My second roll on the dice table is 101: Over the Edge. I know this is a slightly more detailed system than TWERPS, but not by much; however, it's more oriented toward serious play. I have in mind a working class character – a family man perhaps? My mind wanders on points from the current immigration debate in the U.S., to the Sergio Leone movie Duck, You Sucker, which I just recently saw for the first time. Fuel for the fires…
This character is for a low-key Al Amarja campaign – really playing with the seedy, dangerous angle of the island, rather than the more high-flying weirdness of magic mutant druggie space alien time travel conspiracies. Characters are to have been on or connected with Al Amarja for a while, but they aren't old hands.
Bernardo Raymundo Guadalupe Raymundo Santo Domingo Galarce Martinez
- Central Trait: Handyman 3 – Bernardo has worked hard since he was a child, at anything he could get. He knows tools and crafts and all manner of maintenance work. Sign: Rough hands.
- First Side Trait: Large Family 4 – Bernardo brought his family with him to Al Amarja, and it's only grown since. He has relatives many places, and keeps in touch. Sign: wears a very old gold crucifix, handed down for generations.
- Second Side Trait: Tough as Nails 3 – Bernardo never, ever backs down. He unflinchingly endures great hardship to support his family. He has killed men, when he had to, and slept easily afterward. Sign: Never acts surprised or shocked.
- Flaw: Alcoholic – Bernardo drinks too much, and sometimes gets in fights because of it. Sign: Never turns down an offer of a drink.
- Hit Points: "Endurance" 21
- Experience: 1
- Motivation: To support and secure a future for his family.
- Secret: Bernardo's eldest daughter, Guadalupe, was married to a man who called her vile names and beat her every week. So Bernardo killed him. In case you're wondering, he was sober, which shows you how much he detested the man. Lupe doesn't know this, and is now married to a nice man who works in an office, and takes her to the opera. She seems much happier now.
- Important Person: Guadalupe. If she bears many children and lives to be a happy old woman, it will all have been worth it.
- Drawing: Character picture when I have a little time and some scanner access.
- Background & Equipment: Bernardo moved to Al Amarja, seeking employment, when his application for immigration to the US was held up for the third time. (He refused to sneak over the border, because it would be breaking the law, and you don't do that in America. He is not bothered by the fact that he has broken laws in Mexico and Al Amarja – that's different…). Over time, he has brought over most of his extended family. He is married, and owns a house in Justice Barrio, his own tools, and part-share in a jeep, which makes him comfortably well-off by his and local standards. He also has an illegal revolver hidden in the secret cash box in the rafters above the bed, as a weapon of last resort. Every day, he goes to work, and makes sure to take time to teach his sons in the trade.
Once I started, Bernardo came easily, and the game system provides just enough of a skeleton to hang him on. (OtE seems to occupy a point on the continuum between Risus and Unknown Armies.) Señor Martinez is just a plain, quiet, family man… who will probably get sucked into a nasty revenge tale, or a surreal horror story where his loving daughter manipulates him into serial murders, or something even worse. There's just something about the guy that makes me think "he's bad news."
I really should research the name to come up with something that really follows Mexican cultural conventions (or wherever he's from), and with Kenneth Hite-like layers of symbolic nuance, but this will do for now. I know a couple of people with some of those names – a favorite instructor whose family were refugees from one of Uncle Sam's foreign interventions, and a co-worker who spoke barely any English, but had a steel-trap mind and a ready grin – so I think that kind of personal resonance works well with the attitude of the game.