First Time On the Town: Character Creation and "The One" Syndrome

[Hello there!  First Time on the Town is a planned set of blogs addressed to new players just starting out in the great big world of Insilico. More often than not, these blogs will be focused on the possible pitfalls that may occur during the character creation process.

What is written tends to be more about observations and suggestions and do not constitute an official ruling of any sort - although they will make reference to those rules found in the Insilico FAQ.]

So you are about to make a character.  Your heart is pounding, your pulse is racing, the Muse of Fire dwells within you as the ideas come out of your head like an unstoppable volcanic eruption….

..and you are about show the rest of Insilico that your masterpiece, Bob Smith, who by a decree of Fate is destined to bring down all Megacorporations due to his super special, ultra-unique, one-of-a-kind inborn ability to..


Stop Right There.

You don’t realize it right now.  But you are the victim of a terrible terrible syndrome.   

Its not your fault. Really it isn’t, because almost every single RPG video game you’ve ever picked up, almost every single Fantasy/SciFi Hollywood movie you have ever seen, has inserted this idea into your head.

You are suffering from “The One” syndrome. 


What is “The One?”

Neo from the Matrix.  Haha – I know, but seriously, think about it for a second.  He’s a person decreed by Fate to go off, destroy a machine empire, and bring about some sort of reconciliation between humanity and artificial intelligences.

He is born to do this job, a job no one else has the capacity to do because no one else was born/made/created/generated like he was. In other words, there exists an unbridgeable gap between Neo and the Rest of Humanity.

That’s “The One”  - a being or character who is like no one else (otherwise he or she would be part of “The Two” or the “Three” or the “One Hundred”) – empowered in a manner that would be considered superhuman.

Like I said, you’ve seen this in a thousand different variations, a thousand different forms.  He is Link from the Legend of Zelda, he is Harry Potter, he is John Connor from Terminator, et al. And he or she cannot exist in Insilico.


That type of character can work very well for a piece of fiction or a single player game, but in an environment where you are interacting with others – such a character is untenable.

There is no and never will be a Chosen Hero/Heroine in Insilico, there is only just Us as a community.



Alright, so you are going to think to yourself, “That’s fine, I don’t have to be the Hero.  But I would like my character to be unique somehow, so I’m going to add this really super cool powe..” Stop right there again.

You are still in the grip of “The One” syndrome. Just a smaller version of it.

You are trying to build your character around a power or an ability, so much so that if I were to take that away from the character you as a player would say I’ve broken him or her.

And that is precisely the problem. The character is nothing more than an expression of that “special quality” you chose.


Consider also for a second just how “unique” your super human healing factor, apocalyptic nanite swarm of doom, special armor developed by a team of scientists now long dead, or access to secret technology really is….

If you were inspired by a movie, a tv show, an anmie, a comic book, or scifi literature – chances are someone in the community has seen it before.


Not only have they seen it before, since the founding of Insilico as a Sim on SL, the “average Insilican” has seen attempts to play the following:


*AIs living in Human brains

*Robots with Human Brains.

*Escaped Super Soldier/Government Experiments

*Cyborgs, Mutants, Cyborg-Mutants!

*Characters made of Nanite Swarms!

*Clones…Clones..Clones!!!!!!! Semi-Clones! Gender-bended Clones! CLONES!!!!


Etc.etc. etc.   As the old saying goes, “Its all been done before.”  

What is going to provide uniqueness to your character isn’t some sort of SuperHuman Quality, but rather what makes people already unique in real life: one’s personality and experiences which translates into good RP.

Admittedly it is a hard road to traverse – building a character around a single trait or ability is in fact easier.

But this is a kind of invitation for you as a roleplayer, to create a character with great depth instead of a cookie-cutter stereotype.  

And you won’t be alone in this either – the GMs and other players in Insilico are more than willing to lend a hand or a piece of advice for your character’s development…..

So lets put away that mutant gene/Doomsday Weapon/one-of-a-kind device/etc.

And let’s say goodbye to “The One.”

Views: 365

Comment by Genya Omizu on May 24, 2011 at 6:04pm

And now for a little tongue and cheek humor...


Presenting Rooster Teeth's 1-800-Magic, a Shadowrun Machinima.   


Are you sure you want to be "The One?" XD



Comment by Abeus on May 24, 2011 at 6:58pm
There is no need to create a character that will be central to the story because each character is already central to their own story...central to their own unique perspective of InSilico. That's what InSilico is; the same story told from the different perspectives of view of each and every character that inhabits this world.
Comment by Dr. Ann. Faith on May 24, 2011 at 7:42pm
Shadowrun as done via Rooster Teeth, nice
Comment by Genya Omizu on May 24, 2011 at 8:46pm

I hereby demand that Erich's idea be made the centerpiece of the next Six Insilico Storylines....


Oh and Erich, we all miss you.  :)

Comment by Chessa Lockheart on May 24, 2011 at 9:38pm
I'm curious to read more on your ideas on this Genya! That's a very good start!
Comment by Ezekiel Aries on May 25, 2011 at 1:12am

Oh. My. God.

I have been so blind. My tie, my glasses, these were just attempts to make myself different, to separate myself from the rest of humanity. -Ripped off tie and punched the air with it- I. AM. A. MAN!

Comment by Kristin Poole on May 25, 2011 at 3:42am
Well you've done it, you had to make it happen. You made me watch the Matrix again.
Comment by Betz on May 25, 2011 at 9:59am

You joke, yet by next week we'll be having to tell a person they can't be a super hero, again. Or some one will rage quit when I have to veto them for "God Hacking" the Gemini AI.


Next issue should be about Light Bright Ninja's. Those are the people who think stepping into the shadows is actually possible when you're more lit up than a Christmas Tree at a Rave Party. Don't wear stripper boots, and RP you're sneaky or a bad ass. You won't be taken seriously as anything but a stripper. That's why those boots were designed, for strippers, not ninja's. Shadow cannot block out light, ever. It's not possible. If it was, flashlights would not work. Glow sticks would not glow. And yet, they do, in short, if you look like a stripper dressed up in a Mardi Gras float, you will be laughed at if you think "being a ninja" is possible.

Comment by Joah Menjou on May 25, 2011 at 10:20am
Comment by Erich Zufreur
Okay it's all been done...but.. what about a Character thats..

Genya Omizu Comment by Genya Omizu
I hereby demand that Erich's idea be made the centerpiece of the next Six Insilico Storylines....

See... I *knew* there was something creepy about that little bear bot, Tokie-Chan!
Comment by Iris Creighton on May 25, 2011 at 12:55pm
But, Betz! Why can't you just let me hack and destroy the GeminiAI while wearing thigh-highs and hiding in the shadows just once?!


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