Turtle/Tortoise-kin Help

Ignacius

Newbie
Well! Hello there! I'm hoping to be playing a Tortoise/Tutle-kin in the Deadlands (NH) this September, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on the costuming and roleplaying of such. I have quite a few ideas already for both, but I'm always looking for suggestions as roleplaying is my favorite part of the game and I consider costuming to be a major component of my ability to roleplay well.

Here's what I have so far:

Costume

I've been inspired by the amazing woman in this video (Brilliant Makeup Artist) to do something very similar to the Voldemort face except in black with yellow detailing. The bumpy and leathery feel it gives feels very tortoise-like to me. I'd be covering the ears more fully, minus the ears, which I'll be doing more of a hole in the baldcap then simply uncovering them. I think this'll go a long way for distinguishing myself from any other race, and in combination with the rest, hopefully very distinguishable as a tortoise/turtle-kin.

I was then thinking of looking into NorthFur or another prosthetic-mask maker to find something more suitable for my mouth in a slight beak-like fashion. This is mort turtle-y than tortoise-y (the latter of which I'm trying to favor), but even tortoises have dinstinctively non-human mouths, and I would like to emulate that. This isn't the most important for me as the full head make-up already adds a whole lot to the face area.

For the under-clothes (i.e. the tortoise body layer), I was thinking of using a non-hooded black morphsuit. I'd probably cover the neck-line with some sort of scarf or high-collar. Morphsuit

I'd love to do something special for the hands, but as it is I think I'll probably be sticking to gloves over the morphsuit. Or I might cut off the hands of the morphsuit and paint my hand gray with claw-nails that I can make pretty easily a la painted and altered cheap fake nails. And the same thing goes for the feet. I'll definitely have period shoes on, though I'm thinking about doing the same fake-nail claw routines under the shoes should I have some roleplaying reason to remove my shoes while inside and not in combat. But both of these are more detailing than paramount components.

For the regular costume, I have a few options I like. The first is vaguely Egyptian/Oriental inspired robes. Turtles/Tortoises figure heavily into Chinese mythology and to a lesser extent Egyptian mythology. I've used these robes alot for my casters and I personally think they look great, even for a more fighter based class.I'd likely combine this with either a regular straw hat (flat brim) or a more Oriental type deal made of bamboo (more of an obtuse cone deal that comes to a point). Straw Hat Bamboo Hat Front Blue/Gold Robes Back Robes Front Details Robe

The second regular costume I like is essentially orange monk robes. I can get this either for free or wholesale from my boss and it's pretty good quality. I'd definitely go for the Bamboo Hat for this outfit, though, if anything. It has a very spirtual but threatening feel to it which is definitely something I'd be going for with the character in general. Orange Robes

The last option I was thinking of was going full-leather armor. Not only does the leather feel go really well with the tortoise/turtle but the armor value would be indispensable for representing the toughness of the turtle/tortoise. Unfortunately, I'm really adverse to armor and I usually do casters in costume, thus I'd be working from zilch here without any real experience. Suggestions and advice would be appreciated.

And the final, and probably most important, part of the costume is the shell. When thinking about my character and how to make the shell, it occured to me just how awkward the shell could be during combat. Seriously, that thing could really mess you up if you weren't careful. And then I thought, what if it's not there during combat? Part of the tortoise's primary symbolism in our society is it's uncanny ability to take a huge pounding without a worry thanks to the defensive power of its shell. So why not make my shell a removal shield for combat? I can easily explain it off as some evolutionary trait of becoming more humanoid. I could have it strapped on my back for all non-combat situations to emulate the shell, and then whip it out to defend myself sword-and-board style. This is the part of the costume that I've thought that I have actual questions about. I figured the max dimensions for an oval-shaped shield that would stretch across my back plus a few inches would be 15x22 inches widthxlength. It's smaller that I'd like but that's the biggest you can have a shield according to the rules (i.e. 531 inches squared). Of course I'd like it to be a convex shape instead of just a flat shield, but here's where my problem comes in. Are we allowed to have non-flat shields? I can't find anything in the rules explicitly saying no, but they do seem a bit unorthodox, and since the body of the shield is unpadded and technically protruding, I wasn't sure if it would be legal. If anyone could clear that up for me, it'd be greatly appreciated. Beyond that, I'd also love ideas as to how to build such a convex shape. I'm going to go to the dollar store soon to check out for any inspiration, but if anyone has a brilliant idea, that would make my life a whole lot easier. Oh and for a shield design, it'd likely be a similar black with yellow detailing job.

And then it's all about the extra little details to just seem a little more turtley. As always, ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Roleplaying

On to the good stuff! I've been researching a bit of the role of turtles and tortoises in culture through the ages. Most of the stuff is what we all characterize turtles as commonly. Wisdom and all that. What I find to be the most interesting is the concept of the slowness of tutles and tortoises. And I don't mean the Rabbit and the Hare type slowness. The idea is that tutles/tortoises are slow not because of laziness (as seen with sloths and other such animals) but because they don't need to be fast. And they don't need to be fast because they are so powerful. Where a slow mouse or a slow squirrel is a dead mouse or a dead squirrel, the tortoise/turtle doesn't need to feel threatened by almost any predator because it's just so damned well-protected.

So the idea is to make the character one who does not come to fight easily and who has an altogether slowness to his actions in general circumstances. My take on the universal survivalist mentality of wylderkin is that fighting to him when so well defended is almost always pointless. Why risk one's life when much the same rewards can be found if one just takes things a little.. Slower. The same thing with most anything about his personality and actions. He would have a long drawl on his words, elongating most of them and likely frustrating the more quick-minded races with the length of time he puts into simple communications. His walk would be slow and controlled, never usually going much faster than the below-average walking speed. Writing would be similarly slow and controlled, as well as payment, eating, drinking, anything. I can just imagine him in a tavern slowly cutting up his meal as everone around him is asking for seconds. Or stretching out a simple glass of 'wine' while most have downed two-three tankards of beer in the same time. Or, maybe my favorite, him paying for something with a line forming behind him as he slowly pulls out the coins from his purse and counts them out. The roleplaying possibilities are endless!

However, I don't want to go with the idea that the turtle/tortoise-kin is always slow in his actions. Au contraire, I want him to have the capability (that many turtles/tortoises do have) to move very quickly for concentrated periods of time (a fight for instance). Thus I'd like to have my tortoise/turtle-kin to actually move in an agile manner when forced into a situation that absolutely requires it. Of course this wouldn't be common, and I think he'd be more likely to hunker down and rely on the enemy coming to him rather than the other way around. I think this would be an interesting thing to roleplay, not to mention a great battle tactic. "Oh there's that tortoise-kin across the field, he can't do anything as we beat down this unarmed friend of his- O SHI-"

Other roleplaying quirks would involve a certain tendency to wear his shield at all times and refusing to part with it. Even if he's unallowed to bring any tools of combat into an area, he would give up his weapons but he would never give up his shield. He'd wear it to sleep (if I sleep in-game), while sitting, while laying down, while doing pretty much anything. The only time he'd ever take it off would be to fight. Really trying to emulate how integral a part of him it is, not just another piece of equipment.

Another one I'm excited about is my way of reconciling the whole 'doesn't understand civilized society'. At first I had trouble with this as turtles/tortoises are primarily associated with wisdom, and those two ideas didn't seem to click. Thus I altered the requirement slightly for the purposes of the character. Instead of placing him as a creature not as enlightened as the 'civilized' races, I like to think that he's in a way /more/ enlightened than the civilized races. He can comprehend the social complexities, but 'realizes' their 'futility' and thus doesn't generally participate in those 'futile' interactions because they don't really contribute to anything of importance (i.e. survival, continuation and betterment of the species, etc). Hopefully I can spin it like this, and take five minutes to spout a two sentence criticism of the system of entitled nobility. :b

I don't think he would talk of his family history to very many people, and even then only after serious insistence and with good reason. Hey, if your first moments in the world were seeing all your dozens of siblings being massacred by preying animals, you'd be pretty reluctant to talk about it too. Though this would depend on what type of tutle/tortoise I settle on, as this type of affair isn't always the case.

I'm still thinking of a few little details as I keep developing the character. Small things like an emphasis on basking in the sun when possible, a constant want for readily available water, a bag of dirt (see: crumbled oreos) in a little pouch containing some gummy worms as energy boosts (COUGHtreatsCOUGH), and blaming his inability to read and write on poor eyesight (until I garner the BP to actually get Read/Write :b). I'd love any more small details you guys can think of!

Character Build

I started making this character, incidentally, as a Healer. But I really wanted to do a cool Wylderkin character, but nothing seemed to really fit with the animals I wanted to do. And my adventuring group was also lacking fighters. So then I volunteered to take Shield and One Handed Edge alongside my Healing to be something of a fighter provided I got the event blankets done for the character and got him up to 38 BP. But then it occured to me that being half Healer, half Fighter was sort of ineffective, especially with low levels. So then I just decided to go full fighter and try something new! So my character build looks something like this now:

Race: Tortoise/turtle-kin
Class: Fighter
Racial Abilities: Scenting
Resist Magic: 5BP (Have you seen this thing's shell? Throughout mythology it's shell has been seen as being able to take any burden, even the burder of carrying the world itself! Seems like resisting a little magic every now and then wouldn't be too strenuous for it.
Resist Element: 3BP (Once again - shell. Watch as your ice attack just bounces off its magnificent power!)
Skills: Shield - 6BP
One-Handed Edge - 5BP
Two-Handed Sword - 8BP
Blacksmith x1 - 3BP
Crit Attack x4 (Unusable) - 12BP
Weapon Proficieny x1 - 3BP
Total - 37BP

And...

I think that's all. Quite a bit of stuff to work with. Suggestions anywhere and answers to my specific questions would be great! Thank you all in advance!

-Ignacius
 

Druk

Rogue
I've talked about making a turtle-kin just so I can make armor out of real turtle shells.
http://www.hideandfur.com/inventory/7638.html
http://www.hideandfur.com/inventory/7975.html

If you're going fighter, you're going to want the armor. On cool days you can always put the robes over the armor, or just put on your armor when you're expecting combat.
For a turtlish armor, you could tool the leather to pattern it after a shell, or build it in segments to resemble a shell.

Good choice playing a kin, we need more kins. Many more. Until we can rise up and kill the humans. And their culture.
 

Dom

Scout
Gettysburg Staff
resist magic is strong. I would drop the resist elements though and take a better racial like a racial prof or dodge or if you don't like those for a turtle resist poison is much better. I would also drop 2 hand edged. At a low level getting sword and board and a 2H skill is just a waste of points.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
Dom said:
resist magic is strong. I would drop the resist elements though and take a better racial like a racial prof or dodge or if you don't like those for a turtle resist poison is much better. I would also drop 2 hand edged. At a low level getting sword and board and a 2H skill is just a waste of points.
Dodge on a turtle? maybe if he was swimming.
I agree with looking at 1 weapon skill. If you want to sport backup weapons, pick up a ranged (although I have no room to speak as I went staff, 1 hand edged & two weapon as a my wolf) or just wait for a bit smashing 2 handed.
 

Dom

Scout
Gettysburg Staff
SkollWolfrun said:
Dom said:
resist magic is strong. I would drop the resist elements though and take a better racial like a racial prof or dodge or if you don't like those for a turtle resist poison is much better. I would also drop 2 hand edged. At a low level getting sword and board and a 2H skill is just a waste of points.
Dodge on a turtle? maybe if he was swimming.
I agree with looking at 1 weapon skill. If you want to sport backup weapons, pick up a ranged (although I have no room to speak as I went staff, 1 hand edged & two weapon as a my wolf) or just wait for a bit smashing 2 handed.
Instead of a ranged weapon grab thrown weapon. Since you have blacksmith you can make them with your production points. I suggested dodge because, believe it or not turtles are capable of very quick movement in short spurts. It fits.
 

phedre

Squire
When it comes to prosthetics/masks, make sure it's something you can run in without overheating, and that it's removable in case you overheat. NPC camp will sometimes allow you to use some NPC makeup if it's too hot to safely wear a prosthetic, but investing in your own is a good idea, eventually. (Communal makeup scares me a little... bad case of ringworm went around a play I was in once, because a bunch of the guys shared makeup kits. :yummy: ) Also, make sure people can hear you clearly when you have it on, this is a verbals-heavy game, and it gets frustrating to fight something that's swinging "mumbleMUMBLE!"

I agree with sticking with one weapon skill for now, and shield. Especially for NH, it's a style you'll see a lot of.

Resist element is also strong style. I vote that you keep it.
 

Warlok

Adept
Charlottesville Staff
Curved shield is absolutely allowed! Area is still based on the silhouette of the shield (i.e. the measurement at the widest points), so the amount of curve doesn't matter. I used the construction methods described on the Belegarth Wiki for a curved punch shield, then cut it to fit the shape I wanted. It's extremely light and maneuverable. I would post the direct link, but I'm on my phone right now.

-Luke
 

Ignacius

Newbie
For a turtlish armor, you could tool the leather to pattern it after a shell, or build it in segments to resemble a shell.
Yeah, my boss has a few things set aside for me to look at in terms of leather armor and chainmail that I could borrow (for free ;D) over the weekend. If that doesn't suit the character, then I'll probably be looking at doing it myself (yay for crafts project) with whatever materials I can find. Any handy turtorials would be awesome if that point is reached.

Good choice playing a kin, we need more kins. Many more. Until we can rise up and kill the humans. And their culture.
Tortoise-kin never meant to kill! Tortoise-kin only meant to maim or seriously injure...

resist magic is strong. I would drop the resist elements though and take a better racial like a racial prof or dodge or if you don't like those for a turtle resist poison is much better. I would also drop 2 hand edged. At a low level getting sword and board and a 2H skill is just a waste of points.
I've never done a fighter before, so I'm grateful for any and all building advice! I grabbed two-handed edged as a back-up largely out of not knowing what to use as a backup in case my one-handed edge was shattered. I was thinking of just grabbing a secondary one-handed edge but I wasn't sure how much it would cost to buy a tag for that in-game and I thought it better not to risk being their weaponless because of some meddlesome mid-level mage.

In terms of the racial skills, I was considering getting the proficiency (ever seen a snapping turtle get ahold of an appendage when threatened? It's not pretty) or dodge when picking them but I wasn't so sure it would fly with the plot committee.

Dodge on a turtle? maybe if he was swimming.
I agree with looking at 1 weapon skill. If you want to sport backup weapons, pick up a ranged (although I have no room to speak as I went staff, 1 hand edged & two weapon as a my wolf) or just wait for a bit smashing 2 handed.
Turtle when threatened tend to magically conjure the ability to move very very quickly. This actually figures heavily into my character. My explanation is that turtle-kin aren't slow because they have to be slow, but rather because they don't see the point in going fast unless they have to. Thus it's acceptable to move really quickly when threatened i.e. in combat, but otherwise they can just lumber along without hurrying. I'm not so sure about picking up a ranged as my little adventuring group has an archer and a celestial mage, thus my position (and the position I really want to try out) is focusing on holding the front line rather than doing anything ranged.

Instead of a ranged weapon grab thrown weapon. Since you have blacksmith you can make them with your production points.
Thrown weapon could be interesting, but wouldn't that be a bit difficult due to the rules on multiple weapons in one hand. I'd have to switch my sword to my shield hand to grab the thrown weapon and use it. Unless I misunderstood the rules on that. And Blacksmith is another option I was thinking about for filling up the BP in place of two-handed edged. Might be nice to give a little more focus to blacksmithing. Partly because it's another role to fill in my adventuring group, and also because for some reason turtles and forges seem to fit really nicely together in my mind.

When it comes to prosthetics/masks, make sure it's something you can run in without overheating, and that it's removable in case you overheat. NPC camp will sometimes allow you to use some NPC makeup if it's too hot to safely wear a prosthetic, but investing in your own is a good idea, eventually.
I'm starting in the fall/winter months, so hopefully it won't be too big of a problem, not to mention I'm naturally very cold so I'm not too worried about overheating. Worse comes to worse I have an awesome in-game excuse to constantly have water everywhere. I am a turtle after all.

Communal makeup scares me a little... bad case of ringworm went around a play I was in once, because a bunch of the guys shared makeup kits.
No worries there, my boss can get me tons of mehron tubes for wholesale if not free, and same for most all the other makeup I need. So I probably won't have to share too much if at all.

Also, make sure people can hear you clearly when you have it on, this is a verbals-heavy game, and it gets frustrating to fight something that's swinging "mumbleMUMBLE!"
I don't think I'm going to have any mouth obstructions except maybe a slightly protruding beak type thing from the upper lip, though even then my mouth should be fully functional and my loudness unaffected. I know what you mean about the mumbling thing though. I once was playing an old hag with a full-face mask (the weird situations you get in when you have five people to run an event for twenty kids), and I had to repeat myself three times whenever I said anything. Which is okay and actually pretty awesome for a hag, but not so much for someone actually in combat.

I agree with sticking with one weapon skill for now, and shield. Especially for NH, it's a style you'll see a lot of.
What would you suggest for using up that extra 8BP then?

Resist element is also strong style. I vote that you keep it.
I like it too, though a racial proficiency could be pretty nice. But on the other hand the resists make so much more sense for the character.

Curved shield is absolutely allowed! Area is still based on the silhouette of the shield (i.e. the measurement at the widest points), so the amount of curve doesn't matter. I used the construction methods described on the Belegarth Wiki for a curved punch shield, then cut it to fit the shape I wanted. It's extremely light and maneuverable. I would post the direct link, but I'm on my phone right now.
I found the tutorial you mentioned. I was hoping to find a way to make (or just adapt a base for) an oval-type curved shield. More like a wide upside down canoe than a riot-police shield. Not sure if I could do that with the Belegarth method, but I do like their thought process and I'm trying to think of how to adapt it for my purposes. Thanks for the new resource! You're always so helpful at every thread I start! :b
 

Warlok

Adept
Charlottesville Staff
Like I said, you can cut it to fit your needs once it's dry (which is what I did...I can send pictures if you PM me your e-mail). Also, you don't have to use the suggested method of making it into a punch shield. You could put in a "normal" handle and arm strap (probably along the longer axis), if that is your preference. I prefer the punch shield because it feels exactly the same as wielding a secondary weapon tip-down for defense, except that it covers a much larger area.

-Luke
 

Dom

Scout
Gettysburg Staff
As far as the thrown weapon, you can just tuck your sword under your arm. Grab the thrown from your belt for example. Throw it and grab your weapon. Search "templar tuck" on these forums.
 

Ignacius

Newbie
Osric (short: Os) the Turtle-kin. I rather like this name for the character! How do you guys go about naming your characters? Especially wylderkin who don't have much of a unifying culture to base names off of? I was actually going through a multicultural baby name book for an hour to find that one.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
Ignacius said:
Osric (short: Os) the Turtle-kin. I rather like this name for the character! How do you guys go about naming your characters? Especially wylderkin who don't have much of a unifying culture to base names off of? I was actually going through a multicultural baby name book for an hour to find that one.
I have only done 1 kyn: wolf. So I went with a nature base: Snows on the Wind.
With a turtle, I would lean towards an aquatic type of name. Osric sounds good, imo.
 

phedre

Squire
You can have multiple sword tags, they are production items. The skill "One Handed Edged" or "Two Handed Edged" just refers to your ability to pick up and use that type of weapon.
 
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