RPGaDay2023 – Day 8: Favorite character

There’s some recency bias going on here.  Not regency bias though.  I would never.  This question is mildly funny to me because back in my day that was the joke about social awkward gamers – they would prattle on about their dumb characters to whoever would listen. 

The first character that comes to mind is Gold Digger from a pre-pandemic Shadowrun campaign.  My game group has reached the point where there’s not always a lot of story going on, it’s more fight-loot-buy shit-repeat while we make bad jokes and talk about 20 year old TV shows and movies.  But we still do some story sometimes.  Goldie was involved in one of those types of campaigns.  Shit got real.  And by real I mean fake. 

She was a rigger because I don’t like magic people or deckers and what am I going to do, be a street sam?  Not likely.  I liked riggers better back in the olden times when they were just gearheads instead of drone masters.  I remember when I was making Goldie asking the crew “do I have to have drones?” and they were all like “No you don’t have to have drones, if you want to SUCK!!!”  Harsh man, harsh. 

There’s a trait you can take in Shadowrun where you’re an ork but you look mostly human and I thought that would be interesting.  GD’s parents were big into metahuman rights and having a kid that looked human made them go “uh . . . . okay”.  They sent her off to live with relatives so she wouldn’t embarrass them by looking different.  Ha-ha, how’s that for flipping the script Shadowrun!  I’m so clever and awesome.

She was a bit of a handful so those relatives shipped her off to more distant relatives and so on until she was living with a 9th cousin 16 times removed and one day they looked at her and they were like “who are again?”  Eventually she was on the street but she was a mechanical genius so she started scratch-building cool stuff out of junk and hey presto she was a Shadowrunner. 

The idea behind Goldie was that she had a family to support so in addition to being a Shadowrunner she also had a bunch of other “gig” jobs and to insulate said family from that part of her life she had all manner of safe houses and false identities and whatnot.  It was a fun little web to build and it actually added to the game!  The core of the character was “must work harder”.

However, despite being one of my favorite characters she was at the end of the day a failure of concept.  I kind of sneer at session zero and spending valuable game time just making characters BUT I get it.  Such as, the idea behind Gold Digger was that she was super-worried about money all the time and under all this pressure to provide for the people that depended on but we were “prime runners” by character creation and then the GM threw us more crap on top of that so she had over a million dollars’ worth of drones and equipment.  So it didn’t really make a ton of sense. 

I tried to head-canon it that she didn’t buy any of that shit, she salvaged and built it all herself, but still why wouldn’t she just sell it and make money that way instead of taking on a dangerous stealing a commlink for 5k?  If you can’t overlook logical inconsistencies you’re not going to have a lot of fun playing an RPG.  Not with my group anyway. 

Another recent favorite was Paul Calhoun in a campaign of THE STRANGE.  As I’m sure you know THE STRANGE is Sliders the RPG.  Paul Calhoun was from a zombie-infested deadworld and had grown up after the zombie apocalypse.  The idea was that he was one of the last people alive in the world.  So to him falling through a wormhole into earth-prime with no zombies and running water and delicious thin crust pizza was the best thing that ever happened.  It was a fun fish out of water type deal.  I tried not to be too annoying to the GM but I pulled the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer bit a lot because he’s not from here, he doesn’t know!

Paul wasn’t actually a very effective character because all this shit was based on zombie-killing and we weren’t in zombietown but he was fun to play.  There was a amuzing sequence where he was trying to drive a car to run over/get away from some people from Terminator world and he kept rolling really high and pulling off shit even though he didn’t know how to drive at all.  Things were going well until the car imploded from all the Terminator-bits wedged in the engine.  The two things you need to know are Paul Shot First & Claire + Paul 5Eva. 

I liked Paul so much that I shoehorned him into the Ela-pocalypse story as I’m sure you remember.  RIP Paul. 

I’ll stop soon I promise but another recent favorite of mine was Aurilio Salvas, who was a cat dandy.  There’s an adage that most people tend to play the same character over and over again in RPGs but I have two characters I usually play in fantasy because I’m so awesome.  One is the dirt-poor hard-fightin’ hard-fartin’ ugly ugly son of a bitch who sleeps in the ditch and eats scraps because they don’t care about nothing but a fightin’ and a fussin’.  They don’t cotton to fancy types.

My other staple is the poor street urchin who desperately wants to be a fancy type.  Aurilio was one of those.  He was just a stray cat-man from the rough side of town who wanted the finest cat-clothes and finest cat-food and the finest cat-wines.  The good news is that adventurers pick up an abundance of money and fancy jewelry so he was in hog-cat heaven.  Magic items are expensive but mansions and fine vests and pantaloons are much cheaper. 

I think at some point he was actually given a noble title.  Which would have been the tippy-top for him.  If I remember correctly Aurilio was given the chance for everyone in the part to be ennobled but he was like “nah, just me, I don’t want these riff-raff to have a title”. 

I don’t remember where I got this, it was a long time ago, sorry


  1. Well, I think I feel a little better about Paul’s sorry fate (and having to put up with Ela) if he was originally the last man on Zombie world. A mere apocalypse world is probably pretty okay by comparison. And he managed to find rad girlfriend.

  2. Your character Goldie and her “gotta pay for the family” schtick sounds awfully familiar… I’ve been there before. 🙂

  3. Aurilio is probably my favorite character you’ve made, but I also enjoyed when you and Crowy McSighs and Werdle McSquirtle were plant creatures. Treant, mushroom man, and Cactus fella. There was also a Aberrant human sorcerer…because, why conform to the “everybody’s a plant creature” theme?

Leave a Reply