System: Lorien Trust
The Doc was born out of a desperate need to prepare a one-shot character for a sanctioned event, post character death. Actually, that’s not quite true, bits of him had existed before, but I then needed to speed it forward.
The Doc was a healer of the great and venerable house of Schwarzenberg, which had for many centuries provided healers to the city of Talcontar. Their house ancestor, Archimedes, ascended as a result of his skill at healing. Since his ascension, the firstborn son had to be a healer. The problem was that, well, The Doc was not a natural healer. So he did his utmost to fulfil his family obligations within the narrow limits of his ability.
The self-proclaimed ‘Finest healer in all of Talcontar’ was, to say the least, a controversial individual. The faction high healer had a brief bout of hysterics upon making his acquaintance. But he soon proved his worth, bandaging, fixing and berating everything he came across.
He was an arrogant and abrasive asshole, who was at the same time utterly devoted to his ancestral ideals of practicing medicine. That his constantly suboptimal stat block was contrasted by a vocally expressed ego about the size of Saturn V (he once published his autobiography to ‘inspire the nation to follow the deeds of its heroes’) only added to the fun.
My key costume piece was an old school lab coat, covered with Games Workshop blood red paint which I had lying around, and a tricorne hat from Venice.
There have been three intense roleplaying experiences that come to mind, other than generally wondering around trolling the entire setting as a healer who couldn’t meaningfully heal anything.
The first is, based upon the Doc’s powers of observation and knowledge of how other healing abilities were done (rather than being able to actually cast them himself), establishing a bestselling series of pamphlets concerning the arts of healing. Selling at rock bottom prices, these took the medical establishment by storm, although they were not without their detractors. Some of the language used by the Doc, in particular towards his patients (describing them as ‘incompetent’, ‘little pricks’ and ‘weak’) indicated a bored, world weary individual. But nevertheless, people purchased, read, enjoyed, and even learned to read from them.
The second is when the Doc, generally regarded as a cowardly reprobate, challenged a skeleton ancestral champion to a duel. For the Doc was, by his own standards, a man of honour. He followed the principles of his ancestor absolutely and devoutly. He healed to the best of his ability. And then he beheld this fine fellow, who worshipped the ancestor which had destroyed his home city, and set against him.
Several anonymously published articles in the IC press reduced this skeleton to apoplectic rage. He was, before a group of newbies, referred to as ‘really whiny’. And in the middle of a forest the Doc formally challenged him to a duel. The Skeletal champion declined contemptuously, seeing it as beneath him.
The next day, he disappeared. The day after, he returned at the head of a massive undead legion. The faction’s armies mustered to meet them, and the Doc was among them. The two ancestral champions met in single combat. One was a massive death knight, in black armour with a sword and shield. The Doc bore his sword and his great coat. Calling to the power of his ancestor, he rained blow after blow on his opponent, smiting him (despite shield, despite armour, despite advantages of height and stats) with Archimedes’ grace, swearing loudly and at length all the while; but the Skeleton only had to strike once. It did so, knocking the Doc unconscious. The Doc, being a self-described ‘massive bro figure’ was later rescued; but the Skeleton was not so fortunate. It later fell in battle, and was dragged away screaming by the victorious faction.
The third is the manner of the Doc’s death.
Now, see, for the first time, the Doc had OSP skills. Among these was ‘Immune Fear’. I reckoned that his ego was sufficient for him to have deserved it.
Then along came a fellow called Maar the Faceless, The Big Bad of the setting, and a lord of fear and nightmare.
The Doc, being the Doc, stepped up (again, greatcoat, one sword), and-as battle swirled around them-attacked. ‘I don’t fear you,’ he said, ‘I’m just that good.’
These were his last words.
The thing about Maar the Faceless was that, regardless of his massive stats, his physrep was a man with a bucket on his head uder a cloth, some red eyes, and a knife. The result was that the Doc was able to keep him back for quite some time, until he eventually took him out with one frustrated blow. The Doc bled out just before rescue. The funeral was quite emotional. It required one of the faction’s mages to put this in perspective:
‘Look, lets not get ahead of ourselves here. This is the Doc. He annoyed me for every second of his existence; but I’ll still miss him. Now, lets put him by the fire…’
A forum post on the healers’ guild page, written by one of their high healers, was found asking if anyone could inform them of the whereabouts of the mysterious Dr. Varus Schwarzenberg. To judge from his best-selling range of pamphlets, he seemed to have been a well-travelled, skilled and experienced healer.
To judge from this post, I’d say that yes, the Doc succeeded in every objective I had for him. (Although he never quite became faction high healer, or obtain many useful healing ‘soft skills’. He was, as he said, just too good for them.)
Physrep: William Dawson
Photographer: Nader Abdullah
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