The NPC pool is a resource of non-player character descriptions for use in roleplaying games. Here is a alternative type of prison govenror from my mate Matthew Farr
Description: Tall, bespectacled and well built white male with thining grey/blond hair. Impeccably dressed, usually civilian clothes of good quality but with a strangely characterless air, as if dressed by someone else. Mannerisms are restrained, calm and unfailingly polite – many suspect this hides a volcanic temper but this is untrue – he is simply incapable of such extremes of emotion.
History: Carrington is typical of the upper-middle class of Edwardian England – a child of a successful civil service he grew up on boarding school, excelling at little yet neither marking himself out at particularly deficient in any area. A job following his father seemed to await, but the Great War sent him to first to Flanders, where he was mildly injured in a forgettable skirmish in 1915, and then to Palestine with Allenbys campaign against the Turks, where he acquitted himself ably as a Company Captain.
Post-war he threw himself into the Civil Service career he had always been earmarked for, determined to hold back the chaos of faltering post-war Britain, and restore the Edwardian Grandeur he argues is being destroyed by socialists, women and foreign influences. He looks abroad and sees the old structures, the great structures, of Europe swept away, and sees “socialist plots” at the root of many of England’s social and economic ills.
Whilst Carrington has a deep distrust of Facists and other extremists of the right, and deplores their “thuggish” behaviour, he seems them much as one sees the fever in an injured man; an unpleasant process that leads to a fitter body. A keen and methodical organiser who sees himself as an archly rationalist human being, he believes that it his duty to support the hallowed traditions of England with dignity, fairness and honour, albeit with the understanding that “necessary” violence in pursuit of these aims.
His time in command for the prison has seen a marked improvement of conditions amongst the prisoners and he has instigated many new rules and tasks for the prisoners to perform. Good work is rewarded, poor behaviour punished. The rules are the rules, and no compromise to this fair and equitable structure of his devising – which he believes can be rolled out to the wider prison system – can be allowed. He isn’t popular with with guards or prisoners, but commands a strange respect for the unflinching honesty of his approach.
The one blemish in Carrington’s world of order is the subject of arts and music, which he believes should move him, or speak to him, but leaves him cold. He listens to the classics constantly whilst working in his office, and spends his free time studying the great artists; he can converse at length on their histories and styles, their foibles and strengths, but feels unable to be transported by them as so many others have been.
Carrington was originally created to be a Royalist Concentration Camp Commander in the VBCW background, and is presented here with the UK-based background fitting that setup. However the general concept of the character – an authoritarian, cold-hearted overseer living under the illusion he is an urbane and gallant throwback adapting to a less civilised age – is pretty easily transported around. Carrington can be as sympathetic or monstrous as he needs to be fitting the scenario, from a genuinely good man who has simply lost sight of his moral compass, to a petty tyrant drunk on his own power. That said, he remains on the outside a calm, thoughtful figure but will chat happily to a prisoner about high culture, right before ordering their necessary execution.
As an authority figure Carrington can fit either as an Ally or an Adversary. As a Prison Governor the party is most likely to be trying to break in or break out of his domains, but he could also be used to order manhunts for missing prisoners to call in investigators in the event of unusual or particularly disorderly crimes in the Prison itself.
Western: Sheriffs, Marshalls, or US Cavalry Officers or any other frontier enforcement character, or possibly the white overseer of Indian Territories.
Science Fiction: They have prisons in space, right?
Post Apocalyse: any sort of settlement leader – desperate times call for desperate measures, after all – and the collection of cultural artefacts and obsession with history fits right in.