I love to create both Player Characters and Non-Player Characters as I feel that the individuals that populate game worlds are as important (if not moreso) than the game world itself. The rest of the group has verbalized many, many, many times that I can get so wrapped up in my affinity for creating that it often gets in the way of actually playing a table-top RPG. Be that as it may, I know that I am first and foremost a player, so this week, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite creations – past, present, and in limbo.
Razumihin Silverpick – Okay, so as you all know by now, I love Dwarves. My all-time favorite character, both to play with and act as, is hands down my AD&D 2nd Edition Battlerager. He’s currently in retirement after an epic run that saw him evolve through numerous incarnations and classes. From a low level single class fighter all the way through an Epic-Level 3rd edition Fighter/Barbarian/Paladin Demigod (I have mentioned that we are loose with the rules, right?), my reformed alcoholic champion of Clangeddin Silverbeard once wreaked havoc and saved the world alongside the rest of the podcast’s heroes throughout the Forgotten Realms. Clad in platemail and wielding a magically imbued military pick, “Raz” has always been a one-dwarf wrecking crew. Sure, he wasnt quite like the “whirling blades o’ death” Karen’s dual-wield Ranger was, but he was tough as nails and more stubborn than a stone mule.
He’s also seen a stint as a high level NPC in a short lived Eberron campaign and as a low-level cleric in a campaign I’m running for my family. Essentially, I love this character so much he’s always in the creative stew to surface in one way or another in pretty much any game world I can dabble in. That all being said, he was very much influenced by my love of Wolverine and at times seems to have a history almost as long and colorful.
Jack O’Reilly – The ne’er do well gearhead is my character in Karen’s World of Darkness campaign. I’m a huge fan of Supernatural, and I think the character of Dean Winchester is one of the greatest ever to grace to small-screen, so I wanted to play a character that was similar but at the same time completely different. I’ve long held that viewing existing characters or archetypes is a great starting point when creating a character, but it is highly important to make that character your own. Jack has proven to be one of the most challenging, thus far. He’s the youngest son in an Irish-Catholic family of fully of deadbeats. His brothers are in and out of jail, his dad took the fall for an employer and is serving time in federal prison, and he’s the only one around to take care of his poor sick mom. He loves his ’72 Chevelle, is horrible with women (just don’t tell him that), and isn’t really that good in a fight unless he’s got a shotgun handy. However, he’s got a heart of gold and (usually) a brain of lead. If you take little bit of Dean Winchester, add a pinch of Tommy Donnelly from The Black Donnellys, and marinate it in a lot of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Kelly, you get Jack… who looks like Michael Stahl-David.
Morgan “Morgue” Fellowes – My GMPC in the Steampunk Society of Odin game I am currently running, the concept of Morgue started growing in my head when I first saw Liev Schreiber play Sabrertooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I think it was the feral mutton chops that sold me. Morgue is a thief and a thug, born and raised in an orphanage in Victorian London’s East End. After numerous run-ins with Scotland Yard, he was given a chance to prove his loyalty (and keep his head) to the Queen by handling whatever “unsightly” business the crown deemed necessary. With his trademark bowler and cockney accent (I’m developing it), he’s happy to jump into the fray, electrical Tesla-Truncheons and Clockwork Howdah Pistol at the ready!
Piotr Vasilevich – Codenamed Shepherd (not a Mass Effect rip-off), Piotr was a GMPC that never made it out of the gate in my one-shot Spycraft 2.0 game that quickly (over three years) became my Society of Odin game. One of my all-time favorite books and moves is Black Hawk Down and I have an admitted man-crush on Eric Bana. His character of Hoot in the film has always stuck with me as totally bad-ass, so I used production stills to help in the character creations process. The Spycraft game was supposed to have a supernatural element to it, so the character was originally rolled up with the lycanthrope template. The history behind Piotr was that he was originally a Soviet POW of the Nazi’s during The Battle of Stalingrad and was shipped to Auschwitz and experimented on by Josef Mengele as part of an Occult Super-Soldier experiment (I have mentioned I have a history degree and am a huge fan of Mike Mignola, right?). He escaped, was rolled up in a Soviet/KGB Occult Super-Soldier program and eventually ended up working for the international security program called Project: O.D.I.N. (Occult Defense, Infiltration, and Neutralization). Long story short, Project: O.D.I.N. became the Society of Odin, and Piotr sits in the back of my head, waiting to get rolled out in another game down the line.
As you can (hopefully) see, I love to create characters, and I have plenty of other minor players and concepts rattling around in my brain. I’d love to hear what some of your, the reader’s, favorite characters have been or currently are, and if you’re looking to dump some NPC creation on someone, I might just be willing to do it for you!