By request of one of the readers, here’s one of the character profile from our Hollow Earth Expedition campaign from about the time the game started in Summer 1936:

Born 23 May, 1904 in Hoboken, New Jersey to the curator of the New York Museum of Natural History, Dr. Thomas Drake, and schoolteacher Margaret (nee Singer) Drake, Hannibal is the oldest of two boys.  He was raised in suburban New Jersey, with a view of Manhattan from their family home.  He would frequently travel into the city with his father to the museum, or to see shows.  He was an athletic child, with a fantastic ear for accents and languages — he quickly picked up some of the local languages from the immigrant families in the neighbor, and was fluent in Italian by his teen years.

The museum trips and his fascination with dime novels and comics books as a lad honed a sense of adventure in the young Hannibal, and he was eager to get out into the world and make his mark as an explorer.  As a teen, he took an interest in motorcycles — cheap transportation that didn’t require him to ride the train or bus.  He helped Mr. Pritchard, the local mechanic with his motorcycle shop, eventually buying himself a 1921 Indian Scout that he only recently replaced with a 1930 Indian 101 Scout.

He attended Columbia University — his father’s alma mater — as a legacy admission and studied foreign languages, where earned a doctorate in languages and  archeology (the two had many of the same course requirements, allowing him to finish faster.)  He is a specialist in ancient Central Asia — ancient Chinese, Aryan, and Turkic civilizations.  His graduate advisor was Dr. Sydney Lowell — himself an expert in Middle Eastern and Central Asian cultures and histories.

His father lost quite a bit of money in the stock market in 1929, leaving the family fortunes — slim as they were — destroyed.  Hannibal had to finish his doctoral work by getting positions as a graduate assistant on digs in Egypt and in China until his graduation, and along the way picked up a few friends in the antiquities market.  He made extra money selling valuable trinkets to these people, enough to finish school and gain a reputation with some of the archeological community as a grave robber and scoundrel.  Dr. Lowell — himself old school when it came to having some of his finds make their way to museum and personal collections by shady avenues — stood by the young man.  His father is now dead of emphysema, and his mother is working away as a school teacher in Hoboken.  Hannibal has a small house a few doors down from his mother, a gift willed to him from his father.  Mr. Pritchard — the crotchety old mechanic — is still around, and is something of a father figure to Dr. Drake.

In 1934, Dr. Drake started traveling extensively on a grant from his new home as an adjunct professor of archeology at Columbia, a position he wouldn’t have gotten without the aid of Dr. Lowell. One of his quests was to find evidence of a mellified man — an old Middle Eastern legend. During a side gig in India, Drake managed to locate the body of Admiral He — the famed Chinese explorer from the 15th Century — and a copy of his papers.. (Drake is pretty sure the body and casket are very very good fakes, but he was able to get them for a song and sell in to the Chinese government as authetic.) This put him in the position to look into the Chinese connection to the mellified man.

Archetype: Explorer     Motivation: Money/Fame

Nationality: American     Date of Birth: 23 May 1904     Place of Birth: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

Height: 5’10”     Weight: 190 lbs.    Age: 32     Hair: Dirty Blond     Eyes: Blue

ATTRIBUTES: Body: 3   Dexterity 2   Strength: 3    Charisma: 2   Intelligence: 3   Willpower: 3

Secondary Attributes: Size: 0   Move: 5   Perception: 6   Initiative: 5   Defense: 5   Stun: 3   Health: 6   Style: 4

RESOURCES & TRAITS: Contacts 2: Academia, Antiquities Dealers; Mentor 1: Dr. Lowell, Columbia University; Status 2: Professor of Research Archeology: +2 social tests (+4 academic circles); Skill Mastery: Academics — all academics specialties; Tough: +1 to body at creation

FLAWS: Curious: Style point when it comes into play; Single-Minded: He doesn’t give up, once he’s on the job.; Scoundrel: He’s not a criminal, but he’s disreputable: -2 to social tests with people who know his reputation.

LANGUAGES: English (native): Ancient Egyptian, French, German, Greek (includes ancient), Italian, Mandarin, Sanskrit

SKILLS:  Academics 3 /6, Athletics 2/5, Brawl 2/5, Bureaucracy 1/4, Con 2/4  (Seduction 5), Craft, Mechanics 1/4, Diplomacy 2/5, Drive 2/4 (Motorcycles 5), Firearms 2/4 (Pistol 5), Investigation 3/6 (Research 7), Larceny 1/3, Linguistics 4/7, Ride 2/4, Science, Geology 1/4, Stealth 2/4, Streetwise 2/4, Survival 1/4

WEAPONRY: Colt M1917 Army .45ACP Revolver