Friday, December 20, 2013

Character Highlight: Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner (FAE)

I was listening to one of my favorite artists play one of my favorite songs on the way to work, and it dawned on me: "Wow, this would make a fantastic character for a FAE game, either as a hero or a villain!" Without further ado, here is:

Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner

High Concept: Mercenary Ghost of Revenge
Trouble: The CIA Decided They Wanted Roland Dead
Other Aspects: Norway's Greatest Son, Eternal Thompson Gunner, Time Stands Still For Roland

+3 Sneaky
+2 Careful, Flashy
+1 Forceful, Clever
+0 Quick

  • Because I am the Eternal Thompson Gunner, I can become intangible, gaining a +2 to Forcefully Defend against physical attacks from melee or ranged weapons.
  • As I Hunted The Continent, I gain a +2 to Carefully Overcome or Create an Advantage when tracking down a target.
  • Because I Still Wander Through The Night, once per session I can appear anywhere, provided it is a region locked in conflict.

Refresh: 3
Stress: OOO

  • Mild (2): 
  • Moderate (4):
  • Severe (6):

Roland is a Norwegian who becomes embroiled in the Congo Crisis of the late 1960s. He earns a reputation as the greatest Thompson gunner, a reputation that attracts the attention of the CIA in foreign conflicts. Roland is betrayed and murdered by a fellow mercenary, Van Owen, who blows off his head. Roland becomes the phantom "headless Thompson gunner" (reminiscent of the Headless Horseman) and eventually has his revenge on Van Owen, when he catches him "in a bar room drinking gin." After this Roland continues "wandering through the night" as a sort of revolutionary spirit.

Besides the historical references to third-world conflicts around the globe, the 'Troubles' in the Six Counties in Ireland, and the often shadowy involvement of the CIA, the song is a sort of bittersweet rallying cry to the "revolution" in America. The final line of the song, "Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland's Thompson gun, and bought it..", referring to heiress Patty Hearst's kidnapping and subsequent involvement in the Symbionese Liberation Army, throws a cynical twist into the song's portrayal of a mercenary come back from the dead for justice and revenge.


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