Sunday, August 23, 2009

Favourite Characters

I was reading a blog today about "Awesome things I've done in a game." This got me to thinking about some awesome things I've done, and I realise that more than awesome things, I'm drawn to awesome characters. I say this because the vast majority of entries in my version of this list would have been "played Character X."

So I decided that for today's entry, I would post a list of my ten favourite characters. These aren't all characters that I've run, but they're characters that I really like and remember with some sort of fondness. We'll start with:
  1. Sarah Storm. Game: Changeling: The Dreaming. Player: Me. Overview: Piskie grump.
    This character was inspired by two simultaneous events. First, I read an entry on the White Wolf forum that was talking about how Changeling is a purely fantasy game. As I've mentioned here before, Changeling is as close as you can get to a universal-genre system without actually being a universal-genre system. So I wanted to disprove this statement. Secondly, a friend of mine complained that I am incapable of and/or unwilling to play combat capable characters. I wanted to prove him wrong too (for the record, I don't dislike combat-capable characters; I demand deep, well-rounded, dynamic characters, and so prefer to avoid gun bunnies). Anyway, so I made a cyberpunk piskie; her Chrysalis was triggered by William Gibson's Neuromancer, and her Dream Dance spawned TIM, the sentient chimerical cyberdeck. She has a chimerical cybereye through which she can interface both with TIM and with her treasure: a ray gun. She's smart, sassy, doesn't take any lip from anyone. Plus: Cyberpunk piskie! 
  2. Howls at Hells. Game: Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Player: John Trobare. Overview: Fianna theurge.
    Somehow, this character developed an enemy who happened to be a mummy. At one point, the mummy gouged out Howls-at-Hells's eyes and replaced them with burning coals. Howls at Hells never removed them, so sometimes when it rains, he has what appears to be black tears streaming down his face. An angry, bitter, cynical old werewolf who, I will admit, derived half his charm from the fact that he befriended Jurgi Deathbringer. 
  3. Michelle (aka Tetenkerh -- "Talks to the Night"). Game: Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Player: Me. Overview: Lupus Silent Strider theurge.
    Not long after Werewolf was released, my friends started playing, but I was hesitant to try because it seemed so combat-intensive. One night, they convinced me to try it, and I read through the rule book looking for something that would interest me. I eventually decided on the Silent Strider Theurge path, and Michelle was born. She started with a Gnosis of 6, which was unheard of in my gaming group at that time (Gnosis is not helpful in killing monsters). My GM, when examining my character, said "Nice Gnosis!" and I beamed as if he had complimented my manhood. I played her many times, and she ended up having her face melted off by a Nexus Crawler (she got better), siring offspring (two of whom turned out to be true Garou), and gaining a Wyrm taint which she purged in the silver fires of Erebus. 
  4. Parenthella Wynd. Game: Vampire: The Masquerade. Player: Stephanie Kammerlocher. Overview: Lasombra.
    She was a business executive who was embraced into the Sabbat, and became the leader of the Crimson Menagerie pack. The perfect combination of ruthless, practical, a good leader, and feminine power, she ran the pack with great efficiency while still... ahem, entertaining a number of lovers. She was an interesting, dynamic, and well-rounded character, and I was always interested to see what she was thinking or doing next. 
  5. Footharoothrai Keekail. Game: GURPS. Player: Me. Overview: Polyglot Navarlian pilot.
    My friend ran a GURPS Space game in which the players created their own alien races. I created the Navarlians, a race of small creatures who lived on a planet where they were the favourite prey of a predator against which they had no natural defenses. The only way they were able to survive was to develop an intellect that enabled them to develop artificial defences. Keekail eventually ended up being the captain of the Unity (and later, the Unity II), the starship that was a joint project of the United Trade Alliance. The game was really cool, although there's not a whole lot specifically I can point to as examples of this. One of my favourite things about the Navarlians was that I developed a way for them to have three genders. 
  6. The Motion. Game: Marvel Super Heroes. Player: Me. Overview: Able to generate and control kinetic energy.
    I never actually got to play him, but I thought he was a neat idea for super powers. Imagine how powerful he would be: any person or object in motion, he could control the direction and speed of that movement. Even if the target wasn't moving, he could impart movement into the target with a simple kinetic bolt. If I ever do get to play in a super-powered campaign, I really want to play him. 
  7. (I really wish I remembered his name). Game: GURPS. Player: Mark Jackson. Overview: A bodyguard/troubleshooter for Louis XIV.
    I ran a time travel game in which the characters were collected from various points throughout history and went on a series of missions to rescue other time travellers that had been lost in history. Generally suave and cool-headed, he was everything you want in an 18th century swashbuckler. He was the heart of the party, and saved their butts on more than one occasion. In the beginning, when he was approached by the Time Team recruiter, he was sceptical of the thought of time travel, so he flipped a coin and timeported while the coin was at its apex. At the end of the campaign, before he accepted a permanent position with the Time Team, he went back to the point he left so that he could catch the coin he had flipped. 
  8. (Not only do I not remember her name, the player doesn't remember either!). Game: Changeling, the Dreaming. Player: Jenny Lang. Overview: Childling Sluagh Shadow Court assassin.
    Some friends tried to run a Shadow Court game, and Jenny was inspired by the character template in the Shadow Court sourcebook, so she created a childling sluagh who saw the world as a video game. Only twice did she get played, but during that one brief period, she uttered a phrase that made gaming history. At the end of a firefight, when the PCs had emerged victorious and all their opponents were dead or fled, this precocious little girl looks up and says, "Level complete." And the other players died laughing. 
  9. Shamooqua. Game: Changeling: The Dreaming. Player: John Trobare. Overview: Every horrible stereotype about black women that you can imagine.
    She was hugely obese, made love to every male that was unable to escape, and had a chimerical gorilla that followed her around with theme music blaring from speakers mounted on his back. She was an offensive character, but she was funny as hell to watch. 
  10. Alexis. Game: Generic World of Darkness. Player: NPC run by the GM: John Trobare. Overview: a precocious mortal child.
    You know, I just talked about her in my last entry, so I won't bore you with the story again.
So there you have it: ten of the best characters I've seen in roleplaying games. Who are your favourite characters? I'd love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below, and I'll see you back here next time, so long as you remember to

Game on!

No comments: