Every Character I've Ever Played: Part 1

Posted on Nov 18, 2023 in Role-Playing Games. Last updated on Apr 15, 2024.
Part of a series called All My Characters.

While I’m nearly always the Game Master, sometimes the rare opportunity to be a player presents itself. On such fleeting occasions I try to create characters that are at least somewhat noteworthy. Here they are, or at least what I remember of them, for archival purposes.

Presented in chronological order.

Genril Hornswoggle

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: 2017
Sessions: around 5
Status: game canceled

Genril was a halfling warlock granted magical powers by Lurue the Unicorn Queen in exchange for doing cool and helpful things. He was noticed by the fey goddess after saving numerous lives during a flood, looking awesome while doing so. I remember writing in his character description that he enjoyed striking dramatic poses on the tops of mountains.

Genril’s life as an adventurer began when he joined a dragonborn, a dwarf, and a tiefling in their quest to find a wizard’s missing deck of cards. I can only assume that the deck was actually the Deck of Many Things, which The Dungeon Master had asked us before the campaign if we were okay with including in the game. Being brand new to D&D and having no clue that it was one of the most campaign-breaking items in the game, I happily said yes. For some reason the others did too, even though we started at first level. Unfortunately, we never did get to experience the chaos that the deck is known to bring as the campaign ended early. Before it did, Genril got to visit the Underdark, fight drug dealers, and blow up a house with the shatter-spell. This was the first and so far only campaign I’ve played online with strangers. It didn’t go terribly wrong or anything but I much prefer playing face to face.

Cole Morningsun

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: October to November 2018
Sessions: around 6
Status: made it to the end

After I’d run my first campaign for some friends and one acquaintance, who was kind of a jerk, it was decided that Gustav would take over the role of Dungeon Master. He decided to start with a short homebrew adventure segueing into a module made for kids. Yeah. Since this was a group of friends—and one acquaintance—who mostly wanted to hang out, the game wasn’t exactly serious. The other characters were a horny lesbian tiefling, a feral little human girl, and a half-orc dude who insisted on being a slave. The player asked if any of our characters wanted a slave, we all said no, he decided that his guy would be my guy’s slave anyway.

Jesus Christ.

My character was Cole, a human fighter with a halberd—probably the only normal dude in the party. He was so normal that I have little else to say about him.

Unknown Troll Dude

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: October 2018
Sessions: 1
Status: extremely deceased

This guy was from the same campaign as Cole above. Since this was an absolute shits-and-giggles–campaign, I had conspired with the DM to bamboozle the other players. When the first session came, I didn’t show up with Cole. I had another character—whose name escapes me—with the same statistics. The idea was to play a disorderly and disruptive guy who would be killed off at the end of the session, at which point I’d introduce my real character. New RPG players often revel in the incredible freedom the games offer, which tends to manifest as acting like misanthropic lunatics. Being free to do whatever you want with no real-life consequences and without the risk of actually hurting anyone makes it incredibly liberating to goof around and make a huge mess, not unlike the first time one plays Grand Theft Auto. Anyway, I think I got all that over with in a single session when I played Troll Dude. He stole a holy hand grenade (when Gustav DMs, Monty Python references are constant), which he gave to some guy in a tavern and walked away with the pin. One explosion later he left for another town, burning down a forest on the way. In the new town our “heroes” visited a wizard’s tower. After repeatedly falling down the stairs (the DM made us roll to walk up them), he met with a wizard for reasons long forgotten. Troll Dude decided to mix all the potions on the shelf and drink them, after which he promptly exploded. Somehow he survived that, but then he fell down the tower and died. A group of orphans then dragged away his body so we wouldn’t loot his stuff.

Strangely enough, he wasn’t the worst character in that campaign.


System: Blades in the Dark
Played: November 2018 to January 2019
Sessions: about 4
Status: made it to the end

After the insanity of Gustav’s campaign, I was eager to try something new and had recently discovered John Harper’s Blades in the Dark: a game of daring scoundrels trying to get rich in a haunted Victorian city, heavily inspired by Dishonored. This being the same group as before, we asked the acquaintance to run the game which he agreed to, though he would put little effort into it and showed up to the first session with no character sheets. Once we managed to get started I rolled up Booker: a rifle-wielding, tricorne-wearing hunter with a cool coat and a falcon on his shoulder. The game started off pretty decently but would quickly devolve into utter insanity; we stole drugs from an orphanage which we proceeded to blow up, then we killed off the city’s entire police force once they came to arrest us.

On second thought I guess I wasn’t quite done messing around after playing Troll Guy, but most of this stuff wasn’t my idea. Although some of it definitely was… I remember throwing a bundle of dynamite sticks into a room full of sleeping police officers so another one wouldn’t be able to call for backup.

The name might have been Moira

System: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
Played: January 12 to January 20, 2019
Sessions: 2
Status: deceased

After our short-lived game of Blades, another group member wanted to run a homebrew game he had been working on. We settled on Lamentations of the Flame Princess for our system, basically a streamlined version of old-school D&D that was popular before Old School Essentials became the go-to game for that. Moira was a red-headed forest-dwelling magic user who liked to punch people with knuckle dusters she had made from animal bones. After creating our characters together during our first session, we played a small prologue adventure taking place a few years before the start of the campaign. Our characters found themselves running away from monsters in the woods and that was pretty much it. Once the second session rolled around we were tasked with exploring a castle in the middle of the desert. Inside the castle was a flesh golem. Not being used to the deadliness of old-school D&D, we charged it head on and it killed us all. So it goes. The Game Master did not want to continue running the game after that incident.

Severus Stratovarius

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: August 3 2019 to January 11, 2020
Sessions: about 16
Status: made it to the end

After running Tyranny of Dragons for the group of maniacs I’d previously played with, I decided to put together a group who were there to play RPGs and not goof off too much. I did, however, bring along Gustav. Gustav was going to run us through the modern classic Lost Mine of Phandelver, followed by Princes of the Apocalypse. He added his own personal touch to the campaign, which meant Monty Python, Geese, and Santa Claus. Fortunately, our new semi-serious group were good sports.

Introducing Severus Stratovarius, named after a Harry Potter character and a power metal band. He was a human storm sorcerer with cool azure robes and a wooden staff. Atop his shoulder sat an owl named Owlbert. Things started pretty well with Lost Mine, but Gustav somehow managed to derail his own campaign. The encounters were always deadly which led to high character turnover. Severus, I believe, was the only character left from the original lineup, earning a reputation for running away. Brave Sir Robin, our DM called him. But Severus was also capable of impressive feats of heroism. He had managed to, despite his lacking strength, suplex a shark that kept jumping out of the water to bite the party. In the game’s finale he also killed Santa Claus (who was evil, I think) and flew away through a Stargate.

It was that kind of campaign.

Two sketches of Severus; the left one is detailed, the right one is not.
Left: Severus, first session. Right: Severus, last session. Both: lack of artistic ability. The amount of effort put into each sketch represents how much I cared at the time.

Arthur Baelish

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: 2019
Sessions: 1 (one-shot)
Status: made it to the end

Another player in the Lost Mine campaign, who was also a rather experienced master of many different games, ran a one-shot (single-session) adventure to flesh out his character’s backstory. Arthur Baelish was a man in his sixties, inspired by Batman’s butler Alfred, but could still wield a rapier with great finesse as a swashbuckler rogue. He got hired as a bodyguard for a nobleman whom he successfully defended when some bad guys attacked a birthday party. That’s pretty much everything that happened.

Javier “El Bastardo” Salamanca (pre-gen)

System: Chronicles of Darkness
Played: July 11, 2020
Sessions: 1 (one-shot)
Status: made it to the end

The player who hosted the Arthur Baelish-session was the next in line to run a game, but first he wanted to give us a taste of the system: Chronicles of Darkness; the base of the new versions of Vampire, Werewolf, Changeling, etc. Javier was a pre-gen, a character I did not create but that was made in advance by the Storyteller. (Note how every game seems to have its own term for Game Master.) The only thing I made up for Javier was his name and his cocaine addiction. Javier found himself in the company of strangers on a Greyhound bus which broke down by the side of the road. The group wound up making their way to a nearby gas station for a midnight snack, after which they ventured over to a strange roadside fair. It turned out to be haunted as hell and Javier got himself stuck inside a room within a mirror for a while. It was a pretty cool session but, unfortunately, I don’t remember all that much of it.

Jack Barker

System: Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd edition
Played: July 18 to October 10, 2020
Sessions: 12
Status: game canceled

Inspired by Eggsy from Kingsman, Jack Barker was a young delinquent with great potential. It just so happened that he was also a werewolf. I managed to resist the temptation of naming him Jack Russel, opting for Barker instead. I wasn’t the only one to go with a canine-themed name; among the other characters was also a Hunter and the not-so-subtle Dr. Wolfenstein1. Jack’s nickname was Goose, something I picked because, for some reason, I thought he needed one that was particularly stupid. His skills and supernatural abilities were focused on being sneaky and inconspicuous. One of his most used was the ability to be forgotten once he left a scene as if he’d never been there in the first place. I also picked an ability that would let Jack replace his wolf form with that of a different creature, specifically a “predator roughly the size of a wolf”. With minimal persuasion, the Storyteller agreed that a golden retriever fit the bill. So there was Jack the weredog and his gang of wolves, tasked by some high-up lycanthrope named Martin Lockheed (the Storyteller insisted that his name took no inspiration from the Lockheed Martin Corporation) to protect a small Nebraskan town from supernatural threats. To aid us in our surprisingly noble quest we had a supernatural metal bird, looking something like the Screaming for Vengeance album cover. One thing we learned was just how difficult it is to avoid killing innocents when you’re a werewolf and trying to keep it a secret.

Xephyron Quorthon

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: October 17 2020 to July 10 2021
Sessions: 28
Status: made it to the end

Yet another character with a metal-themed name, Quorthon was a silver dragonborn paladin who served Bahamut, god of the metallic dragons; y’know, the friendly ones. Starting out, he was joined by a group of halflings in a homebrew sandbox campaign that slowly morphed into a fifth-edition conversion of the classic Red Hand of Doom-adventure, in which the heroes are tasked with preventing an evil cult from summoning Tiamat, queen of the chromatic dragons (y’know, the unsavory ones). Quorthon eventually turned into a platinum dragonborn as he became Bahamut’s Chosen OneĀ®, getting to fight Tiamat’s chosen one whom he, much to the DM’s dismay, dropped from a great height. He eventually got to fight the nasty, five-headed wyrm herself in the campaign’s ultimate battle. Having been reduced to a single hit point and surviving only due to the death ward spell, he scored a critical hit against the fiendish dragon, using divine smite to kill her off for good. A fittingly epic end for the longest campaign I’ve played in so far. Quorthon was also dubbed “The Champion of Not Eating Mud” after rolling really well on a series of wisdom saving throws to resist the urge to eat some weird hypnotizing mud that compelled people to eat it.

Rennyn II, son of Count Ryo of house Fengolor (also known as Ordim Batrider)

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: August 28 to November 27, 2021
Sessions: 10
Status: game canceled/made it to the end? (it’s complicated)

Ordim was a half-elf swashswasher. That is, he wielded a fencing rapier and, instead of a buckler in his other hand, he had yet another rapier. He wore red robes and had a cool red hat with a feather in it, probably looking something like the Red Mage from Final Fantasy. The heir to an overthrown noble house, his goal was to reclaim his castle and avenge his family. If the campaign had continued he would likely have accomplished this by recruiting an army of goblins. That never happened, however. Most of the campaign was spent trying to escape a swamp surrounded by a strange mist. The highlight of the campaign was a battle in a cave against a group of duergar, or spooky subterranean dwarves, on a massive stalagmite with screw-like threads to walk on. When the duergar summoned giant bats, Ordim jumped on one of them and played a game of bat-jousting with the nasty dwarves.

A duergar-battle in a cave
Ordim, top right. Gustav's character does a swan dive at the bottom.

The campaign was canceled when the DM suddenly had to leave the group. Fortunately, he let me run a final session to wrap it up. It ended with the characters going to hell and fighting the hag behind it all with the help of Santa Claus. Not quite as out of place as it sounds, actually. Since I was the DM I totally forgot to include Ordim in the final session and I honestly don’t know what happened to him. I like to think that he marched with an army of goblins and took back his castle.

A sketch of Ordim
Apparently I gave up on this sketch. He does look rather feminine, but I guess that's fine since he's a half-elf.


System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: December 4, 2021
Sessions: 1 (one-shot)
Status: you’ll have to read the whole story

This li’l feller was the star of The Hare and the Hag. A tiny gray-brown rabbit man with a cowboy hat and a crossbow in each hand, Jeran was put through quite a bit of trauma on that cold winter day. It was an awesome session so I suggest you read the whole darn thing.


System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: January 8 to March 5, 2022
Sessions: about 6
Status: game canceled

Ianril was an elven archaeologist or, honestly, more of a grave robber. After accidentally breaking a sacred urn with his shovel, a celestial being imbued him with healing magic and a level in the Warlock class. His shovel, which he waved around like an oversized wand, was his arcane focus that he used for casting spells. He also had a pseudodragon familiar which I pictured looking something like a biblically accurate seraph—golden, with multiple sets of feathered wings along its reptilian body. Ianril’s healing magic took the form of pink, spectral grenade-like orbs that exploded with rejuvenating magic. The other players were understandably rather freaked out the first time I described throwing one of those onto an unconscious party member. I got the name Ianril from an Elvish name generator I found online, picking the name that sounded closest to Indiana. It never really stuck with me though, and when the DM would ask questions such as “what does Ianril do?” I often found myself not reacting because I thought he was talking to someone else. Only time that’s ever happened.

I wasn’t originally going to play into the Indiana Jones archetype too much, but the archaeologist background supported it so well. I tried using some of Jones’s personality traits as a baseline but quickly realized he doesn’t actually have much of a personality, other than making quips and kissing ladies. Ianril ended up doing neither. Oh well.

Some Fighter Dude

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: January 8, 2022
Sessions: 1
Status: deceased

For the campaign in which I played Ianril we were tasked with creating two characters; one for our primary party and one for a secondary group that would go on expeditions when our main gang was busy. My secondary guy was a fighter whose backstory was entirely based on the song Whiskey in the Jar and that’s all I remember about him. During the first session, we’d play both characters at once as they traveled by boat to a distant land. Fighter Dude fell into the water, got sucked into a vortex, and died about five minutes into the session. So it goes. Would’ve been a new record for quickest character death if another player’s character hadn’t suffered the exact same fate a few seconds earlier.


System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: January 22 to March 5, 2022
Sessions: about 4
Status: game canceled

No, that’s not supposed to be read as George R. R. I actually named a character GRR, like a growling noise. I thought it was a very clever name for a kobold2. That’s what he was, a kobold rogue created to replace the poor Fighter Dude above. If basing your character’s personality on a macho action hero like I did with Ianril is a bad idea, then perhaps basing it on a cartoon character is a better one. Something about the colorfulness, distinctiveness, and lack of subtlety seems to lend itself well to RPG characters. At least it’s a surefire way of avoiding the biggest role-playing mistake of all: creating bland characters with no real personality. GRR was bouncy, full of witticisms, loved violence and lacked any and all self-preservation—a trait becoming more and more common with my characters as I enjoy the excitement of a higher danger level. He was highly derivative and an absolute blast to play. For some reason, the other players still gravitated towards letting my character be the face of the party. That’s not unusual, but in the case of GRR it wasn’t a great idea, what with his general disregard for the consequences of his actions and all. He was known to suggest “let’s keep going, what’s the worst that could happen?” whenever someone wanted to stop for a rest. I have no idea how he survived.

Some Scoundrel Guy

System: Blades in the Dark
Played: March 20, 2022
Sessions: 1 (one-shot)
Status: made it to the end

I didn’t play this character that long ago, at least not compared to some of the other characters in this list, but somehow I can’t seem to recall anything about him whatsoever. The story is that a new guy joined our group and wanted to run a game of Blades. It was fun, we infiltrated a masquerade ball and stole something from some aristocrat. The new game master never played with us again after that. Said he was busy with something or other. We’re not such a terrible group as to have scared him off, right? At least I hope not. Anyway I played a criminal of some sort, as one does in Blades. Whatever.

Grimirak (pre-gen)

System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
Played: February 18, 2023
Sessions: 1 (one-shot)
Status: made it to the end but probably got killed immediately after

We took a short break from the D&D campaign I was running at the time so I could prepare the next part of the adventure. One player ran a one-shot about finding a city in the desert, entering a shared dream, and retrieving a magical pearl from a palace in the dream world. Before starting we all got to roll some dice to determine which pre-made characters we’d be allowed to choose from. I was offered the choice between a paladin and a paladin. Thinking it over for a few minutes, I eventually settled on the paladin. He was a half-orc and he had a big mastiff with him. I named him Grimirak and probably gave the dog a name too, not that I remember it. Grimirak’s daughter had been kidnapped and the pearl was the ransom. To make a long story short, we eventually got to the towering ivory dream palace. A part of the wall broke free, turned into some kind of ivory golem, and told us we couldn’t enter. Grimirak was smart enough to use misty step, teleporting inside the palace right before the golem could fully merge with the wall once more. He was confronted with a maze leading to the center of the palace where the pearl could be found.

At this point the rest of the group had little choice but to brute-force their way inside. The druid turned into a giant eagle (why is it always giant eagles?) and flew the others onto the palace roof. They started cutting a hole in the roof with a Sunblade; the D&D equivalent of a lightsaber. As they did, hundreds of ivory golems broke loose from the palace, raining arrows while slowly converging upon the group. The heroes eventually managed to make a hole large enough for them to fit through, jumping down and escaping the golems. They landed right by the pearl, which was quickly snatched up by a previously invisible wizard who had apparently been stalking the party. Due to some poor rolls, the wizard was able to teleport away with the pearl. Grimirak, still lost in the maze as this unfolded, never got a chance to grab the bloody thing. Then everyone woke up from the shared dream and found themselves surrounded by enemies. The end.

And there you have it. All the characters I’ve ever played. For part two I’ll start writing about the characters as soon as I play them. That way I’ll get all their shenanigans on record before I’ve had a chance to forget them. Okay, bye.

  1. Actually it was “Wolfstein” but I imagine everyone goes “did you mean to write Wolfenstein?” when they see that. Also, guess whose character that was. Take a wild guess. ↩︎

  2. That’s a little lizard-person for the non-initiated. ↩︎