I’ve decided to use the creation of our newest adventuring party as a catalyst for fulfilling one of my delinquent New Year’s resolutions: drawing my characters.
However, even as today’s post will serve as the first installment of my PC Profile series, the character described and doodled here is my most recent in-game avatar.
I figure that if I start with the character I’ve just begun running, that should allow me some time to fill in the gaps from the last five (five!) months of roleplaying. Here’s hoping he lives long enough for the rest to catch up to him!
PC Name: Josiah Ben-Gideon. Representing a member of a fanatical cult world that worships and serves technology, I wanted the character to have a vaguely biblical-sounding name. I stole liberally from my movie collection to find the right moniker; while Josiah is the name of an Old Testament king of Israel, ’Josiah “Doc” Scurlock’ (Kiefer Sutherland) was my favorite character in the ‘Young Guns’ films. The surname Ben-Gideon was inspired by ‘Ben-Hur’ starring Charlton Heston, substituting another Old Testament character to keep that ‘old school zealot’ feel.
Role: Master Engineer. This seemed a natural position for a tech-worshipping artificer, that of serving the inner workings of a starship. While the dice rolls gave him a more diverse skill set during Traveller’s random character generation, his main focus is maintaining the vessel.
As an added personal bonus, I got to design our ship for this game, and our group roleplayed this process online as Josiah searching for and connecting with the right ship for our voyage. Our first encounter, then, began as Josiah ‘introduced’ the ship to the rest of the crew. It immediately established his sense of communion with the ship, but also his eccentric ideals about technology and his attitude toward other humans.
Appearance: Josiah Ben-Gideon grew up in a highly stratified, technologically advanced society that valued and worshipped technology far beyond any human life or leader. As such, they thrived in their segregated society on Cor Caroli, an ice-capped world orbiting a binary star system; this body proved rich in natural metals and electromagnetic energy. The only function of every man, woman, and child on this cloistered planet was to feed the industrial process that raised new technology.
Drawing from the above description (pun absolutely intended), I made sure my first sketch of Josiah took on a monk-like appearance: long, bulky robes, shaved head, minimal trappings. He has a gear-like icon dangling from a thin rope, and a mechanic’s apron that he’s marked with the twin suns of his home planet, which are the symbols of life-giving energy for his people.
Thick gloves and boots are practical work wear for a man in his position, as are the welding goggles and scarf-like cover for his nose and mouth, protecting his face from fumes and heat. I made sure to show him holding a large wrench, almost like his badge of office; I imagined the small, floating drone is something he created to assist him in his sacred duties of sustaining and preserving the ship. It may also be something he uses to communicate with the crew, and to record important data about his duties and adventures.