Twine Project & Character Design: Bernard Rainey, the Reluctant Demigod
I wrote an interactive story in Twine in which Bernard returns home to find that everything is not how he left it.
Download and play the interactive story here: Twine - Bernard Pays A Visit
You can also view quick screenshots of the dialogue tree in Twine below, and you can read Bernard's character design below these images.
CHARACTER DESIGN - BERNARD RAINEY
Shapeshifter; Trickster; Ally
Born during the Great Depression, BERNARD RAINEY is a former US soldier martyred in Vietnam who is now a demigod with healing abilities. He is much younger than his fellow deities, and, unlike them, Bernard was once human. Due to the fact that he made a great sacrifice when he died, Bernard was elevated by the powers that be to demigod status. The other demigods resent him for this and view him as the lesser because he was once a human, beings that the demigods perceive as weak and easy to manipulate due to their frailty and mortality.
Name of Character
Bernard (Rainey, although he doesn't have much use for a last name anymore)
Genre: ARPG & FPS; setting: various locations in the US in 1986; begin in Kansas City, MO
- persuasion (can persuade other NPCs for hero's gain if hero has enough positive interactions with Bernard)
- teleportation/fast travel (transfers player to different locations in world in certain areas)
- combat (companion/follower that player can control by setting his tactics)
- confusion: ability used in combat to disorient opponents so that they are less likely to resist attacks
- healing abilities (activated): heal self, heal player, heal all, heroic aura (for 30 seconds, reduces damage received by 10%; 25%; 35%; 40%; 50%), courage (for 30 seconds, entire party's stamina increases by 5%; 15%; 25%; 30%; 40%)
- clues: can provide clues to completing quests or solving puzzles if hero engages in conversation in the appropriate area
e.g. If the hero is looking for a certain plant in a forest, the hero can engage in conversation with Bernard to see if Bernard knows anything about the forest or the plants that it contains. Bernard may give a clue about where that type of plant usually grows so that the player can keep an eye out for such a location.
- dog tags: players find different chains that can be attached to Bernard's dog tags that provide different skill and ability modifiers for Bernard and/or the player (improve persuasion, unlock more clues, increase amount of healing, etc.)
- biker gloves: players find different gloves for Bernard to wear that provide different magic abilities to which Bernard would normally not have access, such as elemental magic or entropy
Age: 33 (age when he died; retains physical appearance of a 33-year-old white man); current technical age: 51
- neatly cropped, dark brown hair that is slicked back
- light blue eyes
- lean and lanky, although not exactly in shape; physique calls to mind a panther
- not especially broad shoulders
- 2 dimples, one on each cheek
- hands are terribly burned from the fire in which he died, so he covers them with biker gloves
- long strides when walking and running
- unique physical trait: hands are terribly burned, so he does not like touching anyone without his gloves on or for anyone to see his bare hands
- default: torn fatigues, worn helmet
- prefers to dress in classic (corporate) 1960s fashion; essentially like a more functional Don Draper
- dog tags
- worn biker gloves (they cover his worst burns from the fire in which he died, which never healed)
Prior to the game, Bernard lived with the other demigods in an ethereal plane located directly above Earth with a direct view of all humans. Demigods could venture to Earth to walk invisibly among humans as soon as they had been demigods for 50 years, but only the oldest demigods could ever physically interact with humans. They all had unlimited access to what they desired most, although some of the demigods had responsibilities for managing humans and the Earth itself.
The game takes place in 1986, beginning in a rural town outside of Kansas City, MO. Bernard wakes one day to find that all of the other demigods are gone. Bernard has been dead for 18 years, and he ventures to Earth both to investigate the sudden disappearance of all of the other demigods and to find a way to interact with his daughter, who has been contending with an abusive boyfriend.
Bernard has spent most of his time watching his family, particularly his daughter, Celia. He is essentially biding his time until he is old enough to visit her on Earth; at the start of the game, Bernard still has 32 years to wait. He barely notices when standard time goes by.
Bernard grew up in the Midwest, the son of an alcoholic mother and a father who left when he was 7. He had an older brother, James, who died in Vietnam a few years prior to Bernard's enlistment in 1966 with whom he was very close. James had always been the tough one in the family, while Bernard was the gentle one who soothed his mother and helped support the family by working three different jobs on top of school. He enjoys classical music, especially anythings with a cello, and he used to enjoy playing stick ball with his brother on his rare nights off from work. Bernard married a woman named Emilia whom he had known since childhood, and soon after, they had a daughter, Celia.
He is much younger than his fellow deities, who never let him forget both his age and his origin. Bernard is different from the other demigods in that he was once human and is, therefore, technically a ghost. The demigods believe that Bernard only became a demigod because he deserted but then returned to battle, only to die in a fire.
Bernard feels torn between saving his fellow demigods and finding a way to interact with his daughter. The player eventually learns that Bernard actually died saving a little girl from the fire in which he died.
Speech Patterns, Accents, Dialect
Bernard uses outdated slang, cadences, and references, often leaving the player and other characters confused about what exactly he's talking about. He also has a midwestern twang.
1) Player: What are you doing here?
“You tell me. I'm not always on the ball, but I reckon you're the one who summoned me here.”
2) How do I (whatever the quest is for the player in your world)?
“Look, do I have to spell it out for ya, Jack?”
3) I've heard about you, that you don't like strangers.
“Nah, fox, you got it all wrong. Strangers are the only ones you can trust to do you right.”
4) I really hate this place.
“I don't know...get yourself a lava lamp and a few throw pillows and you've got yourself some real cozy digs.”
Copyright Alexandra Lucas 2014