System: Victorian Steampunk (homebrew)
Class: (fake) Medium
Backstory: Katie was born in London in 1841 to a wealthy merchant family. She and her brother Charlie were distant enough in age to enjoy a relatively pleasant childhood free of each other. As is common with girls her age and of her standing, she was sent to boarding school to learn French, music, embroidery, art, and etiquette. In short, to become the perfect wife to another wealthy merchant (or minor noble.)
Unfortunately for her parents, things did not go as planned. While at school, she became close friends with Sarah, a Sensitive, who opened her eyes to the world of mysticism and spirits. When Sarah died of pneumonia at 16, Katie was devastated, and became determined to become a medium and mystic to renew the friendship and aid others in their grief at loosing loved ones. This was the first time she ever showed signs of thinking for herself, or of being anything but a perfect future wife.
Braving her parents’ wrath, she apprenticed herself to Madame Sheba, a famous medium from Egypt (nee Margaret Smith of Cornwall) who taught her that people need props and mysticism to really believe the truth in the readings. Katie: young, open-faced, and impressionable, made a convincing assistant for several years until Madame retired and she inherited the lot.
Forgoing the turban and bad accent, Katie made a killing as herself… A gently-bred girl telling people what they wanted or needed to hear to recover from their grief, with just enough showmanship to make them take it seriously. Her brother, Charlie, acts as her solicitor and handles her finances.
Comments: Katie is in my “regret” pile. Steampunk, specifically Victorian Steampunk, is very much my baby. When David (also being partial to the setting) suggested trying to run a game, I was all over it. I also had a strong idea of all the potential sources he would be pulling from (from Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to Lovecraft and Robert Howard, with a bit of Alan Moore thrown in for good measure) so I picked an occult dabbler (who, even if she didn’t have actual occult power, thought she did) while the rest of the group went Sky Captain and went for the “hard science”. Add to it personal issues between certain of the players, and the game turned very much into “them vs me.” Katie was considered useless (she wasn’t), frivolous (granted), and silly (again, yes), so was left entirely out of any actions or RP that were not strong-armed by the GM to include me.
In short, I didn’t have fun. Which made me sad, because I adored the story, the setting, and the character.