Sunday 4 November 2018

Savage Worlds campaign: Johnny "Newt" Becker

My gaming group has started a Savage Worlds campaign set in 1998, in a fictional city called River City.  Two weeks prior to the start of the campaign, a disaster of apocalyptic proportions has reduced River City, a thriving metropolis with a population of 10 million, to one-tenth its size.  A massive storm has encircled the entire city, cutting it off from the rest of the world.

The players in this campaign are teenage survivors, in their final year of high school.  So far, we are in our second gaming session (I missed the first session which involved an encounter with a yeti-like creature).

The character that I am playing is a teenager named Johnny Becker.  Johnny, who is typically referred to by his alter ego “Newt”, is a psychologically disturbed youth, who lives in a fantasy world fostered by his Advanced Dungeon and Dragon books.  Johnny first discovered Dungeons and Dragons at the age of 10 (in 1990), where he picked up a used copy of the ‘red box’ set at a garage sale.  Since then, Johnny’s collection of D&D books has grown considerably.  

While never belonging to a D&D group, Johnny spends hours each day playing D&D by himself.  He plays the roles of both the characters and the DM.  Over the years, Johnny has become a gifted voice actor, using a range of voices for the various characters in his games.  It was through these gaming sessions that the character of Sir Isaac “Newt” Newton was born.

Besides Dungeons and Dragons, Johnny is a huge fan of martial art movies.  He is a fan of Jackie Chan (he owns several Jackie Chan VHS tapes) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (both the cartoon and the live action movies).  In fact, Johnny’s alter ego of Newt (kappa ranger) is based on the TMNTs.

Physical Appearance: Johnny is a small wiry youth, standing 5’3” and weighing 110 lbs.  His small size and apparent immaturity make him appear younger than his age.  Johnny’s signature look is his mustard coloured bandana, which he wears over his eyes (he has eye slits cut out), to emulates the masks worn by the TMNTs.  Through the mask, Johnny believes he becomes “Newt”; his alter ego, who is everything that Johnny is not.

Personality: Johnny is a socially awkward loner with anti-social personality traits.  Johnny is shy and appears to lack confidence when interacting with others.  His fellow classmates avoid Johnny, not because of ‘geeky’ nature, but because they are genuinely afraid of him.  Johnny often talks through the voices of his characters, who appear to have distinct personalities that differ from his own.  In fact, most of his classmates have witnessed conversations taking place between his characters.

Fighting Style: Despite Johnny’s small stature, he is a skilled martial artist, having spend countless hours mimicking the Jackie Chan and TMNT fight sequences.  It is Johnny’s pent up anger and frustration that motives him to spend hours each day practicing his martial art moves.

Catholic School

Prior to attending public high school, Johnny was a student at a Catholic High School.  He was expelled from the Catholic school when the nuns found several D&D books in his possession.  Prior to this discovery, the nuns were suspicious of his odd behaviour; especially his tendency to speak in the voices of his D&D characters and to refer to himself in the third person.  At this point, the nuns suspected demonic possession. The nuns’ suspicions were confirmed when they discovered his D&D books.  The nuns confiscated his D&D books (which were slated to be burned) and expelled Johnny from the school.

Prior to Johnny’s expulsion, the Head Nun wacked Johnny's ‘backside’ with a wooden paddle twenty times, in hopes of releasing the demons inside him.  Johnny ‘backside’ was swollen, and he had trouble sitting for an entire week.  This experience emotionally scared Johnny; to this day he experiences anxiety when he thinks of the Head Nun.

Before the nuns could summon the Exorcist to preform the ritual to burn the D&D books, Johnny, using his stealth skills learnt from the TMNT cartoons, snuck into the Catholic school and liberated his books.  

Newt: Inspired by the TMNTs, Newt is a kappa ranger (a homebrew character race Johnny created from AD&D Oriental Adventures), who is the dominate D&D personality Johnny uses to interact and understand the world.  While Johnny is shy and timid, Newt is bold, confident and brave.  In many ways, Newt is to Johnny as Master Splinter is to the Ninja Turtles. 

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