Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree

Y’all, I’m starting to think I’m just bad at blogging.

Is the problem that it’s December, and Christmas is just a couple weeks off, and life is too busy right now? Yes, it is. Is the problem that I’m rapidly running out of books and comics that I can review? Yes, it is.

Is the problem that I’m really, really lazy? Yes, it definitely is.

So I dug one of my old GURPS characters out of storage, just to fill some space and get a post done. Let’s see what he’s like.

Before we get to this guy’s stats, let’s do a quick summary of GURPS for those of you unfamiliar with the system. It’s a point-based character system — stats over 10, advantages, and skills cost you points; stats under 10 and disadvantages get you some points back. Quirks are worth a negative point each (and limited to five) and must be roleplayed. Numbers in the square brackets are how many character points were allocated to each item. This is all done in GURPS 3rd Edition, ’cause 4th Edition was garbage.

In GURPS, 100 points is considered a good starting point for beginner-level, unpowered characters, being significantly above the average person, but not strong enough to power through every obstacle. Some campaigns, particularly those dealing with high-level fantasy or superhero games, can be much stronger, up to 500 points, 1,000 points, or even more.

This is Andre Bonart, a blacksmith in the Wild West.

Name: Andre Bonart
Total Points: 100
Appearance: Black male; Age 19; 6’1″, 170 lbs.; black hair (mostly bald); blue eyes; bushy mustache; burly, muscular build; tends to overdress for most occasions when not on the job.

ST: 14 [45]
DX: 11 [10]
IQ: 11 [10]
HT: 11 [10]
Speed: 5.5
Move: 5
Dodge: 5

Animal Empathy [5] (Reaction: +2/+4)
Attractive [5] (Reaction: +1)
Common Sense [10]
High Pain Threshold [10]

Charitable [-15]
Gluttony [-5]
Honesty [-10]
Stubbornness [-5]

Quirks: Dislikes violence; Eats only two very large meals a day; Sings loudly while working; Speaks French to all animals; Strict Catholic. [-5]

Skills: Animal Handling-14* [2]; Armoury/TL6 (Rifles and Handguns)-10 [1]; Bard-11 [2]; Blacksmith/TL6-13 [6]; Brawling-12 [2] (Parry: 8); Carousing-11 [2]; First Aid/TL6-10 [½]; Fishing-11 [1]; Guns/TL6 (Rifle)-12 [1]; Intimidation-11 [2]; Mechanic/TL6 (Wagons)-11 [2]; Merchant-12 [4]; Packing-13* [1]; Riding (Horse)-14* [1]; Singing-11 [1]; Stealth-9 [½]; Streetwise-10 [1]; Teamster-14* [1]; Veterinary/TL6-14* [2].
*Cost modifiers: Animal Empathy.

Languages: English-11 [2]; French (native)-11 [0]

Biography: Andre was born in Kansas City to recent French migrants. As a youngster, he was befriended by a local blacksmith and eventually was apprenticed to him. When he skilled enough to open his own shop, he decided to move further west, ending up in a small town in Montana. He’s mostly content to quietly run his shop, but he’s already found himself pushed occasionally to take leadership roles and to protect locals who are in trouble.

Design Notes: What the heck, man, another Wild West character? Don’t you write a comics blog? Where’s the superheroes? Well, honestly, I kinda like making Western characters. They’re nicely uncomplicated, generally, with plenty of room to make them offbeat and fun. If I post more Western characters, though, I think I’ll start working harder to tweak their personality or abilities to make them even more fun.

Seriously, I’ve got a ton of these characters — I feel like I could post way more of them than I do.

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