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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Character Creation through a developing history?  (Read 2425 times)
BeUrgaust
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Mike "the Lensman" Wormley


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« on: August 18, 2006, 02:46:56 PM »

Okay I just checked out the Fate variant to Fudge and I think that the character creation system is stellar!!! The way its presented the GM provides a general history, the players fill in details that assist in the developement of the character and this leads to stats. I was wondering if there are any other games out there that does this approach (hopefully free) so I can compare and utilize in the creation rules for my wuxia game.
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Death and dice level all distinction. -- Samuel Foote, The Minor
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2006, 07:03:15 AM »

Hello,

One of the character creation options in HeroQuest begins with not much more than a blank sheet with a few guide words, and one fills things in as one goes. I also recommend The Pool; its reward system is really a form of character creation as an ongoing, filled-in portrait, although I don't think most people play it enough to see this in action.

What did you have in mind for the wuxia game, in that this approach works best? My guess is that such stories often begin with very sketchy, stereotypical characters, who then develop more depth and humanity as the story goes along. "Develop" may not be the right word, though, because in some cases, the audience isn't shown the existing depth yet, and in others, the character literally develops it. The same game mechanic (blank to rich PC material) can work well for either.

A lot of people who like dramatic wuxia may not know about one of the finest examples, which I think is extremely underrated in the States: Ronny Yu's The Bride with White Hair. If you haven't seen it, I suggest running, not walking. Not only because it's a great movie which introduced many film techniques we see all the time today, but also because it's a fantastic example of starting with cookie cut-out stereotype characters who then become resoundingly three-dimensional.

Best, Ron
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BeUrgaust
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Mike "the Lensman" Wormley


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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2006, 02:03:21 AM »

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=20817.0
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=20863.0

Well since these two threads are directly related to the game this question addresses, I was sort of imagining characters starting pretty close to the human norm with a bit of dimension already and then through gameplay becoming colorful and powerful as they come into their "powers".  I'm leaning heavily on wire-fu physics, and special effects. And in GNS terms I was looking for nar but I think I'd like to go Gamist or Sim..or maybe a hybrid ( you found the lost ancient temple of the wandering fist, you are greeted at the door by an elderly monk who drops his walking stick 'HA you approach my home! Prepare for my fierce golden punch!')
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Death and dice level all distinction. -- Samuel Foote, The Minor
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2006, 05:13:35 AM »

I suggest putting aside GNS talk for a while. Or, if you'd like to learn more about that, then post any role-playing you like in Actual Play, and we can talk about it there.

For this game, your latest post is a little, well, boring. Characters start without power and then gain it through play. That's exactly what most RPGs do, even the ones in which characters start with fantabulous powers. Are you really only describing a fairly fast-moving improvement system? That should be easy enough to design.

Best, Ron
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BeUrgaust
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Mike "the Lensman" Wormley


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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 12:46:34 PM »

Let me approach this from a different angle then, character creation will highly evolve out of events of one's hometown and their reaction to them. Advancement after the initial character is not tied to or an extention of creation, but more an extention of exploration, different secrets developed by different masters in different locales, and those locales in remote places. If you want to learn the Quivering Fist Technique you have to find the master so that it could end up being called Shai-Zo's Quivering Fist or Quivering Fist of the Sunken Mountain and so on after a while character's could be provided the information on how to take the individual techniques they've learned and combine them into a single technique of their own becoming a master themselves. Power with a piece of setting tied to it is so much more interesting to me than power alone or power as a vehicle to examine one's self.
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Death and dice level all distinction. -- Samuel Foote, The Minor
Josh Roby
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Category Three Forgite


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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 12:58:13 PM »

BeUrgaust (please tell me you have a real name we can use) --

Can all of that power-mongering be done retroactively?  Like I'm in the middle of a fight scene and I choose to reveal that years ago, I made the pilgrimage to Sunken Mountain and was taught the secrets of the Quivering Fist (kinky!), and then lay into the mooks I was fighting?

Cause I am tired beyond tears of the coming-of-age gaining-power origin-of-superhero narrative structure.  The recent rash of superhero movies and all of the nostalgic setting reboots have just set my teeth on edge.  I don't want to find out how Awesome Dude X became Awesome.  I want to see him be Awesome, already!
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BeUrgaust
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Mike "the Lensman" Wormley


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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2006, 02:32:56 PM »

Josh- That is a really cool idea... If only there were a way to regulate the retroactive end of it and combine it with also the usual character creation... Let me process this for a bit I'll see what I can come up with.
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Death and dice level all distinction. -- Samuel Foote, The Minor
Josh Roby
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 08:09:05 PM »

What do you mean by "regulate the retroactive end"?  If you're worrying about players "abusing" it, try refocusing in your head.  If the game is about badasses with secret/occult histories, does having players do that all the time make more sense?  Is that a game that you'd like to play?
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Mcrow
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2006, 07:35:20 AM »

What do you mean by "regulate the retroactive end"?  If you're worrying about players "abusing" it, try refocusing in your head.  If the game is about badasses with secret/occult histories, does having players do that all the time make more sense?  Is that a game that you'd like to play?

I agree with Josh, it seems that this is the type of game where the players get to be the ass-kicking badasses.

one way to do this would be to allow the advancement mechanics to used in game @ any given time.
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joepub
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Joe Thomas McDonald


« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2006, 07:41:32 AM »

Maybe players accumulate Power Tokens for fighting their battles (whether they be combat, social, political, etc) with the skills they already have...

and they spend Power Tokens to introduce new skills.


So Golden Phoenix can be like either:
a. "I can try to get through this with my current powers, and get a resource at the end. It'll be tough, but I can do it."
b. "I can spend some resources to gain Flying Wall Run, and then totally wipe these mooks off the floor."
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dindenver
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Don't Panic!


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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2006, 08:53:40 AM »

Hi!
  Instead of awarding tokens for winning conflicts, award tokens for advancing the story. I know that story advancement is a little nebulous, but if you can capture the idea of it. It is much more fitting than playing to win...
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Dave M
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