View Full Version : Characters you've borrowed

2013-05-19, 10:40 AM
So there's currently a thread going for plots you've unintentionally stolen borrowed. Let's start one for characters!

I'm planning a Legend campaign, and would up adding an NPC who's a child and the party's self-proclaimed biggest fan. After choosing tracks because the NPC deserved them, I wound up creating more or less Samantha from QC. So I made her a girl and "borrowed" the name

EDIT: And now I'm considering creating an expy of Faye as well. And possibly Hanners because Hanners, but I'd cap the QC expies off at that

Man on Fire
2013-05-19, 12:56 PM
I hope intentionally borrowed characters are also allowed. Because oh boy, does my game has a lot of them.

So far my games had seen:

*Pair of characters who were pretty much 50% Saber and Irisviel from Fate/Zero and 50% Croup and Vandemar from Neverwhere. I'm till proud of myself that players still suspect they were lesbians.
* Wasp-themes Apostle from Berserk. And entire concept of Godhand too, while we're at it, they even eappeared in our last game.
* WWE NXT wrestler Leo Krueger, casted as creepy bounty hunter
* WWE NXT Diva Paige appeared, down to the name, as rebelious daughter of king of criminal undergound and sorcerres, she was driving her father nuts by dressing like her namesake (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1-BgLskHm40/UXAEPWMG8aI/AAAAAAAAAJA/NaTbKj5tmVk/s1600/Paige-wwe-divas-BIG.jpeg).
* Evil Death's Necronomicon, starring as evil talking book, chained to a pulpit in the library of evil books, complaining about his peers and gushing over his older brother, H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon.
* Slender Man...through that was unintentionally.
* Strombringer and Soul Edge and evil weapons starring at PCs while hanging on the walls.
* Saber, again, this time as different character.... And still lesbian.
* Wraiths from Subtle Knife (okay, only 1 of them, but he was more than enough)
* Lindsday Stirling

2013-05-19, 01:11 PM
Personally, I like to think that I'm inspired by characters and create original NPCs with aspects of those characters. However, sometimes the inspiration can overwhelm the character in question.

For instance, in one of my long running campaigns, there was the need for a sort of Disc One Final Boss to cap off the first major story arc. I have lots of plans beyond his appearance, but I wanted a sort of militaristic, physical threat. And then I watched The Dark Knight Rises, so of course the villain in question is basically a hobgoblin expy of Bane, down to the fur longcoat.

Another example would be two characters I just introduced, a pair of wandering twins who are very good at adaptation. They're sort of a cross between the Lutece twins from Bioshock Infinite and Isaac and Miria from Baccano.

I feel like as long as the characters are in the right place and you at least try to be subtle with it, it really isn't a big deal. We're just employing similar archetypes in a different setting.

2013-05-19, 02:39 PM
I was playing in one group playing in a large campaign world, and after skimming the summary from one of the other groups, I noticed one of their characters was named Bandit Keith.

2013-05-19, 05:50 PM
Isaac and Miria from Baccano.

Okay, you win.

2013-05-20, 03:02 AM
I made a John Constantine rip-off for Kult. Wholly intentionally. Trenchcoat, Silk Cut, Liverpool and all.

Other than that, characters may have been inspired by others, or had elements from various people, but I have never made one I have intentionally imitated or realized that I have unintentionally imitated.

2013-05-20, 07:21 AM
I once borrowed from Tony Stark long ago in a modern adventure. I created a mechanic who made a decent fortune in the auto industry and so his thing was building suped-up vehicles. It was Iron Man in a Porche.

He was still viable without his cars by carrying lots of little gadets that helped break into places or to distract opponents in combat.

Angel Bob
2013-05-20, 08:49 AM
My first PC was basically the Eleventh Doctor, and a wizard I played once came off as a bit of a Draco Malfoy. Since then, though, I try to keep my characters a little unique. It's more interesting to play your own character than to play someone else's.

2013-05-20, 09:13 AM
I like to borrow a lot from the Shin Megami Tensei series... Let's see, these are all from an on-goin, now epic-level game.

-The latest boss enemy was basically a redeco of Meganada from DDS2
-Before that we had both incarnations of Beelzebub
-A side quest involved Belial, Nebiros, and Alice.
-A boss pre-time skip was heavilly influenced by Jezebel from Devil Survivor.

And then some others, not quite borrowed, but heavily influenced.

-The disc one final boss, also a man in front of the man, drew influences from both Myria from BoF3 and Bizaro Sephiroth from FF7.
-another mid-boss prior to said disc one final boss was influenced by Raven from Guilty Gear, he was more or less immortal.

2013-05-20, 02:33 PM
Let's see...

*Most of the Greek gods
*Acquisitions Inc.
*The Bard I'm currently playing is essentially Russell Brand
*The Fighter I play in a different game is basically Jayne from Firefly

2013-05-20, 03:34 PM
Link. I borrowed link. And my players killed him. v_v. yes. I broke the Zelda franchise.

2013-05-20, 07:31 PM
Guybrush Threepwood.

In a campaign based on Neon Genesis Evangelion.


It was exactly as strange (and awesome) as it sounds. He's one of my, if not the, favorite characters I've ever played.

Hiro Protagonest
2013-05-20, 08:21 PM
Link. I borrowed link. And my players killed him. v_v. yes. I broke the Zelda franchise.

Just reload from the last save.

Anyway, I'm really hoping to steal Wigglytuff from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky. And King Bumi from Avatar: The Last Airbender. The ultimate joke-that's-not-a-joke!

Joe the Rat
2013-05-20, 09:56 PM
I played "Professor X as a Grad Student Backpacking Across Europe" in a oWoD mashup. Orphan Mage who's schtick was "All magic is psychic powers." He could still walk.

In a short D&D game I played The Pirate King... from the Pirates of Penzance. He could sing and dance. Not a bard.

I made an squirrel-themed expy of Foxbat (Champions) for a DC Heroes game.

2013-05-20, 10:25 PM
I've stolen the name Tepet Ejava for a mostly unrelated character of mine.

One character of mine started out as Heath Ledger's Joker and has developed quite well from there.

2013-05-21, 03:29 AM
I once made an ancient high troll wizard soul trapped in his own rune staff, the PCs were supposed to release him by using the rune staffs powers. But instead they feared the magic and how it literally affected their minds (albeit positively), so the troll never saw light of day.
The troll was sort of borrowed from the troll Aldhisslain Fintroll's song Aldhissla and the troll's name Kruselag was borrowed from the series Angel (Groosalugg).

2013-05-21, 03:42 AM
I made an squirrel-themed expy of Foxbat (Champions) for a DC Heroes game.

My previous post was in error. You win.

Jay R
2013-05-21, 09:32 AM
It's never been unintentional. I often design characters by taking one from the literature, and then making changes to the base idea.

Jean-Louis was a Flashing Blades character based on Aladdin. He was a street rat - a rogue who climbed buildings with high acrobatics skills. I made him different with a shadowy past and a high level of rapier skill.

Gwydion was a bard based on Fflewdder Fflam in The Chronicles of Prydain, minus the magic harp and gross exaggerations.

Ornrandir started as a Tarzan-like character - an orphan more comfortable in the woods than around people. Then magic started happening around him like Harry Potter.

Leprechaun was a Champions superhero based on Puck of Alpha Flight. He was a three-foot-tall martial artist, but with extraordinary luck.

Dr. MacAbre was a Dr. Strange rip-off. He was John MacAubrey, Ph.D., an anthropologist who earned his way through grad school as a stage magician, before his researches showed him that real magic works in the world.

Pinball was a combination of Plastic Man and Bouncing Boy, whose powers were always (in my mind) under-utilized. Once he learned he could bounce off people and keep going, like a pinball, he was able to knock down several villains in a single round.

Professor Power's abilities are a combination of Lightning Lad's and Magneto's, since electromagnetism is in fact a single force. His personality was similar to Reed Richards's.

When we started an old west game, I announced that I was going to base my character on an old TV show. I showed up with Cali Yang, a Chinese immigrant with Kung Fu skills, based on Kwai-Chang Kane from Kung Fu. Or was he? In the fifth game, he needed to drop the disguise, and revealed himself as Cal Young, a disguise artist secret agent based on Artemus Gordon of Wild, Wild West.

The Acrobat was Robin in a world without Batman. After his parents were murdered, he became a hero using circus-based skills, but since Batman wasn't there to train him, he had no detective ability.

All were based on specific characters from fiction, but all were unique individuals.

2013-05-21, 01:05 PM
Every game my group has had now has a 'Richard' in it, based off of the warlock from Looking for Group. Usually not undead, he's always crazy, incredibly powerful, and often (but not always anymore) violent.

He's been...
(D&D) some combination of wizard and ToB, I think level 16-18, but maybe epic (met him while level 2-4). Likes setting stuff on fire.

(Mage: The Ascension) a Marauder-Oracle who believes everything is soup. Not violent, but probably willing to kill if suits his needs (we never challenged him)

(Homebrew oWoD) a Marauder Master who owns an asylum along with the Malkavian Primogen

(Vampire: The Masquerade) Malkavian (multiple personalities) so tied into the Malkavian Network that he is essentially an avatar for Malkav and gaining the powers of a 3rd-gen (plot device for end-game). Apathetic to human life.

2013-05-21, 06:57 PM
Slightly more meta of an example than the others here so far:

My first D&D 3.5 character was a warblade that I referred to as "Generic Shonen Protagonist" until I came up with an actual name most of the way through building him.

His personality was an amalgam of every well-known shonen fighting series protagonist I could think of at the time (mainly Naruto Uzumaki, Ichigo Kurosaki, and Yusuke Yurameshi).

His backstory contained as many JRPG and martial arts series tropes as I could pack in.

And of course, he called out the names of his maneuvers.

Unfortunately that campaign never made it past the first session, during which my character barely got to do anything between the paladin player being a Loony and the rogue derailing the adventure by murdering a villager and getting caught. But I've been saving his sheet ever since,waiting for the opportunity to play him for real.

2013-05-21, 09:57 PM
My previous post was in error. You win.

Hey! I even sigged that post in spoilers.

You have made a grave error, Sith. I will have my vengeance for this slight!

Bastian Weaver
2013-05-22, 12:59 AM
In a Marvel Superheroes game, I once used two NPCs who were private detectives. They both had powers that I defined as "passive metamorph" - their bodies were so adaptable, any attacks just made them shift but did not actually hurt.
Their names were Thomas and Gerald.

Man on Fire
2013-05-22, 12:41 PM
Guybrush Threepwood.

In a campaign based on Neon Genesis Evangelion.


It was exactly as strange (and awesome) as it sounds. He's one of my, if not the, favorite characters I've ever played.

Oh no dude, you cannot drop somethign liek this on us and don't explain yourself.

Also, other things I stolen:
Alan Moore. As in, the writer. Appeared as creepy old guy who apparently gave one character the book he used to summon the threat of my horror-themed Savage Worlds game

I also had Eliah Snow from Planetary as quest-giver in that game.

Speaking of which I played Spider Jerusalem in quite fun New World of Darkness Campaign. And Warren Ellis in one-shot Call of Cthulhu game.

2013-05-22, 01:49 PM
Quite a few times, actually. I tend to borrow heavily from popular culture when creating minor characters to flesh out a world, especially because my players like to seek out all of an area's local power players so I usually need dozens of distinct people quite quickly. A few examples:

*) When I was running my first Changeling: The Lost game, I based the four Courts on the the leaders of Armada from The Scar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scar).

*) The ranking Alchemicals of Nurad in my current Exalted game, which is set entirely in Autochthon, are all based on the Justice League. The players have gone on missions with Splendour In Certain Victory (Wonder Woman) and Darkness Shelters The Innocent (Batman) a couple of times already.

*) My West game includes a team of Lunars based on the Exiles from Homestuck - Pious Falcon, Sauntering Tom, Roric the Arbiter and Seeker of the Wind. The players haven't actually met them, though, because the storyline that I thought would lead to them got totally sidelined. There's also a gang of mercenaries, the Empyreal Blade, whose members are all loosely based on various members of Fairy Tail.

2013-05-22, 01:57 PM
I've got a pair of evil german warlock brothers researching dark magic as they serve as agents for an evil kingdom.

Their names are Edward and Alphonse (The Elric brothers from Fullmetal Alchemist)

I'm still debating whether to allow Alphonse to be able to form a suit of armor made of shadows. :smalltongue:

Of course they're researching their dark magic so that the evil king they work for can bind what's basically Slender man to their will (Dark spirit, impossibly tall and thin, claws like knives)

Man on Fire
2013-05-22, 02:07 PM
I helped my buddy borrow three characters from Black Company - Croaker, Goblin and One-Eye - for his Earthdawn game. I suggested to him making leader of one of elven tribes players were gathering for big war into snarky, cynical, seasoned veteran and brilliant strategist, with two hamans who spend their free time either scaming people, drinking or having fights that escalate into magic duesl of humilatiosn that are seen as form of entertainment.

2013-05-22, 02:37 PM
In a Midnight campaign.
For those who do not know midnight, you can think of it this way:
Take the Silmarillion, but after Earendil goes to the West the Valar just decide:
'you know what, Morgoth can have Middle-Earth, we'll lock him up there together with the remnants of free people there and leave them to themselves for eternity.'
The Shadow in the North (Izrador here) won, and you play the last remnants of the resistance of the free people.

Of course, that is the moment where I play a concept loosely based on Túrin Túrambar. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Children_of_H%C3%BArin)
For added hilarity, reverse gendered, and named after a female character that pined for Túrin.
Let's see how long it takes before they catch on to the fact that my char was the one dooming her hometown, and not her lost boyfriend :D

2013-05-22, 03:54 PM
Lesse here...

-Druid based off of Ged from A Wizard of Earthsea & Chronicles.

-I once had an NPC quest-giver based off of Cauis Cosades from TES Morrowind (Possibly my favourite game of all time).

-Also from Morrowind, sorcerous false god-monarchs.

-When I was a teen and quite stupidly followed Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth, I played a sorcerer/paladin who was as much of an unlikable Mary Sue made to represent a naive ideology as the protagonist from those books.

-Halfling twins based off of Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrine Took (Merry n' Pippin) from LOTR.

2013-05-22, 03:55 PM
In a Midnight campaign.
For those who do not know midnight, you can think of it this way:
Take the Silmarillion, but after Earendil goes to the West the Valar just decide:
'you know what, Morgoth can have Middle-Earth, we'll lock him up there together with the remnants of free people there and leave them to themselves for eternity.'
The Shadow in the North (Izrador here) won, and you play the last remnants of the resistance of the free people.

Of course, that is the moment where I play a concept loosely based on Túrin Túrambar. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Children_of_H%C3%BArin)
For added hilarity, reverse gendered, and named after a female character that pined for Túrin.
Let's see how long it takes before they catch on to the fact that my char was the one dooming her hometown, and not her lost boyfriend :D

How is it that I have not heard of that I want to play that.

Nice character, by the way. I once played a Túrin-inspired character too, actually. :smallbiggrin:

2013-05-22, 04:30 PM
You should try it, it's an awesome setting, if hideously bleak.

The Races and PC's got a lot of buffs, but then, Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids and Bards got weakened hugely and rolled into the Channeler class. (though technically any character can cast spells via feats, the Channelerclass gives you the feats to be moderatly competent at it)

Clerics are still in full power, with the small deficit of there being only one god left to answer prayers, and guess what, he doesn't like the resistance ;)

Just don't expect to Win the Game. You can't really win in Midnight, even though you can get the position of the resistance to improve.

Also note that any Midnightcampaign automatically will become more roleplayheavy then you're used, because the setting is already so stacked against the PC's, just banding on your own will mean TPK in very short order.

So yeah, given the setting, it was the ideal moment to finally try my hand at a Túrin inspired character. (Though I got disuaded from taking the Blessed heroic path, there are only so many things you can let your character be without going into selfdestruction mode, Caransil Channeler sufficed :D ).
The fact that no-one immediatly called me out on my concept surprises me though. Since I use the same avatar on that forum, I at least expected someone to recognise Adanedhel as one of the names of Túrin.
Naming her Finduilas really was icing on the cake :D

2013-05-23, 06:06 AM
I had a nWoD hunter campaign that borrowed from Reservoir Dogs, Sons of Anarchy, Obscure: The Aftermath, Persona 3, and Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. The main antagonists were a cult that worshiped an eldritch horror patterned off Xel'lotath from Eternal Darkness and their leaders were based on the Strega group from Persona 3. Also one of their NPC allies was based on how I saw Alex Roivas living her life after the events of Eternal Darkness.

2013-05-25, 02:53 PM
My first character was pretty much Nicomo Cosca from Joe Abercrombies First Law 'verse.

2013-05-25, 03:11 PM
Well, I based a type of outsider on a certain character in my long post-dump on an idea for better CG Celestials than Eladrin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283571#22), but I won't tell you which one. See if you can guess.

And before you say it, no it's not Aslan. Those were based on a race meant for 4e but ultimately cut because they couldn't imagine how they'd carry stuff.

Man on Fire
2013-05-25, 04:22 PM
I once stolen for all-goblins game a minor character from Nemesis The Warlock - a goblin named Kremlin who was al lthe time talking about being nice and gentle, even when murdering people. The only real difference was that my Kremlin was younger, rode on a wolf and instead of saying "Pardon my spear!" he would say "pardon my lance!" when stabbing somebody.

2013-06-01, 10:49 AM
Another one– I was thinking of a character for the D&D Next playtest. It would have been a paladin who hides himself as a jester. Well I decided to make the character in Legend for an upcoming campaign this fall, and in doing so, he turned into Thom from Wheel of Time

2013-06-01, 05:48 PM
I had a roving madman in one campaign based very heavily on Bill Bailey. He wandered around telling people:

"I am the one that is known as Ka-eck, the rightful heir to the kingdom of Thrankul..."

2013-06-03, 03:16 PM
I was once killed in a dungeon by an anthropomorphic, mallet wielding black mallard.

That's right, Daffy Duck killed me.

Avilan the Grey
2013-06-04, 02:31 AM
Well 'tis was a long time ago; nowadays when we play we tend to play one-offs, so the GM designs predesigned characters (between twice and trice as many as the players, and then let player choose accoding to dice order). Quicker that way.

As GM for a homebrew Steampunk game I called New Amsterdam I based (deliberately) the story almost entirely on Jim Butcher's Storm Front (the first Harry Dresden novel) but with a huge Steampunk scorpion mecha instead of the demon, and Science! instead of magic. The characters were my own, though.

However I remember back in the day when there were... trends, to be sure.
Remember when I played Basic Roleplaying-based games (Drakar & Demoner and Mutant) we were all between 12 and 16, so we were very influenced by what we read that week, or just saw in the movies.

I don't know how many dark-haired angry looking muscular barbarians, elves with dual-wielded sabres, or elven princes with longbows we had in the beginning. We got better, though, both in inventing more unique characters and to hide where we stole the character from, if we didn't... :smallbiggrin:

As a sidenote I noticed the other day that a new swedish Fantasy RPG is coming soon, and that, too, is based on Basic Roleplaying. I guess that system really is what everybody over the age of 30 that are into RPGs in Sweden grew up with, instead of D&D (the only ones playing D&D back then were those who could get their hand on an imported or special order copy) and therefore it's the system that designers know by heart and prefer going back to.

2013-06-04, 02:41 AM
I played a character very heavily based on Aornis Hades (from the Thursday Next series) in a d20 Future game. I had plans to introduce other members of the family (largely as backup characters if "Alice" died) but the campaign didn't last long enough, and they probably wouldn't count since there's so little description of them in the series (Acheron and Styx appear but I decided they were still dead in this canon and neither would have made a very effective PC).

ETA: Ooh, and I'm in the planning stages of a campaign based on the works of Madeleine L'Engle. While I'm not included plots that are complete enough to fit into the other thread, I've already statted up both Canon Tallis and Zachary Grey.

Jay R
2013-06-04, 08:51 AM
There is an NPC I've used in every game I've ever run (D&D, Champions, Flashing Blades, etc.).

His name is Lord Victor. He is the only one in the world who understands both scientific and magical properties. He can cast magic even though he wears full plate (with technological abilities).

Lord Victor has never been see without full plate, including a full face covering, and a green cloak.

He is in fact Dr. Doom, from the Fantastic Four comics.