I've actually had a lot of fun coming up with characters for the basic setting of UnderWorld, by Gareth-Michael Skarka. These are all NPCs (or potential PCs) that I've created, most of which I've never used.
- Jonathan Drake was born and raised in New York City, spending his childhood in the Roaring 20s, then growing up in the aftermath of the Great Depression. His father had lost an arm in the war, and Jon and his mother helped run the family business - a storefront. Jonathan met Miriam Vanderpool while in high school; they went steady in his junior year, and finally married in 1942, shortly after he graduated. The next day, he got his draft letter, and was sent off to fight in France. Some time during that war, he and a shell became intimately acquainted. They never found his body. He woke up in a subway car in New York, in the present day. Disoriented, he tried to go home, but quickly realized what had happened and retreated back underground. His search for his wife was even stronger than his search for the past - he eventually became a Librarian, brokering in information, hoping to put together the pieces that would lead him to Miriam Drake. He finally found her living in a geriatric home outside the city - now Jonathan visits her as often as he can. Sometimes, she is even coherent enough to talk to him, and recognize who he is. Jonathan won't be able to move on as long as Miriam remains alive.
- Captain Cork is a Mole Person (his real name, like most Mole People, can't be pronounced). A Navigator, his ship is actually a Junkperson named Bimberly Bimmis (q.v.). He stumbled into poor Bimberly as she was fleeing the Navigators guild, who had declared her Outcast after she offered someone a ride. Cork felt sorry for poor Bimberly, who hadn't known what she was getting into, and eventually chose to join the Navigators to save her (taking her as his ship). He has since discovered that he likes going to new places, and has kept together with his faithful companion. Their arrangement these days is simple: Cork "pays" Bimberly with repairs, upgrades, and information he overhears, which he passes on most every night. In return, Mrs. Bimmis takes him wherever he wants to go.
- Bimberly Bimmis is the "ship" of Captain Cork (q.v.). She is a Junkman and a Librarian, and speaks with an old woman's voice. She's usually kind and sweet, but is a shrewd negotiator - her decades as the town gossip have served her well in her new life. Bimberly has a huge crush on Cork, but since he's a Mole Person and she's a huge lumbering pile of junk, she's chosen to keep it quiet. Nonetheless, she looks forward to their evening chats for much more than just the gossip.
- Pepper Malone is the distillation of millions of not-so-secret fantasies about women. She's a Legendary Bravo, a sexy bimbo with peppery hair who fights with an electrified whip - a kitten when she's happy, she turns into a lioness when she's pissed. Pepper can change her clothing, hair color, or eye color, any time she wants - this is one of two major Legendary powers. Her other power is more dramatic - she has tassels attached to her nipples that she can spin with practiced ease. Spinning them can mesmerize observers, holding them in place and making their minds open to suggestion. Her most striking clothing is NOT a product of her power - a pair of bone-white sewer-gator boots she took from the skin of a fellow Bravo she killed when he got in her way. She insists on wearing the boots at all times.
- Vita Bones is a Homeless Mendicant, though she was once a Reaper before that Guild was disbanded. Through her training as a Mendicant, she knows how to heal; through her education as a Reaper, she still carries the chill of the grave. She carries two human femurs she uses as both walking canes and clubs; they are always well-polished, and rumor has it that they once belonged to her dead husband, another Reaper whose name has been forgotten. One of the oldest individuals in the UnderWorld, Vita has been through plenty. Her hair is bone-white, tangled, and scraggly, with long bangs covering her face. Her eyes, when you can see them, are as black as the night.
- Chalktalk is a Tagger whose real name is unknown; her Breed is also a matter of discussion. She appears as a beautiful full-blooded American Indian woman whose tongue has been sliced out; she insists on wearing little more than a loincloth. She cannot talk, and though she can understand spoken English, the only language she reads is that of the tag. People generally assume she is a Lost, come forward through time - the nickname "Chalktalk" is a play on words, a corruption of "Choctaw" and also a reference to her use of sidewalk chalk. She can only communicate through gestures or chalk drawings, using the language of the tag mixed with pictures meant to evoke moods. She can do something no other tagger can do - anywhere she can draw, she can go, along with anyone else she allows to walk through.
- Legion is a Junkman Artificer, a collection of roughly thirteen Fizzers with a single mind. Legion only has a fuzzy memory of what It used to be, and nobody else knows much of anything. The only thing It is sure of is that Legion was once the Artificer that built It. Legion's madness comes from its form - its mind is eternally fragmented, schizoid in the truest sense. Not only is the soul that forms the center of Its identity split, but those parts share Fizzer bodies with the whimsies and dreams that originally animated them. These affect Legion's mood and outlook, and Legion also occasionally loses control of one of Its pieces from time to time, though it always returns. Legion knows how to collect new Fizzers into its hive-mind, but It remembers the last time Its numbers grew too big - the dreams and whimsies took over entirely, and it lost itself for a while.
- Jack Robicheaux is a Freak Sapper who works for the MTA. He's pure Louisiana Bayou, and when he gets angry or hungry or sleepy, he has a disconcerting tendency to turn into a crocodile, either in part or as a whole. This, it is suspected, is why he is no longer in the Bayous he talks about so much. When he's calm and awake, Jack looks relatively normal, so his job as a UpWorld tunnel-worker works out well. MTA's only address for him is a PO Box, and his paychecks are directly deposited into a checking account that's his bread and butter in the UnderWorld. "Sewer Jack," as he's known both above and below, spends most of his time off-duty as a croc, and so has little need of his money in the world above - all his food and shelter are DownBelow, and the Sewer Gators warily accept him. In gator form, his only intelligence is Radiance-enhanced - on the surface, he would be feral. Jack is happy to use the money he earns to get the things he needs - there are several Traders who he trusts, and doesn't mind ordering out of catalogs and at corner stores UpWorld. Though he rarely acts it, Jack Robicheaux is one of the richest individuals beneath the streets.
- The first thing Felix Reed remembers is crying out in pleasure, the legendary Legendary Pepper Malone (q.v.) straddling him, grinding him to what she said was his second orgasm of the night. The only reason he knows his real name at all, is because Pepper told him, but they'd only met that evening and Pepper couldn't really say anything else about who he was. In the speakeasy where they'd met, nobody there recognized him, even the group that Pepper swore she saw him with. Eventually, it was determined that Felix had become a Nomad - one of the few who can claim he knows what he was doing when he became one. Though it wasn't her fault, poor Pepper felt guilty enough that she offered him her services for a while - he didn't need them, but others did, and he began to broker deals to keep the money flowing. Pretty soon, the Traders found out, and he became a Trader in truth. He jokingly says he thinks his new life is much more interesting than the one he left - after all, why else would he have chosen to abandon it?
- Built in serpentine form, the ghost that inhabits the Junkman Morpheus Lex has chosen to become a Librarian - it's a job that lets him mostly avoid confrontations. Lex wears a "snakeskin" - a charm that makes him indistinguishable from a normal snake on one success, and helps him blend into the background on two successes or more. He is clumsy - "not used to being a snake yet" - but has other advantages. His Library is a Magic Eight Ball he normally keeps swallowed, regurgitating it only when needed. All one needs to do to get an answer out of the ball is to Shake it, and ask a question - if it knows, the holder immediately knows too. Everything Lex learns is put into that ball, as long as he holds it - every time it answers a question for someone else, it takes an equivalent piece of knowledge. The Salvage Tech Lex has built into him is as follows: a hypnotic device that he thinks is linked to his voice, but works even when he doesn't want it to; an internal phone that taps into the wireless network (hey ma, I speak modem!); and a telekinetic "hand" that he uses to carry himself ("look ma, I'm flying!" BONK!). When Lex does get into confrontations, he prefers constriction - he hopes one day to afford to have an Artificer make him a set of venomous fangs.
- Alexandra Cynthia Fallon was born in Chicago to a somewhat affluent family, a few years before the turn of the century (she has never admitted the exact year; she's unreasonably embarrassed of her "age"). She was a wild child, growing up during the heyday before and during World War I; when prohibition hit, she was one of the first to find the speakeasies that immediately grew in response. One night, she got too drunk off some bad gin - she bent over to puke as the world spun around her, and when she was done, she was in a long-forgotten public restroom in the UnderWorld. As she wandered the tunnels, trying to figure out where the heck she was, she ran into a Tagger who explained to her what was up and took her under his wings. She was excited - the 20s were becoming BOOOORING and now there was this whole new world to explore. Now a Tagger herself, she jumps at any chance to brave the newest and deepest frontiers. Between tags, she hangs out in UpWorld bars and UnderWorld speakeasies, and insists on wearing 20s fashions.
- Dominic Scarborough was a Reaper, one of the most powerful Necromancers around when the guild was disbarred and exterminated in the 1950s. Dead, he returned as a Shade, who was soon imprisoned by his wife, Evita Scarborough, who had abandoned the Reapers when she realized her former Guild's duplicity. For half a century, Dominic has been trapped inside a Relic called the Soulstone, cast into a bottomless pit by Evita after she imprisoned him there; despite all this betrayal, Dominic still yearns for his wife. Recently, events have conspired to free from from the Soulstone, and now in the deepest parts of the UnderWorld, he is working on restoring the Reapers to their former glory.