8 Oct 2014

By the Numbers Commentary - Treehugger

Going back, I put up Treehugger's character sheet and discussed the mechanics and how her traits affected writing.  Now it's time to look at Treehugger as a character in a story, much like I did with Charles.

Treehugger was the last to be cast in the crew.  I had a role that needed filling, the rigger, but didn't quite have an idea of who the getaway driver would be.  The Shadowrun fourth edition anniversary version had two different rigger archetypes, the Smuggler, as seen with Treehugger's sheet, and the Drone Rigger.  I needed a getaway driver and didn't feel like going through creating a player character sheet from scratch, thus I went with the Smuggler, who came with vehicles.  From there, it was a matter of reading the character sheet and seeing if anything struck me.  The Elf Poser drawback led to Treehugger's elfiness.  From the elfiness, I got the idea of an ill-informed girl from the city streets thinking that elves are in touch with nature, then wrapping her car around a tree on her first run.  The dam broke, and Treehugger because a character instead of a set of stats.

Treehugger also wound up being the team's face for negotiations.  As you will see later this week, Numbers focused her skills on social engineering, deceiving people into giving her everything she needed to hack past security.  Treehugger, though, had the very critical Negotiation skill.  She learned to hide her surgically altered ears during negotiations.  TH also became the backup hacker; she's as wired as Numbers is for direct neural interface.  The difference between plugging into a computer and into a van is negligible; it's just how the hardware works that's different, not the interface.

Of the crew, Treehugger had the cheeriest outlook, despite having the most invasive set of implants.  Part of this is from her elfiness, her belief that she is really an elf in a human body.  She believes that elves are, overall, happier.  It's not that she hasn't met any dour elves; she just sees them as being dour because she sees them in the same line of work she's in.  Shadowrunners aren't a happy group in general; Glenn Frey's "Smuggler's Blues" works for both Colombian drug smugglers and shadowrunners.

Treehugger is an awkward fit with the group.  Between her allegy to sunlight and her elf delusion, she is an oddity, someone who will stand out from a crowd.  Numbers is the chameleon.  Charles is the big one, as is expected from trolls.  Oswald, outwardly, is scruffy, like many a shadowrunner.  Treehugger stands out; she's there for the rush, though the money will help her with the gene therapy she needs to be the elf she truly is.  However, from the narrative perspective, she let me add some intra-team conflict by being herself.  Treehugger also reflects a reality in the settings - sometimes, you have to take what's available, the good with the bad.  Treehugger is an amazing driver, but her teammates have to deal with her being elfy.

Tomorrow, Oswald's commentary.
Friday, the last of the behind the scenes posts with Numbers.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, hiatus week questions and answers.

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