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 Post subject: Character backgrounds
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:07 am 
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Hollywood. A city of big dreams and bigger heart breaks. A city as hard as the concrete it was built on. A city that will stomp on you like a dirty cigarette butt in the gutter, if you let it.

And me? I'm Stephen Swift, ex-military, now a struggling writer living in a one room flop of an apartment. I came to LA after the War, with a few of my buddies. We were all in the Specials Unit together, which meant we had talents that were rare among your average soldier. We did alright. We stayed alive anyway, and maybe even got a little bit of recogition. My particular chameleon-like talents helped me stay alive, and the brass found them useful as well.

But now the War's been over for years, and all I have to show for it are a few pieces of shiny metal and pension check that barely covers expenses in this excuse I call a life. My story starts here.

***
Stephen has certain powers to blend into the background and not be noticed. He can also be unnaturally quick when he needs to. He's also pretty good at all the standard spy/thief abilities, like hiding and moving quietly and picking locks and that sort of stuff. He was used a lot during the War to infiltrate enemy lines and steal secrets. All he ever wanted to do, though, was be a writer. So after the War he moved to Hollywood and is trying to do just that.



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:56 am 
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I... don't know how I didn't see this earlier. Good stuff.



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:51 am 
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That's pretty cool, Mord. Is this a new game starting up? Can I get in on it? Pretty, pretty please??? :biggrin:



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:07 pm 
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Gotetsu wrote:
That's pretty cool, Mord. Is this a new game starting up? Can I get in on it? Pretty, pretty please??? :biggrin:


http://rpg-sandiego.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=53792#post53792



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:13 pm 
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Yeah, I saw that afterwards. But thanks. :nono:



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:37 am 
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Okay, so anyway, let's have some more of these, other players. Email or PM me with your ideas if you don't want them aired in front of God and everyone (Sam the Secretive, I'm looking in your direction). It looks like we probably won't be able to get together until November, so if we can get chargen done online before then it'll at least feel like we're playing already.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:55 am 
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I'm secretive? I would have thought indecisive. Or lethargic. Or busy. Hm.. I just can't decide :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:10 am 
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dnd3eplayer wrote:
I'm secretive? I would have thought indecisive. Or lethargic. Or busy. Hm.. I just can't decide :mrgreen:

Every game in which I've played with you, you're always hiding your character sheet. If someone asks you a direct question about your character, you tend to respond with something vague or guarded. It's your thing. Embrace it, brother!



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:39 pm 
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devlin1 wrote:
Every game in which I've played with you, you're always hiding your character sheet. If someone asks you a direct question about your character, you tend to respond with something vague or guarded. It's your thing. Embrace it, brother!


Do I? I guess I can see that happening, but I do a good bit of the 'responding with something vague or guarded' normally, so that may not be a 'character thing'.

I wasn't aware I gave off a 'secretive' vibe, but I don't generally think my character sheet is any other player's business. <shrug>



To bring things back to the topic at hand, I was originally going for something that now seems a little too similar to Andy's concept (and I personally don't like doubling up amongst PCs), so I'm exploring other options. I'm having to familiarize myself with the system also, and I'm not very fast at character creation (as I'm sure you have noticed) - I like to take my time.

I was thinking of perhaps doing a hyper senses type - sight mostly (probably a sniper and/or range-finder in the war). Not too sure how that would work out for civilian life though (I was thinking he could have super-sight and read lips though - that would be fun). Still playing with that.

Another idea was a tough-guy brawler type, but I have to read more before I can determine what sort of tough and all that - lots of powers to go through still.

I had thought of doing a character with souped up mental stats - sort of a logistics fiend in the war. He could, for example, coordinate lots of troop movements, supply drops, timetables, etc - taking over some computer type functions (would be useful as they didn't have that in the time period we're talking about - at least not without a bunch of people and resources being used) - but I can't really think how that would be a viable PC after the war, so I've mostly stopped persuing that one.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:24 pm 
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he's a radio man in the war. he can receive and transmit communication through radio frequencies, without a radio. his last name's jameson. that's all i have for right now.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:38 pm 
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dnd3eplayer wrote:
I'm not very fast at character creation (as I'm sure you have noticed) - I like to take my time.

You have time.

dnd3eplayer wrote:
I was thinking of perhaps doing a hyper senses type - sight mostly (probably a sniper and/or range-finder in the war). Not too sure how that would work out for civilian life though (I was thinking he could have super-sight and read lips though - that would be fun). Still playing with that.

Another idea was a tough-guy brawler type, but I have to read more before I can determine what sort of tough and all that - lots of powers to go through still.

I had thought of doing a character with souped up mental stats - sort of a logistics fiend in the war. He could, for example, coordinate lots of troop movements, supply drops, timetables, etc - taking over some computer type functions (would be useful as they didn't have that in the time period we're talking about - at least not without a bunch of people and resources being used) - but I can't really think how that would be a viable PC after the war, so I've mostly stopped persuing that one.

I think all three of these concepts are great and totally viable, especially the hyper-senser and the logistics fiend. As for the usefulness of the latter, you provided that already when you mentioned the lack of portable computers in the late '40s. A guy like him would've been invaluable in the War, but now? Maybe he has some shitty job where he's useful but not especially appreciated, like working in an insurance office. He's a walking actuarial table. In game terms, this sort of thing has nearly limitless applications. It could work as a sort of precognition, letting him "run the numbers" and accurately anticipate everything from who'll win in the 4th at Santa Anita to where the shooter stood based on minimal evidence. Maybe he's so good at this sort of thing that, based on a round of combat, he can guess with uncanny reliability what his opponent will do next, making him more difficult to hit. I think he has a lot of potential. Hyper-senes guy does too, but in a much more straightforward way.

jimmy corrigan wrote:
he's a radio man in the war. he can receive and transmit communication through radio frequencies, without a radio. his last name's jameson. that's all i have for right now.

This guy's great, too -- another human '40s equivalent of a modern convenience. Certainly he would've had an important role in his unit, for obvious reasons, but what I really like is the limited combat applicability of his power. Nice tight concept.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:48 pm 
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mordraine wrote:
Stephen has certain powers to blend into the background and not be noticed. He can also be unnaturally quick when he needs to. He's also pretty good at all the standard spy/thief abilities, like hiding and moving quietly and picking locks and that sort of stuff. He was used a lot during the War to infiltrate enemy lines and steal secrets. All he ever wanted to do, though, was be a writer. So after the War he moved to Hollywood and is trying to do just that.

Oh, and just so nobody's left out of this, Stephen's great too, but I think we already talked about this a little. My favorite part is that he's trying to be a writer now. Perfect for that noir sense of grasping at a better life and falling a hair's breadth short. Watch "Sunset Blvd." Again, if you've already seen it. It's just so good.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:33 pm 
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devlin1 wrote:
You have time.


I think all three of these concepts are great and totally viable, especially the hyper-senser and the logistics fiend. As for the usefulness of the latter, you provided that already when you mentioned the lack of portable computers in the late '40s. A guy like him would've been invaluable in the War, but now? Maybe he has some shitty job where he's useful but not especially appreciated, like working in an insurance office. He's a walking actuarial table. In game terms, this sort of thing has nearly limitless applications. It could work as a sort of precognition, letting him "run the numbers" and accurately anticipate everything from who'll win in the 4th at Santa Anita to where the shooter stood based on minimal evidence. Maybe he's so good at this sort of thing that, based on a round of combat, he can guess with uncanny reliability what his opponent will do next, making him more difficult to hit. I think he has a lot of potential. Hyper-senes guy does too, but in a much more straightforward way.


This guy's great, too -- another human '40s equivalent of a modern convenience. Certainly he would've had an important role in his unit, for obvious reasons, but what I really like is the limited combat applicability of his power. Nice tight concept.


Hm.. couple of angles in there I hadn't considered. I'll be over there thinking.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:35 pm 
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dnd3eplayer wrote:
Hm.. couple of angles in there I hadn't considered.

It's my HERO instinct kicking in.



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:45 pm 
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Hey hey, fellas. So good start on Friday. We have numbers. Please send me those numbers in some sort of electronic form so I have them as a reference.

More importantly, while I know what your characters can do now, I don't feel like I know much about the rest of their lives. If you haven't done so already, think about your character in more detail. Is he married? Is his boss a prick? Does he have other friends? How does he spend his leisure time? And so on. That kind of thing is more likely to have an influence on the game than your skills or powers.

I'd like to get "that kind of thing" dealt with online so that the next time we meet (in December, probably) we can just get right down to it.



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:54 pm 
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Dames. What can ya do? Elaine was one of the beautiful ones, with legs that went all the way up, and a face that was built to break hearts. She was an actress that I met on the set of one of my early screenplay jobs. I fell for her hard, like a patsy dropped off the pier with concrete shoes.

Like any dame, Elaine cost a pretty penny. I spent money I didn't have and got in deep with Jersey Marche. I still owe that bum money. The only way out of my hole is to work jobs Jersey foists on me. Am I proud of it? No. Is Elaine worth it? Who knows. Like a sucker, I thought so at the time.

As far as Elaine goes, I don't even know what happened. I thought everything was great. But she just stopped showing up. Stopped calling. I checked her place but it was as empty as one of my old gin bottles. No one knew where she went. Did it hurt? It felt like my heart was ripped out with a meat hook and hung to dry in a slaughterhouse. Yeah, I guess you could say it hurt. But a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do. So I avoid Jersey like he avoids the cops, and take whatever writing jobs I can, and I look for her. I can't shake the feeling that Elaine is out there somewhere, whispering my name in the dark, hoping I'll save her.



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:26 am 
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mordraine wrote:
The only way out of my hole is to work jobs Jersey foists on me.

What kinds of "jobs" are we talking about here? You're not a hitman, are you?



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:31 am 
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devlin1 wrote:
What kinds of "jobs" are we talking about here? You're not a hitman, are you?


I was thinking about leaving that open, but no, not hits. Probably low level stuff. Deliveries, tailing guys, small burglary, whatever. Jersey Marche is a small time loan shark, so nothing earth-shattering, but stuff that Stephen wouldn't be proud of.

Mostly Stephen just tries to avoid him and pay him whatever he can. Occasionally Jersey forces him to do work. It might be interesting if Jersey somehow found out about his "abilities."



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:03 pm 
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mordraine wrote:
I was thinking about leaving that open, but no, not hits. Probably low level stuff. Deliveries, tailing guys, small burglary, whatever. Jersey Marche is a small time loan shark, so nothing earth-shattering, but stuff that Stephen wouldn't be proud of.

Oh, okay. So he might have Stephen, like, sleep with a congressional candidate.

How much of a secret is Stephen's power? You said it'd be interesting if Jersey found out about it, but it hadn't occurred to me that it was under wraps to begin with.



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:26 pm 
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I'd imagine that he wouldn't want it spread around a lot. I think he wants to keep his powers under wraps. Especially due to the nature of the powers. He just wants to be a writer, man. He doesn't want to be exploited.



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:17 pm 
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mordraine wrote:
I'd imagine that he wouldn't want it spread around a lot. I think he wants to keep his powers under wraps. Especially due to the nature of the powers. He just wants to be a writer, man. He doesn't want to be exploited.

Okay. Stephen's set. With hooks. I got hooks in him. Like he's a wide-mouthed bass.

How's about you other mugs? I'd like to get something solidified before GenCon so we can sneak in a quick session there.



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:02 pm 
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* My Name: Frank Bennett
* CFO/Accountant (blackmailer): Edmond Goldsmith
* Girl: 'Auntie' Ruth Milburn
* Insurance/Work: Movie/entertainment insurance, name-Champion Insurance
* Parents: dad drunk/mom beaten
* Cop: Detective Vince Fuller

Ok, so I haven't gotten things all together yet, but I know you are working on things Mike, so I'm sending over the basics. Above are names & quick notes, here are the details of how things fit together:

Hosed at work: Frank (suitable nickname to come) is basically being blackmailed at work. He did something stupid and tried to embezzle money. The CFO/Accountant figured it out (Frank is smart, but don't know accounting or the security measures they had in place). Instead of reporting it, he has put Frank to work for him, and he keeps getting in deeper (siphoning off money, making fake insurance claims, etc).

The Girl: There's always a girl, but I did the 'nice old lady' schtick instead of he femme fatale ;) She's Frank's godmother/aunt for lack of a better term. Let's just say his childhood was not good, and a drunk for a father only made things worse. He stayed with Ruth lots of the time, just to get away. When she needed oney, he was happy to help, but things turned sour afterwards (see above for work
situation). She's happy though, and thinks he took care of things honorably (he doesn't have the heart to tell her what's really going on).

The Cop: Frank has known Vince Fuller for most of his life. Vince's parents forbid him from joining the military for the war effort, and insisted he join the police force instead to keep him from being drafted (does that work? I don't know much about WWII draft policy..?). Still, they have remained friends, and Frank helps out on the 'noodle work' as Vince likes to call it from time to time. Frank likes helping his friend, and might have considered taking Vince up on his offers to 'put in a good word with the captain' so he could join the force, but he is currently unable to do so (blackmailed, see above). Frank doesn't think the full-time cop duty would agree with him anyway, or that's what he tells himself. He wishes he could tell Vince about his problems at work, but is afraid that would put Vince in a bad situation - he doesn't want to do that to his friend over something he got himself into.

I feel like I need a twist (probably sinister) on the Cop angle, but maybe I'll leave that to the GM, eh? Hopefully there is enough there to get things going overall though.

I tried to do some possible tie-ins with Andy's Character, like being sorta in the business (insurance company for the movies). Hmm, maybe Vince could have a link to his mob-guy (either antagonistic or friendly)?

Let me know if you have questions, and I'm always open to suggestions.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:11 pm 
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dnd3eplayer wrote:
I feel like I need a twist (probably sinister) on the Cop angle, but maybe I'll leave that to the GM, eh? Hopefully there is enough there to get things going overall though.

Yeah, that's easily enough -- if nothing else is coming to you, don't force it. There's plenty there to work with. I'm already getting ideas. Thanks for this.



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:46 pm 
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BTW, just cuz I feel like it, here are some pictures:

Stephen:

Image

Elaine:

Image

(Yeah, I know I'm blatantly using William Holden, who's a writer in Sunset Strip. But, what's a guy gonna do?)



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:46 pm 
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mordraine wrote:
(Yeah, I know I'm blatantly using William Holden, who's a writer in Sunset Strip. But, what's a guy gonna do?)

I welcome any and all attempts to rip off Sunset Blvd.



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 Post subject: Character Backgrounds
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:05 am 
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BTW, here are Stephen's stats:

Name: Stephen Swift
Current Occupation: Hack Screenwriter

Abilities
Str: 12
Dex: 18
Con: 12
Int: 16
Wis: 10
Cha: 13

Saves
Tough: +5
Fort: +5
Ref: +11
Will: + 8

Combat
Defense: +5
Init: +8
Attack: +4
Ranged: +8
Melee: +5

Powers
Concealment (rank 2) works against normal hearing, normal sight.
Quickness (rank 4) 10x normal speed, only physical tasks.

Feats
Uncanny Dodge
Dodge Bonus
Improved Initiative

Skills
Bluff +9
Disable Device +11
Disguise +9
Escape Artist +12
Gather Info +9
Knowledge (local) +11
Knowledge (film biz) +7
Notice +8
Profession (writer) +4
Search +11
Sense Motive +8
Sleight of Hand +12
Stealth +12



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:58 am 
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BTW, I posted a partial world timeline in the "History and Setting Information" thread, with more to come soon. So... check that out, if you're interested in that sort of thing.



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:52 am 
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it just occurred to me that i read this aloud off of my character sheet at our first sesh, but never transcribed it, so here goes:

willoughby jameson
will's fiancee, doris, died due to complications during labor just before he returned from service. he didn't know about his unborn son until he learned of doris' passing. he would've named him artie, after his favorite musician, artie shaw. soon after returning from war, will lives on a steady diet of jameson whiskey and fingernails. spends most of his time writing stories for the local two-bit gossip rag, the los angeles informer, listening to police band in his head and beating other reporters to the scoop. lives hand to mouth, crumby paycheck to crumby paycheck, tithing daily to his neighborhood chapel, o'brien's pub. lou culligan's the only editor in town who'll give him the time of day. recently will's reunited with his army buddies stephen and frank.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:12 pm 
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jimmy corrigan wrote:
it just occurred to me that i read this aloud off of my character sheet at our first sesh, but never transcribed it, so here goes:

willoughby jameson
will's fiancee, doris, died due to complications during labor just before he returned from service. he didn't know about his unborn son until he learned of doris' passing. he would've named him artie, after his favorite musician, artie shaw. soon after returning from war, will lives on a steady diet of jameson whiskey and fingernails. spends most of his time writing stories for the local two-bit gossip rag, the los angeles informer, listening to police band in his head and beating other reporters to the scoop. lives hand to mouth, crumby paycheck to crumby paycheck, tithing daily to his neighborhood chapel, o'brien's pub. lou culligan's the only editor in town who'll give him the time of day. recently will's reunited with his army buddies stephen and frank.

Good stuff. Could you also post your entire character sheet, like Andy did? I've kinda wanted everyone's character sheets to be posted in this thread since, like, November. It'd make things easier for me to plan. Thankee!



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‎"In this economy, it's not easy to feed a growing family. So we eat Haunkkah gelt for dinner and look at a picture of broccoli." --Paul F. Tompkins
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:08 am 
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Location: 1313 mockingbird lane
name: willoughby jameson
group affiliation: beta squad
alternate identity: will or jameson
base of operation: shady arms hotel
phone: klondike 774
power level: 6
power point total: 90
size: medium
height: 6' 2"
age: 26
weight: 178 lbs.
eyes: green
hair: sandy blonde

strength 1
dexterity 2
constitution 3
intelligence 2
wisdom 1
charisma 4

toughness 4
fortitude 3
reflex 4
will 2

defense 4
initiative 2

attack 2
ranged 4
melee 3

powers:
-communication p.78 (radio waves) rank 6
-super-senses p.103 (radio waves) rank 6

feats:
-ultimate effort
-equipment (camera, binoculars, flashlight, press pass, notepad, trench coat, fedora, whiskey flask, car)
-fearless
-teamwork
-attractive
-connected
-contacts
-fascinate
-jack of all trades
-track
-well informed

skills (worth mentioning):
bluff 8
diplomacy 15 (19 if affected by looks)
disguise 8
gather information 15
knowledge (current events) 10
knowledge (streetwise) 10
knowledge (pop culture) 6
notice 12
profession (reporter) 12
search 10
sense motive 9
stealth 10
survival 9

aspects:
"so, what's your story?"
"one more for the road."
nose for news
well informed
"ya see, it all started when..."
"i know a guy."
right place at the wrong time
press pass
hungover


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:09 am 
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that was a long time coming. sorry for the delay, chief.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:11 am 
Adroit Pirate
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*sits in silence for a moment, looking Albert in the eye sternly*

*claps once, loudly, then again, and again, with increasing speed*

*rises slowly to his feet*



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‎"In this economy, it's not easy to feed a growing family. So we eat Haunkkah gelt for dinner and look at a picture of broccoli." --Paul F. Tompkins
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:13 am 
Adroit Pirate
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Okay, seriously though....
jimmy corrigan wrote:
powers:
-communication p.78 (radio waves) rank 6
-super-senses p.103 (radio waves) rank 6

Did you have any flaws or modifiers on these?



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‎"In this economy, it's not easy to feed a growing family. So we eat Haunkkah gelt for dinner and look at a picture of broccoli." --Paul F. Tompkins
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:16 am 
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devlin1 wrote:
Okay, seriously though....

Did you have any flaws or modifiers on these?
i don't know. why? did i mis-allocate buy-points? feel free to dock me or modify.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:22 am 
Adroit Pirate
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jimmy corrigan wrote:
i don't know. why? did i mis-allocate buy-points? feel free to dock me or modify.

No, I'm just curious.



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‎"In this economy, it's not easy to feed a growing family. So we eat Haunkkah gelt for dinner and look at a picture of broccoli." --Paul F. Tompkins
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 12:56 pm 
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well, the limitations are ones that come a priori. radio communication (with the exception of the latest episode) is one-way unless there's a transceiver at the other end. super-senses will only work for radio signals.

is that what you mean?


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:55 pm 
Adroit Pirate
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I just didn't know if they were straight-up powers or what. No additional agenda expressed or implied.



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‎"In this economy, it's not easy to feed a growing family. So we eat Haunkkah gelt for dinner and look at a picture of broccoli." --Paul F. Tompkins
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:10 pm 
Adroit Pirate
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BTW, Sam, a couple ideas for advancing Frank:

Post-/Precognition. I know I'd normally disallow this one, but I was more concerned with it in character creation than I am now. I'd let you get either or both of these as long as they had one or more Flaws. Two good ones would be Action and Unreliable. Or Limited: Requires a Skill Roll. But definitely Action; it should take at least a few minutes of thought.

The special effect, of course, is being able to make accurate guesses about past or future events based on available evidence.

Luck Control. Specifically, the third type of Luck Control: forcing someone else to re-roll and take the worse of the two. The special effect is a quick "ret-conning" of the situation. Thanks to Frank's super-intelligence, he's able to better anticipate and react to others' actions.

Super-Senses: Danger Sense. Pretty much the same rationale as above.

Super-Sense: Time Sense. Not the most exciting, true, and you might already have it, but... makes sense.

That's pretty much all I've got right now. A more mundane thing I'd also probably allow, in moderation, would be buying additional BAB/saves/etc. with the Limitation Flaw (requires an Int check vs. DC 20).



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Mike Olson
‎"In this economy, it's not easy to feed a growing family. So we eat Haunkkah gelt for dinner and look at a picture of broccoli." --Paul F. Tompkins
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:37 am 
Killer Robot
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Hm.. some good suggestions. I'll post my sheet here after updating it (probably not till later in the weekend though).


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