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Is there anything likeable about Ramos? {Fluff Question}

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I've been looking for a summoning master and Ramos' has piqued my interest. I love the whole idea of a swarm of spiders just spawning out of one scrap marker and oppressing the enemy, plus, his crew box would go nicely with my Ironsides crew (having Joss and Howard can never be a bad thing). Only one thing is kinda making me reluctant to buy him: I really dislike his fluff and his character...

 

In all of the stories I've read, Ramos is always betraying people, or trying to deceive people. He doesn't even do it in a way that makes him interesting (eg. Lucius) and I just can't attach myself emotionally to him. Am I missing something? Is there a nicer side to Ramos that I just haven't noticed? If I can't find a way to like Ramos I might just proxy/convert my own Ramos impersonator but I really want to like him.

 

tl;dr I'm thinking of buying Ramos but I don't like his fluff. Can anyone convince me that he is cool and ,if not, any suggestions for possible proxy/conversion ideas?

 

Any replies are appreciated! 

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He's one of the few who has made the life of the average Malifaux worker better. Not just 'less worse' by destroying a threat to their life and sanity, just plain better, through unionizing and the projects to improve working conditions. Did you get to Wyrd Chronicles #3? He's in that twice and in the second story we get some solid proof of some good he has sponsored for Malifaux's workers.

Don't force yourself to it, though. If he doesn't appeal to you, that's fine. We all have our standards and aesthetics and our no-go issues....

(I really wish I'd taken a closer look at Ryle's sculpt before settling on Hoffman. That one punched some buttons for me for sure. :()

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16 minutes ago, Gnomezilla said:

He's one of the few who has made the life of the average Malifaux worker better. Not just 'less worse' by destroying a threat to their life and sanity, just plain better, through unionizing and the projects to improve working conditions. Did you get to Wyrd Chronicles #3? He's in that twice and in the second story we get some solid proof of some good he has sponsored for Malifaux's workers.

Don't force yourself to it, though. If he doesn't appeal to you, that's fine. We all have our standards and aesthetics and our no-go issues....

(I really wish I'd taken a closer look at Ryle's sculpt before settling on Hoffman. That one punched some buttons for me for sure. :()

Interesting, might have to check out the chronicles then. 

Also Ryle's sculpt is real hit and miss i feel. It's certainly a lot better then the old metal one but it feels like something is missing from it him 

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What betrayals by Ramos are you referring to?  I can't think of stories where Ramos betrayed someone for no reason.

Note that Ramos is simultaneously acting as the head of a criminal group, the Arcanists, that at times degenerates into a bunch of self-directed splinter groups, and acting as the head of a legal political organization, the M&S U.  Officially, the M&SU is supposed to be working with the Guild to ensure soulstones continue to get mined, but clearly Ramos manipulates the organization to weaken the Guild position and strengthen the Arcanists when he can.

So there are times when the workers get sacrificed to further the Arcanist agenda, and times when troublesome members of the Aracnists get sacrificed to maintain appearances.  There's a very real sense where Ramos is effectively the mafioso-like head of Arcanists with the M&SU a front organization, but the M&SU is used as much more than just a cover.  

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10 minutes ago, solkan said:

What betrayals by Ramos are you referring to?  I can't think of stories where Ramos betrayed someone for no reason.

I was more referring to the workers he left on the mountain when he went to confront Rasputina. I've also talked with a friend who has read alot more stories and fluff than i have and they said that Ramos did that often. Might have been the wrong choice of words, apologies

13 minutes ago, solkan said:

Note that Ramos is simultaneously acting as the head of a criminal group, the Arcanists, that at times degenerates into a bunch of self-directed splinter groups, and acting as the head of a legal political organization, the M&S U.  Officially, the M&SU is supposed to be working with the Guild to ensure soulstones continue to get mined, but clearly Ramos manipulates the organization to weaken the Guild position and strengthen the Arcanists when he can.

When you put it like that, I can sorta dig his choices now. I guess I just saw at as him manipulating and creating an organisation so he can have power over the people of Malifaux. So is there evidence that he is actually a "one for the people" kind of guy or is he just using that as a front?

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Then there's also his pet project, the Leviathan. He's taking a bit of a break from heading up the M&SU directly in order to get that puppy back into gear. In his stead we've got Ironsides and Kaeris. Ironsides is actually doing quite a lot for the M&SU, while Kaeris is ramping up Arcanist operations. He has a lot going on, and with everything he's doing, he actually has the love of the Union members because of the projects he's done for them.
He's ambitious, arguably ruthless, but he's always taking calculated risks and has avoided doing things that Kaeris is now doing because they were too high risk and destabilizing.

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When dealing with Rasputina and Marcus, the rules change. Rasputina is the leader of a cannibal cult that worships the Tyrant December and Marcus came through the breach an elder scholar. Things changed dramatically for him. They are both amoral leaders from the point of view of most humans (let alone modern real world humans).

Even Joss has paid a price to Rasputina (his arm) in return for favors.

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The first section of the M2E rulebook Arcanist story, where Ramos gives Joss a mechanical arm, shows a more caring side of Ramos. The climax of the 1st edition rulebook have Ramos use his humongous spider to help close Kythera, wrecking it for the greater good in the process (this is in episode 7 of ToM I think). So while Ramos is mostly a self centred ass hole (like most Malifaux Masters...) there are stories that round him out a bit.

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1 hour ago, spooky_squirrel said:

Then there's also his pet project, the Leviathan. He's taking a bit of a break from heading up the M&SU directly in order to get that puppy back into gear. In his stead we've got Ironsides and Kaeris. Ironsides is actually doing quite a lot for the M&SU, while Kaeris is ramping up Arcanist operations. He has a lot going on, and with everything he's doing, he actually has the love of the Union members because of the projects he's done for them.
He's ambitious, arguably ruthless, but he's always taking calculated risks and has avoided doing things that Kaeris is now doing because they were too high risk and destabilizing.

When you describe him like that, I actaully really like him now. I would have to read a bunch more stories but just from that perspective he seems like a cool guy. Kaeris is a little bit iffy though..I feel like he made a mistake leaving her in charge while he went away, since now she is giving the Arcanists an even worse reputation.

 

What exactly is the Leviathan by the way? I always imagined it as some sort of giant, mechanical tyrant :D

 

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The Arcanists in general tread that interesting line of being (to varying degrees) bad people doing good things. As the head of the organisation, Ramos is in position to do the most good, but he is also faced with the necessity of being the worst person in order to achieve that. He will easily sacrifice individuals to aid the greater cause, an approach that's reflected to some extent in his meatgrinder playstyle.

Kaeris is more focused in her approach - where Ramos is a consummate politician who can balance the interests of disparate factions to reach a compromise that's acceptable enough to retain everyone's support, Kaeris is a problem-solver whose first instinct upon encountering an obstacle is to burn it down. You get to see a bit more of her backstory in "Falling to Fly" (the third Arcanist story in Crossroads).

The Leviathan is a mechanical god for the new age. It's basically a giant mechanical spider covered in cannons. :P

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Here's where you might not like him anymore: the Leviathan is a massive construct that's soulstone driven that he intends to use to conquer Malifaux (ambitions, he's got them). It was damaged at Kythera and the soulstone is one of the largest and highest quality ones every found, yet only drives it for a short while. He's a criminal and asshole, but he's aware that the best way to fulfill his ambitions is through the hearts and minds of the people who are at the ground level. By winning over the miners and other laborers that are a critical piece of the Guild's soulstone operation, he's put the Guild into a position where they cannot touch him, yet he can hurt them through the Arcanists and through Union activities.

Kaeris' problem is her hatred of the Guild. It deprives her of professional focus--but it does make it so that she's predictable to an extent. She's running the Arcanists much more openly than he ever did, and the body count is climbing as a result (on both sides).

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10 minutes ago, spooky_squirrel said:

Here's where you might not like him anymore: the Leviathan is a massive construct that's soulstone driven that he intends to use to conquer Malifaux (ambitions, he's got them). It was damaged at Kythera and the soulstone is one of the largest and highest quality ones every found, yet only drives it for a short while. He's a criminal and asshole, but he's aware that the best way to fulfill his ambitions is through the hearts and minds of the people who are at the ground level.

Yeah that is the part I dont like about him :( 

He has persuaded so many people just so he can fufill his own agenda..but its strange.. I did end up re-reading the story in the M2E rule book, and I read the story on Howard from the Wyrd Chronicles #3, and he seems like a genuine person, like as if he isnt trying to put on an act, and thats the part I like i guess. Learning that he wants to conquer Malifaux and is using the Miners and Steamfitters unions as a way to get what he wants is interesting, but I'm not sure if i like it.

 

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16 minutes ago, Kadeton said:

The Arcanists in general tread that interesting line of being (to varying degrees) bad people doing good things. As the head of the organisation, Ramos is in position to do the most good, but he is also faced with the necessity of being the worst person in order to achieve that. He will easily sacrifice individuals to aid the greater cause, an approach that's reflected to some extent in his meatgrinder playstyle.

I never even thought of this, but i guess Ramos isn't the only one who comes off like that. All masters in Malifaux aren't really the best people morally, but they sacrifice their morals for the greater good sometimes. 

19 minutes ago, Kadeton said:

The Leviathan is a mechanical god for the new age. It's basically a giant mechanical spider covered in cannons. :P

Awesome. 

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4 minutes ago, Poreo said:

I never even thought of this, but i guess Ramos isn't the only one who comes off like that. All masters in Malifaux aren't really the best people morally, but they sacrifice their morals for the greater good sometimes. 

That's the long and the short of it. Malifaux is a hostile battleground filled with people are are cunning, ambitious, and ruthless. The people who rise to leadership positions are either better than their competition at what they do or they have no competition. The bogeymen in the Neverborn include the Queen who imprisoned all of the Tyrants, all at once. Lilith hates humans, Pandora feeds off of human emotions, Lucius is a sadistic mimic mastermind.. yet they're willing to elevate humans (the right ones) to use them to fight off bigger threats.

Good people under duress can do some bad things. Many of the masters are not very good to begin with (complicated humans make for better protagonists and antagonists), and they're certainly under duress here in Malifaux. After all, Bad Things Happen. 

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I think to separate Ramos from his ambition is a mistake. I think the idea of taking over Malifaux is just a step in the direction of insuring it can be controlled and molded for the greater good. It's like the governor general. He found a way to influence everyone. And recreated the steps to become a tyrant. And if it wasn't for those meddling kids.... The Leviathan is that for Ramos. The thing that is as for putting Karris in charge, I'm not so sure that was a mistake. It could be he had no choice due to lack of people to choose for that level of responsability. Or it could be he is turning her loose a bit to create a situation that in the long run gives his side more options. Ramos is a spider with a long web that seems to go everywhere. But a web needs to be refreshed every so often. By putting Karris in charge of the Arcanist it may be he is allowing that to happen. Or it could be he is showing what happens in to the ship in the hands of another. Or it could be all of it. I think the next books fluff will address more of what he is doing.

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You might also like to read the early stories of Ramos and Hoffman's relationship, I felt like hidden away in Ramos' desire for another strong mecha-mage beneath him he also actually cared about him a bit.

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27 minutes ago, retnab said:

You might also like to read the early stories of Ramos and Hoffman's relationship, I felt like hidden away in Ramos' desire for another strong mecha-mage beneath him he also actually cared about him a bit.

That showing a sliver of care, and later of esteem (and thus inserting himself into the recently vacated mentor position) would also pay ongoing dividends in loyalty couldn't have escaped his notice. Ramos knows people. He would have noticed Hoffman was [is] vulnerable to being gifted with care and esteem.

Ramos cares about those around him, but only when it is both plausible and useful to his interests. No wasted emotion.

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My favorite answer to this question, when it comes up:

As Ramos is leaving his miners to the mercy of the cult, he apologizes to them, explaining the necessity of the situation.  He didn't need to do that.  
When Ramos returns, he suggests that the two missing miners are 'lost in the mines,' both allowing for closure for the family, and just as importantly, he ensures their families will get full union benefits.  He didn't need to do that.

In Malifaux, people go missing all the time.  Demons will eat you on your way to the latrine, you'll fall through portals to other realms, gremlins will take you while you're sleeping.  There wouldn't be a moments thought given to the people who disappeared.  It just happens.  Ramos does the right thing, as best he can, for the families.

He makes the hard decisions, and he puts the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the few, but he still does his best to take care of his people.  This puts him ahead of most people in similar positions of power in Malifaux.  

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2 hours ago, Fog said:

My favorite answer to this question, when it comes up:

As Ramos is leaving his miners to the mercy of the cult, he apologizes to them, explaining the necessity of the situation.  He didn't need to do that.  
When Ramos returns, he suggests that the two missing miners are 'lost in the mines,' both allowing for closure for the family, and just as importantly, he ensures their families will get full union benefits.  He didn't need to do that.

This sort of thing is why he has the love of the Union, even the ones who understand the Arcanist ties. Someone dies on a mission for the Arcanists, and they are treated as a mining casualty. It helps keep the books clean, but it also helps the families of the people involved.

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There really isn't a single master in Malifaux that has "pure" intentions. Everyone is driven by a faction and personal agenda. Some more personal than others which only loosely ties them into their faction. Ramos' has both. He's literally the heart and brain of the arcanist faction. Without him there would be no hope for the miners nor would there be a human uprising against the guild. Sure Ramos' actions help to push his agenda but they also do genuine good for the people who have beholden themselves to him. Not many masters in Malifaux can say the same. If he's cold, cunning and ruthless it is because that is exactly the person he needs to be to undermine the guild and cement his place in the world all at the same time. However, as pointed out, he's had moments of altruism as well. Sure, those moments help him to garner more power, but he could have gotten them in other methods.

 

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The mafia feel certainly gets reinforced by Toni's role, almost as a mafia enforcer.

She is let loose by Ramos to keep rogue arcanists in check, as seen in her confrontation with Raethford, and 'bully' adepts into 'membership'

All for the greater good of the Arcanist/M&SU, but definitely with a Mafia "make them an offer they can't refuse" feel

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You get a somewhat less charitable viewpoint of the guy from Colette's fluff.  He seems to regard her and her girls as indentured servants at best and disposable chaff at worst.  That Colette gets along better with the Arcanists now that there's a pyromaniac in charge is telling in its own right.

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Yes and no about Colette.  Yes we get a much more uncaring appearance to Ramos from Colette's story but that is also mostly from Colette's view of Ramos.  But one could argue that Ramos knows exactly what Colette is and what she is capable of if you give her any wiggle room.  It becomes a matter of who is giving the perception a bit as Colette will always have a negative view on Ramos outside of how smart he is and Ramos respects talent but is not one to indulge in Colette's world.  Yes to him they are pawns, but so is just about everything else.  Disposable only if the need outweighs the cost.  Their two personas just don't mix.  The fact she is being controlled is part of what gives Colette such a negative view, and she is clever enough to see the strings unlike many.

If you look at her short in Ripples another way you can see how manipulative and sly Colette is as the moment Ramos's back is turned she twists and turns and basically shuts down her entire operation till the current intern leader has to come visit Colette herself.  It is not that she was running it her own way, she just shut it down till she got a visit.  And you know she planned from the start to sieve control of the shipments management from the start there.  And while Colette impressed Kaeris with her knowledge and business sense, you are also impressing someone who describes herself as effectively a free-spirited mercenary and a problem solver in the break the problem sort of manner.  From Kaeris's own story you know she does not really want to keep being the leader and having someone who seems capable take one of the logistic matters away likely sounds good.  Really the two of them get along largely because they are fine with the arrangement.  Ramos, not trusting Colette as much and being quiet the bookkeeper himself would never turn it over as it is giving Colette to much reign in his book. 

Not saying Ramos is a great person in any regard here but Colette is one that does not glitter so much when you strip the layers of her agenda either.

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The stories in Ripples definitely painted the M&SU/Arcanists as a group of thugs (Nellie, Asami).

 

My view on Ramos, which might be incorrect, as I haven't read all of the stories: Ramos is an idealist, in so far as he thinks everyone should have access to magic. That is his end-game. He got inside soulstone mining and created the MS&U cause soulstone = magic, but he will sacrifice that on the Arcanist altar if it gets him closer to his end goal. He likes the Union, and the people involved, but they are just a stepping stone in a larger plan. I figure Ramos is his happiest when  he can tinker in his own lab without being bothered, but that's too far away for now.

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