A few things up front. There are a few requirements for each PC.
- You must be opposed to the German National Soviets aka Nazis. Not just lukewarm. You – for a whole host of potential reasons – have to dislike Nazis. This should not be interpreted as a ban on German characters. There were lots of Germans who hated the Nazis. In fact, certain segments of the German population had more reason to hate Nazis than many of other nationalities.
- You have to have a good reason to be at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Again, there are a ton of reasons.
A few things need to be present in the party. Every PC does not need to have every one of these. But the party should have ALL of them.
- Multiple Languages: Language matters in this game. Understanding overheard conversations. Reading foreign notes. We won’t be using that old conceit that the bad guys write their secret communications in English. I’m not gonna force you guys to do the translation. If one of you reads the language, you get the text in English.
- Religious Faith: It will not initially give any supernatural benefit. But it will be helpful in many situations. I don’t much care which religious tradition is represented. Representing multiple traditions is fine as well (with multiple PCs, mind you).
- Ability to drive/fly: Get-a-ways will be required a lot. The ability to drive a jeep, steer a boat, or even fly a plane will come in handy.
Potential PC Concepts
NOTE: These are concepts. Take what you like, leave what you don’t. Mix. Match. Create something new. These are just to help get creative juices flowing and give you an idea what kind of characters will fit well into the setting. This is also just a start. I’ll add more as I think of them. I’ll also cut ones as they (or something too similar too them) get claimed.
Italian Catholic Priest
The Pope isn’t going far enough. He still thinks diplomacy will work. But you’ve seen the signs. Mussolini is a fascist dictator as well. But with German troops rolling into the Rhineland, this Hitler joker is going to be 10 times as dangerous.
Black American Athlete
Boycott? The Olympics? Look, I know the Nazis hate blacks. My skin doesn’t make me stupid. But I don’t get a lot of love back home either and this is my chance to be a part of history. I’m not marrying a German, I’m beating him at his own game on his own turf.
Staid British Lord
Chamberlain is an idiot. You lost a relative in the great war. And mark your words, war is coming again. But you put down the damn Germans as a country once before and you will damn well do it again if you have to. Roll up your sleeves, boys, the British are going to have to stand up to yet another bully on the continent.
French Police Inspector
Germans on the Rhine! Again. Your family is from the North of France. You still see the damage the shelling did twenty years ago. And now the Germans, forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, are back on the doorstep. And the French government does NOTHING? The fools will loose this country to the Prussians yet.
You gotta see for yourself. There’s an argument going on back home. And this Hitler fella and how he’s handling his Jewish problem is smack dab in the middle of it. You’ve heard rumors. But you’re a reported… and a good one. You’ll head over to the Olympics and maybe snoop around a bit. Figure out what’s real and what’s smoke.
Riefenstahl is a genius, no doubt. And her conversion from storyteller to propagandist has been breath taking. But the propaganda she (and the Nazis) spew about Communism is just flat wrong. And if they are lying about your government, what else are they lying about and getting away with? You’ll uncover it. And tell the truth. Mother Russia has produced her fair share of talented propagandist as well.
Father has a fortune. And the busy old man keeps earning more. It is your duty to spend it. But that is becoming hard. Europe is getting tense. People are looking sideways at each other. And you’ve seen it as well. Many of your good bohemian German friends have disappeared. Perhaps it might be fun to fight the Nazis.
Flamboyant British Intellectual
Well, the Nazis certainly are pretty, aren’t they? But not really my type. Too much self-loathing. Besides, they are destroying culture. All the best German writers have fled. And Wagner? Really, all that sturm und drang? They just need to get laid. I know more than one fellow poof willing to help out, if it didn’t mean risking your life.
Not all these westerners are fools. Some few have recognized the wisdom of traditional oriental medicine. You are here with a national Olympic team, perhaps a single athlete or small group. And you keep them in peak competing spirit and form. These Nazis make you nervous. You’ve heard of a small group investigating Tibet and asking strange questions.
Austrian Race Car Driver
You would rather be on a track. But you’ll take the good money driving VIPs around Berlin. You’ll also keep your head down. You grandmother was Jewish – or so you’ve heard – she died in the Great War before you were born. But that enough for those Nazis… the hint that maybe you are 1/4 Jew. You would rather they not get that hint.
Character Elements NOT Encouraged
OK, a few things have come up in rudimentary discussion. These are elements you would really have to come up with the most amazing story ever written to get me to approve. In other words, I’m saying NO.
- Ex-Nazi: There are not a lot of ex-Nazi party members by 1936. Those few who had issues were killed in 1934 anyway. Plus, it doesn’t fit with some thematic things I’m gonna try.
- Farm boy: i.e. the “Luke Skywalker” character. Why would he be in one of the biggest cities in the world at the biggest event of the year? And why would the OSS recruit him?
- FX: NO starting character will have an FX background. No ‘father was a vampire hunter’ or ‘member of a secret sect of mystical thugees’. FX will come. We won’t start with them.
- Mobility Handicap: The eye patch and/or one-armed man are staples of spy pulps… even among the good guys. But chases are important. Being wheelchair bound won’t work. This is pre-AWDA. Ramps are not everywhere.