Mini Six Character: Detective Sergeant Arthur Dietrich

Wherein your humble scribe attempts to honor the recently departed Steve Landesberg by writing up his most famous character, Detective Sergeant Arthur Dietrich as a Mini Six/Precinct ’77 character.

If it’s true that childhood imagination games like “Cowboys & Indians” and “Cops & Robbers” are the original RPGs, then it’s likely that my first character was, shall we say, an homage to (read as: blatant knock off of) Detective Sergeant Arthur Dietrich, of Barney Miller fame. When it came to cops, other kids wanted to be Dirty Harry, Starsky & Hutch, or even Ponch & John. But not me. I wanted to be the calm, intellectual detective who confounded everyone with his dry wit and subtle sarcasm. I was an odd kid, go fig.

So when I heard this morning that Steve Landesberg, the actor who portrayed this childhood icon of mine passed away yesterday, I felt the need to complete the circle a bit and write up ol’ Dietrich as a “proper” RPG character. So consider this my odd adult effort at a tribute to one of the great offbeat cops of all time and the actor who played him so very well.

First, let’s watch the opening of Barney Miller to get in the mood (and man, that bass line does it for me every time):

And now, let’s meet the real star of the show…

Detective Sergeant Arthur Dietrich
Might 2D+2 Agility 2D+1
Wit 4D Charm 3D
Skills: Brawling 3D, Muscle 3D, Dodge 3D+1, Investigation 5D, German 4D+2, Legalese 4D+1, Sciences 5D, Humanities 5D, Good Cop 4D, Bad Cop 3D+1
Perks: Destiny
Complications: none
Gear: Badge, Handcuffs, Service Revolver (4D)
Static: Dodge 10, Block 9, Parry 8
Body Points: 30
Armor: none

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0 thoughts on “Mini Six Character: Detective Sergeant Arthur Dietrich

  1. Narmer

    What a shame. This is the first I’ve heard of his passing. He did a great job in that role.

    Oh, and the theme for Barney Miller is one of my favorite of all time.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Hey Narmer!

      Yeah, this is one that hit me where I live. Dietrich (and by extension, Landesberg) was, to me, the soul of that show. I know a lot of people felt that Barney Miller went downhill when Abe Vigoda left, but for me it really was all about Dietrich and, to a lesser degree, Harris.

      And it’s a rare TV theme that can compete with Barney Miller’s for sure.