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Reader Comments (5)

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 4:07PM Darkdust said

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Don't forget that the name doesn't need to rip off the character, either. Quite tired of endless repetitions of "CapnMal" and "HanS01o" everywhere I go. :)

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 6:05PM Dogorox said

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I'd never be caught dead using Legolas. I always go with Drizzt...

0.o

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 5:13PM Zach Adams said

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The really interesting thing to me is the idea of where "tribute" or "inspired" characters end and ripoffs begin, both in terms of RPer tolerance and legal tolerance from the game makers. (I personally try to avoid anyone who crosses the line, but where that line is for me can be fuzzy and inconsistent as you move from an archetypal character to a ludicrously specific, fairly obscure one.) I'm especially keen to see where DCO draws the line in terms of TOS/IP violations, considering that the DC multiverse has an Earth where all the heroes and villains are deliberate echoes of Marvel characters. (Well of course my gay werewolf graduate student is a lot like Vivisektor...he's from Angar!)

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 9:47PM Heraclea said

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Heraclea and her Amazon sisters started out as a homage to Wonder Woman in City of Heroes. It's in that setting that her backstory has been developed most, and since I made that character first, she has acquired many sisters and her backstory, though still making her the emissary of a gynarchic state inspired by classical civilization, has diverged fairly strongly from the original homage.

The first change was to make her home culture Roman rather than Greek. This made her Amazon sisters somewhat more militant and militaristic; they're empire builders and not intellectuals. They like gladiatorial combats. They've also been tied into legends from British pseudohistory, and had other mythological components added to it. Her home is not a Paradise Island any more, but is more socially complex than that.

Heraclea has wandered into other games. In Age of Conan, she and her sisters are from a religious community devoted to the Morrigan, a Celtic war goddess borrowed by Howard.

I made Heraclea again in World of Warcraft, but I have no idea how to relate her to that game's blurry backstory. The ever present gulf in ability and significance between game lore figures and player characters seems especially deep in WoW, whose backstory seems to consist of a series of mighty demons and wizards whose desperate spells brought disaster as the price of victory. But you're just some warrior with a sword and shield, fighting in your race's army.

I did not try to make Heraclea in Lord of the Rings Online; neither her name nor any conceivable backstory I could imagine meshed well with the setting.

Posted: Oct 9th 2010 7:30AM SkyStreak said

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I can't even begin to deny that a lot of my CoH characters are homages.

Some started out with a 'what if' type of idea.

My main started out when I had the thought "What if Batman had a kid?"

I then created an MA/SR character, threw together a backstory about his mother (an ex-superthief) and father (grim and gritty protector of a corrupt city).

While the characters in his backstory seem familiar, I wound up with a unique character to play.

Some started out with a costume design. I love the "Golden Age" Green Lantern's (Alan Scott) costume, so I created a teenage female character (Kin/Rad Defender) and swapped out a skirt in favor of the pants, and (obviously) a different insignia and name.

Due to the (relatively) clear inspiration of her costume, I made sure to make a decidedly non-Green Lantern background. Then, once I started playing her with that backstory in mind, I wanted her to have her own look, and made her a totally new costume that is bears little similarity to any Green Lantern's costume (with the exception of the color scheme).

The way I figure it is that one of the best comic books/graphic novels ever created was based heavily on the Charlton Comics characters. A character may start out as an homage (or even thinly disguised rip-off) doesn't mean it can't evolve into something special.

Just because two characters have the same starting point, doesn't mean they have to wind up in the same place.

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