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Dreamkeepers Forums - Making Dreamkeepers!

Forum - Roleplay - Character Cafe

Subscribe to this thread Making Dreamkeepers! created by CalvinCopyright on February 8, 2013

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CalvinCopyright2/8/13 10:31am
All right, confession time: I really enjoy creating dreamkeepers. Thinking up an inventive power, building a backstory and personality around them so they actually seem like they could be human - it's one of my favorite things to do. And, being one of the first members on this forum, I would really like to create a thread where people can discuss this stuff! Here, I would like to be able to discuss: 1. Sources of inspiration. 2. How to build a dreamkeeper around an idea - be it a power, a backstory, or even an awkward body feature. 3. The dreamkeepers themselves that we make! I have three dreamkeepers, including my persona, ready and waiting to post here! I hope you readers also have dreamkeepers of your own, because I would love for this thread to grow as big as possible.

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Aelius2/8/13 10:25pm
Creating Dreamkeepers is indeed fun! I've been running through some ideas for one ever since finishing Volume 3. Inspiration actually came from a commission David drew for me a few years back; though it was a character from a different story setting, a friend assumed it was a Dreamkeeper and got me thinking of what it would be like to make a personal Dreamkeeper. Now I just gotta do some more studying up on lore...

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Jyx2/8/13 11:11pm
This thread sounds like a lot of fun, I can't wait to hear what other people come up with for dreamkeepers. If only I could think of one for myself sooner or later....maybe after reading about others, it'll be easier.

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Leokingdom2/9/13 6:15am
Ever since I found out about dreamkeepers and read the storys I always wonder how I would make my own dreamkeeper. It took me a lot to think how it should look and what powers it must have. After weeks of thinking I finally made my own and now I can show it here.

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ReedRGale2/9/13 1:01pm
There are two ways I generally seem to come up with a character. 1. I have a great power idea and I really want a character to match. As a result, I built the character around the power, or perhaps the power as a foil to the character to make something interesting. That's how Jader came to be. God he was OP. 2. I have a great character idea inspired from reading a story or watching an anime or reading a poem or just everyday life and I flesh them out, building them from scratch. Lately, I've been using a template for building characters for stories and I realized the most important and interesting thing about character development isn't the character itself, but how they interact with other characters. Late to realize, I know, but that's why RP is so fun!

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CalvinCopyright2/9/13 3:53pm
Wow, I didn't expect to get posts so fast! I'll post my own three dreamkeepers, just as soon as David Lillie replies to the email I sent about the forum not seeming to accept newlines. Hang on - THIS IS A TEST, TO SEE IF \\n GIVES A NEWLINE:\n\n NEW LINE

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RennacFaintheart2/12/13 11:20am
I've enjoyed the concepts of thinking up different abilities as well as backstories. One of my more interesting ones was being able to link telepathically to the human you protect and use their own knowledge to help you. However, I figured it wouldn't be up to par strength wise with what other dreamkeepers can do. Instead I settled on shadow manipulation. Not necessarily for evil, but more for a roguish character.

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Thegunner182/12/13 12:00pm
A telepathic link between the human and the dreamkeeper would be problematic, though. Since dreamkeepers aren't aware of the existence of their human counterparts and vice-versa, where would they get that link from in the first place? Would they know they had a link to the human or would it just be knowledge coming seemingly from nowhere? I may be entirely wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's the case that DKs don't know about humanity. :3 (That would be an interesting story/RP!) Personally, I like to design the character, their backstory and everything else before designing the power to go with him. Not entirely sure why. Just habit, I guess.

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RennacFaintheart2/12/13 8:42pm
Perfectly understandable. Oftentimes the power should reflect the person who uses it. Take my own character for instance. She was born in a shadier area of the city often associated with thieves and bandits though they have a sense of honor. At a young age she discovered her powers by accident and had to go into hiding from the shock troopers. Since her special ability is shadow manipulation she can use it to blend into shadows and cloak her appearance and even mold it into physical items such as black thread for stitching wounds and even crafting temporary weapons for herself though those take more focus to maintain than tendril attacks. Despite having a more roguish background she is a knight in some senses with how she uses the shadows.

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cliff1332/12/13 8:51pm
I've been trying to adapt some of my own characters to the dreamkeepers world, but I'm having a bit of trouble. Some of them are, well, ridiculously overpowered, I usually compensate for this with the characters not being completely immune to their powers: a fire user can get burnt, lightning users slowly damage their nervous systems when they channel electricity, etc. but I don't know if this would work for a dreamkeeper, but Ravat's "when you're taped into your power, it takes care of you." line kinda threw that limiter out the window so I've got tons more to figure out before calling their DK incarnations finished. I know I'm overthinking things a bit, but it wouldn't be challenging if I just said "they're furry, therefore they can be dreamkeepers!" and they only really work as a group, as ReedRGale said it's their interactions that matter the most.

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Thegunner182/13/13 10:38am
Also, I reckon another great RP experience would be trying to RP a Dreamkeeper whose power is completely the opposite to what they actually do for a job or opposite to what their personality is. For example, someone who is inherently introverted could have a power which would make them the center of attention. Something along those lines, anyway! I think that'd be pretty interesting, and certainly fun to RP :3 I think I need to make a character like that at some point...

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AmeliaWolfe2/13/13 1:51pm
I have far too many DreamKeeper character ideas/designs and not nearly enough time. I adore the comic series. The art style is one of my major inspirations when it comes to character development and design. My personal fursona is whom I have decided to adopt as my main Dreamkeeper OC: i sort've just transferred her into the DK universe and created a style for her she only uses in the DK world. As for her power? i have a a couple of ideas in mind. (( If I can ever get my Avatars to upload properly you'll see an image of her soon...I hope. )) I personally craft the character then apply their backstory: often tweaking the character once the backstories been confirmed. She's a fairly tomboyish character with duel colored eyes. She has a steam-punkish style but adore the arts and has a knack for them. I'm thinking maybe something subtle, but I'm not yet sure.

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Thegunner182/13/13 4:12pm
The avatar upload does work, but not entirely properly. You just have to upload it as normal, save changes and then log out and back in again to see the avatar yourself. I can see it perfectly fine, anyway. Sort of a wine-coloured jacket with yellow/gold trim and then one blue eye and one...green eye? Or brown? Sorry, I'm a bit colour-blind ^-^

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IvyKirax2/15/13 12:32am
Like some others here I too have adopted my fursona as a main Dreamkeeper OC. Though I was on the old forum and its been a heck of a long time since I tried roleplaying there but my character has turned old and the info I had back then was clunky and felt highly incomplete :S

My character, Ivy, came more from my own views on spirituality, a long and rocky path swapping to and from a Snow Dragon, Kitsune or a mix of both. The old design being a dragon fox hybrid shown here https://www.furaffinity.net/view/9824800/ The markings above her eyes being an old indicator of emotion that changed colour when her mood changed but this is no longer in use in design but still remains her 'symbol'.(Totally need to draw an updated pic...)

Otherwise I'm stuck for other details for my character in the DK universe :S Racial abilities, those she's born with is otherwise shapeshifting which is more linking towards kitsune lore. As for DK Ability well... was thinking Ice an obvious possibility concidering she's a white snow dragon/fox hybrid. Though talking on elements she loves water (Swimming about) and air (Wings! She can fly! :D ) and finding a common ground in it is snow/ice. Another slight downside to the character is symptoms of what we know as Aspergers least for my case physically: Socially awkward, feels alienated within society, lack of understanding at times, and somewhat a personal case but more of a rare case of bipolarity :X (So yeah sorry before hand if I seem a bit introverted but its not like I'm going to snap unless provoked or anything)

Backstory... well there's been a backstory that I've pasted onto the character so I'm not overly fussed with that. What I am fussed with is places, her origin within the lands of Anduruna. I have no idea being still pretty new to DK but have read the prelude and first two volumes. So I'm sorta open to suggestions and why. :S So yeah, happy for suggestions, questions and any sort of idea as to how I can 'complete' my character.

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CalvinCopyright2/15/13 8:56pm
Yay, the newline problem is fixed! Here comes my dreamkeepers! I'll post them one at a time, and let you buncha readers jabber on about them until I post the next one. I've added three more to my arsenal. Feel free to ask me questions about how I came up with them!

Also, I should have posted this sooner. Originally by Twilight. (A few slight edits on my part for humor and stuff.)

The Technically Unofficial Guide to Dreamkeeper Creation

***

A Brief Introduction
This guide is a quick, in-depth reference regarding Dreamkeepers and the fan-character creation processes. It was created with the goal of preventing further conflicts, misunderstandings and other mishaps that surround such threads as my own "introduce your dreamkeeper" thread, by providing easy access to all the canon and non-canon facets that play a part in how each individual character is viewed.

As such, this guide is mainly geared at the creation of "canon-based" characters. The type of character that COULD actually exist in the dreamkeepers canon, and not just in disconnected Roleplays and fan-fiction.

***

Defining Canon vs Non-canon

Canon
Any dreamkeeper created by sticking to the rules established in the Dreamkeepers comic website, as stated by Dave himself.

Non-canon
Any dreamkeeper that violates the aforementioned rules for the purpose of entertainment (roleplaying, fan-fiction, etc). It's not a bad thing, it's just not canon.

***

Basic Dreamkeeper Creation

The Golden Rule
As of this point, the information that comes directly from the website will be referred to as the golden rule. Remember that the golden rule applies only to "canon" dreamkeepers. Whether These dreamkeepers be personal or not, is entirely up to you.
David wrote:
Every individual in our world has a unique dreamkeeper counterpart in the Dreamworld. Existing entirely in their own reality, they have as little awareness of us as we have of them. There are no causeways between worlds, no avenues of contact.
They are not mystically elevated beings, however. Subsisting in their own physical reality, they have much the same problems and concerns as us - food, shelter, companionship... Although our day-to-day activities and mishaps don't precisely mirror theirs, the overall arc of a person's life is intimately linked with that of their dreamkeeper's. They are born in synchronization, forge the same connections and find the same loves, and both dreamkeeper and human conclude life together upon their simultaneous fated expiry.

One contrasting point distinguishing the lives of humans and dreamkeepers would be their variegated appearance.

Reflecting our distinctive character traits and subconscious aspects, almost no two dreamkeepers look exactly alike. They can sport fur, scales, skin, and color patterns spanning the rainbow. Some of the more common accessories include tails and ears, but dreamkeepers with horns, wings, antlers, and other garnishments abound.

***

What a Dreamkeeper is NOT

People have made false assumptions in the past regarding the nature of dreamkeepers, so here's some clarification.

- Dreamkeepers are NOT the personification of your dreams.
- Dreamkeepers do NOT actually guard your dreams. This would imply that Nightmares are supposed to be there.
- Dreamkeepers do NOT just spawn in the dreamworld when you fall asleep -- they exist 24/7. They have lives too, so to speak.
- (there are probably more on the way. This will be expanded as incidents arise).

To clarify, Dreamkeepers have little to no real connection with our dreams at all. Likewise, nightmares aren't really after our dreams either. They're out to kill us. More specifically, they're out to destroy sentience. Their goal is to take the "I think" out of "I think, therefore I am."

The terms "Dreamkeepers" and "nightmares" are little more than labels. Nightmares are unnatural demons that enter the dreamworld from another dimension. They don't actually have anything to do with our dreams or nightmares.

Upon a dreamkeeper's unnatural death (by nightmare), nightmares instantly enter the mind of its human counterpart. The effects of this are highly destructive, ranging from general insanity to... I don't know, Your Head A Sploding.

A common misconception is that nightmares can only do this while you sleep. . . no. As stated, dreamkeepers exist constantly, and are always vulnerable. To that effect, dreamkeepers that are directly linked to their counterpart's dreams will fall under the non-canon category.

***

The Personal Dreamkeeper

Now that we've established the difference between what makes a dreamkeeper character canon and non-canon, we'll explore the basis of canon, as per the individual dreamkeeper concept. One of the first dreamkeepers people create is their "personal" one.

This particular concept, in and of itself, is extremely hard, if not impossible to achieve. Dreamkeepers are reflections of "who you are" rather than "how you see yourself" or "how you'd like to be." Unlike a furry's fursona, a dreamkeeper is dictated by the truth about a person, not their perceptions of themselves. In truth, for a lot of people, meeting their dreamkeeper might even be a terrifyingly sour experience. But I digress. For the sake of Dreamkeepers' awesomeness, we ARE allowed to design such characters and call them our own, and still stick to the canonical elements! Let us dive in:

As per David's own words, dreamkeeper designs can be virtually anything you like. Canon dreamkeepers are only constricted by the golden rule, which still allows for ALMOST any possibility. In fact, in most cases, just about any character you can design will fit nicely into what's considered "canon." The only time this falls into question is when the word "personal" is added, unless your personal dreamkeeper IS in fact, NON-canon.

The canon is, as you probably noticed, very simple. There's really not a lot to it. There are few elements that break that canon, and some of these depend on circumstance. Let's take a look at some of the examples that have come through the forum. Keep in mind that none of these characters are bad, but at least in the "introduce your dreamkeeper" thread, it is almost always assumed that newly introduced characters are attempting to be canon, and in various occasions, it doesn't quite work. This does NOT mean that these characters are unfeasible. Just not canon.

***

The very strict examples of non-canon

The Dreamkeeper/Nightmare Hybrid
Any dreamkeeper with nightmare lineage:
This was bound to happen. In the Dreamkeepers canon, Nightmares are unable to reproduce; they don't even do it among themselves. While the idea of a crossbreed might entice your creativity, and you are fully welcome to explore it, it is non-canon.

Multiple Dreamkeepers per Human
Any instance in which multiple dreamkeepers are connected to the same person in reality:
This one always pertains to dreamkeepers who fall into the "personal" category. Sometimes, people misunderstand the concept of a dreamkeeper. They think "hey! I have several sides to my personality. Clearly, I also have several dreamkeepers." In the Dreamkeepers canon, you only get one.
Alternatively, there is also the idea that a person with a legitimate Dissociative Identity Disorder would in fact have multiple dreamkeepers. In the Dreamkeepers canon. . . you get Wisp.

The Gender Bender
Any instance in which a dreamkeeper is not the same gender as the person they protect:
This one is also constrained only to the "personal" dreamkeeper. As previously stated, according to the Dreamkeepers canon, if you are a biological male, your dreamkeeper is, too. Regardless of how you see yourself, your dreamkeeper is "you." If you would like your dreamkeeper to be a different gender, get a sex change 8D or be happy with having a non-canon dreamkeeper.
((note: There IS a reason for this rule. It pertains to mating. That way human procreation is kept in-synch with its Dreamworld counterpart. Even if you're not planning on having kids, the rule applies))

There are several other ways that the canon can be broken. Once again though, and I can't stress this enough, non-canon characters are not bad!

***

Powers! and the art of Godmodding.

The Golden Rule
David wrote:
Typically manifesting during adolescence, the range of individual types of powers defies categorization. From destructive, violent capabilities to benign and creative talents, from the incredibly potent to the gracefully refined, the array of known abilities is matched only by the differing ways dreamkeepers learn to use them.


When developing a power for any given dreamkeeper, there is always a single question, looming over the creator's shoulder like some kind of evil Minecraft Creeper.

Is this Godmoddy?
Given the nature of the canon, and the dreamworld in general, it's very hard to determine whether a power is too powerful or not. In theory, there CAN be such a power as the ability to just. . wish things to be dead. But who likes that? That's not interesting! That's boring! . . . and the worst part is, the kind of characters that have such powers tend to be the most brain dead morons in existence. . . like that kid in Neverending Story 2.

The problem is, those kinds of powers, while feasible, are not fun to write OR read. In other words, YOU might care about your own super mecha awesome character, but. . nobody else will. This is a point where you have to make the ultimate choice.

"Do I only care about what I think?" or "Do I, at least on some level, care about how others feel about my character?"

If you only care about what you think, fine, but don't expect to be welcome in RPs or. . . Really any kind of social encounter (yes, this stretches beyond just character creation). On the other hand, if you actually think that knowing how others will feel about your character is important to you, you'll need to be able to listen to others, while still making sure that you're satisfied with your own creation. Ultimately, characters you create are yours to do as you will with, but unless you have an extremely vivid talent for creating awesome characters everyone just likes, consider that certain criticisms are valid and apply them accordingly.

Choosing a Power Purpose
Ultimately, there are two big-picture "purposes" for powers. The first one is solo-literature, the kind of power that would not be Godmoddy, even if it's the best power ever, simply because you are writing a story on your own, and no one else has to suffer for it. The other purpose is multiplayer-literature, the realm of communal story writing and role-playing. The kind of situation where your character is just another character in a collective group. In real life, an angry nerd can't really complain about being in the same party as Silvester Stalone because his build makes him godmoddy, but in a roleplay, things have to even out a little bit. There are various ways of doing this -- some of which you can find here, and others you might come up with on your own.

As an added note, in solo-literature, the "best power ever" could actually be a hindrance and make your character completely flat, uninteresting, Mary Sue-like, and dare I say it. . Superman. In other words, Noonecares. The only exception here is when the Bad Guy, or the main obstacle the character's power has to defeat, is INFINITELY more awesome than that wicked cool power. But if you've given your character the power to defeat anything, well. . . there's no conflict, because obviously they're going to win.

DeGodding a power
Ask yourself this question. Can the other person fight back? If they can't possibly win... you're god modding. This is easy to fix; as a rule of thumb, a good way to balance out a power is to hinder it just as much as it is awesome.

The Power Based Hindrance
Take for example Pokemon's hyperbeam attack. Right after using it, a pokemon has to sit and wait there for a bit while they get manhandled by the Magikarp on the other end of the field. Why? Because otherwise, it's overpowered, and stupid.
Another great pokemon-based example are the 1 hit KO moves, such as Fissure or Horn Drill. These attacks only have 5PP and they're EXTREMELY inaccurate. If you attempt to rely on them, you're usually screwed.

There is only ONE power in existence which is able to be used repeatedly, it is infinitely powerful and cannot be beaten by anything ever. . . .the Falcon Punch. And that's why no one uses it. Because as you must also know, it's VERY hard to land one successfully.

The Character Based Hindrance
As I stated earlier, sometimes, the best powers are owned by the most brain dead morons. . . again, like that kid in Neverending Story 2. This is always annoying because problems would easily be solved if the character just grew a freaking brain!

Instead of taking this approach, look for a more sensible weakness.

Take for instance the Colossi, from Shadow of the Colosus. Hypothetically, you could say they could be dreamkeepers whose power is to be really huge. They can propel their giant fist and murder anything they touch. On the other hand, they're also slow as hell, and a comparable ant sized enemy can take them down with enough stamina to hold on.

Consider the kind of power you are experimenting with. Is it a power that makes extensive use of muscles? Is it a power that works with the mind, affecting the minds of others? There is always a way to make things "fair." Even with powers that are actually just powers (ie. Bast's summoning of flames or Namah's ether tendrils) have weaknesses in the sense that they're just powers. They're not much more than an elaboration on their already established fighting ability. Like a ninja with a sword. We already know the ninja can fight; the sword itself is just an extension of their ability to fight, and thus can theoretically be overpowered by any opponent.

Be creative. In Solo-literature, there are exceptions to all of these points, and even in multiplayer-literature, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Have fun with it.

A Dreamkeeper's Passive Ability
((Subject to change as it develops))
A number of you may be wondering about this. I'm referring to the instances in which dreamkeepers develop a power-related ability that doesn't seem to trigger their halo. Instances like Whip being able to float around.

These abilities are likely to become overused by the Dreamkeepers fandom, used as excuses to make their characters "special" or "different" or just more powerful in general.

In the Non-Canon universe, fine, go ahead and give your character the ability to destroy planets without actually using their power. Just make sure to acknowledge it to avoid misunderstandings.

In the Canon universe, these abilities are extremely rare and seem to only be developed by dreamkeepers who have some form of handicap, whether it be physical or psychological. These abilities are developed out of NEED, not out of desire or training. If that were the case, it's likely a great many of them would have something of the like.

Unconfirmed: These passive abilities are very subdued, subtle versions of the dreamkeeper's actual power.

***

Conclusion
All in all, this whole thing is more of a guide on how to identify the different kinds of characters that pop up here and there.

Character creation for the purposes of this forum is meant to be fun and imaginative. And ultimately having a good time is the most important element in the whole process. Everyone wants to have a good time, and this is the reason this guide was created. To facilitate that across the forum and it's many members.

This guide is likely to go through several changes as it evolves, things might be added, things might be removed. If anyone has any suggestions, please throw them my way via PM and I'll be sure to add them in. (I, CalvinCopyright, THE REPOSTER OF THE GUIDE, WILL ALSO DO THIS.)

Conversely, if anyone has a full out lecture on this or related topics, I'll even let ya make the post yourself 8D I do believe Fore wants to have a go at it lol. So, stay tuned for it.

With that. . GO HAVE FUN!!!

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