The Genesis of Characters.

As you should by now know in a few weeks we will begin playing the Call of Cthulhu Campaign: Horror on the Orient Express 2nd Edition. While Episodes should start appearing on the Website, hopefully early January or Late December I thought that I would go through first how we created the characters, and then give you a taster of them.
Given that I know how deadly Cthulhu can be we decided to make a number of characters each. Effectively each person created their initial character, then four other characters that would be selected by the other players. All five characters that they created however had to be connected, which would give us a reason for them to “turn up” if their initial character died. This way, as characters die there should always be someone who the remaining characters could draft in to help. Whether these people will want to be drafted in is another question of course.
Even better, until they have become “Live” I can use them as NPC’s. So people could Telegraph back to London to talk to their friend, or ask for assistance. Admittedly 25 total characters is a lot to create but at the same time it means that the players can get to choose between those in their “set” when they need a new character.
Once all of the characters were made, everyone introduced their initial character, then explained the other four and how they were connected to the initial. These were then split into piles and everyone in order got to choose their first choice. Obviously they could only choose from a given pile once, however this did mean that certain people chose from given piles first when there were characters they particularly wanted (for example the “High Class Rent Boy” went very quickly). It also meant that most players ended up with a mix of characters they were excited to play and a few they were not expecting.
Interestingly some of the characters actually harkened back to a campaign I ran before the Cult started (“Blood of the Father” which was written up on the site) not least of all because the foundation that the survivors of the Cult of the Gorgon’s plot created will be a central part of the campaigns beginning. For more information on Blood of the Father please see: thecultofteaanddice.net/2013/07/18/all-those-other-games/

We’re running from the Proof copies of both the campaign and rules, however for character creation I didn’t have enough electronic items to give each player their own so instead I printed out the character creation section of the investigators handbook, one for each player. The method used was “Roll stats in order, one free reroll (must take the new roll), if stats uniformly below average then delete and restart” which seemed to work quite well although we’ll have to see how the actual stats and skills play out.
Archive’s Characters
Sadie Terrence-Smythe: Flapper
Grand neice of Henry Terrence-Smythe the defacto leader of the Dalley-Delmorte Foundation which looks into the unusual and also aids those who have escaped from bunkum religeons and odd cults. That said she doesn’t really know all that much about the Foundation. Her Father, Frederick is Henry’s nephew, and is still alive, while her mother Irene sadly died a few years ago from some sort of illness. As a result Sadie has determined to experience as much as she can of life, enjoying everything and go on to befriend all sorts of people. She does not however approve of Bert Lloyd, who is her friend Ruby’s gentleman friend, but so long as Ruby is happy she would never say anything.
Main skills: Persuade, psychology, with credit rating at a lower level.

Mary Flanagan: Farmers Wife
One of the school girls at the Ambergate school, Mary was one of Izzie’s good friends, although not particularly good at school work. As it was however this was fine as having left school she married George Flanagan, a farmer in Derbyshire, and settled down. Now she does a lot of work round the farm, as a very solid woman, she shoots, repairs tractors, and has been known to settle drunken fights between the farm hands with one solid punch apiece!
Main skills: Mechanical repair, Brawling, and shotguns.

Tiny Tim Boxley: Street Punk
Timothy Boxley was always one of Algernon Warfstache’s greatest fans, regularly using his street gained skills to sneak into the theatres to watch. Eventually he even snuck into a rehersal and saw how some of the tricks were done, and ended up due to… misadventure, first meeting his idol and then becoming his Protege. Since Algernon has fallen a little on hard times, Tiny Tim has had to return to his former job… that of climbing in through peoples windows and abstracting their jewelry.
Main skills: climbing, palming things, and opening locks.

Barnabus Lynch: Dilettante
Barnabus lived in Barking when Clarissa lived there and went to the school at which she taught. He didn’t take any classes with Clarissa, but was a student of Chester Fillman’s, although not a terribly good one! In fact he really didn’t Excel at school and once he left went a little off the rails, drinking too much and using a little too much of the modern drugs. However the Reverend who was a friend of his fathers, spotted his downward spiral and sent him to Dr Milton Ripley
Main skills: Credit rating, driving, and being charming.

Errol Oldstaff: Occultist
The young son of the Oldstaffs, Errol is a bit of a drip to put it mildly. Obsessed with the Occult and with the shop girl Barbara Buckley, he moons about Oldstaffs Oddities with the look of a dog kicked once too often. Disliking his parents less than serious nature he attempts to affect an air of someone in the know about the other realms, but suceeds solely in seeming like a complete berk. He follows the antics of people like Crowley and the Theosophical society avidly, but lacks the will to follow suit. He’s pretty good with electrical items though, so possibly he could end up a wireless repair man. He is never seen without his raven, Lenore.
Main skills: Library Use, Occult, and strangely Electrical repair.

Nyx’s Characters
Isabel Allyson: Dilettante
Isabel Allyson aka Izzie to her friends is the daughter of Mrs Mary Allyson who set up the Ambergate Gardens Private school for Girls. Her Father died relatively young and this forced her mother back to work, where her unique management style built up an impressive school, she never forgot that her fortune was new and the remembrance of her childhood as the only daughter of a poor curate, Mrs Allyson delighted in helping others with the profits of her school. Unfortunately Mary Allyson is now dying of consumption, but Izzie has kept in touch with a number of the teachers and ex-students who used to be at the school. Izzie herself is very rich, but possibly less frugal than her mother, she is planning to go and rejoin her mother at some point in the near future, who has gone overseas for her health. One of the speakers at her school had mentioned the Dalley Delmorte foundation (Rowena Towers one of the survivors of the Turkish escapades) and obviously having talked to her thought her interesting enough to mention to Henry Terrence-Smythe.
Main skills: Credit rating, numerous languages, and listening at doors.

Dr Wade Roberts: Professor
A correspondance friend of Algernon Warfestache, he is actually a member of the Dalley-Delmorte foundation and actually mentioned Algernon to Henry Terrence-Smythe. He and Algernon correspond regularly discussing occult matters and other such things. The Professor is mostly interested in the rise of the “new religions” made famous by such people as Madame Blavatsky, and Aleister Crowley.
Main skills: Occult, Library Use, and rifles.

Rev S Charles: Clergyman
The Reverend S Charles, was before the war nothing more than a Village teacher and took tea with the worthies of the village, while dabbling in History and the appreciation of Art.The war however changed everything. In the War, he was actually a concientious objector, but instead served as a stretcher bearer, rushing out into No-Man’s land to rescue the injured and dying. Unfortunately after he returned the horrors he had witnessed affected him badly, but through the ministrations of Dr Ripley the issues he faced have been reduced to occasional nightmares. He knows Clarissa Click as she is a regular at his church.
Main skills: History, Appraise, and first aid which he learned in the trenches.

Ruby Ellis: Gangsters Moll
Ruby has been Sadies friends since they were at school. She was one of the girls who always seemed to fade into the background a little, but she’s determined that won’t be the story of her whole life and being with a guy like Bert seems a good place to start. As she actually genuinely likes him this is a bonus.
Main skills: Stealth, persuade, and shooting handguns!

Barbara Buckley: Sales Person
Shop girl at Oldstaff’s Oddities, where she is very happily employed. Barbara is quite religious, but that doesn’t stop her being an utter terror if someone tries to steal from the shop (something that happens with depressing regularity). She is a relatively independant girl, paying for her own house rather than living at the shop or with her parents. She is aware of Errol as a good guy, who really needs a better hobby, and Mr Russel who she considers a ‘diamond in the rough’.
Main skills: First Aid, spotting shop lifters. and stealth

Hardwick’s Characters
Clarissa Click: Teacher
Clarissa was a Teacher at the Rippleside Preparatory school, where she was until recently a English teacher. Now however she is now preparing to travel to take up a position in Instanbul. However she has been invited to a meal at the Dalley-Delmorte Foundation, which helped her brother when he got mixed up with a cult that flourished in the west of London after the first world war. As this saved him from being mixed up when the police finally stormed the cult headquarters arresting a great many people involved she does feel somewhat beholden to them. A staunch churchgoer, she never really held with the Cult activity.
Main skills: English, Library Use, and Credit rating

Rupurt Herncastle: Musician
Sadie’s Boyfriend, who has been dating her for a little while but not too long. He is from a wealthy family, but they cut him off when he decided he wanted to take charge of his own life and became a musician. He hopes that marriage to a girl from a good famile, and the Terrence-Smythe’s are a good family, might placate his parents.
Main skills: playing the trumpet, listen, and a passing skill with shotguns gained from pheasant shoots.

Rosamund Laverne: Nun
Another of the Ambergate students, she was originally a scholarship girl that Izzie had befriended at the school. Having left the school she went into the Church having heard the call early on. However the church itself did not agree with her, indeed certain incidents have left her decidedly conflicted, while still religious she feels a creeping dread stealing over her whenever she thinks of churches and priests, and has left the Nunnery to travel, seeking a way of ridding herself of these feelings. Why is she scared of the church now? Could it be connected with things she has read?
Main skills: psychology, stealth, and also strangely fluent in Arabic.

Charles Macklethwaite: Film Actor
Probably Algernon’s best friend, he and Charles originally met in the theatre but since then their careers have taken a very different trajectory. While Algernon has slipped towards penury and obscurity Charles has gained a following in the burgeoning british Film industry, starring in such films as “The Killer Knocked Twice”, “The Abbey at Ipswitch” and “The Crowthorne Prisoner”. His preparations for this last film however have left him fatigued and he has decided to travel. Luckily for Algernon, Charles has always been ready to forward him a little ready money.
Main skills: Acting, being charming, ride

Mavis Oldstaff: Shopkeeper
The Amazonian scale wife of Oliver is an imposing woman who rules the shop with an iron fist. It’s a brave brave person who considers shoplifting in her shop. Slightly overbearing, she does actually genuinely care for her family and in part of her overbearing nature is ensuring that their well being is looked after. Not much goes over her head not least because she is so huge.
Main skills: Listen, Being Stunningly Lucky, Spotting Hidden things, and Intimidation

Bloodied’s characters
Algernon Warfstache: Parapsychologist and Stage Magician
A few years ago if you went to the west end you would have been hard pushed to get a ticket to one of Algernon’s shows. Marked as the high point of british stage magic at the time, his shows were always fully booked, and clapping crowds. Unfortunately, his slightly hedonistic ways were his downfall and he has since fallen a little on hard times. Eager to reignite his fortunes however he has turned to the recent work of people like the SPF who looked into mediums in London, debunking fakes and recording actual phenomena, a job for which his own scepticism makes him perfect.
Main skills: Stage Magic, French and Charm

Bert Lloyd: Criminal
Ruby’s Boyfriend, they have been together a few years, much to both his own and most other peoples surprise as up until now he had not really been the sort of guy to get too attached. Life has mostly brought him trouble, and he’d rather be free to keep running. He does actually Love Ruby, but there’s something about her that scares him a little.
Main skills: brawling, sneaking, shooting guns, and spotting things to steal.

Eliza Everett: Nurse/Matron
Originally a very ambitious woman she came to the Ambergate school as a Matron, but as Mrs Allyson allowed her to study in the school free of charge she had gained a great amount of knowledge of the sciences, and a great favourite of the pupils. She is intending to travel to see the headmistress soon.
Main skills: Charm, First aid, Psycholgy, and Medicine.

Chester Fillman: Fencing Master
Originally the Fencing Master who taught Clarissa to fence, Chester and she eventually ended up in a relationship that has since ended leaving it a little awkward between them. Chester was however in the army for the first world war, and he made a number of lasting friendships within his regiment, especially the Reverend who actually carried him off the battlefield when he was wounded. This Injury caused him some issues after the war, as it was caused when ordered into heavy machine gun and artillery fire. Dr Ripley however was able to help.
Main skills: Sword, Dodging, and Lockpicking.

Russel Ripley: Explorer
An Explorer of the Oldstaff’s acquaintance. Ripley until recently travelled the world engaging in the sort of Exploration that gives legitimate explorers a bad name and inflames the anger of indigenous tribes the world over. He regularly used to locate artefacts and then sell them to the Oldstaff’s. Recently however this has ended, as an ‘accident’ in an Aztec temple has left him with a decided limp. He is still a rugged and adventurous man however.
Main skills: History, navigation, being quite lucky!

Il Porcupino’s characters
Oliver Oldstaff: Antique Dealer
Owner of Oldstaffs Emporium of Oddities, which he travels extensively to procure items for, Oliver is a self educated man of varied knowledge mostly of a historical or geographic direction. He travels Europe and the Middle East looking for items to sell in his London shop, which he leaves in the able hands of his Wife. It is these unusual items that brought him into the notice of the Dalley-Delmorte Foundation, who have used him previously to snag interesting or important artefacts. He is devoted to his wife.
Main skills: History Spot Hidden, and Listen

Selina Burns: Aged Matriach
Sadie Terrence-Smythes maternal grandmother, she has suspicions about Irene’s death and does not trust Frederick her father. She is more than a little protective of Sadie for exactly this reason. She was always interested in the occult, but since her daughter died it has become more of an obsession.
Main skills: Credit rating, intimidate, and occult.

Alistair Symonds: Rent Boy
Although it seems unlikely, Alistair claims to be Algernon’s love child. However, whether this is true or not many would not like to say, mainly as it seems that Alistair mostly uses Algernon for his connections to the upper classes who might be looking for his, shall we say, particular skills. Algernon seems blind to this however and treats Alistair as if his son.
Main skills: Charm, Persuasiveness, Not bad at languages.

Viola Berkeley: Science Mistress
Originally a sulky girl with a shady past, her time at the Ambergate school Had turned her into a fun and youthful woman who was one of the pupils favourite teachers. She has also been told of Mrs Allyson’s illness and intends to go and visit her. She is well versed in the sciences, amongst other things.
Main skills: library use, botany, and biology.

Dr Milton Ripley: Psychiatrist
A friend of the Click family Dr Ripley was born a sickly tired, suffering terribly from some form of palsy that gives him tremors. However this did not stop him going to University and studying the arts of the Psychiatrist. This proved to be in great demand after the war, and he helped a number of people to get over the horrors of the war. He has been of considerable help to the various war wounded of Barking.
Main Skills: Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Occult.

One Response to “The Genesis of Characters.”

  1. Holbæk begravelsesforretning Says:

    Thanks for finally talking about >The Genesis of Characters.

    | The Cult Of Tea And Dice <Loved it!

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