Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jizana M'rell, Jedi Historian [RPG]

There are times The Wife gets so into one of the RPG campaigns I'm running that it becomes her favourite topic of conversation and something she spends way too much time thinking about.  At times, for me, its exasperating; but I can't blame her, because I've been exactly the same way about some past characters in past campaigns.  The first time it happened was with my first ever D&D character, Jhaeman, something I'll have to talk about someday.  The second time was with Jizana M'rell, a character I played in a Stars Wars game set during the days of the Old Republic.

The premise of that campaign, and an idea which I will surely steal someday, is that every PC was a new initiate into the Jedi Order.  The campaign started with the initiates arriving at the Jedi Academy on Ossus and early sessions featured everything from attending classes to finding a mentor to learning how to build a lightsaber.  In a story drawn from the books (that I wasn't aware of at the time), the students were tempted by a dark Sith entity that offered great power but at a price.  Thus, there was a good dose of mystery and suspense even though there was no real combat (which really whetted everyone's appetite and made it exciting when the characters graduated and were sent out into the galaxy).

My character, Jizana, was played as an incredibly smart but extremely stubborn young woman.  Always sure that her way was the best way, she predictably clashed with the instructors at the Academy.  It was great fun and rather exciting to role-play these encounters, though now that I have more experience I can see I probably made life difficult for the director!

Playing a character who was a pacifist was quite doable during the Academy sessions, but became more awkward when the PCs were Jedi Knights sent to stop a Sith insurgency from undermining the Republic.  To give Jizana a little more plausible reason for going on these missions, I wrote up the Jedi Historian Prestige Class and made gathering information on the Sith one of Jizana's major goals.  I wrote diary entries for Jizana which I'll post soon, and had my boyfriend at the time draw the picture that accompanies this post.

Jizana was the first GLBT character I ever played, as I gradually developed the idea that she was in love with her friend Sian Suan.  I don't remember exactly how events transpired near the end of the campaign, but for some reason I started playing Sian Suan after having Jizana commit suicide.  I think maybe it was a spur of a moment decision that seemed to make sense during the session but that I regretted afterwards.  Anyway, here's one of my first great gaming loves, Jizana M'rell:

Jizana M'rell
Jedi4/Hist2 (XP: 13325)

Age: 17, Height: 1.7 m, Weight: 55 kg, Eyes: Blue, Hair: Long black, Skin: Dark

Ability Scores:  Str 10, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 14

Vitality: 40, Wounds: 15, Speed: 10', Defense: 19, Initiative +1, Reputation +13, FP: 1 (2d6/3d6)

Saves: Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +11

Melee +3, Ranged +4

Skills:  Appraise +4, Astrogate +5, Bluff +2, Computer Use +9, Craft (Painting) +6, Diplomacy +6, Entertain (Martial Arts Kata) +3, Escape Artist +2, Forgery +4, Gather Info +8, Handle Animal +4, Hide +2, Intimidate +8, Jump +1, Knowledge (Philosophy) +9, Knowledge (Spacer Lore) +5, Knowledge (Jedi Lore) +10, Knowledge (Aliens) +5, Knowledge (History) +9, Knowledge (Physical Sciences) +5, Knowledge (Sith Lore) +7, Listen +3, Move Silently +2, Pilot +2, Repair +5, Search +4, Sense Motive +3, Spot +2, Survival +2, Swim +0, Treat Injury +6

Gear:  Recording rod, Traveling clothes, hygiene kit, utility belt, soro roots, datapad, 2 medpacs, flashlight, comlink, datacards base, ID badge, lightsaber parts, training baton, plaque w/ code, 500 credits

Languages:  Basic, Ithorese, Cerean, Sulustese, Ryl

Force Feats: Alter, Control, Defense, Sense

Feats: Force-Sensitive, Iron Will, Martial Artist, Skill Emphasis (Force Defense), Trustworthy

Force Skills Empathy +2, Enhance Ability +9, Enhance Senses +3, Farseeing +10, Fear +2, Force Defence +12, Force Grip +4, Force Push +5, Force Stealth +2, Heal Another +2, Heal Self +2, Move Object +7, See Force +5, Telepathy +3

Special Abilities: Ancient Languages (Jedi Hist. Prestige Class)

Character Background

Physical Description:

Jizana is a dark-skinned human female about 1.7 m high and weighing 55 kg.  She appears lean, muscular, and healthy.  Preferring comfort and mobility, she normally dresses in wide-legged, drawstring-style pants, a loose tunic with wide sleeves, and soft boots.  Although her long, black hair makes her look strikingly beautiful at times, she usually wears a haughty, disdainful expression.


Jizana is the daughter of two members of the Ta'Tathrian, a small, close-knit, quasi-religious sect.  The Ta'Tathrian are true wanderers: they call no planet home, and instead travel from sector to sector in a motley fleet of ships.  The guiding philosophy of the Ta'Tathrian is that the ultimate embodiment of the Force is Peace and Harmony.  Accordingly, no orthodox Ta'Tathrian will ever raise his or her fist in violence, not even for self-defense--to them, violence can cause only pain and misery, results clearly inconsistent with the highest purpose of the Force.  Indeed, to give into one's anger and retaliate is akin to falling prey to the Dark Side.

Instead of war, Ta'Tathrian turn their minds to other pursuits.  Many are skilled artists, musicians, or craftworkers.  Some focus on more scholarly disciplines such as astrophysics or xenobiology.  The Ta'Tathrian also practice an esoteric "martial" art called "The Way of the Flower," which they feel brings them closer to the Force.  The Way is a graceful combination of techniques which take place in a specific pattern (the more skilled practitioners learn the most complex patterns).  Although it has obvious applications in combat, no orthdox Ta'Tathrian would think of using it for such.


Jizana grew up aboard the Triberry, a small transport ship which quartered six Ta'Tathrian families.  A precocious child, she quickly exceeded her peers when it came to both academics and master of The Way.  Learning was easy for Jizana: sometimes, before she sat down to take a test, it was if she could already see the questions that would be asked and the correct answers!

Jizana became a voracious reader of anything the ship's computers could come up with; however, this passion for knowledge distanced Jizana from the other children aboard the ship.  Jizana was friendless most of her life, until at the age of 14 a new family came to live on the Triberry.  Jizana quickly bonded with the Sullustan family's daughter, Sian Suan, and the pair often confused the other families by rapidly conversing back and forth between Basic and Sullustese or by playing elaborate pranks on each other.

As Jizana grew older, her parents (although they loved her deeply) began to realize that the Triberry was simply not the place for her.  Jizana had learned everything the scholars on board could teach her, she was getting bored silly with computer lessons, and, worst of all, she was getting a rebellious attitude about her.

The solution came while the Triberry was orbiting Coruscant for fuel and supplies.  Stories and tales about Jizana's ability to "see" the future were already rampant throughout the Ta'Tathrian, but the rumors had started to circulate beyond as well.  When a young Jedi stationed on Coruscant heard the news, he was intrigued and decided to check out the source of the rumors.  A few minutes with Jizana and her family convinced this Jedi that the stories were true, and he knew that the Force must be involved.  He suggested the Academy on Ossus, and after long deliberation, Jizana's parents agreed.  What happened next is detailed in her first Journal Entry.


Jizana is a genius, and she knows it.  She tends to look down upon just about everyone, especially those she considers her intellectual inferiors.  Unfortunately, when she does meet someone she'd like to befriend, she goes about it the wrong way and ruins the whole thing.  Similarly, people rarely approach her with friendly overtures because they know (or think they know) that they would be rejected out of hand.

Jizana is also tremendously stubborn and resistant to authority.  She almost always thinks she knows the best way to do something (unfortunately, she's too often right for her to change).  She was raised with the pacifist beliefs of the Ta'Tathrian, but was never an ardent devotee.  She considered the whole question of War vs. Peace, Violence vs. Harmony as irrelevant, abstract questions.  Recent events, however, have thrown her whole worldview into doubt.

1 comment:

CanuckMom said...

At times, my husband gets to into playing Civilization that he stays up ALL NIGHT and doesn't get any sleep. At other times he is so into football that he spends hours and hours watching games, considering his fantasy football league and reading blog posts.

When I first met my husband he had a literal shrine to a television program. We still have a garage full of comic book boxes (which used to be in our bedroom).

Is there anything wrong with that? There is not.

Is there an advantage to having a wife who thinks that more time spent on RPG is a good thing and who would rather you wrote her a gaming fanfiction than bought her jewelry? You tell me.