#RPGaDAY 2018 ~ Day 12

Wildest Character Concept?

It’s funny. I like names with a twist, but I tend to play vanilla characters. That doesn’t mean that they don’t develop a personality over time, but often I come in with a bare framework of who they are & I see who emerges.

I’m sure a lot of that is from my roots, when characters & their lives were cheap, & five minute character generation was the rule. However, I’m not a huge fan of the wild & unusual character with the 12 page backstory, or the sworn oath for revenge, or the half dragon samurai enchanter necromancer. ~ I’m more of a “This is Gork. He knows how to fight and he’s a bit melancholy. Let’s find out what happens.” sort of fellow.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t like an interesting character right out of the gate. I really do. Often I’m impressed by the stuff that other gamers come up with & wonder why I don’t seem to be able to come up with that sort of stuff as easily. ~ These days I try to bring a bit more to the table in terms of who the character is, but I’m getting ahead of myself. This isn’t day 13 yet…

So, I’ll give two runners up & then my “final answer”. Actually, the final answer will have two kind of extra runners up. But it shall be mercifully short.

In the past year I had two really fun characters in one shots. When Jason ran Hollow Earth Expedition I created a character called “Bruce Mulligan” ~ an Australian WW1 veteran gone a bit crazy. Known as “the musician” by the folk of Cairo, Mulligan carried a good deal of firepower in various instrument cases. Not content with the standard violin case, I seem to recall a french horn case stuffed with dynamite. Loosely inspired by John Malkovitch’s character in “RED”, Mulligan was a blast to play. I’d love to play that trio of characters again sometime. It was magic.

The second runner up was a pregenerated character that I got to name. “Montgomery Q. Linkspan” was a character I played with last minute warning in Anthony’s Aethercon 6 Leagues of Gothic Horror one shot Death where is thy sting?. A member of the society of antiquarians, Montgomery found himself summoned to a mansion following the death of a father he did not remember. In fact, all of his childhood memories were missing. While his siblings were similarly off balance (not even being aware of each other’s existence), Montgomery also came to the table with some interesting flaws, including missing one arm which I decided he had replaced with a wooden one. (This had a fun effect in the last scene). ~ While all of the characters had a similar setup, one of the things that made this character so fun was that he had already sustained some corruption from the past, (which is mechanically represented), and that he came to the table poised for another descent into corruption. All it would take was one immoral action, & it was too tempting to pass up. ~ The eventual breaking point for that character was a favorite gaming moment.

However, the wildest character concept isn’t one of mine. All three of the characters in my Lamentations in Prussia campaign I ran last year were quite wild and fun concepts. Jason’s Jurgen the Zealot of Zod ~ sincere but misguided witch hunter was a tortured soul who struggled with his beliefs and with what to do. Lee’s Dr Hans the dabbler in the dark arts was equally tortured, and it’s hard to think of someone exposed to more horrific events, most of his own doing.

But the winner is Josh’s Heinrich. The Dim witted son of a baker who as a specialist had some unusual skills. On paper this character should not have worked, but how Josh brought him to life, and how he ended up fitting into the unfolding “weird horror” campaign was just perfect. ~ The fact that I helped it along by introducing a consequence of exposure to a certain something which left Heinrich vacillating between his original pre-injury intelligence, his dim witted self, and mental states which included the personalities of his dead parents and an inhuman “entity” just made that more fun. ~ Josh ran with that once I let him know what was up.

That’s a game I miss. Even though Jurgen has gone on to the great temple of Zod in the sky, I hope that we can return to it sometime.

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