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-   -   [MH] Caribbean by Night (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=161289)

ericthered 01-07-2019 11:50 AM

Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander (Post 2233936)
Heh.

Half- what else, though?

Scots-Irish, Anglo-Saxon, Hispanic, etc.?

I mean the real one, that is.


I don't know. If I had to guess, I'd say 4th generation Americanized Welsh, judging from his last name (patronymic name with a plural) and the makeup of the surrounding population. He's from a small cow town about 30 minutes off the reservation. I think his tribe is Ute, if that help's with the legends and so forth. If not, he lives close to somebody else's reservation.

I'm not sure how often Caribbean immigrants end up in the US army, but it hasn't struck me as a very common scenario. You might want to recruit someone from the armed forces or police of the islands. The Caribbean has some pretty hard-core police forces: some groups are primarily seen in full swat gear.

For a name you can have Zamal Juman. That's an indo-carribean name. For a background make him formerly part of either the "Black Clothes Police" or "Death Squad", all of which had their heyday in the 90's, opposing a criminal "Phantom Squad". The exact roles and history of these organizations are disputed even today, thought the black clothes police are still around (I think). He would have either been directly recruited by the monster hunters in Guyana or he was able to emigrate to the US to find higher paying work. And possibly to get out of a fairly small country (population-wise).

Icelander 01-07-2019 01:34 PM

Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2233947)
I don't know. If I had to guess, I'd say 4th generation Americanized Welsh, judging from his last name (patronymic name with a plural) and the makeup of the surrounding population. He's from a small cow town about 30 minutes off the reservation. I think his tribe is Ute, if that help's with the legends and so forth. If not, he lives close to somebody else's reservation.

Cool, thanks. The Ute are probably great for legendry, and, who knows, he could have had a great-grandmother for Welsh folklore.

Far from the sea, I got. Far from mountains as well?

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2233947)
I'm not sure how often Caribbean immigrants end up in the US army, but it hasn't struck me as a very common scenario. You might want to recruit someone from the armed forces or police of the islands. The Caribbean has some pretty hard-core police forces: some groups are primarily seen in full swat gear.

Jean-Michel Alexandre, Kessler's valet, chief steward, bodyguard and right hand man, is from a rich and well-connected family in Port-au-Prince and was a fiery young college student in the Tonton Macoute, before losing faith in 'Baby Doc' Duvalier and searching for a way to escape life on Haiti by joining the French Foreign Legion, as his disreputable uncle once did.

ISHIM Ltd., Kessler's St. Lucia-registered Private Security Contractor company, employs a number of former policemen, soldiers and sailors from Caribbean islands. Anyone who stands out in talent, courage and willpower, not to mention loyalty and character, might receive a chance to serve as security on the Penemue. Awesome abilities, exceptional willpower and/or having survived terrible paranormal experiences and coming out stronger might mean assignment as an active hunter.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2233947)
For a name you can have Zamal Juman. That's an indo-carribean name. For a background make him formerly part of either the "Black Clothes Police" or "Death Squad", all of which had their heyday in the 90's, opposing a criminal "Phantom Squad". The exact roles and history of these organizations are disputed even today, thought the black clothes police are still around (I think). He would have either been directly recruited by the monster hunters in Guyana or he was able to emigrate to the US to find higher paying work. And possibly to get out of a fairly small country (population-wise).

Awesome!

I had no idea about Gyuana's colourful criminal history. I'll use him.

ericthered 01-07-2019 02:51 PM

Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander (Post 2233972)
Cool, thanks. The Ute are probably great for legendry, and, who knows, he could have had a great-grandmother for Welsh folklore.

Far from the sea, I got. Far from mountains as well?


Me? Or Danny? The real Danny Daniels lives nestled up in a Rocky Mountain valley (Uintah Basin), though to the south is desert. Look up the I grew up in that valley, went to school in a different part of the Rockies, and recently (after I wrote that tag) moved from the Rockies to the Southern Appalachians. Which are a different sort of mountain, but I won't go so far as some friends from back home and label them hills.

Icelander 01-07-2019 10:13 PM

Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2233985)
Me? Or Danny? The real Danny Daniels lives nestled up in a Rocky Mountain valley (Uintah Basin), though to the south is desert. Look up the I grew up in that valley, went to school in a different part of the Rockies, and recently (after I wrote that tag) moved from the Rockies to the Southern Appalachians. Which are a different sort of mountain, but I won't go so far as some friends from back home and label them hills.

Ah, ok.

I've found a lot of information about Southern and African-American root work, conjure, hoodoo and various Afro-Caribbean traditions, some sources on Appalachian and Ozark 'granny magic', but I don't know anything about any equivalents in the Rocky Mountains.

If Danny Daniels is wise to the occult and as likely to use concepts from ancestors on both sides, what does he call magic-workers?

For that matter, in a more general sense, what magical traditions are there in the US, other than what I have mentioned?

Is there an equivalent body of old wives tales and superstitions to granny magic and rootwork in the Rockies, on the Great Plains, in average Midwestern towns?

It seems like even in sources on American mythology and magical traditions, most everything between the two coasts is either lumped into one of several cultural ranges, the redneckland of the South, hillbilly country of the Appalachians and Ozarks or the various frozen wastes of the North, where legends are Native American, Finnish or Scandinavian, or it gets treated as Flyover Country, with no legends or native magical traditions.

Icelander 01-08-2019 01:59 AM

Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night
 
And, oh, ericthered, do you have suggestions for who would play Danny Daniels and Zamal Juman, if this were a movie or TV series?

Acting ability not actually relevant. I just like to find a photo of some person online to 'cast' as NPCs (and PCs, actually, though I'll expect players to handle that), illustrating what they look like. For obvious reasons, I'll often pick actors, often character actors I recall having seen in a role somewhat similar, but if I come across a picture that works, I might cast an unknown ad model as an important character, just because the look fit exactly. After all, it's not as if anyone other than yours truly is going to be portraying the characters, complete with atrocious accents.

Anyone else on the forums, if you're reading and interested, I still need names, short descriptions and background blurbs, with maybe a casting suggestion, for more shooters, ranging from former Navy or Coast Guard crew members who double as security to full-time bodyguards with SOF backgrounds to two or three 'special' Monster Hunters.

These last will probably be truly outstanding operators from a Tier One SMU, like CAG/Delta or DEVGRU/SEAL Team Six, only recently retired and still in operational condition. They'll also have experience with the occult and very strong Will or other relevant traits, to resist the Facade, monsters, magic, stress and psychological trauma. Perhaps they'll be a little older, with their military skills ievitably suffering without the resources of SOCOM to keep to a proper training schedule, but instead have even more experience of the occult and the tricks of the monster hunting trade.

Alternatively, one or two shooters might also have some actual mystical gifts that help with monster hunting, though the PCs pretty much cover the role of mystical superheroes in the hunter team.

ericthered 01-08-2019 07:04 AM

Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night
 
Legends and magic in the mountain west? I think we mostly just borrow our legends from other people. The most likely stories to be local are classic ghost stories and a touch of bigfoot. And I've heard an old song about a pair of cowboys who are attacked by the devil, see his horns and hooves, and know just how to handle this situation. But I wouldn't know where to go looking for those sorts of legends.



Native American Lore in the area is a bit richer. This site appears to be a good starting point. Each tribe on it has a legends page, and tells you to look at other nearby tribes for other stories, and it appears to try and list stories only once. The Piautes ("Pie-utes") seem to have some useful monsters on their page. You may need to dig more.



I don't know actors well enough to do more than a cursory glance, but I can try to get pictures for you. You can use this sort of look for Zamal (very casual office-day look). For Danny you can use Branscombe Richmond.

Icelander 01-08-2019 08:44 AM

Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2234096)
Legends and magic in the mountain west? I think we mostly just borrow our legends from other people. The most likely stories to be local are classic ghost stories and a touch of bigfoot. And I've heard an old song about a pair of cowboys who are attacked by the devil, see his horns and hooves, and know just how to handle this situation. But I wouldn't know where to go looking for those sorts of legends.

Native American Lore in the area is a bit richer. This site appears to be a good starting point. Each tribe on it has a legends page, and tells you to look at other nearby tribes for other stories, and it appears to try and list stories only once. The Piautes ("Pie-utes") seem to have some useful monsters on their page. You may need to dig more.

Thanks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2234096)
I don't know actors well enough to do more than a cursory glance, but I can try to get pictures for you. You can use this sort of look for Zamal (very casual office-day look). For Danny you can use Branscombe Richmond.

Okay, perfect.

Both are obviously older members of Kessler's crew and not presently in the kind of shape that thirty-year-olds just recently out of top special operations teams would be. That suggests that they are either security on board the Penemue, as opposed to active duty monster hunters, or that while they are older, they have experience and talent that places them above 'mere' ordinary special operators in perfect condition.

I think I'll have them both be part of the monster hunting team that Penemue usually carries. Only two PCs formally belong to that away team and I think it needs to number eight people, aside from subject matter experts who may go with it on certain missions (inc. PCs like powerful conjure man and master druid 'Nonc' Morel or anthropologist and research assistant Alice Talbot).

So far, it has:

Team leader: Unassigned.
2i/c and O&I: Zamal Juman.
Communications: Danny Daniels; unless you object, I'll make him a retired Communications Sergeant (18E) from the USASF, with experience in the 7th SFG and the 19th NG SFG.
Wayfinder: Edward Alvin Smith (PC).
Spiritualist: Lucien Lacoste (PC).
Medic: Unassigned.
Engineer: Bo Johnson, USN SEAL; fairly young, cheerful and fond of extreme sports. Loves explosions and will take considerable risks for cool or fun stunts.
Support Weapon: Unnamed USMC MARSOC Raider (CSO); big enough to carry the big gun and plenty of ammo.

Each team member will also have a number of specializations and areas of focus, like lead climber, diver, scout-sniper, etc. They'll also, hopefully, be cross-trained in vital specialties.

For example, Edward Smith is a competent field medic, albeit not at the level of a graduate of the SOCM course at JSOMTC, Ft. Bragg, and an exceptional field alchemist. He's also a good mechanic and a fair combat engineer, though the interaction between magic and technology mean that he might be reluctant to utilize those old skills if he's been opening himself up to magical energies.

The reason the PCs aren't in leadership positions is that no player wanted a character with the kind of special operations military background that would yield the skills and experience needed to be a credible team lead or 2i/c.

*From a realism point of view, the special operations community of the United States military is usually described as whiter than a ZZ Top concert. What research I have done into SOCOM and JSOC demographics back up that the proportion of Caucasian males of Southern descent is much higher than in the country as a whole and that most minorities are underrepresented. As I've not yet described many Caucasian people aboard the Penemue, I'll have to make some sort of a nod toward real demographics when it comes to the shooters.

Icelander 01-08-2019 10:01 AM

Captain of the Penemue
 
As examples of the kind of write-ups I plan to do for every NPC and am shamelessly trying to steal names and ideas from forumites to do, here is Captain Gus Starr of the Penemue, who was not actually featured in the first official session when the PCs stepped aboard the Penemue. Captain Starr has been in charge of Penemue since 2008, when his predecessor George P. Higginbotham (b. November 23, 1948; Port Arthur, TX) retired in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

Because of the Christmas vacation when play started, there aren't actually many people on Penemue for the first adventure, with even Captain Starr away on a much needed vacation, but a certain minimum crew is always carried and due to Kessler and a few sad people spending Christmas aboard, there was also a kitchen crew.

This write-up might be on the long side to serve as an example, as anything forumites feel like contributing would be nice, but, after all, he is the Captain.

Captain Augustus 'Gus' Starr
b. March 27, 1963; Houston, Texas.
Gus Starr is a rare beast, in that after joining the Navy as a cadet out of Texas A&M, he was a hard-charging, snake-eating SEAL Officer who laterally transferred to Surface Warfare once he was out of his twenties and actually managed to reach the lofty height of a Captain's rank and warship command. After having to leave his beloved USS Bonhomme Richard for the command of a desk ashore as a staff officer, however, Captain Starr eventually accepted that he was not meant for the political pursuit of flag rank and retired from the Navy in 2008.
As the billionaire J.R. Kessler was a friend of CPT Starr's grandfather, it is not so very surprising that upon leaving the Navy, Starr should find a job with him. Retiring as a full Captain of the USN, however, the command of a billionaire's plaything yacht, however fine her lines and elegant her appointments, seems to most everyone who knows Starr almost an insult and certainly a waste of a brilliant mind and exceptional leader.
In actual fact, of course, Captain Starr is not only the captain of the yacht Penemue, he is the CO and Chief Operating Officer of all monster hunting activity funded by Kessler, having ultimate authority over not only the crew of the Penemue, but any contractors and consultants from such companies as IYR Inc., Sentinel Risk Managment Inc. and ISHIM Ltd. Although his authority as CO is theoretically unrestricted and in practice, absolute in tactical situations, when it comes to longer-term strategy, Captain Starr confers extensively with Kessler's right hand, Jean-Michel Alexandre, and selected subject matter experts, as well as making sure that the owner, J.R. Kessler himself, has no objections to any projected course of action.
Gus Starr married his high school sweetheart in 1984, but the union was not a happy one. He was divorced in 1994. The couple had one child, Felicia Starr, born in 1992 and currently a Lieutenant in the US Navy. Starr married again in 2001, to forensic anthropologist Amelia Kane, with whom he had a much happier marriage despite their lack of children together (Amelia had three children from a previous marriage), but Amelia died under tragic circumstances in 2012. Bowed by grief, Starr has not been known to seek the company of women since then and he seems content enough to remain a widower.
As the captain of a civilian yacht, Gus Starr is careful not to wear anything remniscient of naval uniform. He tends toward khakis and Polo shirts, clean, well-pressed and professional. His naval background is evident in smaller things, coffee cups with vessel badges and a plaque in his office reading " Strength Honor Courage", the motto of the USS Hurricane, Captain Starr's first warship command.
Starr was raised Baptist, but identifies as a non-denominational Christian today. He is committed to Christian values, which inform his style of leadership, but while Captain Starr will not hesitate to tell men under his command how to act, he believes that preaching at them on what to believe is not his place. Starr struggles with the theological implications of the paranormal and reads extensively in moral philosophy and Christian ethics, searching for answers that resonate with him. Aside from reading improving literature and keeping up with naval science, Starr spends time off watching football, following high school football in Houston and East Texas, as well as Aggie college football and the Houston Texans, as well as other NFL games, particularly those featuring his second favorite team, the Denver Broncos, and rival teams like the Cowboys and Saints.
Though he would rather not admit it, Gus Starr is a sucker for sports dramas and emotionally manipulative sport underdog stories with stirring music. He was a devout fan of Friday Night Lights during the show's run and only hesitates to hang up a poster with Coach Taylor's catch phrase 'Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose' on the bridge of Penemue because he thinks that people might mock him. After the end of 'Friday Night Lights', Starr's favorite guilty pleasure TV entertainment is probably Netflix's 'Last Chance U'.
One story that perhaps sums up Gus Starr is that he was the second-string QB behind Gary Kubiak as a sophomore at Texas A&M in 1982. When phenom Kevin Murray arrived next year, he leapfrogged Starr as starter, despite Murray's freshman status and Starr's leadership role on the team. Starr remained supportive of Murray and unfailingly positive, never letting anyone on the team see a hint of discontent and concentrating on being ready if the team ever needed him to back up the younger standout. When Murray broke his leg against Arkansas State in 1984, Gus Starr got his chance. After he rocky start as QB1, Starr led the Aggies to a winning season, concluding with 'the most important win in Aggie history' over overbearing archrivals Texas Longhorns.*
Captain Starr is always calm, even in the worst of storms, and radiates confidence and authority. He is a tall, strongly built man, with a bald head and neatly groomed beard. He would be played by Egill Ólafsson.

*Deepest apologies to Craig Stump, whose real heroics my fictional character unfortunately usurped. Rest assured that in my campaign, the freshman Stump was the loyal and selfless third-string QB in 1984 and that his very respectable later career remains unchanged.

Icelander 01-09-2019 02:59 AM

A Couple of More Typical Write-ups; On Board over Christmas Break
 
The write-up of Captain Gus Starr is obviously rather long and detailed, the Captain being an important sort of chap. More typical are the following, which are, respectively, the 2nd Engineer who drove one PC from the Penemue to the Haunted Mayfield Manor (where he had a car crash), the deck crew guy who picked that same PC and his unconscious kidnap victim at a dock near the Haunted Mayfield Manor, helping him to carry the girl aboard Penemue without even a hint of curiosity about why he was being an accessory to a violent kidnapping, and the security guard who is driving the PCs around the day after, to the hospital and so forth.

Carlos Camacho
b. June 4, 1985; Corpus Christi, TX.
Carlos is the Second Engineer on board the Penemue. He learned his trade in the US Coast Guard, where he was a Machinery Technician for eight years, but has worked for Kessler since about 2011. Camacho's father was a member of the Penemue crew when he was younger and before the son took the job, his father told him of the risks, but also told him that Kessler would always provide for everyone who was loyal to him.
Carlos is recently divorced, which is why he agreed to take the holiday shift in the engine room, but as the engines are turned off in port, he didn't actually have much work to do. Agreed to make a character for Dr. Lapointe's new RuneQuest campaign. When Alice Talbot, assistant librarian, research assistant and fellow player didn't turn up and Dr. Lapointe's occult investigation suggested that something terrible might be happening to her, Camacho immediately volunteered to drive to where their best clue put her and, for the first time anyone can recall seeing, drew a firearm from ship stores, a Mossberg 590A1 Class III shotgun.
Camacho is a cheerful, friendly bald guy whose size never makes him look intimidating. He'll tease his crew mates, but never in a mean way, and his jokes are more often 'Dad jokes' than they are funny. He'd be played by Carlos Camacho, USCG Machinery Technician.

Cord 'Boats' McCall
b. March 18, 1978; Port Aransa, TX.
'Boats' McCall is the most senior of the deck crew on the Penemue who remained on board over the holidays. He could also run a yacht this size and certainly have a much more important job than just senior deck crew almost anywhere else, as he retired in 2011 as a high-flying Chief Boatswain's Mate of the US Navy, bringing to an end a naval career that everyone in the 'Goat Locker' felt certain was destined for greatness, CMDCM at minimum, maybe even Master Chief of the Navy one day.
McCall grew up the son of a charter captain for saltwater fishing and worked on his boat since he was old enough to splice a line. He's capable, stoic and unflappable. If he has hobbies or interests, other than the sea, weather, naval yarns and ensuring that Penemue is run absolutely flawlessly, he has managed to conceal such weaknesses adroitly from everyone. McCall would be played by a somewhat younger Gary Lewis.

Beauregard 'Bo' Johnson
b. July 16, 1985; Tallahassee, FL.
Bo Johnson joined the Navy on a DEP as a star seventeen-year-old pass-rushing linebacker in high school, wanting to be a Navy SEAL, because it sounded like they had best toys and the most fun. And they had and it was, as Bo became a demolitions expert, paid to play around with ordnance he'd have been willing to spend nearly all his paycheck on anyway.
Now in his thirties, four years out of the teams, Bo still enjoys a physical challenge and the adrenaline rush of extreme sports. He looks like a surfer or beach bum, with his long blond hair and laid-back Florida drawl, but anyone giving him a careful look can see that his 6'3", 200 lbs. frame is the body of a serious athlete.
Bo went home to Tallahassee for Christmas, but was planning to spend New Year's with friends in Galveston, so he was already in town when a call for security and shooters went out on the night before the 28th of December. Bo was asked to join some of the people on Penemue for a game of RuneQuest, but as he had a date, with a considerably more fun, attractive and outgoing college girl* than Alice Talbot, who's a part of the gaming group, Bo declined. He was awoken by a phone call from the all-powerful Mr. Alexandre about four hours after he went to bed and at least an hour after he fell asleep and agreed to come in that morning, even though he was supposed to be off until the 2nd of January. After a couple more hours in bed, a long swim in the brisk December waters took care of his hangover and Bo put on sunglasses and a semi-professional outfit to drive Ms. Talbot and Lucien Lacoste to UTMB for checkups and then to the police station for her to give a statement.
Would be played by Lasse Matberg.

*Community college counts, right? And the fact that Bo can't really answer what, if anything, she's studying can't be that important. He does know that she's a cheerleader for the GC Whitecaps and that her dream is to become a cheerleader for the Houston Texans.

Apollonian 01-09-2019 11:54 AM

Re: A Couple of More Typical Write-ups; On Board over Christmas Break
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander (Post 2234314)
a long swim in the brisk December waters

I'm not sure you could call Gulf waters "brisk" even in December. According to this website it's around 59F/15C.


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