I'll get to my replies below, but first, with all this mention of the psych test, I'm rather curious. How many of you see particular MCs as genuine psychopaths? Since specific interpretations definitely aren't limited to those who do write-ups (though I still hope to hear from you, Buggy ), I'm putting this out there as a general question to everyone! I'd love to see the different ideas people have.
For me, the candidate that seems to fit the role most naturally is Chelsea. Not only personality-wise, but I think it'd really add another layer to her banter with April. I've also been playing with the idea of having someone who scored as a psychopath, but they were only being truthful with half of the questions. Anything that triggers an automatic response would obviously be honest, plus the ones followed by inner commentary, but a lot of them can be done without either. The idea behind it is that it's the work of someone with a high envy stat who felt mischievous and just wanted to anonymously screw with the results, so they pick a bunch of "wrong" answers as they see fit. Having the highest envy of them all, David would be the best suited for the job. And it would have the added benefit of explaining how he gets chosen for the trip every time, though I'm sure his emotional instability (as demonstrated in his cabin scene) had a huge influence as well.
While Sam's in a similar emotional state, I imagine that she would always unknowingly secure a spot by opting to skip the quiz, not by scoring highly. As for the last top pick, Adam, I view him as a mix of Sam and Chelsea. Skipped the quiz, but studying him emotionally revealed some...more troubling elements than would be expected. For the remaining MCs, I've only begun working out my main four, but I at least remember seeing a scene where Sean confirmed that a total of ten students were considered. That's definitely implying that all the MCs were in his psych class together for any given timeline, even if only the one we play as necessarily has it as their major. And to me, it also means they should all be somewhat exceptional, whether it's skipping the quiz or scoring at least in the upper teens (since 15 is normal) to twenties. Their background may have been a boost, but that alone wouldn't have been enough to capture Sean's attention.
@ Pimenita First, sorry I can't @ you, as apparently as a new user I'm limited to just two. But I put your reply at the top, so hopefully you'll see this! Anyway, I'm super happy that you liked what I did with them! That was really important for me to tackle, because I wanted to create characters that would feel consistent regardless of whether or not you played as them. So I humanized them as best I could, and hearing you say that I was successful, even creative about it, just brings me so much joy! Thank you! And eyy, glad you're on board with my headcanons, too. In a game where everyone can potentially be bi, it was fun to see which specific ones I wanted to settle on, especially trying to tie them into the characters' stats/portrayals.
@Shawn_Patrick_Reed No, thank you, for being so sweet and also inspiring all this. Heck yeah, it's such an awesome song! I'm really happy to hear that. I love Imagine Dragons too, but Trivium was new for me. Maybe not to my taste, but it works for Ashley, and it's always good for me to branch out of my usual genres!
I'm so glad you enjoyed them, and I really like the sentiment you've expressed here. I definitely think the write-ups would not have been near as fun if not for that very balance. If too much was set in stone, I'd be hesitant to do much with them because I wouldn't want to deviate far from canon. Too much left open, and all the MCs would blur together with only trivial distinctions, making it hard to piece together a base that can be fleshed out. I much prefer this set-up of having a relatively defined character, one who has many unique reactions that can be discovered along the way, but with enough left blank that there are quite a few possibilities for developing them consistently! Such a fun challenge, and only made possible by your efforts.
Sounds like you've really got your work cut out for you, but I'm sure the end result will be brilliant. Best of luck with the remainder of the month!
@buggygirl11 Aww, yay, that's so nice to hear! Thanks so much! <3 And yep, no one who the cult deems acceptable could ever be perfectly alright. I think more of my characters will tend toward the extreme here.
To properly answer your question about their personal feelings on the cult/its members, I've done three mini-write-ups on my thoughts so far:
Starting with Kaye,
she's not the type of person who would've ever been considered if she had actually bothered with the test (a score of 8, I believe, when I went through it). She was
a bit curious about taking it, but a sloth's a sloth and that CoG was just calling her name.
So yeah, the careless choice to skip it got her noticed, and after her background check, it's understandable that she got selected, even if it's ultimately a poor match.
As for the cult...Kaye is honestly a bleeding heart who really can't help but sympathize and bond with Jack, April, and even Sonya to some extent. She can read them well enough to know that they've bared their souls to her on different occasions. Jack, who had always been genuinely kind to her, making himself vulnerable in return as he openly discussed his painful past. April as she actually apologized and brokenly confided that her attitude isn't personal. Sonya always used to be so hard to read, but as she came clean about the whole Mike disaster, her tormented, self-loathing feelings were as clear as day. None of the moments Kaye shared came close to making her forget their actions, but they really did make her heart ache. She had made sure to press the issue, questioning both April and Jack on how they could've possibly agreed to this crazy cult, and she had gotten her answer: their entire lives have just been so unimaginably screwed up that finding refuge in a murderous family is an acceptable alternative to them.
Now, knowing that underneath it all they could have been good people, and even still are in some ways...It just made her desperately want to save them, but they're in so deep that she knows she could never pull it off alone. If only God would help her with it, but Kaye is still processing how He could've allowed her to get mixed up in this demonic ordeal in the first place. She's had her faith challenged before, when her family fell apart, but this is infinitely more screwed up. Kaye tries to think of it as a trial to endure, but she feels hopelessly unprepared, her only option left to pray and hope for the best...
Okay, so point being, Jack, April, and Sonya give her hope for finding humanity within the family (which, incidentally, improves her sanity). But at the same time, that only makes her feel all the more helpless. Because Kaye wants better for them (along with herself of course), but she knows she's not the right person for the job. In the end, they're still a family of murderers, and she'd rather die at their hands than be forced to take someone else's life. Of course, she won't tell them that ahead of time, since she does actually want to live as long as possible. But when it comes down to it, she'll always refuse. That's why it's a miracle she survives the Gary incident, and with Sean's interference, might even make it until the very end of the pilgrimage. But who knows what horrors she'll see during that time...
As for June,
I wish I could go more into detail that I'm certain about with her, but I'm currently in the process of reworking some of my ideas for her. Mainly because I tested something new out, and it seemed like a pretty interesting route to take that would still keep her in-character. Like your June, I have her as someone on the Dante path and who guessed the sins correctly. The line about how she felt alone and always thought herself a bit crazy was very striking, especially since David had joked about that very thing (telling her she could diagnose herself or something) back on the bus. So yeah, definitely someone who's tuned in to the group and has high enough sanity. Beyond that...I'm really toying with the idea of a June who defaults to curiosity, even when emotional reactions like regret or sympathy might be expected. This June possibly developed it as a defense mechanism after so much time of getting her feelings hurt (by bullies, by her family situation, by rejection from potential friends who found her too difficult to put up with, take your pick). June can still feel these things and remains friendly, with a genuine desire to help others with her major. But she also purposefully detaches herself as much as possible, going to the extreme of viewing interactions with most people as nothing more than experiments. She'll treat her friends differently, especially the few who are close. But even with David and Sam, she doesn't outwardly express much (feeling relatively indifferent about Sam's D&D group) until asked about something she's passionate about.
Okay that's getting way too long actually, haha, but where I'm going with that is that a June who's more on the detached side than I was originally going for (though still not natural sociopathy) would definitely take on a unique perspective with the cult. The idea of self-discovery would draw her in, as well as her curiosity about the powers and motives that the others hold. But then alarmingly soon, June would begin to completely separate them from the murders they've committed. She stops holding it against them, instead pitying them as something along the lines of dysfunctional objects in need of fixing. June loves learning most of all and really just wants to understand what makes them tick, regardless of whether she'll be able to work out the kinks herself (though she's certainly confident enough to try). It's not the perfect situation to say the least, since there's still plenty to be miserable about and June still deeply mourns her friends, but she's all about making the most of life. So if that means finding her sanity in the thrill of new knowledge, especially in the hopes of applying it to see how she can influence this poor, misdirected group...so be it.
Overall, definitely off from your June in fundamental ways, but her relationship with her power/pride and her desire to fix the cult are still pretty similar. As the resident June expert ( ), what do you think of this kind of take on her?
Finally, with Mike,
I might do some tweaking, but his current score on the test is 19. I ruled out anything to do with pride or compulsive lying, because while he's terrible about making excuses, he's still an honest man who's struggling to "be the bigger person" like C.J. taught him. Instead, what I suspect earned him the most points were his minor criminal activities (anyone looking at his answers would think he was out there mugging people, but he was only counting things like candy-stealing and grade school bullying, which was so innocent it made me laugh), being impatient/impulsive/risk-taking/boredom-prone, and getting into trouble at home/school. Maybe not prime as a sloth candidate necessarily, but a higher-than-average score when paired with his background couldn't be overlooked.
Mike's extremely pissed at the cult, which he expresses constantly. His closest friends, including the first person since his ex that he was seriously starting to fall for (Sam J), are now dead, and there will be hell to pay. However, Mike is also, honestly, terrified. He's simply way too stubborn to fully admit to it. What he does accept, though, is that he has to be willing to overcome his issues with violence in order to fight his way out of there. Mike may even have to kill, though only out of self-defense. He'll never be like them, killing defenseless people who were of no harm to anyone...Or will he?
See, I haven't totally settled on where I want to take Mike from there, but one time I got his sanity ridiculously low (like in the 20's), and it had this set-up: He had sworn to himself that any and all violence would be in the heat of the moment, purely in self defense, but then...then there was Gary. Gary, who was defenseless, sure, but still a killer, one of them. This wouldn't count, because it's all for the sake of doing the world a favor!!...But of course, that was only a hasty excuse born of anger and fear. Deep down, he only acted to secure his own chances of survival. After all, Gary was detained and clearly not a threat anymore...And yet, on the verge of insanity, Mike had jumped at the kill. How could he, someone who detested violence most of all, been driven so quickly to stain his hands with blood?..."So much for being the bigger man," Mike hollowly thinks, lapsing into self-loathing as he pictures his brother gazing on him in utter disappointment.
Up to the point of this (potential) psychological trauma, Mike did consider what C.J. said about scary people probably being scared themselves. And considering he actually does have a soft side (much to his embarrassment), yeah, there are times when he eases up on the hostility. He feels particularly drawn to Jack due to their similarities, making it somewhat easier to let his guard down around him. It also helps that they hit it off great on the bus, where Mike had actually been willing to share a little about his home life. Of course, that connection fell through after all the craziness since, but they've somehow settled into finding each other mutually tolerable. Which is still better than Mike can say he feels about everyone else.
With Sonya, he had initially found her attractive, and soon after came to appreciate her just as a friend. Mike used to feel so comfortable around her, with their shared humility and her ability to overlook his temper. Now? He can't possibly forgive her for what she's done. He doesn't even feel guilty about blowing up at her like he usually does. April's irritating and too prideful for her own good, but it is messed up how she's only just a kid. Mike can't stand Sean at all, he'd headbutt him again if he could get away with it. McCready...is someone he understands how to navigate, even having effortlessly won his favor, but his authoritative, stuck-up attitude still causes Mike the most resentment.
Also about Kaye seeming nice, that's such a sweet thing to say, thank you. Too bad the purpose she's latched onto is seeming pretty impossible, huh? And haha yep, my Mike's version of the initiation definitely didn't go smoothly for all involved, either (Mike may be generally nonviolent, but making an exception to headbutt a murder who's closing in on him certainly wasn't his worst idea. Though very soon he might find himself making more exceptions than he'd bargained for). I'm so glad you find my Ashley interesting, especially considering how great yours is! She'll probably go to the darkest places as a character, but that's only going to make her more compelling to work with. Yep, and it's not something that anyone who's seen her kind side (aka most who know her) would have ever expected from her.
Thanks for going into more detail about June, it's neat that you relate to her, and I love how you portray her as a visionary who never gives up! I too look forward to how that's going to play out for her. And haha, you're right, we're both technically idea-stealers. Thankfully that's endorsed on this here forum But really, glad to hear it's cool. And man I'm so glad the playlist part was so well-received. That's awesome, can't wait to hear what you'll come up with!
Oh, side note, but I forgot to mention something that your June write-up made me realize that had kind of gone under my radar at first. So you drew attention to April's overreaction with the whole "kill-it-with-fire" after hearing about the nightmares, and that got me thinking...Sonya told us from the beginning that April has nightmares too, and that's why she stays with her. Perhaps there's a connection here? Sean might think the content of ours is strange, but that doesn't mean that April couldn't be hiding how the same things happen in hers. Or maybe not the exact same, since she probably wouldn't be in a cocoon in hers, being initiated in all. Unlike us, she might've even talked to the monsters. But still, if she is having the same general nightmares, I could see why she'd be a little more touchy about it...
Okay, finally, thanks to popular demand (seriously, thanks for the support), I begin my montage of interpretations of the full cast of MCs! Also starring Jack and April because they're my favorites. Jack's almost exactly how I pictured him, but some of them do look older than they should, particularly April. I tried to get them at least passable for the right age range, but in her case it was honestly the best I could find that stayed true to her description. You could say the older look fits her attempts at maturity, but I find it a bit ironic since not long ago everyone was just discussing how people sometimes fail to see her as a kid. Sooo...just take the same girl and imagine what she looked like years younger. Anyway, enough talk, let's kick things off: