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Working on my non-supernatural PC

I came up with this character after a marathon session of watching the TV shows Bones, Burn Notice and the movie Spy Games. I wanted a combination of a spy, an expert criminal psychologist and forensics guy, and I wanted to give him a reason for being driven. Obviously, loosing one's parents is trite, but it works for Batman. And his parents aren't dead, just vanished.

What I'm really liking about this is how I'm able to tie him in with our locations and potentially with our NPCs. Russians on Coney Island, his parents at the UN, and so on. It all feels very well constructed, and even if it doesn't motivate the game, he feels like a real character in a story. It's nothing like other games I've been in, where PCs were just created whole cloth with only a few ties into the pre-generated game wold. This is all starting to come together with what we've been building.

What I don't like is how the instructions seem to work for aspects. The first four seem to have no real separation. I like the SOTC steps better. This feels confusing. Also, some example of the full process being worked through all presented in one shot for a character who's not in the books would help me understand things more.

Here's what I've got so far -

Joseph Brodsky, FBI Unit Chief, Missing Persons division, New York.

High Concept: "Find out what happened to my parents"

Theme: "If I put this in one of my reports, they'll lock me up"

Background - "My parents worked as ... ah, interpreters in a variety of US embassies around the world."

Joseph's parents were spies, and they were born in Russia, fleeing when Stalin came to power. His family history before that is a mystery, one kept by the US government, and one that Joseph can't find out about. His parents were going to tell him about it before they dissapeared.

He was born in Pakistan, and traveled from embassy to embassy until his teenage years. Though scrupulous about secrecy, his parents were loving and encouraging, though strongly disciplined. from them, Joseph learned that you could be loved by people who didn't tell you everything about their lives. He never delved too deeply into the secret aspects of their lives, but he also learned how to observe the "spy game" form watching them, and observation, psychology, and interpreting a range human behavior is instinctual to him. Mundane human sometimes suspect him of supernatural powers because of his deductive abilities.

What Shaped him - At age 17, Joseph entered The Virginia Military Institute, and was expected to enter military service. But during his second year (age 19), his parents vanished after accepting what was intended to be a semi-retirement assignment to the UN in New York City. His parents were never found, and no trace of where they disappeared to was ever presented to him. After graduating from VMI with honors, he refused assignment to the military and went on to graduate work in New York at John Jay university in Forensic Psychology. Before his graduation, he was recruited into the FBI. He pulled together resources and skills developed by his parents, and is playing a double game as an FBI agent, and using all of his spy skills to find out what happened to his parents.

He's never found them, but his research into other unexplained disappearances in New York City put him on an inevitable collision course with the supernatural, and his superiors. 10 years have passed since they vanished.

First Story - "Unexplained Causes"

After several years of solving some the most baffling of cases of unexplained disappearances, FBI Special Agent Joseph Brodsky is at the top of his profession, but no closer to solving his parent's disappearance. In an investigation of a related disappearance of a US intelligence agent at the UN a year prior to his parents vanishing, he stumbles across a secret society of Russian cultists near Coney Island. (details of interaction with whatever PC seems appropriate). The results of his investigations result in the incident being classified as Top Secret, and an official reprimand.

Guest starring in -

Guest Starring in -


1) "Find out what happened to my parents" (High Concept)

2) "If I put this in one of my reports, they'll lock me up" (Theme)

3) "Tell me five facts about yourself. I'll tell you which one is a lie." (Background)

4) "Spy without a net"

5) "I don't care who or what you are. You don't get away with that in my town" (My story - "Without a Trace")

6) "I don't have friends, I have resources" (I like this quote, but I might change it later if the other person's story fits)


I have yet to figure skills and stunts because we've not gone over how many points our characters are getting.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
That is fair. I haven't set the amounts because I really wanted the city part to be done first. Saying that, I am going to use the default amounts. Points will be 25. Refresh rate will be 6. Cap amount will be Great.
Sep. 4th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
I like the aspects. The only thing I would say is there are different types of aspects and you may want to mix them up a bit more. But that is only a suggestion. I would check out the sotc section of aspects to get more of an idea as to what I mean. But again, it is only a suggestion. :)
Sep. 5th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
I was thinking swapping out one more for a person or a thing or ability. Perhaps not "my trusty toolkit" but how about "Uncle Boris, the Russian spy"? or "Tai-Chi" or "Systema", which is a Russian martial art.

I'll get to work on skills an stunts over the weekend.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


The Dresden Files Role Playing Game: New York City

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