Born to a mixed race couple in Cody, Wyoming, young John never knew his father as the man abandoned the family soon after John's birth. As a single mother, John's mom, Mary, struggled quite a bit to make ends meet, often having to rely on her family's assistance which resulted in John spending a great deal of time on the Wind River Reservation many miles to the south. This is where he first met "Grandfather," the positively ancient Arapaho medicine man who was either his mom's grandfather, or her great-grandfather, or maybe even her great-great-grandfather - no one ever gave him a clear answer on that one and he eventually learned to stop asking.
By his teen years, his mother had finally found her feet and John began living full-time with her in Cody, only occasionally returning to the Reservation to learn from Grandfather. It was during this time that he met and became friends with Reece Burroughs, despite their rather different backgrounds.
At seventeen, a couple of things happened that changed his life. Without warning, his mother passed away suddenly; it would later be determined to be a brain aneurysm, but John was never quite able to get over that as he had been trying to work up the guts to tell her that he'd accidentally gotten his girlfriend, Julia, pregnant. And then, because he was an idiot teenager who didn't know how to properly handle grief, he ended up getting involved with some shady stuff that landed him on the wrong side of the law.
Opting to run away rather than properly deal with his issues, John enlisted in the US Army. He was adult enough to set up an allotment to Julia who had decided to keep the baby, so the vast majority of his pay went directly to her. With no money available to him, John focused entirely on his new job, which resulted in him being noticed by his superiors who sent him to Airborne and Ranger school. As a Ranger, he excelled, having already picked up a lot of the appropriate skills from his time with Grandfather and hunting with Reece. When his first four year enlistment ended, he didn't hesitate to re-up.
The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East naturally led to combat deployments and John's impulsive nature kept landing him in hot spots and dangerous situations. He was an excellent soldier, his reviews said, but he didn't think things through which kept putting him and his comrades in danger. Just as bad was the mental toll these back-to-back combat tours were taking; John made Sergeant, then his bad temper and excessive drinking while not in the field resulted in him being busted back down to Corporal, and the cycle would repeat. In his nine years of active duty, he was promoted to Sergeant three times, but kept getting demoted soon after due to flare-ups. Only the fact that he was an excellent soldier with several medals for valor kept him from being booted out entirely but, inevitably, one of his "didn't think it through" moments cost the lives of several fellow Rangers. In the ensuing court-martial, he was deemed not guilty of violating any laws or rules of engagement, but had been derelict in his duty. As a result, he was dishonorably discharged.
Now twenty-six, he returned to Cody where he met his son, James, for the first time. Julia had moved on with her life, though she had certainly appreciated the allotment he'd set up to serve as child support, and agreed to let him spend time with young James. Finding work with a dishonorable discharge on his record was difficult, especially with his bad temper, and John ended up on the reservation more often than he wasn't. He threw himself into Grandfather's teachings, firmly embracing his Arapaho heritage which put him at odds with Julia who was thoroughly Americanized and wasn't keen on her son going the same way his father had; this conflict, along with John's disapproval for her current boyfriend/fiance, Robert, caused more trouble, which naturally led to John renewing his acquaintance with Reece who had joined the local sheriff's department. The two bonded again, with the deputy doing what he could to help his old friend re-acclimate to non-military life.
Three years have passed since John returned. The tension between him and Julia has gotten worse, his dislike of her (still!) fiance has transformed into actual contempt, and he still hasn't found a proper job. And then, when he picked up James for their weekend on the Rez, he noticed the bruise on the young boy's face and how he shied away from Robert. Everything went red and the next thing John knew, he and James were in the car, speeding away from Julia's home with a badly bruised and beaten Robert laid out in the yard...
Traits (155 points)
ST 11 ; DX 12 ; IQ 12 ; HT 11* .
Damage 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 lb; HP 11 ; Will 12 ; Per 12 ; FP 11 .
Basic Speed 6.00 ; Basic Move 6 ; Dodge 10†.
TL: 8 .
CF: Plains Indian Tribes (Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Lakota, etc.) ; Western (Native) .
Languages: Arapahoe (Hinóno'eitíít) (Native) ; English (Native) .
Templates and Meta-Traits
Soldier - Infantry (p. S233) ; Soldier (p. S233) .
Combat Reflexes ; Fit ; High Pain Threshold .
Bad Temper (12 or less) [-10]; Code of Honor (Ranger's Creed) [-10]; Dependent (My son, James Jr.; No more than 50%; 15 or less; Loved one) [-30]; Impulsiveness (12 or less) [-10]; Unluckiness [-10].
Quirks: Bad with Dogs (Quirk-level Frightens Animals); Drinks too much, especially after stressful situations.; Only really comfortable when alone in the wilderness (Quirk-level Loner); Still only has eyes for his Ex, despite the time that has passed.; Token: His mom's wedding ring, worn with his dogtags.. [-5]
Animal Handling (Equines) (A) IQ-1 -11; Armoury/TL8 (Missile Weapons) (A) IQ-1 -11; Armoury/TL8 (Small Arms) (A) IQ-1 -11; Axe/Mace (A) DX -12; Bow (A) DX+1 -13; Brawling (E) DX -12; Camouflage (E) IQ+1 -13; Climbing (A) DX-1 -11; Computer Operation/TL8 (E) IQ -12; Driving/TL8 (Automobile) (A) DX-1 -11; Electronics Operation/TL8 (Communications) (A) IQ-1 -11; Explosives/TL8 (Demolition) (A) IQ -12; First Aid/TL8 (Human) (E) IQ -12‡; Fishing (E) Per -12; Forced Entry (E) DX -12; Forward Observer/TL8 (A) IQ-1 -11; Gunner/TL8 (Machine Gun) (E) DX -12; Guns/TL8 (Grenade Launcher) (E) DX -12; Guns/TL8 (Pistol) (E) DX+1 -13; Guns/TL8 (Rifle) (E) DX+2 -14; Guns/TL8 (Shotgun) (E) DX+1 -13; Hiking (A) HT+1 -12; Intimidation (A) Will -12; Knife (E) DX -12; Leadership (A) IQ-1 -11; Meditation (H) Will-2 -10; Naturalist (Earth) (H) IQ-2 -10; Navigation/TL8 (Land) (A) IQ+2 -14§; Observation (A) Per-1 -11; Occultism (A) IQ-1 -11; Parachuting/TL8 (E) DX -12; Public Speaking (Storytelling) (E) IQ -12; Religious Ritual (Arapaho Cultural Rites) (H) IQ-2 -10; Riding (Equines) (A) DX -12; Running (A) HT-1 -10; Savoir-Faire (Military) (E) IQ -12; Scrounging (E) Per -12; Search (A) Per-1 -11; Singing (E) HT -11; Soldier/TL8 (A) IQ+2 -14; Stealth (A) DX -12; Survival (Desert) (A) Per -12; Survival (Mountain) (A) Per -12; Survival (Plains) (A) Per -12; Survival (Woodlands) (A) Per -12; Swimming (E) HT -11¶; Tactics (H) IQ-2 -10; Theology (Arapaho Cultural Rites) (H) IQ-2 -10; Throwing (A) DX-1 -11; Tracking (A) Per -12; Traps/TL8 (A) IQ -12; Wrestling (A) DX -12.
- * Conditional +1 from 'Fit', +6 from 'Sleeping Bag, Insulated' when resisting freezing.
- † Includes +1 from 'Combat Reflexes'.
- ‡ Conditional +1 from 'First Aid Kit'.
- § Conditional +1 from 'Compass'.
- ¶ Conditional -2 from 'Encumbrance Penalty'.