Monday Challenge: Nature Versus Demeanour

Le Vampire,engraving by R. de Moraine

Seriously, who wants an eternity of that?(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the games I’ve run as a Game Master over the last few years is Vampire: The Perpetual Hassle*. The system is flawed** but there was one part of the character creation process that intrigued me. There were two aspects side by side at the top of the sheet: Nature and Demeanour. And they were all about the role-playing aspect of the character as opposed to the stats.

On one side, Nature: the way the character just is. The way they were born or the way they were raised, something made them that person at heart. It’s who they really are.

And on the other, Demeanour: who other people perceive them to be. The face they present to the world, intentionally or not.

Now, it’s possible with some characters that these could be identical. A character that appeared to be a brash, no-nonsense, heat-of-the-moment type could really be that way. Or they could be an abject coward who puts on that face to prove something to themselves and others. Or a deeply manipulative little shit who knows that the easiest way to put one over on people is to be underestimated.

You see where I’m going with this?

Your characters have a Nature and a Demeanour as well. They have who they are and who they appear to be. The way those things are presented—if they work together or constantly contradict each other, if their outward manner is a direct contradiction to their inner personality or closely aligned, if they believe their own demeanour over what they know is true, deep down—will influence their progress through the story. Might influence their exit, too, especially if someone who is essentially harmless comes off as a threat.

Monday Challenge: write about a character’s Nature and Demeanour. They might be similar, they might be diametrically opposed. They might be something in between.  Figure it out.

*Okay, that’s not it’s real title, but a Jhonen Vasquez comic I read fucking years ago referred to a game by this name and I’ve always secretly thought of it that way.
**Like all gaming systems. You have to take what’s useful and run.

Seven Entirely Useless Facts

English: Fossil of Herrerasaurus, an extinct d...

Most people think the Rack-o-saurus is extinct. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, yesterday was my birthday.* It was a good day. I spent most of it eating food that’s very bad for me and drawing ninjas and cat-girls**.  In between those activities, I managed to put together this list of More Things You Should Know About Me.***

1) I Own More Superhero T-Shirts Than Other Shirts. One of the benefits of working from home. Bonus fact: I have three each of Captain Marvel and Iron Man.

2) If You Ever See Me Out Running, There’s An Even Chance I’m Pretending To Be A Giant Robot. Well, how do you get through your workouts?

3) My Favourite Drink Is Whiskey. Straight up. Scotch usually, Lagavulin 16 year old for preference. It pairs as nicely with a handmade creme brulee as with double stuff Oreos.

4) I am Rack-o-saurus. This is my friend’s term for the size of my breasts. I wear a medium in bikini bottoms and an XXL in tops. It’s entirely disproportionate. Upside: I rarely paid for drinks when I was in university. Downside: I have fallen over a lot. I’m top heavy.

5) I am a Dungeon Master. And a Game Master. And a Keeper, and a Storyteller, and all the other names the different gaming systems stick on the person who runs the game and throws horrible things at the PCs. It’s a lot of fun, though I usually prefer playing over running a game.
If I’d taken up the hobby when I was single, it could have worked out well for me. Female DMs are a rarity; female DMs with the aforementioned rack-o-saurus characteristics even more so. I could have dressed in a chain mail bikini and worked nerd bachelor parties.

6) I Really Like Opera. Classical music in general****, really, but opera has a special place in my heart. Or ears. Probably ears.

7) The Only Movie To Make Me Cry Since I Was Five Was Up. I mean, seriously. Have you seen the first nine minutes of that movie?

There you go: seven more entirely useless facts about me. Writing on writing resumes on Monday. In the meantime, I’ve got birthday junk food to finish.

*31. Officially in my thirties now. And it’s awesome.
**Normally I dislike the diminutive ‘girl’ as a suffix, but the character in this case is 17, so not legal age, so girl it is. Otherwise, I would have said I was drawing cat-women.
***Last year’s edition is here. I think this is going to be a tradition.
****Except Mozart. Fuck that guy.