Campaign: Donahue O'Kelly

Character: Donahue O'Kelly
Game: Urban Shadows
Episodes: 6
Theme Song: Dark Days by The Phantoms
Keywords: Tired, Concerned, Old

The more I play Donahue, the more I come to understand that he's a tired old man who made a mistake, sees the errors of his ways, and is moving forward as best he can with his newfound knowledge. Partly, this has meant biding his time until he's ready to move forward, processing what he's learned, and opening himself again to new experiences.

It's the latter part of that which he struggles with the most. Finding out he has a daughter, an imbecile of a daughter, has given him food for thought. But as I play him, I notice he lingers on thoughts longer than even I would. He wants to sit and smoke a pipe and drink some cognac and think about the long term implications of everything he's experiencing. He thinks generationally. He thinks big picture and rarely glimpses at the small except to see how those ripples will impact the big.

Really, he's a patient man. In our recent game, Donahue helped a hunter break into an immortal's lair, got the fae to heal the hunter (shit happens) and in conversation with the hunter, I learned of Donahue's devout belief in choice. Someone asked how he'd feel if one of the dead at the immortal's had been his daughter, River. Donahue replied that he would be a little sad but ultimately not overtly upset. Why? Because River was free to make her own choices, and her choices were often stupid.

The relationship between Donahue and the hunter, Lukas, continues to be something I find endearing. It reminds me of men at arms who also are lovers, the kind I see in Spartacus at times. I dig his camaraderie and companionship, and I like how it comes out when I'm playing him. There's a cavalier sensibility to Donahue I don't usually play, and so far, he is one of my more interesting and unique characters.

The game is progressing pretty quickly. I've spent about five episodes gearing up to make Donahue become the dragon, but it looks like that may not happen now. I left the game bummed about this because I had spent so much time working towards the goal that not achieving it didn't feel fun. And it's still likely that I'll retire him out rather than play him overtly long.

But Donahue has big plans right now. He's creating a kill switch to kick all the supernatural out of the city or turn them into mortals and protect the city. This will allow him to take the city once he becomes a dragon. Except now he won't be a dragon. Sigh. What to do? Honestly it'll be awhile before I advance him anyways. I don't have any corruption moves and I really want at least one, but I'm good at negotiating down trouble so don't run headlong into it much.

Overall I'm feeling a little disconnected from Donahue. When podcasting, I noted the different play style I have compared to the rest of the group. I am older by about a decade than most of the players. And all the players tend to play full tilt, driving their characters into the ground with a zeal that I can't muster. I'm slow. I'm patient. I'm big picture. Which works because that's how Donahue functions in that world. But at the same time the high intensity light it all on fire attitude of the other players has proven a little exhausting.

What I'll do if Donahue can't become a dragon is something I haven't figured out. It may be the end of his story. Right now, his daughter, having died (no one is surprised), is set to take on his dragon. I think part of him will be proud, and want to watch her succeed, but mostly he will want her to do it on her own. He wants to see her thrive and become someone respectable and with integrity. Right now she's a ball of wild emotion and nonsensical decisions.

My challenge for Donahue will be to regulate his own output depending on what happens with his dragon and his daughter. I think the GM is trying to make the baddie scary, but Donahue isn't afraid, he's just tired. So tired. Whether that's my own exhaustion creeping in or the way a dragon would be, I don't know. But I know that he's exhausted by the quickness of those around him, and their own habits of biting the hands that feed.

We'll see what happens to my steamy, sexy veteran.

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