations? The best I can figure so far is that he's feeling alone in the new setting and is thus driven to make an effort at socializing. It still kind of rings just a little hollow when I say it back to myself, though.


Re: Riley Eriksen

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:52 am
by Gorble
Skills- Well you don't have to sweat it to much I suppose. Like stats this will end up more clearly defined in the newer system I believe. So it might be as simple as skill packages and such.

Alright, this is still a work in progress so no need to jump all over you on it.

Rural to more urban, I can see the culture shock and such. It's certainly a nice character element, but I'm just unsure of how it fits into the setting. I've taken the easy route of just keeping to the megacity after all.

Now the guard thing could work, it all depends on the characters involved, but once again that's one potential hook and with introverts its best to come prepared. Seeking out human contact in some way might not be impossible, even me with my rather shallow social skill and pool don't care for solitude. Regardless of an individual humans are rather social creatures at their heart. There are a few possible routes for socializing.
Friends from on the job- If he guards the same places he might end up talking to the regulars, corp liasons, the cops that patrol the area or other corp security. His security company might like to stage the usual mock social events like birthday parties, bbqs, what have you. There is a pre-established security corp in the rp, though its very militaristic and high profile. Talk with Tsu on that one. Still it could offer more of an in and more potential hooks as the company does have veil aware divisions and at least one player character already involved. So it puts you nearer to potential action.
Hobbies- He whittles, that requires wood. There are very few places in a very urban environ to get at that. A park might not enjoy some guy ripping off a branch or he might have found some guy to supply him with the small stuff that keeping the greenery alive and out of the way entails.
Survivalists- There might be clubs for such thing and as this is one of the things he pursues with a rabid enthusiasm it might give reason for him to overcome his usual initial social awkward. Or it might start putting him alongside the less savory elements of the city. Right now its criminals and the homeless that survive and escape. All depends on his drives, he might plan personal holidays around going to an area and trying to live in it while he still has the safety net of a civilization and stable job/home to go back to. If he does that he could put himself in harms way of a lot of things, but its not like anyone said it would be easy.

Re: Riley Eriksen

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:00 pm
by Obfuscon
Indeed, thank you! That was very helpful.

Company functions are an idea, though I might have trouble using that due to my own poor experiences with them (In the only ones I went to everyone knew it was replacing what was going to be their annual bonus, so they kind of resented attending.) Establishing regulars will probably be more my thing. I figure most places are pretty consistent about the security they hire, so he wouldn't move around that terribly much.
I saw M.A. security by Tsureai, and I'm sure interaction with it will be in order, but I don't want that to be his direct employer. The company he works for can be either a distant branch of it or a small-business competitor. Both options provide opportunities; a storyline could follow him investigating his own employer, and by extension M.A., (and by extension the Veil) or given the overarching corporate theme, being part of an upstart underdog company competing with them. I'll have to see what Tsureai thinks. I don't want to step on any toes.
The whittling: I figured he'd be a regular at a hobby shop or garden where he buys it. Or he just takes what gardeners prune off regularly. The main reason I even added that hobby is because I didn't want him to be without some form of artistic expression. That and it gives him yet another quirk when he's idle.
Survivalist clubs/meetings: I can honestly say I didn't think of that. That could provides some unique "ins", especially if he finds himself wanting to learn about surviving a most particular situation. Might be difficult to write, though... but if I see the opening I can take it.


EDIT: I wonder if a Google search for generic images would spice up this char's sheet a bit... Muahaha.


EDIT OF THE EDIT: And in retrospect I should have edited my last post rather than committing the sin of a double-post. I wonder if I can delete and move it...?