Caldorian Posted August 25, 2004 Share Posted August 25, 2004 Hi there. My first post... and such a long one. Excuse any rambling in this post, but I need your help! Well, I'm running this Aberrant-Series on a weekly basis now; the idea is that the PCs are among the first "test run experiments" of Divis Mal's planned N-Day. The series has started mid-1997, when both characters erupted, and is planned to go on until (at least) WW Phase II. Now the story has advanced up until shortly before N-Day. Anyhow, I want the PCs to be among the movers 'n' shakers of this world, en par with Caestus Pax, Antaeus or Sophia Rousseau. In addition, they are supposed to get to know all of the background story --basically the ideological struggle between Mercer and Donighal-- and to get between their factions. Now I'm trying to flesh out Max Mercer and Michael Donighal, since they are going to be very important in this series. Mercer a bit less so, because his influence during the Aberrant-Era is rather indirect. The PCs might get to know him, but he won't be such a problem to present -- he is covered quite well in “Adventure!”. The real problem is Divis Mal... (and I'm pretty sure, I don't tell anything new here!)I really love the idea of this character, but unfortunately he is utterly inapproachable as presented in the books. Almighty, hyper-intelligent, inscrutable, invincible, idealistic, yet myopic to the extreme. He has all the characteristics of a supervillain (à la Magneto), but some books do everything to present him as a well-meaning idealist. Actually, he doesn't make any sense to me. Not because he is supposed to be in a grey area between good and evil, but because he is just a two-dimensional character. “Adventure!” helped a lot in that respect, but it is only a beginning. I want a three-dimensional Divis Mal; someone the PCs can encounter, someone they can relate to – in any way. I want the approachable, “human” Divis Mal, who has dinner with his boyfriend and a friendly couple--Andy Vance and Jake Korelli--as presented in the APG. Unfortunately most of the sources present him as the “godly” Über-Nova who is too insightful to get involved. What I’d like you to to help me with is an iconoclastic approach to the “godly” Divis Mal, a demystification of him. All his godly powers have to be stripped away from him, until only a normal human being remains. And from that human being, from that basis we could reconstruct a believable and likable Divis Mal. Let me make a beginning:Michael Donighal is (despite all claims otherwise) neither almighty nor infallible. At his core he has this annoying combination of egocentrism, little patience, arrogance, aloofness, alienation and resulting loneliness, over-sensitivity to the old hurts from an unrequited love. He could be a bodhisattva of the Nova age, but he rather prefers to be a petty god. At his worst, he reminds me of a whining and rebelling teenager. Then there is the fascist angle, I’d find interesting to explore. As far as my series is concerned, Donighal has had a strictly authoritarian education and was more than sympathetic with the Nazis later on. Due to his taint, Dr Primoris developed into a split personality, a ruthless and emotionless scientist who sided with the Nazis in order to do his experiments on humans. Sort of Mengele on Quantum. Although Donighal lost the Primoris personality after his first Chrysalis, the deep-rooted fascist tendencies remained. These tendencies resurface again in his iconography, when he approves of the personality cult around him, or when he initiates the Night of the Long Knives. Another thing that bothers me is that Divis Mal doesn’t seem to have an adequate number of aberrations: Either he has a means to lose them or he should have at least about a dozen of aberrations. I thought about the possibility that he has Aberration Transfer with the Permanency Extra, but somehow I think this explanation is very cheap. On the other hand, I have tried to give him 18 aberrations and the result is quite gross. He’d be no monster, but he certainly couldn’t have the looks as presented in the books either. How many and what aberrations would you give him? Do you think Divis Mal would use Aberration Transfer, if he had it (regarding Teras)? How have you portrayed Divis Mal? How could he be portrayed at all? How do you approach a character that was so badly designed?I’m really at a loss here… the more I try to approach this character, the more he eludes me. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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