Monday, October 20, 2014

Clothing Is A Lot More Than Just Cloth

One of the weirder questions you may have to deal with is a clothing issue. Basically, you're going to make the mistake of asking yourself, at some point, what are the costumes made out of? And no; this does not apply only to super-hero comics, but fantasy as well as horror comics. If your characters have any kind of shape-shifting or size-changing abilities, or any kind of transformative abilities, then you may wish to ask this question.

Marvel Comics has a pretty good solution to this: unstable molecules. Clothing made of these molecules mimics the abilities of any wearer, allowing them to stretch, shift, or otherwise be immune to transformations of their wearers, such as turning to flame or even invisible. At the other end of the spectrum White Wolf had a ritual that convert one suit to clothes that would transform along with its wearer and would disappear when he changed to a non-human form (and appear back when the shifter returned to a humanoid shape). Some variant of these may great for your comic.

Consider also some of the more exotic options. Spider-man's symbiotic suit is a great one; prior to it becoming Venom, the suit could mimic any suit of clothes with a thought as well as mimic some of Spidey's equipment, such as his web-shooters. With Venom the suit allowed some shape-changing abilities. In the Trinity RPG, there is the bio-evacuation suit, or BES; this organically grown suit allows its wearer to survive in space, is comfortable enough to wear under another suit of clothes, and will even pop a helmet up if you end up in space while asleep.

You may have other needs to allow for. If you have energy-based races you may need containment suits so that they can interact with flesh-beings, either because of their radiation or lack of a body. Have a feral race? The outfit needs to be tough, form-fitting, odorless in and of itself, and clasps tools tight in case its wearer runs off. And then there are the Qin of Trinity, a race of worms who rely on their human-shaped body armor to hide their individual identities from the humans they deal with.

Keep in mind that you can have fun with armor as well. "The thicker the better" will always be a good general rule, but you can always develop some sort of special cloth that absorbs impacts or deflects energy attacks. For that matter, you can use cloth that emits a force field when a weak electric current is run through it. Obviously there are no limits to what you can do with clothing, so decide what you need it to do, and it will. So have some fun making up types of clothing and make it do what you need it to do. 

No comments: