Lou: Beast Among Beasts

Cave Troll

This is another one of my Vampire characters who is actually that 3rd casualty of my attempt at LARPing.  He got simplified for the book and I ‘m not entirely sure how that came about.  Then again, he was fairly ‘simple’ to begin with, which caused problems in the long run.  Guess the best way to explain him is to show the original Lou and then the book version.

After I gave up on my second character after a terrible first appearance that left him with his goals destroyed, I just wanted to do something different.  I teamed up with two other players to make a trio of non-clan vampires.  One person was returning after losing a character and the other wanted to give LARPing a try.  It was with the second player that I designed Lou with inspiration from ‘Of Mice and Men’.  Lou was based on Lennie, the big, lovable, and child-like character while the other player was the George character.  They were friends before getting turned and Lou used to be a boxer, but suffered brain damage that remained when he became a vampire.  So, he was rather slow and simple with his one rule being that he didn’t want to cause any trouble.  Keep in mind that I’m 5’5” and I was playing a character standing at 7’0”.  This required a card noting this and me acting like I was that huge.  Kind of fun pretending that doorways were too small, chairs were too fragile, and seeing people look way above my head.  That last one was hilarious because players bigger than me had to do this and a few noted that it threw them off.

Sadly, Lou was seen as nothing more than a ‘dumb brute’ by some people.  At least this is what I was told after he was offed, but I was already on the outs due to me not giving my second character a chance.  Lou was my last attempt to have fun because he was so different than myself and my previous characters.  He wasn’t a noble hero like Luke or an monster like Clyde or a good-meaning fool like Darwin, but a simple guy who wanted nothing more than to be with his friend and not get into trouble.  If he lasted longer, he’d have reached a point where he’d grow more independent from his friend, but he got eaten after a few sessions.  Honestly, the way it went down was what turned me off to LARPing in general, but I don’t think I was that big a fan in the first place.  Guess this does put Lou in a rather memorable position for me.

That’s why it’s so strange that the big lug is probably at the bottom of the character list for War of Nytefall.  I changed him into a vampiric ogre complete with horns, greasy body hair, and not much of a talker.  In fact, I toyed with the idea of him never talking, but that became a problem and reduced him to an even smaller role.  He’s position is Nadia Sylvan’s obedient bodyguard, so he’s typically hovering around her.  The only times he talks is if she sends him on an errand that requires it.  With group scenes, he grunts or stands in the back because he has no opinion to give.  This can be a problem for him in the long run due to a limited development.  Yet, I do hope to create a few openings for him to become more than a grunt.  Then again, this series might benefit from having a character who isn’t cunning or talkative, but is a vampire that acts almost entirely like a living weapon.  Lou is technically what mortals consider vampires: A savage monster that works entirely off instinct.

So, funny story time here, but this might be a little sad.  The events that led to Lou’s death in the game were bizarre.  Not the actual eating, but how he ended up in that position.  The guy who played the George character was running late from work, so Lou had to operate without him.  The plan was the hang back and stay out of trouble alongside his secondary friend.  Luck wasn’t on our side when we were pulled into a meeting about assaulting one of the strongest characters in the game.  That attack is where Lou died and people afterwards got confused.  Some got on my case about having Lou go along instead of waiting for his other friend, especially since he was given a choice to stay behind.  Except there was one little problem:  The leader of the revolution was sitting next to Lou’s other friend and had his arms crossed in a way that the stake he was holding ended up getting aimed at her.  No idea why I focused on that, but it clicked in my head that Lou would see that and think it was a subtle threat.  He might not have been smart, but he was protective of his friends and couldn’t think straight without ‘George’.  As far as Lou knew, he had to go or his other friend would be killed.  Yeah, I got a few strange looks and laughs along with one apology from the player with the stake.

That was still my last time LARPing and I’d joint he non-LARPERs afterwards.  Nothing says fun like playing an adorable gnome who is a barbarian cannibal with metal teeth.  When I say adorable, I mean his charisma stat was so high that people still said ‘awww’ even when he was eating his enemies.  Come to think of it, I really should find a place for old Berumbo.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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25 Responses to Lou: Beast Among Beasts

  1. L. Marie says:

    Interesting to see the background of Lou and how his character came to be, and how different he is from Timoran, who is big, powerful human, and a deep thinker who can control his rage. Lou’s story seems very poignant.

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    • Lou had a better story in the game. I don’t know if his background will be the same or even revealed in the books. The reason is because he’s not much of a talker, so I have to do a lot with his face and body instead of his voice. Not to mention I couldn’t do the boxer tale with an ogre in Windemere, especially since the ‘George’ character isn’t here. Nadia doesn’t fit that bill.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kirizar says:

    As an outsider to the entire experience you describe, it sounds like LARPing could be fun, but not if there are cliques wherein the same people end up alive at the end, casting off the lesser beings in pursuit of their epic journey. I’ve always felt kind of sad for the throw-away, one-line personas. If you’ve never seen it, the Movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead perfectly encapsulates what I am failing to say here. It’s hard to be thrown away for the sake of plot.

    On a separate note, Groot, in the Guardians of the Galaxy series is one of the most engaging roles, and it isn’t for his dialogue. How someone so conspicuous but innately innocuous steals so many scenes is amazing.

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    • LARPing is a lot fun, but one of the issues with Vampire is that it’s designed around clans. So, a game that focuses on the socio-political side of things always becomes a story about classism and cliques. Dungeons & Dragons might be better because that’s more about adventure and battles.

      Groot is an interesting success since he only has a few word vocabulary. Though, I’ll admit it’s much harder to pull that off in books than film. Might be why I have Lou talk for a bit at one point. It throws everyone off because they forget he can speak beyond grunts. I’m on the fence about having him talk again for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m in the process of writing a guy who is a foreigner and doesn’t talk much. He’s going to have some pivotal scenes, but it’s kind of a challenge to keep him in readers’ minds up to those points. I wrote one who didn’t talk at all once, and I’m glad he was a third stringer.

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  4. Gaming characters are just the best. So quirky and interesting!

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  5. Lou sounds to me like a fascinating character, mostly because of the Steinbeck association. It’s old Berumbo that intrigues me the most, though…

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    • Berumbo is one that I’ve never made a place for. I keep slipping him into stories that never get off the ground. He doesn’t work as a solo and I don’t have any groups with slots open. Maybe I’ll sit down and come up with a team of delinquents or something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Could’t you use him in a capacity similar to the Baron’s gnome inventor, Nyder?

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      • Not with his personality. He was designed for a game where dungeon crawling was a spectator sport. So part of the fun of Berumbo was that he was an adorable fan favorite who ate people. I gave him such a high charisma that his feral actions didn’t make him a villain like one would be in Nyder’s position.

        Liked by 1 person

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