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Ritchie Jenson, Merchant Avatar and Dipsomancer, teaches the skills of dead men.
Name: Richard Klaus Jenson
Description: Ritchie is, to all appearances, a man well worse the wear for drink. His sandy blond hair is unkempt and dirty, he smells like a distillery and he often has trouble remembering what he did last night. If you can make the trip to his run-down farmhouse outside of Dillworth, MN, you'll find out what makes him one of the most sought-after tutors of the Occult Underground.
Richard Klaus Jenson is a man of mixed German/Norwegian descent who was born in northwestern Minnesota, raised a Lutheran, and has always been consumed with the idea that he could learn everything. While he was a brilliant student, his mother's death at an early age and his father's failing health prevented him from leaving home to go to school. Still, he was an avid reader and he spent his free time and spare money on home corrospondance courses on a variety of subjects.
When Ritchie's father finally died of the terminal cancer that had been consuming him for almost a decade, he felt adrift. He was too old, he felt, to go to college and too smart for small town living. Like many in similar situations, he fell to drink.
Binge drinking for Ritchie opened the doors of perception. Instead of drinking to forget (which is what he'd set out to do), he started drinking to learn things. After a particularly epic bar crawl lasting the better part of a week, Ritchie fell into the mystic school of Dipsomancy.
Ritchie's early career as a dipsomancer involved taking many risks to learn a great many hidden facts about the world around him. Learning there were others out there with occult powers was particularly shocking. After several nasty run-ins Ritchie developed an acquaintanceship with a Merchant Avatar named Even Steven that started out as a merchant/customer relationship and eventually deepened into Ritchie becoming Steven's legbreaker, bodyguard and student.
Even Steven was involved with what some in the Merchant Underground call the Brain Trade; he dealt primarily in skills, memories and intangible mental attributes. As someone who had always craved knowledge and self-improvement, Ritchie found Steven's stock-in-trade a fascinating addition to the drunken divination and demon summoning he'd been doing prior to their having met. When Ritchie acquired a significant dipsomantic vessel, he decided to set up shop on his own.
The Dillworth Vocational Institute is the dingy, run-down farm house that Ritchie's father left him. Viscious dogs and a reputation as an unseemly drunk keep the neighbors away. Bound demons and supernatural wards keep uninvited guests of a more serious stripe from entering without permission. Ritchie Jenson alternately explains to his neighbors (the ones who talk to him, anyway) that he is a "consultant" and that he has "sales trips" to Fargo, Minneapolis, Ames, Sioux Falls and other regional cities. They don't believe a word of it, and confidently expect the bank to foreclose on his house any day now.
Demons are Ritchie Jenson's real stock and trade, and on any given night he might be summoning one and shoving it in a bottle, Soul Sipping its skills and memories, arranging a sale on the Brain Trade network (where he is considered reliable and formidible, unlike everywhere else) puttering around in his back shed with his whiskey still or drunkenly lying around watching sports commentary shows.
Obsession: Poisoning the Body to Improve the Mind (Dipsomancy)
Wound Points: 55
Rage Stimulus: Interfering Know-It-Alls
Fear Stimulus: Going Crazy (Self) Losing his mind means losing everything he's worked so hard for.
Noble Stimulus: People seeking self-improvement
Body: 55 (Toxic Sponge)
Drunken Stunts (gen'l athletics) 25%, Bar Brawler 35%
Speed: 50 (Tipsy)
Racecar Driver 45%, Dodge 25%, Initiative 15%, Military Sniper 45%
Mind: 65 (Dimmed Brilliance)
General Knowledge 50%, Occult Secrets 45%, Notice 35%, Dead Mens' Secrets 25%, Professional Mechanic 25%, Construction Work 15%, Physician 15%, German 15%, French 15%, Norwegian 15%, Russian 15%, Hebrew 15%, Hellenic Greek 15%, Liturgical Latin 15%, Mandarin 15%, etc.
Soul: 80 (Tannic and Full Bodied)
Dipsomancy 55% Avatar: The Merchant 55%, Charm 25%, Lie 30%, Aura Sight 15%, Distill Fine Whiskey 30%
Violence: 3 Hard/1 Failed
Unnatural: 5 Hard/3 Failed
Helplessness: 3 Hard/4 Failed
Isolation: 2 Hard/0 Failed
Self: 7 Hard/3 Failed
Notes: Ritchie has any number of skills, but due to the way he makes his living these can vary a great deal at any one time. GMs should use their discretion. "Dead Men's Secrets" is a collection of useful trivia and blackmail material that Ritchie has acquired from the deceased about local figures in his home town and various figures in the Occult Underground.
[b]How to use Ritchie Jenson[/i]: Ritchie Jenson can be alternately used as clue machine and source of advice (though as he is an avatar of the Merchant, it'll cost) or as a source of information for the PCs enemies.
Basilisk | profile | Mar 20, 08 | 5:14 pm
This is pretty awsome Basilisk (:
Momus | profile | Mar 20, 08 | 7:37 pm
Thanks for the compliment, Momus.
Basilisk | profile | Mar 22, 08 | 9:59 am
Here's an idea: Jensen, aware that forcing skills out of demons is a violation of his archetype might be loath to give up the path he's worked to follow. So instead of intimidating the demons could act a middle man, negotiating what price the customer pays the demon, what skill the demon pays the customer, and taking a cut of both if desired. That way it's much easier to get a significant percentage of skill rather than soul sipping's 10%. Plus it means the PCs have to give up something *insert evil cackle*
Momus | profile | Mar 22, 08 | 11:41 am
I was thinking it would be the infamous Coke bottle from the Fatty Arbuckle murder case. Without going into gory details, he supposedly ruptured a girl's bladder with it during a sexual assault, killing her. The accusation (which he was found innocent of) ruined his career as one of the most famous and beloved film comedians of the era.
Basilisk | profile | Mar 23, 08 | 12:44 pm