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The Sufi (A Character Outline)

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ال صُوفِيّ

("The Sufi", A Character Outline for Saif al-Mansur)

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"How can you defeat an enemy who looks into the barrel of your gun and sees paradise?"

Preamble

I recently decided to return to DayZRP after an extended break in order to kick back and have a little fun, but I had no desire whatsoever to resurrect my old character, the drunken Czech hobo Jiri Janik. My clan, Lost and Found, have (for the most part) moved on from DayZRP, and I decided it would be best to cook up something fresh and start again. So I came up with the idea for Saif al-Mansur, outlined below, and before I started working on a proper RP series for him (using a combination of sound files, writing and video), I wanted to put together this post and share it with the other roleplayers here in order to get some feedback and perhaps some new ideas that I can integrate into the character, personality or otherwise. I appreciate you guys taking the time to read this, and I look forward to being back in action over the next few weeks.

Background

For this man, who sees life as a constant struggle between the righteous and the sinful, the pauper and the noble, the chosen and the irredeemable, the cataclysm that has befallen the world makes perfect sense. The lines that once separated right from wrong have grown thicker in his eyes and have become easier to identify, and the spiritual demons with whom he had been engaged in constant mental warfare since he was a child suddenly materialized in the form of mindless, shambling corpses bent on slaughter. Hollow vessels, as it were, into which El Shaddai could pour his wrath, his vengeance, and enduring and insurmountable purpose; to cleanse the world of the fickle faithful and the hopeless faithless.

Saif al-Mansur, whose name means "Sword of Mansur" after the early modern Islamic revolutionary Mujahideen Al-Imam al-Mansur al-Mutawakil 'ala Allah, is a wandering warrior-philosopher from North Africa who joined up with Takistani rebel fighters over a decade ago. He is a strict adherent of the mystical branch of Islamic faith known as Sufism, and views the "outbreak" that has rocked humanity and reduced it to a collective of vagabond survivors as a test God expects the pure and devout to pass by navigating their way through a new earthly paradigm rife with disease, terror, and morally bankrupt people designated as obstacles to be overcome. To this end, Saif regards bandits and militaristic ideologues as enemies of God, and heroic survivors as God's tools of reconstruction. Although he still identifies himself as Mujahideen, an Islamic warrior, he no longer believes that Islam is the only path to God. Rather, he has come to the conclusion that other religions and perennial philosophies of existence that supersede religion are indeed "good", provided that they also encourage people to be "good" by performing great deeds which further the cause of humanity as a whole.

Characteristics

Saif abstains from eating canned foods and drinking soda unless the circumstances are dire (he is literally about to die of hunger or thirst). Instead, he hunts and fishes for halal meat (no pork) and drinks only water and tea. When he finds a can of iced tea, he gets very excited. It's like a little gift from God just for him. He covers most of his face and rarely speaks, and when he does he chooses his words very carefully. For the most part, he communicates through elaborate emotes that explain exactly what he is thinking or what he is doing.

Saif has little or no interest in weapons other than powerful rifles that allow him to hunt and survive more effectively, although he is not opposed to using silenced weapons of all kinds if he happens to come across them or is able to trade something for them. Years of fighting against Russians and his homeland's government forces high in the mountains have also made him accustomed to all known variations of the Kalashnikov and different types of explosives, although he does not particularly enjoy carrying them. He abstains from using LMGs and SMGs as he believes them to be devilish and soulless in both design and application due to their rates of fire.

If you were to encounter Saif on the road, his first impulse would be to trade with you if you appear to be amiable, but he is never particularly keen on travelling with others. When he wants to be around others, he heads to locations where he knows survivors gather together (settlements and trading posts). He would certainly rather die with his gun clutched tightly in his hands than part with his meager belongings, therefore he makes a poor potential target for bandits. However, given the right set of circumstances, he would certainly play along with a quality robbery or abduction. He is always willing to provide medical attention to wounded survivors, but he isn't a particularly skilled medical practitioner, and he prefers to treat his own injuries with simple bandages and holistic healing methods (consuming fresh food). For Saif, drugs are never the best solution to a medical problem, the fact that most narcotics are manufactured in the west notwithstanding.

As far as mercantilism, Saif really is a bartering man at heart. He brings food, water, medical supplies and special weapons to the table, as well as survival supplies such as tents, compasses, maps, tools and sandbags. Whenever he finds vehicle parts, he generally leaves them for more mechanically-inclined survivors to discover and do something with. His preferred methods for getting around are by foot and by bicycle (by far his favorite).

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This is certainly a interesting character to play out, the most interesting part being that you'd only eat fish (or halal meat). You'd basically be starving to death if you aren't near the coast, and I can respect a Roleplayer that does that hard kind of stuff for the sake of his characters background.

I also like the character doesn't speak much, but rather uses signs and stuff. (Shruggs, nods, stuff like that I'm assuming.)

Awesome character, would want to meet IG. :D

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This is certainly a interesting character to play out, the most interesting part being that you'd only eat fish (or halal meat)...

Awesome character, would want to meet IG.

Thank you, Carib. So far it's been a bit of a hassle micromanaging Saif's inventory in order to keep enough fresh food and water on him at all times (8 blocked slots), but it can be done, particularly since he doesn't have a lot of other stuff he needs to be hauling around. My biggest issue now is finding a way to be useful.

Allow me to explain what I mean by that. I always feel like "surviving" isn't really enough to keep DayZ interesting. Hell, all we really need is food and drink, and if all you wanted to do was make it as long as possible, you can do that by staying in remote areas all by your lonesome, but that's not why we're here, right? We're here for the interaction. And since I like to develop characters over time, I like them to have a "thing" that they have to focus on; doctors look for injured survivors or go "on call" like the Free Medics used to do, military clans work together to move on objectives, bandits are looking for people to rob, and so on. With a guy like Saif, it's hard to find that purpose, so I'm considering some alternatives that require a bit of character tweaking to make him more interesting by allowing him to have more structured adventures.

Some of the things I've considered include converting him into a soldier of fortune who will work for other survivors in exchange for something tangible like sandbags, tents, vehicles, weapons and ammunition, or perhaps he's more of a travelling merchant who peddles some of the more difficult items to find such as stash supplies or vehicle parts. I'm also working on bringing back one of my other old characters who worked in the settlements as a mechanic, so maybe I'll keep that job for him.

Either way, I'll work something out. Thanks for the comments. ;)

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