Impractical Applications (Tuyet’s Fear Profile)

Not long ago, I discussed creating fear profiles for characters. This is an example using my old favorite PC, Tuyet.

Name: Tuyet

Default instinctive fear reaction: Fight

Standard reasoned fear reaction (basic): Do something that might help. Then try something else. Then something else. As level of fear increases, improbability of plans increases proportionally, and consideration decreases, to the point where the first thing she thinks of is a metaphysics exploit with an infinitesimal chance of success.

Favored coping mechanism: Snark, also increasing as fear increases.

Greater stress response: Fatalistic acceptance of major negative possibility and shutdown. While she might still rail against some lesser problem that she considers still in her sphere of influence, she gives up completely on countering the stressor itself, sometimes (depending on the source of fear) completely disregarding the value of her own life in the process.

Common/relevant fear sources

Due to a family-centric upbringing and a number of situations in which her failure would have brought about the destruction of her most valued structures before her eyes, and to considering herself expendable for the sake of the greater goal—and later due to having found a way to achieve symbolic immortality, Tuyet’s least pressing fear is probably the thought of her own death.

Her greatest fear is being controlled, either knowingly or unknowingly, by her opponents, particularly in a way that causes her to work directly counter to her own goals. Once, she has decided, was more than enough. To a lesser extent, she fears loss of identity; this one’s harder to explicate.

Operating alone. Tuyet has worked with a safety net for a long time, particularly in the form of her two partners in mischief (one thing that once ruined an opponent’s threats was that said opponent’s ‘I’m going to win because you’re going to lose’ ran smack against Tuyet’s ‘as long as all three of us are present we don’t lose’ internal rule); even when they weren’t available to back her up, she tended to have people in the wings in case of an emergency. Isolation from her usual backups throws her off; it eliminates her contingencies, and removes someone for her to be strong for (or to let her be a little weaker than usual, depending).

Teeth anywhere near her neck (or the neck of anyone else she considers herself responsible for). The closest she’s ever come to an actual loss, as opposed to one of her surrender-for-later-tactical-advantage ploys, was an incident involving an entity with vampirelike tendencies that played into the issue of control and loss of identity. Since then, throat-biting, particularly on the part of her allies, has tended to be a trigger for her.

Relationship with fear: Seeks it out, but hides that she does so. Tuyet’s formative experiences involved struggling against highly powerful enemies who outclassed her both physically and socially and triumphing against them anyway. Due to the motivation these gave her, and the thrill when she succeeded, she began seeking out similar situations in order to take advantage of the bursts of energy and motivation they provided. On the other hand, her reputation demands a stoic exterior; she does not admit to her fear save to her closest friends, and avoids discussing her need to seek out overwhelming opponents even with them.

Leave a Reply