War of Nytefall is very much about Clyde because he was the first character I came up with and the adventure is based around him. He is a vampiric thief whose execution by the Followers of the Sun is interrupted by the Great Cataclysm. This event is when all all of the magic of Windemere went berserk and the entire world changed. Clyde is one of the results of this event with him becoming the first Dawn Fang. He is faster and stronger than other vampires, can retain his powers in the sun (‘true’ vampires require a night cloak when operating in the day), and other changes that you’ll learn about when you read the stories. Because his evolution is a core part of the story, I won’t go much into his powers and secrets.
Like most of the characters, Clyde started as a Vampire: The Masquerade character. He wasn’t my first one. That would be a nameless one who was an artist that didn’t last long in a combat-oriented game. Clyde was the first one I put effort into creating much like Luke Callindor with D&D. Unfortunately, I still thought vampires should be monsters, so my test game went a little . . . there was the chainsaw . . . a watermelon . . . department store fire . . . car chase . . . lots of bodies . . . Let’s just say the guy running the game told me after the first session that I had to calm Clyde down or he’d take away all of my humanity points. As it was, we had to drop it to 4 and that’s out of 10. Clyde would go on to be become a violent force of nature due to my really lucky rolls and him turning out to be the only vampire in a group of Mages. I didn’t want to switch over because I’d worked so hard, which almost made things difficult.
The solution to keeping him in the game was to make Clyde immune to the sun, which is unheard of in this system. It came with a price too. Vampires wanted to eat him because they thought he held the key to daywalking. Werewolves thought he stole an artifact. Mages considered him a walking exposure of the magic world, especially when he decided to become a Hollywood action star between adventures. Men in Black wanted him for experiments. A demon got pissed about being killed and banished by Clyde for 300 years, so that was going to be a problem. In his defense there, it had one Hit Point left at Clyde hit it and then everyone else in the group missed. Believe the finally blow was a halfhearted smack and a lot of cursing. Still, all of this combined to create the book version that you’ll meet in a few months.
One of the biggest challenges with Clyde in the book is that he’s a ‘hero’ who is normally unstoppable. He’s fairly similar to early version Wolverine in that he’s loyal to friends, but prone to bestial rampages when angry. Though, Clyde might do this when bored too unless Mab convinces him to go on a heist. Because of his power level, it’s hard to call him an underdog in a fight. So, I had to give him other weaknesses. This includes a strong desire for a challenge, which leads him to making the wrong decision on purpose. He’ll let an enemy with potential go in the hopes of getting a better fight or even reduce his strength to their level in order to draw things out.
Perhaps the biggest flaw is that he possesses a powerful blood lust that is always on the verge of taking over. One of the themes for Clyde is his loyalty and attachment to his gang, who help to keep him sane. It’s a strange dynamic that I’m struggling to build where he’s a monstrous outsider even among the Dawn Fangs at times. Yet, he needs social interactions and ‘human’ connections to retain what little humanity he has left. It’s an issue he’s aware of too, so his arrogance will be covering his worries at points. My hope is to use the inner turmoil to make him a multi-faceted character regardless of his physical superiority.
I will finish with a small story: I couldn’t put this into the series, but there is a nod to a game incident. Not going to say what it is, but I will tell the tale. During the Vampire/Mage game, Clyde made friends with a child mage who he kept convincing to enchant his chainsaw. It had unlimited fuel, fire blade, hurts ghosts, could be summoned, and fit in his pocket, which made it an insane artifact. The guy running the game wanted to stop all the enchanting going on, so he was going to kill off or at least badly hurt the Mage character. He first step was to make sure Clyde had no weapons to stop the M.I.B. agent sneaking up on the kid. I still had a move though, so I asked what I had. The only object in my pockets was an ear of corn I snatched as the characters drove through rural Kansas. Well, Clyde pumped up his strength, rushed ahead, grabbed the man, and plunged the corn into his windpipe. It was too glorious and unexpected for anybody to undo it, so the move stayed. We still joke about it too because that scene seemed to cement Clyde’s personality. Not declaring he’s a vampire in the middle of a werewolf holy site, killing the demon, punching a ghoul so hard that his arm with through its head, and other cool/comedic scenes. The ear of corn is definitely an RPG highlight with him and a fun inside joke for something that shows up at times in the book.