Character Creation Using Path Cards

Path cards provide a skeleton on which the player hangs both the character's back-story and their selection of cards. The cards encapsulate key periods in the character's life where they learnt new skills that shaped who they are. Lacking a particular path card does not mean a character never experienced those things, just that it was not important. A character without the School path card might still have gone to school but it had no impact on the person they became.

In a game using path cards, players do not have the ability to pick whatever character cards they want for their character. Instead, each path card makes a number of other cards available. Players must buy one or more path cards with CP and then can only choose from the cards made available by their path cards.

By their nature, path cards restrict a player's choices. In order to acquire the range of cards a player wants for their character they may have to buy many different path cards, leaving them with less points to buy the actual cards. This approach does not fit with all styles of games although it is more realistic. Each choice a character makes along the path of life allows them to learn some skills but closes the door on others.

The path card approach works well in games, such as 6d6 Magic, where there are well recognised heroic archetypes. Path cards can also make character generation easier for new players. By limiting their choices, a player only has to worry about picking from a small number of cards rather the hundreds of cards in the complete system.

It is possible to ignore the path cards in games and settings that use them if this approach to character generation doesn't fit with the group. However, the starting CP allowance should be reduced by 10 points as the players no longer need to buy path cards.

Using Path Cards In Actions

As well as their role in character creation, path cards can still be used in actions. As with any card they must be available and appropriate but otherwise they work as normal cards.

Path cards are extremely general in nature and should be treated as knowledge cards. For example, a Human Blood card represents someone of human descent. It can be reasonably assumed that a character with it has some rough knowledge about human physiology and culture but little more.

Path Cards Are Always Four CP

Unlike other cards, path cards can only ever be worth 4 CP (1d6+0) and cannot be improved. Each path card represents a period in the character's life and these cannot be changed or improved through practice or training.

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open/mechanics/universal/usingpathcards.txt · Last modified: 2012/02/10 12:38 by tregenza
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