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A squint is a scientist who specializes in analyzing evidence in order to solve a problem or mystery. The name “squint” (coined by Agent Booth on the TV series Bones) refers to the fact that the squint is always looking intently at something–a microscope, a computer screen, or whatever. While the term was invented to describe forensic scientists, it can also be applied to other scientific types. While squints do sometimes go out into the field, most of their time is spent in the lab. Because they’re often far away from the action, squints usually work best as supporting GMCs or back-up characters, unless you’re playing in an game where most of the other characters are also squints.
Squints are most common in modern and futuristic settings, especially crime fiction, super-hero stories, and hard science fiction. Wizards, alchemists, and sages could play a squint-like role in fantasy or historical games, but their methods would likely be very different from those used by modern scientists.
The Name Game
In settings where higher education is only available to people of a certain income level or social class, Squints will most likely belong to that group and have names that match. Since most squints are a little on the nerdy side, appropriately dorky names are also common. Finally, many squints have PhDs, and some will insist that people use the appropriate title before or letters after their name.
Since their job revolves around the scientific method, Brain is by far the most important Word for a Squint. Body and Nerve Numbers vary wildly depending on the squint’s personality, lifestyle, and hobbies.
Suggested Jobs: Astrophysicist, Ballistics Expert, Biochemist, Chemical Engineer, College Professor, Computer Scientist, Crime Scene Investigator, Dimensional Physicist, Entomologist, Epidemiologist, Forensic Scientist, Geneticist, Grad Student, Lab Technician, Librarian, Mathematician, Microbiologist, Monsterologist, Parapsychologist, Pathologist, Profiler, Research Assistant, Teacher, Temporal Scientist, Toxicologist, Volcanologist,
Suggested Gimmicks: Clue Magnet, Google Anything, Friends in High Places, Hide In Plain Sight, High Tech Toys, Intuition, King of the Lab, Master of Research, Polymath, Reputation, Saw It On The Discovery Channel, Wealthy, Weird Luck, Well Read
Suggested Weaknesses: Absent-Minded, Big Dork, Clumsy, Communication Breakdown, Coward, Gambling Addict, Gullible, Hubris, No People Skills, Professional Rivals, Red Tape, Skittish, Victim of the Past, Weird Luck
Suggested Skills: Anthropology, Biology, Card Tricks, Chemistry, Computers, Conspiracy Theory, Crime Novels, Criminal Psychology, Firearms, First Aid, Fortean Studies, Gambling, Google-Fu, History, Investigation, Math, Ping Pong, Research, Roller Coaster Trivia, Self-Defense, Video Games, World Traveler, Writing
WWPHITM? Amy Acker, David Berman, Jack Black, John Cleese, Rory Cochrane, Johnny Depp, Emily Deschanel, Gary Dourdan, Eliza Dushku, George Eads, Jorja Fox, Stephen Fry, Zach Galifianakis, Jeff Goldblum, Seth Green, Bill Hader, Robert David Hall, Alyson Hannigan, Marg Helgenberger, John Hodgman, Donn Knotts, Jack Klugman, Wallace Langham, Christopher Lloyd, Justin Long, Allison Mack, Eric Millegan, Joe Morton, Bill Murray, Pauley Perrette, William Petersen, Harold Ramis, Stephen Root, Sarah Silverman, Anthony Stewart-Head, Eric Szmanda, Tamara Taylor, Billy Bob Thornton
Tag Line: “I tend not to believe people. People lie. The evidence doesn’t lie.”–Gil Grissom, CSI
Tools of the Trade
While the specific tools depend on what kind of science the squint is practicing, it usually boils down a to a whole bunch of expensive, high-tech lab equipment. Fortunately, most squints are well-versed enough in the fundamentals of what they do to use common household objects to perform amazing feats of SCIENCE! If you’re a squint who investigates murders a lot, it’s also a good idea to keep a couple of dead pigs around–they’re really handy for experiments.
Where You’ll Find Him
Although their hobbies can vary quite a bit, most squints are very smart people, so you’re more likely to find them curled up with a book or at a gallery opening than at a NASCAR race.
Squints spend most of their time in the lab, so there tends to be a lot of overlap between their work friends and their real friends. In addition, most will have families, friends from college, and other assorted relationships to deal with. Squints who have to play politics to keep their funding will also have contacts in the government and/or academic community.
Job: Bug & Slime Guy (16)
Gimmick: Rich (16)
Weakness: Family Baggage (16)
Skills: Conspiracy Theory +3; Particulate Tracing +2; SCUBA Diving +1
WWPHITM? T.J. Thyne
Dumb Fact: Was almost Billy Gibbons’ son-in-law.
Tag Line: “You people have no idea of the reach of the Illuminati, do you?”
Books and Comics
Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. William R. Maples
Fantastic Four (Reed Richards)
Flash (Barry Allen, Jay Garrick)
Hulk (Bruce Banner)
Stiff, Mary Roach
Teasing Secrets from the Dead: My Investigations at America’s Most Infamous Crime Scenes, Emily Craig
TV & Movies
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
Ghostbusters (Egon Spengler)
Heroes (Mohinder Suresh)
Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (Ichabod Crane)
Star Trek (Mr. Spock)