The hero of the Down Beat world is any honest musician.
Preferably an honest musician with a Mac-10, but a shotgun or
compound bow would probably do the trick.
Think along the lines of El Mariachi, Desparado,
Six-String Samurai, or Charles Bronson's harmonica-playing
vigilante from Once Upon A Time In The West.
Or think of real musicians who look like badass killers:
Gwar, Kiss, Wendy O. Williams, Jem & The Holograms! Hell, any
movie about a musician struggling to make it big has a few
bar-room brawls, so you might draw inspiration from
Crossroads, Honky Tonk Man, Pink Floyd - The Wall. Even Kwai
Chang Caine walked the Earth with a bamboo flute strapped to
his back, and sometimes he got a chance to play it when he
wasn't using it to brain some outlaw.
Your character should not be a giant recording
star, although a washed-up has-been would be fine.
At the outset of this game, your character has been
discovered playing in some bar [or honky-tonk, house
party, small recital, quinceanera, bar mitzvah, or ball
room of the Belgian Embassy, depending on your
genre] and recruited by Celestial Records. Although
it seems backwards by modern standards, you will set
out on a cross-country tour, and if you generate
enough money and publicity, then you'll get a record
Make a character profile with these simple
descriptors: Stage Name, Real Name, Instrument,
Style of Music, Weapon, Where You're Comin From.
Stage Name / Real Name.
By "Real Name" I mean your character's given name,
not the person who's playing this character. Stage Name
is not required, but how far would Myra Ellen Amos
or Brian Warner have gone without them?
Anything you want to play, even accordion, as long as you
can still pretend to be a mean mofo after playing a polka.
If you want to be just a singer, you better be able to write an
awesome description of your singing to compensate,
or have a damn good concept for a character (see
VALKYRIE in the examples below).
Style of music.
Pick anything you want, but it should be something
you know enough about that you can describe it at
length. Between battles you'll be playing gigs,
which you'll have to describe.
Weapon (if any).
Never have more weapons than you have musical
instruments. If you want to create pedantic lists
of your equipment and carry an arsenal full of
different crap and determine the weight of each item
so you can have a believable "encumbrance," you're
not made for a freeform type game. Playing at that
level of pedantry encumbers your brain and becomes
too heavy to have fun. Besides, it's much cooler to
carry only one weapon and be so awesome with it that
you don't need any other kind of weapon. Kung Fu:
Caine, bamboo flute. I rest my case.
Speaking of kung fu, list here if you are a "martial
artist." Try to give a specialty like Jujitsu or
Tae Kwan Do or "Mantis style" if you can make anyone
believe you know what you're talking about.
If you don't normally carry weapons but you're proficient
with certain guns or blades, or if you know how to swing
"num-chuks" without clobbering yourself in the nads, say
Where You're Comin' From.
A brief bio. Or a long bio, if you feel up to it.
Take as much space as you need to get a feel for your
character's personality. (If you want to go crazy with
details to help you get in character, check out
The Compleat Guide to Character Creation by Paul Tiseo.)
Name: Roy Rogers.
Style: Country AND Western.
A down-home fella who likes to sing about his horse
and the dusty trail. He's more partial to singin'
than fightin', but when you're a cowboy, the trouble
finds you whether you're lookin for it or not.
Instrument/Style: Operatic Vocal Stylist.
Weapon: Battle ax (just part of the costume).
The big lady with the Viking helmet and huge bronze
warheads on her huge bosom. It ain't over 'til this
lady sings. She'd like to make her way to Vienna, but
this gig will be good for a start.
THE CAT MAN.
Style: "ACID ROCK." Plus his vocal solo on "Beth."
Weapon: Drum sticks? Too bad Gene never taught him
to breathe fire.
The gray-haired Criss was still trying to make money by
hitting all the Kiss conventions before the lights went out. "ALL" the Kiss
conventions??!? Are there any Kiss conventions besides
the ones in Detroit??? Anyhow, perfect time for The
Cat Man to have an adventure with other roving musicians.
[There's a few more pages after this, so please read on
before submitting your character. Watch for "THE END."]