Meet Ves, AKA Reaper

Meet Ves, AKA Reaper

Our trip to England was a chance to meet some friends who had only been online acquaintances up until that point. Which turned out to be awesome, since they introduced us to their other geeky friends and even invited us to join their table top role playing group. While we were in England, the group tried to get together in person every month for sci-fi hi-jinks. But when my husband and I moved back to Canada, we moved the game sessions to Skype so that no one would have to drop out.

I’ve mentioned this game group, and the world our characters live in, before. But while I’ve talked a lot about Domerin, I haven’t said much about my original character. (You may have noticed that Domerin occupies a large chunk of my mental real estate – at his insistence, mostly by yelling over all the other voices). I try to mitigate that by resisting the urge to pull him out my pocket.

When we joined this group, I wanted to try something new. I wanted to start with a blank slate that I could mold to fit the group mechanics, not to mention a character that would force me out of my comfort zone. Ves has a somewhat fractured history in terms of her creation. My husband and his brother decided to run a Battletech game several years ago, and roped me into it – despite the fact that I know next to nothing about Battletech. Ves’s job in that short-lived game was to climb up the legs of huge mechs in combat, plant explosives and then escape before they detonated. Since this seemed like the kind of thing only an insane person would do, Ves has always been a bit loopy.

And Ves’s insanity is really the only portion of her personality that translated into the new game. Well, that and her love of explosions, but that’s tied to her loopy nature. Rather than climbing the legs of mechs in an attempt to explode them – since our group doesn’t encounter many in this new world – Ves became a demolitions expert. In fact, the group first encountered her and her business partners Eddie and Grr shortly after she inadvertently exploded a large portion of their spaceship while trying to brew a new explosive compound. Though Ves vehemently denies that incident was her fault.

In the Dark Space universe, Ves spent her years prior to joining the Immortals working for Eddie, an archeologist who tends to salvage valuable old artifacts and then sell them on the black market (at least the ones he doesn’t end up pocketing for his own research). Ves worked for Eddie because she was running from her half-remembered past, burying her pain and troubles in the tasks which presented themselves and living a carefree life in between.

Ves’s evolution was rough, mostly because I’m so rubbish at building tabletop game characters. Usually they end up with a mishmash of unimportant skills (and the fact that I tend to have ill luck with my rolls doesn’t help). But with the help of the game’s two main GMs, she has grown into a fun and interesting character, and has certainly found her place within the group.

Aside from her love of blowing things (other than herself and her friends) to pieces, Ves used to worship death, giving her a strange fascination with skulls and beheadings. She seemed enjoy the way this creeped her new friends out. But as time has gone on, and Ves has recalled more of her past, that worship of death has been replaced with a healthy sense of self-preservation. I wouldn’t call Ves a coward, but she knows she isn’t built to leap into battle, guns blazing. She’s much better at dismantling computers, jury rigging explosives and hacking command consoles. It doesn’t help that the resurfacing of old memories have reminded her that joining a death cult got most of her family killed.

My favorite aspects of Ves have all developed as the result of in-character situations. She almost always fails her observation rolls, so I decided to make her absent-minded. (I later revealed the reason is that she’s always thinking about new clothing for her companions when she fails those rolls.) Ves is content to stumble through life, ignoring her problems even when they explode in her face, all the while blaming Eddie (even when she knows it’s not his fault). Ves’s comedic nature makes her great fun to play. She’s always preoccupied with matchmaking (even when the match is a pair of artificial intelligences). And while she has a penchant for getting herself out of trouble (usually that she has inadvertently waltzed into of her own accord), she isn’t the cleverest member of the group (and often acknowledges this).

In the end, I’m really glad I stuck with Ves (and I’m sure my game group is too). She’s different than a lot of my other characters, which keeps me on my toes. And her story has become rich and interesting, even though it started as the barest hint of a sketch. If you want to read more about Ves, here are the stories she has appeared in so far:

Please Stop Petting the Test Subjects
Time Sensitive Mail
You Don’t Have to be Honest with Me
Family is Forever

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