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ID: 4529


November 10, 2007, 10:51 pm

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30 Firefighters


Who ya gonna call when the flames are burning?

1- Brains
He knows everything possible about fires-how they are started, how they spread and how to put them out. He can also tell an accidental or nature-started fire from one that was started deliberately. Recently he has detected numerous cases of arson and he suspects one of his fellow fire-fighters of being the arsonist. He has so far kept this to himself however, as he has no proof yet to blame anyone.

All too often he turns up for work late, blaming the traffic or other people for his lateness. The Captain is firmly convinced that he is not doing his job properly and wants to sack him, but as Lazy is the son of the town mayor and has other important and rich political connections he has no choice but to keep him on the payroll. When Lazy does work he is reasonably competent.

One of the reasons why Romeo joined the fire service was because he thought it would give him a better chance to find women and date them. He has two girlfriends, neither of whom know about the other woman, and has had a string of one night stands. If he has a choice to rescue a man or a reasonably attractive woman, he will always rescue the woman first.

Physically the toughest and strongest of the towns fire-fighters, Brawn moonlights as a bouncer for one of the towns largest club and likes a fight, although he is not the type to hit anybody for no reason. On the job he is the first one on the scene when a door needs hacking sown with an axe or something heavy needs to be shoved out of the way.

Lawyer has studied his contract and all the rules and laws that fire-fighters have to follow, and he follows them to the letter. Even if it might be necessary to break the rules to save a life, Lawyer wont do it. Consequently he is not the most popular person in the team, and Captain would like to let him go, but he cant, as Lawyer is always careful not to give any reason to sack him.

Jolly always seems to be cheerful even when things are going wrong for him. His happiness is infectious and he is a great asset to the team and one of the Captains best friends. He is always helpful to his fellow fire-fighters and to civilians alike, both on and off duty. A joke said about him is that one of these days he is going to die laughing.

Custer is in some ways the opposite of Lawyer. Whilst Lawyer is pedantic and slow, Custer is always ready to risk his life and charge into everything, be it a raging fire, a gas leak or a major disaster. He has no time for the Lazy and thinks the Lawyer should be in another job. The Captain likes him but fears he is too impetuous and one day will get himself and others into a danger that cant be escaped from.

Teacher always volunteers to be the one who goes out to schools to teach children about the dangers of fire and is passionate when warning them. When he was a child his younger brother made the mistake of playing with matches and the family house caught fire and burned down. Teacher and his father got out alive but the younger brother and mother burned to death before help arrived.

Warden, like Teacher, also believes greatly in educating people about the dangers of fire but he is much more pushy and in your face about it. He hates illegal fireworks and sees them as the bane of his existence, and will not hesitate to report to the police anybody that he sees letting them off. Indeed, he insists that they arrest the offenders and wishes he was a policeman as well as a fireman. His mailbox once had a firecracker put through it that incinerated all his mail including his winning lottery ticket.

Whilst Thief has never and will never start a fire deliberately, he is not above pilfering money and certain pieces of jewellery, or paperwork that can be used for identity theft later, and then saying to its owners that it was tragically consumed in the fire and then keeping it for his own use. He is very careful to avoid getting caught and has been commended for bravery more then once.

He was caught in a particularly big forest fire that he was fighting and a burning branch fell on his head. His helmet saved his life and he was rescued by his fellow fire-fighters but not before his cheeks were burned. When they healed they itched and he scratched them open, causing dreadful scarring. Despite this he has stayed at his job, to save others from suffering his fate or much worse.

This fire-fighter has an interesting and illegal way to boost his finances. He secretly makes large numbers of illegal firecrackers and other fireworks and then sells them to anyone with the money to pay for them, even young children. He thinks if they injure anyone it is their own fault for buying them in the first place and if a fire is caused then it is more work and pay for him.

Within this fire-fighters mind the dark fires of racism burn. As a secret Klansman he has placed and lit fiery crosses in more then one persons backyard in the dead of night, and is always fractionally slower in helping a non-white person, not slow enough to cause suspicion. If faced with the choice to save the life of a black or a white person he would always choose the white person.

Whilst on the job he always tries his best, off duty this fire-fighter gets his kicks by secretly spreading rumours and outright lies about civilians and fellow fire-fighters alike. Some are mildly annoying like the time he let the news out online that a July the 4th firework display would take place on Yellowstone Lake. Others are far more serious like when he spread the rumour that a civilian was in witness protection and was in fact a mafia defector hiding in plain sight. A few days later the civilian was found dead with a bullet in the back of the head. Luckily for Rumour the police did not find out who started that particular rumour.

His chief fault is that he is always sucking up to the Captain and to others in positions of power, agreeing with whatever they say, making tea and food for them, agreeing to spy on others for them. The Captain finds him irritating but knows that he does have his uses. Sycophant hopes that one day he will be a big boss and then people will suck up to him, until then he carries on being a bootlicker.

As the first woman to join the brigade, Xena feels herself under great pressure to prove herself as good as any man. When off duty she has short hair, wears mannish clothes and not much jewellery. Because of this, and after he asked her out for a date and was turned down, Rumour spread the word amongst his fellow fire-fighters that Xena was a lesbian.

Scabies was the first fire-fighter to arrive at a large fire at a chemical plant and the smoke that drifted over him before he could suit up properly irritated his skin. Scratching at first chased the itch away but then made it worse until he tore his skin open trying to get rid of it. Captain does not want to sack Scabies as he sees him as a capable fire-fighter, but wants him to go on medical leave for a few days.

Union is a political left winger who believes in the power of the working man and wants his fellow fire-fighters to go on strike for more pay. Captain wants Union sacked but fears that the rest of his team might walk out if that happens and then lives and property might be lost to fire. Captain also does not want to make himself unpopular with the rest of the brigade.

19- Braggart
Braggart is a capable fire-fighter with many genuine acts of bravery to his name. The problem is, he cant help bragging about it in the pub and making what he did seem a lot more dangerous and heroic then it really is. When in civilian dress off duty he wears a medal that he claims that he earned during the 9/11 attacks that in fact he brought off E-Bay.

On the surface Arsonist is one of the best in the team, always happy and willing to drop anything he is doing and rush off and fight fires. Unknown to his companions, except for Brains who suspects him but cant prove anything, he is fascinated with fire and joined the fire service to get close to as many fires as possible. Not content with that he has begun secretly setting houses alight. He has a chest in his home filled with the news reports of the fires that he has set.

This fire-fighter always does his best. He is the one who polishes his helmet until it gleams and makes sure his uniform is cleaner then everyone else. Drill Sergeant is his best friend but many of his fellow fire-fighters resent him and think that he is deliberately trying to make them look bad compared to him. He longs for a promotion.

This fire-fighter was hit by the same falling tree branch that injured Scarface whilst fighting a fire in a national park. His helmet saved his skull from being fractured, but now he has constant nightmares by night and disturbing visions and hallucinations by day. Some of these visions come true but most dont and he has no idea which will be true and has told nobody about them in case they think he has gone mad.

He talks the talk but Captain is worried that he might not be able to walk the walk. The Captain is right to be worried, for Impostors files and glowing letters of recommendation are well-made forgeries. Impostor never even spent a day training at the fire fighting academy and has no idea of how to put out different types of fires-he would just squirt water on them no matter what kind they are. With some kinds of fires that will put them out, but other kinds of fires will just flare up more or spread to new areas.

Whilst competent, Ego boasts a lot about the fires he has fought and the people he has rescued, and considers himself to be superior to civilians. He is Boasters best friend and a good friend of Custer, dislikes Impostor and thinks (ironically, probably rightly) that he should be thrown out of the fire service, and puts Xenas back up with his frankly sexist views.

25-Drill Sergeant
The deputy commander of the station, Drill Sergeants job is to make sure that all is spick and span, orders are obeyed promptly and that everyone is at his post. With a foul temper and little patience or toleration for failure, he is heartily disliked by most of the brigade. He likes Perfect, one of the few people that he respects for his devotion to duty, and totally despises Lazy.

Hungry is good-natured and always ready to do his job, but his problem is his weight. He eats far too much and a lot of what he eats is fattening food, leading Captain and Drill Sergeant to think that he is too far for the fire service and a liability. He is firm friends with Lawyer and Union, who have threatened a legal challenge and a strike respectively on their friends behalf and so far kept his job safe.

Although he has been able to cover it up so far, Coward is just that, a coward. He invents reasons to hang back when the flames are particularly severe or when someone needs rescuing. There are times when he has switched off his walkie-talkie and pretended that it broke, so he wont get orders that might put him in harms way. Sooner or later his pretended bravery will be exposed as just a sham.

Always when not on duty whistling, listening to music or humming a tune, Music has dreams of someday resigning for the fire service to become a big time pop star. Several members of the brigade find him irritating but Xena, although she has so far kept it a secret, has a crush on him. He often spends his free time writing songs or playing a tune on his mouth organ.

Every large organization has its resident malcontent, and Grumble is the one in this brigade. He grumbles about almost everything from the food to the pay, the bosses to the danger the fire-fighters have to put themselves in. Some of his complaints have their merits, whilst others are a waste of time. He always keeps within the rules and never goes over the top about stuff. He is useful as a *canary*- when others join him in his grumbling then the problem is generally a serious one.

With twenty years of experience fighting all manner of fires and dealing with other disasters, Captain has well and truly earned is rank and is the most capable man there. He has never met a problem that he and his fellow fire-fighters could not sooner or later contain and deal with. He genuinely cares for the well-being and safety of his team and is proud of the majority of them.

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Comments ( 19 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted manfred
November 6, 2007, 18:01
It is an okay list, nothing seems to stand out particularly, but none of the expected archetypes is missing. When firefighters are needed, you can make good use of the list.

Now what could be nicer, is some formatting. I'm not speaking about a little bold on each name (though it would be great!), spaces are what is missing. If the formatting was better, it would be much more readable. Heck, I would even up my vote! :)
Voted Scrasamax
November 7, 2007, 3:46
To be perfectly honest, firefighters are pretty much non-existant in any game I have ever run but I suppose in the right context this list could have some use. I must also agree with Manfred that the formatting could really really use some work.
November 7, 2007, 8:52
Fix the formatting Cheka, and I'll vote on this one. It is a reasonable piece of work, if a little specialized.
Voted dark_dragon
November 7, 2007, 10:33
Specialized, yes, but some of the group dynamics are interesting. You describe a full setting with the fire fighter's relationship with each other, and the different views and opinions can easily be transfered to say, an army unit, or a lumberjack group, or a mercenary group, it makes them come alive in term of character, even if the descriptions are a bit monotone and not so colorful. 3.5/5
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
November 10, 2007, 15:59
I have to Echo Scrasamax on this, firefighters are not really a part of my games. If a fire occurs in a village the people of that village- everebody, helps out. Getting buckets of water from the river or well. So,... I don't know quite what to say. But I see that you have put effort in this and the different fire fighters work well together. Who knows, maybe I will pay more attention to firefighters in upcoming sessions? ;)
November 10, 2007, 17:11
I think in a town would be the probability of meeting professional firefighters higher - as in a modern setting. :)
Michael Jotne Slayer
November 10, 2007, 18:25
Fires in medieval times that occured in towns or cities... They usually torched the whole thing. But offcourse there would be proffesionals in a city or town. I guess everebody would help anyway, because if the fire did spread- phooof.
Cheka Man
November 10, 2007, 19:16
It's for a modern game. Please could someone post the Bold symbols here? Then I could copy and paste them to bold my headings.
November 10, 2007, 19:42
Hello Cheka - we can't post the symbols since they will dissappear and become bold

You need to use greater then and lesser then signs to enclose html tags - use (B) and (/B) with the ( and ) replaced by shift-comma and shift-period.

Or check out the HTML help for details.

I'm sure you've used bold in other subs...
November 10, 2007, 19:58
I have put bold on the first firefighter for you. See, it is not so hard at all.
Cheka Man
November 10, 2007, 21:29
can you PM me the symbols?
November 13, 2007, 4:33
Cheka, try, Its a great resource
Voted MoonHunter
November 12, 2007, 13:49
I disagree with most of the people who say, "Firemen are not a visible part of a game". These people are just not playing the right games.

Sure for your average fantasy game, these are useless. Unless you have a "very different" kind of fantasy, there won't be a professional fireteam out there. For those of us playing espionage, horror, meta, modern fantasy, cyberpunk, many sci fi settings, and a slew of others, these are really useful. For modern settings and beyond (ranging from the early modern of the Victorian on), firemen can come into play for any number of reasons. You could be investigating something that paralells fires. You could be interacting with firement for a crime. You could just want to add color to the fire npcs are your characters are involved in rescue or escape.

In fact, I might put in Italics as the first line, "For Modern Games". Perhaps that would ward away people who don't think it is useful for a fantasy game.

Sure these group dynamic could be transfered to any set of 30 guys working together. And actually, unlike DD, I find that a strength rather than a weakness.

Now, I would of been less happy with this without the bold titles. I don't know if you did them in the end. But they make lists like this work.

And Cheka, could you go to google and type in Basic HTML. After reading a page or two on that, you will be able to format on Strolen's like a pro.
November 13, 2007, 4:28
Hey! I never said that, on the contrary, I like the group dynamics, I think its the strongest point of this post!

*frown at Moon*

How did you ever get that impression? I said I liked the dynamics, but found the tone a bit passive.
Voted axlerowes
March 17, 2009, 15:54
I saw this on random and thought this would be really useful if in a whitewolf or shadowrun game you needed to grab a fire department cause your PCs decided they needed to get involved with one right away. It has the nice mix of subplots and blunt simplicity that make it accessable to most. While not a major creative effort it is well put together and handy.

So I am glad you posted it and I enjoyed reading it.
Voted Silveressa
December 21, 2010, 22:22

Fun stuff, and a firehouse/firefighters can make a great backdrop for a detective/CSI setting, or for any supernatural scenario involving fire demons/monsters. A undercover cop might be called in to "smoke out" (pardon the pun) a suspected arsonist. As another plus, any of these people could make for interesting family members/friends/romantic interests for PC's.

With a little work one could modify most of these to fit in a police station rather well, making it handy for games involving law enforcement.

On a side note there are actually some small press/indie firefighter rpg games out there, for those looking for something unique for a one shot session to mix up their usual game night.

Voted valadaar
December 22, 2010, 9:59

Didn't vote - fixing that oversight. A good 30 Cheka.

Voted Dossta
May 14, 2013, 18:36
A niche sub, but it's well done. Again, it shares a lot in common with your other 30s (Lazy, Captain, Perfect, Lawyer, Brawn and Racist have had so many different careers by now, you wonder where they got the time for all the training). Still, there are definitely some gems in here. I especially liked Romeo, Teacher and Thief, since their personalities are so tied to their job.

Commented on for the Commenting Challenge
May 14, 2013, 19:19
I'd say unfortunately those are common archtypes so it makes sense there would be similarities. That said, it would not hurt to add secondary attributes to help differentiate them somewhat.

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