This is the third in my series of capsule reviews of non-fiction books that would be useful or inspiring in RPGs – Weird Books for Gamers
Here’s a short biography on Marion “Joe” Carstairs, a 20th century heiress, competitive speedboat pilot, and eccentric.
The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of ‘Joe’ Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water by Kate Summerscale (Goodreads)
She’d make an excellent addition to any pulp game, as an ally, or even a player character. She could easily show up in Chaosium’s Berlin: The Wicked City.
Useful bits of information to bring into a game:
- Carstairs was a champion motorboat racer, with many trophies to her name.
- She had her own private island in the Bahamas. She even created a small private army loyal only to her.
- Her island home was surrounded by walls, and had a huge collection of knives, swords, and other bladed weaponry.
- Her lifelong companion was Lord Tod Wadley, a small doll she always kept with her. In the real world, it was just a doll. In a game, assume it’s possessed, or a talisman of great power, or an disguised alien, or something really wierd.
- She had wild affairs with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Tallulah Bankhead. This would be an easy way of pulling famous people into a game.
- Her mother married a mad scientist who transplanted monkey glands into human beings. I’m not entirely sure what I’d use this for, but I expect it’ll be horrifying.