The Next Game Part Three: A Few More SOB’s

This is the third in an ongoing series of posts about the next weekly game I’m planning to run. The first two posts can be found here and here. This post will look at the additional archetypes for Streets of Bedlam that aren’t found in the core setting book.

sobsYou still here?


Mulholland Drive, Universal (2001)

Mulholland Drive, Universal (2001)

I’m a bit in the drink, but I think I can come up with a few more SOB’s for this game. Take this one, for example. Betty Elms is an aspiring actress.

You mean waitress, right?

Actually, yeah. She waits tables too, since she has trouble landing acting gigs.

Don’t they all.

You gonna let me tell this story, or not?

Yeah, okay. I was just sayin’.

Right. You was just sayin’. Anyway, it’s a pretty confusing story and I’m a bit in the drink, but Betty came to L.A. to be an actress. She is literally fresh from the airport when she shows up in tinsel town. She’s really much more than she seems. She hires a hitman to take out a rival actress and later can’t handle the guilt.

I get it, Naomi Watts, but how does Betty fit into the game?

Gangster Squad, Warner Bros. (2013)

Gangster Squad, Warner Bros. (2013)

Betty fits in as one of the additional archetypes for Streets of Bedlam, the Ingenue. Betty is more of a fresh-faced Ingenue. Another example of the archetype is Grace Faraday from Gangster Squad. Emma Stone may look fresh-faced in the role, but Grace is Mickey Cohen’s kept woman, so she’s obviously been around the block. And Grace is a great example because she ends up doing the right thing, even if Ryan Gosling is the wrong reason.

Plus, ya know, Emma Stone. But my favorite Ingenue is Jessica Rabbit. She isn’t bad. She was just drawn that way.

Yeah, whatever.

Okay, genius. So, who’s next?

You gettin’ smart with me? Never mind. I’m gonna keep talkin’ here. The next one is little bit… non-traditional. Let’s look at Frank Pierce. He’s not a doctor. He’s a paramedic. Guy works an ambulance on the graveyard shift, and he’s havin’ a bad year. We’re talkin’ real bad. See, Frank hasn’t saved a patient in months. He’s a good guy, he’s just burned out. He’s got some personal demons that are keeping him from doing his job effectively.

Bringing Out the Dead, Paramount Pictures (1999)

Bringing Out the Dead, Paramount Pictures (1999)

What kind of demons?

Well, our pal Frank here is seeing the ghosts of his dead patients. And he pops some pills along the way, but that just makes it worse. Frank finally saves a patient, a drug dealer. See, even though he isn’t some mob doc, I think Frank is a good example of a Sawbones. He saves a drug dealer. He agrees to beat up a junkie. He’s down on his luck and fighting against circumstances beyond his control. Anyway, Bringing Out the Dead is a Scorsese film. Definitely worth watching.

Yeah, Scorsese. But… Nick Cage? Seriously, Nick Cage.

Memento, Newmarket (2000)

Memento, Newmarket (2000)

Seriously? Get over it. Moving on. Next up is Natalie. Real enigma, this one. She’s by turns helpful and spiteful to her film’s protagonist. She’s a waitress at a bar, but she also takes orders for her pusher boyfriend. We never really know what side she’s on, but we do know she’s definitely Trouble. In Memento, she uses Leonard to get what she wants, but she helps him, even though she gives him a beer full of spit.

That’s disgusting. But yeah, she definitely sounds like Trouble. Hey, are we gonna talk about that [Redacted] archetype? because Michael Westen from Burn Notice would be perfect for that one.

No, we’re not going to be using that archetype in this game.

Okay, I was just asking.

Leverage, TNT (2008-12)

Leverage, TNT (2008-12)

We only have two left, so hang in there, kid. These last two are actually pretty easy. First, the Capper.  Cappers are usually former criminals, or people who did dirty work anyway, who have decided to protect the populace from the powers that be who are preying on them. The best example of this that comes to mind is the cast of Leverage.  Their job is to “fight the man” and protect ordinary people from the injustices of government and large corporations.

The A-Team, Universal (1983-1987)

The A-Team, Universal (1983-1987)

Wouldn’t the A-Team also work for the Capper archetype? They robbed the Bank of Hanoi during the Vietnam War and went into hiding while they fought to help people escape injustice. I pity da fool who gets in their way.

I pity you. Yeah, they fit as Cappers too. I still pity you though.


One last archetype. The Paladin is a character who has lost everything and fights for what he believes in. Maybe he’s doing it for revenge. Maybe it’s for justice. Doesn’t really matter which. There really are quite a few examples of this archetype out there. The first one that comes to mind though, is the McManus brothers from Boondock Saints.  They piss off the Russian mob by defending their friend, so the Russians come after them. Then, they swear to take down the mob, and all criminals they can bring to justice.  They believe they are divinely anointed to perform this duty, and even convert mob flunkie Rocco and formidable hitman Il Duce over to their cause.

The Boondock Saints, 20th Century Fox (1999)

The Boondock Saints, 20th Century Fox (1999)

“And Shepherds we shall be
For thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand
Our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.”
The Boondock Saints, 20th Century Fox (1999)


Other examples of the Paladin archetype are Frank Castle, from the Thomas Jane version of The Punisher, and John Quincy Archibald, played by Denzel Washington in John Q.

“Those who do evil to others — the killers, the rapists, psychos, sadists — will come to know me well. Frank Castle is dead. Call me the Punisher.” – The Punisher, Lionsgate (2004)

Man, that’s a ton of character choices. I have no idea what I want to play, but I have a lot to think about.

The Punisher, Lionsgate (2004)

The Punisher, Lionsgate (2004)


Darren is a life-long geek, an avid gamer (both tabletop role-playing and video games), and a writer and editor. He lives in South Carolina with his wife Barbara and his three rescued Siberian Huskies.

1 Response

  1. April 13, 2014

    […] This is the fourth in a series of posts about the next weekly game I’m planning to run. The others in the series can be found here, here, and here. […]

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