So, in an interest of trying to get a bit more discussion going here I figure I'll try making the posts a bit more interactive this week as a test. Not that I'm expecting much, especially with how young the blog is, but any comment or discussion is appreciated. Anyhow, enough downplaying myself. Today I wanted to talk about, and ask about your, iconic characters.
What is an Iconic Character
An iconic character is, quite literally, a character that is an icon. Superman and Batman are iconic characters for comic books, and especially for DC. Spider-man is for Marvel. They're characters that resonate and represent some aspect. That people see and they immediately get at least some idea as to what you are talking about.
In RPG terms, and for this entry, I am talking about the characters you have made as either a GM or a Player that just seem to never go away. People are still talking about them 2-3 years after the game happened, and not even when talking about the game in question. People use them for ideas for people in their games, they show up multiple times in various situations just as they refuse to go away. They resonate and resound within the people who were there to experience them when they were put out there.
Not everyone has one yet, in the fifteen plus years I've been gaming I have only four. Two as a GM and two as a player, and the two as a player are only debatable as both were fairly recent. Actually, even one of the ones i have as a GM is recent as well.
My Iconic Characters
Like I said, I have about four characters that I think are iconic of me as a GM or player. In any case, they don't go away, they're on a short list of 'go to' characters for certain situations, and the players/Gm in the game they were in bring them up fairly often in their own regards and discussions of various characters.
I'm not going to go in depth here, but I figured a brief over view could be good to share. So here we go, my four. First the two GM ones and then the two PC ones. I'll list the game they first appeared in next to them.
Jasalas - AD&D 2nd Edition Al'Quadim
Jasalas, or Jasa for short as she went by, was a sylvan elf that had been taken in by the Silent Whisper Holy Slayers of Al Quadim. She was one of my first major NPCs that really seemed to strike a chord with the players of the game. Devoted to her beliefs, but not particularly loud about them, she believed people should choose their own path and that she had chosen hers. Still, something about her just kept coming back up, and she made appearances in the game (and other games) even when set far away from Al'Quadim. The mention of a jade jambiya (the signature weapon of the Silent Whisper) would get players excited she might show up. A couple of friends even borrowed her for their games, where she continued to hit it off with people all over the place to great success, even bringing one gaming group of seasoned adventurers to near tears at a heroic end the GM gave her.
Cassandra 'Maidhme' McPhearson - Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition
To be fair, Maidhme was made for City of Villains when I wanted to play an 'evil supergirl'. Sure she has the powerset for it, but Cassie is anything but as simple as the usual member of the Kent family is depicted (not to insult the kent or El family, I like them too). When running my first M&M game, I used her as the main villain. Combining intelligence with the brute type build of superstrength and invulnerability. Hiding the mastermind in the muscle worked wonders, and it took the PCs longer than expected to figure out who was really calling the shots. Cassie also had a tendency of rolling 20s in critical situations, managing to take on 3 characters with similar builds to her on the same powerlevel at the same time because she refused to stop throwing critical successes on toughness saves and attack rolls. I've played her in a game - at the GMs request - where the tendency continued and her personality just set all the players to liking her. Even now, nearly 3 or 4 years and several campaigns later I can get a reaction out of anyone who has been in a game with Cassie by describing a female NPC as being "about 5'5" which was how she was described, and referred to, in those first few fights with her.
Bayushi Kyoshin - Legend of the Five Rings
Kyoshin is the first of my player iconic characters, and oh the impact he made. For anyone who plays L5R 3rd ed or 3rd ed revised, I'm sure I don't have to explain to you the fun of being able to bring a Bayushi Saboteur in to a scorpion 'Black Ops' game. But let me add to the picture, Kyoshin had that most wonderful of 3 point flaws called Driven. What was he driven to? To follow orders and protect the scorpion clan. Hardly seems dangerous at all to the character, until you once again realize it's a black ops game. Kyoshin's drive to follow orders almost wiped the group twice during the game, and got him into trouble a few times. His penchant for explosives, and quiet pride in his work was truly compelling, as was his way of approaching problems from so far outside of the box you could barely see it. Within 2 sessions the other players at the table were calling him Bayushi Macguyver. One of the scenes that gets the most comment from for Kyoshin? Poisoning himself at a dinner party in order to avoid being questioned by an Imperial samurai. The reason being he knew he would give some information away that the scorpion didn't want out, the Seppun was clearly a trained courtier and Kyoshin had Anti-social. So, before the seppun even got near to questioning him (going around the table) Kyoshin dosed himself with poison, erring on the side of 'leaving the table' instead of safety. Thankfully he dosed himself right, and was allowed to leave the room before the seppun ever got to him.
William Hydesmythe III - Modified Roll and Keep for Steam Punk setting
William Hydesmythe was a man with way too much money and power who absolutely hated to be bored. He had compulsions to make things interesting and show off (half of his called raises using AEG's roll and keep system had to be for Style instead of effect). William was great at pulling off incredible acrobatic feats due to his build, and the fact so many raises were made for style which gave everything a visual flair. A couple years and games later, when someone tries and fails to pull off something impressive the general line is "You are not William Hydesmythe". At least from me, but well, it's a fun line.
So, how about you? Got any awesome or iconic characters you want to share? You don't need to go crazy on details if you don't want, just tell us who they were and what they did that made them stand out for you.