Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Borrowing from my own past

I totally ditched my old plot outlines for a potential novel set in the DARK•HERITAGE setting.  One of these days, I'm really going to kick myself for not having buckled down, written it, and put it out there on Amazon as a Kindle ebook.  But I've decided that for my first real outing, I needed more compelling characters than the ones I had whipped up, and in looking back at my gaming past, some of the most compelling characters to ever feature in a game I ran are probably the best place to start.

Not saying that I'm going to use them per se, but rather that I think using the core concepts of them is where I want to start.  The following list of misadventures were referred to obliquely in the back stories of Lash and Ricardo, and gives an idea of the kind of people that Scourge and Raimundo will end up being.  Once adapted out of a more overtly D&D-like scenario into my own setting, of course.

  • While at a wharf saloon in Iclezza, Ricardo and Lash brokered a deal with a fight promoter and a goblin prostitue. The details are unclear, but what is known is that at one point they ended up upside down and naked.
  • Ricardo had at least one incident with a cross-dresser in Kadath. 
  • He also had a rather unfortunate incident with a pair of twins in Torregina.
  • Ricardo and Lash once ended up strapped to logs and floating toward the plateau edge in that little town in Nevistimo . Apparently this involved an innkeeper's horny widow that somehow pissed Ricardo off.
  • There was also a time in Iclezza when Ricardo told Lash to do whatever he thought best and two hours later everyone else in the tavern was dead.
  • And there was the time (location unspecified) when Ricardo was apparently keeping a noblewoman distracted while Lash robbed the house . Unfortunately, Her Ladyship the Duchess Borishonova screamed so loud she alerted not only her husband upstairs (busy with his neighbor's daughter), and the neighbor, but most unfortunately that troop of Kisraak's that just happened to be prowling the street, looking for "that cheating hobgoblin and his dandy friend." Lash just about had the safe open, too, when her husband, the daughter, the orcs, and the neighbor all arrived in the study at the same moment. Our heroes were forced to leave town in a manure wagon.
Lash was a hobgoblin con artist, thief and pirate motivated almost solely by greed.  Scourge, of course, can't be a hobgoblin, but I think letting him be a wildling accomplishes much of the same "vibe"—a member of a race typically seen as savage, but cunning and worldly.  His signature weapon (and source of his "name") is a whip, but he also carries plenty of knives and pistols.  He has a history of cat-burglary and general thuggery.

Ricardo, like Raimundo, is equally straight-forward; a dandy, a fop, and yet a sadist and dangerous swordsman, who is motivated almost solely by lust.  I see him as a cosmopolitan fellow, originally from somewhere like Sènt-Haspar, but who's favorite places are the picaresque dens of iniquity of Terrasa or Porto Liure.  He's a spadassin.

For whatever reason, the two of them have been together for almost as long as either can remember, and can't envision capering about the Mezzovian area without each other.  This is perhaps rather ironic, as the fatal flaw of the one character will frequently tend to foil the schemes of the other and vice versa and they argue like the caricature of an old married couple.

But as I cast my net wider towards protagonist archetypes, the notion of two buddy con artists, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby of the Road movies but with more competent action/fighting abilities was the one that appealed to me the most.  And since I had seen that archetype played out in a former game (two, actually) that I'd run, it seemed like the easiest place to start modeling novel characters.

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