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Color-first character creation project

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

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David Berg

I'm really curious to see how this would work with the current draft of my game-in-progress, Delve.

Pre-char-gen group agreements:

Preferred Secrets in order: daemonology, history, magic, metaphysics

Preferred Activities in order: risky fights, thinking on your feet, negotiating, strategic prep, puzzles

More social?  More physical?  Even mix?  physical

Campaign length: extended (months of play)

Campaign location: Southwest: Germanic names/culture prominent over Icelandic, Roman, English

Char-gen: pick:

Life Goal: become feared warlord

Path: path of power

Next Destination: get a lead on how to learn magic8

Age: 16


          Family Trade: cottagers & bandits

          Siblings (roll randomly): one older brother, one younger sister

          Life Events (roll randomly):
          Year 1: prosperous year -- family got steady work in village
          Year 4: village wiped out in an attack of the Cursed -- older brother killed
          Year 5: bad year -- povery forced us into bandit life
          Year 7: illness kills mother
          Year 9: hostile men steal property -- rival bandits force us to brink of starvation
          Year 10: disfiguring accident -- ugly scar on right arm
          Year 12: prosperous year -- father ascends to leadership of bandit group
          Year 15: drought -- less trade to prey on, more raiding villages
          Year 16: monster attack -- kills father

          Impetus for Adventuring: bandit group disbanded, violence is the best way I know to make a living

Name: Methild DuvGunnar1

          Skin: pale
          Eyes: bright blue
          Hair: blue-tinged white
          Scars: right forearm
          Height: 5'5"
          Weight: 135 lbs
          Apparent Age: ~18

          Primary traits: quick to anger, impulsive, reckless
          Pleased When: moving, hunting, climbing, fighting, competing, in pain, giving orders, up on high places
          Displeased When: sitting, waiting, too comfortable, taking orders, down in deep holes
          Shows pleasure by: laughing fiercely, subtle smiles, teasing
          Shows displeasure by: throwing tantrums, making threats, stalking off
          Other non-practical habits: fidgets with knife, meticulously cleans & trims fingernails, chews & spits strangleweed7

Perception Powers:
          Sense: (when it manifests, GM will pick)
          Works on: people2
          Signs: (when it manifests, GM will pick)
          Meanings: (to be discovered)

Open-minded/Grounded: very grounded3

Curiosities: 0

Char-gen: point-buy:

Starting with 104 character points.  Concept is impoverished, so trade in 6 of 12 shillings for character points.  Spend 110 points on:

Agility: good - 24pts (color: explosive)
Toughness: excellent - 64pts (color: rock solid)
Luck: poor - +16pts (color: misfortune magnet)
Strength: average
Coordination: average

General skills: climb (skilled - 2pts)

Weapon skills: 1-handed slashing sword (pro - 24pts)

Combat skills: press5 (pro - 8pts), unarmed combat (4pts)

Unspent character points: 0

Gear: purchase:

Half-shirt (bare belly)
Right arm sheath

Unspent money: 1 shilling 6 pence

GM's sheet:

Barrier Rot: 0

Marks: 0

Play Awards: 0

Weakness points from: Heat: 0, Cold: 0, Hunger: 0, Thirst: 0, No sleep: 0, Overexertion: 0, Illness: 0

Injuries: Head: 0, Torso: 0, RArm: 0, LArm: 0, RLeg: 0, LLeg: 0

Shock: 0


1"Methild" is one of the most common female names of the region -- I wanted something unglamorous.  "DuvGunnar" is short for "daughter of Gunnar" -- that formulation is associated with the setting's oldest culture, a hardy, Viking-esque line.

2Methild's first Perception Power will manifest in play once she's accrued a sufficient combo of Marks from encountering weird shit and Play Awards from other players digging my contributions when I play her.  When it arrives, this power will give her insights related to either plants, animals, or people -- I chose "people", thinking that social insights would provide the perfect ammo for the forceful personality I envsion.

3Because she is Very Grounded, the Marks she accrues will have a relatively small chance of permanently scarring her with Barrier Rot (which makes you more in tune with, and susceptible to, the supernatural).  I want her to remain relatively focused on material concerns and worldly matters and not get caught up in the magic she learns and the "other realities" it describes. 

4I spent a lot of points on combat stuff (as the play group wants "physical" encounters and "risky fights"), leaving her without too many skills.  Cranking up her Sword skill to rank 3 (pro) was expensive, but a common choice.  Giving her Unarmed Combat was more about concept than effectiveness -- I figure it'll give me a way to bring "quick to anger" into play without making her a complete psycho.  Decking rude people is a lot easier to smooth over than beheading them. 

5Just to give her another angle to apply "fierce and reckless", I also bought up 3 ranks of Press -- although it's unlikely that I'll wind up in a situation where it's not suicidal to try to close in on an armed opponent and punch them, just in case I do, it would be so cool!  Plus, Press will come in handy during a sword-to-sword fight where an opponent tries to disengage -- Methild's too aggressive to let that work.

6Methild has no place to carry most standard adventuring provisions; in an "adventuring party" game, this will be a nice opportunity for her to scoff at other PCs' bedrolls, rope, and travel rations... and maybe suffer some Weakness for roughing it.

7Strangleweed is generally chewed by the Cursed, the enemies of mankind, so she'll automatically be distrusted for chewing it, but also be respected by some for being tough enough to stomach the disgusting stuff.

8Her Next Destination is a flag, with the concept being that, although she's built to dominate physically (high agility, toughness, and fighting skills), she hungers for power and influence of a broader nature.  This combines with the group's Preferred Secret of daemonology to suggest "Hook me with hints of magical ways to control daemons!" as one option for the GM.
here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development

Ron Edwards

Hi Joel,

Think of it as playing Sorcerer, supplemented by Sorcerer & Sword. The latter is not a stand-alone game or book. Which is to say, use the existing sheet as you describe.

I have no idea about the unsubmitted character sheets. Both the page and the scans of the posted characters are entirely imaginary at this moment, so I'll deal with that first and think about second-order issues later.

Best, Ron

Joel P. Shempert

Sure. The only thing that gave me pause about using the existing sheet was the renamed or added elements.

Hmm, it also occurs to me that i should do the "Gorias" one-sheet for completeness' sake. Sounds like a good opportunity to draw a map.
Story by the Throat! Relentlessly pursuing story in roleplaying, art and life.

Jared A. Sorensen

Game: FreeMarket

Key Name: Juno (my character's name on the Donut... it sounds like a goddess / cool chick / fantasy warrior name)
User ID: Jared (my real name)
Concept: LARP Goddess (Juno was created to be a sexy NPC in a MRCZ's live action game system)
Template: Blank, a kind of human clone created on a bio-printing machine using living cells instead of ink or toner. This template is one of four available to the player and serves to give me my base ratings.

I write down "Bode" as a geneline, an homage to an artist that drew hot fantasy babes. As a Blank, Juno gets 3 points in geneline. For the tags I choose what she was built for: being sexy and being wild. Sarcasm is an unintended trait that crept into the Bode geneline.

As a Blank, Juno gets 3 points worth of experiences. I want her to have several at 1 point each so I select Negotiation and Social Engineering (for dealing with other players) and Wetwork (for beating their asses down).

She gets 3 points of Interface (cybernetics/internal software). I want to complement her three experiences so I choose three interfaces, each at 1 point. One is an instantly accessible and frequently updated version of the LARP rules (with various enhancements available to her as an NPC). Another is her rapid reaction courtesy of neural webbing. Her "Frostfire" eye implants are ice-blue and devastatingly beautiful, enabling her to melt the heart of any player who meets her gaze. Her single piece of technology is a 1-point bastard sword fitted with a stunning "blade" that knocks you out when it connects.

Her two long-term memories occurred in real time and were not flood/bleeded (neither during her printing nor after she was completed). One involves a cool LARP she was involved in where she was "killed" and the other is about a love affair with a musician. Whether or not he feels similarly is left for the players to discover during the game.

Finishing touch is to determine her flow rating. As a Blank, she starts with 5 points of flow. Because she is experienced at negotiation, she gets another point. Add to that one more point from her negotation-related interface for a total of 7.
jared a. sorensen /

Jared A. Sorensen

jared a. sorensen /

Lance D. Allen

This is Tyris, the Amazon Queen, from Sexy Deadly.

First thing first, we consider her style. As an Amazon, she is obviously a bit savage and primitive, but deceptively sophisticated. She uses her apparent primitiveness to put her opponents off guard. With that in mind, we look through the Archetypes. I narrow it down to The Sphinx or Death by Surprise. The Lioness was tempting as well, but as an amazon, she's likely to look down on men too much to consider using her allure as a weapon as a first option. I decide to go with the Sphinx; The warrior code of the Amazon is her creed, and she prizes learning, patience and careful planning over stealth. It doesn't matter if they see you coming when you've got them right where you want them. This gives me the once-per-game special ability to play any card as an Ace of Diamonds, beating even the real Ace of Diamonds if it's played against me.

Next up, we need to choose her Aspects. First is More than a Woman. What is it that sets her above her peers? as an Amazon, it could be her unrivaled skill with bow and blade. It could be her empathy, because a queen must understand her subjects. It could be the code itself. Wait, I know. it's.. It's forethought. She's always run through every possible scenario in her head before going into any situation. She always knows what can happen, and she's already considered her options. So that's what it is. Forethought. I have to pick a suit to go with it. This is Obviously Diamonds, as it's Smart, moreso than it's Sexy, Deadly, or Tough.

Second, I pick her Less than a Woman. This one is easy. She's Contemptuous. The Amazon way is a proud way, and she believes all men and most women to be beneath her. Its suit is Hearts, for Sexy.

Finally, her Motif. I could go with something in Diamonds, to add to my dominance there, or in Hearts to shore up my weakness there.. But I think instead I'll go with something in Spades, Deadly. Her Motif is her flickering blade, moving in complex patterns which give no hint of when or where the strike falls.

That's it. She's mechanically finished as a character. But let's go ahead and do some of the earliest part of scenario generation, just to get a better idea of her. I take a deck of cards, remove the jokers, and make sure it's fully shuffled. Then I draw the first card, for the Target. A 5 of hearts. The 5 tells me that it's an Artifact. The hearts means nothing, but maybe I'll see if I can work it into the concept. I know! It's a wedding set made with rare stones which, unbeknownst to most, bears a cryptic inscription that could mean a great deal of power in the right hands.

Now, normally the previous step would be done jointly with my fellow Ladies. But we'll just say that they helped me come up with the concept. Now we all draw a card from the deck. I draw the 3 of diamonds. The three tells me nothing, but the diamond means that my goal is to steal the Target. I (collectively with my fellow players) decide that the Target is on display in a museum for the first time ever, and I wish to steal it to decipher the script and take the power for my Amazons.

Let's sum it up:

Tyris, the Amazon Queen
Archetype: The Sphinx
Special Ability: 1/game, I may play any card as the Ace of Diamonds
More than a Woman: Forethought, diamonds
Less than a Woman: Contemptuous, hearts
Motif: a flickering blade, moving in complex patterns, giving no hint of when or where the strike will fall, spades

Goal: Steal the wedding set so she can decipher the inscription, and take its power for her Amazons
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls


Here is the character sheet for Freydis of Valgard using Barbarians of Lemuria (sheet is of my own design though)

Peter Nordstrand

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

Christopher Kubasik

Hi all.

I'm travelling, but want to play.  (Driving from Virginia to New York today, flying back to Los Angeles tomorrow.)

I happen to have my Sorcerer books with me, but nothing else. But I could track down other rules via the Internet.  (I'm still curious about In A Wicked Age..., Primetime Adventures, as games that haven't been done yet.. but that would make a complicated task more complicated for me right now!)

Ron, am I allowed to created characters from games already created?

"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield

Ron Edwards

Hi Christopher,

I was hoping to avoid multiple uses of the same game for purposes of initial posted characters. Later additions to the discussion are welcome, though.

Would you consider The Pool?

Best, Ron

Christopher Kubasik


I'll see what's possible on my end for other options. Either way, I'll be reading with interest.

Oh, and my first choice would be a Pendragon character using the Picts sourcebook... but that ain't going to happen on the road!
"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield


Apocalypse World.

She's clearly a battlebabe, so I grab a copy of the battlebabe playbook.

It says "To create your battlebabe, choose name, look, stats, moves, gear, and Hx. Choose in any order you like." I'll go ahead and do them in the order given.

1. Choose a name from the list: Snow

2. Choose look options from the lists: Woman, display wear, sharp face, gorgeous body, frosty eyes

3. Choose a set of stats from the list: Cool+2, Hard-2, Hot+1, Sharp+1, Weird+1
All the sets are Cool+2. I happen to know that there's a move I can choose that'll offset the Hard-2, so I don't worry much about taking such a negative stat. I really want all three of the +1s.

4. Choose moves. I get to choose 2 from the list. I choose: ice cold and impossible reflexes
QuoteIce cold: when you go aggro on another player's character, roll+Hx instead of roll+hard. When you go aggro on one of the MC's characters, roll+cool instead of roll+hard.
QuoteImpossible reflexes: the way you move unencumbered counts as armor. If you're naked or nearly naked, 2-armor; if you're wearing non-armor fashion, 1-armor. If you're wearing armor, use it instead.

5. Choose gear. I get to make up two custom weapons. I choose a custom firearm and a custom hand weapon:
Custom sword: ornate, heavy blade (3-harm hand valuable)
Custom handgun: ornate, big (3-harm close reload loud valuable) in her right hand, out of frame
I also get to characterize her clothing and her barterable oddments:
Skimpy fashion
Belt trinkets worth 2-barter

6. Choose Hx. This depends on the other players and their characters, so I can't really do it, but here are the rules:
QuoteEveryone introduces their characters by name and by look. Take your turn.
List the other characters' names.
By default, you don't get too attached too quickly. Your base Hx with each character is =0.
By default, though, you yourself are an open book. Give everyone else +1Hx with you.
In addition, choose the character your character trusts the least. Discard all modifiers and make your Hx with that character +3.
Go around again. On your turn, everyone else compares their Hx with you. Whose is highest? That person chooses which of your stats they find most interesting and you highlight it. The MC also chooses which stat she finds most interesting, and you highlight it too.

Character sheet scan


Paul Czege

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



System:  Escape from Tentacle City

*First thing we do is play Escape from Tentacle City.

Me:  Hey Ron, do you want to play some Escape from Tentacle City?
Ron:  Sure!

*Next, someone- not me- has to come up with a survivor group.

Me:  Do you have an idea for a survivor group?
Ron:  Boffer LARPers.
Me:  I hate you.

*Then I pick a name.  This is a humor game, so usually the names are a little silly.

This character is "Stephanie Glumwort AKA Frost-Queen Titania"

*Next I write down my group affiliation.

Ron already picked it for me.  It's Boffer LARPers.

*I pick a Positive Attribute from a list.  This determines what Titania is good at.

It's a tough choice between Attractive and Fighter, but I think I have to go with Attractive.  Titania, as it turns out, actually isn't that good with that boffer sword.

*I pick a Negative Attribute from my imagination.  This determines how annoying my role-play is to the other players.  This is probably the most important step.

I choose "Never Breaks Character."

*I pick two items of equipment for my character.

I write down "Big Boffer Sword," and "White Princess Wig."

*Then I finish up.

I write down that Titania has four stress available to spend, with one already spent.  For reference, I write down the names of the other Boffer LARPers so I can figure out what's going on when our scene comes around.