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Author Topic: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord  (Read 5205 times)

Grey

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Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« on: 28 December 2015, 05:36:23 »
Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
Who: Rhonda Snord
What: Lieutenant, Cranston Snord’s Irregulars
   Colonel (Commanding Officer), Rhonda Snord’s Irregulars
When: 2999 – 22 January 3073
Weapon of Choice: 2H Shadow Hawk
         Highlander

Wrangler’s latest request is the natural follow-on from his previous one, the daughter of inimitable Cranston Snord, the irrepressible Rhonda Snord.

Rhonda has a number of similarities with her father. For one thing she is a bit of an oddball character, though not to the same degree, Rhonda never comes across as skirting the edge of crazy with a collection habit, but then she commanded a much larger unit. As I mentioned previously a company takes on the character of its commander quite regularly, a regiment less so. While a great many members still buy into the oddball aspects it inevitably has died down, particularly once the Clan bondsmen were integrated into the unit.

This is not to say she is without quirks, she still started out as a character in Cranston’s Irregulars, the company sized unit which did take its lead from their CO, and theoretically maintained that quirk, which is to say putting massive speakers on her ‘Mech and blaring rock and metal music across the battlefield.
For one thing she blasts music from her ‘Mech using custom installed speakers. The art for this looks quite ridiculous, but that’s not the point. If anything it’s a legitimate psychological tactic.

There are real life examples (which I won’t go into) but Elvis, Metallica (this concept goes back to the 80s and 90s so fill the space with whatever heavy metal you like) would be quite disconcerting.

Equally disconcerting would be a Highlander racing over the hill to bagpipes, yodelling, even polka.

Still, it shows an aspect of Rhonda that her father did not possess. Yes, it’s a quirk, just as Cranston had his, but it serves as a clear point of distinction.

At least it’s not the bagpipes.

Also, like her father, she is written as a tactical genius, a reasonably common affliction in Battletech. Pulp characters, of any variety, aren’t much fun if they’re irredeemable morons, and the best way to skip that in a high intensity combat setting like Battletech is to give them a touch of tactical brilliance.

This holds true in sci-fi and military pulp. It is fully possible, as a part of a maturation storyline, to have something of a fool as a main character, but they must learn, there’s no time for that in sourcebooks.

Rhonda is also very different from her father, not so much because the setting evolved, by the time the unit was hers the setting was still quite firmly science fiction pulp, but because she seems to be a much more mature, grounded individual.

This does not make her a follower of rules or any less iconoclastic than her father. While she spent the majority of her life in the Inner Sphere she was still the product of Clan culture and had to learn how to balance the two, choosing what she liked and discarding the rest. Including having a family by adoption.

Adoption? As has been pointed out in the Cranston article one of his more subtle oddball acts was bringing his daughter to the Inner Sphere, showing a sense of family that is alien to most of the Clans, even at the lower caste level.

This is a continuation of it, without the burden of pregnancy.

Yes, I said burden of pregnancy. While it is unfortunate, unpleasant, and even a little insulting to the average leader, there has been for a long time an unspoken expectation that female main characters in military sci-fi cannot engage in some unavoidably female acts, pregnancy and giving birth being one of them. Even raising the child, exhibited here in that since though she adopted Tasha the girl was largely raised by godmother Misha Auburn.

It is in part due to the stereotypical maleness of the military setting, which means that in order to be “equal” to a male character of similar standing a female character has to basically be the same. So, no giving birth, a little distance from any child, and yet still a key influence in their lives and career decisions. (Yes, I’m aware of Honour Harrington and quite frankly she is a sign of positively evolving attitudes.)

Actually there’s a lot of gender politics that could get rather ugly in here, so let’s just consider the matter addressed and move on.

Anyway, adopting a daughter, continuing the family line, the name, the reputation, being a parent and being more Inner Sphere than Clan, this is a point of similarity and divergence both, since Cranston would have made the conscious decision to be this bizarre by his culture of origin’s standards, while Rhonda would have been much more Spheroid in her attitudes, though undoubtedly her father would have had a clear and meaningful influence in this regard too.

However Rhonda is very different in purpose from her father, for one thing she plays a significant supporting role in one novel. Her presence serves to muddy the waters during the Civil War, effectively showing that just because one sides with the Loyalists they are not all automatically villains. She does this by honouring her contract and unit’s longstanding history with the Lyran realm. Even under renegotiation and after betrayal she is reluctant to turn against their long-time patron state and so sign up to fight along the Jade Falcon border alone.

Since this is Rhonda she adds honour and integrity to her actions, siding with the Loyalists is neither a blind nor opportunistic act and is one of the small ways of demonstrating that the sides are not as clear cut good and evil as their leaders might otherwise indicate.

Knocking her out early is not to remove that element, but to remove a level headed voice of reason, something her opposite number in the negotiation, Archer Christifiori, would normally be but he himself is nearly killed along with his love interest and that leads to some rash judgements on his part which he is eventually called out on. More of that muddying going on.

However this is one novel, any character can be used for one novel in almost any fashion if the author is inventive enough, in this case it does not interfere with Rhonda’s main purpose, which is to help shepherd through the transition from the Succession Wars to the Clan Invasion, a transition that changes the setting radically on all levels, from the fictional, to the technological, to the rules themselves.

Seeds for this transition were laid in the first Snord’s Irregulars sourcebook, which subtly painted Rhonda as Cranston’ heir, the Rhonda Snord’s Irregulars sourcebook completed the act with her in command, most of the time given Cranston’s irascibility.

It shows that this is a new generation, not untouched by past events, shaped by them, but forging ahead into a new era.

Her ‘Mechs make a sort of sense, both as to her purpose and also from an evolutionary sense.

Both the Shadow Hawk and the Highlander are generalists, with good mobility and a rounded mix of weapons, which is ballistic, missile and energy.

In fact the Highlander is probably one of the best examples of the full evolution of the Shadow Hawk in terms of this weapons philosophy, the next best being the Orion and Atlas.

Because of their weapons mixes both make good command ‘Mechs for their eras and weight classes, though there are certainly better. But an eclectic generalist suits Rhonda, it highlights a certain flexibility and unpredictability, to which she is heir.

And as there are no rules for mounting speakers on a ‘Mech there’s no Highlander Rhonda available for critique. :P

So realistically did she have to die along with so many other visible, named characters in the Donner Bombing?

Her presence was somewhat odd, however the Irregulars are by now a significant unit. While not infallible their reputation, experience and expertise means that it is probably a good idea to include someone with so much capability in the conference. Additionally the Irregulars were one of the more active units along the Falcon border and would have had a great deal to report on matters.

But did she have to die like that? In a bomb blast that did not target her, but perhaps her as a part of a general decapitation strike.

The alternatives are as follows: One is that she dies of natural causes, but her father stole that thunder so while it is a possible option fiction does not like to repeat itself in that fashion without making a point of it.

Another is that she dies in battle. Against who though? This is the great Rhonda Snord who has faced Clan Jade Falcon several times and defeated them in humiliating fashion. Short of overwhelming force by the Falcons would it be realistic for them to suddenly get the drop on her? Would it be realistic for her to pull it off again? So that’s troubled.

Random accident? Even more preposterous than being caught in a celebrity bombing from a plot perspective, no reader would believe it.

Battle against someone else, in the border wars of the Jihad or against the Blakists? Similar to dying by the Falcons it diminishes the character for Rhonda to be suddenly out thought.

So she dies in a significant event of some dramatic, plot twisty randomness that was out of her ability to counter.

And like it or not the Donnor Bombing is a plot point, because it creates a vacuum into which Devlin Stone can walk into. Rhonda gets wrapped up in that because the bombing wipes out almost everyone of possible leadership significance who hasn’t already been killed, which means it’s a conference of notables in general.

It is also, if we are honest, a big piece of spring cleaning, because it removes a large number of important characters. Rhonda, Diana Pryde, numerous support characters.

So she dies in a bit of dramatic convenience.

The problem is that unlike her father Rhonda is too much of a notable personality from a fighting standpoint. She stands out too much after being involved in too many big things, she can’t easily fade away. Add to that the fact that unlike a lot of other notables she is not wholly unrealistic as the nature of the setting changed.

However as I said, Rhonda’s purpose was to help shepherd the transition from the Succession Wars era to the Clan Invasion, by the time of the Jihad her time was done much as her father’s was with the arrival of the Clans. Flippant as it may seem the Donnor Bombing also marks a convenient point for her to shuffle off in a definitive manner, her purpose served, her impression on the setting made.
« Last Edit: 29 December 2015, 03:30:54 by Grey »

Sharpnel

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #1 on: 28 December 2015, 06:21:50 »
If only the security folks that were at the Donner bombing would have had the TSA's body scanners, Fritz would have never made it in the building.
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roosterboy

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #2 on: 28 December 2015, 11:24:58 »
inimical Cranston Snord

Are you aware of what this word means? I think you meant something else.

Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #3 on: 29 December 2015, 03:31:57 »
Flippin' spell checker and lazy editor (that sneaky guy in the mirror did it to me again).

Changed to what I meant, inimitable. Assuming I got it right this time. :P

Wrangler

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #4 on: 29 December 2015, 17:51:01 »
Rhonda was good character in the universe, unique in many ways.

I hadn't really gotten into the Snord's Irregulars when they were active thing in the universe.  I "see" them in action in fiction in Call of Duty.  She was tough woman, but she didn't get to do much while she was KOed for most of the novel.   Though the Jihad books kinda had her take command back from her daughter, when in novel she finally handed it over to her after gaining trust of the Clanman/Inner Sphere warriors of the "Clan Snord".

At least she managed hand over the torch to her daughter, Natasha Snord, her heir finally, so the unit could survive and now is the Dark Age.

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smcwatt

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #5 on: 29 December 2015, 18:32:06 »
I read something different into the non-pregnancy. Either it was an injury related to the battle at Phecda, where she lost 2 legs, or the Clan anti-natural birth bias.

SMc

Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #6 on: 30 December 2015, 01:45:35 »
The handover of command, even if she still stuck her oar in every now and then as dear old Dad did, is a significant difference between the Snords and Wolf's Dragoons. Having successfully done so on an official level and having the unit successfully operate out of Cranston and Rhonda's shadows means that the unit could continue without them. Less so the Dragoons.


ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #7 on: 30 December 2015, 14:28:05 »
Idly you could make her speakers "communications equipment" - it's vague enough, and quite possibly LOUD enough, to be used for the usual means.

Frabby

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #8 on: 30 December 2015, 14:45:29 »
I read something different into the non-pregnancy. Either it was an injury related to the battle at Phecda, where she lost 2 legs, or the Clan anti-natural birth bias.
A pretty important point about the character, I think, that wasn't really touched upon in the article. Rhonda was grievously wounded in battle (the same where the Colossus DropShip was found I seem to recall), and she was half machine afterwards. This happened in ye olde days of the first sourcebook and was already so when Rhonda stepped into the limelight in the second sourcebook.
Her injuries should have ended her MechWarrior career. Must've been Clan meditech that brought her back. I think it was said that for a time the Itregulars thought she would die.
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Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #9 on: 31 December 2015, 06:07:26 »
The legs thing was something I had to mull over a while, because while it is an important aspect, it's not an important aspect to the character, technically.

That Rhonda has artificial legs, in the bionic sense, particularly after a near fatal injury, is important because it hints at greater technology than is generally available. And for such a small merc unit to have access to it is, well, as has been noted, unusual.

At the same time the legs don't change anything about Rhonda as a character. They're a plot device largely separate from her, intended more as a subtle wink towards the truth about Wolf's Dragoons.

So rightly or wrongly I decided against including it. I still swing between agreeing and reconsidering my choice, because it is something that could have been covered by some other character, and it's an important little wink.

Frabby

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #10 on: 31 December 2015, 10:58:40 »
I respectfully disagree with your analysis.  :)
In my view, the massive bionics should have had much more of an impact on Rhonda. It's almost (but not quite) as if they were later deliberately downplayed or ignored. It's probably typical of the BattleTech universe's "future of the 80s" flair to have such advanced technology, but at the same time not quite "go there" in exploring the ramnifications in fiction.

Thinking of it, we have a number of BT characters with varying degrees of heavy bionic replacements.
In some cases the bionics are made central to the character or at least a storyline (Justin Allard's hand with the hidden laser; Michael Hasek-Davion's data transmitter in his bionic arm; Uchita Tucker in her TRO3025 writeup; Thomas Marik), in other cases they're played down or outright ignored beyond being mentioned more or less in passing (Rhonda Snord, Minobu Tetsuhara, Morgan Kell, Trent).
Then we got true cyborg soldiers in the Manei Domini as a major plot point in the Jihad era, which was a marked change in tone that has been described as a switch from pulp scifi to "hard" or at least gritty military scifi.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #11 on: 31 December 2015, 12:49:44 »
I respectfully disagree with your analysis.  :)

Wait, you disagree with his analysis that her cybernetics are not an important part of Rhonda's character, but then use her as an example of a character whose bionics are "played down or outright ignored beyond being mentioned more or less in passing". That sure sound like a non-important aspect to me.

Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #12 on: 31 December 2015, 14:39:19 »
What makes Rhonda's cybernetics tricky is that they're mentioned, and as has been pointed out odd for someone of her status/situation, but that's all. They aren't a factor in scenarios or novels. This means that they're not a plot point, like Justin's arm, or a setting element like MD cyborgs. They could very well have been one or other of these, but it's really a single use mention across two sourcebooks, something that indicates either a lack of importance to the character, or quite possibly the writers dropping it and focusing on bigger elements, like the Clan Invasion.

Frabby

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #13 on: 31 December 2015, 15:59:23 »
Wait, you disagree with his analysis that her cybernetics are not an important part of Rhonda's character, but then use her as an example of a character whose bionics are "played down or outright ignored beyond being mentioned more or less in passing". That sure sound like a non-important aspect to me.
When you put it like that it really sounds weird...   :D
I'll try to rephrase my point as follows:
I have the impression with some characters that their bionics should be a much bigger factor than they seem to turn out, a bit like an unused plot hook. This is particularly true for Rhonda who seems to have no other characterization besides being Cranston's daughter, with appropriate quirkiness (toned down to a penchant for rock music) and being otherwise only notable for, y'know, heavy combat injuries resulting in heavy bionic prothesis use.
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SteelRaven

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #14 on: 31 December 2015, 16:23:49 »
*shrug* Grayson Carlyle had cybernetics. Unless your character is shooting lasers out of their arms, cybernetics seem to be glossed over as a common thing in the BTU.
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Frabby

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #15 on: 31 December 2015, 16:53:14 »
Good point. Guess Justin Xiang Allard was a special case then - it was a major plot point that his injuries would normally be crippling enough to end his MechWarrior career and thus tie into the Dispossesed stigma.
Most other characters I can think of (all save Uchita Tucker) were injured later and may have benefitted from the Helm Memory Core or ClanTech.

But still, losing a limb is a pretty traumatic experience. It feels odd that characters would be impacted so little by it.
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smcwatt

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #16 on: 31 December 2015, 17:15:50 »
The only point I was going for was perhaps the extensive injuries made Rhonda unable to have children. The fact she had bionics was a bit of a wash, as fellow Irregular Deb H'Chu had more extensive reconstruction. The inference I went with was that Deb helped Rhonda recover from her injuries, the special friendship that is in the CSI scenario book.

The injury as a link to the Dragoons only happened in the RI scenario book, it is never revealed where she got the surgery in the CSI, only that she went to Clinton for recovery. From the perspective of the original book, her injury was a "we're really fighting, we're not just a joke unit" part of the narrative.

SMc

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #17 on: 31 December 2015, 17:20:16 »
Good point. Guess Justin Xiang Allard was a special case then - it was a major plot point that his injuries would normally be crippling enough to end his MechWarrior career and thus tie into the Dispossesed stigma.
Most other characters I can think of (all save Uchita Tucker) were injured later and may have benefitted from the Helm Memory Core or ClanTech.

But still, losing a limb is a pretty traumatic experience. It feels odd that characters would be impacted so little by it.

Without a novel to get into how it Rhonda got those injuries and her recovery, it really seems like a after thought by the writers just to show 1.) Rhonda is one tough lady and 2.) Rhonda hasn't walk away from every scrape unscathed. 

You do have a point with Justin Xiang but I believe Justin marked when 'lost-tech' cybernetics started making a comeback via Helm Core. By the time of Operation Excalibur, it's so common that body scanners are program to search for hidden weapons in cybernetic limbs.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #18 on: 13 January 2016, 18:47:32 »
The only point I was going for was perhaps the extensive injuries made Rhonda unable to have children. The fact she had bionics was a bit of a wash, as fellow Irregular Deb H'Chu had more extensive reconstruction. The inference I went with was that Deb helped Rhonda recover from her injuries, the special friendship that is in the CSI scenario book.

Given that their close friendship is mentioned over and over, and even referred to as a bit "odd" (perhaps an unfortunate indication of the time it was written, considering what I'm going to suggest), maybe it doesn't have to do with her injuries.

Maybe Rhonda adopted a girl because she and Deb were lovers and it was an easier option than sperm donation or other methods. It would be a pretty simple explanation.

Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #19 on: 14 January 2016, 05:20:43 »
Very plausible line of reasoning, not sure if that was ever intentional but it certainly reads like that.

In general though the 'easier option' aspect could be applied to any element of Rhonda's lifestyle, regardless of love interest. Being a MechWarrior, a leader, a generally busy getting shot at kind of person may have meant that adoption came up as an option and she decided to take it because it was there.

I keep thinking that there are historical precedents in other cultures for this sort of thing but specifics keep slipping my mind.

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #20 on: 14 January 2016, 05:26:07 »
Maybe Rhonda adopted a girl because she and Deb were lovers and it was an easier option than sperm donation or other methods. It would be a pretty simple explanation.
Like Grey, I don't think author Blaine Pardoe positively meant to point in that direction (hey, since he's active on this forum we could straightforward ask him!) but in the ambiguity that is there, it is certainly entirely possible.
Add in the fact that sexual orientation is pretty much a non-issue in BattleTech both as a real-world franchise and also in-universe for the Clans, and you got a very plausible idea there.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #21 on: 14 January 2016, 21:51:28 »
Given that their close friendship is mentioned over and over, and even referred to as a bit "odd" (perhaps an unfortunate indication of the time it was written, considering what I'm going to suggest), maybe it doesn't have to do with her injuries.

Maybe Rhonda adopted a girl because she and Deb were lovers and it was an easier option than sperm donation or other methods. It would be a pretty simple explanation.

Where in the heck did you come up with her and Deb being lovers? 

There were a lot of strange things in this thread that were, well, wrong.  Horribly wrong.  I know.  I created the Irregulars.  The whole Deb and her being lovers thing though, that's some powerful weed you're smoking. 

Rhonda adopted a child for several reasons.  Her career didn't allow her the luxury of settling down in the suburbs.  A LOT of the female characters in the universe don't get married and kick back.  Rhonda adopted because it was in her nature. 

I find it interesting that folks read so much into the characters...right or wrong. 


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mitchberthelson

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #22 on: 14 January 2016, 22:13:46 »
Where in the heck did you come up with her and Deb being lovers? 

There were a lot of strange things in this thread that were, well, wrong.  Horribly wrong.  I know.  I created the Irregulars.  The whole Deb and her being lovers thing though, that's some powerful weed you're smoking. 

Rhonda adopted a child for several reasons.  Her career didn't allow her the luxury of settling down in the suburbs.  A LOT of the female characters in the universe don't get married and kick back.  Rhonda adopted because it was in her nature. 

I find it interesting that folks read so much into the characters...right or wrong. 


Blaine "Buck" Pardoe

Hi Blaine.

I appreciate the response. To start off, I never said it was definite. Frabby, Gray, and I also discussed the fact that it could really just be nothing and we should probably ask you. Please read my post in "Ask the Writers" for further proof of that.

Given that it's re-iterated at least 3 times in the first scenario pack how close the two are and it's mentioned how odd the friendship is, given their personalities, the text allows the possibility. Another factor was the adoption of a baby girl rather than the more conventional dramatic path of marriage and childbirth.

Her romantic life is never mentioned as far as I can see. You tell us that Jake has a crush on her, but that's it that I recall.

Now add in the reality that due to the complications surrounding the portrayal of homosexuality in many media over the last few decades, many authors tend to hint about things like that rather than come out and say it, even today.

If a character's love life is kept off the table and they also, give off "signals" that raise the possibility (as discussed above), people get to thinking.

The card game art and some of the other pieces depicting the older Rhonda seem to give her appearance something of a "handsome" cast similar to many LGBT women I personally know as well, so that probably contributed in my mind.

So that's where it came from. I didn't mean to offend you or say "This is it." It was simply an interesting *possible* conclusion that the available descriptions left room for.

No weed necessary. It was just one way of looking at the facts. I apologize if I somehow offended you.
« Last Edit: 14 January 2016, 22:30:36 by mitchberthelson »

bpardoe870

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #23 on: 15 January 2016, 20:16:34 »
I'm not familiar with the art you are referring to.  I wouldn't assume that anyone has a physical look that hints at their sexual preference, especially the art on a defunct card game from a decade or more ago. 

Her love life was off the table only because it didn't fit any story plot. 

I wasn't angered by your post...I was astonished.

Rhonda is not a highly complex character.  I saw someone question the use of a Highlander 'Mech earlier.  I can solve that.  The Shadowhawk became Unseen.  Frankly, I would have stayed with the Shadowhawk if I had the choice. 

Blaine "Buck" Pardoe 

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smcwatt

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #24 on: 15 January 2016, 20:37:56 »
Mr Pardoe,

While you say that you didn't set out to make Rhonda a complex character, I think the fact that you made the Irregular's as a whole such a compelling unit with a great backstory has left me wanting more. I have to say, I still own my 1980's dead tree version of the book, and pull it out every so often for a look through.

Any chance of bringing them back for a short story or two, something in the vein of "Heart of Dixie"?

SMc.

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #25 on: 16 January 2016, 01:20:08 »
Mitchberthelson, would the thought have even occured to you if it was exactly the same set of circumstances and text, but with two male chracters? Be honest.
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mitchberthelson

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #26 on: 16 January 2016, 14:42:05 »
I'm not familiar with the art you are referring to.  I wouldn't assume that anyone has a physical look that hints at their sexual preference, especially the art on a defunct card game from a decade or more ago. 

Her love life was off the table only because it didn't fit any story plot. 

I wasn't angered by your post...I was astonished.

Rhonda is not a highly complex character.  I saw someone question the use of a Highlander 'Mech earlier.  I can solve that.  The Shadowhawk became Unseen.  Frankly, I would have stayed with the Shadowhawk if I had the choice. 

Blaine "Buck" Pardoe

Glad to hear you weren't offended....and with regard to a look hinting at sexual preference, there are many cases of that being intentional. Many lesbians in particular signal orientation by adopting a look with subtle masculine signs on purpose or just end up expressing their orientation through androgyny. If that seemed too simplistic, then I'm sorry. It was based on personal experience, not an intent to stereotype.

Like I said in the other thread (which I've now closed), it could have been (and indeed WAS) absolutely nothing, with alternate explanations that were frankly more likely: convenience with regard to the storyline and a simple friendship founded in shared trauma.

Above all, thanks for your response and for creating the Irregulars in the first place. They were one of my favorite units back in junior high when I got started.

mitchberthelson

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #27 on: 16 January 2016, 15:31:14 »
Mitchberthelson, would the thought have even occured to you if it was exactly the same set of circumstances and text, but with two male chracters? Be honest.

If there was an adoption involved and an omission of the characters' love life, and there was an ongoing discussion about a lack of children, then yes. Not only would I do it....I've actually done this type of thing in the past.

There were two somewhat similar situations with male Legend of the Five Rings characters where I inquired and the author in question confirmed that my suspicions were correct and that she HAD written homosexual content intentionally, but hadn't been able to be explicit about it because of orders from her boss. So I figured I'd try with Blaine and see what he said.

One of my favorite projects currently has involved spending hours running down all the hints about Tempest Stryker and his possible male homosexual relationship.....I personally think that Damocles was the other partner and that something related to that was the reason the latter went berserk in the fight against Berith and got himself killed. Not sure I made sense of everything on that one, but others have mentioned getting the same hints, so I'll keep looking at it.

I also spend a fair bit of time looking through the lives of the various male Coordinators of the Combine, looking for any evidence of a "shudo" type relationship with a younger person of the same gender, given the whole samurai thing.

I play a lot of Exalted and did a lot of White Wolf LARPing, where LGBT relationships figure prominently into plotlines. Many close family friends are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. I don't assume heteronormativity when I look at situations where there could be an opportunity for a relationship between two characters of the same sex.

In fact, given BT's low explicit representation in that category until recently, I've made it a hobby to look for cases where it COULD have happened and didn't until recently. That's part of where this came from. I search for the word "homosexual" on these forums every couple months just to see if anybody's pointed out something that I missed or a new character's been added that increases the tally of explicitly LGBT characters. I also like digging up the funny instances (like in The Sword and the Dagger) where characters strangely try bring up homosexuality as something scandalous, given how far in the future the setting is. Granted, Ardath Mayhar didn't have much of a setting to work with, but the point stands.

Some BT fans obsess over alternate ammo, Battle Values, or range bands. I do a bit of that too, but I love looking at the evolution of societies and social convention within the universe. Things like Ramage having no last name, the Belters and Jarnfolk developing the way they did, the development of the New Avalon Catholic Church, etc.

In my own AtoW campaigns, I try to "put my money where my mouth is" with regard to LGBT representation. The Colonel of the PCs' SLDF regiment in my current game is male and is married to another man.

I've also spent a lot of time on how chaplains might be handled in the SLDF and how uniform standards and military policies would evolve with cultural changes (things like ethnic facial tattoos, turbans, etc., as well as alternate marriage types or the growth of neo-pagan religions that has exploded today and seems to get taken to a whole new level in BT). Along that line, one of my players is playing a Sikh and another a Norse neo-pagan, and both are professional soldiers rather than cartoons for the sake of explotation, so I'm having to do a lot of work to maintain the right feel because it's important to us.

I hope that clarifies my intentions on this.
« Last Edit: 16 January 2016, 15:39:35 by mitchberthelson »

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #28 on: 16 January 2016, 18:24:38 »
Tempest Stryker and Damocles are the same person
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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mitchberthelson

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Rhonda Snord
« Reply #29 on: 16 January 2016, 20:09:34 »
Tempest Stryker and Damocles are the same person

Sorry. You're totally right. I meant Glen and wondered if he and Damocles were married.

The name attached to the picture of Glen and his "lifelong friend" roughly translates as "Tempest Striker."
« Last Edit: 16 January 2016, 20:15:53 by mitchberthelson »