So, I have had a fairly relaxed weekend in the scheme of things, but managed to complete the “core” of what I had planned to get done. I wanted to finish the character creation rules, but that turned out to be a much bigger job than I had expected. I spent a fair chunk of Saturday writing detailed descriptions of the fantasy races that populate the city, which is necessary since they are all quite different from the usual elves and dwarves (I posted examples in my last update).
Today I was able to write most of the “how to” part of the character creation process, though I didn’t get anywhere near stuff like skill descriptions or talent paths. That will be this week’s job, I suppose.
Here is the character creation summary (each section then gets much more detail, examples etc):
Creating Your Character
The city is full of characters, friendly, fearsome and frightening, from all walks of life and with all manner of agenda. The lively publican at the local pub; the shady grocer that makes back-room deals with seed eaters; the destitute towerman trying to make his way as a beat walker; the glom huckster selling medicines to the needy and desperate; the surly troll labourer weighed down by his master’s tools. These and more are the characters you might meet on your adventures in the City.
In Perpetual City you will become an Edge Runner – a character skilled, brave or desperate enough to live between the worlds of the gutter poor and the sun-drenched rich, to face dangers that most don’t even know exist, and risk everything you have for just a little bit more.
You might be a streetwise duster, cunning alley creeper, nefarious seed eater, dour beat walker, dedicated fireman, or merciless bounty hunter. You might ply a trade in guns, lies, knives, or the shadow world of the arcanist.
You will create your character by following the simple steps below.
1. Think about your character’s concept. Take some time to think about the type of character you want to play – the sorts of things it will be cool to see them doing, their personality or background. Do you want to be a swashbuckling nobleman “slumming it” in the gutters? Or a secretive agent of the Glom Union, plotting the downfall of some troublesome local lord? Perhaps you want to play a seed eater pursued by the Inquisition, or an honourable Fireman looking to protect the populace from the nefarious threat of the Great Betrayer. Consider your character’s background, upbringing and education. Where did they come from? Where are they going, what are their goals and what motivates them to risk life and limb? Give your character some depth before you start to get into the nitty-gritty of the rest of character creation – it will make the process easier.
- Write down one aspect that captures the concept of your character.
2. Choose your character’s racial heritage. Everyone in the city is descended from one racial stock or another. A citizen’s race influences their outlook on life, the kinds of occupations they commonly engage in, and the way others perceive them. Some neighbourhoods are made up entirely of one peoples or another, while other parts of the City are truly cosmopolitan. Decide whether your character is Gillyman, Glom, Human, Ragdoll, Thornborn or Troll.
- Choose your race
- Write down one aspect related to your racial heritage, your background, personality, or outlook on life.
- Allocate ability and skill bonuses awarded by your race choice
- Choose one talent path from those available and take 1 step along it
3. Select your caste. The city has a strict caste system that governs an individuals rights, responsibilities and expectations. While members of all classes can be found rubbing shoulders in almost all parts of the overcrowded metropolis, everyone is expected to know their place and their duty. Your caste indicates where in life your character began, not necessarily where they are now. Decide whether your character is a member of the Iron Lords, Towermen, Censuchans, Street Chattel, or Gutter Born.
- Choose your caste
- Write down one aspect related to your caste, background, a notable relationship, important event in your life, or a goal or aspiration
- Allocate skill bonuses awarded by your caste choice
4. Determine ability scores. Every character has six abilities that describe their raw physical, mental and social prowess. The abilities are Vigour, Grace, Intellect, Wits, Bearing and Prowess. Abilities are rated from -5 to +10. Your character’s ability score is added to or subtracted from dice rolls when determining if their actions are successful.
- Distribute 6 points amongst your abilities
5. Select skills and specialties. Anything a character might have training, knowledge or a talent in is described by a skill. Skills are measured in ranks, from 0 to 10, with higher values representing greater ability. Specialties are a narrower focus of a skill, and every edge runner has a few.
- Tally your base skill ranks based on race and caste choices
- Distribute 10 points amongst skills
- 1 point buys 1 rank in a skill or 2 ranks in a specialty (specialty ranks can be split amongst specialties)
- No skill or specialty can have more than 5 ranks
6. Acquire talents. Special abilities, supernatural powers, birthrights and advantages afforded through race or caste are defined by talent paths. Each talent path is a group of special abilities that a character might “learn”. Talent paths are rated in “steps”, with each step indicating greater power, focus, influence, skill or ability. Characters will begin with only a few steps taken along one or more talent paths. Choosing to put all your steps into a single path indicates particular mastery in a single talent, while spreading steps over a number of paths will give your character a range of “lower level” talents. The talent paths a character can access are determined by their race and caste.
- Take 2 steps on any available talent path – these can be on the same or different paths
7. Create your aspects. Aspects are short descriptions of important elements of your character. They can describe details of your background, relationships, particular aptitudes, character quirks or any other detail you feel is important about your character. Aspects are “double edged” with positive and negative implications for your character. When they are working in your favour you can spend a Style point to gain a big bonus to a test. When they are working against you, you earn a Style point.
- Create your last two aspects – these should be used to round out your character, forming relationships with the other player’s characters and defining motivations
8. Purchase your equipment. Every character begins with the clothes on their back and a small amount of tin to acquire the equipment they will need to ply their trade and make their way in the City. Your caste determines how much tin you begin with.
It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. The one thing that is up in the air at the moment are the abilities – I am leaning towards changing them to descriptions of the kind of “action” they are used for. That would mean an “action” stat, an “investigation” stat, a “talking” stat etc (with more imaginative names, of course).
Anyway, I am done for tonight. How was your NaGa DeMon weekend?