John Petroski

Note: I'm currently in the process of completing my character profile, utilizing the format shown in Robert Duskin's. Also, I've dropped my WoD PDFs onto Dropbox, and the folder from them should be viewable at…WoD PDFs



Name: John Petroski
DOB: September 13th, 1960 (~34 in 1994)


John was born in the Midwest, the son of a veteran and a homemaker. His family included one older brother as well as a younger brother and siter. He and his siblings were close, and before long he figured out how to take their respective strengths to achieve whatever their goal might have been at the time.

John followed his father's hardworking example throughout life. Too young for World War II, his father volunteered when Korea came around, serving in the 187th Parachute Infantry Regiment. His served with distinction with the Iron Rakkasans. Returning home after the conflict, he made the most of the GI Bill, going to college and later building a thriving business. When he was old enough to learn the lesson, young John worked hard and made the most of his opportunities to get ahead. His efforts eventually lead him to Temple University and later Fox Business School, which is what brought him to his adopted home of Philadelphia.

A series of jobs and savings growing up lead Petroski to a comfortable living even while a college student. With his tuition, room, and board covered by scholarships, he had money to burn. Shrewd investment decisions allowed him to ride the bull market of the Reagan era to a small fortune by the time he graduated. Just the beginning, as with school complete he moved on to starting his company.

He started with investing, and expanded to real estate development. To this day a lot of his company's income comes from this facet of the business. But John is always diversifying his interests, which has led to expansions into manufacturing and involvement in Boeing's local Rotorcraft operations.

His path wasn't always easy, or without loss. His eldest brother Sam came of age during the Vietnam War, and followed his father's footsteps into the Army. A few of his father's combat buddies worked the back channels and arranged for Sam to find assignment in the 187th as well. He wasn't as fortune however, dying in the Southeast Asian jungles. His parents followed within a few years, his father to cancer, and mother in a car accident.

Likewise, the one challenge John has never succeeded has been a meaningful relationship. He's dated over the years, but nothing ever seemed to come of them. Some found his drive to be intimidating, and early on he had difficulty restricting that drive to his own goals. John tended to seek out ways to help the women in his lives, and he was good enough at it that it tended to smother them. Then since he built his fortune, he's had to struggle through the women who are after it, and there has been enough of them that he's started to become a little jaded about the whole thing.


John's primary personality trait is his desire to succeed. It can be off putting to some, as he is constantly assessing the situation and those around him. He's learned over the years to not be obvious about it, so that part only really comes out if something has rattled him.

He's succeeded wildly, where others just have skilled have failed. It hasn't gone to his head though, and John makes every effort to give back. While his accountant would note that it's good business sense, Petroski has a number of charity efforts that he finances. While never serving himself, his families' military ties are important to him. Thus military and veteran associations are prime beneficiaries.

John is guarded with his trust, but giving with his friends and what family remains to him. His has a young niece via his younger brother, and paid for his sister to go through nursing school back home. His employees are well taken care of, with a benefits package well ahead of the times.

While dedicated, John is by no means a workaholic. He tries to get away from it all every once in a while, and that's when he actually makes use of the trappings of a man of his wealth.

Character Traits

  • John comes across as pretty straight-laced, almost business like to a fault. While his passion to succeed does motivate some of this image, he allows it as he finds it an asset.
  • While there is a part of him that isn't entirely comfortable with the largess, John wears the trappings and finery to match his wealth. Clothes, cars, and the whole lifestyle. He does so because he tells himself it's what is expected of him. But some part wonders if that's really true, or if he's grown too comfortable.
  • He's generally accepting of people, allowing them to prove themselves. This doesn't stop him from assessing their strength's and weaknesses, but allows these assessments to be modified as neccessary. Though while accepting, he does not truely trust until someone has proved themselves.
  • Enjoys spending time on his own, or in small groups. His business puts him in front of large groups often enough that he only really relaxes when away from the limelight.
  • Being very mature at an early age, he doesn't really understand children. Even his earliest memories were goal oriented to some degree, so he can't really relate. Oddly enough, while he is very uncomfortable with the circumstance, for some reason children love him. This is fortunate, as since his niece's birth a few years ago, she has really grown on him, slowly chipping away at the wall between John and children.
  • A fair portion of his success has come from his willingness to accept change and new technology. John was an early adopter of the internet and personal computers, in fact some of these investments made up the first part of his fortune. Instincts in these regards serve him well to this day.

Ethical Code

While politically John prides himself in his independant status, an outsider would probably describe him as conservative. He obviously believes in big business, and his family history built his respect for the military. He cares greatly for others, and believes in giving back. Likewise, those who prey on the less fortunate or less capable are considered less than human in his eyes.

He has a number of charities for the less fortunate, many with a special touch for those who serve others. The main thing all of John's charitable programs have for themselves is that they encourage and enable those who benefit from the program to improve themselves and their situation. He had a bad experience early on with those who would sponge off such programs, so strict guidelines are now in place to prevent it. Inevitably these things will happen, but John prefers to focus on the number of previous beneficiaries who return to help out others.

Character Sheet

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 165 lbs.
Nature: Competitor
Demeanor: Architect/Director
Clan: TBD
Generation: TBD

Description : John is fairly tall, but thinner than average, with dark hair and blue-grey eyes. He's in decent shape but nothing special, though his recent foray into martial arts is starting to have an effect. He generally stays well groomed, but occasionally tries out a goatee.


Physical Social Mental
Attribute Score Attribute Score Attribute Score
Strength 2 Charisma 3 Perception 3
Dexterity 2 Manipulation 3 Intelligence 3
Stamina 2 Appearance 2 Wits 4


Talents Skills Knowledges
Skill Score Skill Score Skill Score
Alertness 2 Animal Ken 0 Academics 2
Athletics 1 Crafts 0 Computer 2
Brawl 1 Drive 1 Finance 3
Dodge ? Etiquette 3 Investigation 0
Empathy 2 Firearms 1 Law 0
Expression 2 Melee 2 Linguistics 0
Intimidation 0 Performance 0 Medicine 0
Leadership 3 Security 0 Occult 0
Streetwise 0 Stealth 0 Politics 2
Subterfuge 2 Survival 1 Science 0

Disciplines - Cap of 2.

Potence - 1

Fortitude - 1


Allies 2

  1. Allen Matthews
    1. College classmate at Temple.
    2. Went on to Law school and a promising career.
    3. Recently nominated the judges bench here in Philadelphia.
    4. He and John have traded small, legal, favors over the years.
  1. Tim Wright
    1. Architectural Engineer
    2. Main contractor used for most of John's real estate deals.
    3. Current main project is the renovations and remodeling of the old PSFS Building.

Contacts 2

  1. Jaimie Welliver
    1. Mid-level bureaucrat at City Hall
    2. Just short of thirty, or at least that's what she admits.
    3. Dreamed of a bright political career, but things just haven't worked out.
    4. Still trying to turn things around, but is also looking to better her situation, hence her openness to helping John out when he calls.
  1. Clayton Wenrich
    1. Civilian employee of the Defense Contract Management Command, part of the Defense Logistics Agency.
    2. First made contact with John when Petroski's company contributed to Hurricane Andrew relief efforts (1991).

Influence 2

Resources 4

Private ownership of Horizon Unlimited, a large, successful corporation with a number of companies in different fields beneath it's umbrella.

Retainers 2

  1. Kurt Kassa
    1. Accountant and Stockbroker, CFO for Horizon Unlimited
    2. Keeps an eye out on Johns private finances, as well as Horizon's accounts.
    3. Well paid with benefits, and quite loyal for that and other reasons.
  1. Thomas Agathon
    1. Horizon Unlimited's Chief of Security
    2. Former military, squadmate of John's brother Steven.
    3. Good at his job, but keeps things friendly except when John makes it difficult for him. Then the military man comes out.


Conscience 3 Humanity 7
Self-Control 4 Willpower 7 x
Courage 3 Blood Pool 2 1

Merits and Flaws



Important Equipment


Four story rowhouse in Washinton Square West section of Center City.
Penthouse(entire top floor of the former PSFS building), with floor below for staff/facilities/security.
Wilderness cabin and outbuildings near the Allegheny National Forest.


Multiple cars, after-market mods for his needs (can only drive stick, ect.).
McDonnell Douglas MD 520N Helicopter
50ft. custom built sailboat in the harbor.


As the eldest remaining Petroski, John inherited his father's service 1911. While he has the proper licenses, including a concealed carry permit, he generally keeps it in a gun safe in his home.

Additionally, John became fascinated a few years ago with Escrima, and began studying it. He's put together quite the collection of both traditional and modern varients of escrima weapons, from escrima sticks to knives, to swords and further on. Beyond the sticks and knives his skill is limited, and he's only been working on the bare handed styles for a year or so.

Other Equipment

Horizon Unlimited

Parent corporation of John's business empire. Initially a finance business, he reorganized as he branched into other areas. Today Horizon is a fairly small organization itself, it's staff dealing with the day to day operations neccesary to keep John up to date with each of his businesses under it's umbrella, as well as his closest associates.



The original cornerstone of Horizon Unlimited, this portion of John's business remains profitable despite downturns in the economy. More important, the financial analysts who work here keep a close eye on the markets and alert the other Horizon branches to issues that may concern them. Of late in-roads have been made regarding investing in Boeing Rotorworks.

Real Estate

Real Estate development is Petroski's current cash cow. With capital built up from smart investments he got a jump on the market he first came into it. There was some stumbling as he learned the ins and outs of the business and identified the right people for the job, but ultimately it was an excellent choice. Horizon's current big project is the renovations and re-purposing of the old PSFS building. This was launched after FDIC claimed the building and John realized it's worth as a location so near the planned convention center.


This is the latest arena Horizon has spread into, in an effort to expand beyond services into an actual product. Thus far this has mostly consisted of a few small companies which produce either intermediary or finished goods. However two years ago John went out and picked up a facility on the recently BRAC'd Navy Yards, starting up a small outfit there. His own boat, a beautiful sailboat of approximately fifty feet, was one of the first vessels out of the dry docks.


While not a focus of any specific department, John has been a proponent of keeping with the technological forefront. His company is fully integrated into the early internet, and likewise cellphone service. In fact, the plan is to incorporate it into each room in the redone PSFS building, with a cell capacity as well.



Parents (Deceased)

Though the years have passed, John still feels the loss of his parents. Their influence was instrumental in who he grew up to be. His father's hard working attitude and his mother's caring for others combined into the driven, philanthropic businessman he ended up.

Brother, Steven Petroski, b. 1951

John's father enlisted in the Army in order to serve in Korea, deploying with his unit before his wife discovered she was pregnant with Steven. Their son was born while he was away, but became their pride and joy. Steven idolized his father, and was a dedicated big brother when his younger siblings came along. John was always an amusement to him, as he watched his younger brother work out problems and convince others to help him out. He was his biggest supporter, right up until he turned eighteen and followed in his father's footsteps.

Steven was a patriot, insulated from the anger and distrust of the government somewhat by his families separation from the politics of the day. Most of all he was his father's son, strong, determined, a soldier. He joined the Rakkasans as a replacement, serving well with a penchant for selfless but reckless heroics. This eventually caught up with him, and he was killed in the infamous Hamburger Hill battles on May, 20th 1969. He was 18 years old.

Brother, William Petroski, b. 1965

Unlike John, William doesn't have much memory of their brother Steven. That combined with the support John has always provided has left William with a sense of gratitude for his older brother, a gratitude which pushed him to maintain contact when John distanced himself at first after their parents death, hurt by losing family once again. William, the family man of the remaining Petroski siblings, became the anchor of the trio. In the end though, it was really only the birth of his daughter Sara that brought John fully back into the fold. John now makes regular visits and has repaired the relationship. He's grown to care for Sara quite a bit.

Sister, Rebecca Petroski, b. 1970

Rebecca was definitely not a planned child. Born twenty years after their first child, and nearly a year after they buried Steven, definitely the darling of the family. Their parents did their best to spoil her, though not to the detriment of the others. John started to come into his own just in time to pick up that support tab as they passed. He has however insisted that she learn to take care of herself even as he made sure she was comfortable. To that end Rebecca stuck in through school and nursing school. After a few years on the job she's currently back in school to become a nurse practitioner.


John's relationship with his employees draws from a number of schools of thought. Mostly he tries to keep things friendly but businesslike. He has exceedingly high standards for his workers, but makes sure the rewards for the job, as well as the benefits provided by the company are well worth it. At first John often seems imposing, as his focus to succeed can overpower the general friendliness. In the end, a system of department level and company social events and other programs. He still maintains some distance however, though largely unintentionally, as his busy schedule keeps him away.

Friends and Acquaintances


John doesn't have too many true friends that aren't involved in his business in one manner or another. His success and wealth have unfortunately lead to the worst coming out in many that he would have once called friends. Some turned into money grubbers, vying for support for whatever idea they had, and not dealing well when he had to refuse bad business deals. Others simply wished to benefit from the lifestyle and benefits John's wealth and status bring. To a man who instinctively picks out the worth in people, these straphangers wore quickly on him. Over the years he became a bit jaded, sinking more into his work and making less effort to make new friends along the way.

Those few friends he does have are treasured. Those rare times John does take away from work are generally spent either with his family or these friends. To this end, they do tend to live the live of the wealthy. Be it trips to his cabin, or out sailing, or to Horizon's boxes at the cities sports arenas, theatres, and other venues. Generally though they enjoy small gatherings, as Petroski has more than his preferred amount of large groups at required business events.

Social Organizations

John, as a matter of neccessity, is a member of a number of Philidelphia's business organizations and "gentlemen's clubs". Generally he sees these as a means to an end, a stepping stone to greater things. A few groups he genuinely enjoys however, and these naturally draw more of his attention. Additionally, his efforts with charitable organizations and veteran's assistance organizations takes up a fair portion of his free time.

Character Development Notes

  1. How can John grow throughout the campaign?
    1. John likes to think he lives a well balanced life, but the truth is, almost everything evolves around his business, and things that move either the business or his own standing forward. He's always going to be that way, and entering the World of Darkness isn't likely to change anything in that regard. Gaining and maintaining companions that he doesn't subconciously see as tools would be a point of growth.
    2. John has prided himself over the years with making the most of the situations life has presented. Discovering a whole other world, and the creatures and abilities therein will be quite the experience. In particular, learning that there are disciplines and other powers that might have been at work in dealings he was involved with will drive him nuts. He will likely seek to learn all he possibly can about this new world, assessing each new fact as it comes along.
  2. What motivates John?
    1. John has never really been able to explain it, to himself or others. Part of it is that he just relates to efficiency, and feels an unexplained drive to succeed. He sees life as a challenge, and enjoys seeking solutions to whatever might be next. Additionally, he has always harbored a desire to help those who need it, and lack the ability.
  3. What does John feel about his initial induction into the World of Darkness.
    1. John is both confused and curious, with a bit of frustration, both at the situation and himself. He was provided with an opportunity, and in an odd circumstance, was throne so off his game that where he normally would have refused offer of a "drug", he accepted out of curiosity. John's work with veteran's left him with a distaste for foreign substances, as illustrated by his only limited drinking. Upon discovering the real story behind his benefactor, and the offer of ghouldom vice vamperism, he's still reeling. This entire new realm is perplexing, wonderous yet terrifying. While he could objectively see some benefits of vampirism as he understands it, he is thus far less enthusiastic about the seemingly wholy physical gifts bestowed upon a ghoul. Despite his recent interest in escrima, Petroski has always favored mental strength over the physical, though he does look forward to experimenting with his new abilities. The dominance of another over him is something he is liikely to chafe under, as the general idea is far less than a comfortable subject. He simply hopes (prays perhaps?) that it's only a temporary matter, and temporary in his much shorter viewpoint, vice the longer vampiric scale.

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