Friday, July 2, 2010

Complete Characters #19: Jake Avery, Haunted Police Officer

We're starting off July with some strong and scary Complete Characters action! Not only is this exciting because I like the character, but because it was made with new and fancy software, which I would like to go on about for a while, singing praises and raising cheers.

Before that, let me tell you a little bit about the character. I started out writing a "cop who has seen it all," but I settled into a groove of a character that has had one truly horrifying, life-changing experience. I think it came out very well, and in fact as I write this post, it's nearly midnight and I've sorta scared myself a little bit. I'll be checking the closets before I hit the hay.

I have a lot more to say, so please read on. If you just can't wait to get to the good stuff, you'll find the link to the right of your screen.

The character

I love characters who have a history before they ever come into play, particularly NPCs. Corporal Jake Avery, a veteran cop whose one unexplained incident in his past has hindered his advancement, is such a character. I envision using him in my campaign in one of two ways: 1) he approaches the player characters for help in hunting down or ridding himself of this monster, or 2) he is a sounding board and inside source for characters who are involved in the paranormal in some way; after all, not that many cops are "believers." Read him. I think you'll enjoy the ride.

Check him out here:

Complete Characters #19: Corporal Jake Avery, Haunted Police Officer

Fancy software

I've been writing my Complete Characters using Word Perfect, mostly because it offers a degree of control over layouts that Microsoft Word really doesn't. Also, I'm not going to use Microsoft Publisher because it is an abomination. I've tried using Google Docs for the purpose, but it just isn't versatile enough, and wasn't intended for true desktop publishing.

I did download a new toy, however, and so far I love it. Check out Scribus, which once again proves that in today's world, paying for software is more or less for suckers. I'm not saying you should pirate things, because you shouldn't, because piracy is theft and takes the bread out of the mouths of hard-working people. I'm saying that open-source, free-to-use software is now every bit on par with the pay versions, and is often far superior.

Scribus is a desktop publishing program that basically gives you total control over your document. You tell it where you want text to be, how to lay out margins, where to place images, etc. It doesn't do anything automatically, so you can't rely on any sort of scripts to achieve basic effects like you would using a word processor, but the trade-off is totally worth it. I'm still learning, and I'm not totally good with how today's character looks yet, but it's getting there.

Actually, you should probably tell me how it looks. What do you think?

One more thing

Check out that copyright. Jason Richards Publishing. Oh, yeah. It feels good to include that!

Enjoy the character, and tell a friend!

UPDATE: Just a note, this offering is now Complete Characters #4 in the new series which is hosted at DriveThruRPG. The links have been appropriately updated, both in this posting and in the Downloads section, so enjoy this new and improved version.


A.L. said...

Looks good. Do you write the characters in scribus? or copy and paste the stuff over once you have written it for layout? I'll have to check it out when I get home from work today.

I've been using Open Office personally for a while, I like it a lot. All of Microsoft Office's functionality with no cost, and well, features and intuitiveness I much prefer.

Jason Richards said...

For this one, I wrote it in Scribus. However, I'll ultimately write it in a file and bring it in, I think. Actually, I THINK that you can even import files into text boxes in Scribus, so there's not even any copypasta. I'm still learning, but so far I really like it. I'm a fan of Open Office as well, but Google Docs has more or less replaced my use of traditional word processing and spreadsheets.

ShawnMerrow said...

Nice background.

Myself I use Open Office for all my writing anymore.

wans said...


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