Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Characters’ Codes

This one was inspired by my old exercise on codes of conduct: I took a small sampling from my primary game. (Jalil, in particular, was requested by two different players–though I’m finding that he would have come through a lot better if I’d written this up back when he was still active as a villain and not a paperweight.)

Mandible’s code: Always ask before you enter. Once you’re in, heal first, ask questions later, unless specifically forbidden. If kicked out, try not to take too much bone with you. And always try to keep the archer on your good side.

Kes’s code: The demon is your enemy (unless it’s the bug, anyway, why is this my life?). Deal with it by any means necessary. Save the summoner for later—but if the summoner attempts to escape, don’t let him, he’ll just go do Dark Evil Rituals later and you’ll have another demon to fight. Stay true to your friends, and don’t let anyone get anywhere near your partner if you can help it. If the person working alongside you has areas of expertise that you don’t, let them take lead. Particularly if dealing with academics or politics.

Ruby’s code: Avoid violence, but if you gotta beat something up, don’t hold back; remember that hugs are a more effective battle strategy than broken bones. Look innocent and keep your eyes and ears open. Protect your teacher, protect your friends, protect your blood supply, and if any are present (and not attacking you) protect the cute things! Don’t tick off the old dead things, and definitely don’t show the displeasure of the old dead things in polite company. Always be polite—even if they’re trying to kill you, don’t stop with the please and thank you until the weapons are out. (Do, however, feel free to interrupt said killing attempts; while doing so, saying “excuse me” is optional.) Don’t say Those Words; they’re bad for your image, and what would Lirit think?

Olathe’s code: Think always of the greater mission—first that of the organization, then that of destroying those blasted ghosts. Protect your subordinates from what threatens them; make sure what threatens them cannot do so again. Maximize efficiency, but do not cut corners. Do not trust easily.

Jalil’s code (before death and lizarding): Every problem in the world would be solved if everyone understood their place and behaved accordingly, respecting their betters and properly directing their lessers. (You have always belonged in the second from the top rank; do not forget this.) Follow well the instructions of your sponsor. Anyone attempting to speak for your sponsor, unless showing clear signs of possession (and even then, they’d better be either a demon of the appropriate lineage or a member of your family), is obviously lying. Protect that which is yours, particularly your plans, your position and your family—end those who damage any of the above. Coerce with violence only as a last resort, but if you must go to those lengths, do not do so by halves.

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