Character Generation: The Odyssey

First off, in some unrelated good news – Skindred are working on their latest album, Testament are halfway through theirs and the rumblings about Iron Maiden recording (combined with their most recent Christmas card having an anagram of the word tour on it), which means I’m going to be one happy head-banger this year.

Anyhow, the actual point of this entry: Characters. They’re the second most annoying thing about RPG’s, I find the first being choosing names for said characters. Most people will have one or two ideas, and settle on one without too much trouble. I’m the opposite. Ideas pour out of my brain in a flood and like floods, most of them tend to be awful. It takes a lot of sifting through the garbage to find either A: a workable concept that’s going to be fun to play for more than two sessions and B: something I’m going to be able to play well. There’s no point in playing a character that I know I’m going to be shithouse at, unless the plan is to completely sabotage things and that’s just not that fun.

BE WARNED: I’m not just going to tell you about my character, I’m going to tell you about characters I’m not playing.

So, there’s two LARP’s I’m looking at playing in – the first is Clans of Elgardt, a fantasy LARP. Now, given it’s roughly based on Medieval Europe, you’d expect some sort of crusader or barbarian (Especially given my beard at the moment). Nope! Instead, I’m planning a character from the shifting sands of Kharmen, a desert region where the locals ride ships on the sand that are greased with stomach acids from the Dragon Snakes of the area. It’s no shirtless Viking with axes out the wazoo, but it’s still pretty fucking metal. (If you disagree, please remember Iron Maiden wrote a song about Dune and it doesn’t get much more metal than that.)


There was also the following exchange with my wife:

ME: Basically, it means I’d be dressed like Ardeth Bey.

WIFE: Who?

ME: Oded Fehr, from The Mummy.


Now I’ll admit that choosing a character based on the reaction of your spouse to the costume is far from the most optimal way to do things, BUT IT’S THE ONLY WAY I KNOW. Besides, I still remember the look on her face when I took her to her first LARP and emerged dressed as a pirate. She was happy. [FADE TO BLACK] The other advantage of this is I’ll mostly be dressed in light linen/cotton robes that means I’ll be able to costume in the Australian summer and not DIE IMMEDIATELY of heatstroke, which is a really useful thing.

The second is Horizon, a game set in the world of Warhammer 40,000 from the Games Workshop miniatures game. For those of you not familiar with the setting the phrase ‘In the  GRIMDARKNESS of the GRIMDARK far future there is only GRIMDARK‘ should sum it up nicely.

I’ve been kicking around a bunch of ideas for the last few weeks, most of them unworkable or little more than a one-note joke. Now, I did finally decide on one, but first, here’s the ideas I didn’t choose. Hey, you were warned.

The first was a Scum (Yes, that is a character class), who makes a living modifying and selling weaponry. The twist is, he’s actually working for an Inquisitor, who’s told him to keep being useful and he won’t get shot. There’s the hope of becoming one of his acolytes, because I’d love to enter a room and yell “Imperial Inquisition!” and watch the resulting mess of cries of “WHAT?” and “I wasn’t expecting that…” Dick move, but a hopefully amusing one. Next was a former Imperial Navy pilot turned smuggler (Gee, I wonder where that idea came from…), with the third a Preacher formerly attached to an Imperial Guard unit, who carried a prayer book and flamethrower. (In 40K, a fire and brimstone approach to religion tends to feature real fire.)

However, the idea I settled on was a Rogue Trader, but one born on a Forge World  What is that you ask? Think a merchant ship captain with far too much power who was born on a wold that’s a giant factory ruled over by priests who worship technology despite having no idea how to build most of it. It’s an odd mess, but so is most of the 40K setting. I’m still sorting out the finer details (Personality, family members etc), but it’s coming together quite nicely and gives me the chance for some elaborate costume, which as you should know by now, is half the reason I LARP.

Adeptus_mechanicus_by_cribs-d4b4afs Mmmm head tubes. Sexy, sexy head tubes.

So yeah, that’s been where most of my spare brain power has been devoted of late. Until next time, be seeing you…