Preparing for this weekend’s charity game

Non gamer nerds can probably safely skip this entry, but I found the process amusing. 🙂

So this weekend I volunteered to run a couple sessions of IKRPG for charity. Hey, gaming for a worthy cause. Sign me up.

Since I don’t know who I’m playing with, we’ve got limited time, I want them to get their charity dollars worth of entertainment, and since it is capped at a whopping 10 players(!) I figured that meant I needed to come up with some pregenerated characters for people to use.

However, I’ve always struggled with jumping into a one off game and using a pregenerated character. Most of the time they’re pretty boring. And how are you really supposed to get to know what your character’s personality is like and how to play them? You’ve got limited time, so why waste it being all like, how should I play this dude?

Then I thought of my friend Steven Diamond and his desire to channel the spirit of Raylan Givens through all aspects of his life…

So I decided to use the power of Pop Culture! TV shows to the rescue! So now I’ve got ten pregenerated characters for everybody to choose from with a diverse set of skills, and you can take one look at who they are based on and know exactly how to play them!

IKRPG divides characters up into four basic archetypes, smart, magical, fast, and strong, and then they’ve got jobs. This will be gibberish to most of my regular readers (I suppose some of it will make sense to those of you who read Into the Storm or Instruments of War)


Sir Thomas Mangum P.I.  – Intellectual Ordic Human Military Officer/Investigator – Retired from the Ordic navy, he now solves crimes for a living, rides around on the nicest horse in town, and everybody thinks he is awesome. Women want to be with him and men want to be him. Plus he has an amazing mustache. Motto: Damn it, Higgins!

Burt Hynedwarf & Buster – Intellectual Rhulic Field Mechanic/Explorer and his trusty laborjack. Burt too has awesome facial hair, but he is a stoic, scientifically minded individual who is driven to explore the myths of Western Immoren. Buster crashes a lot and Burt patiently puts him back together. Motto: Myth busted.


Fyona Glynyn– Gifted Nyss Arcane Mechanik/Alchemist. A refugee from the Nyss lands turned to a life of crime and gun running. If there is a deadly mechanical device or explosive, she can build it.  Motto: Should we shoot them?

Barnabus Stimson – Gifted Cygnaran Human Aristocrat/Arcanist A powerful wizard who lives his life by a strict code based upon picking up hot chicks and looking awesome doing it. An eternal optimist, nobody really knows what he does for a living, but he always seems to have money. Motto: Challenge accepted!


Bone Ax Barrakus – Mighty Trollkin Man-at-Arms/Fell Caller. BA was once a Cygnaran commando but was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he uses his muscles and powerful Trollkin fell calling to right wrongs. If you can find him, perhaps you can hire him. Motto: I pity the fool!

Sir Charles “Chuck” Finley – Mighty Cygnaran Knight/Man at Arms – A larger than life hero of the people who doesn’t take his knightly duties too seriously. He is often known as “the one with the chin”. Motto: You know knights, bunch of bitchy little girls.

Loph Dundgren – Mighty Human Khadoran Ranger/Bounty Hunter – A surprisingly educated man for somebody who makes his living beating people senseless, it is said that Loph punches bears for fun. All of the bears were unavailable for comment.  Motto: I will break you.


“Old Spice” Haleceaserterrycrews – Gobber Pistoleer/Highwayman – He is the biggest damned Gobber you will ever see, Old Spice is four feet of badassitude cloaked in awesome sufficient to melt your face off. Welcome to the gun show! Are you gobber enough to play to Old Spice? Motto: Boom-lay, boom-lay, boom!

Zyva Dyvyd – Iosan Mage Hunter/Spy – A crafy angry elf who secretly wants to murder all human magic users, for now she bides her time, pretending to just be a mercenary, playing it cool. But darn if these worthless human round ears are slightly likable in their strange customs. Motto: Never say you’re sorry. That’s a sign of weakness.

Wolowitz – Khadoran Human Rifleman/Soldier – Not nearly as awesome as he thinks he is, okay, he’s basically weird, annoying, and gross but he does grow on you. His rifle is a mechanical wonder and he secretly worships the Cyriss, the Maiden of Gears, first because she digs on engineers, and second, she might be a hot chick, or maybe a planet, but at least she’s a girl planet. Motto: Well, when you say it like that you make it sound creepy.

Charity game

Back to front, left to right, BA, Zyva, Chuck Finley, Buster. Middle, Fyona, Loph, Tom, Barnabus. Front, Old Spice, Wolowitz, Burt.

So yes, if you are around Utah this weekend and you want to come and game for charity I can promise this exciting level of constructive effort! 😀

The Drowning Empire, Episode 46: Brush & Ink, Axe & Armor, Part I
This weekend's Gaming for a Cause schedule

25 thoughts on “Preparing for this weekend’s charity game”

    1. Ziva David from NCIS played by Cote de Pablo. A badass Israeli Mossad assassin-turned-Gibbs’ surrogate daughter #3.

  1. Great idea! 😀 For one off games, as I usually GM, I will occasionally restructure my favorite TV episodes, movies, or books for the adventure. So far its worked out well and it seems to help those less familiar with RPG’s get into character faster. 🙂

  2. You have a great imagination. My favorites here are BA and Tom. I never thought Ziva was a believable character, because she’s so soft looking and all through NCIS she’s hurting more bad guys than all the other agents combined. Maybe the adventures of the mini “Zyva” will change my mind.

  3. Well I guess I am not up on my pop culture. the only two I know are Sir Thomas Mangum PI and Bone Ax Barrakus (and I only got him due to is catch phrase)

  4. Ziva, Barney, Walowitz (or however you spell it), plus mr. T. You blended old and new shows quite well.

    I’m trying to imagine rolling in that party. They need a party name though.

  5. Barnabus I’m assuming is 2 1/2 Men, but Wolowitz, I can’t place.

    Elsewise, I got ’em, even for shows I don’t watch. (Oh god I’m such a geek… :V)

    1. Barney Stinson is the best character on How I Met Your Mother.
      Howard Wolowitz is one of the guys from Big Bang Theory.

  6. Argh, so close. (Only reason I guessed 2.5M was letting the last few minutes run while awaiting the next show; maybe it was commercials for HIMYM during that.)

    There’s always the ability to build a squad consisting entirely of Bruce Campbell roles – Ash, Sam Axe, Autolycus, Jack Stiles, Brisco County Jr… all with a very distintive appearance.

    Team Jawsome

  7. Oh man….. laughing so hard, trying to stifle it and failing….. co-workers looking at me funny….. Larry, that is so many different levels of Awesome. Wish I was in Utah this weekend.

  8. Nice.

    I’m sure it’ll also be interesting watching to see how long it takes your players to realize what’s up with all of the characters… and how many of them start “getting in character” once they realize the connections.


  9. As witnessed by the number of commenters here who didn’t get most of the references, there’s a very real danger of getting Entirely Too Clever with this approach. If you know your group and know their tastes in pop culture this works fine, but for a random group of sign-ups I suspect a significant portion of them won’t get the references.

    In my experience the “Who is this person, really?” thing isn’t a problem in practice. Players who enjoy creating alternate personas will do so no matter what you write down, and players who don’t or aren’t good at it will just ignore whatever you’ve written in favour of engaging with the tactical subgame.

    1. If they they don’t recognize a single on of ten of the most popular characters from the history of nerdy TV, then I’m afraid any amount of clever will be too much. 🙂 And even if so they want they can use them as a blank slate stat block.

    2. The target audience of both Larry’s fans as well as RPG fans will also know at least several, if not all, of the characters he setup.

      Point of fact, my wife was chomping at the bit to get into this game, but she assumes that a baby probably isn’t the best sidekick to bring for a four hour session, so maybe next year. (I would watch her, but hey, kid’s gotta eat sometime in a four hour stretch)

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