Building a Character: Cremisius “Krem” Aclassi

(Note: This article contains spoilers for the Iron Bull’s character arc up to his personal plot, but not including it. If you’ve already had drinks with the Bull’s Chargers, nothing in here should be spoiled for you.)

The Idea
A couple years ago, BioWare did a BioWare Base panel on LGBTQ representation in our games at PAX. We heard concerns, praise, and a lot of heartfelt discussion about how we present characters from the LGBTQ community. One of the most repeated requests was for representation of transgender and/or genderqueer characters in a way that did not make them either a monster or a joke. When the panel was over, some of us kicked around ideas about what we could do.

Talking over drinks at the bar later, we hit two major challenges. First, any conversation about the subject had to come up naturally in-game. A minor character like a shopkeeper would have no reason to explain that she is trans, so either the conversation would never come up or it would come up because her voice was clearly masculine, at which point it would look like a joke to most players, no matter how we tried to write it. Second, the character had to serve a purpose beyond “being there to be a genderqueer person.” Every character in our game serves a purpose—reinforcing the theme of a plot, character, or area—and we do not have the budget for someone who is just there to tick off a box.

As we discussed ideas, the possibility came up of Iron Bull’s lieutenant being such a character. Bull needed a lieutenant. He’s a mercenary commander, and even if we didn’t have the memory budget to have his entire company around all the time, I needed to be able to remind players that Bull has a history of command. In addition, Bull’s loyalty is pulled between life under the Qun and a life of freedom, and I needed a character on each side who could represent that pull.

Cremisius “Krem” Aclassi met both challenges. His conversation could come up naturally, along with discussions of life as a mercenary, and he could serve a vital role in the story as a grounding force who would remind the player that Bull is more than just hired muscle. Krem’s status as a trans man, rather than being just tacked on, could emphasize Bull’s character by opening up discussions of Qunari gender roles.

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Building a Character: Cremisius “Krem” Aclassi

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My BEST posts of 2014

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So here it is, the end of my first full year on tumblr, and here’s to 2015 – may it be just as fabulous. Thanks to all of you to, for hanging around and putting up with my random brain farts. Kisses!

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Charging for the Chargers (823 words) by thewhiteknight [AO3]

Chapters: 1/?
Fandom: Dragon Age (Video Games), Dragon Age: Inquisition
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Qunari – Character, Inquisitor (Dragon Age), Male Inquisitor (Dragon Age), Iron Bull
Additional Tags: the chargers – Freeform, qunari inquisitor
Summary:

What if things had happened a little differently during Demands of the Qun?

Charging for the Chargers (823 words) by thewhiteknight [AO3]

Parks & Inquisition

leggywillow:

I have been screaming about Parks & Inquisition for a while now but it really is so perfect:

Inquisitor = Leslie Knope

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Josephine = Ann Perkins (because she’s a beautiful tropical fish too good for this world)

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Leliana = April Ludgate (hardened scary Leliana of course)

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Cullen = Jerry Gergich (I’M SORRY, I LIKE CULLEN but he did kill my whole clan the first playthrough damnit Gerry/Jerry/Gary/Cullen)

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Solas = Ben Wyatt (ORB DOWN COSTS EGG CLOWN HIS ELF CROWN)

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Vivienne = Donna Meagle. Savvy and taker of no shit.

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Iron Bull = Andy Dwyer

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Cassandra = Ron Swanson

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Cole = Orin

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Sera = Mona Lisa Saperstein

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Varric = Tom Haverford

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Dorian = Chris Traeger, because he and the Inquisitor share a nerdish enthusiasm, okay (look, I am stretching at this point)

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Blackwall = Lil Sebastian (I RAN OUT OF CHARACTERS, OKAY)

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BONUS HAWKE AS JEAN RALPHIO BECAUSE YOU KNOW IT TO BE TRUE, SEARCH YOUR FEELINGS:

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Also bonus double-casting of The Warden = Ron Swanson:

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I don’t even watch the show, but thanks to tumblr I can appreciate that this is perfect.

After finishing my first run, I’d like to thank the game writers for not tearing my heart out through my nose and stomping it into little pieces this time.

Now commencing playthrough 2, as a Qunari tank with Elizabeth Taylor eyes.  Who will I romance this time, Dorian or Cassandra?  Decisions, decisions….

Changed up the Keep this time.  For Origins, I kept Loghain and the Architect alive, had the human noble romance Leliana and marry Anora, killed Avernus, broke the mage tower and sided with the werewolves. DA2, had a female mage who romanced Anders and made Carver a templar.

Let’s see what happens….

(I’m totally picturing Evrion resting his tankard on Varric’s head at some point during their relationship, by the way.  Look at that height difference!)

at some point Our Heroine (I don’t know her name, I don’t know anything about her) is walking through the woods, and stumbles across a girl wearing a red hood, who has a finger in her mouth and is drooling a bit.

“Oh lord,” says the wolf behind her, “not another one!”

The wolf and Little Red Riding Hood are partners. Sometimes he kills her and sometimes she kills him and sometimes they’re lovers and sometimes they’re mortal enemies. It’s just the way things are. She always reappears on the path, and he always finds her. Pas de deux.

And then one day Little Red Riding Hood showed up without a mind. And the wolf, not knowing what else to do, takes her back to his den and feeds her and tries to figure out if this is just the latest variation on the theme, or if something else is going on.

And then another one shows up. Which is outside all experience—there’s one Little Red Riding Hood, she’s an archetype after all. And then another one and another, and they can utter maybe a word or two and aren’t housebroken and the wolf is collecting them because he simply doesn’t know what else to do and Our Heroine goes to his den and finds a dark room full of grimy girls wearing rags, staring out with bright, feral eyes, and eating the meat the wolf brings them raw.

“One of them got sick once,” said the wolf miserably, “and I left to find medicine for her, and by the time I got back, they’d eaten her, too.”

“Why don’t you just…let them go?” say our heroine, who can tell that the wolf is on the last edge of exhaustion, and isn’t sure there’s anything left in the girls to be worth saving, even assuming they’re actual people and not something else entirely.

“If I let them go,” says the wolf, “they try to go to Grandmother’s House.”