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1001 Character Concepts

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  • 1001 Character Concepts

    Hi guys,

    I'm currently trying to wangle my group of new RPG players away from D&D for a bit and get them to dip their toes in the darker end of the pool.

    They're all up in theory, but one stumbling block I've found is the character concept piece. I've explained it as "the high-level elevator pitch" of their character, and even gone with a few basic stereotypical descriptors:

    Grizzled Ex-Cop
    Obsessive Fashionista
    Reclusive Reporter

    And so on.

    Which got me thinking, anyone want to take a crack at assembling a bunch of sample character concepts on here? If I'm not mistaken, in theory they should be (mostly) splat agnostic as they (mostly) are applied before the supernatural template?

    Anyhow, curious to see what people think.

  • #2
    Are you looking for NPC's or possible PC's? How much detail? Off the top of my head:
    • Syrian refugee who was a doctor before he fled the civil war. He now works the night shift as an EMT.
    • Ex-boxer who was barred due to fight fixing. He works as a chauffeur and occasional bodyguard.
    • Anthropology student doing field work on obscure Protestant farming cults.
    • Professional magician who debunks charlatan psychics.
    • Con-man hiding out from heavy weights on the East Coast who think that he owes them $2.5 million.
    • Elderly priest who is the only practicing exorcist for the entire Midwest.
    • Old Man Henderson.
    All of the above have useful skills in a Chronicle, and have lives that could cause them to encounter the Darkness.

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    • #3
      This exactly. I'm looking for PCs, but I guess nothing stopping using them for NPCs.

      Comment


      • #4
        -Teenage child of undocumented immigrants whose parents have been deported and lives with an aunt.
        -Trust fund brat who dropped out of college and is wandering around New England to find him/herself.
        -Network administrator who has evidence cyberspace might be a real place, but has no idea who to tell.
        -Retired CIA analyst who has seen too much. Working part time for giggles as a cameraman for a young investigative reporter.
        -Mechanic and single parent whose daughter was mysteriously kidnapped 8 years ago.
        -Political aide to a small town mayor who for some reason keeps a crossbow and some sharpened wooden stakes in her truck.
        -Delivery driver who takes part in late night motorcycle races to test a shady company's special new high-tech bikes.

        Comment


        • #5
          This is fun!
          • Food truck owner who works late nights feeding drunks leaving bars around closing time. She's seen a few things and keeps the shotgun under the counter. She always has a full gas tank.
          • Cleaner and authenticator of anthropological artifacts at a museum. Prefers to work alone at night since people are so annoying. Hates having to interact with the public.
          • He's got a weakened blood vessel in his brain. Nothing to be done. It will blow some time in the next year but he's decided to see what the world is really like when there are no consequences.
          • She is blind. I am her eyes. I keep her safe. I see things that no two-legs sees as well. I keep her safe.
          • Someone must watch over the dead. There is grass to cut, trees to prune, and the columbarium must be kept clean. It's an old part of town, and no new graves are dug, but the promise must be kept. It is a fine and private place.
          • You don't keep up on your car payments, you don't get to keep it. She's the person who tracks you down, hot-wires the garage door, and extracts that Lamborghini Countach that you have kept hidden.
          • Bounty hunter: catch the scum who don't show up for trial. Most of them are small fry, on the seamier side, but sometimes you have to be "persuasive."
          • Old master of forgotten martial art. He helps out at a martial arts studio, sad at all the bravos and bullies who want outer strength without inner strength. He rarely shows what he can do, because they would ask him to teach them. He knows that just because something is a folktale, it can still be true.

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          • #6
            -Overly curious storage facility operator who breaks into units on slow nights to peruse his more interesting clients' possessions.
            -Free spirit who likes to move to new cities on a whim to experience different club scenes. Works remotely as a tax accountant to pay the bills.
            -Homeless Gulf War vet who has taken on the task of being the peacekeeper in the growing tent community by the tracks.
            -Pawn Shop owner who deals in stolen merchandise. He'll buy unusual antiques for a certain buyer he thinks might be a wizard.
            -Elderly retired forest ranger and amateur astronomer. Lives in a cabin in the woods to stay away from light pollution. Never learned to use a computer.
            -Storm chaser in training. Has a pilot's license, crack driving skills, a meteorology degree, and a growing social media following.
            -Mid level dealer in charge of enforcing a cadre of punks who sell party drugs. The new pills with the sparkles have really weird side effects.
            -Urban explorer who makes videos while checking out old and sometimes "haunted" places. Makes a decent living off of ad revenue on YouTube.

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            • #7
              -Bonzy the Sad Clown.
              -Schizoid elder who sees past the world's illusions and shadows and so goes on a quest to right the wrongs only he can "see".
              -An suburban cosplayer who took too many drugs and thinks he is in another world. (lol)
              -The twin sister of a seventh son of a seventh son. Those filthy witches will never see her coming.....
              -An Islamic scholar who studies pre-Islamic cultures and literature. He wears a vial of blood-red liquid around his neck, just in case.....
              -A star-charting prepper who was blinded by a heavenly event and now can now hear the faint whispers of ocean waves in the middle of the desert.
              -A former surgeon who is semi-retired and now will fix up anyone for a price, no questions asked except for "how much do you got on ya?"

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              • #8
                -Extreme sports enthusiast who is into base jumping. Has been illegally sneaking jumps at night from the skyscraper he/she works in by day as an office manager.
                -Biochemist who has recently survived layoffs after a corporate merger. The new bosses seem really focused on some project on the restricted floor that sure needs a lot of test animals.
                -High-powered attorney who has been asked to defend a destitute client accused of three murders. He insists he didn't do it, but the evidence is pretty damning.
                -Foreign exchange student in the country for a semester. The host family seems to be terribly odd and secretive, but maybe it's just the cultural divide.
                -Amish youth on Rumspringa trying to decide whether to return to the community and join the church. Homesickness wars with an adventurous desire to see more of the world.
                -Unemployed, divorced, middle-aged travel agent whose business just couldn't compete in today's world. Those dang millennials just don't see the value in the service. You've got expertise in travel, child support to pay, and a huge chip on your shoulder.
                -Runner-up of a popular reality TV singing competition show a few years ago. You were a fan favorite, so people still recognize you on the street sometimes. Your brush with stardom didn't turn you into a rock god/dess, but you're happy with your job as a private tutor for promising singers. The girl who beat you flamed out and overdosed shortly after; you want to keep your students from a fate like hers.

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                • #9
                  Absolutely loving some of these.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    -You washed out at Langley. The CIA loved your test scores, your ability, and your instinct. They gave some BS reason about you not being "temperamentally suited" to the work. Well, screw them. There's plenty of other employers who will better appreciate your talents.
                    -Travelling trance music DJ. You're in a different city most weekends playing parties and clubs. Usually you travel with your boyfriend, who provides some extra security at your shows to fend off the drunks and any handsy party-goers. He got in a fight with those weird guys last night and you haven't seen him since.
                    -Truck stop diner owner. You run your own place next to the big gas station in the middle of nowhere. It let's you meet new and interesting folk who are on the road and hear their stories. You've gotten involved with an advocacy group fighting human trafficking and are always on the lookout for anything weird or anyone who looks like they're in trouble. The nickname, "Nosy," stuck, so you named your diner for it. It fits.
                    -You're a tree inspector for the city. You spend your days diagnosing plant diseases, marking invasive species for removal, and keeping track of the spread of unwanted insect activity. You know the flora and fauna of the city like the back of your hand, so you're one of the first to notice when something's off. Something's off.
                    -PhD candidate trying to get through your dissertation in theoretical physics. You're studying under a brilliant professor who claims to be on the verge of working out a new theory that she claims will change the world's understanding of matter. She's had a couple really close calls this week with what could have been fatal accidents. Does she have really weird luck or is someone trying to kill her?
                    -You grew up on a rural compound with your large, extended family. When the police came, your family was ready for them. They taught you how to use the gun they gave you, but you were only ten years old and you hid out in the basement until it was over because it was so scary. It took years for you to completely understand that your "family" had been a cult and that your parents had been criminals. Your foster parents were good people. Now you are a social worker helping others to get out of that kind of life.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      • The neck pains turned out to be viral meningitis. After the fever went down, the damage was done: he can no longer read. The promising law career was over. Now he's an Uber driver. But the illness left him... changed. He hardly ever needs to sleep now, and he can see things that other people don't seem to see. He's always on the move, and has an excuse to be anywhere. And he's seen some odd things in the course of his driving.
                      • She works for the city Animal Control office, out in the field. Some people don't deserve to own animals. And some of the animals they own are... different. Then there are the strays, the pack of feral dogs that live in the surrounding area. She swears they are far smarter than they have any right to be. And yet they seem afraid of something else.
                      • When he testified against Blackstone Incorporated, the private company that provided armed support for the diplomats in Afghanistan, he was assured that he would be given a new identity in the witness protection program. Well, it's dead boring now in this midwestern town. Or it was until the disappearances. He's itching to use some of his old skills, and may decide to take an interest in what's going on at the abandoned asylum.
                      • She's always surprised that no one else notices them, the numbers. That student ID number can be written as the sum of three cubes in two different ways. That license plate, if read as a hexadecimal, is a prime palindrome. It's a bit like synesthesia - numbers have a flavor, a sound, a taste to her. Teaching her three sections of calculus is a chore, like teaching music to the tone deaf. But it is a small price to pay to be able to spend the rest of her time on research. Lately she's been thinking about the museum display of Aztec art. Their numbering system is vigesimal - base 20. She's pretty sure that the stone on display is actually a calculation. And the numbers have a greasy, tarry feel to them.

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                      • #12
                        -You missed your flight. It was a huge inconvenience that day, almost a month ago now. You were still waiting in the airport, grumbling to yourself, when all the TVs started to broadcast the same news story: A plane had gone down over the Rocky Mountains. No survivors. Your plane. You've struggled to figure out what it means to you, but it's got to mean something, right?
                        -What makes this one different? You've spent the last 15 years conning and robbing so many people, you don't even remember all of their names. This one isn't the first one you've married. Not even the fifth. He/she isn't the prettiest, the richest, or really all that notable in any way you can think of. But you stayed this time, despite having every opportunity to go. Is this what it's like to be in love for real? What happens when the lies stop holding up? There's no way it can last...
                        -There's support groups for everything now. This one took some serious sleuthing to find, but you knew it had to exist somewhere. As you sit there listening to crazier and crazier stories, you aren't sure what to believe. Toward the end of the meeting is when you were told the new people should tell their tale. You see some suspicion in their eyes, but also...empathy? Well, here goes nothing. "Hi, my name is Julia. My brother's a vampire." Hi, Julia.
                        -Your apartment complex is the only one in the neighborhood that isn't a deathtrap. You keep it up and keep the riffraff out, sure, but your secret weapon against the world is the occupant of unit 2C, Beatrice Jones. Her son is a vicious thug and a known dealer, but he loves his mama more than anything. Keeping her happy and trouble-free is the easiest protection money you've ever had to pay. Your building is off limits, as far as the whole city is concerned, even to his own gang. It's a little unnerving that your life and livelihood may rely on the well-being of one little old lady.
                        -You've got a charter boat. You take mostly sightseeing tourists out on the bay, maybe a little farther out on calmer days. You do a little fishing in the off season sometimes. Once in a while, you get a guy like this yahoo who wants to do some sort of environmental study or somesuch thing. Guy's paid up front for a whole week to take samples and map the seafloor with this special machine he brought on board. He's a loon, but it's easy money. What the hell is he looking for?
                        Last edited by Sir Dragos; 11-07-2019, 05:57 PM.

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                        • #13
                          -Well, the fourth experiment worked...technically. But Dr. Miyamoto's device overshot and sent you to 2019, not just back to 2104. Clearly the physical laws don't work the way he'd thought, or it wouldn't even be possible to get back this far. But now what are you going to do? The power sources to recharge your 22nd century tech won't be available for another 70 years at least. You won't even live long enough to complete the mission. Hell, the public in this era doesn't even really know about magic, The Machine, or what lurks in the night yet. Maybe one of the first three tests got closer to the target, but they could be anywhen for all you know! Someone has to stop the war, but what if you're the only one who made it through?
                          -People say that winning the lottery can wreck your life. You haven't really found that to be true. Disruptive? Yeah. Some things are harder: learning who you can trust, navigating the tax issues, and retaining a sense of normalcy were the hardest. After four years, the randos coming out of the woodwork looking for a payday have mostly stopped. Dating is still complicated. The internet never forgets. Other things are easier: you don't need to work, take anyone's crap, or stay in one place. You've still got about $19 million. What now?
                          -When your uncle hurt his back, you went to help out as a favor to your mom, dutiful child that you are. You don't know much about farming, but you can delay your grad program for a semester without too much trouble. When you arrived, your aunt was so nervous, she was near tears. When she brought you to see your ailing uncle, they told you why: the equinox was coming and the fields weren't ready. You didn't really understand what the big problem was; it wasn't like they were in financial trouble. They gave you an explanation that used words you didn't know like "leylines." You'd always thought that "infrastructure" meant things like utilities and had nothing to do with the specific arrangement of farm fields. At first you thought it was some kind of religious thing, but they seem really scared. Well, time to roll up your sleeves and help out. What's the worst that could happen? It's not the end of the world or anything.

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                          • #14
                            • Aliens. They're all aliens. All these legends of vampires, of werewolves and "magic" are just a masquerade of high tech visitors to keep pre-rational monkeys in their place. But he is much smarter. He's got radar and radio signal tracking, and IR goggles and all sorts of cameras. He will be the first one to document their existence! He just has to keep looking in abandoned houses and camping in creepy forests.
                            • People pity him, throw coins and small bills in his guitar case as he plays on the park bench. Those who really know music stop in their tracks when he drops in the occasional bravura, showing his real talent. He could probably get a steady gig in a club, but savors the freedom of the street, and most would be surprised at how much money he can make in an afternoon. But it's amazing what you can observe as you sit in a city park, immune to the noisy bustle of the day, and see what lurks about. And at night the lurkers in the dark drawn to his music are even more amazing.
                            • He's a serial killer who likes to keep trophies. But rather than physical trophies that might serve as evidence, he keeps them online. He writes descriptions of the people he's killed in an online forum, describing them as possible characters for an RPG. There are no names, just a list of details that allows him to recall each one and savor the memories. He's got several accounts, and the entries are building up.

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                            • #15
                              -Stalkers, paparazzi, abusive ex-boyfriends: I could protect her from all those, but not from herself. When a country music superstar overdoses and ends up brain damaged and near comatose, it's a sad, sensational story for a week or so and then everyone moves on. But nobody wants to hire the bodyguard who "let her down." Sure, that's the part of the story that never seems to fade away; it's a stain on my career that makes me attractive to overseas mercenary companies and few others. I've only gotten one serious offer for work in the months since, and I can't for the life of me tell if it's legit. The headhunter representing the organization is real enough, but why all the secrecy around the client? The pay is really good...
                              -"Garbage man." What an ugly name people use for those that make their lives in this city possible. Before you use that term, please consider this: we know more about your life than some of your friends, we drive around your neighborhood nearly invisible in our ubiquity, and we have ready access to a place to dispose...anything we want. So, go ahead, call me a "garbage man" again.
                              -You'd have thought that they'd want all the translators they could get from the the region when they went stomping into the hills looking for terrorists. I'd left my country and became an American, signed up to help my new home when those bastards attacked New York and D.C., and then was told my services were no longer required just when they were needed most. Why? Because I was gay. It's one of the reasons I came to "the land of the free" in the first place, assholes. Well, all that training in cryptography and writing algorithms went to other use since my time in the military. Turns out the private sector is more lucrative anyway.

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