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open:mechanics:core:quickstart_characters [2013/06/07 13:12]
darth_tigger
open:mechanics:core:quickstart_characters [2013/06/07 13:24] (current)
darth_tigger
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 +===== Quick-Start Characters =====
 +
 +The quick-start character creation process will produce a well-balanced,​ playable character in ten minutes. It can be done much quicker but the biggest delay comes from players spending too long considering all the different possibilities. With the quick-start process, it is much better for players to act instinctively and choose quickly.
 +
 +
 +
 +=== Step 1 - Character Concept ===
 +
 +All characters start with a motif or distinguishing feature. Maybe it's a particular weapon they use, how they look or speak, their ethical code (or lack of it) or a personality trait such being pious or affable. This is the starting point of the character and everything else about the character should fit with this idea. 
 +
 +Next the idea needs fleshing out with some details about the character and their back-story. These nuggets of information provide role playing opportunities and help all the players to visualise the character. They do not add to any dice rolls and players are largely free to choose what they want but some decisions will have consequences depending on the setting. Picking a race that is discriminated against or is just rarely seen will affect how others react to them. Gender may also make a difference and even simple details such height & weight can have unforeseen consequences. ​
 +
 +Players should seek to answer some of the following details about the character and write them down on the character sheet. The answers are not set in stone and may change as the character concept becomes more refined. ​
 +
 +  * Name
 +  * Age
 +  * Physical appearance
 +    * Race / Skin colour
 +    * Height & weight
 +    * Hair colour & style 
 +  * Where they live
 +  * Where they grew up
 +  * Their family
 +  * Their occupation
 +
 +=== Step 2 - Paths ===
 +
 +Using the list of character <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​path">​paths</​apdx>​ (purple advantages) included in the game's setting, pick the three paths which best fit the character'​s concept. ​
 +
 +Write their names down in the first column of the character sheet. Also note down that these advantages are <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​27277">​static</​apdx>​ advantages. This is best done by writing Static or a large **S** next to the dice value.
 +
 +
 +=== Step 3 - Life & Abilities ===
 +
 +From each character path, pick one <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​27564">​life</​apdx>​ advantage (green) and two <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​ability">​ability</​apdx>​ advantages (blue). Write the life advantages in the second column of the character sheet and the ability advantages in the third. Make note of the advantage'​s name, its keywords and any pertinent details from the advantage'​s description. If the advantage is static, note this down.
 +
 +=== Step 4 - Bonus Life Advantage ===
 +
 +From any of the three paths, pick one additional life advantage (green). It cannot be an advantage already chosen. ​
 +
 +Before picking, look at the <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​keywords">​keywords</​apdx>​ for the life advantages already selected. The keywords will be <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​body">​Body</​apdx>,​ <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​mind">​Mind</​apdx>​ or <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​soul">​Soul</​apdx>​ whether the advantage is physical, mental or metaphysical. It is a good idea for a character to have a mix of different types. The bonus life advantage is an opportunity to diversify. ​  
 +
 +
 +=== Step 5 - Abilities & Equipment ===
 +
 +Pick **one** of the following options:
 +
 +== Two Ability Advantages ==
 +
 +From the character'​s paths, pick two additional ability (blue) advantages. ​
 +
 +== One Ability & One Character Equipment Advantage ==
 +
 +Pick one ability advantage from one the character'​s paths plus one <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​characterequipment">​equipment</​apdx>​ (yellow) advantage. The equipment advantage can be anything from the setting'​s equipment paths though the game leader may make additional equipment available or some equipment unavailable. The selected item of equipment is written in the bottom half of the fourth column of the character sheet. ​
 +
 +== Two Character Equipment Advantages ==
 +
 +From any of the setting'​s available equipment paths, select two advantages. ​
 +
 +
 +=== Step 6 - Add Dice Values ===
 +
 +By this step characters will have 15 advantages: three character paths (purple), four life (green), between six and eight ability advantages (blue) and between zero and two character equipment advantages (yellow). All these will be at worth at least 1d6+0 when used in actions but some advantages may be worth more. 
 +
 +Pick two advantages and write 1d6+2 as the <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​28220">​dice value</​apdx>​ with a <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​cpvalue">​CP</​apdx>​ value of seven. Then pick four advantages and give them dice values of 1d6+1 and a CP of five. The remaining nine advantages will be 1d6+0 with a CP of four.
 +
 +=== Step 7 - Mundane Equipment ===
 +
 +Players should make a note of any significant <apdx ref=":​open:​mechanics:​rulecards:​mundaneequipment">​mundane equipment</​apdx>​ they have at the start of the game, checking they are acceptable with the Game Leader. Obvious things like clothes do not need to be written down, a character is always assumed to have everyday, common sense items. ​
 +
 +=== Step 8 - Finishing Off ===
 +
 +On the character sheet, there are a few more details to be filled in. These are the same for all characters created using the quick-start process.
 +
 +  * Dynamic Potential: 4
 +  * Static Potential: ​ 2
 +  * Recoup: 2
 +  * MCP: 9
 +  * CP: 70
 +
 +== Free Resist ==
 +
 +One last detail needs to be filled in, the character'​s Free Resist advantage. This can be used with no cost whenever the character makes a resistance action; however it must (just like any other advantage in an action) make sense in the situation. It can be any advantage the character already has but it must be a dynamic advantage (anything that is not a static advantage) and cannot be mundane equipment. ​
 +
 +
 +
 +<style playguideexample>​
 +Sally is creating her character for an adventure set in the zombie apocalypse and is using the Generic Modern setting.
 +
 +== Step 1 ==
 +
 +For the zombie apocalypse adventure, Sally wants to play a very ordinary person caught up in extraordinary circumstances and decides on a soccer mom. Sally makes a few notes on her character:
 +
 +//Judith O'Dea, aged thirty five. Judith has three children: Sam (aged ten), Beccy (seven) and Clara (three) and is married to Tom who works in I.T. Judith is 5'​3"​ (1.6 metres) and 11 1/2 stone (75 kilos) so quite overweight.//​
 +
 +//Judith grew up in Detroit during the economic troubles of the 1980s. She met Tom in college and they eventually got married. They now live in a modest suburban house near Pittsburgh where Judith is active on the school'​s Parent Teacher Association.//​
 +
 +== Step 2 ==
 +
 +Looking down the list of character paths in the Generic / Modern setting, she picks Family and City Life straight away. Then, after a moment'​s thought, she picks Boy / Girl Scout, reasoning that someone who was once a girl scout would grow up into an organised, active and caring parent. ​
 +
 +== Step 3 ==
 +
 +Sally turns to the Boy / Girl Scout and picks Will Power, First Aid and Resourceful as they are useful advantages for a soccer mom and will also be helpful when the dead walk the Earth. Deciding that Judith grew up in a rough neighbourhood (which is why her experiences in the scout movement were so important), Sally picks Quick Wits, Streetwise and Urban from the City Life path. From the Family path, Sally picks Empathy, D.I.Y. and Comfort, again because they are useful advantages for a soccer mom and for surviving the end of the world.
 +
 +== Step 4 ==
 +
 +Judith'​s current life advantages are Will Power, Quick Wits and Empathy. These all have the Soul or Mind keywords and Sally would like to give the character something more physical (i.e. an advantage with the Body keyword). On the Boy / Girl Scout path, Sally spots the Healthy advantage. Sally reasons that though her character is not fit, Judith is reasonably young, active and free of any medical problems, matching the advantage'​s description of 'Well nourished and disease free'​. ​
 +
 +Taking another advantage from the Scout'​s path, Sally decides that the character was not just a girl scout but now runs the local scout group and she notes this down on the character sheet. This helps Judith become a more real and believable character but Sally, thinking ahead, reckons that this might give Judith access to useful equipment once the zombies appear.
 +
 +== Step 5 ==
 +
 +Thinking about her character, and what she is likely to need, Sally opts for one additional ability advantage and one equipment advantage. The Boy / Girl Scout path has the Alert advantage which Sally thinks will be very useful for spotting zombies.
 +
 +The item of equipment is a much harder choice because it will be character equipment - a piece of equipment that is as much part of who she is as her Quick Wits or D.I.Y. advantages. After looking at the equipment paths, nothing really fits her soccer mom character so Sally asks her Game Leader if she can have something not on the list - a 'Mom Bag'. Sally explains that this a small backpack or satchel full of all the useful things a busy soccer mom might need: small bottle of water, a few sweets, a pen-knife, sticking plasters, tissues, pen & paper and so on.
 +
 +The game leader agrees and has Sally writes 'Mom Bag' on the character sheet along with a sentence explaining what sort of things it contains. ​
 +
 +== Step 6 ==
 +
 +Judith'​s fifteen advantages are:  Boy / Girl Scout, City Life and Family paths; Will Power, Quick Wits, Empathy and Society life advantages; Alert, Comfort, D.I.Y., First Aid, Resourceful,​ Streetwise and Urban ability advantages; and the Mom Bag character equipment advantage. Thinking about it, Sally opts for giving her Mom Bag a 1d6+2 / CP 7 advantage because it can be used in lots of situations and it really helps define her character - the organised soccer mom with something for every occasion. To back this up, Sally makes Resourceful 1d6+2 / CP 7 as well. 
 +
 +For her four 1d6+1 / CP 5 advantages, Sally picks Quick Wits, First Aid, Comfort and D.I.Y. The remaining advantages are 1d6+0 / CP 4. 
 +
 +== Step 7 ==
 +
 +Discussing mundane equipment with the Game Leader, Sally decides there is very little that needs to be written down. Judith has a house full of everyday things but nothing unusual or important like a gun. The one thing Sally does write down is her car, a large seven-person people carrier, because Sally can see having a large car being useful when the zombies attack. ​  
 +
 +Finally Sally has to decide on a free resist. This is tricky because Judith lacks advantages like Toughness or Brawn which are really useful against a zombie attack, Instead she opts for Healthy. This won't help in every situation but is probably her best option.  ​
 +</​style>​
 +
 +
 +=== Notes on Character Creation ===
 +
 +The quick-start approach produces characters quickly but it lacks the fine tuning available on the full character creation process. Using the quick-start process creates rounded and realistic characters but they also tend to be less optimised. ​
 +
 +Consider Sally'​s character. Judith'​s three paths have several duplicate advantages and lack any physical life advantages. A player with more time would select a different combinations of paths which gave them more varied options. The distribution of dice values may also not be ideal. Rather than having four 1d6+1 advantages, a character might be better with two more 1d6+2 advantages or even a single 1d6+3 ability. ​
 +
 +However, less optimised does not mean worse to play. Sally'​s character has a depth and realism which carefully optimised characters often lack. Game Leaders should encourage players to make interesting characters over perfectly-crafted adventurers and adjust the difficulty of the challenges to match the party'​s abilities. ​  
 +
  
open/mechanics/core/quickstart_characters.txt ยท Last modified: 2013/06/07 13:24 by darth_tigger
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