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Independent Game Forums => Adept Press => Topic started by: Moreno R. on December 01, 2007, 07:06:57 PM



Title: Random Elfs Creation
Post by: Moreno R. on December 01, 2007, 07:06:57 PM
Here (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=25298.msg244149#msg244149) Ron said:
Quote
Hey! Anyone! Invent a cool randomized Elfs character creation system, and I'll give you a prize (uncool entries will not get a prize).

A prize? Well, let's try!

A very fast way of randomizing character creation in Elfs is... "cheating" a little (as I did at the last ModCon for my Elfs demonstrations) by creating some pregen (inspired by some of the characters in my old D&D campaigns - I gave them the same names, too...) and give them out randomly to the players. Very cathartic for old D&D traumas, but it means more work for the GM, and that's not cool. So let's try something different: a no-prep random character creation!

Following the steps on page 11:

1) Scores
In the written rules Spunk start at 5, the others at 0, then you trade. You can get a random choice by rolling 1d4 for the number of points traded, then rolling an adeguate die for the distribution, but it's boring and not very faithful to the source material. We need to use 3d6 to get these numbers. Then, there is another consideration. With a total random character creation, there is the risk of having a character with Spunk at 5 and the others at 0. That would be boring (and I could not find a character with zero in any score in all the book). Characters should have reasons to use low cunning of dumb luck. So here I depart from the printed rules forcing at least a "1" in the other two scores.

So... 1d6 in each hand, and 1d6 to the GM. The player roll the die in his right hand and it's his dumb luck, then rolls the die in his left hand and it's his low cunning. The master doesn't roll, but after he has seen the rolls he choose a number, and push that number to the player saying "no, THIS is your... " exchanging that die with one of the two already rolled.
(as you see, the initial rolls don't make any mathematical sense. The player could get a odd total number of points, or he could get more than 8 points. The GM has to check to see if the results make sense and, if not, use his "fake roll" to make it work the way he want. I find this estetically pleasing and appropriate, seeing that was often my experience with the source material in my beginning days as a GM... You can see that in this way the GM can force Spunk at 1 almost all the time if he wants, and at least a 2, in the case of a double 1 on the player roll. But he is not forced to do so)
After the player has his "fully random" scores for Dumb Luck and Low Cunning, he can easily find his Spunk score.

2) Personality:
Roll 1d10:
1 - cranky
2 - vain
3 - dazed
4 - airhead
5 - wise-ass
6 - perky
7 - stoned
8 - snobby
9 - plain mean
10 - poser-cool

Then roll 1d6: 
1-2 = Oral stage
3-4 = Anal Stage
5-6 = Genital stage

3) Magic-use: This, in reference to the source material, should be a player's choice. If you want to roll even for this, you can use the previous Stage Roll (odd=no magic, even=magic). If you want to limit the number of magic-using elfs, but still allow them, make the people who want to play a magic-user fight against each other on the step to the magic-using teacher in a flashback. Who win get inside the school and learn something before being throw out.

The spells listed are 13, you roll a number of times equal to your spunk. You could roll 1d20 every time, with rerolls on 14-20 or when you get a spell you already have, but in this case it would be faster to simply write the names of the spells on little piece of paper, and make the players draw them (in this manner no two elfs would have the same spell).  If you have a cards deck you could even tie any spell to a playing card (ace=1, Jack=11, Queen=12, King=13) but I like the drawing more.

4) Outfitting: this is already random

5) possible magic item: to randomize this it's necessary to write a serie of tables to roll for the pieces of the item description, or at least have a list of items to roll on (like in the source material). Seeing that the source material already has a lot of tables to use for this, it should be possible to use these, as written on page 77.


Title: Re: Random Elfs Creation
Post by: Ron Edwards on December 01, 2007, 08:25:01 PM
Not bad! A little bit literal in spots, in the sense having 10 options for something, hence roll d10. I greatly approve of the method for arriving the three basic scores, and my inclination is to find something equally diabolical about Stage, spell-choice, and other stuff.

Anyone else? C'mon, you wimps.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Random Elfs Creation
Post by: Moreno R. on December 01, 2007, 08:31:12 PM
The method above other dices, not only d10. This is in deference to some tradition of the souce material (like the use of 3d6, and the way character generation is a different and separate thing from the game). But what if you want something more faithful to Elfs itself, using only d10?

Step 1:  like the one above, but with 3d10. Even if the player get a double 10 the GM can always change one of them to a 2.
If you want to use the usual "player roll for successes, the GM doesn't roll" Elf's system this could be substitued by a normal roll with 3d10 against a target number chosen by the GM to get the points of Spunk traded (0-3, to detract from a starting value of 4), then by another one against the numbers of points traded, doubled, to get the points that go to one of the other two scores (player's choice), with the others (if any left) to the third score.

Step 2:
2) Personality:
Roll 1d10:
1 - cranky
2 - vain
3 - dazed
4 - airhead
5 - wise-ass
6 - perky
7 - stoned
8 - snobby
9 - plain mean
10 - poser-cool

Then roll 1d10: 
1-3 = Oral stage
4-6 = Anal Stage
7-9 = Genital stage
0 = reroll or choice

Step 3:  Magic-use: This, in reference to the source material, should be a player's choice. If you want to roll even for this, you can use the previous Stage Roll (odd=no magic, even=magic). If you want to limit the number of magic-using elfs, but still allow them, make the people who want to play a magic-user fight against each other on the step to the magic-using teacher in a flashback. Who win get inside the school and learn something before being throw out.

The spells listed are 13, you roll a number of times equal to your spunk. You could roll 1d10 every time, counting from the last spell chosen and not from the beginning (and beginning again from the first spell whan you get to end of the list) , but in this case it would be faster to simply write the names of the spells on little piece of paper, and make the players draw them (in this manner no two elfs would have the same spell). 

Step 4-5: no changes

[edit: cross-posted with Ron's answer]


Title: Re: Random Elfs Creation
Post by: Moreno R. on December 01, 2007, 08:46:50 PM
Sorry! The cross-post note distracted me and I didn't check the post preview as I should have. The step 1 for d10s is missing a crucial step: the player halves the results on the d10 (rounded down) and add 1 (to get results of 1-6), if not even the GM "false roll" can't fix a bad roll (with a couple of 10, for example)

Seeing that Ron liked the 3d6 in the first post, there is no need of this variant anyway....

P.S.: I have some idea for the other steps, too, but I don't want to drown other proposals in this thread, turning it into a two-way conversation. Ron, what do you think about the way to go with this thread? Only one proposal for each poster (so, I should stup up now and let others try?) or "Everyone, fire at will"? A minimum time between different proposal? others?


Title: Re: Random Elfs Creation
Post by: Ron Edwards on December 02, 2007, 04:15:31 PM
I would prefer a happy chaos of input, using this thread. The more people who post more ideas, the better, with no particular rules about how many, or about how often, or whatever.

None of my comments should be considered declarations about getting or not getting a prize. I'll make those judgments later.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Random Elfs Creation
Post by: Moreno R. on December 03, 2007, 10:25:12 PM
Ok, let's try to find "something equally diabolical" for the steps 2-up

- Personality

The book list 10 kind of personality. The game use ten-siders. The roll of 1d10 to get the personality is too apt to be discarded. But how can we turn this in something more elfs-like? Well...  taking a cue from the book and using Tattle!

The players (starting from the one with more low cunning, or from the one chosen by the GM if it's a tie) roll 1d10 to get personality, then they point a finger to ANOTHER player and say "xxxxxx? Ah! You are xxxxx! I remember when..." (the "... I remeber when" phrase is optional but the GM should made very clear that who will not be able to utter a good enough tattle will be singled out by him as the target of one of his worst attack later)

The characters tattled about get the personality, and can't be targeted by other tattles in this phase, so that every one will get a personality chosen by another). He is the next to roll. He can't choose the first player as a target until every other character has got a personality.

- Stages: 

The player who roll for personality do so with a specific d10 chosen between three of different color or size. Every one of these three dice is assigned a stage, and the player who receive the dice (with the personality) must answer the tattle with something appropriate to his newsly assigned stage. If the answer is good, in the GM's opinion, he get a boost of 1 to his spunk for the next roll only.

(when all three dice are used they are put again in the pool of available dice. This is to get all the stages in play if it's possible)

Example: Paul roll "stoned" with the Oral stage die (he can choose the die or he must pick it blindly, GM's choice), and say to Jack (talking in character to Jack's Elf, Snot) "stoned? Nobody is more stoned then you, Snot, I remember when you did smoke a sack of bristles!", and Jack answer "I wasn't smoking, I was cooking it!"  (and the GM say "bah, too lame, no bonus!")

I know that, with so little time to get a good joke out, the players will probably utter the lamest jokes imaginable, something that would not draw a laugh even from a Hyena. This is enterely appropriate: how do you imagine Elfs' brand of humor? I think that this will help them get in character....

- Magic

The GM choose if YOU can have magic or not (this is again enterely faithful to the source material: if the party needed a magic user, the GM choose who had to do it. If the party had too many magic user, the GM did choose who had to change), and to do so he is encouraged to use any system he can come up to get the results he already decided (he can count, for example).

The GM give you the spells using a very random method: he close his eyes and point to the page of the game manual that list the spells, and then see where is his finger. Or he can give you the spells that he want. (or he can photocopy the pages of the manual and tear the photocopies in pieces and throw them to the players, and see them fight to get the piece of paper with the spell that they want)

- possible magic items: rolls on the tables on the source material.

Other possible steps:

- sex of the character: chosen by the GM at whim, with the advice of choosing a sex (and a sexual orientation) different from the player's

- name: chosen by the other players, together, AFTER the character creation, with the the final decision to the GM.



Title: Re: Random Elfs Creation
Post by: James_Nostack on December 04, 2007, 09:03:20 AM
Damn it Moreno you beat me to it.  I write these rules completely unburdened by ever playing, reading, or owning Elfs.  Also, I have very limited experience with the material it satirizes.

Attributes, or Whatever They Are Called in This Game
Characters start out with scores of 1 in each Attribute, later modified in part by chance and part by strategy.

Personality
Each player writes down the the stupidest, destructive, most juvenile blunder you remember anyone doing from high school on an index card.  The GM must write down the same, but it must be something he or she actually did.  Players place these index cards into a baseball cap with brim properly curved, and then each player draws--what's on the card is your Elf's greatest achievement in life thus far (when adjusted for the world of Nurth).  The player who submitted the event should provide all necessary context.  Note that the GM might want to use this information to construct an adventure.

* As a player, you too may write on the index card something you yourself did.  If so, add 1 to Spunk.
* If you figure out the loophole there, help yourself to 1 point of Low Cunning.
* If you draw your own card out, add 1 to Dumb Luck.
* If you draw out the GM's card, add 1 to Dumb Luck.

Stage
This is determined by whatever the player himself or herself did most recently prior to the gaming session:
* Chug a beverage
* Fart mightily
* Scratch himself or herself down there

Attempts to do all three at once at the gaming table earn the character 1 Spunk. 

Equipment Steal-Off
Equipment and Magical Stuffs are determined as per the usual rules, except players may attempt to steal each other's items.  Players reveal their equipment lists.  Each player writes a secret ballot, indicating what single item he or she would like to steal from another player; the ballot also indicates what single item that player owns, that he or she would rather destroy than risk falling into another player's grubby little hands.  Ballots are then revealed in descending order of Dumb Luck, going clockwise to break ties.  If you try to steal someone's protected item, it is destroyed.  (The stealing attempt follows the item, not the player--if player B steals player A's McGuffin, and Player C wanted to steal the McGuffin, then Player C ends up with it.  A player may choose to protect the item he hopes to steal.)

* If no one attempted to steal any of your items, add 1 point to Low Cunning.
* If none of your items were destroyed, add 1 point to Dumb Luck.
* If you managed to steal someone's item successfully, add 1 point to Dumb Luck.
* If you destroyed your own item, add 1 point to Low Cunning.

Magic
Add up the scores; the Elf with the lowest total becomes the Magical Elfy Elf.

Magic Items
If any character exceeds the proper point values, subtract a point from the highest score (if scores are tied, pick one at random), and the player then bestows upon his favorite player one extra roll on the Magic Item table, saying--"I'm a better player than you.  Here's your handicap."  (If there is no magic item table, the GM picks one at random.)  If the Elf's scores are still too high, repeat.