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Author Topic: Ideas for my "Military Deserter" persona  (Read 2127 times)
NerdyCactus
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United States United States


« on: July 18, 2013, 12:12:28 am »

So, without boring you by explaining too much of the altered history my wold takes place in, I have a character who deserted the military when they came to power. I have a basic outline for my costume, but it seems a little plain. Essentially, I have the standard pant... things, shirt, waistcoat, like what most citizens would be wearing (so as to disguise myself from anyone looking for me) and a belt with pouches, and two holsters; one for my pistol and one for my sword. Finally i have a piece of cloth to cover my mouth, intimidating goggles, and a cloak. Writing it out, it seems ok, but in my mind it comes out plain and boring. Does anyone have suggestions for additions/alterations? Thanks!
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J. Wilhelm
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United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 01:11:08 am »

Do you have some additional background?  Alternative (American) Civil War Era. perhaps?  That could help in guiding the accessories.  I think it makes perfect sense that some military equipment would still be carried by the deserter, coupled with "civilian clothing."  So to me it boils down to the historical period/geographical region in question (even of the geographical region is imaginary).

-18th. C. Navy deserter (e.g. Pirate?)
-Regency Era deserter from the British army or navy?
-Napoleonic period French Army deserter?
-Am. Civil War Era Confederate / Union deserter?
-Mexican-American War deserter?
-Reconstruction/Indian War Era deserter (American)?
-Latin American Independence period deserter?
-Mexican Revolution (Civil War) Period deserter?
-Meiji Period (Japan) deserter (European or Japanese)?

Every one of these fellows looks different.

JW
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 01:14:10 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Fairley B. Strange
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*******
Australia Australia


Relax, I've done much dumber things and survived..


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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 02:15:57 am »

Being a successful military deserter would require one to not look military at all - so dress as an apocethary or other random profession.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 02:28:44 am »

Yeah, but where is the fun in that?  He needs to "be on the lam," running for his life after every single ridiculous (and improbable) encounter with armed forced members Cheesy

I mean, if you are really smart and you blend in with some population far away somewhere by just donning a t-shirt some shorts and wear a pair of flip-flops (rhetorical - he would have of course to look Victorian), then what would distinguish him as a deserter? How is that different from being a civilian with a shady past?  
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 02:34:25 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
NerdyCactus
Deck Hand
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United States United States


« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 10:02:57 am »

Good point on the background, Wilhelm. The setting is colonial America, with the British military still in power. This is around the 1600's, and the British military has huge Greek influences. As such, my character is a combination of Victorian England, Greek influence, and (possibly) a very small bit of Native American.

He was in the reconnaissance portion of the military, trained in stealth, psychological warfare and chemical warfare. I see him keeping his military issued sword and any medals earned.
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Capt. Dirigible
Rogue Ætherlord
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Shirts?.....I got plenty at 'ome.


« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 10:50:57 am »

Quote
This is around the 1600's, ....As such, my character is a combination of Victorian England..

Er..wot Huh Is he a time traveller as well? Or an Immortal?
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Zeppelin Admiral
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England England


« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 10:58:30 am »

Presuming you mean the 1800's.
Get a good hat, something with a wide brim not a cowboy hat, simpler crown wide brim and not turned upon both sides. For partly Native American perhaps some Navajo style jewellery with a disassembled medal mixed in.  Add bottles of mysterious chemicals and odd tools to the belt pouch and/or the waistcoat pockets.
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akumabito
Immortal
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Netherlands Netherlands


~~Blast from the past~~


« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 11:13:19 am »

For originality and style points, go with a Military Desserter look - full camo gear, with bandoliers full of whipped cream and ice cream in an old ammo box..
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Capt. Dirigible
Rogue Ætherlord
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Shirts?.....I got plenty at 'ome.


« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 11:34:23 am »

Quote
Presuming you mean the 1800's

No, Mr NerdyCactus stated his character was from 'Colonial America' (which I believe runs from 1492 to 1763). Now,  I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure that after 1776 America ceased to be 'a colony'. I fail to see how his character can be "a combination of Victorian England..." when Victoria wasn't even born until 43 years after America became independent and 61 years before she became Queen. The term 'Victorian' wasn't even coined until 1851.

I'm not trying to be 'Mr Pedantic' but if NerdyCactus is going to go to the trouble of creating a back story for his character it helps if it makes sense.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 11:57:36 am by Capt. Dirigible » Logged
NerdyCactus
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United States United States


« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 05:17:05 pm »

I apologize Captain xD I was under the impression that the Victorian Era was around the 1600's, and that was confirmed by some things I heard. Thanks for the new information though, and I'll give it consideration and change some plans.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2013, 07:49:22 pm »

Well it's never too late to learn about history. This applies to all responders in this thread.


At the risk of becoming the "king of pedantics," in using the word "American Colonial" you have to be specific - North American? South American? or Continental American as in the Americas?  Regarding nomenclature, the North American (US) Colonial period does not start until the establishment of the first English settlement, and that would be Jamestown, Virginia, 1608. Plymouth was the first *stable* settlement in 1621.  Arguably the colonial period for the whole of the Americas definitely starts with Christopher Columbus 1492 (that is debatable because actual colonisation took some time - starting with the Caribbean Islands first, so Cuba for example, goes before Mexico), but the Colonial period in the Mainland America Continent does not start until Hernan Cortez' Conquest of the Aztecs and fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521 (which was re-Christened as Mexico City that same year).  So those are the relevant "Colonial American" periods we can talk about.

The late North American US Colonial period of course overlaps with the American Revolutionary period, due to the fact that the United States did not win it's independence instantaneously, you know?   We had to fight for it for some time - we only declared independence in 1776, and consummated the event in 1783.

Arguably the War of 1812 with the UK was also an extension of the revolutionary period; certainly we were very vulnerable back then.

Have you seen the website of Jas. Townsend and Son?  I don't know if you want to go as far back as the 1600's, in which case you are looking at the early colonies (not as far back as 1608, I hope - otherwise you start looking like a pilgrim, and details get rather sketchy; the military looked *very* different back then).

If per chance you want to go into the 1700's and concentrate on the now well developed North American colonies, this will be more useful:

http://jas-townsend.com/

"A Pound of Meat" 18th Century Cooking Series
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 08:35:41 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Wilhelm Smydle
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2013, 01:52:58 am »

As a recent deserter the uniform dress code would likely slip fairly quick, so grime and a little mud may help.
Laundry often slips when your on the run.
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Fairley B. Strange
Zeppelin Overlord
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Australia Australia


Relax, I've done much dumber things and survived..


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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2013, 05:46:34 am »

If you are going to 'slip away' from the Army, there is always...

http://application.denofgeek.com/images/m/ba/Major%20Star.jpg
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Sebastian Dante
Officer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2013, 07:53:49 am »

"There is nothing for it, I'm going to have to desert"
"Are you leaving us Blackadder"
"No sir"
"Good, because I need your help to shoot some deserters later"
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J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2013, 08:53:45 am »

If you are going to 'slip away' from the Army, there is always...

http://application.denofgeek.com/images/m/ba/Major%20Star.jpg


When you do that you don't even have to become a deserter.  You can just try to get a "Section 8" like Corporal Klinger in M*A*S*H

http://www.jamiefarr.com/mash.html
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 08:56:37 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Fairley B. Strange
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Australia Australia


Relax, I've done much dumber things and survived..


WWW
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2013, 09:38:02 am »

That's not how you get a Section 8...


http://p.twimg.com/A04UTPgCMAA8hWr.jpg:large

Wibble.
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pakled05
Officer
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United States United States



« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2013, 11:38:15 pm »

I suppose you could go for a regular uniform, just visibly stripped of insignia...sort of a 'turn coat' image, which I think is how the term started...
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Arabella Periscope
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Edwardian summer


« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2013, 01:15:23 am »

A Foreign Legion hat, and one of their net scarf things, that wrapped up the face to hide identity. (Banana Republic used to sell those.)  After all, they were mostly deserters whose origins were not questioned, a mixture of idealists and hardened mercenaries of all nations with a history of dashing costume.

 ('"Historically, the American film industry portrayed the Foreign Legion as, in the words of Neil Tweedie of The Daily Telegraph, having "a reputation as a haven for cut-throats, crooks and sundry fugitives from justice" and also having many men escaping failed romances.[4] Tweedie said that since the legion had asked few questions of its new recruits, it became "an ideal repository for the scum of the earth."[4])

That sounds like a good inspiration for a time traveling deserter from all over the world.  I'd like to see the result!
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Harbinger_99
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United States United States

Gravatar


« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2016, 12:53:58 am »

If your character is on the lamb he or she will likely be unable to go into populated areas for long periods so as not to be recognized and arrested. Therefor he or she will need storage such as a backpack and utility belt so that he or she can store the essentials i.e. canteen, food, fire starter and spare clothes. You may also consider bladed weapons like swords (although they were only issued to officers) and Bowie knives for when either stealth is required or ammo is out. You may also want to mismatch some of your characters clothing to show that they have been stolen/scavenged.
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2016, 11:48:35 am »



I am seeing a highwayman crossed with Mad Max type character

 Leather  riding coat , striped  pullover, 3 corner hat , eye patch, boots, satchel.
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Rockula
Board Moderator
Rogue Ætherlord
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Nothing beats a good hat.


« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2016, 02:40:08 pm »

If you want to be a successful deserter surely you need to be not seen or noticed at all.
Otherwise you're not a 'deserter'....you're the 'prisoner'.
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Madasasteamfish
A clanger waiting to be dropped......
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09madasafish
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2016, 03:14:21 pm »

If you want to be a successful deserter surely you need to be not seen or noticed at all.
Otherwise you're not a 'deserter'....you're the 'prisoner'.

Ah but you're forgetting the wisdom of G.K. Chesterton;

Q: Where does a wise man hide a pebble?
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Q: Where does a wise man hide a leaf?
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The best place to hide is in plain sight, where no one would think to look for whatever you're to trying to hide. Therefore, one of the best places to hide as a deserter would be in somewhere like a military installation or garrison town where there are tons of military types wandering around. So long as you remove any 'distinguishing' features from your uniform (say regimental facings/trade patches etc.) and keep your head down you won't be noticed so long as you don't stay too long.

A good example of this is a story from someone my grandfather knew; having serving in the Army as a cook during WWII he caused the capture of a German soldier. This young German soldier had actually just wandered into the camp looking to get fed, and managed to join the queue in the mess hall, get served, sit down and start eating without anyone batting an eyelid. The only reason my grandfather's friend (who was doling out the food) realised something was amiss was when he saw a bloke a few places from the front of the queue holding a mess tin that was the wrong shape (being rounded rather than the square type used by the British Army). He then pretended not to notice anything until he could call a sergeant over and point the bloke out.
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"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."
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