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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:26 pm 
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Ofus, Mythmancer
Homeplane: Currently unnamed
Race: Ouphe
Alignment:
tl;dr: Planeswalking impish visionary using social engineering to thrust others into dramatic circumstances, collecting stories from the aftermath.

Appearance
Like other ouphes of his kin, Ofus is a crooked bipedal creature of small stature; clad in feathers, with pointy features and mercurial eyes. He is about 90 centimeters tall, with upwards of an additional 20 when standing straight. His plumage is dyed in a deep alluring teal, with red accents in both muted browns and vivid crimsons at chance locations. Most of the feathers densely cover the body in a thin, albeit soft layer. Two exceptionally long and narrow ones curve along and beyond the arch of his ears, flared at the end like a couple droopy eyestalks. A handful more bountiful feathers form some sort of tail, falling down vertically with enough length to hit the ground and then a third more. The remaining cover is mostly uniform, but is sometimes creatively fashioned for makeshift jabots, ruffled cuffs and the like. Most of it remains underneath garments, typically of coarse fabric and desaturated colors. The choice of attire usually comes down to some form of vest, trousers and tailcoat that betrays the rather skittish and feral foundation, made apparent by the bare hands and feet. Bereft of feathers or other cover, their skin displays the same charcoal coloration found on the nose. From them, he can protract claws sharp enough to serve as theoretical weapons, but with more common applicability in climbing.

His head is more long than it is wide or tall, exaggerated greatly so by the pointy nose and bat-like ears that pull in opposite directions. A modest mouth with some less timid teeth hides itself under the more attention-grabbing nose. Most glaring, however, are the large pair of eyes. These colorful ocular marbles serve as the most distinguishing trait between ouphes, to little help for any outsider, for whom their ever-shifting colorful patterns are equally confusing and indistinguishable from one another. His one's in particular commonly draw on a colder palette, interspersed with circular imagery such as lotus pods, eclipses or capillary waves. While efficient devices for projecting information between other members of his race, the overly meticulous mood-rings provide little use when away from home, but they remain a striking feature nonetheless.

In terms of equipment, he does not carry much, but can usually be seen with a leather-bound tome, well-used and inscribed with floral markings. Within it is a large collection of tales of elegant form, with vacant pages for yet more. A writing utensil is less commonly brought along, as he often picks a feather of fancy when necessary, leading to a slightly disheveled flourish unique to the occasion.

Background
Born on a plane of fables, those of his race serve as the cogs of the world. With an intuitive sense for narrative development, ouphes are elusive gremlins, engineering happenstance outside of the view of actors and ensuring coincidences aren't so. Ofus betrayed this nature and broke an unspoken rule by writing himself into a story, perhaps knowing it would destine something grand. Embracing the role of a curious rogue conjoined by the hero through tenuous circumstances, the tapestry of the world worked its magic on the little sidekick, until he was well distanced from the conventional members of his tribe. He found himself more dashing, more cunning, more sophisticated; and while he didn't quite let loose the oars, just riding on the waves every now and then was a more profound experience than he expected, letting The Narrative shape him. A part of him might even have felt a bit of regret as he ended it, in a tearful sacrifice to save his companions from the Demon's wrath. His story didn't conclude where he expected it to, however, as entire realms with untold stories opened up before his eyes the moment they should have closed.

Personality
Ofus views the multiverse as one big theater, and himself a director. Where normal folk may see a loving family and be filled with happiness or jealousy, his eyes observe trajectories. A secret that grinds their love to rubble, an incident kindling the flames of revenge, trials of hardships that will let them grow together into a beautiful tree. A crossroad of destiny unravel before him, a collection of stories waiting for a chapter to be chosen, with just the smallest little push. Like a butterfly whose flaps beckon hurricanes, Ofus is no more than a pebble in the avalanches he unleash, meticulously guiding destiny to align correctly. Whatever "correctly" happens to be may appear arbitrary, but usually comes down to a vision of what makes for the best story, without any sort of preference for tragedies, heroics or horror. Everything is contextual, and becomes self-evident when the scenario presents itself.

His demeanor is calm and collected, communicating with an advanced vocabulary and limited set of gestures. The flow of his speech has a subtle cadence, which often makes dialogues end up closer to monologues both in volume of words and in their content. It also has a propensity to include non-sequiturs, false equivalences and other logical leaps that pass by through fast-talk, as he wields language as weapon of choice.

Talents
Whether he looks into the future, tapestry of fate or a fourth dimension, Ofus has an extraordinary ability to naturally sense causality. He understand the consequences of actions of both a local and global scale, given that enough domino pieces have been observed. It should not be confused with ingenuity however, as his capabilities concern themselves entirely in the "what", "where", "when" and "how", it does not provide any answers with regards to "why". Pertintently, it also does not extend into the realm of theoretical scenarios, instead limited by what is and is not experienced.

In terms of magic, the fundamentals of his repertoire are centered in emotional manipulation. Blind With Anger, Provoke, Gather Courage, Lull, Rivals' Duel, Ignorant Bliss, Burning Inquiry and even Trouble all serve as examples of what he wields. The incantations seamlessly weaved with everyday words, his magic is ethereal and addictive. Indulge him with a response, and you leave the door wide open. While his spellcraft is far from efficient, they'll erode any defence with enough time, and anyone that offers a moment will he hard pressed not to stay the hour.

He also possesses some proficiency in auramancy, which he mostly utilizes to unravel opposing enchantments, holding little appreciation for inorganic development in his stories. Despite how it may seem, Ofus believes in free will; he merely provides others with an impetus towards their proper destiny. Which is not to say that he can't snap someone's mind in two and crudely graft it together again, but it would require an unusual display of spite. While he also has a sufficient understanding of auras them to forge his own, he rarely sees fit to do so.

Cards
Ofus of Wyld Fables
Planeswalker — Ofus [MR]
Until your next turn, target creature attacks or blocks each combat if able.
Look at target opponent's hand. You may choose a nonland card from it. If you do, that player shuffles that card into their library, then draws a card.
You control target player until end of turn.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Mown makes his appearance in the M:EM!

I didn't know much about Ofus before reading this dossier, and I think the character you've constructed is really cool. He's a modern fairy tale archetype who could have walked right out of Ori and the Blind Forest. In the context of the Expanded Multiverse, it's interesting how he contrasts with Raiker -- a tragedy-focused villain -- and the Shifter -- another capricious emotional manipulator. He definitely brings a lot of new story possibilities to the table.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:43 pm 
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And it only took me 2 years after I originally said I was going to start post here.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:20 pm 
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An Ouphe orator is certainly an interesting idea. As CKY pointed out, Ofus does bear some superficial similarities to pre-existing M:EM characters like Raiker, The Shifter, and Antony LaMount, so it will be interesting to see how Ofus ends up setting himself apart from them.

What sort of stories did you have in mind? He strikes me, from your description here, as being something of a puppet master type character, but I was a little confused about the behavior part. It seems to me that Ofus wants the people who serve as his "characters" to achieve their destiny, but that that destiny is whatever it is? In which case, what exactly is Ofus doing? If I was reading that section correctly, he seems to provide subtle nudges and manipulations, but with no true goal in mind other than "telling the best story," whatever that might be.

Personally, I'm seeing more blue than green in him, so I would be interested in hearing about what went into your decision for the color identity. I'm not saying you're wrong by any means, I'm just curious about your rationale.

Thanks for posting!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:05 pm 
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An Ouphe orator is certainly an interesting idea. As CKY pointed out, Ofus does bear some superficial similarities to pre-existing M:EM characters like Raiker, The Shifter, and Antony LaMount, so it will be interesting to see how Ofus ends up setting himself apart from them.

What sort of stories did you have in mind? He strikes me, from your description here, as being something of a puppet master type character, but I was a little confused about the behavior part. It seems to me that Ofus wants the people who serve as his "characters" to achieve their destiny, but that that destiny is whatever it is? In which case, what exactly is Ofus doing? If I was reading that section correctly, he seems to provide subtle nudges and manipulations, but with no true goal in mind other than "telling the best story," whatever that might be.

Personally, I'm seeing more blue than green in him, so I would be interested in hearing about what went into your decision for the color identity. I'm not saying you're wrong by any means, I'm just curious about your rationale.

Thanks for posting!


He appears to have a sixth sense for what the Narrative of a particular situation calls for. I am most interested in seeing how it works, and more importantly how it fails to work.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 5:08 am 
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Personally, I'm seeing more blue than green in him, so I would be interested in hearing about what went into your decision for the color identity. I'm not saying you're wrong by any means, I'm just curious about your rationale.

I'll start here, because it probably helps provide a context for the rest.
Ofus acts on instinct and makes decisions in the moment. He doesn't sit down and think about how he wants something to unfold, he just does it because it feels right. It's important to note that he's not very unique as an ouphe. He just does what they do on their homeplane, expect he does it on every other plane instead. I'll go through the color pie:

: Ofus is green because he's guided by a natural order as to how things should be. He believes that everyone has a proper destiny. I mean, he can somewhat sense it, right? Other beings just need a little help to end up in the right direction.
: Ofus is red because he's impulsive and hedonistic. He doesn't orchestrate his stories because it's inherently right, but because the outcome is something he wants to experience. Ofus also accepts that the world is chaotic and random, which is why it is so full of potential.
: Ofus could be white because he attempts to construct order out of chaos. At the same time, he's amoral and prefers the world to be free. Ofus doesn't value the collective, because Ofus doesn't value others in general. People are only valuable in that they carry a lot of potential.
: Ofus could be black because he makes others suffer for personal gain. However, Ofus doesn't have any great ambitions. While he shares black's pragmatic approach, he doesn't have black's desire to attain "greaterhood".
: Ofus could be blue because he seeks perfection. But perfection is ever changing and contextual. Ofus has no specific thing he wants to achieve, he just tries to make the best out of every scenario present to him. And more than anything, he just doesn't think about things all that much.
What sort of stories did you have in mind? He strikes me, from your description here, as being something of a puppet master type character, but I was a little confused about the behavior part. It seems to me that Ofus wants the people who serve as his "characters" to achieve their destiny, but that that destiny is whatever it is? In which case, what exactly is Ofus doing? If I was reading that section correctly, he seems to provide subtle nudges and manipulations, but with no true goal in mind other than "telling the best story," whatever that might be.

First, we have to note that you're starting with a false premise, in that I don't really have any stories in mind. I made him long enough ago that he's sort of a chicken and egg problem, but I made him as part of Veltrum, a custom set/ting. In it, he basically contributes to distorting the plane into an evershifting dreamscape, but he adopted the role of villain after I had developed the character, and it's worth noting that I haven't actually designed the entire arc of the set yet.
Now, to answer the question of "what stories would I like to see him in?", I think I would like to at least write a few stories about how he engineers circumstances, just to provide that point of view. However, his ability to serve any narrative in this way, and his lack of exposure to things that will realistically develop him as a character, also makes those unexciting. The quality to a large extent rides on the story itself, and not how Ofus interacts with it. As a central character where he's actually challenged (and potentially developed), then I see two potential premises: 1) Revenge story where his orchestrations screwed over someone that wants to track him down, or 2) Someone interferes with his work, and it becomes a competition of sorts as they have different goals. You could also have a story that explores him as an actual person, if only because he's really detached from that as a concept, behaving to some extent more like a magical beast.
Landis963 wrote:
He appears to have a sixth sense for what the Narrative of a particular situation calls for. I am most interested in seeing how it works, and more importantly how it fails to work.

It is kind of difficult to describe how an extradimensional sixth sense works in the same way that it's hard to describe how the color Melao looks, and to some extent, I don't want to fully know how it operates. However, I can try to make it relatable.
If you imagine looking at a landscape or smelling a flower, it's easy to conceive that some of these are subjectively, or objectively preferable to others. It takes a weirdo to rather look at a garbage dump than a mountain range. In the same way, Ofus considers some trajectories to be better than others.
Like normal senses, they are not infallible. The presence of a wild animal might have him sense a trajectory of getting trampled in five seconds, but an action with a lot of contingency plans or inherent randomness might be too complicated to absorb, or too ambiguous to produce a clear result. It also requires some sort of focus and selection, much the same way that your eyes can't look at everything simultaneously with equal precision and attention. He's also subject to being surprised like any other individual, and I would expect that he gathers information through the eyes, given their innate complexity. As much as he could be argued to possess antennas, they're an unique feature, and not something all ouphes possess.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 4:35 pm 
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His POV during a debut story is what I want to see most of all, because how the Narrative-sense suggests things to him and how he reacts to those suggestions will go a long way toward getting to know him.


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:40 pm 
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We'll see, I'm not really a story person. I hardly read books, partially because of low attention span and poor concentration, but I think it's also part of the RPG player in me that just cares a lot more about settings and characters. I have a somewhat interesting idea in mind though, if I just find a way to fill it with sufficient amount of content, overcome my trashy self-esteem, and settle on how I want his brain to operate.

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 5:24 am 
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for whatever it's worth, I've found vignettes to be a really useful tool for exploring a character or setting without committing to a long-form story. like 1-2000 words is enough to get a really good sense of what's going on, and you don't have to worry about as many architectural elements.

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