I’ve been thinking about old role-playing games and thought I’d do my top 5 player characters. To start off I’ll do the top 5 I’ve enjoyed playing. Then I might do the top 5 I’ve enjoyed running for. I’ll try and attach a hashtag to this when I publish it and it might be fun if other people have a go either on their own blogs or in the comments section.
I don’t think it’s any secret I refer to run role-playing games rather than play (which is possibly why I don’t dig the computer game experience) but these are the top five I’ve enjoyed playing over 26 years of role-playing.
5. The Bell-Ringer
I must have played the Bellringer around the summer of 1987 at the tender age of maybe 13. He’s the first distinct character I remember playing not that there was much to him. A cheap Punisher knock-off with the catch phrase ‘Do not ask for who the bell tolls – it’s tolls for THEE!’ he graduated from riding around on a bike with a shotgun to Class 4 NATO hard armour and carrying enough weapons to make the most ardent gun-fetishist HAPPY. This included a number of grenades which upon meeting a cunning Magneto type villain all had their pins pulled at the end of a session! And in the manner of teenage gaming someone then bought a new rules set nad we never established the outcome. A sneaking part of me likes to imagine the Bell-Ringer somehow managed to survive…
4. Haloric Longarm
Haloric was a Sun Dome Templar in a Prax campaign I played inLeeds. He was also an outright religious bigot. For those who don’t know the Sun Dome Templars are a combination of all the tolerant and fluffy aspects of ultra-orthodox Zionists settlers, the Orange Order, 1840s Texan Rangers and Islamifacists. Haloric despite himself was assigned to a bunch of adventurers who did occasional jobs for the Templars. Well I say adventurers Haloric who probably refer to ‘misspoken, misshapen filthy lying heathens.’ Even more despite himself he did start to develop an affection for the team even if they were untrustworthy damned heretics.
Even more surprising is that Haloric was a –pre-generated character from the Sun Dome County supplement. Unfortunately I moved to Bristol, which might have been a good things as the campaign came to a sticky end. So I’ve just got happy memories of trying to stick Broo with my spear and trying to toady my way up the Templars.
There is an artists rendition of Halroic here http://pipnjim.homemail.com.au/questlines/3Dsundomer.jpg
3. Dr Fernando Lopez, formerly of the Brazilian Science Rangers
In Matt’s infamous ‘dimension hoping campaign Fernando was a Brazilian from a world where the Cuban missile crises had gone nuclear and various southern hemisphere powers sent recovery teams to steal technology from the irradiated North. Fernando was a mixed race PhD Scientist who served with the Brazilian Science Rangers who performed this dangerous work for his government. He also had a full set of light infantry skills as well as an edietic memory.
Like all the other PCs in that background he’d ended up chased through a dimensional gate in Switzerland and now severed the Africa based ‘United Republic’ on pan-dimensional missions. He was a careful logical character possessed on a driving scientific and cultural curiosity, A rare occasion where I play one of the more sober and restrained members of a party!
2. Squadron leader Bill Sandbury
I’m cheating a little bit here as I actually played Bill twice in two very different backgrounds.
The first was a low powered 1950s British set Super background run by my childhood friend Jon. Well it was meant to be low powered though one rule-rapist managed to make an incredible character through twisting every inch out of the Champions system. (He subsequently became a merchant banker – signs were always there.) Bill was am ex-RAF Special Air Policeman who was running a paranormal investigation team. Fundamentally decent and two fisted he owed a lot to Dan Dare and a lot to Biggles but was still terrific fun to play. A bit like a British Captain America in a flying jacket and with a trusty Browning automatic.
Second time was as a space fighter pilot of the Reginan Astronautic Fleet in the pulp ‘Star lords’ game I played at Leeds University and afterwards. Star Lords was a game which took massive bites out many and sundry pieces of genre fiction to mash it all up in a Wold-Neuton like pulp background. Again Bill as a knight of the air loyal to his planetary (and ultimately the Holy Stellar Empire) Government but also to truth, justice and fair play. He plyed the galaxy on half pay with his trusty Hurricane star fighter (Reginan copy of the Viper) getting into all manner of scrapes.
Shun Wu was also a character I the Star Lords background (everyone was encouraged to play multiple characters.) She was from a Chinese planet and travelling a bicycle repair woman. She was also an exemplar of the code if the Xia – a kind of Chinese Robin Hood arch-type who gave her time and limited funds to good deeds and good times.
She was a 5’2” Chinese slight 18 year old girl in a boiler suit and T-shirt with a Chairman Mao cap and long dark hair in pig tails. She had a bicycle repair kit in the belt at her waist and a bike and polearm close to hand. (Having written that I detach her influence on a current game NPC – never made the connection before.)
An excellent martial artist with fist, feet and her trusty polearm she was also young naive and easily manipulated, Her various martial arts manoeuvres (which she had a tendency to name as she struck) developed increasingly bizarre names over the years (the flying moose strike comes to mind.) She had a few crushes in the course of her adventures but never developed a true sweetheart but she was terrific good fun to play. It’s nice to play a bounce-back optimist and a unremittingly good character. I never got to see Shun and Bill together (I’m sure he would have admired her plunk if not her lack of decorum) and she would have noted his good heart if been disappointed in his stuffed shirt ways.)
A few googles have shown what a minefield this character is to find good images for so no picture sorry!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this snap-shot and if your a roleplayer whey not let me know your favourite characters either in comments section or via your down blogs.