This is the first installment of Random Characters, where I take the output of the concept generator and spin it into one or more characters. In these columns, I take one randomly-generated concept and try my hand at two different potential characters from the same output.
A Hobdragon Tosser / Jack-of-All-Trades / Bully: Known for being gullible, already having retired, and pursuing destruction of something distasteful.
Game Terms: In Forthright Open Roleplay, a Hobdragon is the child of an elf and a draconid. A Tosser is a fighting style that throws things. The Jack-of-All-Trades is a vocation that doesn’t specialize in anything in particular, and doesn’t have much in the way of its own abilities but which can have an eclectic mix of abilities from other vocations. A Bully is more influential when being threatening, but doesn’t mitigate the negative consequences of threatening someone. The order in which they are listed shows their relative competence (Kurinam is a better fighter than skiller than talker, in this case). You can read more about the game terms in the complete current ruleset.
Kurinam was fascinated by the impalement arts from a young age, and joined the circus as soon as her parents allowed. After more than a century of showmanship, she retired when she realized that her exotic heritage was more of a draw than her impeccable knife skills. She discovered that the world outside the circus found her just as fascinating, and grudgingly parlayed her unusual appearance into a position of social influence, running a popular salon for the discussion of politics and other current events. Though quite knowledgeable, she cannot stand to lose a debate, and so when she is on a losing streak, she tends to browbeat her opponents into submission.
The salon is exclusive, and no one is supposed to get in without an invitation, but she will let nearly any well-dressed person in who has a suitably creative sob story; far from eroding the exclusivity of the salon, the challenge of getting in without an invitation has increased its popularity.
While she was still employed by the circus but home on holiday, her elven parent was killed by assassins and she was unable to stop them. Because she believes it was ordered by the leader of the nearby elven nation, she spends much of her time and energy turning popular sentiment against the elven government. This has caused more problems for the salon than its lack of exclusivity, as some of the elven and part-elven visitors, and those who argue against war with their elven neighbors, feel intimidated and even physically threatened when they attempt to debate her. (Editor’s note: Elllllllllllllllvvvvvvvvves)
Kurinam was found abandoned as a child by a farming family; though obviously different, everyone in the family (and indeed in the village) treated her as one of their own. She grew up helping her father chase wild grazers off their land with thrown rocks. With decades of practice, she got very, very good, and could often kill deer with a single hit. She helped her adoptive siblings, and their children, and their children, run the farm. She was remarkably set in her ways and belligerently shut down any discussion of changing how things should be done. One year, her great-grandnephews wanted to make it big in the nearby city and she agreed to chaperone them and take a long break from the farm life, much to her family’s relief.
Soon, to her reckoning, they didn’t need her anymore, and she occupied her time with charity work and making connections, culminating in the establishment of the city’s first orphanage. Her goal is to get every child off the streets. She encourages urchins to stay, and allows them to both bring their friends without notice and come and go as they please. She also takes in homeless families with children, putting the adults to work in shifts as minders and nannies to allow others the time to learn trade skills. She meets disrespect for authority with brutal punishment, often surprising new residents.
Kurinam Take One is pretty flexible. If she is an NPC and the PCs are elven, part-elven, or serving elven interests, she can be a vicious enemy turning influential people against them. If the PCs’ objectives align with hers, she can be extremely helpful to them and form a close relationship. As a PC, she might be a lesser partner in her salon as she chases her objectives more directly.
Kurinam Take Two is more suitable as an NPC, though being a PC wouldn’t be impossible. She makes a great ambiguous character in a PC’s backstory, trying to help but often going overboard in an attempt to keep a large number of children used to independence “in line.” She can be more overtly villainous if the punishments are played as more severe and/or arbitrary. Remember that violence against children can be unpleasant for some players, and they may not want it included in their game. Abide by the safety tier and do’s and don’ts as laid out in the Game Charter to make sure everyone has a fun time.