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1001 interesting character ideas

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  • #46
    #50 Ronnie Hampton came from a large and loud family, eleven brothers and sisters. He was the youngest, and the only one with no memory of their father, who died in world war two. His mom remarried in a few years to a widower with four kids of his own. Ronnie often stayed on the outer edges of the family, a quiet, awkward boy, with few friends outside his siblings and step-siblings. When Ronnie graduated from high school, and went off to Texas A&M, he reluctantly joined a fraternity. He was terrified of being around so many strangers, but three of his older brothers had joined and graduated, so he was a legacy. The chapter had a large endowment and the house was like a palace compared to the residence halls, and cheaper to boot.

    The house was intimidating at first, with scores of rooms and multiple wings, many of which seemed to be tacked on at random angles. There was a pool, a wine cellar and a library bigger than some junior colleges. Construction was making it even bigger while Ronnie was there, as the A&M's administration expanded the student body drastically, including admitting women and some minorities. (Neither of these would ever be admitted to the frat, obviously.) Ronnie majored in civil engineering and earned several scholarships. While his frat brothers didn't dislike him, they also didn't exactly know him. He was so quiet and bookish, they would often forget he was there. That is until they needed tutoring in any field of math or the physical sciences, then they kept him up late. Oddly, Ronnie started studying outside his major so he could better tutor his house brothers. He developed a working knowledge of anthropology, psychology, sociology and veterinary science. By his final semester, he realized he could breeze through a second degree in mathematics in a single year, so he stayed on.

    This attracted the attention of a kindred out of Houston who wanted a childe capable of building secret warrens into the growing industrial sector of that city. The sire came Thanksgiving weekend figuring he could snatch Ronnie from his room while pre-game festivities were going on. She embraced Ronnie and took him a storage room for old furniture to wait for the change to come upon him. She arranged plenty of blood for his first meal, but once he fed he was flush with emotion and frenzied. He staked her with a table leg and ran toward the nearest large source of blood: the annual bonfire. Along the way, he drank a townie passed out on a lawn, and, not used to so much alcohol, remained in the frenzy, albeit in a deep stagger. When he got there he ran toward the light, grabbing at undergrads. The vast crowd buffeted him away from each intended victim, finally maneuvering him near the fire itself. At that moment, the bonfire collapsed onto him. Bystanders grabbed him and pulled him onto the lawn, extinguishing him with coolers full of ice.

    By the next night he was in the city morgue, seemingly killed in the fire. He awoke horrifically burned, but "alive". His sire freed him from the meat locker and took him back to the storage room. Her ghouls had removed the stake and hidden the body of the townie. Next they would arrange for Ronnie's "remains" to be cremated and transferred to his family. She stayed around for a few weeks teaching him the basics of vampiric existence, and holding his hand through the Nosferatu change. Perhaps predictably, he looked like a burn victim. She left him, there, though, deciding he was too unstable to work on the sort of large scale projects she had in mind.

    The campus, of course, was aghast at his death. People who had never looked twice at him claimed to be close friends. For Ronnie's part, he was too scared to leave the frat house except for short periods, and has not left the campus at all since his "death".

    Ronnie has become a local legend, known as the Thirteenth Man. The guy who died, some say willingly throwing himself onto the bon fire as a sacrifice to school spirit. It reinforces the legend when he feeds on the members of his old fraternity, and keeps a haven in an obscure corner of the house. Ronnie spends his nights observing his brothers, following their interpersonal intrigues the way an old woman follows her soap operas. He has watched them dodge the draft, get girls pregnant, run a pot ring, campaign for Carter, campaign for Reagan, get involved in a hazing scandal, admit their first black member, lose one of their own in Iraq and elect the first openly gay greek chapter president on campus. He has been, watching passively, the whole time. Sometimes he goes months at a time without speaking to single person. He has, also, never actually met another vampire.

    He has kept a cordial correspondence with his sire, and she keeps him filled in on the gossip around Houston's court. Now, he thinks he may need help. A national ghost hunting show is scheduled to film on campus. They have not been given permission to film in the frat house, but it's just a matter of time. They probably won't find anything, but he is still worried.


    • #47
      Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
      #42: Bob McCrory grew up in Huntington, West Virginia. In high school, he bagged groceries at the Save-A-Lot and played varsity football. He fixed up an old truck and dated Debbie, the actual girl next door. He and Deb weren't the most popular couple in town, but they were the best looking. They had known each other before they looked good, so it didn't really matter. And he loved her. Really, truly, deeply. So much it hurt. So much he was terrified to tell her how much. Then, they had a pregnancy scare their senior year, but she had a miscarriage two days before they were named Prom Queen and King. After that, it wasn't the same. Debbie went off to college in Ohio. Bob got a job changing oil at the local garage.

      Sometimes, when he was sitting at the corner bar, listening to some old Journey song on the jukebox, he'd just sit and think. "Life had been great. It really had. I can't say exactly when, but it had. Now, it's just life."

      Bob worked on his Camaro. He dated pretty girls, but nothing really solid. He played softball with a local team, and worked out at the gym to stay solid. He rented one of those little apartments out by the strip mall, and no one but him ever went there. As the years went by, his old buddies all got married and got a paunch. The girls all dressed up every Saturday night, until they only dressed up for Sunday mornings. "Bobby," they'd all say, "When are you gonna grow up and get a real life? You're gorgeous. You could marry any woman you want." He'd just smile and ask how their kids were doing in school. He knew they talked. Maybe he was gay, or depressed or a secret drunk. But he wasn't any of those things. He just never met a woman who looked at him like a person and not Mr. September from the pinup calendar.

      By the ten year reunion, he had had it. He didn't want to go, but the old gang made him. Then Deb walked in, with her husband. She was a math teacher in Cincinatti and her husband, was, umm, something with a suit. Bob almost lost it right there in the gym. He made his apologies and left.

      Driving home, a six pack between his feet, he came round the bend and saw a crashed car by the side of the road. It was a Jaguar. As he got out and walked toward the high beams shining up from the ravine, the horn was blaring in the night. He thought, "Amazing the first Jaguar I've seen with a working electrical system and it's crashed in a ditch." Only the front of the hood was visible, but as he shimmied down the slope, he saw a woman at the wheel. She looked dead. Like days dead. There was no blood anywhere, but she could not possibly be alive. Her head was at a right angle to her neck.

      He looked inside to see if there was anyone else and jumped when she moved. Her head swiveled around and he could hear her say, "Open the door. Now lean in. Now turn your head."

      He hadn't realized it, but he had done those things. Then he began to die as the blood flowed out of him. But he didn't, well not exactly.

      Seems even the Toreador prince of Columbus can hit an oil patch and skid out. She had planned to just drain him dry, but at the last moment, she looked at him. Those powder blue eyes. The soft blonde hair. The flawless skin and chiseled jaw. He was simply the most beautiful man she had ever seen. And considering the circles she moved in, that was saying something.

      She embraced him, and took him to Columbus. He hung out in Elysium for a few months, but it just all seemed so fake. Yes, he was good looking, but that was it. He didn't care about the things her friends talked about. It was all post-deconstructionist poetry and cinema verite re-montaged installations and this and that. Bob probably could have understood it if he wanted to, but what was the point? He would never fit in, and he knew it. Art was meaningless, there was just survival. Blood. Or not, and take a walk in the morning sun. Whatever.

      They called him a poseur, but posing as what? A NASCAR fan in a roomful of Edith Heads and Dandy Warhols? "This is just me, not a pose", he'd point out. So, they called him a burnout. But had he ever really flamed. Well, prom night, but that doesn't count. His sire grew impatient and dropped hints that he should leave, and maybe not mention his lineage. They talk every once in a while, on the phone. He thinks she's afraid he'll go anarch or sabbat or something, but he wouldn't. She calls him a blue-collar, burn-out autarkis. He always tries to sound chipper on the phone, but usually cries afterward.

      He moved back to the apartment in Huntington. He works the night shift on a tow truck for spending money, but uses his supernatural charisma to pay the rent. He feels bad about cheating the landlady, but she doesn't seem to mind.

      Nights off, he sits at the corner bar, some old Journey song on the jukebox, and pretends to drink a beer. He thinks, "Life had been great. It really had. I can't say exactly when, but it had. Now, it's just life."
      This is gold.


      • #48
        #51 A Nosferatu who's embrace physically aged him to the point of being an invalid... supposedly. He is almost never seen outside of the company of his female attendant who serves as a nurse, body guard and mouth piece. Unlike most Ghouls, he has given her a thorough education in the use of disciplines, making her far more powerful than a common thrall. He doesn't like having to personally engage in combat, but when he does so, he flips out like Yoda and proves himself inhumanly powerful for a 109 year old man!
        Last edited by Nyrufa; 09-09-2016, 09:35 AM.


        • #49
          #52 A caitiff who was embraced from one of the low born street trash as part of an experiment by their sire. They wanted to see which blood was the source behind the Venture's talent for power. Was it the result of good breeding, proper education and mentally sound behavior? Or was it simply a boon granted to them by the languid vitae in their veins? The caitiff isn't a thin blood, but his sire refuses to acknowledge any connection to him. That would obligate him to take responsibility for the childe's education, which would ruin the experiment and destroy his reputation in the process.

          No, he must remain at a distance while he observes his childe's progress. Now, if only the gutter spawn wasn't making bedroom eyes with the Anarchs!

          #53 They call him Kinky Pete, an eccentrically charismatic Malkavian who counts himself among the ranks of the Sabbat. While most of his clan scare the shit out of other vampires, Pete has made himself invaluable to his pack and the Sabbat as a whole due to his knowledge of Thaumaturgy. As a self proclaimed Punks Sorcerer, Kinky Pete's knowledge of blood magic gives his pack a fighting chance against any Tremere they come across. What they don't know, however, is how Kinky Pete came to learn his craft.

          In truth, Kinky Pete is a Diabolist who obtained his power by bargaining with demons, and followers the Path of Pain, respectively. His Malkavian insight makes him very good at hiding this secret from Sabbat inquisitors. Most people just chalk it up to him being a crazy son of a bitch; nobody wants to pry too deeply into a Malkavian's personal affairs, after all.


          • #50
            Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post
            Is this supposed only to be Modern Nights or are Dark Ages welcome as well?.
            They can be used in any setting you like.

            Check out my DriveThruRPG books at:


            • #51
              #54 Linda Kay Keegan's parents were pleasant and fairly well-adjusted. Her dad owned a hardware store, her mom was a nutritionist at a hospital in Cleveland. It was all very double knit and Republican. At 19, Linda took a week off from her job as a secretary at an aluminum siding manufacturer and went on vacation to San Francisco. Six days later, on October 24, 1974, she drank two and a half Grasshoppers at a fern bar on Fisherman's Wharf, saw her mood ring had turned pink, and went to the payphone. First she called her boss and quit her job. Second, she called to cancel her flight. Then she called her mom and was told she had gone insane. And was asked if she had joined a cult? Then she walked all the way to Pacific Heights, where a guy she knew in high school was living with his boyfriend. The whole way there, she looked like Tricia Nixon Cox running away from home, with nothing but three avocado green hard-side Samsonite bags and a clear plastic snoopy umbrella.

              Linda lived with Barry and Dave for ten years. Well, Barry and the handsome boyfriend du jour for ten years. Living with them was fun, but sometimes the gay thing kind of freaked her out. Partying all weekend wasn't really her thing, but if that's what they were into, whatever. She'd rather just read the old People magazines at the laundromat on a Saturday night. Everyone always said she was uptight, but really she was just a little shy. She went to UCSF, got a Bachelor's in nursing and worked at Presbyterian Hospital. She dated some guys, but nothing really worked out. Gary was married. Tom went off with the People's Temple. Cliff became a woman. Doug was too depressed all the time. She just wanted someone normal. Her mother pointed out, "you don't catch lobsters in a bathtub, honey. Come home, Linda!" Linda always just replied that this was home.

              She was generally happy, and looked on the bright side. She figured the universe gives you what you give it. If you act all dark and broody, the universe will oblige. If you do your best and keep the right attitude things will work out. Then, in March 1983, Barry got sick. It started small, with night sweats and a series of colds. It seemed like he had a low grade cough for two months, and just couldn't shake it. She figured he was just working too hard. But then, the first tiny lesions appeared. She, being a nurse, noticed it first. They went to the doctor and got the diagnosis. His creepy boyfriend who only ever saw Barry at the clubs disappeared, the turkey. She cut back on hours at work to help Barry when it got really bad. By Christmas, Barry almost went into hospice, but suddenly the creepy night time boyfriend reappeared. And just as suddenly Barry was all better. He only went out at night, now, but he seemed great otherwise, if a bit pale. He had a new circle of friends and went to a new set of clubs, and had kind of left Linda behind. They got together for drinks once in a while. He was healthy, just like Linda had hoped, but she missed him.

              By the summer of '85, Linda had moved out to her own place on Russian Hill. She started to freak out about getting older. She had turned thirty and was starting to show it. Nothing huge, just some little lines, and a few extra pounds. But she could see the difference. She went on a vegetarian, macrobiotic diet and took up yoga. She jogged on the weekends. She dated some cool guys, but nothing fantabulous. If she just kept a positive attitude, though, she knew it would be fine. Then, Barry introduced her to his sire, and he offered her the embrace before he and Barry moved to LA. She thought about it for a few days, arranged to change to a night shift, and then said yes. A new adventure!

              People always talked about vampires like they're so dark and gloomy. It was nothing like that, though. Oh, her sire told her lots of stories about dark gods and aeons and stuff, but what was the big deal? Oh, she couldn't go out in the day, but San Francisco had lots of nightlife. She worked as an IV nurse, so never was short on blood. She's immortal, more or less immune to injury, and can heal anything that does hurt her. She dates lots of new guys and hangs out with some of the other neonates. Some of them are very political, and a little too radical for her taste, but that's San Francisco. Sometimes, they're sad and gloomy, but she does her best to cheer them up. Just look on the bright side, she says! She's gotten really good at doing super-accurate horoscopes and slips in all kinds of encouraging messages when she does them.

              She's learned how to turn invisible and how to become supernaturally alluring. She can even do some snake type tricks with her eyes and tongue like her sire, but snakes are creepy, so she doesn't do it unless she really has to. The local elders require her to attend a party at the Palace of Fine Arts once a month, just to keep in touch. It's sweet of them to want to hang out so much. even though they don't like her sire's ancestors or whatever.

              When she RSVPs for Elysium, she always signs her name with a little happy face over the "i". She genuinely hopes it makes them smile. She can't understand why the elders are so down all the time. Being undead is awesome!


              • #52
                Originally posted by Slick Willy View Post

                This is gold.
                Pretty much all of Nosimplehiway's contributions to this thread are.


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post

                  Soooo, is she a Setite?


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

                    Soooo, is she a Setite?
                    Setites can't be this cute


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Slick Willy View Post

                      Setites can't be this cute

                      They'd have to be. How else would anybody let them into their home?


                      • #56
                        After repeatedly hearing that Caitiff are treated like 3rd class citizens among vampire society, I thought a character like this might be fun to try out. Even if his life expectancy is shorter than most of his kind.

                        #55 Being a caitiff in the world of vampires sucks, it sucks pretty hard. But when the most hated clan and the most inhuman clan both have a vendetta against you, you don't have to suffer final death to know what hell is like. Such is the unlife that Harold Tippens has found himself in when he was left sireless with only a remedial education on being a vampire.

                        At some point after his embrace, Harold began to manifest the disciplines of Auspex, Thaumaturgy and Vicissitude. He claims to have no idea how he obtained these powers, something just clicks in his head one night and he gains the knowledge spontaneously. Clans Tremere and Tzmisce, however, are not buying it. They accuse him of thievery, stealing their most sacred powers and bastardizing their use. As a result, these two mortal enemies have both declared a bounty on the caitiff, offering rewards to anyone who can capture him for interrogation. Once they've extracted what they want from him, they will almost certainly execute him, which means Harold can not afford to let his guard down.

                        Prior to his embrace, Harold was a middle class, white suburban bachelor of 22 years. He worked as a carpenter, with some of his best work being hand crafted. Life may not have been fancy, but it was a comfortable life, none the less. That all changed the night he received a request for a custom order. An anonymous customer wanted him to fashion a coffin for a funeral that would be held later in the week. They even sent him a list of measurements to make sure he did it right. Harold was curious why the customer would choose to remain unknown, but agreed to take the job and started work on the project.

                        Harold wouldn't receive payment for his efforts, because after he finished building the coffin and was ready to deliver it, he was jumped from the shadows by an intruder who had snuck into his workshop. He was stabbed, things went black, and the next thing he remembers was waking up inside the coffin he had just built... six feet under the earth's crust!

                        The climb back to the surface was indescribably horrific. Harold was forced to draw upon reserves of power that he never knew he possessed, and would later find out he never had until that moment. Bursting out of the soil like a raving lunatic, it took two minutes for him to finally regain his senses to the point where he could take in his surroundings. He was in a graveyard, alone and without even a tombstone to mark where he had been buried.

                        Harold never knew who his sire was, as they had been chased off by Camarilla agents before he had time to climb out of his grave, and Harold was already gone by the time the agents circled back to check on him. But ever since that terrible night he's been on the constant move. Never being allowed to sleep in the same spot twice, for fear of being located. After encountering both the Tremere and the Tzimisce, Harold would shock both clans (as well as himself) by being able to replicate their abilities after only a brief demonstration of their uses. Immediately declaring him a threat to their secrets, both clans deployed agents to hunt him down.

                        Harold's knowledge of Thaumaturgy and Vicissitude is novice level, but it is enough to draw attention from their respective clans. The supernatural senses granted to him by Auspex have proven to be a greater boon than sorcerous alchemy. With it, he can sense his pursuers before they get too close, although he does come across as overly paranoid to those who don't understand what's happening.
                        Last edited by Nyrufa; 11-04-2017, 06:54 PM.


                        • #57
                          Thank you. For the Linda Kay Keegan idea, I owe a huge debt to Armistead Maupin.

                          Yes, she is a Setite. Think about what she's been through. The sudden, impulsive break with her parents, the challenging of her conservative upbringing, the revolving door of impossibly dramatic break-ups... I mean, a transexual and a guy who followed Jim Jones to Guyana? A best friend nearly dying of AIDS? And through it all she coped with aplomb.

                          The Setites have cults built around Vikings, Aztecs and Indian demons, why not one built around the power of positive thinking? Sure, the holy symbol is a happy face, the ritual hymn is the theme from Greatest American Hero, and the theology is cribbed off of Course in Miracles. But, how does any of that disagree with Setite teachings? Sometimes the best evangelist for a faith is someone who just seems so darn happy that everyone wants to be like them. Linda's been fantabulous for thirty years, and isn't snotty about it. Lots more people take advice from her than from any prophet of doom.

                          Maybe the scariest part is that orthodox Setite thought can be so seamlessly expressed through modern, pop culture idiom.


                          • #58
                            #56 By 1975, Mary Lawrence had made a comfortable life for herself. She used her MFA and MEd teaching art at Woonsocket High School. Her husband, Edward, managed a successful trucking company. Their daughter, Debbie, won the county wide spelling bee in the seventh grade division, then came in fourth in the spelling bee against students from all of Rhode Island. They lived in a pleasant ranch home with a dog named Moxie. Mary loved teaching, but wanted to expand her horizons, so she enrolled in the PhD program in Art History at Brown.

                            Two years into her studies, at the age of 41, she thought she was going through early menopause, missing periods and feeling tired all the time. But, her doctor explained she was pregnant. How could she possibly balance all of this? She sat down with Ed to figure it out. He reassured her he would help as much as he could. Debbie was getting her driver's license, so she'd be more independent. He suggested Mary take a sabbatical from work to get in as much work on her thesis as possible before the baby came. Her advisor agreed to the changes and she entered a frenetic period of research and writing.

                            In early 1978, Mary gave birth to the most beautiful little boy she had ever seen. She and Ed named him Michael. However, there were some physical abnormalities noted by the doctors at birth, and Michael was eventually diagnosed by the doctors with Down Syndrome, and a related heart defect. Mary and Ed rearranged their plans, Mary taking a leave of absence from the doctoral program to help his development with as much individual attention as possible. After graduation in 1981, daughter Debbie, who had wanted to attend NYU, instead attended a commuter college so she could help out. By 1983, Mary had completed her thesis and her presentation to the committee went well. Her thesis was filed in a dusty file cabinet in the Brown library. Mary taught a few classes at the local community college, but mostly focused on being a fierce advocate for the mainstreaming of students in the local school district.

                            In the back of Mary's mind was a creeping fear, though. What would happen to Michael (who needed constant care) when she and Ed were gone? Neither of them were getting any younger, and Michael, like any child, was sometimes a real handful. He had wild mood swings, one minute being quite pleasant and happy. The next he would become frustrated with some task and throw a tantrum. Debbie and her fiance said they would care for Michael if anything happened to Mary and Ed, but that struck Mary as unfair. She wanted Debbie to be happy, too, and didn't want such a young couple to carry such a responsibility. It broke Mary's heart to realize how relieved she was that Michael's heart defect might mean he would pre-decease her.

                            Then the unthinkable happened. While driving home from a Christmas party in 1988, Debbie and her fiance skidded on the ice and crashed into the frigid waters of the Blackstone River. Mary and Ed were understandably devastated, but not like Michael. They had a frame of reference with which to grieve, but Michael didn't know how to express his loss. He became even more difficult to handle, and his academic progress came to a near standstill. Mainstreaming at school was out of the question. Michael's earning money at a job-coached job and living in a group home when he grew up seemed less and less plausible.

                            Debbie and Ed's marriage suffered. How could they admit their greatest fear to one another when they could not admit it to themselves? That they, alone, would be left caring for Michael, even as they someday lost their spouse to old age and were themselves declining. Stony silences and a numb routine became the order of the day at the Lawrence home.

                            In 1991, when Mary was 55 and Michael was 13, a Toreador ancilla from Boston was browsing the Brown library and came across Mary's thesis. He was very impressed at Mary's interpretation of the intersection of psychology and art history in creating a predictive model of artistic productivity in later life, with special emphasis on sculptors of the Harlem Renaissance who had retired to upstate New York. The Toreador believed that with further research Mary could predict which young people would go on to be artistically productive after ghouling or the embrace.

                            He approached Mary and offered her the embrace, without fulling exploring her life circumstances. Mary jumped at the chance to retain her last vestige of youth and to be able to care for Michael for years to come. She was released a few months later into Providence's small kindred court. She ghouled Ed before realizing the psychological dependency it would cause. He is a shell of his former sense, worshiping her, but in a distinctly unnatural way.

                            It's been 25 years since she was embraced. Michael, at 37, has survived longer than any of the doctors thought he would. Mary has refused to ghoul him, either out of fear of losing the authenticity of his relationship with her, or for fear of having... it kills her to say this... but fear of having him with her forever. His blood pressure is terrible. His heart is worse than ever. It's just a matter of time before she will have to say goodbye. But can she actually bear to let him die when he's on his deathbed? Or... and it's nearly unthinkable... but there is one way she could save him without blood bonding him. But, the Prince would never stand for that. Not under the Third Tradition anyway.


                            • #59
                              Can Obeah cure Down's?


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                                Thank you. For the Linda Kay Keegan idea, I owe a huge debt to Armistead Maupin.
                                ​Thought I recognized a bit of Tales of the city there...