Character occupations.   Posted by Keeper.Group: public
 GM, 3 posts
Fri 29 May 2015
at 19:00
Character occupation
In the section below you have sample occupations from the Call of Cthulhu source-book. Do not take these as strict guides for your character occupation, merely as examples of how an occupation can help define a character.

Antiquarian – he revels in the timeless excellence of design and execution, and in the power of ancient lore, the most Lovecraft-like occupation. The antiquarian rarely deals in what he loves. More often, an independent income allows him to sharpen and define his pleasure in things old and obscure. He ahs an appreciative eye and a swift mind, and frequently finds mordant or contemptuous humor in the foolishness of the ignorant, the pompous, and the greedy – or are those perceptions clues to his own mental instability?

Artist – he is self-absorbed with his own visions, but is blessed with a talent that lets him express himself. Often he also has a crafty entrepreneurial streak, and is usually a painter or a sculptor. Talented or not, the artist’s ego must be hardy and strong to surmount initial obstacles and keep him working if success arrives.

Author – as distinct from the journalist, the author uses words to define and explore the conditions of human life, and especially the range of human emotions. It is said that an author does not so much write as rewrite; his labors are solitary and his rewards solipsistic: only a relative handful make much money. The work habits of authors vary widely. Typically an author withdraws during periods of intense creation. The author who is constantly expansive and sociable is written-out, or perhaps had no talent to start with.

Dilettante – The dilettante has so much money that specialists are needed to take care of it. He or she is well educated, though not systematically educated or necessarily accomplished in anything. Money frees the dilettante to be eccentric and outspoken. He or she has had plenty of time to learn how to be charming and sophisticated; what else has been done with that time betrays the dilettante’s true character. Lacking financial compulsion, his or her family relations are sometimes very odd.

Doctor of Medicine – perhaps a general practitioner, a surgeon or other specialist, a psychiatrist, or an independent medical researcher. Apart from personal goals, three aims – helping patients, gaining money and prestige, and promoting a more rational and wiser society – are common to the occupation. Doctors tend to be self-sufficient sorts for whom families become adjuncts to respectability.

Drifter – as opposed to someone who is poverty-stricken, the drifter’s wandering life is chosen, perhaps compensating for social, philosophical, sexual, or economic lacks. The drifter takes jobs, sometimes for months, but he is disposed to solve problems with the answer of mobility and isolation, not comfort or intimacy. The life of the road might seem especially American, but the same sort of life is chosen wherever travel itself is not systematically dangerous.

Entertainer – this occupation might include dancer, singer, juggler, athlete, musician, or anyone else who earns a living in front of an audience. These people love to be seen, love to show what they do best, and love the consequent applause. These proclivities can be observed in children as young as age three or four, but the talent that reaps success may lie fallow for years. Show-business families make excellent incubators.

Journalist – Uses words to report and comment upon topics and incidents of the day, writing as many words in a day as an author may in a week. Journalists work for newspapers, magazines, and radio and television news services. The best report, but keep themselves independent of the corruption and self-serving they witness. That reality overwhelms the worst, who eventually forfeit any sensibility except for the power of their words.

Missionary – has accepted the call to spread the word of God. May be independent of all except his or her vision, or may be backed by some organization to do just that – and in that case has demonstrated some ability to perform such duties. The clear-sighted missionary is able to focus on the humanity of the converts and does not confuse alien customs with human souls, so that questions of dress, behavior, or diet do not become paramount. Where morality leaves off and religion begins is by no means clear. This occupation requires settled emotions and a sense of humor. The successful missionary remains personally humble and exalts God. Christian and Islamic proselytizers are encountered worldwide, as well as Buddhist and Hindu teachers.

Parapsychologist – Prestigious universities grant no degrees for parapsychology. Standards in the field are based entirely upon personal reputation, and so the most acceptable representatives tend to hold degrees in related areas – physics, psychology, or medicine. Who chooses this study is unusually sympathetic to the notion of invisible mystical powers, and in validating that belief to the satisfaction of physical scientists. This would represent an unusual cohabitation of faith and doubt – the parapsychologist may have difficulty separating the conflicting desires. A person uninterested in observation, experiment, and proof is not a scientist, though he or she may be an occultist.

Police Detective – though present day detectives may attend police science classes, take a degree, and undergo special training and endless civil service exams, police detectives of every era are grounded in their experiences as junior officers and ordinary patrolmen. Police routine and discipline becomes vital to self-identification as well as an ongoing source of frustration as the detective is tempted by extralegal shortcuts to successful arrests. The police detective may be a manager who coordinates staff in some important investigation, but rarely has the luxury of concentrating on a single case. In the United States, his responsibilities at any one time may number in the dozens or hundreds of open cases. The detective’s crucial function is to marshal enough evidence to allow an arrest, in turn leading to a successful criminal prosecution. Detectives everywhere sort truth from lies by evidence and reconstruction. The offices of detective and prosecutor are everywhere separate, so that the evidence may be weighed independently before trial.

Private Eye – in most places the private investigator is licensed by the police and must be privately bonded as well, guarantees of minimal honesty. Proven malfeasance costs him his license and puts him out of business. The private eye usually acts in non-police situations: he gathers information and evidence for private clients in impending civil cases, tracks down fleeing spouses or business partners, or acts as an agent for private defense attorneys in criminal cases. In detective classics, the private eye is hired to handle some ordinary civil or private matter (such as a cheating spouse), and then is drawn into the investigation of a murder or series of murders as the case unfolds. Like any professional, the private eye separates his personal feelings from the job at hand, and cheerfully works for the guilty and innocent alike, as long as his fee is paid. The private investigator is usually shown to have been a member of a police force in the past, using those connections to his advantage in the present. Usually he is not prosperous and never has known much money, but his private code and keen awareness purify his manners. Depending on state or local law, police experience may not be necessary.

Professor – for the most part the occupation indicates a Ph.D. That rank can earn tenure at universities around the world. He is qualified to teach and to perform competent research, and has discernible academic reputation in his area of expertise. He may be an absolute idiot in other fields, of course, and such contradictory investigators are fun to play. Unless they are of independent means, and have taken leave of their universities, professor-investigators tend to be tethered close to home by their ongoing responsibilities to school and students. Indiana Jones was lucky to have a department head who would allow extended absences – your investigator may not have such an understanding boss.

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 00:58, Tue 29 Sept 2015.