The Return of Talking Time

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  #1  
Old 01-29-2019, 09:54 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Default Join the XCOM 2 character pool today!

How do I love thee, XCOM 2? Let me count the ways...



Uh, 214 ways, apparently. That is a whole bunch of ways! In fact, I think I'd be lying if I didn't say that XCOM 2: War of the Chosen was my favorite game of all time. It's fun, it's challenging, it's eminently replayable and it hates me. But you know what could make it even better? Here's what:

YOU

XCOM 2 lets you customize your soldiers in many ways, from their appearance to their name and callsign to their nationality and even their backstory. It also lets you put your custom characters into something called the Character Pool, which is sort of like Central Casting for XCOM. Once a character is in the pool, they have a chance of showing up in any campaign that you play as a recruit, a friendly VIP or even an enemy VIP (ie, target, as in snitches who get stitches).

So consider this thread to be my recruitment drive. I want to assemble a crack team of soldiers to fight and possibly probably die for the cause of freedom, and I want you to be a part of it. I'm looking for eager Tyrants to join my ranks, which you can do by simply filling out an application form and DMing it to me or just posting the whole dang thing in this thread. Once you do that, I'll make up a character in your image and add it to the character pool. And once I have a bunch of those, I'll bundle them into a Talking Time character pool that I'll make available to the general public! Download yourself and your virtual forum buddies! Send them into the virtual meat grinder in your very own campaigns! Character import only available for the PC version of XCOM 2, not available in all regions.

But before we get started...

A Word of Warning
I will probably stream XCOM from time to time - it is my favorite game, after all. So don't give me any personal information that you wouldn't be OK with a very small audience of Twitch or YouTube viewers seeing. As much as I would like to have a squad that reflects the people of this forum, I don't want anyone feeling uncomfortable taking part in this thread.


Create You Character
With that out of the way, here's what I'll need from you before you can join the fight:

NAME and/or CALLSIGN: What do you call yourself, soldier? Doesn't have to be your legal name, but I would like something that I can trace back to the forum somehow. If you'd rather just specify a callsign and have a randomly generated name for your character, that's fine too.

APPEARANCE: What should your character look like? Give me a visual reference to work from. My preference is for an actual photo (which I WILL NOT SHARE IN ANY WAY WITH ANYONE EVER), but I will also accept drawings, concept art or even descriptions. Note that XCOM's character creator isn't as detailed as some games - you have to choose from a fixed number of faces, for example. But you can choose:
  • gender (male or female only, see the FAQ below if that's no good for you)
  • race (XCOM's four races are unnamed but vaguely fall into white, black, brown and east Asian categories)
  • hair color and style
  • accessories (hats, bandannas, glasses, cigars, monocles, etc), tattoos and scars
  • clothing and weapon colors (with optional patterns if you're fancy)

If you want to specific examples, this video shows off basically everything in the game. My goal is to make a character that represents you, but that doesn't mean they have to look like you necessarily. Send me something to work with and I'll try to do you justice. I will also happily make a revision or two if you don't like how your character comes out.

NATIONALITY and LANGUAGE: Pick a country and put their flag on your uniform! There are a bunch to choose from, you'll probably get your wish unless you're going for something esoteric. As for languages, it's more or less EFIGS, but English comes in American, UK and Australian variants.

ATTITUDE: This basically determines your soldier's body language. Choose from By the Book, Laid Back, Normal, Twitchy, Hard Luck, Happy-Go-Lucky, Intense, Angry, Cocky, Smug, Suspicious, and Let's Go!

BACKSTORY: Entirely optional, but there's room for about 3-4 sentences if you want to talk a bit about your character.

CLASS: Also optional, and not necessarily fixed from campaign to campaign. If you want to be one of the basic classes (grenadier, sharpshooter, specialist, ranger), it should be no problem to fit you in. If you want to be a psi operative, you'll have to wait until late in the game (but your character will kick ass and your hair will turn white). You can also ask to be one of the special faction classes (Skirmisher, Templar or Reaper), but there's a cap of two per class per campaign, so I'll do a random draw if I have too many volunteers. Note that faction classes are a bit less customizable than standard soldiers - Skirmishers in particular are gonna be stuck with a bad case of Skirmisher face. There's also room for exactly one robot on the squad, if that's your thing.


Questions and Answers

Where can I download the character pool?
Here's link to Tyrant Squad v1.0. To import the characters, copy the file into \Documents\My Games\XCOM2 War of the Chosen\XComGame\CharacterPool\Importable, then go into the Character Pool in-game and import them from the squad. You'll also need the following mods to get the full experience:
  • Vindictus Male Hairstyles
  • CapnBubs Accessories
  • XXL Tattoo
  • [WOTC] Advent Armor [Dead]
  • And of course, War of the Chosen (possibly with the Alien Hunters DLC for Mogri's helmet)

Are you actually gonna play this game or are we just making characters?
I am! But this isn't going to be a proper LP, in part because that would take FOREVER. Instead, whenever I feel like playing a bit I'll try to take some screenshots to show off the squad's highlights and inevitable deaths. Don't expect painstaking detail or a regular update schedule, but do expect me to put you guys through your paces. In Ironman mode, of course.

I don't feel comfortable with the gender dichotomy presented in this game!
This is an extremely fair criticism, and there are certainly some games with character creators that let you roll non-binary characters. Sadly, XCOM 2 is Not That Game. The only options we have are to use hairstyles and/or makeup to try to bust out of traditional M/F, to use one of the game's many, many helmets to cover your character's face, or to be the robot. I'll do my best here, but the toolset is limited, and the voice options and body types are all hard-panned to male or female.

Can you promise not to get me killed?
Ha ha, no.

Can I opt out of the character pool at a later date?
Absolutely, I will happily remove anyone from the pool at their request. But of course this is the internet, so anyone has already downloaded your character will have access to it.

How do I sign up?
You really skimmed this post, huh? OK, fill in this and post it here and/or DM it to me. Please also post or DM me a reference image if you have one, I'll be able to do a much better job with one.

NAME:
CALLSIGN:
APPEARANCE:
NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE:
ATTITUDE:
BACKSTORY:
CLASS:


Now let's get out there and kill some alien fascists!

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 02-03-2019 at 06:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2019, 10:25 AM
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Mogri Mogri is online now
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NAME: whatevs
CALLSIGN: Mogri
APPEARANCE: Do you have the character options pack? I wanna use the Advent Elite armor. Gender and race hardly matter underneath all that.
NATIONALITY: US
ATTITUDE: By-the-Book
BACKSTORY: Was attempting to sign up for Advent, but screwed up really badly. Rolled with it rather than admitting to the mistake.
CLASS: Sharpshooter
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2019, 11:10 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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I'm afraid I have neither Anarchy's Children nor the Resistance Warrior pack, because from what I've seen they're both terrible. I have unlocked the wealth of helmets and armors that came with the Tactical Legacy Pack, but I'm not sure there's any official Advent stuff in there. I can try to put something together that looks like a bad facsimile of an Advent trooper, or else you can change your order. I'm not against downloading cosmetic mods, so long as they are compatible with WotC. I actually already have a selection of tattoos and extremely excessive hairstyles that come from some mods I installed a while back.

EDIT: Looks like there might be a mod I can use? I'll know more once I'm back on my home PC.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2019, 11:30 AM
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Mogri Mogri is online now
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If you can't do it, it's not a huge deal. I'll come up with something else.

IIRC, Anarchy's Children was terrible, but I liked Resistance Warrior.
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:59 PM
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Gerad Gerad is offline
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NAME: Anything
CALLSIGN: Gerad
APPEARANCE: Don't Care
NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE: Egypt
ATTITUDE: Anything
BACKSTORY:
CLASS:
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2019, 01:13 PM
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Destil Destil is online now
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What choices do I have if I want to be the robot?
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2019, 01:23 PM
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Mogri Mogri is online now
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If it's the SPARK, then you can choose your color scheme and your attitude (ROBOT or GLaDOS).

I think there's some chassis customization, too, but even if that's the case, it'd be hard to describe textually.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2019, 01:25 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerad View Post
NAME: Anything
CALLSIGN: Gerad
APPEARANCE: Don't Care
NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE: Egypt
ATTITUDE: Anything
BACKSTORY:
CLASS:
Welcome aboard! I'll make a few executive decisions on your character's behalf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Destil View Post
What choices do I have if I want to be the robot?
To properly answer your question I'd need to be in front of the game, but you can change the head and armor of the robot, its colors, its name and callsign. For its personality, you have to decide whether to go with a default robot or the snarky/sassy one from the DLC mission - I belive that both options are available in the EFIGS languages. Note that robot time will be a while from now, it takes a lot of resources to build a SPARK.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:46 PM
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Destil Destil is online now
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NAME: Destil v9.05.80b
CALLSIGN: Destil
LANGUAGE: English (American)
SNARK: True
APPEARANCE: Purple, as boxy as possible
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2019, 03:31 PM
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jpfriction jpfriction is offline
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NAME:whatevs
CALLSIGN:jpfriction
APPEARANCE:as close to my avatar as you can pull off. Monocle appreciated.
NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE:whatevs
ATTITUDE:Laid Back
BACKSTORY: Fell asleep on a train, woke up here.
CLASS: Ranger
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2019, 05:44 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is online now
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How much input do/will we have on our character build?
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2019, 05:56 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
How much input do/will we have on our character build?
I'll generally try to entertain any build requests people have, at least early on. If things get really dire I might start using the executive override to try and keep the team alive, but I can't see needing to do that very often.

However, if you wanna play a Reaper and you don't want me to take Remote Start for your character, you've got another thing coming.
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2019, 06:26 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is online now
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NAME: Torzelbaum
CALLSIGN: Spook
APPEARANCE:Standard Psi Ops but wears dark glasses (or goggles - whichever looks odder / less cool). Messy hair. Has a wiry build (if you're being charitable). Prefers whatever clothing / armor that will protect best and draw the least attention to him.)

NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE:Canada/English
ATTITUDE:Twitchy
BACKSTORY: An alien invasion has freaked him out pretty hard and he struggles between fight and flight. Still wanted to fight but was not well suited for it until the ability to develop Psionic abilities in people was developed.

CLASS: Psi Operative, focusing mostly on Telepath skills (until the final one).

Last edited by Torzelbaum; 01-29-2019 at 08:16 PM. Reason: I'm ashamed to be an American...
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2019, 06:33 PM
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SpoonyGundam SpoonyGundam is offline
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NAME: whatevs
CALLSIGN: Spoony
APPEARANCE: gimme a beard
NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE: US
ATTITUDE: Twitchy
BACKSTORY:
CLASS: Ranger
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2019, 06:53 PM
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Mogri Mogri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoonyGundam View Post
BACKSTORY:
I lol'd out loud
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  #16  
Old 01-29-2019, 07:12 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Here's our first batch!

Mogri

I downloaded a mod that makes ADVENT armor available to most classes. The art assets aren't quite as detailed as those for the regular soldiers, but you only really notice it when you're super zoomed in for face editing. I gave her an armor color that would let me differentiate her from the masses of ADVENT goons that we'll be gunning down in the field.

Gerad

Gerad didn't specify an appearance, so I hit random and was immediately treated to this delightful piece of procedural generation - it was love at first sight. I figured that someone from Egypt was more likely to have a UK accent than an American one.

Destil

Destil requested a "boxy" robot, but it turns out there aren't a ton of options for the chassis, so I just gave him the boxiest head possible. I applied a plaid motif to his paint to further reinforce the boxiness as much as possible. I also just noticed that I got the color wrong, so I'll be sure to go back and fix that.

jpfriction

Here's my best attempt at making a monocle-popping dandy in a tuxedo with a red cravat. A certain amount of imagination is required on the part of the viewer. Oh, and I will go back and add the bit about the train to his biography.

That's it for today! Let me know if you'd like anything about your characters changed and I'll do my best. Also note that nobody has actually been assigned a class yet (aside from the robbit), I just chose to display Mogri in the character builder as a sniper per his request. Once the game starts I'll see what I can do to get everyone sorted into their dream jobs.
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  #17  
Old 01-29-2019, 07:23 PM
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Gerad Gerad is offline
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BRB, changing my real name to Bosede Cissoko
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  #18  
Old 01-29-2019, 07:35 PM
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I'm not familiar with XCOM, other than watching the helpful character video in the OP, but here goes:

PHP Code:
{:name          "Ted Teodoro"
 
:call-sign     (random)
 :
appearance    "tall, lanky version of Alixsar"
 
:accessories   [:boonie-hat :dark-sunglasses]
 :
facial-hair   :five-o-clock-shadow
 
:armor-pattern :digital
 
:has-tattoos   false
 
:has-scars     false
 
:nationality   :usa
 
:attitude      :normal
 
:back-story    "Ted is a programmer turned soldier 
                 with a motto of `concise and precise`.
                 His sensitivity to bright light relegates
                 him to shadier activities."
 
:class         (best-fit)} 
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  #19  
Old 01-29-2019, 08:04 PM
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Kirin Kirin is online now
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NAME: random is fine
CALLSIGN: Kirin
APPEARANCE: There might be a good pic of me in my pirate outfit in the tyrant photos thread somewhere, I can look later, but - caucasian, long wavy hair, either black or salt-and-pepper, Van Dyke beard (goatee+moustache), for clothing whatever you got in purple, maybe a bit foppish if possible, and a stylish hat.
NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE: English language. For a flag, Namibia's is kinda cool.
ATTITUDE: laid back
BACKSTORY: Getting to old for this shit. Would rather be doing some old-fashioned piracy but alien fascists cramp style.
CLASS: ranger I guess? Or specialist, you pick.
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2019, 03:32 AM
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Sensenic Sensenic is offline
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NAME: First name Joan, last name whatevs
CALLSIGN: Sensenic
APPEARANCE: Reference material here (and here).
NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE: Spanish'll have to do.
ATTITUDE: Cowardly and Meek are not an option? then either By The Book or Laid Back, I guess.
BACKSTORY: Was recruited forcefully (it was that or death at the hands of the aliens, f.ex.) tries as hard as possible to not get into danger. May end up being a snitch if it saves his life in a tough situation.
CLASS: Probably sharpshooter, or whatever allows me to be the farthest away from danger as possible.


PS: Bonus, Kirin I think you meant this post?
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  #21  
Old 01-30-2019, 05:22 AM
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that’s the stuff.
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2019, 06:48 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Had time to whip up two more before bed last night, so here's Spook and Spoony:

Spook

Messy hair and goggles? XCOM doesn't have much along those lines (I don't dislike anyone here enough to give them white guy dreads), so it's MOD TIME. Spook here gets some fancy grade hair courtesy of the Vindictus hair pack, along with goggles from I forget where. Clothing is padded and unremarkable, as ordered. Note that XCOM doesn't do body types, everyone will be a muscly, athletic person whether they like it or not.

Spoony

I had a lot of leeway with this one, so I decided to inject a bit of color into the squad. Spoony is such a hardened veteran that he doesn't care if the aliens can see him from a mile away! The classy beret comes from the same mod as the goggles, I'll find the name and add a link to it next to the character pack once that has been uploaded.

As always, feel free to request any changes you'd like.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2019, 06:56 AM
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Olli T Olli T is offline
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NAME: Olli
CALLSIGN: Big Sexy
APPEARANCE: white guy with a beard and glasses
NATIONALITY/LANGUAGE: Finland / Finnish (if not available, then French)
ATTITUDE: Happy-Go-Lucky
BACKSTORY: [redacted]
CLASS: grenadier
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2019, 07:20 AM
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Mogri Mogri is online now
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jpfriction is basically perfect.
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  #25  
Old 01-30-2019, 08:25 AM
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Falselogic Falselogic is offline
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NAME: whatevs
CALLSIGN: Flawgic
APPEARANCE: Lady with pink hair.
NATIONALITY: US
ATTITUDE: killy killy stab stab
BACKSTORY: killy killy stab stab
CLASS: Ranger
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  #26  
Old 01-30-2019, 09:37 AM
Ted Ted is offline
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Mike, do you write back stories as a side job? These are all great.
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  #27  
Old 01-30-2019, 07:02 PM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Here come some new recruits!

Ted

Not much to say here, since most of the details were provided in Ted's application. We didn't have anyone green, so I thought it would be a good fit with the boonie hat, makes for a sort of park ranger vibe.


Kirin

Foppish? Purple? Sir, have I got a class for you. Templars are the theatre kids of XCOM 2 and they're basically in cosplay all the time. For bonus points, his namesake is an actual old pirate - not old in the way that all pirates are old now, he was old while he was pirating. There aren't any tricornes in XCOM, but this Warlock headgear kinda looks like someone shot a cannon ball through one while you were wearing it.


Sensenic

For Joan, we have some blue hex camo and a suspicious demeanor, which was the closest I could find to cowardly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted View Post
Mike, do you write back stories as a side job? These are all great.
I can't copy and paste people's stories from this thread into the game, so I just rewrite them on the fly. Hopefully I don't denature them too much in the process.
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  #28  
Old 01-31-2019, 07:24 AM
Ted Ted is offline
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Ready for action!

I like the green and your tweaks to the back story.

Is there a way to generate a random call sign?
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  #29  
Old 01-31-2019, 08:08 AM
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Destil Destil is online now
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Lookin' good! *beep, boop*
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  #30  
Old 01-31-2019, 08:41 AM
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MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted View Post
Is there a way to generate a random call sign?
The callsigns are actually random by default, so long as you don't specify one in the character pool. For anyone who has one right now, it will stick, but otherwise it's a random draw (from a pool based on their class, I believe) and it can be different from one campaign to the next.

Also that picture makes it look like you have one giant sideburn, but that's just a shadow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Destil View Post
Lookin' good! *beep, boop*
Don't worry, you're purple AF now (but we won't see you in action for quite some time).
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