Legend Perms: The Do's and Don't's

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Legend Perms: The Do's and Don't's

Post by Sabre on Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:57 am

Hey guys, Sabre here. Legend perms have never been such a big deal, especially after the most recent update. A lot of people must have been happy to see they received perms, while others, unfortunately, were rejected. I'm here today to explain why your doc may have been rejected in more detail than what has already been offered (pls don't sue me rico and arti), and what you can do to improve it. I hope this will also help prospective legend holders when making a character. I'll be touching on a few details I think are important to review, as well as corresponding with the Guide to Legend Perms (link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v5kRaHx05GBASr5hif5_fSd-6oOvZ1a3YT_JJHWZ420/edit#) to explain what exactly causes a rejection, and what causes an approval. I won't be going over readability, even though it is extremely important, because it has already been covered extensively.

1. The Backstory
While this is a critical piece of your document, I for one think the personality is more important. Regardless, the backstory is extremely difficult to come up with. The first rule of thumb is to not use an existing backstory as the backstory for your legend. That is not to say the canon backstory can't help you when coming up with a backstory. For some legends, the canon backstory is an important part of the character, such as Dialga's dominion over time. What you should avoid when drawing from the canon, however, is substituting canon over character. What do I mean by this? A Dialga doc may go on and on about how and why he's the Time Lord and all that, without mentioning how being a Time God has impacted his character, and get rejected. If you're going to take from the canon, you need to put your own spin on things. But generally, try to avoid the canon altogether. As the Guide to Legend Perms says, "Not only do these backstories fall into the trap of controlling other legends, but they come across as boring and unoriginal." Be creative with how you create the character, even if the canon backstory for the legend is so important.

Next, I want to touch on an important bit of the backstory: the principles of writing (creativity is its own section). For the legend's backstory to be good, it also needs to be good writing. While grammar is important here, it's mainly the presentation of ideas that factor in to good writing. Here are 8 major principles of writing you should consider.

Brevity - Keep the backstory short, constraining your ideas into ideally a few paragraphs. This leads to less confusion and gets your ideas across clearly.
Clarity - Describe thoroughly. Again, don't leave the reader confused as to what the plot of the backstory is.
Communication - While you must describe plot elements clearly, your writing also needs to be clear.
Emphasis - Focus on the most important details of your legend's history. Develop a climax for the story that serves as the main historical detail for the legend.
Honesty - Stay true to your writing style. Trying to write over-professionally will distract from the meaning of your writing.
Passion and Control -  Be enthusiastic about your legend. Plan out how you will relay your excitement into a story.
Reading - Observe other legend docs, and notice what they do right.
Revision - Look back at your backstory. Is it logical? Does it give the character too much power? Does it portray the character interestingly? Are there grammar mistakes? Etc.

Remember to also consider a plot diagram. Make sure the backstory has a beginning, middle and end at least. This will keep your backstory in an easy-to-read, logical structure.

Finally, I want to touch on a concept of poor writing that is easy to use when making a legend. The MacGuffin. It is defined as "an object or device in a movie or a book that serves merely as a trigger for the plot." A cool artifact is easy to make into a MacGuffin, like some sort of jewel that lets Zapdos control the weather. Let's say you are making a doc for Meloetta, and mention a band that Meloetta was in, but quit because she realized she was a better soloist or something. Well, that band should be given detail, a who, what, when, where, why and how. Such an important element of the backstory should not merely be a MacGuffin, just be there to serve the character. It should be there to serve the story and the character. Understand what I mean?

Let's take a quick literary example. Shakespeare's Othello. Iago is angry at Othello, his military commander, for passing him over for a promotion. Iago schemes to steal a precious handkerchief from Othello, a gift from Othello to his wife, in order to sow discontent between Othello and his wife. Now, if the handkerchief were a MacGuffin, it would be a weak plot device: all it is is a measly gift, couldn't Iago do something more conniving? But Shakespeare reveals an important detail about the handkerchief. It was given to Othello by his mother when he was young, and it is said to be enchanted. This detail gives Othello a greater desire to find such a precious item, which feeds into his growing anger. In order for a plot device, such as an item, group, person or something else, not to be a MacGuffin, it must be explained and given some detail that reveals its importance to the character.

2. Creativity
It's hard to be creative, especially when designing a character that has a lot of potential like a legend. The easiest way to come up with a concept for your legend is to brainstorm one defining trait, and branch off from there. For example, for my Naganadel OC, my central concept was "a creature of myth and legend, whose malicious intentions are believed to be story". Another thing I like to do is take some sort of real-world concept and apply it to your legend. Coming back to my Naganadel, I did some research on toxic elements mainly to inform my abilities. This real-world concept could be anything from an artistic, scientific, or philosophical idea, or something else. Choose something that interests you. You can also take inspiration from just about anything. Find a painting you like, or a song, and use that as an inspiration for your legend. Creative people don't just come up with ideas out of nothing. We must observe the world around us carefully and perceptively if we want to deliver interesting characters. But the key thing is, creativity should be your own. Take the world as your tools, but take yourself as your craft.

3. Abilities
Abilities are a pretty good benchmark for how interesting your legend is. I recommend not dealing any move you can use. It has been said that it is assumed you know your entire moveset. But don't think that moves can't serve as a basis for your abilities. Learn Aurora Beam? Maybe you can create localized auroras (insert simpsons joke). Also don't use your in-battle ability, but do consider it for an ability. I've seen a few Ultra Beasts that have an interesting interpretation of what Beast Boost is, so get creative with how you interpret your ability. The other abilities are mainly derived from your own creativity, and are developed through the creative process mentioned earlier. You should also try not to have an ability that's too powerful. I encountered this during my build of my Naganadel doc. Kraljica's poisonous abilities were pretty powerful, and didn't have any adverse side effects, so I added some. Side effects are often fatigue, loss of a crucial supply source, damage to self, etc. This is often the best way to curb the power of a strong ability. Another thing to note is that legendary abilities tend to be structured where there are a few fairly standard abilities, but one powerful ability with a notable drawback. This will let your legendary be adaptable, powerful, but not too overpowered.

4. Personality
A lot of people do well with personality, but I think I should talk about how to do it properly. At the very least, I think you should have 2 positive traits and 2 negative traits. This is the best way to make a character with flaws, as a character without flaws is ALWAYS looked down upon. Also, don't just say something like "courageous, kind, erratic, confused". That doesn't mean anything. Each trait should be elaborated upon with a few sentences. Consider these questions when describing the character's personality: How does this impact their social behaviors? Personal life? How does this influence their major decisions? AND ESPECIALLY Why are they this way? The personality should always derive from the backstory. If your Victini is a cold-blooded murderer in their backstory but is very kind to people, how does that make any sense?

Also, don't make something like a bunch of traits then always stands up for their friends or something. This has been said before, but it's just cliche and not interesting. So don't do it.

As a final thought, please take the time to look at the documents found here: http://psroleplaying.forumotion.com/t1210-legendary-permissions-updated-february-22nd-2018
They were made for a reason.


Poison for life!
Kraljica Svinec - Naganadel

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Re: Legend Perms: The Do's and Don't's

Post by Frozen Despair on Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:49 am

Looks really good my man,
the personal order I'd put it in (in terms of importance) is:
Creativity, Personality, Backstory, Abilities.
A lot of people tend to have their characters be "defined" by their abilities which (in my opinion) is a no.
Frozen Despair

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