Rule Thread 02 -Character Creation

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Lazarus
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Rule Thread 02 -Character Creation

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:42 am

Character creation uses point-buy, and goes by stages. The stages will end with the new pc's in line with the current level of the other pc's.

Before getting started I'd suggest considering a desired power theme. Why I suggest this is to make sure the 'normal' person created at first can function well with their powers. Being point-buy there's a vast range of possible character backgrounds, with some limits imposed by the story and setting. The powers come from experimentation done on the characters.

The foremost limit is you're Human, the game being set on Earth in 2020. Supernatural/fantasy creatures are as fictional here as in the real world, and the alien Providers are strictly npc's. Secondly your character has no significant ties to fame, or family, that would make them unlikely candidates. Thirdly if you base your character on someone real, or a pre-existing work of fiction, I'd like you to change the name and enough detail so that it isn't obvious. Fourthly the game is set in Detroit USA, and the prisoners that make up potential player characters were abducted from neighbouring states, so while you don't need to be American, your character will need an excuse to be in America. Lastly when they join the game they need to be someone who'll accept the situation, and join with the other player characters. Optionally your character can be someone who was made to disappear because they were judged a threat to Helios' plans, or they can just be someone who was easy to disappear.

As I lay out the rest of the character creation stages I'll use an example character Molly Coburn. Molly was a housewife when she was captured. Her theme will be mutation and mental adaptability.

Here's the baseline character sheet:

Traits:
Strength, Vitality, Nimbleness
Reason, Grit, Wits
Influence, Luck, Awareness

The base Skill list:
Martial:_____
Martial:_____
Martial:_____
Acrobatics
Balance
Climb
Computer Access
Diplomacy
Drive
Intimidate
Jump
Observation
Persuade
Slight of Hand
Stealth
Survival
Swim
Provide Aid

Abilities:
(start without, or very limited)

Derived Stats:

Health: (V+G)x4
Edge Pool: Lx3
Action Points: V+W+A
Defense: N+R+W+A
Death Save: V+L
Memory: R+W
Resilience: V+G
React: W+L
Trauma: V+S
Sequence: A+N
Ego: I+G

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Lazarus
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Re: Rule Thread 02 -Character Creation

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:43 am

Stage 1 is to make a normal functional Human being. You have 100 points to work with. 100 points is a tight sum to work with so you won't have an extraordinary character at this point.

Of those 100 points:
> a minimum 60 on Traits. Seek permission, and explain the character hook if you want a Trait at 0, the max is 4
> a minimum 20 on Skills.
> 3 skills get the Edge tag without spending points (so the total is effectively 115), those skills don't need to be at 5 for the edge tag.
> Degree skills can be edge tagged at less than 5.
> Abilities are permissible here, but only mundane ones.
> at most 5 points can go unspent.

The price of Traits is (for a 0/1/2/3/4 progression) 0+2+4+6+8
A Zero Trait is only legal as a major drawback, and not recommended unless it's intended as a focal point of the character.

The price of Skills is 1 point per skill point, capped at 5.

Edge tags (except the 3 free starting tags) cost 5 each.

Level 1 Abilities cost 5 each, but can be ignored at this point.

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So back to Molly. She's a woman in her early 20's, who dropped out of university to get married.

Traits:
Strength 1, Vitality 2, Nimbleness 3
Reason 3, Grit 2, Wits 4
Influence 1, Luck 3, Awareness 2

To start with I put 1 in all her Traits, she doesn't have any defining flaws. This uses 18 points.
Then I decided Strength and Influence are her weak points, she's not an outgoing woman, nor has she put much effort into working out. Everything else bumps to 2 which uses another 28 points.
Then decided she's smart, flexible, and quick witted, so another 18 points raising Nimbleness, Reason, and Wits to 3.
With 62 spent I've put more than the minimum in Traits, so I leave it at that and start on skills.


Skills:
Martial: Unarmed 2
Acrobatics 2
Balance 1
Computer Access 4 <tagged>
Observation 3 <tagged>
Stealth 2
Provide Aid 2
Cooking 1
Accounting 2
Mathematics Degree: 3 <tagged>
-probability
-algebra
-analysis

While she's capable, and has a fair amount of potential, she's not someone who's developed a lot of life skills. I added Accounting, and a Mathematics degree to reflect her aborted university experience. The skills with no points have been culled for brevity. Overall it comes out as 22 points on Skills. This leaves 16 unspent, so going back up to Traits I bump Wits to 4, and luck to 3 for an added 14 points spent. The remaining 2 points can remain unspent for now.

Abilities:
(start without, or very limited)

Leaving Abilities for the next stage.

Derived Stats:
Health: (V+G)x4 16/16
Edge Pool: Lx3 9/9
Action Points: V+W+A 8/8
Defense: N+R+W+A +12
Death Save: V+L +5
Memory: R+W +7
Resilience: V+G +4
React: W+L +7
Trauma: V+S +3
Sequence: A+N +5
Ego: I+G +3

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Re: Rule Thread 02 -Character Creation

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:43 am

Stage 2 comes after your character has been captured and experimented on. Changes have been made, your brain may have been rewired, your genetics altered, your biochemistry changed, technology added, or some combination of such.

There's also the option of a severe mutation, which could be considered a change of species. Three of the traits becoming twice as expensive, while a fourth costs half. This is a permanent modification, so shouldn't be decided lightly, the four initial players opted against it. This is retroactive, and points already spent remain spent, which likely means spending points to balance the modified Traits before spending points elsewhere.

The points go up to 150, so another 50 points to apply.
> 'mutated' characters can raise their prime stat as far as 6, other characters may buy a Trait to 5 if they desire.
> a minimum 20 on level 1 Abilities, one of which is applied with Growth.
> at most 10 points can go unspent.

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So going back to Molly's story. Visiting her husband at work she witnesses him being replaced by one of the New Race. She gets attacked, knocked out, and discretely transported to one of Helios' secret labs. Unknown to her, her death has been faked, and been used as an excuse for any discrepancies in her husbands behaviour as his duplicate takes over her life.

She spends days in confinement, then gets tranquillised and experimented on. Injections cause changes to her genetics, and the beginning of physical and neurological changes. She's returned to her cell where she begins to transform.

The genetics are mostly from a race from a low gravity world, the race are physically frail, but highly adaptive. The changes don't make her look alien, but do cause a strange alteration to her features, and significant changes to her mannerisms.

So first thing first I apply a severe mutation, adversely effecting Strength, Vitality, and Influence, while increasing her Wits. I mark this by colouring the associated Traits. Legalising the spent points changes her 98/150 points spent to 109/150, and increases her Wits to 6.

Then I consider Abilities, she needs a minimum of 4, and one of them needs to be marked as her Growth ability. The following five bring her points spent to 134/150.
Memory Mastery 1 <Growth>
Poison Claws 1 (death saves)
Predator 1 -camouflage.
Combat Dodge
Regeneration 1
The Poison Claws, and Camouflage require biological effort, so she gains a Power Pool of 10 as a Derived Stat.

Her remaining points go on increasing her Reason, Her Awareness, and on a couple of Skill points.


150/150 points spent.

Traits:
Strength 1, Vitality 2, Nimbleness 3
Reason 4, Grit 2, Wits 6
Influence 1, Luck 3, Awareness 3

Skills:
Martial: Unarmed 2
Acrobatics 2
Balance 1
Computer Access 4 <tagged>
Observation 3 <tagged>
Stealth 3
Provide Aid 2
Cooking 1
Accounting 2
Mathematics Degree: 3 <tagged>
-probability
-algebra
-analysis
Combat Dodge 1

Abilities:
Memory Mastery 1 <Growth>
Poison Claws 1 (characters unarmed attacks can have a chemical effect, causing an extra death save.)
Predator 1 -camouflage. (6 action to cast, and maintain. Adds a bonus Edge die to all Stealth checks, allows Stealth in plain sight.)
Combat Dodge
Regeneration 1

Derived Stats:
Health: (V+G)x4 16/16
Edge Pool: Lx3 9/9
Action Points: V+W+A 11/11
Defense: N+R+W+A +16
Death Save: V+L +5
Memory: R+W +10 (Edge enabled)
Resilience: V+G +4
React: W+L +9
Trauma: V+S +3
Sequence: A+N +6
Ego: I+G +3
Power Pool: 10/10

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Re: Rule Thread 02 -Character Creation

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:44 am

Stage 3, catching up with the party. As I post this (during chapter 6) the active player characters have 216 points. Points are handed out between chapters, and the limits are revised. If in any doubt there's a rule recap including the revised spending limits at the start of each chapter, and the character threads have the point total at the top of their character sheets. Here is the chapter six 'current limits':

Current Limits.
Traits have no limit. Costing totals of 2pts for 1, 6pts for 2, 12pts for 3, 20pts for 4, 30pts for 5, etc. So they costs twice the target level to raise.
Skills, and degree skill sets with no maximum.
Skill levels cost 1 each to level 5
Skills need to be Edge tagged to go above 5 (the Edge tag costs 5)
Skill levels cost 2 each to level 10
Skills need to be Edge Reroll tagged to go above 10 (the Edge Reroll tag costs 10)
Skill levels cost 4 each to level 15
Skills need to be Two Die Reroll tagged to go above 15 (the Two Die Reroll tag costs 15)
Skill levels cost 8 each to level 20

At creation characters get 3 free edge tags.
Abilities limited to level 1, 2, or without level. 1st level or unleveled Abilities cost five each. 2nd level Abilities cost 10, and usually require level 1 first.
One Ability has growth, making that Ability usable at +1 level.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So going back to Molly Coburn. At this point she's been a captive for months. At first she was taken for testing, and returned to her confinement over, and over again. Sometimes a metal bracer was clamped on her arm, which made her feel weak and muddy headed, the rest of the time her new abilities continued to develop. At some point her treatment changed, she endured beatings, and was forced to fight against fellow prisoners, and against the vicious false people who call themselves New Race. These sessions would end with her returned to confinement to heal, usually also fighting the effect of tranquillisers and shock staffs. Her body was adapting to the stress put on it, the full extent of which she concealed in hope of eventual escape.

Currently she has 66 points to spend. You can spend your points however you wish within the current limits. In her case I'm gonna roughly split the new points into thirds between her Abilities, Traits, and Skills.

Starting with 25 points in abilities, 10 points raises her Memory Mastery to 2, which with the Growth bonus makes it effectively 3. The other 15 points go into three new Abilities. Armoured Body 1, Energy Armour 1, and Resilience Mastery 1. These new Abilities all represent how she's physically adapting.

Raising Traits can be quite expensive. With so much focus on her memory I start by raising her Reason and Wits for a combined cost of 17.

I spent 23 on skills, with a couple of new Edge tags, and a focus on the combat experience she'd been picking up. The last point is left unspent for now.


215/216 points spent.

Traits:
Strength 1, Vitality 2, Nimbleness 3
Reason 5, Grit 2, Wits 7
Influence 1, Luck 3, Awareness 3

Skills:
Martial: Unarmed 5 <Tagged>
Acrobatics 2
Balance 1
Computer Access 4 <tagged>
Observation 5 <tagged>
Stealth 5
Provide Aid 2
Cooking 1
Accounting 2
Mathematics Degree: 3 <tagged>
-probability
-algebra
-analysis
Combat Dodge 6 <tagged>

Abilities:
Memory Mastery 2 <Growth +1> (effectively 3rd level)
Poison Claws 1 (characters unarmed attacks can have a chemical effect, causing an extra death save.)
Predator 1 -camouflage. (6 action to cast, and maintain. Adds a bonus Edge die to all Stealth checks, allows Stealth in plain sight.)
Combat Dodge
Regeneration 1
Armoured Body 1
Energy Armour 1
Resilience Mastery 1

Derived Stats:
Health: (V+G)x4 16/16
Edge Pool: Lx3 9/9
Action Points: V+W+A 12/12
Defense: N+R+W+A +18
Death Save: V+L +5
Memory: R+W +12 (Edge enabled with 2 rerolls)
Resilience: V+G +4 (Edge enabled)
React: W+L +10
Trauma: V+S +3
Sequence: A+N +6
Ego: I+G +3
Power Pool: 10/10

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Re: Rule Thread 02 -Character Creation

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:46 am

With the end of chapter six the player characters jumped to 280 points. Molly played an active roll in the chapter 6 prison rescue that freed her, and more than twenty other enhanced people. I'll share one final update of Molly's character, as another example of character advancement. If the players convince her to take an active role in future chapters, I'll give her her own npc character sheet thread. As an npc she'll likely decline behind the other characters point totals.

The only limit change going into chapter seven is that Abilities can increase to level 3, the 3rd level costs 15 character points.

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Molly was one of the only prisoners that left the underground facility conscious, whole, and essentially undrugged. Before her escape she fought along side the player character, in the process taking revenge on some of her tormentors. She ended up free from Victor and his New Race creatures, but not free to return home. The same held true for all the freed prisoners, as long as Victor's empire held none of them could return home without throwing their own live away, and possibly those of any loved ones. For most of the prisoners recovery would take time (they'll be kept separate, unless pealed off as a pc), but Molly was happy to spend time with her rescuers. The safe house (once finished) promised access to whatever she wanted in way of comfort, training, and education material. She quickly took advantage of the later, spending most of her unoccupied hours speed reading books to feed her voracious mind.

First off in regard to her performance in chapter 6, it was mostly as I expected. I introduced her drugged and worn out from previous fighting, but she still managed to contribute.

As an npc she was perfect, but if she'd been a pc there was something I found clearly lacking, and that's that she can't replenish her power pool. It was purposeful that I didn't give her a Reservoir Ability, as I couldn't see it making sense with her very biological Abilities. I still don't see it working as her poison and cloaking excretions should really be finite. So rather than simply give her Reservoir I'm crafting a new Ability that seems better suited:
>Fuel 1 (6 action spent consuming nutrients, regain 2 power pool)

For the rest of her points I'll start by sinking 25 points in Abilities as such:
>Tie off Predator 1 (Continue using Predator without the action cost)
>Tie off Predator 2 (as above, as well as 1 tier lower power cost)
>Detox 1 (She naturally purges all poison, venom, toxins, and toxicants. Resilience/Trauma effects involving such wear off 1 points per round instead of 1/10 minutes)
>Recovery 1 (She recovers quickly from the Resiliance/trauma effects not covered by Detox. 1 point per round)
As to why? The 'Tie off' is because once cloaked it doesn't make sense she'd need to keep repeating it to stay cloaked, so for 15 points it becomes persistent without a power cost. The Detox and Recovery are to round out her Regeneration, her experiences and biological changes making her able to bounce quickly back from most things.

Trait increases. With that much spent on Abilities there's not a lot left for traits and skills, so aiming for roughly half in each. I'll focus on what she used most, tempered by affordability.
> +Nimbleness (8 character points)
> +Grit (6 character points)

Skill increases.
>Stealth tagged (5 character points)
> +2 Unarmed (4 character points)
> +1 Observation (2 character points)
> +2 Combat Dodge (4 character points)

That leaves 6 points unspent. As tempting as it is to bump the skills a little more, I'm leaving them unspent. Her 'Regeneration 1' is slow, so I'm holding back points to potentially raise it to 2 in future.


274/280 points spent.

Traits:
Strength 1, Vitality 2, Nimbleness 4
Reason 5, Grit 3, Wits 7
Influence 1, Luck 3, Awareness 3

Skills:
Martial: Unarmed 7 <Tagged>
Acrobatics 2
Balance 1
Computer Access 4 <tagged>
Observation 6 <tagged>
Stealth 5 <tagged>
Provide Aid 2
Cooking 1
Accounting 2
Mathematics Degree: 3 <tagged>
-probability
-algebra
-analysis
Combat Dodge 8 <tagged>

Abilities:
Memory Mastery 2 <Growth +1> (effectively 3rd level)
Poison Claws 1 (characters unarmed attacks can have a chemical effect, causing an extra death save.)
Predator 1 -camouflage. (6 action to cast, and maintain. Adds a bonus Edge die to all Stealth checks, allows Stealth in plain sight.)
Combat Dodge
Regeneration 1
Armoured Body 1
Energy Armour 1
Resilience Mastery 1
Fuel 1 (6 action spent consuming nutrients, regain 2 power pool)
Tie off Predator 1 (Continue using Predator without the action cost)
Tie off Predator 2 (as above, as well as 1 tier lower power cost)
Detox 1 (She naturally purges all poison, venom, toxins, and toxicants. Resilience/Trauma effects involving such wear off 1 points per round instead of 1/10 minutes)
Recovery 1 (She recovers quickly from the Resiliance/trauma effects not covered by Detox. 1 point per round)

Derived Stats:
Health: (V+G)x4 20/20
Edge Pool: Lx3 9/9
Action Points: V+W+A 12/12
Defense: N+R+W+A +19
Death Save: V+L +5
Memory: R+W +12 (Edge enabled with 2 rerolls)
Resilience: V+G +5 (Edge enabled)
React: W+L +10
Trauma: V+S +3
Sequence: A+N +7
Ego: I+G +4
Power Pool: 15/15

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