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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ode to Roddy Piper & A 5th ed Background (The Anti-hero)

If you are only here for the The 5th edition Background (The Anti-Hero) Skip down  to beyond the  horizontal rule below.

Otherwise read on ...


I don't post pictures of myself on here.
No one wants to see that.
but here I go with pic including myself, talking to Roddy Piper back in 2007.



Better writers have done better pieces about piper than I am able to.

Please read: This From "The Masked Man"

I'm going to write my own anyway.
Let me frame this.

That guy to the left of me in the picture is Captain Lou Albano. (Who passed away in 2009 at the the age of 76.)
This is a Comic convention in New York City.

Generally I don't do comics or conventions for that matter, I was there to hang with my friends and meet Piper.

I was there to get a signed picture for my father, because we have a shared joke / expression in our household that consists of this.

When I was growing up, if something unexpected happens to someone, that person is said to have been "Hit by the coconut."

If that does not resonate with you at all, watch this clip* and come back. In fact watch it anyway.
Trust me in 1984, when I was 9 It was a shared joke in our house and I had the opportunity to ask one of the participants about it directly. I had to.

We negotiated the  convention, through vendors and artists row. It was all interesting but not exactly my bag. We got the the  celebrity autograph area, a few former wrestlers including Tony Atlas, Captain Lou, and a sleeping La-parka. From what I remember there were a few TV folks from various series I've never watched, the  pretty girl from the  Ghost Hunters show whose name is escaping me, a couple of adult film actors, and so on. I was only interested in getting Pipers signature so I Went directly to his line.

We waited in line.
Paid a few bucks for pictures.
Waited some more.

My friend Joe went first and got his  picture signed. My buddy Jay went got his stuff written on (including a sweet old school action figure).
Then they closed the line.
"Mr. Pipers breaking for lunch, he'll be back in 30."

I said to the kid holding the  rope,
"Hey man I 'm with those two. Don't leave me stranded on line."

I don't know what happened honestly, perhaps Piper heard me? Perhaps the kid wanted to be nice. Whatever the reason Piper waved me through.


We Shook hands.
I asked him about the coconut interview.
He talked for about 5 minutes, though my memory makes me want to think it was longer.

Piper told the story  of  getting all the  fruit for the coconut segment at a store, and not knowing much about "coconuts." He said at the time he had no idea how hard they are. He went on about hitting Snuka and Jimmy being knocked out for a second, falling to the floor with a thud as he toppled out of the Piper's Pit set.

Piper said, "I was supposed to hit him sure, but I never told him about the coconut, I just thought it would be funny."
"I did all that stuff to him while he was on the  floor to give him a second to clear his head."

He continued to say that Jimmy Sunka was really angry. Real life angry. That he (Piper) had to stay away from him the rest of the night because he thought Snuka was going to kill him, that Snuka did not talk to him for a while after that.

Piper was very genuine, laughing and talking  like we had known each other since 1984. He sold the story.

Was any of it the truth?  What is the truth? Does it matter?

I had his sign my  picture to my father. I'm no autograph collector but I knew my old man would get a kick out of it. My father did get a kick out of it, he framed it and hung it in his bedroom. I retold the story to him as Piper had told me and we had a good laugh about it. A joke we had shared for years gathered some new gravitas, a bit of heft.

So when I found out Roddy Piper died, in his sleep July 30th I did not think about his matches or his hundreds of  Promo's I thought of that signing and how he took his time to talk with me, even if all he wanted to do was get lunch. Not only that he took the time to sell a story that he realized had a personal resonance with me.

I don't do celebrity or hero worship. Actors, musicians, artists, or whatever it all breaks down to  people doing what they do to make a living. No different than me getting up every day to do what I do. What I will say is that I respect people who put in the time and effort to be good at what they do, and  care about the things that got them to where they are. I don't think Piper ever stopped caring about telling the story. I respect that.


The Anti Hero:


Anti-Hero
Any kind of  inequality  grates against your conscience. Every one deserves a shot in the world, but mostly you, you deserve a shot. If no one is going to give you a shot , damn it your going to kick doors until you make one.
You started out on the wrong side of everything. Scratching out an existence with only your wits and your self to count on. You may do or say regrettable things, but by the sheer force of will you will become respected.
Choose a starting location in your GM's campaign. You are from the  most downtrodden part of this area.
Are you a Thug for hire? Perhaps a street performer plying your trade for loose coin. Are you a runaway looking to make their own way in the world.

Skill Proficiency: Survival (choose one area type), Persuade, Profession.
Languages: Common, One Trade Language.
Equipment: 1 trade related weapon (hand ax, hammer, flail, dagger.) A wide leather belt pouch containing 1D6 gold worth of loose coins and a trinket. Commoners clothing.
1d Trinket:

  1. A broken hour glass
  2. A foreign coin, bent in half.
  3. An old sketch.
  4. A swatch of  silk cloth.
  5. A small blob of melted then cooled iron from a forge.
  6. A lock of hair.
  7. A chip of decorative glass.
  8. a plain silver ring.


Feature:
Rally!
From the  very start you have the  ability to  rally others to you by the strength of your personality.
Once a day (Once per long rest) you may attempt to rally others to their side.
The player rolls a Charisma check + their proficiency bonus  Vs a Difficulty of 20.
If successful the character can rally a number of  0 level commoners equal to the characters current level. Or a number of levels worth of individuals whose levels total the  character's current level or less.
Those being rallied must speak the same language as the character.
This ability is non magical and does not  override any magical affects or enchantments.
Used in a crowd these people will become sympathetic to your  opinions and your motivations. This does not necessarily mean they will fight for you, but they will at least agree something is worth fighting for.

Suggested Characteristics:
The anti hero might be motivated by a desire to be heard, a deep seeded need to prove themselves, or a simple drive to succeed, even if they have to do some unscrupulous things to get there.


1D8 Personality Trait:

  1. I am obsessed with my own success, and recognition.
  2. Authority grates on my nerves,I will buck the system even when I don't have to.
  3. I can not abide a bully I will always try to even the odds.
  4. Sometimes I take my anger out on undeserving targets.
  5. I use my words as effectively as an assassin uses a dagger.
  6. I may  work with you, I may help you, but I don't trust you.
  7. I Have earned my way , if I think another hasn't I will judge them harshly.
  8. I learned a lot about people,and how people will use others, It's my mission to  prevent it.
1D6 Ideal:
  1. Aspiration: I seek to prove myself by never bowing down, (any)
  2. Morality: The local authority thinks they are doing the right thing but I know what's actuality right (Lawful)
  3. Power: If I rally the people against power, eventually I will be able to take the  power. (Evil)
  4. Individuality: I rail against authority because it's who I am. (Neutral)
  5. Justice: I fight authority because some one has to. If not me who? (Good)
  6. Attention: You will not ignore me. I will leave my mark whatever it takes. (Chaotic)

1D6 Bond:

  1. I know something about the  people in power here.
  2. I might be the only one who can help you along on your quest. **
  3. I have a great plan to leave my mark on this world, and either your're in or you're our.
  4. I am desperately seeking satisfaction, but I'm not sure what will satiate my restless soul. I think you might hold the answers.
  5. I seek a home, a true home.
  6. I might go about it in a different way but I am struggling against the same injustice as you are.

1D6 Flaw:
  1. I am unable to take anything at face value, I simply can't trust.
  2. I view anyone in power no matter how  noble, as my enemy.
  3. If some one else is rewarded, I become deeply jealous.
  4. I have an inability to hold my tongue, I don't just speak truth to power, I  scream insults as well.
  5. I hold inappropriate views of other based on their class, race, or religion.
  6. I let my fists speak for me before I take time to think.


* So yeah, This Pipers Pit is basically just a horribly racist diatribe that barely even makes muster even in the greater social context of 1984. I get it. I think I could write a pretty  good TLDR essay about the  use and roots of racism as promotional tool in pro wrestling. Needless to say this  kind of thing was / is not uncommon in that business. Luckily  things have improved in pro wrestling even if they are still far far from good. The  racial content was lost on 9 year old me, and while I'm sure my father "got it" at the time It was never brought up. What stands out in my memory is Piper going nuts and hitting  Snuka in the  head with a coconut. Suffice to say 1984 and 2015 are different times, and let's leave it at that.

** CROOOOOOW!




As always thank you for reading.
Please leave question comments and complaints in that sadly empty square circle bellow.
-Mark