Larsen Whipsnade
GURPS Character: ST - 9 DX - 12 IQ - 12 HT - 10 (cost +30 pts)
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 200 lbs. (see disadvantages below)
Age: 40-ish
Appearence: Ugly (see disadvantages below)
Reputation: -2, recognised easily and known to most travellers in the Spinward Marches (see disadvantages below)

Alcohol Tolerance (+5 pts)
Alertness +3 (+15 pts)
Empathy (+15 pts)
Mathematical Ability (+10 pts)
Unfazeable (+15 pts)

Total: +60 pts

Lame (-15 pts)
Laziness (-10 pts)
Overweight (-5 pts)
Reputation, slightly bad -2, (-10 pts)
Ugly (-10 pts)

Total: -50 pts

Archaic dress, i.e. straw boater, swallow tail coat
Uses overly formal language
Projects an avuncular or manorial air
Sqeamish about prothestics
Bashful around women

Total: -5 pts

Points available for skills: 65

Non-professional skills:
Area Knowledge 15 (+6 pts)
Fast Talk 14 (+6 pts)
Savoir-Faire 15 (+6 pts)
Scrounging 14 (+4 pts)
Sleight of hand 14 (+4pts)

Total: 26 pts

Professional skills:
Brawling 14 (+4 pts)
Handgun, automatic 14 (+4 pts)
Knife 14 (+4 pts)

Total: 12 pts

That should leave 27 points for skills such as engineering, mechanics, electronics, gravitics, computer operations, vacc suit,and robot operations. Larsen's skills in any of these areas should not be spectacular, just workman-like. (Please note, this is my first attempt a creating a GURPS charecter so I have most likely broken, ignored, forgotten, or overlooked SOME rule somewhere.)

CT Charecter 677996, age 40, 2 terms IN-engineering, 4 terms other
Elec-2, Eng-2, Liaison-2, Mech-2, Air/raft-1, Brawl-1, Blade-1, Carous-1, Comp-1, Gravitics-1, JoT-1, Vacc suit-1

Backstory - Known by many (who are usually not happy about that fact) along the Spinward Main, Larsen E. Whipsnade is usually reticent about his formative years. It can be surmised that he was born in the Imperium and recieved a standard education for his place and time. Some indications point to an orphanage on Lanth, as that is where he enlisted in the IN.

Oddly enough, that institution's records were lost in a bizarre electrolysis accident some years ago. Whipsnade's years in the IN passed mostly without incident. He tested well enough to posted to the subsector engineering school, graduated in the middle of his class, and served without either distinction or disgrace for most of his first enlistment. The naval build-up prior to the 5th Frontier War and the incidents revolving around a "Jump Time" betting pool aboard the INS "Snead Hearn" (DE-257634) changed all that however.

As a personal favor to that ship's suddenly wealthy XO, the subsector BuPers chief "loaned" Whipsnade to a mixed IN-IISS courier squadron. The fact that during wartime couriers, and their crews, have the normal life expectency of a lone Aslan amongst the K'Kree may have had something to do with this.

As part of the 201st Combined Courier Group, Whipsnade served aboard militarized versions of the IISS' jump6 "Khadumir" class of vessels. It was in this manner he met and befriended a young IISS pilot named Fred Ramen.

The somewhat looser nature of IISS operations allowed Whipsnade to begin to show his true colours. The vessels he and Ramen served aboard were soon notorious. Spare parts destined for other couriers found their way into Whipsnade's pockets. Pay packets belonging to other courier crews found their way there too, usually via rigged games of chance. Squadron command could never quite prove anything (Whipsnade and Ramen were smart enough to cut their chain of command in on whatever they had going) but any vessel the two served aboard soon became a pariah within the squadron.

As is normal in any human organization, the twin headaches already known as Ramen and Whipsnade were passed down the squadron's pecking order until they were posted to a courier commanded by one Roderick Spode.

Spode was in charge of the squadron's worst performing ship. His command was dumping ground for all the malcontents, criminals, and incompetents that the squadron found on their rolls. The crew was surly and uncooperative, the vessel rarely passed any inspections, and had a near perfect unavailability record. All of this was despite Spode's attmepts to whip "his ship" into "shape". Spode didn't realize that he'd been dumped there too.

Naturally, as luck would have it, Spode's courier was tapped to carry one of the war's most important pieces of imformation; the news that the Zhodani Abyss campaign had begun. This information proved that Duke Norris' reading of the enemy's plans was correct and that Adm. Santanocheev's suppositions had been wrong. This bit of info permanently settled the Duke into the position he had assumed with the use of the Imperial Warrant and put to rest any questions about his actions.

Raiding forces belonging to the Consulate tried to "seal" the Abyss off from any communication with the surrounding Imperial territories. Spode's courier had to both evade and fight it's way through this attempted blockade. While the crew was later decorated for their actions, it was privately held that they accomplished this feat by blind chance and happenstance.

Almost immediately handing off their message to another courier, Spode and his crew were jumped by Zhodani warships and forced down on the interdicted world of Algine. Ramen and Whipsnade, thanks to their knowledge of advanced distillation techniques, spent the remaining years of the war as kings on a cannibal isle. When the rescue team arrived, the pair were "saved" at gun point. Whipsnade still expresses a fondness for brightly coloured tropical shirts.

Strangely enough, while Spode also survived the shoot down, he was found working as a night soil collector, having been sold into chattel slavery almost immediately upon his landing. Also, it has never been explained where Ramen and Whipsnade got the start-up capital for their distillery.

War's end found Whipsnade "rescued" and immediately discharged. The IN may have decorated him, but they no longer wanted him in their ranks. He knocked around the Marches for a while, usually working as a drive hand aboard tramp traders. In a stroke of good luck, he ran across a newly discharged Ramen on Regina and, after proving his worth by programming several thousand drink recipes into Ramen's valet 'bot, was accepted as the engineer aboard the detached duty courier "Spinward Shemp".

In his new position as "Director of Engineering Operations" (he has the business cards to prove it), Whipsnade has travelled around most of the Marches. Life aboard the "Shemp" is no bed of roses however. Although the IISS picks up the tab for such incidentals as fuel, life support, and maintenance, if a body wants for a few of the comforts of life, he must find a way to pay for them.

While the "Shemp" is in port, Whipsnade can be found either working the startown strip or nosing about second-hand book shops. He is usually running the short con, grinding beer and skittle money out of any handy rube with either cards, pool cues, or three cups and a small ball bearing. Behind him lays a wake of disgruntled bartenders, stiffed waitresses, angry landladies, and various sundry other persons he either has defrauded, bilked, or owes small funds to. While he is rarely ejected from any premises, he is equally rarely welcomed.

Usually dressed in a flat black swallow tail coat and sporting a straw boater, this rotund reprobate can be easily spotted in any startown. His greasy stringy hair and stepped-on looking face cause him to stand out in any crowd and "starring" in the MYMINES Road pictures hasn't helped any either. Whipsnade never seems to quite fit in anywhere he happens to be. And while he can sometimes make adults fall for his manorial pretensions, children and dogs are never fooled. Neither are the Vargr.

The amount of cash on his person varies from hour to hour, but is rarley enough to make mugging him worthwhile. He can usually be found in possession of small items that do not strictly belong to him, but somehow their worth falls below felonious levels. A quick search of his pockets will turn up the cups and ball bearing already mentioned, a roll of quarter credit coins, a small spool of plastic twine, a paperback book (Whipsnade is a voracious, if somewhat eclectic reader), and a few pawn tickets. Although he can use both a handgun and knife, he rarely carries any weapons at all and usually mananges to quickly and permanently lose any weapons he comes across.

Whipsnade's quarters aboard the "Spinward Shemp" are equally barren, just a few changes of clothes, some engineering manuals, the usual mixture of tools necessary for his work, and a few books.

Despite his fraudulent air, Whipsnade is a suprisingly easy touch for anyone with a sad story. Folks really down on their luck might find themselves given enough money for a week's meals and lodging. After a particularily big score, the alms box of a startown charity may find an unusually large and anonymous donation.

There are constant whispers that both Ramen and Whipsnade work for one intelligence agency or another. The exact agency, be it military, govermental, or corporate, depends on the whisperer. Some dismiss this as idle gossip, someone as notorious as Ramen or Whipsnade would make a poor agent. Others counter that their very popularity makes them perfect agents as no one would suspect them.

While the "Road" pictures have made MYMINES Productions LIC. millions of credits, and are even shown in the Palace if the rumors are true, both Ramen and Whipsnade never seem to earn any real money from them. Again, the whisperers point out that this would be a perfect cover for intelligence operatives.

Usual things you'll hear Larsen say:

The Whipsandian family crest features the phrase "Pervilis et Desidiosus" crowned with the leaves of the sloe berry. In the center, a portly and rumpled figure lays recumbant on a park bench with an empty bottle in one pudgy outstretched hand. To the left of this idyllic scene, a very large constable is beginning to apply his billyclub, forcefully, to the soles of the sleeping figure's shoes. Below the scene, a dog relieves itself on a representation of the Whipsandian family tree.
Posted to the TML on Sep, 23 2001, this got me a keyboard kill!

From: Mark Urbin
Subject: Whipsnade construction

Mr Whipsnade puts out into the Ether:
Please forgive me if this question seems silly, the coffee hasn't quite jump started the Whipsnade cerebellum yet. (The Whipsnade pumper is coaxed into service each sun rise with a truck battery and jumper cables attached to each nipple, 120 amps of cranking power, but that's another story.)


Hmmm...I'm going to have search the archives for other such insights into how Mr. Whipsnade is constructed.

I'm reminded of the battery operated fellow who in "Casino Royale."

Possible adventure nugget here simular to the "Chong" fellow from the Journal's encounter section. In this case, it's a "Whipsnade." A Steampunk or early transistor age android or cyborg. They have been popping up in various parts of the Imperium, polite, knowledgable on archane subjects and ever so curious...

Herr Whipsnades' own personal homepage. Complete with Rare Photos.
His writeup of commerce raiding
Ramen and Whipsnade home page