Author Topic: Thoughts about Dwarven Focus  (Read 244 times)

DustMight

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Thoughts about Dwarven Focus
« on: November 12, 2017, 08:54:33 PM »

I haven’t played in a good long while and not seriously in an even longer while. Of the races I’ve enjoyed are those that really have interesting psychology – the dwarf, the mul, the half-elf.

I’ve always been biased toward a very specific, very concrete dwarven focus – something difficulty but achievable, something possible but difficult. Likely my bias was strengthened by an immortal once commenting on an application “Good Focus” when I submitted a very specific, difficult but achievable focus – something like “become leader of the Black Moon clan” or some such thing.

Since then I’ve seen posted (a number of years ago) a staff member and players in support of general, vague or even impossible-to-achieve foci – an example of which was “to fly to the moon.”
In preparing to submit a new application and considering playing a dwarf, I was reviewing the helpfile on focus and found this odd:

“As a tip, do not make your character's focus too specific.”

Is the suggestion really to have an unfocused focus? I had thought that a focus should definitely be specific – an actual attainable, specific goal. In short, a focus.

Later in the helpfile I find this:

“a focus should neither be impossible nor easy - but rather, something that is possibly attainable over a long period of time if it is worked hard upon.”

and this:

“typically attempt to find one single goal (called a Focus) to which they adhere, and they will never abandon that goal for as long as they live”

Which seems to support achievable, reasonable (as in – in the realm of possibility) goals.
Indeed, the list of example foci list difficult but completely rational and possible goals.

In the interest of not having my application rejected – I ask your thoughts on Dwarven focus. Outlandish? Possible? Examples you have used?
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Grapes

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Re: Thoughts about Dwarven Focus
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 09:41:33 PM »
Heh. I had a good one but it's too soon. A good,  creative focus can facilitate some very interesting RP opportunities and character quirks, imho. I try to think of something no one else would pick when musing on possible future characters. Master the sword? Um, not for me. Paint caravan road hot-pink? Ok, there we go.

After much palm greasing, sycophancy, and lobbying, maybe the ministry of the city would consider the health benefits and morale boosts assosciated with the shade of pink known as "Hot".

EDIT: And thusly, Stubbums the street-sweeper was born.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 09:43:06 PM by Grapes »
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Lizzie

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Re: Thoughts about Dwarven Focus
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 08:47:07 AM »
An oddball dwarf whose coded skills include physician-type skills/brew/etc.... to formulate a hair-growth solution to baldness.

A manipulative conniving (but altruistic) dwarf might want to eradicate the mul race by infiltrating Borsail from the inside.

Open up and successfully run a brothel for dwarves.

Get spice legalized in Allanak.

The options are endless really. Something that theoretically might happen some day, but isn't likely, that a dwarf might be interested in enough to obsess over it.
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nauta

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Re: Thoughts about Dwarven Focus
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 09:23:52 AM »
“As a tip, do not make your character's focus too specific.”

Sounds like you are on the right track.

If I had to guess, the 'tip' here is to make sure the focus isn't 'achieved' with some particular specific task, e.g., collect the fifth rock you find on Nekrete three leagues east of Allanak.  (Although now that I type that out, that'd be kind of funny.)  I think it is a tip so that you can keep pushing forward in your development as a dwarf: a focus, in a sense, motivates you to do certain things and to keep plodding away; it generates a lot of content for you: you'll do strange and whacky things just to pursue that focus, sometimes against your own best interests, or against the best interests of your friends and allies.  Hence, if the focus is easy to achieve, e.g., breathe, then I don't know if that'd motivate your character to do much (other than breathe). 

That said, there are probably plenty of virtual dwarves with really easy to achieve foci.  I kind of think it is more a suggestion or tip to make the focus a more active part of your character's psychology: as something that motivates you to get into strange situations.

So too if the focus is completely impossible, its hard to see how that is going to motivate you. 

A more opaque or vague or open-ended fuzzy concept for a focus --- become an expert at rock types --- seems like it would both be harder to achieve and would keep on motivating your dwarf in a variety of ways --- learning mining techniques, exploring, etc. --- than a more specific focus might --- become an expert on red rocks, for example --- and also more than an impossible focus might --- fly to the moon --- because impossible ends (become a round-square) are hard to get behind.

That said, I can totally see a dwarf who has the focus of 'discover every rock type' and then, upon discovering that the moon is a rock type, starts working towards making a wagon that'll get them to the moon.
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whitt

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Re: Thoughts about Dwarven Focus
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 09:58:36 AM »
Here's what I wrote up for my dwarf's focus a few years back.  I forget where I got the template from, but it really helped me stay *ahem* focused.

Actual Elements:
Survival Skills.
Cultural Acceptance.
Be the Gith.

Steps to achieve:
1.Survival Skills:
Build basic wilderness survival skils.
Establish where Gith congregate.
Learn the geography.
Learn to forage and survive in that area of the world.

2.Cultural Acceptance:
Inquire with those likely to have some knowledge of Gith culture.
Learn to communicate with the Gith: Learn Heshrak, Allundean as a precursor?
Watch and Observe the Gith in the wild.
Learn their ways, traditions, and mannerisms

3.Be the Gith:
Live where the Gith Live
Dress as the Gith Dress
Mimic Gith behavior outside of Gith lands.

Result is a dwarf who needs the support of civilized folks to get started, but ultimately does not want to live amongst them. He will be quick to join any expedition through gith lands, asking questions the whole way about how do the gith attack, where, what do they take. Believing Heshrak to be a form of Allundean he will befriend Elves or even barge in on conversations between Elves but only so long as they speak Allundean. He will gather up the Gith gear left in the sands, repair it, and then endeavour to trade it back to the Gith in order to curry favor. Eventually he will be less and less seen in civilized areas, more often roaming Githlands until he finds himself attempting to live within a Gith base of operations.
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valeria

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Re: Thoughts about Dwarven Focus
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 01:50:03 PM »
My favorite dwarf focus was to have the perfect family.  The dwarf didn't have a family growing up, since her parents went off to dwarf, and having the perfect family was what she latched on to.

She first needed to find a good male contributor.  She joined the Byn, where most of the male dwarves hung out, and also to learn to protect her future family.

She had a thing about skin conditions since her first kid was born with a skin mutation and she had to abandon it in an alley, since it was not perfect enough.

She fought with blunt weapons because if a toddler accidentally got hold of one, it wasn't likely to do permanent harm.

She was subguild physician, to be able to nurse her kids through illnesses (or to humanely euthanize then if they got ill too often and were sickly and thus not perfect, since abandoning that baby was traumatic and all).

She was crazy about baby-proofing her apartment.  She went through like 4 apartments before she found a sufficient ground floor one.

She eventually stored to raise her family virtually, because it's no fun RPing a helicopter parent.

Jihelu

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Re: Thoughts about Dwarven Focus
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 03:24:27 PM »
My favorite dwarf focus was to have the perfect family.  The dwarf didn't have a family growing up, since her parents went off to dwarf, and having the perfect family was what she latched on to.

She first needed to find a good male contributor.  She joined the Byn, where most of the male dwarves hung out, and also to learn to protect her future family.

She had a thing about skin conditions since her first kid was born with a skin mutation and she had to abandon it in an alley, since it was not perfect enough.

She fought with blunt weapons because if a toddler accidentally got hold of one, it wasn't likely to do permanent harm.

She was subguild physician, to be able to nurse her kids through illnesses (or to humanely euthanize then if they got ill too often and were sickly and thus not perfect, since abandoning that baby was traumatic and all).

She was crazy about baby-proofing her apartment.  She went through like 4 apartments before she found a sufficient ground floor one.

She eventually stored to raise her family virtually, because it's no fun RPing a helicopter parent.
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650Booger

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Re: Thoughts about Dwarven Focus
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 06:00:40 PM »
focus: become the personal jester/court entertainer for the highlord tektolnes
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