1. terrwyn
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    terrwyn Member

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    Help on character abilities

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by terrwyn, Nov 14, 2011.

    I wasn't planning on having humans in my fantasy novel. All of the races were going to be unique or have special abilities.

    The race closest to being human is the Laina race. They look human but I intended to give them the ability of psychometry - being able to see the history or past of an object by physical contact of said object. It felt right to use at first, as this ability would definitely come in handy later on in my novel, especially since my main character is a Laina, and it would even be interesting to use in my sequel that I'm currently planning. Although, I have not made use of psychometry in my story yet, and I haven't found a way to go about implementing it casually into the story.

    Another race, predominant in the colder regions of the fantasy world, are the Mimics. They are greatly influenced and in touch with animals. They believe each person has their own beast that is their "spirit animal" with whom they connect with the most, though all Mimics connect very well with any animal. Their eyes are a pure, very light blue, almost white. I wanted to make them able to see like other animals might. Example, heightened sense of smell and hearing, and can see and smell trails of animals or people. I was going to make them either blind, or color blind. One of the main characters, a young orphan girl, teams up with the main character and a few others. For the most part, I imagined her to be staring off in front of her as if she couldn't blink, only picking up a handful of dirt and smelling the scent to point them in the right direction. But if I make the race blind, they would rely on only sound, scent, touch, and noise. Any ideas on which would work better?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would the entire race have psychometry? If so, it seems to me that that might have a substantial impact on their culture and habits. For example:

    - If any of your objects would allow anyone to see everything you'd done with that object, just with a touch, then for privacy purposes you might destroy objects as soon as you no longer need them.

    - It might be customery for people to choose a trusted friend to burn or otherwise permanently destroy their home and all of their possessions upon their death.

    - It might be incredibly discourteous to touch another person's possessions, rather like eavesdropping or peeping through windows.

    - Marriage and family relationships might be fundamentally different - in fact, people might refuse to share homes with other people, even their married partners.

    ChickenFreak
     
  3. terrwyn
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    terrwyn Member

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    I haven't thought about that. That definitely helped out alot. The whole race is able to use psychometry, so I see how though it could help a character with this ability, it could also hurt as well. Thank you for your ideas. :)
     
  4. SnappyUK
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    SnappyUK Member

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    Picking up on the Mimic race, some of their culture sounds a little like that of native Americans, which you may already have thought of. In terms of heightened senses, assuming that basic biology is similar to Earth, if the Mimics' eyes are exceptionally light-sensitive, they will need a high proportion of 'rod' cells which are the ones that work better in low light. Unless they have huge eyes, and even if they do, that will leave less room for 'cone' cells that are primarily responsible for colour vision, so their colour perception will be suppressed. By what amount is up to you. Also, like cats and other diurnal/nocturnal animals, they might need irises/pupils that change size much more than human ones, to cope in bright light.
     
  5. bazzie
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    bazzie Member

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    HI,

    The psychometry is interesting... and I think that Chickenfreak makes some very insightful points...

    - How do they treat this ability, as a community? Do they embrace this ability, or perceive it as a pain the a$$.

    - Would they all wear gloves most of the time to avoid accidently using their power (in fact that is another question, do they have to consciously use it, or when they touch something does it just happen?)

    - If they did wear gloves all the time, especially away from their own communities then this would probably be misinterpreted by other races, possibly negatively..

    - How does this power affect them? If they picked up something that had been the instrument of great suffering would they start crying, be overwhelmed with emotion? Following this on, they might have trouble with weapons...

    Great idea though, could lead to a very complex society..

    bazzie
     
  6. terrwyn
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    terrwyn Member

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    This definitely helps me out. I haven't thought about their light sensitivity or change in size of the pupils. I might make the Mimic race only able to see the "outline" of things. For example, they can see someone in front of them, but they cannot see their hair or eye color, facial features, or expressions. Therefore, they will have to resort to learning how to interpret body language and tone of voice. To find their ways around, they could still see paths of scents or trails.

    I also envision the race always wearing heavy coats of fur, usually white or light blue based on their origin from the snowy regions of the world, but I'm not sure what reason to give for that.

    I may have the Laina race mainly see the ability as a pain, though they use it when they feel they need to investigate something. Gloves would be a great idea, as it wouldn't hinder any sort of clothing style to any character that I know of. I think allowing the ability to just happen on it own whenever a character touches something would leave room for the ability to have not only positive effects in the book (figuring out important information,) but it would also leave a negative effect (having to wear gloves everyday as to not intrude into the lives of others.) Maybe a race or two could find it odd or even disrespectful to wear gloves around or even inside one's home. I will definitely use this ability to show the emotions or past suffering of my characters. My main character has a backstory of broken families and abuse, so her psychometric ability will come in handy for those emotional moments.
     
  7. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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