In both the card game and the book, Newgate is a powerhouse and a badass in every sense of the word (if you excuse the slang). Originally for the design, I had planned for him to be this middle aged man who could kick your butt in a second despite his age. I had been reading a lot of the manga One Piece at the time and one of the characters, Edward Newgate, served as an inspiration for Gunter's last name. As for the name Gunter, that was simply an old fashioned name that I thought was fitting for someone with that much strength. If I ever have two boys when I have children, I'd name the second one Gunter.
I wanted Gunter to have this presence whenever he joined the field in the card game, but I also wanted him to be honored bound to the King. In the Masquerade book, I explore this concept a bit further as well as his past as a soldier. Not wishing to spoil anything, in the book Newgate is one of the main characters (the other being Mary the Mute who is actually his adopted daughter). Gunter is a veteran to one of the most bloodiest battles in the kingdom's history, which explains where he learned his skills as a fighter.
That's where things get interesting, with Gunter I wanted to explore shell-shock in war. The battle may have ended a long time ago but the war for Gunter never really ended. In that sense, he's a bit of a tragic figure who's trying to go through life finding his purpose now that there are no enemies to fight. Of course, that all changes when the King ends up murdered in the first chapter, propelling him into an adventure that I think he'd really rather not have (read the first chapter in this blog if you have time: http://masqueradestory.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-small-teaser.html)
In the book, his character arc really is an exploration in letting go what was lost and overcoming the horrors of war. Gunter is strong physically, but he's aging and is deeply troubled mentally. Only his relationship with the King, an old childhood friend, has been keeping him balanced over the years.
In the card game, he's probably one of the best cards you can have at your side with 8 attack and 8 health while face up. He can utterly destroy just about any card in play and has one of the strongest defenses making him a valuable card to have, as was intended by design. Originally, I wanted to balance him out by putting him under the control of anyone who had the King card so that he could defend them but I scrapped that concept. It was too complicated to have him switching around the field like that when his sole purpose was to break things for you, not dance between players.
Players really connect with him and I think he's a damn good main character for the Masquerade book.
"I serve ONLY his majesty" - Gunter Newgate