Answer as many of these as you feel help define your character. If you think of any good questions not on this list, feel free to add them! (Many of these questions were taken from the Excalibur Star Trek PBEM - that GM attributed most of his list of questions to Amber Diceless Roleplaying). Kudos to JT for most of the 20s/30s questions.
[I don't see Ezekiel answering these to almost anyone but perhaps he encountered a
1. You are plagued by a recurring dream/nightmare. Describe it.
It's pretty simple - my father and I are outside having an argument
and I point at him and a big thunderbolt up and strikes him dead. The whole family
is starin' at us and they start shoutin' at me and callin' me "murderer".
Then I start laughin' at 'em like it's some kinda joke 'cept of course it ain't, I
mean, is not, and then I point at them and the big thunderbolt comes back 'round and kills
all o' them. Then I git real big, like I'm God hisself, and the world gets tinier
and tinier until it goes away, and I'm out among all the stars themselves, and that's all
there is. There ain't no heaven or nothin', just the stars and me. Sometimes I
wake up then and sometimes I wake up when all the stars suddenly dim to nothin'.
2. From your point of view, in relations with subordinates, is it better to be loved than feared or better to be feared than loved? Would the answer be different with others?
It's always better to be loved but first you gotta be respected and,
if you're the super-ordinate, obeyed. If you're the sub-ordinant than you ought to
3. What is your favorite food? What food do you hate?
I wasn't raised to hate none of what gets put in front of me, but I
do like corn bread an awful lot and almost any sorts of corn meal. I guess it's
'cause we had so much wheat and my family just never bothered with corn, so, simple as it
is, it's somethin' I used to want when I was little. And of course any kind of steak
or hamburg is just the best food there is. As I said, I don't hate nothin' at'all
though I'm not so fond of greens. I also don't particularly like sweets.
4. What was your first or most memorable love affair? [This can be anything from a pre-teen crush to a long-term romance.] Be sure to describe the object of your affection, along with the changes that you went through in terms of feelings and thoughts about that person. Did it start out in terms of maddening hatred? Instant love? Who fell for who first? Were the feelings a surprise? How did it end? How does everyone involved feel about it now?
I don't really like talkin' 'bout that too much. [see bio]
5. You get into a discussion about death and dying. How would your character describe the perfect death?
Just floatin' down the Mississip. I 'spect drownin', if you
just let it happen, is like freezin' as Jack London writes about it, you get all peaceful
and just let go. And if I were goin' down the big river I'd be travelin' at least.
6. What were you like at the age of ten [fifth grade]? Were you a wimp, a bully, a nerd, a snitch or a klutz? Or none of those? Were you popular or not? Write up a description, and, if you like, a little day-in-the-life-of story of you at that age?
Just kept to myself, I didn't make too many friends back then.
Mostly kept to my studies and we had to work real hard on the farm. Sometimes
my folks'd let me stay up late readin' by candelight. Seems like when I got older I
lost that privilege every so often 'cause I was kind of lippy.
7. Did you ever have a pet? What kind of pet? Where is it now or what happened to it?
No, I never had one. 'Course we had some egg-layin' chickens
and once you have one around a while you almost treat it human-like but you got to
remember mostly them animals on a farm, well, they end up dead 'fore their time.
8.a. How would your father describe you? Your mother?
My father'd say I was a good kid, smart, hardworking [the
character really thinks of his father as disapproving and, sometimes, wishing some sort of
justice for his death]. My mother'd say I was troublesome sometimes but nice and as
helpful as I could be.
b. How do you think your character's father would describe your character? Your character's mother? [Answer this from the player's standpoint, not the character's.]
Nate was proud of his son but worried about his irreverent intellectual streak.
He also worried about his son's tendency to be proud. Diana worries about her
son and his abilities, that he's too trusting, but she's always thought of him as
especially sensitive underneath his exterior.
9. Describe your perfect "date". What events would it involve? Would it be with a group, or just one-on-one?
I've come to enjoy these picture movies and I think that'd be a real nice place to
take a girl. I prefer t'not be with groups, just 'cause I'd prefer to get to know a
girl. We'd prob'ly go out and watch the desert brush after the movie then maybe we'd
walk through town before saying good night, if we really liked each other we'd prob'ly
kiss good night.
10. Describe your perfect evening? Would it involve others or be alone? If it involves others, who would it involve?
Git some really good book, somethin' rare 'bout mankind's history or some scientific
principle, and just sit at home and learn somethin'. That or work at the helium
plant with the guys, havin' some sodas or somethin' and just goofin' of while we work, if
you know what I mean, enjoyin' the time casually. Or go down into town and go to the
bar - I don't drink but you meet all types. I don't talk much, just like to
listen to what they all have to say.
11.a. Which self-improvement course do you need more: "Assertiveness Training", "Ten Steps to a New Love Life", "How to Win Friends and Influence People" or "Organizing Your Life"? Why? Which courses would you be qualified to *teach*?
I've been thinkin' 'bout findin' a girl to live with but I think I really need to
organize my life better - I feel like I haven't really got much accomplished and I want to
get on with it. I don't think I could teach these, I got a lot of learnin' to do in
b. Which of the above courses does your character *really* need? Which is one he or she is *actually* qualified to teach? [Answer as the player, not the character.]
He needs Assertiveness Training - he's too humble and he doesn't need to organize
himself to get moving, he just needs to push himself and, appropriately, others. He
could teach aspect of organizing one's life as he's very disciplined and very open-minded
while being, at least day-to-day, focused. But he is only 18 or thereabouts.
12.a. How would you describe your perfect mate/spouse?
I know it's sort of vain or material or what-you-call-it but I'd like a girl who's
real purty. But I'd also like her to be smart, like worldly-smart, like she's been
places and done things.
b. As the player, do you agree with the answer to 12.a? How is the character mistaken? Is he or she overly idealistic? Or are they looking for all the wrong things?
He'd be a little overwhelmed by a worldly woman (and typically is). He'd also be
likely to comparing himself to her. If he meets a worldly woman, it needs to be one
he's experiencing new things with and not one he's just sitting at home listening to, in
other words it needs to be more balanced.
13. Everybody has some little item that they regard as somehow sacred. A piece of clothing, a memento of some event, whatever. What is yours? How did you find it and why is it special?
I keep all my letters from home in a box. I also have a little locket from a
girl I used to know, she gave it to me when we parted. I guess the thing I keep
nearest me at all times is my father's Bible. He used to read from it to us every
night - momma let me take it when I left home.
14. You are the butt of a practical joke. Can you see the humor in it? Will you get even? Does getting even involve another practical joke, or is it more serious than that?
I really don't care for practical jokes. I had 'em played on me and I do laugh
'em off, 'specially if at least they're clever, but I read a lot 'bout 'em goin' wrong and
15. Do you sleep well? If you dream, what kind of dreams are they? Do you remember them when you awaken? [You are allowed to step a bit outside of the character for this one.]
Mostly I do sleep good these days but I do have bad dreams a good bit. Sometimes
I 'member them, sometimes not. Mostly they're 'bout gettin' stuck somewhere and not
bein' able to leave or 'bout bein' all alone or 'bout my father.
16. To you, does revenge mean (1) "an eye for an eye", (2) "repayment with interest", (3) "the only good enemy is a dead enemy", or (4) something else? In exacting your revenge, would you serve it hot, as soon as possible after the offense, or cold, awaiting a perfect place and time?
Revenge isn't for us mortals to exact. It's 'bout as simple as that. But I
can understand how people who been wronged real bad take to it.
17.a. What emotions can you express in public? Sorrow? Anger? Sadness? Humor? Disappointment? Joy?
I try to keep a good disposition, makin' jokes when it's appropriate. I don't
like to show my anger or sadness, it makes folks uncomfortable. I think it's okay
when you're with a close friend, though, and you know each other pretty good.
Sometimes you can't help it, that's okay, you got to be sympathetic to folks when
b. Which emotions can you *never* express in public?
I dunno, I just keep away from the extremes.
18. Describe your voice. Would you say that you speak with formality? Casually? Do you have any favorite expressions/curses?
I guess it's pretty casual, if I think more 'bout it I could get formal as I've read
enough in books 'bout how to do that. I been pickin' up "I tell you whut"
a lot lately but that's sort of more funny to me than anything. I guess I say
"well" a lot and "I dunno" more often than I guess it's really true.
I don't curse. I might say silly curses sometimes when I'm upset, like
"jumpin' jehosophat" or "dagnab" or whatever.
1. Give a brief description of this PC's childhood, including emotional and economic status, and any unique or odd events.
2. How does this character deal with his/her past? (any scars, emotional or not?)
Doesn't discuss it much but will open up to those close - except he never mentions at
all the last moments with his father.
3. Describe this PC's past relationships (open love/lust, secret love for a friend/acquaintance) and sexuality.
[main thing in bio, no significant ones otherwise]
1. To what extent is the PC a leader, a follower, or a loner? (Would they change what they mostly are of the above, and under what circumstances?)
More of a drifter in life than anything else - he needs some focus to hang on to.
2. Does this PC have personal needs, such as love, friendship, etc.?
He needs close friends but, paradoxically, needs to travel widely.
3. Towards which nationalities or groups, if any, does this PC feel animosity? (Why?)
4. What fears does this PC have (they can be actual phobias, or just worries) and where did they come from?
Mainly concerned about people knowing about the nature of his father's death (in bio). He's also afraid, given the lack of intimacy
in his family and his father's death, of being dying alone in the world. Finally, he
desperately wants to see the world.
5. Does this PC have any habits, or quirks?
He tends to ask a lot of questions, and he's rather naive. He prays every night
and before meals, but discreetly. He hides it but he's very sensitive about things
1. If an opponent surrendered and asked for mercy, would this PC grant it, and under what circumstances, if any?
He would almost always grant mercy, though he wouldn't necessarily release a person
free and clear if he thought they should go to the authorities.
2. If an NPC approached your PC and asked for protection, would this PC grant it, and under what circumstances?
If he felt the person was sincere (and he is gullible somewhat so it's possible) he
3. Would this PC share his/her wealth with a friend who needed it?
Yes, without hesitation.
4. Does this PC have any charities/causes to which he/she donates? (in any form -- could be volunteering)
He gives money to beggars sometimes and often stops by the orphanage to play with the
5. Is there anything for which this PC would risk his/her life? (What is it?)
Saving someone's life of course. He'd also get involved if something came up
where he could see the difference between right and wrong or the weak and the oppressive.
6. Does this PC prefer to use force or cleverness to accomplish things?
He'd prefer to use cleverness but in a moment of fast action he's more likely, at this
point, to think of his strength first.
7. Does this PC like to have strong roots, or do they drift from person to person, hobby to hobby? (To what extent, and which areas?)
He has strong roots in his religion and moraliry and feelings but he wants to/needs to
drift. He doesn't feel his work in zeppelin-building is a career, just something
very interesting, and he's likely to change it and go on to something different. He
has yet to find passion in his work.
8. What goals, if any, does the PC have for their life? (How fixated are they on these goals?)
None, other than to get out of the mid-south where he is. He really wants to
find himself. He's confused about his legacy and such.
9. How does this PC handle stress? Dangerous situations?
He gets quiet and cold under stress and stews or thinks, depending on the situation,
keeping to himself. In a dangerous situation, he tends to just dive in, doing
whatever occurs to him first as necessary.
1. Would this PC kill, harm, or torture? (Under what circumstances?)
No, absolutely not.
2. Would this PC enjoy killing people, harming them, or torturing them? (Why/why not?)
3. Would this PC lie? (Under what circumstances, and to who?)
Only to protect his secret about his father or in order to protect someone from
someone or something that is clearly bad. Even then he feels queasy and isn't
4. Would this PC obey a law even if he/she thought it was wrong?
Generally, yes, though in other cultures he'd be less likely to if the law was
extreme. For example, he would be hard-pressed to let an adulteress get beheaded -
he'd likely just dive in and stop it.
5. Does this PC desire power, wealth, or fame?
No, though he would like some extra money for his family.
6. Under what circumstances would this PC desert his comrades?
It would have to be dire or he'd have to believe his comrades were truly pretty bad,
but in any case it would be almost impossible.
7. Under what circumstances would this PC put his/her own welfare in ahead of that of the group?
Same as above.
8. Would the PC risk the lives of his/her companions without their knowledge and consent?
If the cause were so great and if time was so compressed there was no opportunity -
but pretty unlikely.
9. Does this PC consider the use of force or the use of cleverness and guile to accomplish things to be "more" moral?
No. And guile he woudl consider to be less moral.
10. Does this PC feel that the ends justify the means, no matter what those "means" may be?
11. Does this PC get his/her way by bullying others into what he/she wants?
No though he might if it were a "bad person" (an enemy agent or something)
and he was just bullying, not seriously harming.
12. Does this PC feel that the strong are entitled to exploit or manipulate the weak? (Does he/she indulge in it, too?)
1. Where were you on "Black Friday" (when the stock market crashed?) How did it affect you?
I was in Enid, just saying goodbye to a girl there. Didn't really matter none to
me personally, though I was real interested - them folks with money are the ones buyin'
all these farm products. I pictured hundreds of men in suits jumpin' out of
buildings at the same time.
2. What's your idea of [musical] fun? Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Bela Bartok, or some nameless hack from Tin Pan Alley?
I like Duke Ellington and all that loud blues and Negro spiritual music. There's
a lot of colored folk out here in Amarillo and if you listen you can hear all sorts of
real good music. Every once in a while I hear the Mexicans dancing music, too, and I
like that. I know some folks think all that's sort of anti-God somehow but I do
think music is good for the soul, even if sometimes the singers ain't always speakin' the
3. For the Ladies: Would you rather spend an evening with Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, or Werner Heisenberg?
4. For the Men: Would you rather be trapped on a desert island with May West, Katherine Hepburn, or Amelia Earhart?
Well, you know, I got to admit I like Mae West and all in the movies and as I hear
she's not really like that, but she's kind of a bad girl in a way, though she seems funny
enough. Katherine Hepburn seems nice but I'd sure like to go on a date with Amelia
Earhart, she's really somethin' else.
1. Did you agree or disagree with Prohibition? To what extent? (Did you run a speakeasy, make your own gin, or take an axe to every keg you set your eyes on... I think Harding was known to keep a stash of hootch hidden somewhere in the Whitehouse.)
I think it's a good idea and I like we got a lot of dry counties out here. But I
don't hold it against people too much for drinkin', 'specially those folks I know who just
have a couple and seem to just have fun with it. I wouldn't go report on a speakeasy
necessarily, though I wouldn't lie to keep it open, either, even if it was my friends
2. Should Shoeless Joe have been banned from baseball after the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal? (Shoeless Joe played outstanding baseball during the series. His performance was almost certainly unaffected by the money he took. "Say it ain't so, Joe!")
Well, you do somethin' wrong you got to expect that. I feel bad for him but I
don't know what else could have been done.
3. How do you feel about labor unions and strikers? Are strikers heroes for the common man, or dangerous threats to American democracy who should be stopped at all costs...
Ain't really neither, it ain't that simple. I know how some workers are treated
and I know how bad some of these strikers are. A lot of those union folk are good
4. Should America remain isolated, or should America assert a strong role in world diplomacy? (Did you support Wilson's League of Nations, or do you agree with Henry Cabot Lodge's reluctance to become involved in foreign entanglements?)
We should be involved, goin' out and helpin' the world get better. We are a big,
good country, and it's up to us.
5. Which is your favorite: Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, or Al Capone? Why?
I like readin' 'bout them but they're all bad. 'Specially Bonnie and Clyde, mad
killers is what they were. Same with Dillinger and Capone.
6. Did you feel Babe Ruth should be entitled to make more money than the president of the United States [Coolidge]? (A very hot question in 1927, the year Ruth hit 60 homers.)
Not really but then again I don't resent him none for it. He does work real
hard. They should just give the president more money.
7. Have you ever owned a Model T? (a "flivver") Why? (Model T's were still very numerous throughout the twenties. They were slow, clunky, very rugged... and cheap.)
Only car I ever had - I still got it and I keep it goin'. It's as good as new.
I got lots of parts from other cars in it. I had a lot of trouble with rust
but figured that out, too. I could race it if I was a better driver.
8. If you had your choice, would you want to fly with Lindbergh, trek to the antarctic with Byrd, go fishing with "Silent Cal" Coolidge, or hunt with Teddy Roosevelt? (Roosevelt passed away in 1919, but everyone would still know him.)
Hmmm, they all sound pretty good but I think I'd want to fly with Lindbergh, seeing
everyone and everything from way up and crossing the ocean. [I'm not sure how much
at this point Lindberg's associated himself with the Nazis, so the answer might change
depending on that and how far along the Nazis are in Germany]
9. If you could invite either Cthulhu, Yog Sothoth, or Nyarlathotep to dinner, which would you choose? What/who would you serve?
[I'm going to take it this question wouldn't fit too well :) ]
10.a. For the women: Who would you rather spend the evening with? Rudy Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, or Warren G Harding (Harding was famous for his good looks!)
10.b. For the men: I find flappers attractive. True or False. (http://www.pandorasbox.com/flapper.html) Explain.
Well, I admit I do - they seem so sophisticated and so different. I don't mind
the short hair and I don't think the Lord would really mind that in this day and age,
though they do show a bit too much flesh. But I admit I can't help but like it.
11. You are stuck on a train. Its a good thing you brought along your copy of a) Weird Tales, b) Popular Mechanics c) National Geographic d) Black Mask (the hard boiled detective magazine) or e) Vanity Fair. Explain. If your character would have been reading some other magazine, you are free to use it instead. (I think I have the proper timeline for Popular Mechanics and Black Mask, but I'm not 100% sure.)
Popular Mechanics all the way. That and National Geographic.
12. How were you affected by the Great War and how were you involved?
I was too little and my father, thankfully, being the only minister in the community
and all, stayed home.
13. Do you believe Houdini's abilities were due to the supernatural? What is your general opinion of spiritualists, mediums, and magic(k)?
No, we all pretty much know now that it was scientific and that Houdini had tricks and
such, not that we know them all. When I was weather-changin' I met an escape artist
who showed me one of his tricks and insisted I show him mine - he was mighty angry when I
really couldn't tell him the trick, 'cause I didn't know it. He didn't believe me.
I believe magic is possible, I don't really know if all of it's black magic or if
there's such a thing as white magic - I'm still studyin' on it. I read some real
interestin' theories on mind powers and how a person can make somethin' happen with that -
that might be what magic is. Or more likely it's science we don't get yet.
1. What actor or actress (from any era) would best portray this character?
Hmmm - he's actually fairly muscled and such, but fairly humble and not worldly. A weird cross between Syl Stalone and a young Woody Allen?? He probably could be played well by Woody Harrelson, actually.
Characterize this PC in one sentence.
A young man trying to find himself and struggling with a fundamentlist upbringing
coupled with a very open mind/curiousity.