The descriptions follow a standard format. The NPC's game statistics are explained, followed by a story that tells how the character gained his powers, what he has done since then and numerous other valuable pieces of information. Finally, there might be some additional material to use as you see fit; an example is the newspaper article about Mark Chateau.
If you have good NPCs with all the info that is required for inclusion in this series, please e-mail them to me. I will put them into the next installment of this series, and naturally give full credit to you.
Good/Bad Things: He has only one Good Thing: Looking Really Impressive. This is due to his enormous size and weight. He is about three meters (10 feet) tall and weighs some 666 kilograms (roughly 1470 lbs).
Story: Bryce Tanner was a normal, though quite overweight, human being before his microwave oven exploded and exposed him to fatal radiation. This accident did not kill him. Instead, it gave him unbelievable powers. Bulk has since then used his powers for both good and evil. He is currently wanted by several foreign governments, and Chicago's mayor has vowed to nuke him on sight.
Why? After a battle between Bulk and the Invaders from Another Dimension the city was declared a federal disaster zone. Here is a short quotation from CNN reporter Steve Katcher's bestselling book I Was There Too (he was following the scene from a helicopter): "Will you look at that, folks! The Sears Tower just whizzed past our helicopter! Are you getting it on tape, Bill? Look, it's gonna hit that huge...
Why did the oven explode? It was sabotaged by his ex-wife, who was a KGB mole sent to spy upon his husband's work. Recent investigations have revealed that she was supposed to marry another man who was working with the gamma bomb project. Due to some mix-up she ended up with Bulk who worked at the Mama Gamma's pizza restaurant. Apparently she became frustrated after 10 years of secretly copying pizza recipes. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
Good/Bad Things: Female bystanders who have seen him in action have said that "the man had a lot of Rugged Charm." Because of his training he is Very Familiar With All Kinds Of Weapons. The years of mercenary life and crime-fighting have left him Quite Wealthy, but instead of investing the money he uses it to expand his formidable arsenal. He also Speaks Many Foreign Languages including French, Vietnamese, Hebrew and Spanish.
Story: Mark Chateau was born and raised in New Orleans. He completed US Army Special Forces training in the 1960s and was subsequently sent to Vietnam. There he participated in numerous highly classified operations. After the war he stayed with the Green Berets until Delta Force came into being in 1977. Chateau joined the new unit and later was one of the men chosen for Operation Eagle Claw. After the failed rescue attempt he resigned from military service.
Mark Chateau's activities in the 1980's are not very well known. The CIA says he trained Israeli paratroopers and may even have participated in some of their operations. One analyst suggested that Chateau might have been associated with the mysterious 269 Counterterrorist Unit.
In 1990 Chateau reappeared in the USA with an Israeli bride. Their marriage ended tragically two months later when his wife was shot during a bank robbery. The three drug addicts went berserk when an off-duty cop tried to stop them. They killed four people and wounded six before the NYPD SWAT team took them out. Police psychologists believe that this event made Chateau slightly insane and obsessively vengeful. Since then he has assassinated more criminals than anyone can count. They were often but not always involved in the drug trade. He has so far avoided being arrested. His file classifies him as "heavily armed and extremely dangerous."
Mr Chateau is also indirectly responsible for the banning of a popular comic book series called The Punisher. Dr Philip A. Ortiz-Spencer, a TV psychologist, claimed that he had obviously got the idea by reading those books. As a result, all unsold issues were confiscated and burned. The publisher complained, but they lost the resulting court case. Now all The Punisher back issues are hot items on the underground market. Even battle-hardened L.A. South Central teenagers consider them to be a status symbol. There is also a new comic book called The True Story of Mark Chateau. Every new issue has the main character doing exactly what the Punisher did in his books, the only difference being that this series does not have the Comics Code seal and thus it can portray violence far more graphically. The publisher, CD Comics, claims that they are paying a certain percentage of the profits to Mr Chateau, but the claim is probably only a way of boosting sales.
There he comes. I got to say that he doesn't look a lot like this '78 US Army picture. Of course he's older now, but there's something else. Cosmetic surgery perhaps? But he is in fine shape even though he's approaching fifty. I wish I'd look half as fit.
K: Pleased to meet you, Mr Chateau. The trip was quite comfortable, though your men really made sure that I lost my directions.
C: I'm sorry, but it had to be that way. I'm sure you understand.
K: Of course I do. What I don't understand is why you called me. I don't suppose you did it for publicity's sake?
C: No. I just wanted to tell my side of the story. That might sound a tired cliche, but it's true. Another reason was that maybe some criminals who read this interview would think twice about what they do. If even one stops his activities, this has been worth the trouble.
K: Do you really think criminals are going to call it quits because of an interview? Isn't that a little far-fetched?
C: Maybe, maybe not. They know what will happen if we ever cross paths. I know for a fact that at least one major drug importer closed down his operation and escaped to Argentina when he learned that I was onto him. His problem was that I found out where his new mansion was located. It was a perfect opportunity to test one of my little toys which you are going to see soon.
K: So you just killed him?
C: And about a dozen of his bodyguards. The bodies were kinda hard to count.
K: Was that right? I mean, he did stop drug smuggling.
C: It didn't help any of his victims. And don't you think he donated all his money to drug clinics and such. He was going to keep it.
K: Where is that money now? Did you take it?
C: Yes. Half of it went to charity; half to finance my campaign.
K: Are you any better than the criminals you kill? Just how many have you killed, by the way? The police either don't know or they aren't telling.
C: In that particular case I was at least 50% better than the bad guy. I only took half the money. Besides, this planet is suffering from overpopulation anyway, so if I take out some of the most despicable men there are, the police should thank me, instead of hunting me down. As for the body count... I have never tried to keep track of things like that. It would drive you insane pretty quickly.
K: Why are you doing this? I know that you have lost your wife to crime, but hasn't she been avenged in full a long time ago?
There is a pause. I begin to fear that I might have asked my last question. Then Chateau answers.
C: This is not because of my wife anymore. It might have given me the inspiration in the beginning, but the reason I do it because no-one else can. The police have too many rules and too few officers. They can hardly cope with small-time criminals, and the big fish slip through their net with impunity. Ordinary citizens cannot do anything because the American justice system is weighted against the victims. If John Q. Public would try to follow my footsteps, he would either be killed or jailed for life. I have the training and equipment to fight back. Is that the answer you were looking for?
We are walking towards a huge hangar. The helicopter that brought me in must be there, because I didn't hear it take off. There's nothing to give me clues as to the location of this base. I can see at least three guards going around the place. They do not openly display weapons but I'm sure they have more than enough firepower to stop a small army. Now we're going in.
K: Holy...! What is that thing?
C: That's the plane I mentioned to you earlier. It's an IA 58A Pucara counter-insurgency bird. You see those openings in the fuselage? They hide two 20mm guns and four 7.62mm machine guns. The hardpoints can carry about 3500 pounds of ordnance and/or extra fuel. On that mission I talked about the plane had a centerline tank and two 882lb GP bombs. The bombs messed up that mansion pretty good, and the guns took care of a helicopter that tried to take off.
K: It seems to be a two-seat aircraft. Did you have a co-pilot?
C: Actually I was on the ground. After the bombing run I went in and took care of the survivors. I can fly the plane, if necessary, but I have more experienced pilots who are equally committed to the cause.
K: What about the Argentinian air force? Surely they object to Americans flying around their airspace with a warplane armed to teeth?
C: First, you should know that Pucaras are manufactured in Argentina, and I didn't steal this one. Second, they like drug dealers about as much as I do. That incident didn't make it to the papers. I have some good friends down there.
We are still in the hangar. He has shown me his civil helicopter and a business jet. He also told me that he has a Hercules cargo plane stashed "somewhere else."
C: You have seen almost my entire air force. There's still one Aerospatiale attack helicopter, which I keep in a very secure place, and then this.
K: ...It's a...it's a fighter jet! Where can you buy one of those?
C: I'd rather not tell. There are at least 1500 F-5E IIs around the world; let's just say that one country was happy to sell me this one.
K: F-5? So this is an American plane?
C: Yes. Northrop called the first model Freedom Fighter, which I liked better, but Tiger sounds good as well. It can take NATO standard missiles and bombs. The only time my pilots have flown it for real it was carrying two Sidewinder AAMs and three drop tanks. Of course the guns are always there, but my man didn't need them. A Learjet is fast and flashy, but helpless in air combat. He brought back the other missile.
Mr Chateau and I talked some more about his equipment. I saw a huge collection of firearms, from handguns to machine guns, and it was only his local arsenal. Readers, you might have a hard time believing your eyes, but every word you read is true. This country must be going to hell when wanted criminals can have a bigger arsenal than some foreign armies. He even has tanks! I know nothing about them, but here's the list anyway:
This final chapter is being written at my home. The return trip was very professionally executed; I still have no idea of where I was. When I accepted to meet Mr Chateau and talk to him, I expected something else than what actually happened. He didn't seem to be insane or irrational. I have seldom met calmer people. Of course his methods are unacceptable, but to him and his army they make perfect sense. And it must be admitted that they lead to results.
Mark Chateau might be one of the most wanted men in the country, but it didn't seem to concern him at all. He has declared war to crime, and being a former soldier he knows that men get killed in a war. He intends to keep on going as long as he can. That kind of dedication is frightening. I cannot help but think what kind of results he would get if worked for the government. Maybe he really is working for some ultrasecretive agency. An unnerving thought. I look out of the window wondering if he is already pursuing some unlucky criminal. Thw world will probably find out in due course.