Heroes on Demand: Vincent McGee, Expert Alchemist

Welcome once more to Heroes on Demand, your leading source for ready-made player characters for a variety of RPGs.  For this installment, we’ll venture back into the occult world of the Dresden Files RPG by Evil Hat Productions to honor an old request from one of my fellow agents.  When most fans of the series think about magic, their minds tend to lean towards folks like Harry Dresden, Wizard Private Eye with a penchant for property destruction, or similar heavy-hitters in the arcane community.  But not everyone with a talent for magic is as comfortable with going face-to-face with the many inhuman denizens of the Nevernever as your average Warden of the White Council, and prefer to work their magic from the sidelines and away from the spotlight.  So pull up a stool and turn to page 394 for your “Alchemy for Beginner’s” guide as we introduce…

"Tellin' ya, better living through alchemy man."

“Tellin’ ya, better living through alchemy man.”

Vincent McGee
: The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game

High Concept: Self-Appointed Expert Alchemist
Trouble: “This Ain’t My Fight!”
Other Aspects: Brewer of Potions and Libations, Innovation Through Chemistry, Keep Your Nose Clean
Stress: Physical 3, Mental 4, Social 3
Power Level: Chest Deep
Base Refresh: 8
Adjusted Refresh: 4

Great (+4): Discipline, Lore
Good (+3): Conviction, Craftsmanship, Scholarship
Fair (+2): Alertness, Contacts, Resources, Rapport
Average (+1): Driving, Empathy, Endurance, Guns, Presence

Stunts & Powers
Ritual (-2): You are able to use the Crafting aspect of thaumaturgy.
Refinement (-1): You have refined your magical abilities.
Finely Tuned Eye (Stunt):  Your sixth sense is unusually sensitive for a mortal.

Focus Items and Magical Specialties
: +1 Frequency (Crafting)
6 slots left open for “potions”

Notable Possessions: Short-barrel revolver (Weapon: 1), belt with multiple pouches of varying sizes, portable chemistry kit, flask of home-brewed non-magical libations, slightly beat-up compact car.

Background: Vincent has no qualms about the fact that he’s been a chemistry nerd ever since he saw an old re-run of Mr. Wizard, and considers Bill Nye the Science Guy to be one of his teenage heroes (but not enough to think bowties would ever be cool, no matter what the current Doctor says).  While there wasn’t much in the way of magical learning in his immediate family, Vincent was delighted to discover that his great-grandfather on his mother’s side of the family had been an actual practicing alchemist, using formulas and methods handed down since the days of the early Dark Ages.

As soon as he was able to convince the rest of his family to hand over the old man’s dusty tomes, Vince set to work on deciphering the various arcane formula, at first simply for the academic challenge of comparing such archaic chemistry methods to current scientific ones, but was astonished to find that the “old school” formulas enabled him to work some rather wondrous changes, though more in-depth alterations such as turning lead into gold or physical transmutation still eludes him.  He’s aware of the Laws of Magic on an intellectual level due to many of the more dubious formulas having references to those laws, particularly if a formula might be seen as a violation.

Though he was never much for social outings, Vince is well aware of the local supernatural community, and is eager to compare notes with fellow alchemical practitioners, though he’s come to view himself as something of a “local expert” when it comes to alchemical procedures and innovations.

Design Notes:
This was an old request, and one that I’m sorry I didn’t get to sooner, as Vincent proved to be an interesting character to build.  The core idea for Vince is that he is first and foremost an alchemist, sort of a junior Mac of McAnally’s fame in that he uses his knowledge of potion crafting to brew up some really damn good libations.

I deliberately shunted all his item slots to empty potion slots, even using some of his Refinement to add even more potion slots.  Simply put, if things start go to south, Vincent should be able to draw upon a variety of options to help bail him and his colleagues out of trouble, and better yet he can get two uses of that particular “potion” for each slot thanks to his Crafting specialization, all of them starting out at Strength 4 thanks to his Lore skill.  Check with your GM, but the way I read the rules on “potions” is that you get to choose what skill is used to make the attack, so Discipline could be used to reflect Vince having an unusually steady throwing arm when it comes to dousing an adversary with an alchemical concoction or two.

Vincent’s skills really place him as more of a support character, though he at least knows how to use a gun, so he’s not totally hosed if he burns through all his potion slots in the midst of a violent situation.  However, his Trouble Aspect could easily be compelled in those exact types of situations; he’s a scholar, not a fighter, and the type of situations that combat-focused wizards like Harry Dresden or even Danny Copperfield find themselves getting into would send Vincent screaming for the hills.  Though he’s not a social maven by any stretch, Vincent does have some decent social skills, and he’s not strapped for cash either should the party need to get their hands on something important, so long as it’s not too expensive.

Image created by Agent 99.

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