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Player: [personal profile] blackswanseer

Description: A driven "alternative archaeologist," with a gift for mathematics and a retinue of survey drones. Planning thread here, and physical description and backstory here.

What follows are our suggestions for how to represent her in Fate! [personal profile] blackswanseer, please correct us if we are wrong about anything.


[+4] Great Skill: Interface.
[+3] Good Skills: Lore, Will.
[+2] Fair Skills: (SKILL), (SKILL), (SKILL)
[+1] Average Skills: (SKILL), (SKILL), (SKILL), (SKILL)

Primary Aspects

Neurotype Aspect: Computational Archaeologist. Ilaria studies the past by creating elaborate computer simulations in the present. These simulations are so accurate that she's won several awards, for helping pinpoint the location of wrecked ships or entire cities thought lost centuries or millennia ago. She can become so driven to find the chain linking evidence to the truth, though, that one could say that she doesn't notice when it's slipped around her ankles.

Phenotype Aspect: Humanoid Hive Queen. While she's physically human, Ilaria is never seen without at least one or two of her hovering drones (and that's when she's not at a dig). They form what computer scientists are starting to call a virtual and physical "halo," or an extension of her core self. She has an implant to help them respond to even her subconscious signals, and would feel lost or amputated without it (or them).

General Aspects

"Between the Mainstream and the Fringe"

That's how the Geek Feminism website described Ilaria's work, in its profile of her (in [community profile] capsulerp's space future setting). To outside observers, Ilaria seems to be driven to shock the mainstream archaeological community, by using her simulations to prove fringe theories correct. She doesn't see it this way, naturally; she simply feels that her simulations have shown her things worth pursuing, which her colleagues don't (yet) see the importance of.

Two more aspects may be added during play.

Stress Boxes

Mental: 1[ ] 2[ ] 3[ ] 4[ ]

Physical: 1[ ] 2[ ]





Extras and Stunts

(Drone Controller): Ilaria has a brain stem implant which acts as a co-processor, allowing her to make predictions and cursory simulations without access to a larger computer. She can use the Attack and Defend actions with the Interface skill, against AIs, and can substitute her skills for one of her drones' as long as she has a clear signal to them.

(RESERVED): This stunt will represent Ilaria's drones themselves. (See below.)

(RESERVED): Choose a stunt for this slot. (See below.)

Refresh Rate

Ilaria begins each session with (THREE, FOUR, OR FIVE) Fate Points.

Now, here's what we need to know to finish her character sheet:


We maxed out Ilaria's Interface, Lore, and Will, to represent her status as an iconoclast who relies on technology to help her with research.

What other skills does she have? Resources and Contacts, to represent her supporters and grants? Empathy and Rapport, from presenting her theories in front of an audience? Provoke, from arguing them? Athletics, Notice, and Investigate, from being on-site in person? Drive, from working a crane at her digs? Does she use Crafts to build and repair her own drones?

Choose three Good (+2) skills, and four Fair (+1) skills from the Fate Skill List.


We gave Ilaria a Drone Controller implant. But what are her drones themselves like? Does she have a devoted helper drone with its own personality, or a fluid number of drones which are simply extensions of herself? Your answers will help decide whether we create a drone as a supporting character, a whole "mob" of drones in her halo, or both (which would require two stunts).

Other stunts we feel could "work" for Ilaria, and the skills they are tied to:

  • The Power of Deduction (Investigate): Spend a Fate point, to roll Investigate and either create or discover aspects to represent what you deduce.

  • Specialist (Lore): +2 on Lore checks related to ancient mysteries.

  • Danger Sense (Notice): Ilaria's drones could give her a sort of "spider sense" for when stuff's about to hit the fan, letting her roll Notice no matter what. (Maybe her personal drone has this, plus a broad spectrum of sensors?)

Feel free to look up or invent more yourself.


We tried to make aspects for all the narrative hooks that you gave us, but you're welcome to change the wording on any of these or come up with new ones!

We probably should create one to represent why she's heading to Enceladus, at any rate. We suggest "It's Just As I Predicted!", based on how the Scream's message is just like the underwater engravings she's found. This aspect could represent her gaining mastery over the situation, or descending into madness, Lovecraftian style.

And on to the next character

Next up will be [personal profile] kaesa's, once we get the chance to write it up. >_>b

Date/Time: 2015-11-16 05:24 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
Thanks!! Mulling this over and will have questions/comments/etc. up soon.
Date/Time: 2015-11-24 03:16 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
Absolutely. I do have some questions. And I really apologize for the lag here. There has been a thing going on at work for a while that has gotten super urgent and is currently eating more than its fair share of brainspace and I'm pretty stressed. When I have an established character I'm already writing for in a game, I can usually power past such things and get posts out regardless (usually) but in the formative stages, it's more of an interruption than I'd like. I'm in 'make it to Thursday because I have 4 days off work' mode right now. Again very very sorry about the delay, but I should definitely have something up this weekend once I can get away from some of this stress.

You know, there's urgent, stressful situations at work and then there are urgent, stressful situations that are largely the fault of someone else not getting something dealt with 7-8 months ago and now YOU are the one that has the headache that are just....:P


In the interest of saying something game-relevant that doesn't require too much coherence on my part, how about Languages? In searching around, it looks like it might be something we just agree about, rather than being a specific talent?

Ilaria's original incarnation had these:

- Spanish (Peruvian)
- English
- Italian (Her father is originally from Italy.)
- Quechua (Her mother, Chaska, is of mixed Quechua and European descent. Ilaria is decently fluent, but not bilingual.)
- Aymara (This one she learned for a specific reason related to her work, based on a cool notion about the language I saw once. Will find the description I swear I typed up already and post it.)
Date/Time: 2015-11-28 21:12 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
You know, that consideration for the Scream might tie in nicely to the thoughts I had around Aymara, at least in bridge-like fashion. I failed to find my prior write up on that, so have started anew.

If you celebrate it, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! (Or a wonderful day either way;))
Date/Time: 2015-12-08 04:46 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
Some additional fluff content:

Description: Ilaria is a woman in her early thirties, with hazel eyes and an olive complexion. Her light rust-brown hair skims the bottom of her shoulder blades in length, easily pulled up out of the way when needed. While no hardcore athlete, her figure is fit and trim, for someone out of shape would have no end of trouble hiking and climbing as she does during fieldwork, not to mention living amidst Cusco's high altitude.

Her manner of dress is tasteful and refined (with proper allowances made when clambering through a jungle), though on the conservative side. She consciously maintains a disassociation from fringe elements even in her clothing. She is fond of jewelery, particularly silver wrought in various Peruvian styles.

Background: Ennio Viteri, Ilaria's father, was originally from northern Italy, but his younger years saw numerous visits to Peru and his eventually taking a position as a professor of history at a university in Lima. He married Chaska, a woman of mixed Quechua and European descent, and they had two children: Ilaria, the elder, and a son.

With her father's work being what it was, Ilaria had exposure early and often to matters of history, soon showing her own inclinations toward it. She was a bright girl and the capabilities of the modern Net yielded ample avenues by which one could accelerate her education. It did not take long before she developed a fascination with the magnificent edifices created in the distant past. And eventually, frustration followed, frustration with weak explanations, with a dearth of great curiosity on the parts of many. In contrast, her own curiosity only grew.

Her undergraduate studies were pursued through one of Cusco's more prestigious universities, though again, the technology of the modern world meant a student could attend lectures via VR, while being physically somewhere else getting hands-on experience. Her doctoral studies were conducted in association with an Italian university, with Ilaria herself allocating her time amidst simulation programming and other computer work, research, and work at sites such such as Nan Madol in Micronesia, various ruins scattered throughout the Pacific, and in South America itself.

Work only intensified once she was done with schooling and thus has it continued to the present day.

Several years back, Ilaria met a man by the name of Davor Maric (he's from Croatia). A fellow archaeologist encountered at a work site, the two hit it off quite well and began to date before too long. Eventually they were engaged. But more recently, things tipped off the rails. Davor had always known how passionate Ilaria was about her work. Indeed, it was part of what had drawn him and he, too, was a dedicated sort. However, over time, he came to see of just what a magnitude it was. Ilaria's search was the compass by which her days were set and thinking hard upon the future, Davor let a reluctant distance seep into their relationship. Not long at all before Ilaria's latest endeavour (as in, the catalyst of the game plot), he took a job that would send him to Asia for a time, only deepening the splintering. Ilaria was hurt by his behaviour and she also did not understand it. She thought she had met someone that shared the same drive she had, but he had begun pulling away, giving only reasons that were more ambiguous than not.

(I will continue to flesh this out as we play. I like having a solid history for characters at game start, but not overwhelming amounts of detail, as it's more organic to add those in as the game goes on and you learn more about the character.)

Next up: Ideas on Aymara + and the bridge into the Scream. Comments/questions on the talent proposals above. Comments on skills. And last, but certainly not least, whatever is slipping my mind at the moment.
Date/Time: 2015-12-14 03:53 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
is there anything we can help with?

I definitely have some questions about aspects/skills/etc. that will be up in my next comment, thanks! In the meantime, Aymara-related idea up below.
Date/Time: 2015-12-14 03:51 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
On Aymara and the Scream:

I don't recall where I originally read about this theory, so I've had to dig up some other references. And hey, it's a game set in an imagined future, so the basic idea can turn into whatever we need:)

Given Ilaria's focus on archaelogy, her skill with mathematics and programming+algorithms, and awareness of this structural phenomemon with Aymara, my idea was that she picks something out of the Scream that takes her in this direction. That there's a mathematical pattern she determines via analysis and from it, derives some sort of algorithm.

That leaves two major questions: why was she looking into this and why did she get to go on the Traveler 2.

For the former question, if she became aware of a tie in to her research, that'd cause her to look deeper. Such as a hint that it ties into some pattern she's seen recorded by ancient cultures, suggesting the Scream phenonemon has occurred before and there was an attempt to capture it. But major computing power was needed to discern the algorithm and so it wasn't sussed out in the past.
Date/Time: 2016-01-11 04:08 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
More on the Scream/Aymara discussion, in response to prior questions:

- In respect to Resources/Contacts being a really high skill, I didn't reread this when I was writing up my comments on Skills*blush* So missed that. Nevertheless, I don't really see her as having these as higher than things like Lore. That said, if we step outside the mechanics of the thing, where there isn't a cap, then I do think it works to say she leveraged a lot of Resources to help pull this off, dropping it down to the level it is now mechanically.

My thought is that NASA (or whatever group we settle on) was involved monetarily as well, as I doubt she'd have had enough money to finance the entire thing, because wow. I can imagine how much this would cost*L* That'd be quite a grant!

- Meaning she might have gotten: Hmm, there are so many ways to go here. How about this. I've been reading a book that's kind of about ancient civilizations and catastrophism. Maybe, based on her studies on Earth of the related "messages" and whatever she gleans from the Scream, she thinks there are indicators about past and future catastrophic events on Earth. Specifically, ones triggered by extraterrestrial intervention - asteroids, comets, etc. "The future" part is the motivator. She has evidence supporting the idea that "someone" out there can predict (somehow) this sort of event and finding out more info on that could be truly critical.

- Most disastrous thing she could be wrong about: This is the biggest delayer of this reply, as I struggled with it a lot. The answer on the surface is really easy. That she's just flat out wrong - there's no meaning here, no point. She's out here and lost scads of time due to the screwup that leads to cryo sleep point.

But in thinking that over, that's just so devastating to the character concept and who she is as a person that I have strong doubts I could deal with it at all. So I've been struggling to think of something that answers this question, but wouldn't result in something too devastating to play through, and I haven't really come up with much. I mean, the whole "you've been asleep FAR longer than expected and back on Earth a lot of time has gone by and everyone you knew is dead as far as their original self goes and the world has moved on" is pretty bad on its own, though writable.


Personal to do:
[ ] Adjust skills based on feedback and discussion related to aspects/stunts/etc. if needed.
[ ] Stunts
[ ] Aspect comments/questions/any tweaks
Date/Time: 2016-01-12 02:38 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer

Sorry, things got kind of out of order with me posting in replies to different parts of the thread nesting. Comments/questions on Skills are here:
Date/Time: 2015-12-18 05:21 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
I have two weeks off of work if I can just get through tomorrow. Gaming immersion, here I come.
Date/Time: 2016-01-04 05:31 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer
Okay, so mental and emotional exhaustion and being pretty busy even without work turned into me posting nothing for any games the past couple of weeks. I apologize for the disappearing act*blush* I am back in the saddle as of tomorrow and will get those outstanding comments/questions out. Hopefully a battery recharge was just what I needed mentally to get into gear. Sorry again^^;; I feel bad about having had cause to apologize so much when we havent' even gotten started. 2015 was a rough year.

And I see there's a thread up on the ship itself; exciting!
Date/Time: 2016-01-05 06:44 (UTC)Posted by: [personal profile] blackswanseer

I've read the Skills descriptions and here are my thoughts. This is from a view of Ilaria as a person more than a "game character", if that makes sense. Meaning I was focused on her characterization and history more than mechanics. Therefore, and particularly given I haven't played Fate before, this may reflect some things you see as not the greatest for game viability. Please let me know if anything like that crops up. I in no way want to be a burden on the game with my choices, so if I've picked silly stuff or have something wrong in purpose or if it just doesn't jive as a viable mechanical approach, just let me know and we can figure something out.

My reasoning/questions on the skills below the pyramid.

[+4] Interface
[+3] Lore, Will
[+2] Investigate, Notice, Craft
[+1] Athletics, Contacts, Rapport, Resources

- Interface: I found a description here: I wanted to confirm this is the right Skill and make sure I'm clear on its parameters. Does it cover all computer usage, including programming, drone control, hacking type stuff (I have some backstory reasons she is familiar with such skills), etc? Or would she need to take anything additional to cover all of that?

Is this skill because of the Drone Controller element only? That is, if one did not have Drone Controller, would you take a different Skill to cover the aforementioned computer usage items?

- Lore: I dithered on whether I should move this to the +4 slot or not. She is extremely skilled with computers, but character-wise, her breadth of knowledge around history, pre-history, linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, etc. is more profound. That said, mechanically speaking, in other systems I've played, the way knowledge-type skills work means dumping the majority of your points in them is not a sound idea. In the sense that it's major overkill for the use you get out of it.

But I haven't played Fate. Does having Lore in a +3 slot sufficiently approximate the strength of her talent here? Because it does seem like Interface is a skill that would see more use in a game.

Does Lore cover Mathematics skills? I thought so from the description, but wanted to be sure.

- Will: I like it. She's strong-willed and needs to be. And then there are the puzzle solving aspects, etc. - also good.

- Investigate: Based on the description, this seems pretty core to her.

- Notice: Again makes sense for her character.

- Rapport: Given the needs of her work, it makes sense she would have to have developed certain social skills. Rapport's description seems more fitting for her than Empathy based on her personality.

- Crafts: Being able to make adjustments, repairs, etc. to drones and other tools makes sense. Also saves money! She didn't have the luxury of having teams of people who covered every little skill with a different individual.

- Contacts: Makes sense for her backstory-wise. Very fuzzy about what relevance this would have in the actual game given the nature of the plot. Any ideas?

- Athletics: She's in good shape, takes care of herself, and sees a lot of physical activity when on site/exploring. So this makes sense.

- Resources: Like with Contacts, makes sense for her background, but I'm fuzzy on what would come up as an in-game use.

Dragging around my personal to do list for next posts:
[ ] Adjust skills based on feedback and discussion related to aspects/stunts/etc. if needed.
[ ] Stunts
[ ] Aspect comments/questions/any tweaks
[ ] Response on the latest questions about the Scream/motivation.

Stay tuned for the next episod-er, post, tomorrow evening.


Capsule Contingency

January 2016

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