One Shots: Levana

Character: Levana Karpinski
Game: Hope Inhumanity, Ten Candles
Episodes: 2
Theme Song: Everybody Stand Up by Bombs Away, Lean On by Major Lazer
Keywords: Easy going, uncommitted, hopeful

A few months ago I decided I was gonna play the same character with different worlds in 2017. You may have noticed it's 2016. What I did instead was make an apocalypse character. I play a lot of horror games in one shots. Rach, Rob, and I went to Jiffycon and Rach and I played Ten Candles by Stephen Dewey.

In that game, you're given traits. But you get to kind of decide who you are before you get those traits. I made a character who was an EDM DJ by night and dog walker by day. So, she was mostly a stoner/MDMA-lover party girl who walked people's dogs to pay the bills while her DJing wasn't all that fruitful money wise.

Her mother lived in the same town as her, but didn't really approve of her party-filled lifestyle. She was stubborn, just like her daughter, and their conflicting relationship was something that she felt would never be resolved. The traits I got were hopeful and stubborn. I might as well made myself a character, but regardless, I forged ahead with the idea that Levana was kinda positive in the way that EDM music was and that made her hopeful. She hadn't found a challenge she hadn't overcome yet.

Then we got to make things that were bad about each other. I got "I have seen you leave one person for another with less emotional baggage." Okay. So now Levana was the kind of person who moved from relationship to relationship purely based on whomever seemed more solid or reliable to her. In my mind, this translated as having come from a family with a lot of transient people coming in and out, probably on the account of her mother, and Levana kinda fled the minute issues came up in the relationship now.

Naturally, Levana didn't survive Ten Candles, as the rule is, you don't. She was taken out trying to save someone else by the guy she had actually liked the most. Although, as soon as he appeared to be infected, she flitted to the next suitable person. In my mind, that's maybe her future or maybe that was just one possibility of the girl doomed to doom.

Later, Derek Gour ran Hope Inhumanity, a game about the world ending and you trying to survive it. Unlike Ten Candles, you can survive this. The apocalypse this time was more military in nature as opposed to alien/other. We started with relationships, so this time I met my wayward Dad who clearly had no idea how to have life skills, and my ex, who was a computer engineer and we didn't see eye to eye at all.

In this game, I saw Levana try to get the group to risk themselves in order to help others, carrying through that hopeful vein despite the end of the damn world. Hope Inhumanity isn't as immediately dire and terrifying as Ten Candles. It's more The 100 and Ten Candles is jumping into the middle of The Mist. Different types of ends.

Levana had zero interest in people with baggage and although her ex tried to win her back, she repeatedly told him to die in a fire, and would take choices to not help him if she could. Partly this is because mechanically you get dinged if you help your ex, but also because she just had zero interest in even remotely giving him a sense of hope. Stubborn. Always stubborn.

I'm probably going to play Levana tonight again for Life On Mars, but I don't know about it to say for sure. I wanna see that flame of hope she picked up in Ten Candles continue through her survival games, mostly because she's the kind of woman who doesn't look like she'd survive. I like when random people have enough survival skills to thrive but not enough life skills to really deal with how society functions. Levana is one of those. And I think she'll thrive long term in the apocalypses she keeps appearing in.

Or maybe she's an immortal portent of doom. who knows?


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