History That Never Was

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Fun for Friday: Quick Character Ideas

Some of my Funko Pops collectionI have an ELABORATE collection of Funko Pops. It started as just a handful, but I’m now to the point where I have purchased 24 of them. (23 for me. 1 for the hubbie.) The picture doesn’t show them all.

I have a game that I started when my collection was much smaller. I stack them three high (at four high they get too wobbly), and so the stack of three is a “team,” and I think about all of the messes that “team” could get into. For example, I have one stack that is Harry Potter, Charlie (from Supernatural) and Cosima (from Orphan Black). So what would a boy wizard, a girl hacker, and a geneticist do together?

Though I haven’t written anything based on any of my teams, I’ve realized that with as many Pops as I have now, I ought to do something with them. So I’ve come up with a way to make this game a character idea generator. I broke down each of the Pops I own to a basic character archetype. I’ve tried to make these somewhat broad (applicable to fantasy or sci-fi or whatever other genre you like) and non-gendered. But there are some that do have a gender attached. You’re welcome to change that, of course.

So, ready for this? Here’s what you do.

  • If you’re a gamer, you’re going to need a d12. If you’re not a gamer, and I’ve just spoken “nerd” at you, grab a six-sided dice from any board game.
  • If you have a d12, roll once on each table. But I’m not the boss of you. You can roll twice on the same table. You can roll more than once on each table if you want more characters.
  • If you have a six-sided die, roll first to determine which half of the table you’re going to use. A 1-3 means use numbers 1-6. A 4-6 means use numbers 7-12. Then roll on the half of the table you’ve gotten, treating 7 as 1, 8 as 2, etc. Then do this whole process a second time. (And a third, or more times, as above.)

Table 1:

  1. The mystic investigator
  2. The teenage tempter/temptress
  3. The child prodigy
  4. The bullied kid
  5. The anti-hero
  6. The “crazy” kid
  7. The scavenger
  8. The young wizard
  9. The plucky companion
  10. The last of her kind
  11. The warrior woman
  12. The sentient critter that’s kept as a pet

Table 2:

  1. The villain with a heart of gold
  2. The athletic girl
  3. The secret agent/spy
  4. The hacker/nerd/bookworm
  5. The king of a far off land
  6. The ace driver/pilot
  7. The infected scientist/scholar
  8. The super genius
  9. The general
  10. The sentient plant
  11. The fallen angel
  12. The scientist who is also an experiment

So with my magical app that rolls me dice, I’ve got … a 7 and a 12. The scavenger and the scientist who is also an experiment. Sounds like a fun post-apocalyptic setting, perhaps? Still needs a plot, but it’s a good start!

After you’ve got your characters, write them into a scene. Write a whole novel about them. Do whatever you like! But the idea is to keep them generic, not to try to figure out who they’re supposed to be from pop culture and write a weird cross-over fanfic. I mean, that’s a fun game too, but it’s not the point of this game! Let your imagination go wild!

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