Thursday, September 6, 2012

Character Overview: Fland

For those of you that have been following my story, The Depths of Despair, Fland should be quite familiar. I have had a few people comment on how they have found him interesting. With that in mind, I thought he would be a good start for a segment on the characters I create.

The idea for Fland originates several years back when I was creating a D&D character. I had found a rather fun feat that would let a character wielding two light maces make extra attacks if he scored a critical hit. I realized that for a ranger it was pretty easy to get that fighting style early on. I started building the character so that he could really get mileage out of his fighting style. Light maces are low on damage, but with this feat I could build up a character that was very dexterous and make a lot of attacks. Sometimes quantity out wins over quality.

This of course led to Fland's signature fighting style. I always try to describe him as making rapid attacks, usually in pairs. I want readers to see him as making half-a-dozen rapid attacks before the enemy can react. I've always liked watching baton twirling, and that really impacts the descriptions of his battles. He twirls and rolls the maces, hitting once then spinning it in his hand to make another.

I knew that when I created Fland, I wanted him to be a very archetypal ranger and adventure. He needed to be good at all of those key skills. He can climb and jump with the best of them. Tracking a squirl in the forest is no big deal to him. Social charm and lore, however, are not his strong suits. He is direct and only knows what is in his area of expertise. This leaves him with weaknesses. Every good character needs to be bad at something.

The desire to have him be a ranger's ranger also helped to flesh out his look. A suit of brown leather armor so that he is mobile. A green clock to blend in with the forest. I have not really given a good description of him beyond that yet. So far, I personally have pictured him with mid length hair. Dashing, but not long enough for someone to easily grab in a fight. The rough face of a seasoned warrior, with an every present cocky smile.

Fland's personality was only partially formed when I started writing. All I had to begin with was this idea that he was at heart an adventure. What is an adventurer? Well, they are brave and driven. This is a guy that is smiling after a fight. He is a bit of a jackass. He's good and he knows it. That is what the first scene shows. However, as things go on, it becomes clear that he is a professional as well. He is going to meet his goals. Of course, not being well versed in lore and more than a bit impatient means that he is going to take the most direct rout, even if it is not a good idea.

Now, the final fun thing to know about Fland is his name. Originally it was going to be Flann. Its a medieval Irish name that I picked out of a book. Apparently I miss-typed it in the very first sentence (first word in fact). Now, that is the kind of touch that really adds some personality.

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