Sunday, August 9, 2020

I Have Been So Many People

In solidarity with Throne of Salt and The Mad Queen's Court, I offer an incomplete travelogue of previous PCs. (Also Linden)

Pre-high school youth:

  • ???, half-elf ranger. My first encounter with RPGs was a 3.0 game played at a friend's birthday party.  It was a premade character that I would go on to play for several monty haul campaigns.
  • ???, Ibixien... fighter? An unknowing mixture of a 2E goatman with a 3E game.
  • Brutus, human. In a petulant pique at my brother tweaking his primary attributes, I made a character with 20 levels in every core 3E class and played him for one session.
  • ???, Zabrak Force Adept. The subject of infrequent Start Wars d20 games. No notable personality.
  • Surely many others.

High school, first half of college:

  • William Hook, halfling expert/rogue. Originally for a one-shot that turned into my first real campaign. An incorrigible haggler who consistently stole treasure from the party.
  • ???, robin expy. First Mutants and Masterminds character. Notable for attempting to use finesse regardless of whether crashing down the door would work.
  • Myself. For a long-running zombie apocalypse setting. Almost killed by a trapped trapdoor until the campaign lost steam.
  • Harry LaLowboy, In a homebrew game with a Torg-like setting, I made this character to be a medic. Randomly rolling for a drawback, I was afflicted with debilitating sadism. After a part member turned against me for murder, I used an artifact to turn invisible and disappeared from the campaign.
  • Ronin. The next Mutants and Masterminds character, this one a bit longer running. Lacked a creative concept or a concept of creativity.
  • the Herald of Alcander, human paladin/beastmaster/faith scion. Cherished paladin in a 3.5 world which lacked gods. Renounced his name to herald the way of a new deity, a giant wolf that grew more divine with time.
  • Cicero Knight, vampire archeologist. Vampire in a Xiaolin Showdown-esque New World of Darkness setting. Just a horrible oddball, immense fun to play. Ended up defeating his nemeses, a family of vampire hunters including Jackie Chan and Nicholas Cage. Catchphrase: "If archeologists don't save the world, who will?"
  • Cesare Volere, human adjunct. Alexander Hamilton in an Italian city-states 3.5 game.
  • Alaistair De'oth, human swashbuckler. Guest NPC spot turned into a weekly gig for a Pathfinder game, with very involved players, each with at least two characters in two different flashpoints. I have never seen as much involvement.
  • Thuban, tengu cleric. Same campaign as above. Based on the poem "the Old Astronomer to his Pupil." Another greatly beloved character. He was crotchety, self-sacrificing, and ruthlessly devoted to his view of right and posterity.
  • Attica, human void monk/antipaladin. Same campaign as above. A brainwashed magic experiment turned cruel. Didn't get the chance to flesh out her journey.
  • Old Master Bering, human samurai. Same campaign as above. As cool a character as he was outclassed by everything and everyone he encountered.
  • Rithe Foundling, human rogue. Back in 3.5. A build focused on sneak attack dice. This grim, low-magic Slavic setting became a sort of grim Justice League, with "the Dragon" offering specialty as a climber and infiltrator. In his free time, he invented the gaslight.
  • Tylen Taric, human oracle. People disliked that I made him a prodigal jerk even though he had high charisma. Pathfinder (of course)
  • Pavel, human kineticist. Pathfinder. Pavel was great. The game was a three-session affair premised about a group of normal people in the 1980's finding a deck of many things and needing to pull half the deck. Over the course of the game, Lithuanian expat and history student Pavel Borisovich acquired the ability to throw lightning.
  • Truman Alethiophage, human cleric. Pathfinder. Amazing bluff build. Only featured in one session, a demanding dungeon churn with no one to talk to.
  • Tenshi Nishimura, elf monk/magus. Long-running character for an anime-themed Pathfinder game.Thought he was too cool for everyone else. Ended up defeating the prime minister's mech and uncovering his past life that ended in Venice, 1946.
  • Slandyr, half-orc paladin. Third truly cherished character. Pathfinder has this version of the paladin called the "redeemer," dedicated to fighting evil in ways other than killing evil people. The campaign and other players really beat me down on this, and I had to take a break from the character. Despite this, I have overwhelming fondness for it and feel it made me a better person.
  • Visha, tiefling alchemist. The character I played while on break from Slandyr. He loved mercury. IDK.
  • the Burnaway Man, changeling witch. Played in a one-off, but ignited my imagination. I wrote a spooky song about his fairy-tale misdeeds, taking a new wife every ten years before burning her. 
  • Miguel Renzo, human navigator. I didn't feel inspired by the 40K setting, so I just made a cowboy. Ended up being a sensible, respected fit for the party.


  • Charlotte Heinlyn, human seneschal. Another Rogue Trader character, an inveterate businesswoman. Game fell apart due to personal reasons before I could get into her.
  • Buffy, human slayer. Hunga-munga wielder for a mini-campaign. Pathfinder.
  • Aarav, nagaji fighter. Snake who spat loogies in a Pathfinder one-off.
  • Santiago Destino, human oracle. Used a Pathfinder build to represent someone living in a Groundhog Day loop with the ability to dictate dice results.
  • Zataria, half-orc aristocrat. A one-off game we called "Kid nation," about founding a wilderness colony.
  • Voltimand, orc knight. For a pathfinder mini-campaign. All I remember about him was that he was a coward.
  • Canieron, gnoll bard. For a pathfinder one-off excerpted from an adventure path. There's a section where the characters participate in an evil play where they have to endure various punishments, complete with a literal script. Felt scripted.
  • Arcane Mark, aasimar wizard. Successor to previous well-loved Pathfinder campaign. A very wizardy wizard.
  • Ellis, kitsune arcanist/enchanting courtesan. Same campaign. Horribly evil femme fatale with a decoy character sheet.
  • Skeltir. Villainous merchant in a homebrew game. 
  • Tim, android whatever thieves are called in starfinder. Starfinder is boring, but I did a write-up on my robot's special space snake faith called "Snake me to Church," so that's nice.
  • Raw, gnoll druid. Horrible luddite, played in two short Pathfinder campaigns.
  • Wyndam, human magus. Played in some Pathfinder mini-campaign. Based on the Buffy character.
  • Galina. Zweihander, then later converted to Warhammer. A pimp turned adventurer, incredibly gentle despite her towering stature and martial prowess. Another standout character.
  • Sir Driant l'Ours, pagan knight. My only experience with Pendragon. Killed by the vengeful ghost of his father.
  • Twelver Ilsam, human thief. The villain of a vast Birthright game and the Guilder of Endier. Defected from two imperial pretenders and became an amazing kingmaker before the Spider forced him to marry it. Died trying to assassinate it. The game also allowed you to make minor PCs for other rulers' adventures, so we have:
    • Scylla Woman, human corn cop/fighter. Comes from a proud family of only women. Killed by a vampire.
    • Mandy Printer, human jester. Married to a hobbit Dracula.
    • Tapot DuFrieze, assassin, Killed a PC, now dead.
    • Lord Gethsemaine, human fighter. A knight who was made heir by a PC I'm pretty sure is a vampire now.
    • Lord Crispin of Achiese (pronounced a-cheesy), human paladin. The only good character in a court full of shitty villains. Survives by being as dumb as a box of rocks.
    • Hansher the Wizard, human wizard. Killed by a cursed blade. His *light* spell was his own name, flashing.
    • Specific Tragedy, wizard. Died, but I'm not sure how. By the way, I came up with all these names opening a gas station at 4 AM.
    • Sir Frickard. Still alive.
  • Corazon, human evoker. Snake wizard, replacing Twelver after his death.
  • ???, tiefling warlock. A 5e character I played for one session with a very video gamey DM.
  • Taurel Albacassis, vampire scholar. A sephardic kaballist in a Vampire: the Dark Ages game. Kind, but often ruthless. Successfully assassinated Vlad the Impaler, inadvertently triggering the apocalypse.
  • Song, gnoll swordwife. My only Vain the Sword PC. Had a blast playing a one-shot run by an associate.
  • Gruyere, witchfinder. First Troika! character. Fell down a flight of stairs and died.
  • Sir Grime, questing knight. Another Troika! character. Has yet to find the Chalice.
  • Orfeo, human cleric. AD&D character who fell off Strahd's drawbridge.
  • Mackenzie, human fighter. One of Orfeo's followers. Mostly watched the high-level PCs navigate Strahd's castle. Would have died in the last battle with Strahd, but the DM took pity on me.
  • Maral, kimmerian shaman. Current PC for an Astonishing Swordsmen game. Worships a god of chaos and blood.
  • Faris Omar Ibn-Muniqh, syrian ranger. Other PC for the same campaign. Master of the pike.


I spent so long playing in systems that consistently let me down because I didn't know it could be otherwise. I've gotten better about making characters that aren't just a build or a complete concept with no room to develop, and about reading into what sorts of characters are appropriate for the game at hand. PCs were not supposed to die unless it was dramatic until partway through college.
I'm happy to see the journey I've been on. Characters have become characters, less often power fantasies. Just gotta find someone to run more Vain the Sword for me.


  1. What I have learned from all these posts: wow everyone else has played more than me.

  2. I like the journey aspect. The games of today are appreciated a bit differently than the game of yesterday.