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One of the fun aspects to simulations, particularly life simulations, is becoming part of the story through your avatar.


I'm curious, who do you like to play as?


For instance, in a first play through of just about any game like this I tend to make myself. Well as close as the system will allow. When confronted with a system with negative traits, it gives you a good opportunity to look at and learn more about yourself as your story is told through the developer's world. A few times I sink, but overall the challenge of staying somewhat true to yourself despite what the world throws at you I find fun! It's also very interesting noting the concessions my character makes to cope with problems that I might not be able to overcome acting as I do. A tinge more diplomacy, study a bit harder, and sometimes just taking a chance.


Most of the time, just that single run through will burn me out on a game since it's such an involved process. After that though, I do like to create a character and lore. Making a game within a game by creating a different moral center and skill set and trying to live through someone else's rules.

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Great topic. I'm on my fifth character now (some games are completed, others are in various stages). My first game, I took an approach similar to yours: my character resembled me in some ways, and throughout the game developed haphazardly, because I had no idea what I was doing. After that, I always went into the game with a goal about who my character was and what was important to her:


A free spirit who focused on botany and zoology (kind of an earth mother type character)

A glib, smooth talking glamor caster

An idealistic musician and artist with a talent for calligraphy

The tough, dedicated military school girl with a love for athletics and battle history...If not much real battle experience herself.


I've got other ideas for more characters, too: a straight "academic" student--very little magic, strong focus on research, a bully type, a social butterfly...I like to explore one area in depth before moving on. Luckily, there's plenty of opportunities for that.

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Funny you bring up the "straight academic student" because my approach as to who I am leaned toward that way. I went to Vernin so I ended up with Arithmetic, Geometry, Dialectic, Enchant, Astrology, and Revision. Revision appealed to me as the main magic skill of focus because it delves into the science of magic so to speak. My character treats magic as just another force of nature to be studied, dissected, and exploited. I suppose Aranaz would be the path to make a completely magicless student.


Since I'm a pretty practical sort of person, my character's a total workaholic. Basically by midterms I had almost all 10s across the board in my studies and practices for my main fields. From there I figured I could have fun. It's worked out ridiculously well, even if my relationships suffer somewhat. I got roped into a cooking clique (fits me also) in the first week which was a bit of a surprise. In fact my only thorn is a bugged Philippe who is bullying me even after I dueled and won. I think I may get so annoyed after putting him in the hospital for the fifth time that I may just try to find some forbidden texts and deal with him permanently. >.<


I love this game...

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Now except for my fist char I allways max all Study bevor Midtermexams also somehow I end up to have Forge and or Engineering maxed with all chars. In char generation I almost allways take all Attribute + backgrounds.

Also I thry to avoid actions that only gives 1 skill oder 1 study. I am also happy that most of my chars didnt see any detention (because of reloading then :) ) but this changes with the newest char who loves to visit the Sphinx.

Also my chars are all Parents loved ones because at last till the Midterm Exam they write weekly home.


Edit: (07.11.11) Wow this is kind of dated, the only common things of my chars by now is that they start with 2 in every attribute, have the secret background and spend lot of time in "adventure" and at the Sphinx.

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I've done three characters so far. Like others, on the first attempt I tried to play with someone resembling myself, but it failed once I realised she had a natural tendency to be very good at sports and athletics. That's definitely not me! But she also focused on all the actively magical subjects and was a whiz at negation, incantation and glamour. If magic was real, I'd be spending all my time practicing useful magic, too!


I tried to make my second character into a stereotypical 'soldier' type. A very athletic boy with a good heart, etc. Somehow, he ended up being insanely strong very early on to the point of complete implausibility (after all, these students are supposed to be quite young, right?), and inexplicably very good at Negation, but not very good at anything else. I'm not really sure how that one happened. He actually ended up being quite similar to my first character, but with a far higher strength.


My third student was a lot more interesting. I got her to focus on botany and zoology, but she was also a great debater and spent most of her time in the law courts. Somehow she picked up some of the 'forbidden' magical arts as well, though I have no idea how this happened.

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My latest character I'm enjoying a lot. He's in Morvidus with the Faux Dragon familiar. Classes he's taking are Incantation, Negation, Revision, Glamour, Rhetoric, and Zoology. The clique I put together includes Beatrix Von Wetgen, Durand de Thiomines, Hector Per Vittoria, Phillip Hauck, Rixenda la Serena, and Vincent Eins. They have some lovely clique bonuses. :)

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Well...I haven't been able to find ONE recipe so far (yes, I know I suck :)), yet alone getting the commission skill OR materials...


Im pretty sure Ive come across recipes and materials in shops so you might want to try shopping a little. You get the accept commision skill when youre skill is high enough, though they tell you you have it before your skill gets high enough. Try taking discovery libraries for a artificer type. It may seem counter intuitive but the library of manetele raises 1 subskill of your choice, 1 random revision skill, and one random forge skill.Thats kind of my power training location since revision is almost always one of my classes. As a side effect my characters tend to be very good at Forge, at least theoretically since they never actually make anything.

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heh! All my girls so far are pretty studious and focus on training as many skills and as high as possible. They Dont explore or research much though the very first increase her Research to 10+. They also dont gossip or bully much even though the skills could be high. Almost no offensive spell casted, due to the "focus on effiency" aspect, and offensive spells just cant raise enough compare to bluffs. Some raise the Inspire action, so the relationships dont suffer much. Some just Perform Music: Voice. Some cast Enhance Flavor, and lemme tell you, this spell casted on no Clique is damn strange.


One of this day the girls must finish Familiar quests. Orso Orsi adventure is done but at the end of year, its too quick to enjoy the aftermath.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In my case, the character is an rather sarcastic Battlemancer. This fellow specializes in magic, most often for combative and utility purposes while favoring observation or information gather when dealing with problems. He is rather selfish and not friendly, but he does help out people because he feels that people assisting each other will be better off. Somehow ending up with a familiar poltergeist known as Pamela, he tends to keep her company, though he lacks the ability to understand her. Due to this, he has formed the "Golden Gears" as his clique, and has various members of Vernin, Godina, and Aranz as part of it. It is a strange mix - a shy girl, dead girl, and a very blunt girl all form the core members of the group. If he can't understand people, maybe he could find others who can...but this is a rather strange way of going about it, no?

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I've been playing two, though quite different.

My first is a female singer/musician with a focus for glamour and making friends.

My second is a somewhat more explore, curious type. Happy go crazy type. (I've been enjoying him the most) He has a few friends and one (very angry) enemy, and enjoys climbing casting and hitting on girls (not that he had much luck with it early on but he is getting that magic touch hehe).


Neither has spend much time with their familiar though, but it is something I am slowly working on.



Speaking of the creating items, I thought that there was still a 'bug' with that. Read more here

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  • 3 weeks later...

Two of my current characters are quite different: one is a cold geek spending most of his time in libraries, and another is a charming diplomat talented in Law and constantly suing his nemesis from Morvidus.


First one got only Astrology as a magical discipline, and mostly focuses on Dialectics, Math and (bit later) on sneaky deals, although not that far yet.


Second like social activities and spend much time on sport, girls and courts, and almost nothing on study or magic :lol: Probably will end up as a lawyer and politician. Sadly, missed on Music as a subject, would fit him extremely well. People like these with music talent even more, don't they? :rolleyes:


Later two more will be played: druid-like with focus on botany, zoology, natural philosophy and familiar training, and pure magic user with predisposition to prohibited arts.

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  • 5 weeks later...

My second character I am about to start:


"Biomage" Jones


Signs accompanied the birth of "Biomage" Jones at dawn so from the beginning his parents knew he would be no ordinary child. He seemed to be attuned to nature and to magic. Biomage is an intelligent and insightful young man. He loves the outdoors and would have most likely become a biologist if he had not been born with a gift for magic. Because of his time hiking and hunting he is more fit than most young mages. The great outdoors can hold great dangers and one must remain unseen to be a successful hunter so Biomage has leaned to move silently and unseen with a little coaching from his father, a retired spy. All of Biomage's time was not spent outdoors however. He attended the Chameil School which taught him to better understand his gift with Revision magic. Biomage's parents have decided to send him to Morvidus College to furthur develop their son's Revision Magic talent and his understanding of the natural world he is so interested in as well as to expand his horizons.


When Biomage's parents sent him off to


Luck: 1

Fitness: 2

Strength: 1

Finesse: 1

Intelligence: 3

Insight: 3

Charm: 1


Astrology: Dawn

Aptitude: Hunting

Deed:Bane of Bakeries

Academy Chameil School

Inheritance: A Spy's Stealth


Morvidus College:







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  • 2 months later...

My character is somewhat like me, starting off relatively well-rounded:


Suri Zhianfar

The library lurker


College: Vernin (Studying Arithmetic, Enchant, Revision, Negation, Incantation, Dialectic)

Clique: Phantasms of Mineta

Familiar: Pamela


Suri never talks about her family; nor does she seem to talk much at all, come to think of it. She doesn't gossip with other students in the hallways (unless for some reason, she needs the information in the rumor mill), and is usually found in the libraries or in a professor's office, studying and training. Though she's a prodigy, people find her to be only an all-round good student at best... so far. She's quite helpful though, and her willingness to associate with all students in the Academagia - whether in her clique or not - causes her to find herself in an adventure or two.




Luck: 2

Fitness: 2

Strength: 2

Finesse: 2

Intelligence: 3

Insight: 2

Charm: 2


Other information


Astrology: The Comet

Omen: Shattered Mirrors

Family: Black Sheep

Family: Helpful and Attentive

Family: Sports

Family: Secret Heritage

Family: Graverobbers

Prodigy: Center of Attention

Academy: Baltagio

Academy: Chameil School

Friendships: Actually, Bitter Hatred (with Malthezar Mhadi)


NOTE: If she had a clique ability it would be 'Lurk in the Library', which would +1 for 2 (Informed) Random Subskills and +1 Random Research subskill.


I do, however, have some other characters I'd like to try (though it would be difficult to act as someone different than me), such as:


Felicis Veritas, who, until recently, had to sign his name as Felicia Veritas, due to an administration error when he was born. It took him until last year to get his name fixed ever since a careless intern incorrectly filed his birth as that of a female. I imagine him to be unlucky (despite his name) and as a result of his name mix-up to be very interested in law, admissions, you know, the whole bureaucracy thing.


Melisande d'Assolant, who is a pretty, sandy haired girl who is a social butterfly, and would probably be good friends with Emilia Picotti, Olivia Solari and Cyrus Dawes.


Kathleen "Katie" Kilimanjaro (her last name is inspired by Mt. Kilimanjaro), who is an explorer and probably would become very good friends with Rixenda La Serena.


But I should probably finish up Suri's adventure first, right? :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I couldn't resist, even if it has been a whee while since the last post..


I've been steadily working on three characters so far, though my favorite has to be Gregory Nein. He is the incarnation of a character I created some five years ago on my favorite MUD (Multi User Dungeon.) I guess you could call him a Bard, since he does have a fair skill in most instruments and poetry, but his actual specialization was knowledge of the obscure and forbidden flavor. There was quite a bit to his story-line, but I lost my internet and was never able to finish him.


He actually was called Lerl (Lerl Lynne, if you count his adoptive surname) and was an elf. But I thought, "Academagia could be like a new start for the fellow. A 'what if?' that could try to change the course that he followed in his life." And so I conceived the idea of Gregory Nein.


So, I made this fellow up. A black sheep of the family, born lucky but always struggling to do anything right. Naturally, I picked music as an elective and have (in honor of Lerl's past as an illusionist) taken glamour as well. I can't remember the name of my chosen college for the life of me right now, so I can't remember if it was a core subject..


I'm really enjoying the character right now, though. So far he's been having a good life, studying up in the library and trying desperately to tidy up that horrible Longshade mess. He's gathered a few friends into his clique, but he's hardly the real center of attention yet. He's hardly the ethical type, though, and as events play out I wonder how he'll react to the possibly of learning the more shady skills in life (and, of course, illegal types of magic."


He probably comes across as a bit shallow right now, but to me he's like a whole world. The great thing is that I can see every little difference in his life and the character who basically sired him, watch him as he approaches a situation so differently than Lerl might have, or even have to deal with things that his ancestor might have never seen.


Heh. I suppose this was mostly a rave session about how awesome I think it is to be able to roleplay a character you haven't been able to play in years, yet still recieve a completely different character in the end. Sorry if it seems a bit droll or boring, but the man has a soft spot like only one other character of my devising.


This turned out a bit long than anticipated..


Still though, I'll have to do a write-up for him sometime. Maybe write a story!

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My favourite (and still playing) is Penne Bell, in Hedi.


She is your typical social butterfly with a touch of helpfulness and overbearing friendliness.

She flatters the proud, hugs the bullies, study with nerds, and even make pretty twinkling stuffs for aspiring artisans classmates - and she is still looking to "expand the variety".

Still, her friends wonder why they are so eager to help her when she orders them about occasionally. Must be all the favors they own her.


(Super-duper-social-butterfly plus Power Word and Mastery. Muwhahahaha!)

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Movie review: Garrison Stuart and the Master Magician

Runtime: 162 mins

Review by: Morgan Sessler


Every once in a while, a work of literature comes along that revolutionizes its genre, breathes new life into the spirit of reading, and enriches all those who come across it. The 'Garrison Stuart' series by Schwarz Koch is one of them, and is fun to read too- and I'm not just saying that because I'm a fan.


Okay, maybe I am.


Just like countless millions across the globe. Just like countless millions who'd be severely disappointed if their hero's transition to the big screen isn't done with the dignity and polish it deserves. Many of us were relieved when we heard about who'd be directing the movie: Comega Smithee, director of award-winning films like 'Battlefield Earth', 'Transmorphers', 'The Postman' and 'Sharktopus'- and dismayed when we heard he'd be writing it as well (who could forget his adaptation of 'Sinbad and the Seven Seas'? None of us, no matter how much we want to). Does he do Garrison Stuart's saga any good? Well...


First off, for the three of you who don't know, the Garrison Stuart series focuses on the eponymous character, a young wizard enrolled at the Academagia, a floating island where those with magical talent are taught to use their powers responsibly. He's just your normal, everyday kid- but he's got an extremely prestigious family name to live up to, a line filled with the names of the greatest kings and wizards of the land. As you can tell, all this has left him a somewhat nervous wreck. Young actor Tom Felton, known for meaty roles such as Hamlet and Romeo, really shows off his acting chops by playing Garrison, carrying off both Garrison's highs and lows with equal skill.


The movie itself covers the first book, and mostly concerns Garrison's dealings with the rogue wizard Ilaro and the mysterious Watcher. In between all these heroic feats of dering-do, Garrison has to deal with all the little things that makes school life special- all the bullies, studying, crushes and zealous teachers we remember from our own lives. In this respect, the movie is surprisingly faithful; though some parts are cut or merged for time, Comega has taken pains to include just about every little detail he can. Fluke? Or has he learned his lesson from Sinbad? Regardless, the movie's cinematography, combined with cutting edge CGI, make the movie a visual treat. The magical fight scenes are especially worth pointing out as works of digitized art.


It's not all eye candy, though. The movie's flow is quite smooth, despite some rough spots (see below), with no scene wasted, and a good pace kept up. The movie also milks its PG-13 rating for all its worth, so parents be warned! This is definitely not a movie you'd want to bring very young children to, as the fights and concepts may be too much for those who are too young.


Another one of the movie's strong points is its casting: newcomer Scarlett Byrne might have been subjected to scathing remarks by disappointed fangirls when the movie's casting was announced, but I think she'll have a lot more fans after seeing her cheerful performance as Silke Niederstatter. Genevieve Gaunt and Lauren Shotton also turn in strong performances as the resident eggheads Cordelia Troublepot and Vuillaume Eparvier respectively. That said, I can safely say that the film's strongest performances come from Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who play the boisterous Prudence Cossins and competitive Vincent Eins respectively; Emma's sense of comic timing and Radcliffe's talent for playing the straight man help make their scenes among the funniest in the movie. If anything, watch the movie just for those two.


That said, the movie isn't perfect. I recall an interview where Comega said that he was 'a fan of the books' to keep the fans from worrying. Good news is, he is a fan. Bad news? He's a fanboy. While I had no trouble following the movie, some parts went by too fast for someone unfamiliar with the books to follow. Furthermore, some parts of this movie seem to be taken straight from general fandom desires- the relationship between Silke and Garrison is nothing more than a deep friendship (at least in the first book), but Comega seems to imply a straight-up romance. Even more disturbing is how he seems imply that same relationship between Cordelia and Vuillaume. I can't be the only person who finds that disturbing, right? That said, the movie never outright states or shows the relationships going any deeper, and I suspect that Comega's just trying to cash in with the books' predominantly teenage readership.


All in all though, 'Garrison Stuart and the Master Magician' is a great movie, though not perfect. Even so, fans of the book will undoubtedly enjoy it, and it's easy enough to follow that non-readers would be able to fill in the holes themselves (or maybe just buy the book). I give this movie a 5... out of 5.

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