Brainstorming the Starting Cast of Characters

The initial cast of characters for One Shot RPG was brainstormed by focusing on a strong class fantasy. Over 25 different options were created with the intent of narrowing the list down to five ideas.

Time for a Brainstorm

I discussed my brainstorming process in a previous article. For this round of ideas, I decided that I wouldn’t stop until I had at least 25, which is five times the amount of ideas I plan on picking. I felt like this amount would provide enough options to narrow it down to a good, strong cast of starting characters.


The topic for this brainstorm is characters for sci-fi and horror tabletop RPG one shots. I also added with a focus on class fantasies. The importance of creating characters based on a strong class fantasy was outlined when talking about gameplay goals.

The Ideas

  1. Chameleon person with corrosive tongue
  2. Scythe goat / ram animal person
  3. Melee robot bodybuilder
  4. The artillery
  5. Fallen captain, female
  6. Insect controller
  7. Cured scum
  8. Priest / crusader
  9. Bird person with fierce claws - venom on claws
  10. Exo-suit - punches, kicks - athlete
  11. Sci-fi assassin
  12. Chainsaw
  13. Riot police officer
  14. Electricity controller / zapper
  15. Corporate R&D
  16. Rock monster support
  17. Living metal blades for arms
  18. Extreme body mods / built in gadgets
  19. Thorned plant monster
  20. Beast master - engineered lifeforms
  21. Ex-military merc
  22. Goggle wearing drone pilot
  23. Guns, lots of guns
  24. Flamethrower for an arm
  25. Living metal brute
  26. Rogue AI robot

Initial Thoughts

Chameleon Person

This would be an animal person based off of a chameleon. They’d have a long tongue that is coated in corrosive material.

Scythe Goat Person

An animal person in the form of a goat, wielding a futuristic scythe. This would be a reference to Baphomet, a figure often associated with the occult. An homage to Baphomet would add to the horror feel. This idea may be a bit too gimmicky for the serious tone of the setting. Scythes, however are awesome and more characters should use them.

Melee Robot Bodybuilder

A bodybuilder who was so bent on achieving perfection they replaced their body with a machine. This backstory mimics some of the motivations of the scummed.

The Artillery

A hot tempered individual that wields a large artillery weapon. This idea came up in the previous article.

Female Fallen Captain

A strong female leader who lost their unit. Now she’s trying to figure out what happened and why by investigating scum.

Insect Controller

Uses special chemicals, sounds, and devices to control swarms of insects. Would also make an interesting concept for a scummed. Imagine a swarm of flesh-eating insects reducing a target to a skeleton.

Cured Scum

A person who was cured of scum. I don’t think this concept is going be chosen; it doesn’t feel right to create a playable character like this so early in the franchise.

Priest / Crusader

An interesting topic to discuss is what religion looks like 300 years into our future. Is organized religion a thing? I’ve been mentioning that scum fighters are labeled as heretics. Will the concept of religion, zealotry, and heresy make it into the final product?

Bird Person with Venomous Claws

An animal person based on a bird with fierce claws, talons, and beak. Their claws drip with venom.

Exo-Suit Athlete

An athlete adorning an exo-suit, perhaps due to disability. They would fight by enhanced punches, kicks, and tackles.

Sci-fi Assassin

What would a sci-fi assassin character look like? Invisibility cloaks? Clothes that achieve total silence?


Character who uses a giant chainsaw as a weapon. This would be a strong class fantasy. The character would need a lot of further development as the prompt mentions nothing about personality.

Riot Police Officer

In the largest incident to date involving a scummed, the monster persuaded a group of people to riot. It was a very ugly scene with casualties on both sides and many injuries. This officer questioned the mob’s motivations and eventually discovered the scummed behind it.

Electricity Controller / Zapper

Uses machines and implants to control the flow of electricity, shocking the enemy. This concept is on the more “science fantasy” side of sci-fi.

Corporate R&D

One of the ruling corporations of Earth hired this person to research scum with the eventual goal of profiting from it. Their official stance is that scum doesn’t exist, of course. This character works in the shadows.

Rock Monster Support

A denizen of Mars that is completely stone, but supports the party instead of fighting on the front lines. Goes against the stereotype that the mostly stone people are brutes.

Living Metal Blades For Arms

A member of the fourth race with blades for arms. I think it’s too early to introduce the fourth race into the cast of playable characters.

Extreme Body Mods

This person has modded their body to the extreme. They fight with different body attachments.

Thorned Plant Monster

The race from Mars that’s on the plant side of the scale. Covered in sharp thorns, attacks by physical combat. Goes against the stereotype that plant people are peace loving.

Beast Master - Engineered Lifeforms

A common fantasy class, with a sci-fi twist. A person who has made their own obedient life form that is used for combat. Having a pet would add mechanical complexity to the character.

Ex-Military Merc

Soldier who questioned their orders and left the army. Now working as a mercenary.

Goggle Wearing Drone Pilot

The example character from the previous article. The use of drones would add a lot of complexity to the rules.

Guns, Lots of Guns

This character would carry around guns of all shapes and sizes. A strong class fantasy.

Flamethrower Arm

After having their arm amputated, this character has replaced their limb with a flamethrower. The character’s background could delve into why the arm was lost. Flamethrower wielders are a strong class fantasy.

Living Metal Brute

Large, hulking member of the fourth alien species.

Rogue AI Robot

Was once an AI for some to be defined purpose. Now it has gained free will and is wandering the solar system.

While elaborating on these character ideas, I’ve come to a realization that I need to make some more decisions about the world and setting. I need to expand upon the alien species, such as what they look like and their abilities. There’s the issue of robots, androids, body modifications, and how the Internet plays into it. I also haven’t decided about weaponry. The next articles will focus on making these decisions.