Posts Tagged ‘Dean Wyatt’

Gaming Chronicles: The Unconquered Sun

February 4, 2019

When we were starting this campaign, we were actually just going to do one shot to test it out. We were told to pick a profession from the modern world and a flaw. We would be using these ideas as part of some quick character creation in the Fate system. That was all we were told. I had no idea what to expect from our Game Master because the previous two games had been in Science Fantasy settings. We showed up with our ideas and I was almost immediately called out for creating a character inspired by Veronica Mars. Not that I blame the Game Master for pointing it out but I felt a bit judged and embarrassed at the time. I think now that he might have actually been pointing it out in a fun way. Maybe.

The truth was that I actually stumbled onto it honestly. I had come to the table with the concept of being a private investigator. I had met a few private investigators through the lawyers I knew so I used them and Keith Mars as a template. I did not want to be a Sam Spade type of guy, I wanted to be a guy who dug in the dumpsters for a living and be called to adventure from there. It sounded like a useful profession for whatever we were getting into. The flaw I had picked (which I don’t remember) was rejected out of hand so I floundered for another one. I picked hallucinations and that eventually became hallucinations of my character’s dead father. Put it all together and I was like a male version of season one Veronica Mars. When it came time to pick a name I picked Dean Wyatt after Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt, two characters in the WWE who had crazy person gimmicks.

So, the first session began with our characters getting mysteriously summoned to a reading at a bookstore. The first tip that something was wrong was that it was a reading of a sequel to In The Mouth of Madness. Then the world started to be torn apart by old ones and our characters were killed off one by one by some sort of eldritch demon. That was a bit of a shock. Then we had one on one sessions with the Game Master which helped him sort our characters into classes. I got a warrior class and we were then informed that we were now champions of a Sun God in a forgotten past and that we were ‘exalted’. It was quite a rude awakening and we stumbled at first, learning how to be heroes.

In the following adventure, we pursued eldritch villains and tried to bring magic back to the modern world so that it would not be vulnerable to the Old Ones that destroyed it in our future. I tried to go a different direction from the other two fighters in our party. I chose a rapier instead of a huge fantasy-style weapon. I tried to fight with speed and finesse instead of pure brute strength. I got to pick an animal that was to be my emblem, appearing when I used magic. I got a little bit of flack because I picked a raccoon. I thought it was a fantastic choice considering my character dug through trash for a living. Personally, I have always loved the raccoon aesthetic even though my mom absolutely hates raccoons. We found out that we were actually reincarnations of heroes from the past. It was a whole thing. It was some pretty good high concept fantasy stuff that was hard to figure out in the moment.

I felt like I learned some more during this campaign but I was informed by the Game Master that I was pretty much a non-entity during gameplay. My anxiety made me fade into the background a bit but I contributed when I could. I apparently did not have enough impact on the story. There were too many times that I look back on where I should have acted instead and not worried so much about the consequences. It is a game and I should have had more fun with it. Maybe I would have had more impact on the story that way. I also kind of lost the core of my character through the adventure and became just another sword. In the end, I made the easy choice and asked to be sent back to the altered future to see if my character’s family was still alive.

The thing is, my character did have a lot going on but it was all going on in my head and not coming out of my mouth. I should have acted more instead of just reacting and clinging to a sword as my character’s sole identity. It was not all terrible but I feel like I could have done way better. I was a bit crippled by my relative inexperience and my anxiety. The good thing is that I was slowly strengthening my friendship with my friends. I considered these people friends and not just people I played a game with sometimes. This would be important when I got more comfortable and felt better about actually being in the driver’s seat. It was an important experience and I probably did not blow it as bad as I thought I did. It taught me a lot about what not to do and that’s a good thing even if I look back at that time and cringe.

Game Soundtrack:

Hall and Oates – Private Eyes

This one is a bit on the nose but it is actually one of my favorite songs. In his previous life, Dean was a private investigator. He spent a lot of time watching people in order to get to the truth of things so he could put food on his table. He was dogged when it came to finding information and he dug through people’s trash to go that extra mile.

The Birthday Massacre – Pins and Needles

When Dean’s father was killed, it deadened and hardened his heart. Living became more or less an exercise in going through the motions. When he first started to see his father, he thought he might be going crazy. When the existence of magic was confirmed, he felt like that part of his heart was coming back to life.

Rage Against the Machine – People of the Sun

We were literally playing champions of the sun, dedicated to keeping that sun shining on an intact Earth. In a way, we were raging against a machine. We were rebelling against a society that wanted to banish magic in favor of technology.

Character Questionnaire

What’s their name? Do they have any nicknames?
Dean Wyatt. His father sometimes called him gumshoe after they watched the Carmen Sandiego game show together.

How old are they chronologically, and how old do they appear?
About age 26 but they appear a little older than that. Probably around 30. He works long and late hours and has never shied away from the bottle so he has put some extra mileage on.

Physical characteristics, standard clothing and equipment

Dean has jet black hair, usually slicked back instead of actually managing it or getting it cut regularly. He does shave every day since it is important to make at least a little attempt to look professional while running a private business. He often wears short-sleeve button-up shirts for mobility and laundered slacks but tennis shoes. He also often wears his father’s brown leather jacket because he thinks it looks cool and it conceals the tools of the trade. This includes binoculars, lock picks, both leather and rubber gloves, camera, and sidearm. When shunted back in time, he wears armor stylized to show his new allegiance to the sun god. He carries a short sword.

Emotional characteristics – are they prone to getting angry/laid back/investigative/ despondent etc, personal prejudices?

He is usually pretty even-tempered and investigative and curious. He is willing to put in hard work to get the job done without complaining. Who would listen anyway? He does tend to get emotional when it comes to his dad. He gets angry if anybody puts him down and he gets frantic and distracted when he thinks he’s seen him. Also, due to a couple of years of picking through people’s garbage and catching cheaters, he does not have much faith that people are telling the truth.

Alignment, motivation and character flaws/needs

Dean is Neutral Good. He understands the law but, as a private detective, sometimes he has to bend the law to get the truth for his client. Still, he has never compromised his morals for money and he wants to do good in the world. His motivation is to do right by his father at first. Then, when the supernatural stuff starts happening, his goal is to either find or resurrect his father. He needs absolution from his guilt over his father’s death. He needs to know that he did everything to make it right. This leads to him being rather single-minded and sometimes pushing saving the world down the priority list.

What were the defining moments/events from their history?

The first defining moment was leaving his father’s detective business to try to be his own man. He needed to see what he was made of. The second defining moment was his father’s death which Dean believes happened because Dean wasn’t there to stop it. This led to him seeing his father’s ghost at times. Then, he himself died and was sent back in time to a strange land and tasked with saving the world.

Do they have any secrets? Who have they told, if anyone?

He sees the ghost of his father everywhere and he has told nobody about it, managing to keep it a secret even though it has consumed him. He also harbors intense guilt about the way his father died alone and would never tell anybody that. He also keeps the secrets of his clients very well.

Where are they from? Do they have relevant cultural associations/quirks? How patriotic & nationalistic are they?

He is from Boston but he has no special attachment with the place other than that is where he grew up. He was a white guy with no single point of heritage so there was no influencing culture there. He was a bit of an entertainment geek and he loved music and movies. He is not very patriotic. He believes in the system and in people helping each other but he has no great love for the government.

What was their childhood like?

Dean hated school, hated being pinned down and being talked at. Funny enough, he loved to learn but could not stand doing that while having to sit still. He played baseball with the neighborhood kids but really only did it so he wasn’t alone. His parents were elsewhere most of the time so he found their little home kind of lonely. He was always at somebody else’s house unless the rare family dinner actually occurred.

Who are their parents & siblings, and husband/wife/significant other?

His mother was Quinn Wyatt, former secretary for his father’s business. His father was Harrison Wyatt and he was a private detective and a tough guy. They were pillars of the community. Dean was an only child and never really dated anyone.

What are their major personal beliefs/ideologies?
1. People lie and do it well
2. People are basically good
3. Evil must be punished

Dean Wyatt Begins to Assemble the Murder Board

February 9, 2015

Yes the title here is a reference to Castle.  It turns out that my GM did not kill off my character while I was absent. He’s now tried twice but each time Dean has returned from the brink of death like the fleas that avoid multiple bug bombs.  So I will give Alternate Dean a break and visit Dean Classic who I had all but given up on.  It was great re-engaging the character as I had withdrawn my emotions from him when I thought another author had killed him off.  Don’t worry if this piece is confusing as it is a reflection of how confusing the storyline of our sessions are.  This is basically what I was thinking in the last hour of the session and especially as I drove home listening to J-Pop and BABYMETAL on Pandora.

*       *       *

Dean lay in his bed, once again laying his head down in a foreign land.  This time the team had landed themselves in the middle of a muddy swamp full of frog people which reminded Dean of a Hulk comic he had once read.  Those were frogs right?  The whole thing was strange and had only gotten stranger.  He had been glad to go out and drink with Carlos and Chuck, probably two guys he would never have hung out with.  In fact, he imagined a world where he would have been hired to investigate a cheating Carlos.  While it was true that drinking was pretty pointless, at least it allowed Dean to stop thinking so much for a little.  He also wanted to get away from Mario for a little while.

Now he had nothing keeping him from thinking.  He thought about traveling in the market with Chuck.  He was afraid of the secrets that Chuck was keeping and the threats that might represent in the future.  In retrospect, stopping at the strange empty restaurant had been a mistake.  Magic was still a pretty unsettling phenomenon but he knew that there must still be a cost for such things.  The waiter or maitre d’ had known about the map Chuck had.  What was on that map?  Dean couldn’t remember Chuck or Mario talking about the map before.  If the map was lost, would this help or hurt their mission?  The waiter had spoken with a lot of subtext seemingly meant for Chuck but Chuck hadn’t given the whole story.

The revelation that Mario was or will be or is the Perfect is not exciting or comforting news.  There are too many known unknowns and unknown unknowns attached to that information for Dean’s liking.  The Prophet, apparently an ex-schoolteacher, believed that he himself would change into the Perfect down the line.  Setting the fake in Tira Linga aside, that would mean two potential Perfects.  Since he was always referred to as The Perfect, Dean believed that there could only be one.  He’d seen Highlander and knew how that went down.

The townspeople had sworn fealty to The Perfect and apparently that was a metaphysically binding contract, one that the townspeople might be fulfilling subconsciously.  They had parted around Mario and they had molded the statue in the image of an older Mario.  Who instructed them what The Perfect looked like?  Why was the lower half imprinted with the hands of the worshiping townspeople.  The religious fervor had been frightening and had nearly killed Dean, Tina and had injured several in their team.  If the Prophet could broker a faith like that, he was even more dangerous than Dean had thought.

Mario’s magical display was interesting to say the least.  Dean was grateful to be healed from near death by their compatriot’s magic.  Now there were crops and fish in abundance and hopefully that didn’t destroy the ecosystem of the swamp.  How much power did Mario have?  Dean had never really trusted Mario fully.  Maybe it was the way he freely insulted Dean, maybe it was his admitted criminal past.  Lately Dean had found him more likeable based on their agreement that the Prophet must die.  Handing a powerful lineage and powerful magic to Mario was enough to form a knot in Dean’s stomach the more he thought about it.

There were a lot of questions that still needed to be answered and a lot of ground to cover.  Dean had noticed that during dinner everybody had reacted to Mario’s announcement oddly.  Sure they looked surprised but they also looked unfocused for a moment.  What was that?  Why had it not happened to Dean?  He needed to choose one of them to confront about the incident but that was for another day.  He wondered what they would think of his not being included in their event.

Still, their mission remained the same.  They had to take out the Deathknights, Abyssals, Technocracy and now the Infernals as well.  They were surrounded by enemies and bound together by either destiny or free will.  It was hard to see which one governed the future now more than ever.

This the End, Dean

January 14, 2015

So, apparently my character was deemed unimportant by the GM and he probably killed my character off.  I’ll find out if my character died in the next session supposedly but I don’t have high hopes as he was left very injured and trapped.  So instead of just giving up, I decided to write the character into a different story.   I kind of dig the left turn I came up so I think I might run with it.

*             *            *

Two weeks later and Dean felt like he had barely had a moment of rest.  The cases were piled up and it was a hustle to get the jobs done and the checks collected on time so that the landlord didn’t pay a visit.  Dean would rather she did not know about him sleeping in the office.  It would not take a world class detective to figure it out and Dean didn’t need the hassle.  He rifled through the mini fridge he had snuck in and found nothing edible so it was time to call the chinese place and get something to stop the grumbling.  Then it would be over to the Carmichael residence to tail Mz. Carmichael for a while.  Maybe a search through the dumpsters behind Mr. Smith’s office.  Whatever it takes, however long it takes.

Outside the window, there was Harrison Wyatt and he was staring in with a hollow look in his eyes.  He was dressed in that trenchcoat he bought as a joke and Dean could see the glint of his gun just on the edge of vision.  You probably wouldn’t notice it if you didn’t expect it.  Dean casually slid open the desk drawer and unlocked the lockbox and saw that the gun was still right where he had left it.  Ghost dad couldn’t have the real gun.  Could he?

His dad’s eyes were staring at nothing and everything and he looked like he had been on a twenty four hour stake out.  He still looked the same as when Dean last saw him which was the strangest part.  He should have a caved in skull but his skull was as perfect as ever, only slightly dinged by angry cheating husbands.  Dean didn’t bolt after him but it took all of his self control.  Instead he walked up to the other side of the window and just watched his father through the glass.  Was he going insane or was his dad standing on the other side?  If he wasn’t crazy, what did that mean?

“You have to come with me.  The end is here.”  Harrison said suddenly.  Dean jumped a little and placed a hand against the glass.

“Dad?  What are you talking about?  Where have you been?”

“The other side.”

“Wait, I’m confused.  Are you dead or aren’t you?”

Harrison nodded slowly and then his eyes focused as if he was coming to. “I died.  It seems like forever.”

“It was my fault. I wasn’t there.  I’m sorry, Dad.”  Dean could feel tears starting to form but he could also feel a great weight relieved.  He had wanted to say that out loud for so long but there had nobody there to hear it.  At least, not after Kasey had left.

“Fuck that, Dean.  If you had been there you’d be dead too or who knows.  I don’t blame you.  I wouldn’t have come to get you if I did.”

Dean’s eyes went wide.  “Come to get me?  Did I die and not realize it?”

“No.  You’re not dead.  You will be if you don’t come with me right now.  The sun’s up and I have a feeling they’ll be making their move pretty soon.”

Dean had a lot of questions but he grabbed his coat and walked outside to meet his dad.  After a beat, they shook hands and Dean found himself grinning uncontrollably.  He wasn’t going crazy after all and he wasn’t alone anymore.  “Dad..”

“No time.  Come on.” He started to walk fast and Dean had to push hard to keep up.

“Hold up a little. The living still have to use lungs and muscles.”

“You’re taking this pretty well.”

“Well, I was either crazy or you were a ghost.  Strangely, the latter choice was more acceptable.  I think I can learn to embrace this.”

“Well, get ready for a lot of changes.  Hold here.”

“What do you mean by changes?”  That’s when the screaming started.  The screams seemed to come from every corner of the city and the sky started to grow dark.  There were sounds that Dean could not begin to guess what they were.

“Dad!?  What’s going on?!”

“The end of the world.”

“You’re taking that pretty well.  Should I be concerned?” Dean asked, looking around the alley where they had paused.  It looked like any normal, barely defensible alley.  Dean went to draw his gun and cursed.  It was back in his damn desk drawer and it sounded like the whole world was going to Hell.

“Not if I have the timing right.  Timing is everything, right?” Harrison grinned and checked his watch.  Dean was still not sure how his father had a watch or clothes or anything really.  This was all going so fast and although Dean tried to keep calm, this was insanity.  Maybe it wasn’t too late to just be insane and take some meds or get comitted or something.  While he was thinking about all of this he missed something his father had just said.

“Wait, what did you say!?” Dean shouted, finding it difficult to make himself heard over all the screaming.

His father shook his head and started to repeat himself but the words were lost in a loud static-like sound as a hole seemed to open in the brick wall behind them.  It was too much and Dean started to lose it.  Luckily, this is when his father grabbed a hold of him and shoved him through the strange, massive hole.  Dean’s whole world went black and then an eye-searing white and everything hurt so horribly.  He closed his eyes but it didn’t help at all as the light seemed like it was penetrating his being.  Eventually, after what felt like hours, the pain stopped and the light receded and Dean was standing on a street corner.

“Where are we?” Dean asked, finding that his voice shook a bit.

“I call it Nowhere.  It’s a place in between worlds.”

“In between worlds?  What about my world?  What about our world.”

“Our world has been consumed.  I heard some players are taking some steps to prevent it but we couldn’t rely on that.  This place is our home now.”  Harrison said, lighting up a cigarette.  There was no smell to the smoke.

“Ok.  All of that is confusing but.. what do I do here?” Dean asked.

“Do?  I got you a sweet gig, Dean.  You’re the new Sheriff of Nowhere.”

After Midnight with Dean Wyatt

November 27, 2014

I saw his face again and for the umpteenth time I woke up in a cold sweat.  He died.  He was dead.  It was my fault for not being there.  It would never not be my fault.  It will always be my fault.  I reached over and took a sip of water from an almost spent water bottle.  There was no going back to sleep now.  Besides, I needed to take a piss.  I climbed out of bed and almost immediately bumped into his desk.  My desk.  It’s my desk now.  I reached up and pulled the chain and blinked in the sudden light of a bare bulb.

I trudged to the bathroom and did my business.  When I stepped back out, I swore again to get somebody to clean the place.  At the very least it hadn’t really been cleaned since before he died.  With mom gone, it could have been years since it was cleaned.  His pictures and his achievements were still up on the walls.  The only thing of mine was my old high school diploma but he had hung that up.  He had been more proud of it than I ever was.

I had thought of packing it all up and moving it out more than once.  Diamond Investigations had been there for ages though.  If something operates in the same place for decades, is it not an institution?  It seemed a crime to let it all go even if it was just so I could set up shop elsewhere.  Dad wouldn’t have given up the fight so easily.

He created Diamond back in the day to put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads.  He always said he picked the name because it sounded classy.  I think he picked it to honor all lof those baseball games he and Pop Pop shared.  The diamond should have been green and not blue but there was no way to change Dad’s mind once it was set.

There was a little bit of coffee left in a cup from the afternoon and I sipped it with a grimace.  I hate coffee but I need it so I drink it under protest.  Besides, if I have to have it around to offer clients then I should probably drink it now and then.  It tasted no better after being left out so long.  It didn’t taste any worse either.  I pulled out my desk chair and sat down.  Since there was little hope of going back to sleep anytime soon, it would be better to look through files.  At least it was more productive than tossing and turning for an hour.

The Edwards case was pissing me off.  The husband was cheating.  The wife said she was sure of it. After two days, I was sure of it too but the slippery asshole proved elusive.  I just needed one picture and it would be payday.  Ther had to be a way to get it done.  Dad would have said what he always said: “Anything it takes, just get it done.”  Which was how I broke my in middle school.  I learned lessons and grew some character that day but I definitely got that Frisbee off the roof.

I looked to my left and there he was sitting in one of the client chairs.  Luke Wyatt, my dad.  It was as if the last few months had been a dream and he was alive.  He was right there but he wouldn’t look at me.  He was not looking at me.

“Dad?”

He stood up and started to walk out.  It reached out but he was already out of reach.  I stood up and followed but he was moving so fast.  I knew Dad had entertained dreams of playing in the minors and had run track in high school but this was ridiculous.

“Dad!?”

He still did not turn.  I followed him as fast as I could to the door but between pushing the door open and climbing the steps to street level, I lost him.  I stood in the middle of the sidewalk at a loss in my socks.  There was no sign of him.  There was no sign of anyone.

He was dead.  Wasn’t he?

Dean Wyatt

October 16, 2014

This is yet another tabletop rpg character that I’ve created for a relatively new campaign.  Our characters have been flung into the past to avert an apocalypse that our characters died in.  So we play modern characters in a fantasy setting.

*                          *                               *

Dean Wyatt grew up like any other boy in the United States.  He went to school and hated it, he played video games, watched television and played outside when his parents decided he had done the first two too much.  Baseball was the neighborhood game and so that’s what Dean was stuck with.  It wasn’t so bad.  In fact, it was pretty fun most of the time.  His dad, Harrison, was the owner and sole detective of Diamond Investigations.  His mom, Quinn, was the company secretary.  All that meant was that the food and shelter was provided by snapping pictures of infidelity, finding missing persons and other minor feats of investigation.  It wasn’t Sam Spade or anything but it was a living.

When Dean dropped out of college, his father was quick to take him into the business while Dean went the community college route.  During this time, Dean learned everything he could from his father mostly by driving his dad around on the job.  When he graduated from community college, he quit the business even though his dad was sure Dean had a knack for the job.  After months of striking out on his own, tragedy struck when his dad’s secretary called.  Dad’s body had been found in an alleyway beaten to death.

Dean felt guilty for leaving the business and abandoning his only living family.  He took control of Diamond Investigations and picked up the caseload with a vengeance.  He started to spend all of his time out in the field.  He couldn’t really sleep well anyway and when he did, he often dreamed of conversations with his father.  Eventually he started to see his father everywhere he went during waking hours.  He started to doubt that his father had ever died as he desperately embraced the belief in his father’s mysterious survival.  This belief was reinforced by discovering that magic is real and the belief that his father is tied up in this whole business with the Unconquered Sun.

Now he travels with the other Solar Exalted under the dubious leadership of Tina.  So far things seem to be going alright even though the group has been caught out of their element numerous times.  He hopes that completing the mission for the Unconquered Sun will reunite him with his family.


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