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Character Interperations or: How a Roleplayer Sees Investigators


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#1 Dr.Faust

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 03:25 AM

Now, I've made it no secret that I have a huge thing for narrative and keeping characters alive for the sake of 'roleplay' elements. It's not really roleplay in the D&D sense I suppose, but I love the characters of Arkham Horror and so really feel like there is more to them than simply stats and skills. We've seen (if you've read the books based on the universe) that they do have personalities and the like, but I prefer to go by what I think of them off the cuff. So, this thread is more about having a bit of fun and how you imagine the characters.

 

For instance:

 

Luke Robinson. I imagine Luke being a space-cadet. Probably zones out alot given just what it is that he does on a regular basis, and probably is more like Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. I can see the group of investigators standing around, discussing what they should do next, and then someone notices Luke tottering off to look at a particularly interesting flower box or him just sort of staring off into space. He's probably vaguely pleasant too, like, smiles but probably has a hard time remembering your name the first six or seven times you tell it to him.

Vincent Lee. Vincent strikes me as being clumsy. Very, very clumsy. Given his general uselessness as a playable character, in personality, I would wager him to be scatter-brained, probably even a bit neurotic. Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow springs to mind when I think about the way Vincent Lee would act as a professional, and he likely does better in a hospital where he is with other doctors rather than having a private practice. Nervous, he likely wouldn't do much alone, though I can't see him not being friendly, if a bit socially awkward.

Sister Mary. My initial thoughts about Mary are that really sweet, young nun from Sister Act, but after some more thought, I see her as being far more coolly devout. I'd put money that she's a very composed and confident person, though I would also bet hard to make friends with initially. Probably a bit of a loner that likes to spend her time in prayer and duties, and so probably would have a hard time meshing with a group to work with her. I also would bet she doesn't talk much.

George Barnaby, the Lawyer. George gives me the vibe of being a man in charge. Like, 'my way or the highway' kind of take charge. He would definitely but heads with other leader-types and would probably, (being a lawyer) try to find a few points where he could point out the flaws of other peoples plans. Very driven and knowing what he wants, I wouldn't doubt that he would quickly fall into the idea of facing and killing for the sake of getting the job done and likely would feel alienated by those that were of lesser mental fortitude.

Monterey Jack, the Archaeologist. His general appearance (and obvious movie references) immediately make me thing of a poor-man's Indiana Jones. His low Sanity is what makes me think that he's just not nearly as hardened as Indie is supposed to be, and likely doesn't take seriously dangerous situations in stride. If he thinks he'll be okay, he's fine, but under real pressure when he doesn't know if he can do it, he probably folds like a house of cards. I can see him wanting to do a lot of the safer work, but trying to pass it off as being hard or dangerous--all bluster and no substance.

Harvey Walters, the Professor. This guy talks. A lot. He probably is one of those older, educated types that takes great pleasure in making discourses about whatever the subject is, and explaining the hows and whys even though no one asked about the hows or whys. He probably also talks like one of those stereotypical professors and probably says 'Most extraordinary' quite a lot about everything. Probably calls women 'my dear' too. He's a nice guy though, and probably very well-mannered and brave, despite his inability to shut-up at times.

Tony Morgan, the Bounty Hunter. It's been confirmed that Tony is British in the novels, and that he is a very cunning sort of man that knows when to listen and when to talk. I can understand that, since he is a bounty hunter of some repute. I haven't finished the books so I can't say much more about his mannerism, but for the sake of this little piece, I'd bet he is super detail-oriented. I'd also say he would probably work really well alongside someone like Roland or Trish, both of whom also know about details and how important they are. Still, he probably is a bit of skeptic and would be better off dealing with more physical threats since he just wouldn't accept anything that didn't bleed red.

Charlie Kane, the Politician. Like any politician, Charlie knows what to say and when to say it to just about everyone. He knows how to read folks better than some may know how to read themselves and can weave promises and deals just as well as any businessman. He probably also has a laid back personality that makes folks feel at ease, so I see him being the cool-head in the group that keeps everyone from being at each others throats, even if everyone is on their last strands of Sanity. A really likeable guy, probably smells like cigars and fine liquors and has one of those hoarse sort of laughs.

Amanda Sharpe, the Student. Amanda is the 'Studios' type. Probably spends more time with her nose in a book than talking with people, and if she were in a movie, she'd be the girl that everyone probably ignores until she takes off her glasses and suddenly folks notice how pretty she is. Not that it matters to her. She's there to learn and graduate, so she doesn't have time for parties. In fact, she probably doesn't have time to do much but study and work. At the Bank, I'd say she's one of those Tellers that doesn't smile and just wants to finish getting you taken care of so she can get onto the next person. And when the line is done, she probably has some smarmy thing to mutter under her breath. 

Kate Winthrop, the Scientist. Her story marks her as being shy and I would believe it. Another socially awkward person, Kate probably wouldn't know how to relate to other Investigators in the group right away. She also probably would wind up gushing over something alien occurring rather than commenting on someone's feelings or even how they're dressed. Still, I think that when she is pushed, she could take charge and probably has a very strong, sharp edge to her when things on are the line. It probably surprises even her when it shows itself.

Agnes Baker, the Waitress. I see Agnes as being the down-home waitress type. The kind that calls you 'Hon' when she takes your order, will make small talk and has a nice smile, but also looks tired. Despite having her newfound abilities, I still think she'd be very level-headed and salt-of-the-earth type, rather than letting it go to her head. When paired with a group, she probably would be nice in general, but she could turn over and be a bit rude too in a second, especially if she felt insulted.

Jenny Barnes, the Dilettante. Being what she is, I think it's obvious Arkham wants us to see Jenny as being the flapper of the in-canon characters. I can buy that, given her being wealthy. She is definitely witty, and smart, probably has a lot of friends and is a social butterfly. She knows all the best places to party, has the best clothes and loves to shop. While not superficial herself, she probably would prefer to have fun. But she also takes no guff from anyone, and if a guy got too 'friendly' I see her stepping on his toe or spilling her drink in his lap in retaliation. Strong, liberated woman, Jenny is, and she knows how to show it. In a group, she probably would force herself to go along on the more dangerous aspects if only to show that a woman can be just as good as any guy.

Diana Stanley, the Redeemed Cultist. Being a social climber, Diana strikes me as being a bit vague initially. Probably isn't good at picking out details, especially when she's got a goal, like joining the Twilight Lodge. She wanted to join and nothing would tell her otherwise--so she ignored warning signs. If she has to find a spell for the group, she probably wouldn't notice a cultist sneaking up behind her while she thumbed through a book. In a group, I'd say she was likely a bit pushy and aggressive, but not completely mean-hearted or rude. 

Michael McGlen, the Gangster. Michael starts out like the typical mobster, but I see him having some secret soft-spot. Like, collecting stamps or knowing how to sew. Something that he'd hate to have get out and ruin his reputation. He definitely puts on a really tough front, but I would bet around people like Wendy he
is a big softie. He'd try /not/ to be, but he would. Threats would fly though, around other guys, if only to keep himself looking tough. Again, like Tony, probably is better left in reality, rather than trying to get him to understand the broader world.

Zoey Samaras, the Chef. Carrie's Mom. Annie Wilkes. Zoey is that type of person that you just don't want to be left by yourself around, and I imagine that she slips into tiny sermons every chance she gets. Not even Sister Mary would be alright around Zoey, since I would bet she probably sees things as being very stark--you don't follow God, then you're a heathen and need to be punished. I can see the group of Investigators letting her wander off on her own to fight the 'heathens' just so they don't have to deal with her.

Ursula Downs, the Explorer. If Ursula was alive today, I would say she's the type of person that would brag about not having a TV and has never eaten at McDonald's. Very headstrong, more than even Diana, Ursula just will not take 'No' for an answer on anything. I could see her clashing hard with the menfolks in general, and wanting to take the lead on anything--social or otherwise. 

Dexter Drake, the Magician. Dexter strikes me as being a people-person. You sort of have to be to be a performer, but even more so with him since his mainstay is entertaining people with tricks, especially children. I see him as being a generally nice person, though maybe a bit serious. I also see him as being over-dramatic about things, owing to his need to have flair while performing. In terms of group dynamic, he would probably fit the role of assistant-leader, helping direct folks when need be and likely would be the one most likely to swoop in at the last minute to help. I could see him facing down danger head-on without flinching and being far more open minded about a lot of things in general.

Hank Samson, the Farmhand. I think we all know what we picture Hank as being. Nice, dopey, and slow-witted. You could probably make a subtle insult about him and he wouldn't even notice, unless someone explained it to him, and probably acts like a big puppy about a lot of things. He likely would get in the way during a proper investigation since it would be difficult to explain to him what needed to be done, but of course, he is also stupidly brave too. He'd be the guy that would disappear during a fight and when found again would have a pile of monster parts around him and not even miss a beat. He would definitely be friendly with everyone.

Bob Jenkins, the Salesman. Bob definitely feels like he would be a sarcastic wise-ass (pardon my French). This is the guy where a lot of the smarmy comments will come from, and I would place him as a firm skeptic in all things. He is also likely the butt-monkey of any group and if something can go wrong, it likely will to Bob. Shrewd and good at planning, he probably will still wind up getting tossed around a lot simply because of how obstinate he is about the dangers they face as a whole. He is definitely a comic-relief character, like Jonathan, from the remake of The Mummy.

Trish Scarborough, the Spy. Calm, collected and with a certain allure, Trish is another leader character. She is used to working alone and so is self-reliant. Detail oriented and clever, she could probably get out of most situations, and usually isn't the one that causes whatever the problem is in the first place. She knows her way around everyone, and while she would be aloof in most cases, she still would know how to handle folks enough to get what she needs. I see her as being a big-sister to the other ladies, especially the younger ones like Wendy or Amanda. 

 

More to come soon!


Edited by Dr.Faust, 13 August 2013 - 03:34 AM.


#2 The Professor

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 03:58 AM

I'm with you regarding the "RPG" style of the game ~ I've played no other board game with a similar feel like AH and its myriad expansions.


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#3 Dr.Faust

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 04:15 AM

I think it's the notion that all of these characters have backstories and character arcs built into the game. FFG could have just as easily made the characters flat, their abilities just mechanics of the game, and their personal stories just buffs to be unlocked. But they took time to actually create a story for all 49 characters. On top of that, they could have made Encounters very simple too:

 

You see a frightening image. Lose 2 Sanity.

You are attacked by a creature. Lose 2 Stamina.

 

But they built a whole world out of this game--I think that's its appeal in general.


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