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Color-first character creation project

Started by Ron Edwards, December 30, 2008, 10:45:20 AM

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Ron Edwards

As moderator, I officially waive the no-images policy for purposes of this post.

I'd like to do a little discussion project here. It won't be any fun unless a bunch of people do it. It's not gimmicky, there's no hidden planned insight, and it's not much more than a useful platform for discussing some things I've been thinking about.


Here's an image from James V. West's website, Random Order Creations (please note that other images at the source page, Blood Red Comics, are nekkid; you have been tempted warned:

Make her up as a character for an RPG of your choice, stating the game's name, with the following limitations and guiding points.

1.   A beginning character, using exactly the rules as written,
2.   The game must permit enough user-choice to arrive at the character, rather than fudging a randomized system. (This isn't to say a highly-randomized game couldn't be used; some allow lots of leeway. Just, no fudging please.)
3.   The game genre and setting material, if applicable, should be faithful to the picture; don't use some cyberpunk or other off-type game design.
4.   If the game requires setting preparation as well as character creation, include that as well. (You can do it yourself for present purposes even if it calls for group discussion.)
5.   Do the full, full process of making the character, all the way down to buying her forearm-band if that's what it takes in that game to be play-ready.
6.   Present absolutely all the steps of character creation in detail.
7.   Please do not write fiction or back-story for the character beyond that required in the rules.
8.   The filename "Frostlick" is not relevant for present purposes; give the character a suitable name based on your concept and the game you've chosen.
9.   For purposes of posting, please use one game for one character per person. You can make up more or others, but keep them desk-side for now.
10.   You may use a game that someone else has already used in the thread.
11.   Feel free to scan and link to a character sheet if you have the capability.


Once people post a bunch of characters, then I'll choose a few of them, probably not more than five, based on how well they showcase the system in question.

This isn't a contest, because once those questions and discussions get started, it should be pretty easy for everyone else to infer what they should do with their characters. Nor will my criteria be based on anything to do with quality or achievement or anything else contest-like. I'm only limiting the number of characters I choose in order to stay sane, and I hope everyone else who posts a character will follow along with this part too. The discussion can certainly include characters I don't choose.

So, it starts pretty light. I'll ask questions about the system and various possibilities of play. We'll carry out some steps together regarding the characters which I'll hold off from explaining, for fear of biasing the initial submission. It's nothing weird though; I won't ask you to explain why she reminds you of your mother, or do some kind of reversal. Trust me: it won't be much more than simply talking about the game's processes.

Once everyone has taken his or her character through the steps I outline (which are necessarily specific to each system), then I suppose a contest might be made of it. Let's see: the three final characters which James likes the most will receive a new drawing by him, based on the outcomes of the second phase of the discussions.

Best, Ron

Eero Tuovinen

Ah, why not. I first thought that you'd have your hands full with participants and I'd have to drag out some really rare game if I was going to do this, and I'm not even that interested in visual character generation and stuff - but I want to show-case how I wrote the new Solar System character generation, which is quite different from how TSoY does things. This specific system might be pertinent to Ron's point if I'm reading between the lines correctly; I designed major parts of this system with some similar concerns in mind.

(The following includes quite a bit of background-writing, despite Ron's instructions to keep that to a minimum. This is the minimum if I'm going to go by the chargen instructions as written in the Solar System.)

Solar System take

Choosing the setting: According to Solar System, we need to choose a setting first. Let's go with Near from The Shadow of Yesterday - she seems to fit in well.

Focal points: The booklet instructs the group to choose a "focal point" from the setting - essentially a situation or issue that specifically becomes the central concern and emphasis of viewpoint for the character generation step. She seems obviously a bit savage, and this has been on my mind lately, so I'm going with the colonization of Qek: the world is knitting itself together and now there is increasing pressure from the powerful merchant houses of Ammeni to "open the continent" of Qek for exploitation - this is simply the way of things, as Qekians themselves are xenophobic and at this point relatively unable to interact constructively with the rest of the world. It's the African disaster all over again, unless something unexpected happens.

Initial Crunch and variant rules: The rules recommend that we set some baselines for crunch and such. Because I'm going to be playing with some Solar System experts, I'm going to just say that we'll be using the full TSoY crunch set as depicted in the Finnish edition, with the revisions from the above thread, plus a full expectation that we'll be going to create new things as necessary. Because there is no comprehensive plan yet for integrating Effects (a new rule in Solar System) into Near, we'll be going without rulings on them - each player and SG will use those rules freely, and we'll switch out those mechanics on a case-by-case basis if they overpower the old stuff in some ways.

Character creation: Finally, we get to character generation. At this point I know that we're going to be playing a playtest for the new Near setting book, essentially, set in the jungles of Qek. The player characters are supposed to be either Qekians or outsiders who come to the jungles as colonists. The crunch will be a mix of the good old TSoY stuff and whatever I introduce during play for balance. We'll be using the Solar System character generation procedure in full, even if TSoY might benefit from some tailoring.

Heroic Event: According to the rules, I begin creating the character by visualizing her Heroic Event, a sort of colorful trailer scene that communicates a vivid image of the sort of game I want. Looking at that picture, I note that she's not Qek - I picture the natives as black-haired, and that big-eyed anime look is such a striking contrast for the shadowy jungles that it just wouldn't work. Instead, what we have here is Tarzan - she's savage, she hides in the treetops and she hunts the natives, not the other way around; the Qek are fearful and apprehensive of the jungle when they have to leave their accustomed places and paths, they fear the beasts and the unknown. She does not fear, she is home here, more savage than the savages themselves. She surprises them to steal the fruits and berries they've collected, but she does not kill, even if she could. So that's my Heroic Event.

After visualizing the Heroic Event - or before doing it, if I'd wish - I assign one Ability at Expert (2) rank for the character, connected to what makes her exceptional in the Heroic Event. I choose Jungle Travel (R), the specialized survival skill native to Qek. She's learned it from the apes who raised her - more on that later.

Character Background: After getting the Heroic Event down, I need to specify the Character Bacground, which is simply a short explanation of who she is and where she came from. I'm going to say that she was raised by the apes - the name used by the Qek for the primitive goblin tribes that live in the jungle - after a shipwreck stranded her family in Qek. Her background is Ammeni, but she has little to remind her, except the striking white, sorcerous looks that would mark her as part of the old pre-Skyfire aristocracy in the civilized lands of Ammeni and Maldor.

Based on the background I assign three Abilities at Competent (1). Let's make them Gathering (I) she learned from the apes, Charm (I) that comes to her naturally as her birtright and... it'd have to be Hunting (V) to round out the survival skill-set. (These are all in the Finnish edition of TSoY, I don't remember off-hand whether they're in the original; they should be pretty self-evident, though.)

Cultural Identity: Last, after figuring out the background, I fill in the Cultural Identity. This is basically just saying aloud what should, ideally, be obvious already - what she thinks she is, and what she thinks that means to her. I think that this character is intensely curious and uncertain of her background, as she has only sparse material evidence and knowledge of the "sea-land" her parents came from, while she is simultaneously accepted and turned away by the ape society that is getting increasingly afraid of her naturally different ways. Her relationship with the Qek is strained - they don't have a mutual language, and the Qek warriors hate the pale ghost-woman who steals clothes, arms and food from them. Some of them are smitten by her, however, and leave beautiful gifts for her in the jungle, making her uncertain of what to think of the Qek. A mess, all in all.

Based on her identity I give the character some Abilities at Mediocre (0) level. This is something I can do later on as well, but by writing these things down I'm making a statement regarding what I choose to write down and what to leave out. For instance, this gets a bit esoteric Near-wise, but I'm going to claim that she's going to have the Ammeni cultural Ability Torture (R) just waiting to be developed. I'm not going to justify this in length here, but basically I claim for the rest of the group that the Revenant Cult corrupting Ammeni has, to some degree, reached its influence to a level where we have to really question whether being Ammeni is just cultural, or possibly a curse of the blood; can she, being of high Ammeni birth, escape her wicked inclinations?

Other identity-based Abilities I choose to write down right now are Panther Style (V), Wilderness Survival (I), Qek Handcrafts (I), Gem-working (R), Dueling (V), Pray (V), Athletics (V) and Animal Handling (I). That's plenty to begin with, and I can basically write down more whenever I get interested in other Abilities she should have a basic understanding of.

Passive Abilities: Passive Abilities are important baseline Abilities I need to put in priority order for the character. They can be used to get a general image of how lithe, strong, passionate and so on and so forth she is. I'm going to go for Resist (R) at Expert (2), React (I) at Competent (1) and Endure (V) at Mediocre (0), simply because that fits my image of a heroic jungle girl more than the other way around. You can break her body, but not her spirit.

Dividing Pools: I need to spread some points in the three Pools of Vigor, Instinct and Reason. The Solar System book recommends 10 points, but the TSoY tradition is 11, so I'll use that. The rules leave me basically free to split the points however I like, so I'll go for 6 Instinct, 3 Vigor and 2 Reason. This is partially based on what I expect her to be doing most of the time, but also on the sorts of interaction I expect her to be pining for from other people.

Choosing Secrets and Keys: I need to pick one of both of these. This is a pretty technical procedure that has a whole chapter devoted to each concept, but luckily I'm an old hand with this - an inexperienced player basically would need to have help, or spend considerable time researching the rules. These are what I'm going for:

Secret of Sudden Strike (Vigor)
The character can attack by surprise when using a Vigor Ability, forcing the opponent to use a Passive Ability to defend himself. This Secret can only be used from surprise, but may be utilized in extended conflict as well. Cost: 1 Vigor

(Note how that reflects the Heroic Event, above. The Secret is from the Finnish edition TSoY, and is a cultural Secret for the Qek.)

Key of Identity
The character has identity issues, she doesn't know who she is and what she should do in life.
1 xp: Hesitate in the face of choice due to your identity issues.
2 xp: Seek to establish your identity by learning more or creating ties.
5 xp: Let go of ties and choices you've made, burn metaphorical bridges.
Buyoff: Attach a label to yourself.

(I created this Key specifically for the character, which is what I usually do when playing Solar System.)

Finishing the character: As the final step I have 5 Advances to spend on fine-tuning the character. I'm going to raise the aforementioned Ability Dueling (V) one step to become Competent (1), and do the same to Athletics (V) as well. I'll also get another Secret and another Key. One Advance I'll save for the future. Here's the Secret and Key I'm getting:

Secret of Equipment (rare gem-sword wrapped in leather thongs)
The character has a free, renevable Effect related to his equipment. The gem-sword (a bone sword, the blade encrusted with hundreds of sharp gemstones) can be renewed with a Gem-cutting (R) check for maintenance.

(This just because she seems to have a prominent sword in the picture. I imagine that the story behind this acquirement is quite special - perhaps it's the heritage of a powerful Qek family she stole after they tried to trap and imprison her. Could be that the family has a tradition of Death-hunting and the sword has some special powers for that, but at least now she knows not of that; it's just an useful weapon for her in a jungle with few tools of any sort.)

Key of Independence
This character doesn't need anybody, she's quite happy to be alone!
1 xp: Proclaim your independence by thought or deed.
3 xp: Improve your chances for living without community or refuse communal ties.
Buyoff: Commit to a relationship.

Also in the last step I'm probably going to give a name to the character, as I haven't done that before. Looking at the naming conventions of the different cultures, I decide to get an Ammeni name for the exotic sound. Eleta is good. She gave this name to herself after a traumatic fight with her ape tribe, having forgotten that it was her mother's name as well.

Initial Situation: The character creation chapter of Solar System closes off with two choices that can be used as frameworks for beginning play. One is whether the group is going to play party-style, the other is whether you want to write your own kicker. Eleta is clearly not a party character, as her whole point is in whether some handsome prince might be able to lure her out of the jungle in the first place. Kicker-wise I could see going either way; Eleta might currently be living in a stabilized situation, visiting the apes now and then but mostly living alone in the jungle. Or, we might begin the game from the day when her ape foster parents lose their interest in her adult, independent demeanor and require her to leave them. Or, we might start with Eleta seeing another southerner for the first time ever since her parents perished. Depends on what the other players have cooked up.

Regardless of which way I'd go, here are the finished statistics of the character.

Quote from: a repeat of the above informationEleta the Jungle Girl

Campaign: colonization of Qek

Heroic Event: Two Qek women, a mother and daughter, walk along a safe-looking path in the jungle, cheerfully chattering in a language we don't understand. They have plentiful baskets full of fruit, roots and berries. A rustle from above alerts them, but she moves too fast to get a good look - Eleta drops down on them and while one basket goes sprawling, she gets a firm hold of the other. The Qek women are far from passive victims - one grimaces and flashes a bone knife, but Eleta kicks it from her grasp and jumps agilely backwards. It's basically an anime depiction of how desperate yet capable she is. The women are left gathering their foodstuffs as Eleta jumps on a branch and disappears in the jungle.

Character Background: Eleta is the only child of a pair of impoverished Ammeni high nobility (basically, Maldorite nobles marginalized by the House Rule during the last century). They were travelling to the Oranite city of Kalderon when the savage Sea of Teeth drove their ship to wreck near the coast of Qek. The survivors managed to scrape a living of a couple of seasons out of the jungle, but were wiped out by hostile natives, or perhaps apes. Eleta herself was taken in by a tribe of peaceful apes living in the jungle highlands, relatively far from the Qek humans. She learned their ways and language, but ultimately was driven out when she grew up and no longer satisfied the child-care urges (addiction, that is) of her foster parents.

Cultural Identity: Eleta is fluent in the ape parlance, which is a heavily accented version of the Qek language. She knows the customs of the apes, but feels that she can't truly love and appreciate them. She feels sympathy for the Qekian humans she spys on, but is also an object of fear and ill-omen for them - they call her the "moongirl" due to her appearance. Eleta knows almost nothing of her southern heritage, but is determined to find any traces of her parents and their shipwreck. She also wants to learn the kayaking skills of the maritime families, which the apes have a superstitious fear of - she has the naiive notion of using a kayak to return to the "sealand" her parents came from.

Vigor: 3
Instinct: 6
Reason: 2

Passive Abilities:
Resist (R): Expert (2)
React (I): Competent (1)
Endure (V): Mediocre (0)

Survival Abilities:
Jungle Travel (R): Expert (2)
Gathering (I): Competent (1)
Hunting (I): Competent (1)
Athletics (V): Competent (1)
Wilderness Survival (I): Mediocre (0)

Other Abilities:
Charm (I): Competent (1)
Dueling (V): Competent (1)
Torture (R): Mediocre (0)
Panther Style (V): Mediocre (0)
Qek Handcrafts (I): Mediocre (0)
Gem-working (R): Mediocre (0)
Pray (V): Mediocre (0)
Animal Handling (I): Mediocre (0)

Secret of Sudden Strike (Vigor)
The character can attack by surprise when using a Vigor Ability, forcing the opponent to use a Passive Ability to defend himself. This Secret can only be used from surprise, but may be utilized in extended conflict as well. Cost: 1 Vigor

Secret of Equipment (rare gem-sword wrapped in leather thongs)
The character has a free, renevable Effect related to his equipment. The gem-sword (a bone sword, the blade encrusted with hundreds of sharp gemstones) can be renewed with a Gem-cutting (R) check for maintenance.

Key of Identity
The character has identity issues, she doesn't know who she is and what she should do in life.
1 xp: Hesitate in the face of choice due to your identity issues.
2 xp: Seek to establish your identity by learning more or creating ties.
5 xp: Let go of ties and choices you've made, burn metaphorical bridges.
Buyoff: Attach a label to yourself.

Key of Independence
This character doesn't need anybody, she's quite happy to be alone!
1 xp: Proclaim your independence by thought or deed.
3 xp: Improve your chances for living without community or refuse communal ties.
Buyoff: Commit to a relationship.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.

Jason Morningstar

OK, I'll play.

So Xocotzin is a starting 32-point character for The Fantasy Trip. 

ST, DX, IQ?  Initially I made her a sorceress but backed off on that when I got into point buying for spells and skills.  She looks confident and smart but not really strong or agile.  Maybe somebody who survives using a combination of social skills and subtle magic, all backed up by a bad-ass sword – a wizardly thief type.  ST 10, DX 11, IQ 11, all deceptively average.

Spells are expensive for a non-wizard, but she needs to be able to use that sword, and talents cost double for wizards, so she's a non-wizard.  Two spells, 3 points each, just under half the IQ budget.  What spells?

Persuasiveness looks good but I can get the effect at no per-use cost from talents.  Summon Bear is pretty boss but she's too weak to afford it.  Lock/Knock is an obvious choice that can be used to steal stuff and also defensively on the escape.  Sleep seems like a good choice to back it up.  I'd go with Shock Shield if it had a 1-hex range.  Talents?

Sword, naturally, and Silent Movement.  I wanted to give her Charisma but she couldn't get a job – with Silent Movement and Lock/Knock she can be a "wizardly thief", which is a good job.  That leaves 1 point, and Courtly Graces seems like a great fit.  Maybe she masquerades as royalty to gain access to her targets. 

No armor, which worries me, but she'll just have to avoid fighting.

Equipment – she's wearing upper-class clothing (all that gold) and carrying a cutlass.  She keeps her wealth portable, as gold jewelry worth $250.  Everything she owns totals exactly $500, and weighs less than five kilograms. 

Job – she's a wizardly thief, $150/week, 4/15.  So a month of steady work would net her the current gear. 


Let's see if my own game system can be put through its paces using this set of criteria. Once I've managed to upload a pdf of the character's final sheet, it will be available at

Colour-First Character Development
Using "The Eighth Sea"

Concept: Savage female warrior torn from the pages of history, left for dead after a vicious battle she was rescued by a crew of temporal pirates who had heard legends of her skill and daring.

I leave the name blank at the moment, in case something really strikes me as interesting as the concept develops.

Attributes: With 10 points to spread across her attributes, I could go with a balanced character [3's in two attributes, 2's in the others]. But instead I decide to allocate them in order.

Does she look like she's more athletic and combative, or more in tune with her instincts? The easy option says her physical nature would be a priority, but I like character to have a bit of a twist, so I make this secondary to her intuitive side. As for the other attributes, is she more social or cerebral...she doesn't look like she thinks too much before she acts.

I go with...Thumpin' 3, Talkin' 2, Thinkin' 1, Feelin' 4.

Skills: I have 10 points worth of skills to play with. All skills come at either a basic level of understanding [for 1 pt], or an advanced level [for 2 pts]. I could distribute these skills however I choose, or I could select a ready made template to speed up the decision making process.

I choose the rogue-like template of Cat [named after Shroedinger's Cat, due to their stealthy abilities and the concept that no-one ever knows if they are present or not]. This instantly provides the five skills of "Acrobatics", "Awareness", "Melee", "Research" and "Stealth".

To round out what I can see in the picture, I decide to give her an extra level of "Awareness" (because the eyes seem to be a focus in the picture), "Intuition" (to reflect the way she trusts her instincts more than reason), an extra level of "Melee" (because that sword looks pretty focal to the character as well), "Riding" (because she seems to be from an ancient culture or nomadic group) and "Survival" (again because the picture looks like she's spent a decent amount of time in the wilderness).

Power Level and Traits: All styarting character start with a Coherency/Power level of 6.

All characters begin with 2 positive traits that help define them while giving some extra advantages. Looking at the picture, I decide that her feral appearance lends itself to the trait "Instinctive", and her lack of armour seems to imply that she's "Tough".

To get extra positive traits to play with, I need to purchase a couple of negatives. Three should make things interesting. I decide that she's an "Outcaste", that she tends to be a bit "Antisocial" and "Callous".

With the three extra points to play with I spend one to make her "Alluring", a bit like a Red Sonja type. While I spend the extra two points to pick up the skill of "Animal Ken". It might have something to do with the hilt of her sword which looks a bit like an eagle's head.

Integrity-Piracy Scale: A scale of Ace[1] to King [13], where Ace represents the most law abiding individuals who go out of their way to restore the timeline, while King represents those who will abuse time and space to any degree as long as it gets them what they want. The character looks a bit savage, so she probably doesn't have a lot of respect for the laws of the civilised world; this is reinforced by the "Outcaste" trait that I just picked up. But there's a look of anger in here eyes, if she angry about something then she must have a sense of vengeance, and vengeance implies a code of some type. So she can't be too chaotic.

I give her a 9.

Details: Here's where we get into the meat of the character now that the basics have been outlined.

Goals: All characters have a pair of goals, actions that motivate their decisions and choices. Following these goals asserts a characters place in the timeline, and identify them as individuals. So these choices really reflect the inner nature of the individual. I decide to go with a pair of goals that link back to the original concept now that it's been refined with skills and traits.
[1]: To destroy all trace of the clan that left her for dead on the battlefield [Clubs]
[2]: To bring "magic" from the future back to her people to guarantee their survival [Diamonds].

Equipment: All characters in the Eighth Sea begin with a basic weapon and a temporal compass. The weapon is bestowed on them by their captain once they are deemed competent, and their temporal compass is a significant item that helps them understand their place in the fluctuating timestream. She didn't spend any points on equipment so she doesn't get to upgrade either of these items.

Clearly two of the focal pieces of equipment for the character are the sword across her back and the golden baubles on her belt. I simply make the sword a medium sized basic weapon [it doesn't make things easier or harder to hit, but it has a chance of doing extra damage if it does hit.]

The baubles on her belt remind me of the coins that gypsies often wear on their veils. So that's what her temporal compass will become. A string of coins tied to a scarf around her waist. As a temporal compass, these coins shift with different dates reflecting the time period she is currently in, and changing appearance based on the coins of the local culture. She would never spend these coins, so they don't count as a "wealth" advantage.

Narrative Traits: All characters begin with 2 narrative traits that are used to help ground the character in the setting by modifying the degree of success for mystic effects, social reactions and other mechanical elements. Because I selected a template for half of her skills, she automatically begins with a narrative trait reflecting this case "Cat". A second trait can be chosen based on her race, religious beliefs or something dramatic about the character, I decide to go with the Outcaste flaw she picked up earlier and make this more of a focal point to the character by adding this as her second narrative trait..

Background Elements: Background elements are generated in the game through playing a game of 21, and cross referencing the results to a table. The basic nature of the background is determined by the cards in the starting hand, and the background get better the more times you "Hit" for extra cards without busting.

[9D-6H, Final Hand-3 cards] With the Nine as the initial high card, this means that there was a period of training in the characters background. Since this high card is a Diamond, it means the training was mystical in nature. I look at the array of skills I've given her and decide that Awareness is her highest skill of a mystical nature so this becomes the focal skill for the background element. Having a Six as the low card means that the period of training still has moderate importance in the character's life.

The total is 15, and the more cards you have in your hand, the I draw an extra card, the Four of Spades, bringing the total up to 19. I hold it there. With three cards in my hand I cross reference the table and read the following. "At the end of your training period, your mentor decided you were ready to learn on your own. You still occasionally speak." It's not a great background, but it certainly wasn't catastrophic also gives a good hook for the mentor to be introduced as an ally later, or could allow the mentor to require rescuing as a potential story hook. Considering everything, I pencil in the idea that the mentor was a shaman who taught her to see with the eyes of an eagle (which links in nicely to the hilt of her sword).

[5C-2H, Final Hand-Bust] With a Five as the initial high card, this means that the character has an enemy in their past. As a Club, I know that this was a rival with whom the character physically fought. The low card is a 2, indicating that the character's life focuses around this...they are obsessive when this person/event is mentioned. 

The total is 7, and I really want to reduce the impact of this negative character aspect (and if I'm lucky turn it into a positive). I draw an extra card...Six of Hearts, which brings the total to 13. A three card hand means we still don't like each other. With 8 points to play with until I bust, the odds are with I choose to draw another card. 10 of Diamonds....s*&t!!!

Since my hand has busted, I reference the last column of the table. "Things have really gotten out of hand with this person. They want you dead and you probably want the same of them". I can tell that this is now going to be the crux of the story for this character.

I decide to end up naming her in a shamanic manner that reflects the images and the choices I've made.

"Eagle-Sky of the Snow Clan"

Final basic character stats [non-character sheet version]
QuoteEagle-Sky of the Snow Clan [Cat, Outcaste]
Attributes: Thumpin' [clubs] 3, Talkin' [hearts] 2, Thinkin' [spades] 1, Feelin' [diamonds] 4
Skills: [Clubs] Acrobatics, Melee x2, Survival. [Hearts] Animal Ken, Riding. [Spades] Research, Stealth. [Diamonds] Awareness x2, Intuition
Positive Traits: Alluring, Instinctive, Tough
Negative Traits: Callous, Antisocial, Outcaste
Coherency Level: 6
Integrity-Piracy Level: 9
Goals:To destroy all trace of the clan that left her for dead on the battlefield [Clubs], To bring "magic" from the future back to her people to guarantee their survival [Diamonds]
Equipment: Sword [Basic Medium Weapon], Scarf of Coins [Temporal Compass][/quote]
A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.

Rod Anderson

I can hardly believe that I'm crawling out of the woodwork to respond to this post, but I just can't resist that great James West cartoon. Anyway, I am making up a character for original Dungeons & Dragons (with Supplement I, Greyhawk). Like a lot of people, or so it seems, I got kind of obsessed with following the back trails of D&D history after Gary Gygax died.

1. The first thing that happens is the referee rolls 3d6 six times to determine, in order, the prospective character's Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma. There's no referee here, just me, so I'll have to be on my honor. I roll and get Strength 8, Intelligence 11, Wisdom  8, Dexterity 18 (my hand to God!), Con 6 and Cha 8.

2. Now I (as player, not referee) roll 3 dice and multiply the total times 10 to find out how many Gold Pieces I have. I roll and get an 11. 110 Gold Pieces.

3. Now I pick a class. Since I'm using Greyhawk, Thief would be the obvious choice. I check the book to see what awesome bennies being a Thief with 18 Dexterity gets me: +10% experience, nothing more, and even that I have to extrapolate by inference. While finding this out, however, I also discover (Greyhawk, p. 8) that as a Fighter with 18 Dexterity, I would give all opponents a -4 to hit against me! Holy shit! Fighter it is. Due to my 8 Strength, I'm taking a 10% XP penalty, but what the hell. I mean, my character can be wearing that bikini and it's just like she's wearing chainmail. Chainmail bikini. There you go.

4. Now I pick an alignment. I can be Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic. I feel like this character is Chaotic.

5. Now I buy equipment. The only thing I see in the picture that qualifies as equipment in OD&D is the sword. So, one sword for 10 Gold Pieces, leaving me with 100 in the bank, or under the baseboards, or something.

6. Now I roll hit points. Using Greyhawk rules, as a Fighter I roll a d8, but have to subtract 1 point for my crap Constitution score. I roll a 4, so I have 3 hit points. Could be worse!

(I just now noticed that I can pick an extra language due to having an Intelligence of 11. Common is everyone's default language; I add Orcish, in anticipation of picking up some orc henchmen.)

Now I name my character (I note that while the sample character in the rules has a name, nowhere is this step actually required). My character's name is Paulina. That should be everything!

Peter Nordstrand

What's the deadline for this endeavor?

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
     —Grey's Law

Ron Edwards

Hi Peter,

I didn't think in terms of deadlines. Fortunately, with four posts so far, I don't have to worry about no one responding. On the other hand, given responses, when will I get to Part Two? I'd like to stay a little flexible. Let's say a week from today, with these two modifiers: (1) no characters show up for a couple of days, (2) a zillion characters appear right away; in either case, I'll move on to the next part. To be even more maddeningly vague, "a week" is subject to my mood and time availability on that day as well.

I am really enjoying the retro + new so far. Jason, the Fantasy Trip! Oh, yes! And hi Rod! But again, everybody, any game you want for which the picture works. Oldy-old or shining new.

Best, Ron

Peter Nordstrand

I have elected to create a character for HeroQuest using the Continuum 2008 Special Playtest Preview rules. This new edition of the game is scheduled to be published by Moon Design Publications.

I ignore the parts where the GM sets the parameters of the game (genre, setting, narrative mode, and premise). I assume that Ron's instructions for Part One of the endeavor is what the GM has given me to work with. I am the only player, and Ron is the GM.

I'll use the Prose Method for character creation, writing a 100-word character description. The description must include a character concept, a keyword, the character's name, a flaw, and a driving ambition. I'll add anything else that strikes my fancy.

(I'll use the "Keywords as an Umbrella" approach, where keywords are treated both as collections of abilities and as raisable in their own right. Also, I'll settle for two keywords per character, one that defines a character's core area of expertise, and one that defines her cultural background.)

Karla Sword-Swollower is a former entertainer, who left the streets of Garl in order to track down Mundu the Vivisectionist, who murdered her brother. She carries Aegypius' Death Sword, which allows her to cancel magic, and smell prey from miles away. It was a reward for saving the life of Alam de Pond, and she knows how to use it. Karla is a voluptuous woman whose scantily clad body tends to provoke the prude city folk. Karla is the leader of the Butcher Street Pack. She knows the deadly Snake Venom Dance, and can spit farther than any man.

I can group the abilities any way I want. It is just a matter of convenience, that's all. Note that I write  "Provoke prude city folk" down as a flaw. See the full character writeup, below.

Assign 17 to one keyword or ability. I'll assign it to my Entertainer keywor (automatically raising all included abilities).

All other abilities and keywords start at 13, but I may spend a total of 20 points to boost my ratings. I may not spend more than 10 points on a single ability or keyword. Hm... I'll spend 10 points on my Murdered brother, and 5 points each on Cancel magic and Smell prey from miles away.

Entertainer 17
   Sword swollower
Streets of Garl 13

Special Abilities:
Use sword 13
White hair 13
Piercing  cold eyes 13
Snake Venom Dance (deadly) 13
Spit farther than any man 13

Voluptuous 13

Mundu the Vivisectionist 13

Murdered brother 3W (i.e. 23 for those unfamiliar with the system)

Friends & Allies:
Saved the life of Alam de Pond 13
Leader of the Butcher Street Pack 13

Aegypius' Death Sword 13
   Cancel magic 18
   Smell prey from miles away 18
Scantily clad 13

That's it. I had forgotten how fun HeroQuest character can be.

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
     —Grey's Law

Peter Nordstrand

Oops. I made a few last minute changes to the character and forgot to update the fuill writeup. Here's the correct version (I hope). Sorry about the fuckup.

Entertainer 17
   Sword swollower
Streets of Garl 13

Special Abilities:
Use sword 13
Voluptuous 13
Snake Venom Dance (deadly) 13
Spit farther than any man 13

Provoke prude city folk 13

Mundu the Vivisectionist 13

Murdered brother 3W (i.e. 23 for those unfamiliar with the system)

Friends & Allies:
Saved the life of Alam de Pond 13
Leader of the Butcher Street Pack 13

Aegypius' Death Sword 13
   Cancel magic 18
   Smell prey from miles away 18
Scantily clad 13
Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
     —Grey's Law


I love this picture so much, I must make a character. If using a game system that not everybody has access to is a problem, I'll happily bow out. I'm going to use Principia, because it's what I'm working on right now and is topmost in my mind.

We start with the bare-bones setting description. The setting is Renaissance Florence at a vaguely defined time when any major historical figure of the renaissance might be alive. The GM will pick an affiliation (a group all the PCs belong to). I'll say they're all mercenaries hired by the ruling council to keep the peace in an era of factional conflict punctuated by street fighting.

Now I choose my position (analogous to character class). This character looks rather savage and out of place in a Renaissance RPG, however there is one position that is suitable: the merchant. Merchants are world travelers in Principia, and include strange foreigners from far-off places, which is what this character will be.

With my position, I get to choose from a list of statements describing how my chosen position fits into the world. Only one of the available statements for a merchant really works for this character: "Trade routes for a tenuous network connection all regions of the world, including the New World, and possibly even more exotic, magical places, giving merchants access to esoteric knowledge and goods." I'll flesh this out by saying that my character is a mercenary from an island of white-haired amazon warriors far to the north, perhaps at the approximate location of Iceland. A lot of her questions are going to do with barbarism (so-called) and civilization. She's a merchant because she sells her military and combat abilities to the highest bidder.

Now I choose three advantages from a pre-defined list. I choose these ones:
- Hungry for honor
- Truthful and blunt
- A military commander
- Merchant (an automatic choice under the rules because it's her position)

I see her bluntness getting her into interesting trouble. Her air of military command should turn some heads in male-dominated Florence.

Now I get to write two facts about her, which can be almost anything I want and which the nobody ever gets to contradict.
- I am an exiled Amazon commander
- I am never taken by surprise

Now I need three drives. When these are engaged in play, I gain resolve (currency).
- I am the better of any man
- Is there a place for me in civilized lands?
- I must find the secret of alchemical fire and return it to my homeland

Now I make up her name: Lilja

Also, with her position come several pre-defined special actions she can do. This also goes on the character sheet.

When I relieve someone of their money, I can produce ready cash or one significant trapping of wealth, and the GM gets to demand a contractual obligation or promise from me.
When I provide goods or services, I can make a declaration about the people I'm providing it for, and the GM gets decide how those resources are used and who knows.
When I allude to foreign lands, exotic goods, or unusual contacts, I can produce useful goods, resources, or personnel, and the GM gets to create and determine a relationship with someone.
When I create or exercise a binding contract, I can create a relationship with someone, and the GM gets to decide how that person views the relationship.

I see this character working as a mercenary, occasionally producing exotic weapons or talismans from her travels, and getting into difficult relationships with employers and rivals.
"Come on you lollygaggers, let's go visit the Thought Lords!"

Paul Czege

I beg to differ. She is in fact, Scathine the Ice-Reaver of Jotun, my character for a SenZar campaign.

(Yeah, I've been wanting to dig into some SenZar for a while.)

Here's her chargen process:

Step 1: Choose Race

There are 21 to choose from. The first, in order of presentation are the Akir. They're half-human, half giants, hailing from the harsh northern lands. I was immediately drawn to them for Scathine, but went through and considered all the races that seemed human-looking or shape-shiftery enough for the illustration. (SenZar has a lot of powerfully non-human character races. Demonians, Drakkans, Goblins, Saurans, Taurans, Tygors, various dark- and golden-skinned synthetic and shadow races, etc.) Human would have been an easy choice. But with so much other badassery available, I just couldn't do it.

Ultimately, I went with my heart and chose the Akir Race, despite the illustration's variance from the "generally red or reddish-blonde" hair color specified in the text.

Actually, I read through the available Professions before settling on the Akir Race, to find one I liked in conjunction with it. And interestingly they do the same thing with the example character in the text, choosing Race and Profession together ("For the purposes of this example, we'll choose a Silestion Witch Hunter."), despite listing them as separate chargen steps.

Step 2: Choose Profession

There are 25 to choose from, as well as three "Freak" Race/Profession combinations. I seriously considered probably half of the available options, including Witch, Witch Hunter, Mystic, Mystic Assassin, Mystic Warrior, Assassin, Rogue, Stalker, Ranger, Shy'R Warrior, Warrior, and Shapeshifter.

But I went with the VoidSpawn "freak" Race/Profession combination. The text says the Creator (SenZar's term for GM) must decide whether to allow or disallow VoidSpawn characters. But I'll just walk away from your bullshit game if you pee in my Wheaties, so I figure I'm good on the VoidSpawn choice.

The cosmic background of SenZar is a struggle between the forces of the Shadar, the Spawn of the Dark Earth, and their antitheses, the Anshadar, the Children of the Light. It's an eternal struggle spanning multiple Ages of the world's history. The Dragon, the life-spirit of the world, benefits from the lack of resolution in the struggle, and so has evoked the VoidSpawn to fight for balance between Light and Darkness (i.e. play both sides) and kill immortals and shit.

The VoidSpawn are described as not being able to disobey tasks assigned to them by the Dragon.

Step 3: Assign Fate Points

Character Attributes are established by spending Fate points.

The Races all come with a payload of 100 Fate points. I gave Scathine an additional 5, which is suggested for campaigns with a "Small Group (2 or 3)" of players.

And then you can get more Fate points for chargen by taking Karmic Attributes (essentially, defined character traits like Bloodlust and Greed you have to "save" against to avoid manifesting in play) and Codes of conduct.

This part of chargen is rather snarly. As you have Attribute minimums called GenMins for your Race and Profession you have to meet.

For Scathine, my GenMins were, with the special exception of Willpower, all higher for her Akir Race than for her VoidSpawn Profession. (This also seems generally true for all the game's Professions. And it surprised me. My sense is that most similar Race plus Class/Profession games set higher thresholds for Class/Profession than they do for Race.) So, Scathine's GenMins:

Strength 16
Speed 14
Dexterity 14
Constitution 16
Willpower 20 (FREE!)
Intelligence 14
Presence 15
Perception 15
Power 10

The Willpower of 20 is a freebie for VoidSpawn. But still the minimums represent a total cost of 182 Fate points. Ouch! And if I want to raise any of them above the minimums, take any Special Powers (like Combat Sense, Regeneration, or Pigmentary Shapeshifting) beyond what I get from Race and Profession, and have any Fate points left over for cool stuff in play like editing my bad die rolls to what I wish I'd rolled, and minimizing the damage rolled against me by opponents, I'll need even more.

Upon reflection, I think I'll aim just for the minimums, but also to have enough points for the special power The Sight, which costs 10 Fate points and gives me random revelations concerning the future, and still have 5 Fate points left over for editing rolls in play. So it looks like I need find 92 Fate points by taking Karmic Attributes and Codes.

My one question at this point is whether the "VoidSpawn (unwritten Code, Total Manifestation)" I get as part of my Race package (it's defined as being subject to the Dragon) precludes me from buying the the Code of The Good Earth, which is also defined as following the Dragon; does the VoidSpawn "unwritten Code" lose me the Karma. Seems a bit harsh. That's 20 points of Karma lost if I were to take The Good Earth at Total Devotion. But maybe the other powers, like Pro Combat and the VoidSpawn Pro Power Progression more than compensate.

I'll assume the VoidSpawn "unwritten Code" precludes me from buying The Good Earth and try to find 92 Fate points in Karmic Attributes. For anything over 10 I have to pick a descriptor called a "Manifestation":

Attitude: 13 (Grim)
Confidence: 15 (Alpha Behavior)
Discipline: 17 (Wanderlust) 14 (Curious)
Fear: 1
Greed: 1
Harmony: 16 (Nightmares)
Luck: 3
Sanity: 10

And that's as close as I'm going to get. It's only 90 points. I even used the legal "cheat" of cramming more than one Karmic Manifestation into the same Karmic Attribute. Yeah, I'm only 2 points off my goal, but Scathine's personality is starting to lose cohesion for me. So I'll suppress my desire for 5 Fate points for spending in play and hope 3 is enough. I'll be wanting them for editing irritating die rolls, but I should be earning them as an ongoing part of play for defeating opponents and solving "deadly" problems. (Interestingly, they're used if you want to raise Attributes in play, but they aren't used for level advancement. The game has Experience Point awards--for largely the same stuff you get Fate points for--that are used for advancement. Except I can't figure out in the game what happens when you gain a level. The text says "the PC gains lots and lots of nifty-keano abilities, stats, and things," but I can't find a description of the process. All that's currently apparent to me is that Level contributes to Combat Values and to the phases you act on in combat if you have Pro or SemiPro Combat.)

So, Scathine's Codes:

VoidSpawn (unwritten Code, Total Manifestation)

Her Powers:

VoidSpawn (Pro Power Progression)
Magick Sense
Pro Combat
The Sight
Immunity to Normal Cold

And her Skills:

Survival (Arctic)

And her Languages:

Language: Jotun

Step 4: Embellish!

Zodiacal sign: Selena (The Witch)
Height: 7'1"
Weight: 395 lbs
Combat Movement Rate: 5


All PCs get two. The Akir are described as occasional and opportunistic slavers, so I want to use some of that color here.

Galbaglinte, a Sauran bandit warlord of the frozen northern steppes (i.e. far from his homeland). He's a warrior slave of mine who escaped me several decades ago. We have an occasional non-romantic sexual relationship.

Havokk, a Mokarr Assassin. Our paths have crossed in the past. His tongue was removed for having spoken the forbidden language of Druus.

Fame: 1%
Hit Points: 16

There's also a bunch of stuff I needed to calculate at this stage (like "Base Damage & Max Lift" and "Fighting Blind Combat Value"), but I'll spare you the details here. I'll have it all on the scanned character sheet when I get a chance to do the scanning. (It's 11 pages long!)

Step 5: "Time to shop! Time to hoard!"

I hit The Marketplace (the price list) with my 1000 Stars to outfit myself, and get distracted (for like an hour) by the pimptastic Weapons section that lets you "artifice" the weapons by having them encrusted with Power Stones or made out of exotic materials like Borazon and Supremium and Vermix that modify some or all of Damage Value, Attack Value, and various magic and ability rolls when using the artificed weapon. Unfortunately I don't start with enough money for anything pimptastic. So I buy myself a standard bastard sword for 500 Stars, a dagger for 25 Stars, a small shield (my metal bracelet) for 10 Stars, and three doses of Toad Venom for 100 Stars each. I'm left with 125 Stars.

And with that, she's done.

I'd love to acquire an Akir Warhorse (1000 Stars) at some point. (And I'm vaguely surprised there aren't rules for purchasing slaves.)

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans

Graham W

This is, in fact, Filthy Jackie, a Poison'd character.



Sins committed

Adultery x2, Robbery, Murder


Arrest, Beating (at the hands of Brimstone Jack), Imprisonment, Lashing (at the hands of Brimstone Jack), Rape


To be captain, to be pardoned, to be revenged upon Admiral Southgate, to fuck Admiral Southgate


A fucking huge hatchet
Not a weapon, but she is quick, wiry-strong and vicious.

Devil 4, Soul 4, Brutality 5, Ambition 4, Brinkmanship 5, Profile 4

Outstanding bargains

Drunken Jack swore to back me for Ship's Captain.

The Dagger

It has a grim reputation
It's frightening to see.

Profile: 10

Strength: Boarding and repelling boarders

The company of the Dagger

Its members are, by and large, unreprobate murderers.
It's well-armed and eager to fight

It's been badly mistreated by Brimstone Jack.

Profile: 6



Freydis from Valgard for the Barbarians of Lemuria rpg

So, following the BoL Book we start with...


All attributes starts at zero and the player gets 4 points to divide among them. You cannot start with an attribute score higher than 3, you can lower one attribute to -1 to get an additionnal point.

Strength 0
Agility 1
Mind 2
Appeal 1

Next comes...

Combat abilities

Points allowed and levels are the same than for Attributes. Considering the lady's sword, I'd go with

Brawl 0
Melee 3
Shooting 0
Defence 1

Heroic careers
Careers regroup skills, knowledge and appropriate connections. A character starts with four careers (to choose among 25). Points allowed and levels are the same than for Attributes and combat abilities (except you can't lower a career to -1 to get an extra point).

I choose :

Barbarian 2
Mercenary 2
Slave 0
Sorcerer 0

Heroic beginnings
Now I must choose a place of origin for the character. This allows me to select a Trait linked to my origins (each origin offers specific Traits and Flaws). I can take a second Trait if I also select a Flaw.

I choose the Valgard origin. Valgardian are "tall, muscular red or fair-haired race of warlike tribesmen" and select the Marked by the gods trait (Freydis starts with an extra Hero point).

I take the Landlubber flaw (not very good when at sea) and take the Valgardian blade trait (extra die when fighting with a genuine Valgardian blade).

Origin : Valgard
Trait : Marked by the Gods, Valgardian Blade
Flaw : Landlubber

All characters know their native tongue and can speak a number of additional languages equal to their Mind attribute. They can also choose literacy instead of choosing a language.

Native tongue : Valgardish

And as Freydis has a Mind score of 2  I take a second language : Lemurian (sort of common language) and Literacy (which counts for every language she she knows).

Hero points
All characters start with 5 hero points. You can buy additional Traits for the character at a cost of 2 hero points/trait. The Marked by the gods trait gave Freydis an additionnal Hero point bumping her total to 6.

I spent two hero points to buy the Quick recovery trait.

Hero points : 4

Starting gear
According to the rules "give the players what they want !".

So I pick :

A Valgardian blade (damage D6)
Bracers (armor 1)
Boots (armor 1)

Total armor rating is 2.

It's over, Freydis is ready to go.

Anna Kreider

The first thing that sprung immediately to mind was that *obviously* she was a Donjon character. I mean, clearly. That should have been self-evident.

Layla Stonecrusher

Race: Human
Class: Barbarian Princess
Flesh Wounds: 4

Virility      4
Cerebrality   4
Discernment   3
Adroitness   1
Wherewithal   3
Sociality   2

Wealth: 5
Provisions: 3

Save vs. Illusion and Confusion: 2
Save vs. Poison, Paralysis, and Transmogrification: 1

Main Ability:
Wield Fearsomely Large Weapons: 4

Supporting Abilities:

Dodging Weapons: 2
Boob-tacular Charm: 3
But It's a CHAINMAIL Bikini (absorb damage from sharp things): 3
Find Hidden Trails: 1

Joel P. Shempert

Well, the two that immediately leapt to mind--TSoY/Solar and Heroquest--are covered. So let's try:

Sorcerer and Sword

Setting: Gorias--a wild and untamed iron-age land based on Roman-conquest-era Gaul or Britain. People live in insular villages with occasional commerce or raids, bards and druids contact and protect from the world of spirit, law and government is clannish and based on honor/shame. Wanderers are common and tolerated, but mistrusted. A monolithic conqueror--the Empire of Appolon--encroaches from the South. Their city-settlements are roiling nests of political intrigue, urbane pleasure, and poverty-stricken strife. To the North And East the Crag Sea devours unwary mariners and strange island lands abound. To the West the mountainous Wildheath looms, home to painted and naked savages with strange magic. Deep in the forests of Gorias are hidden Faerie Woods, pockets of otherworld where travelers do not emerge unchanged--bedazzled, transformed, or consorts with imps and spirits, these Fey-touched are respected but feared.

In terms of Sorcery and Demons, ritual would mostly have a flavor of tribal or druidic animism, naif characters employing base superstitious gestures, folk charms and the like. Appolonians would use a more orderly ritual and ceremony with temples and priesthood. Demons would mostly be Pagan Things, for minor sprites, pucks and faeries, with an occasional Lord of the Fair Folk as an Old One. Strange and deadly Beasts would populate the land as well, especially in the Crag Sea and its islands. Human beings who are Fey-touched would carry Parasites, and the odd Magic Weapon would not be amiss.

I'm not sure what if anything to do with Immanents. Could there be earth-native Elves of Faerie Descent, maybe? Overall I'm happy with Pagan Thing to describe the reclusive Fey.

Character: Yaeta Fey-touched

Destiny: To either banish Faerie from the mortal world, or flood the mortal realms with the Kingdom of the Fey. How she is personally treated by the inhabitants of either realm should come to influence that decision.


Stamina 4 Savage-raised (Barbarians of the Wildheath)
Will 4 Brush with the Unknown (Faerie)
Lore 2 Changeling (in this case, she wasn't born that way, but was "touched" by the Other and irrevocably changed.)
Past 4 Outlaw (wandering fortune-seeker and brigand, especially against the Appolonian dogs)
Price Unlucky in Love +/-1

Humanity 4

Telltale Ice-blue hair

Demon: Taibhse, Parasite

Telltale Glimmering eyes that can hold one transfixed.

General appearance Taibhse ("tah-eh-vsh", all running together quickly) is Yaeta's Second Sight, manifesting as the unendurable depth of her gaze. With Taibhse she has uncanny insight which is unnerving and threatening to others, and can occasionally see glimpses of some terrible truth. When she brings her Fey power to bear she is commanding and unassailable, and those who meet her gaze are bedazzled.

Binding Strength 2, Demon's favor

Stamina 2
Will 5
Lore 4
Power 5

Desire Ruin (mortal civilization)

Need To see Mortals brought low (i.e. shamed publicly with Perception-based pronouncements, or driven to terror and despair with Hint)

Perception: Desires of others--not telepathic but "reading" attitudes and postures (host)
Boost Will (Self)
Daze (Host)
Hint (Host)

Kicker: While visiting her Sapphic lover in a valley settlement, Yaeta finds the bedchamber surrounded by a torch-bearing mob intent on putting an end to the bedeviled Fey-woman--led by her lover's father, the town Druid.

Process: After deciding to use Sorcerer and Sword, I went through the S&S book section by section, referencing the core Sorcerer book when needed. So setting creation came first, followed by character scores and descriptors, which easily slotted into the setting blurb I had constructed. I had the Faerie-touched concept in mind right from the start (just look at that hair and eyes!), and the "Saphic Lover" popped into my head while setting Scores. From there it was over to the core book to design the Demon (after perusing the S&S Sorcery chapter and inserting a paragraph on ritual and demons into the setting blurb). I had a general idea of a dangerous and bedazzling look, with the weight of otherworldly knowledge. I picked some powers, then flailed a bit on Desire and Need, until I hit on just the right construction to encompass Taibhse's relationship with the world around it: "To see Mortals Brought Low." From there it all clicked together.

All that was left was the Binding Roll. 5 Power vs. 4 Will got a result of 10, 10, 9, 9, 6 and 9, 7, 3, 1. I wavered a bit on reading the result-does the extra 9 in Taibhse's roll cancel out Yaeta's singular one, yielding 4 (!) Victories? But in the end I believe I read it aright: compare highest single die, then check for victories by seeing how many winner's dice are higher than the loser's highest. Which yielded a 2 in Taibhse's favor.

I'm not sure what your intent is with the exercise, Ron, but I'll tell ya if nothing else it's got me hankering to play Sorcerer an Sword!


PS. S&S wasn't actually my first choice for the exercise. Heroquest and Solar System having been covered, I was initially at a loss. I was on the verge of doing up a D&D 3.5 character, but lamenting because I would really want her to be a Sorcveress/Barbarian, and by the rules of the exercise I can't multiclass. Then I hit on In a Wicked Age, having just played a pickup game of that at a New Year's party. I went as far as an Oracle Draw from Blood and Sex and assigning Forms, with Best interests popping into my head all over the place. But then it hit me that A) She's not exactly Bronze-age Fertile-crescent material a la IaWA's implied setting, and B) while I did indeed get a usable draw for the character (She was a Bandit Captain in hiding with Best Interests directed at the the pregnant Seventh Wife of a Tyrant King--Sapphic love again!), it's entirely possible to NOT get a workable draw from the Oracle for that character. So for those reasons I was uncertain if she'd meet Ron's requirements. And then S&S popped into my head and I was more interested in that, anyway.
Story by the Throat! Relentlessly pursuing story in roleplaying, art and life.