Austin RPG Exploration Group
This is roughly what Don and I came with for my character a while ago...
(I don’t have the Character sheet on me atm)
Step 1: Your Backstory – 5 important events from your character’s past.
1-. A bold pioneer of the fairer sex into the marvelous wonders of the new science, Victoria Connors, nee LaCroix, hails from the heart of the Grand Old South, Richmond Virginia! The LaCroix family were by no means rich, but they were far from poor. Victoria had two older brothers, John being the oldest, and 2 other sisters, both married off to well to do families. Victoria always hung around her father and his studies of books and science. (Think Jane Austin?? Pride and Prejudice kinda)
2- The Connors are a prestigious old money family who live lives of distinction and leisure. Victoria’s scientific pursuits were positively droll!
3- Early in her university career, Victoria became enamored with a young rake by the name of Henry Connors. He was the first man Victoria had ever met who was of comparable intellect who wasn’t a stuffed shirt, he came from a good family, was handsome to boot, and best of all loved the new science as much as she! Henry was good at putting large things together, and Victoria, who was good at the fine tuning and intricate parts, was the perfect complement to Henry.
4-. Victoria LaCroix became Victoria Connors soon enough and the happy couple were given high stations at the University. A most unusual project came in, a request from Hellestromme Industries to design a marvelously complicated filtering mechanism with an elaborate set of controls. Victoria is always behind the scenes… she doesn’t need recognition, and doesn’t like it. She let he husband get most of the recognition for devices she made.
5- Using a new ghost steel mesh that Victoria developed, the two machined a new mechanical wonder, but neither Henry nor Victoria knew how it was supposed to be controlled for the mechanism had no clockwork processing module. Henry became particularly obsessed about it and looked into it. Victoria in the meantime was working overtime to get it done by the deadline because she was the only one who understood the complicated machining techniques necessary to make it.
Henry sent for Victoria one night via a servant, who informed her it was urgent. Alas, when Victoria arrived at his side in his study, the window was broke and Henry had been slain by a pistol shot!
A year has gone by since that day. In the meantime a family trust has been established, which provides Victoria with a good income. Her family is very traditional and don’t like the idea of women having direct control over their finances or wealth, so the trustee has tight control over the money.
Step 2: Your Goals
1- To learn the truth of what Victoria and Henry were working on. Henry apparently died for it, so it probably pisses you off to no end you don’t even know why.
It has taken you a while to get any truth of the matter but you’ve been working on the side to hire a Pinkerton detective to find out who this assistant was. On the sly, the detective physically infiltrated the university and stole records for you.
The Pinkerton has come back with some employment records, and you know there was a woman who was Henry’s assistant for a short time, but her name and other such useful information has been stricken from the records. Literally they are paper records so the name and anything really useful has been blotted out with ink years ago and the paper steamed, so even sprinkling graphite over it or holding it up to a bright light doesn’t help. It’s like someone, possibly the woman herself, wanted to disappear.
But you found one useful scrap in the whole thing: a receipt for a one way train ticket from Virginia to Santa Angela, Texas, tendered and paid in gold dust. It’s in the bottom of the file, loose, like someone dropped it in there accidentally. It is about three years old.
A train ticket going that far is fairly expensive, but you manage to find the money somehow, and then we’ll pick up at the first session.
2- Victoria is very heart broken over the loss of her beloved husband. I want her to be able to move on, and be open to loving again. If she doesn’t she will be an unhappy widow for the rest of her life.
Step 3: Your Secrets – One is a secret that your character knows, The other is a secret that concerns your character, but not one they are aware of.
1- One of them might be that Henry did manage to leave you a note in his study that the killer didn’t find, but it was incomplete. The note reads “My dearest wife whom I so love and cherish, I must regretfully tell you that if you are finding this, I have been undone by an evil hand! I have a former research assistant, a bold woman like yourself, and I have learned from her a most horrible truth-“ and it stops there. He never got to finish it.
2- The other secret you don’t know, but highly suspect, is that his assassin worked for Hellestromme. And you were only spared because Henry begged for your life, pleading your ignorance.
Step 4: Your Relationships – Pick 3 people your character knows. Two of them are friendly or at least neutral. One is hostile, possibly to the point of the Enemy Hindrance.
1- Betsy Lacroix is Victoria’s cousin whom she knew well as a child, but her parents died of terrible consumption when she was 10 years old and she wound up in custody of distant relatives, an aunt, on her mother’s side (the non-Lacroix side). Betsy’s life has just gotten worse over the years, and the last you heard from her she was going to get a job as a maintenance worker in the water purification plant in Texas that you had built the parts for! At last, you were going to have a spy on the inside to tell you the horrible truth Henry died for! However you have not heard from her since she went to live with her Aunt.
2- Enemy: the mysterious figure out to stop you from learning any more. Victoria in the face of the public, has always been Henry’s wife… not really connected to the things he would make, though on the back end they may have been more her invention than his. She would have been his assistant, but not been able to take an official position at the university herself.
3- A neutral person: This is an unwanted but well-meaning gentleman caller perhaps, a rich young man with no day job and nothing constructive to do. The guy means well but it’s just too soon so you just sort of keep him at arm’s length and wish he would go away… He probably sees her as a bird with a broken wing that he wants to help fix, and when Victoria looks at him it only reminds her of the love she lost.
Step 5: Your Worst Nightmare – What frightens your character at his core, and really motivates him?
She fears that if she digs too deep she may have the same fate as her late husband.
Pictures of what she would be wearing: