Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Character Generation Library - Unhallowed Metropolis

I got this game ages ago, and I haven't actually managed to play it yet. It's not so surprising because I don't frequently get a chance to play much lately, and the game itself is one that requires a pretty good understanding of how the parts work in order to really get it but that's fine because the setting is what makes this game amazing.

Instead of it being some kind of history game, it's a far future game based off of something that happened in the past. So in 1905 there's basically a zombie outbreak pretty much right in the middle of the industrial revolution. Because of all the death and destruction we don't really get much past that stage, so it's set in 2105 but very much has that Victorian feel. I read that again and again because of how much I love that idea.

Now, to the details:

Game: Unhallowed Metropolis - Revised
Pages: 345
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
My Familiarity: Read it once or twice
Designers: Jason Soles and Nicole Vega
Publisher: New Dark Games (My 2011 book says Atomic Overmind)
Affiliate Link to core book

Step 1 - Character Concept

This is where you kind of do that over arching view of what your character should be. It's where you choose your calling, which is like your class. I just saw Castlevania, let's Alucard this up by saying that my character is going to be a Dhampir Vampire Hunter. A human corrupted by vampirism without going full vampire.

I think this character is out for revenge, the thrill of the hunt is just a side effect.

I also get all these cool things for the being a Dhampir:

Alien Grace, Blood Drinker, Half Lifer, Hatred of Vampires, Heightened Vision, Immune to Vampiric Mind Control, Sense Undead, Unnatural Passions, Vampiric Transformation, Dustman

They have cool effects, and are mostly what it says there, but yay free stuff.

Step 2 - Select Starting Attributes

There are 6 attributes, Vitality (Health), Coordination (like Dexterity), Wit (Perception and Reaction time), Intellect (how smart you are), Charm (Poise and force of personality), Will (Strength of Mind)

You start with 1 in each stat and get 25 points to spend with each stat point costing it's value, that means going from 1 to a 2 costs 2 but going from a 1 to a 3 costs 5 (2 for level 2 and 3 for level 3).

I think this is going to be much more on the killing things than the being suave and debonair. So I'm going to be putting up more things like Coordination, Vitality and Wit to be aware of what's going on.

3 Vitality (5 points)
4 Coordination (9 points)
3 Wit (5 points)
2 Intellect (2 points)
2 Charm (2 points)
2 Will (2 points)

Prowess is Derived from Coordiation + Wit which gives me a 7.

Step 3 - Select Starting Skills

The Calling gives you a list of starting skills, and you get 25 points for those or other skills. As a Dhampire Vampire Hunter I get Melee Weapon at 2 and Unarmed Combat at 2 and 5 other skills at 2. They also have a limit based on the skill which is tied to an attribute, or not. It's not consistent at all.

Also, if you have ranks in combat skills you get stunts per rank, so that's something.

4 - Acrobatics (Coordination) [Costs 7 points]
2 - Archery
*Night Fighter
*Trick Shot
2 - Concentration [Costs 3 points]
3 - Melee Weapon [Costs 3 points]
*Fast Draw
*Lucky Shot
*Two Weapon Fighting
2 - Paraspychology (Intellect) [This is the knowledge of the paranormal]
3 - Shadow [Costs 3 points]
3 - Survival [Costs 3 points]
2 - Thanatology (Intellect) [Costs 3 points - This is the knowledge of dead and dying things]
3 - Unarmed Combat [Costs 3 points]
*High Kick
*Ground Fighting

That looks like a pretty well rounded solo ass kicker.

Step 4 - Corruption

Everyone starts with at least one point of corruption. You can't get rid of this regardless of what you do. The three paths of corruption are Physical, Desire, and Drive. Since I'm a Dhampire I can't have any physical corruption because I'm already there! Yay vampirism! 

This one is easy. It's a Drive one and it's Consumed. My life is just a vehicle for my work.

Step 5 - Spending Custom Points

You get 5 extra points to spend on either more attributes, skills, or cool qualities. I think I'm going to fixate on qualities because those are "new."

Okay, Reputation - Street is certainly in. It's 3 points and it's nice to be known as someone you don't cross. Same with Reputation - Underground which is 2 points and takes up all 5 right now.

Step 6 - Qualities and Impediments

I'll need to take some bad things to get more good things now.

Infectious Bite because I think it's kind of fun, which gets me 3 points
Melancholy which gets me 4 points, and a character that has a hard time with difficulty.
Night Terrors because he can't sleep well which gets me 2 points which puts me at 9 total for buying more qualities.

More qualities include

Quiet, 3 points because being so silent even vampires can't hear me is good
Safe House, 4 points
Time sense because it's only 2 points and that's all I have left.

Step 7 - Buy Shit

I'm good, thanks.

Now just for details and a history.

Edmund Minster was a young man when he learned a secret about his family. His mother was a Dhampire who had decided to leave, after having fulfilled her revenge on the vampire that had killed her sister. However, the vampire's childer came back and killed her, leaving Edmund in the cycle of violence that seems to be continuing generation after generation. It is his turn to take a spin on the wheel, and he wants to end it. Not be coming to a mutual understanding, but by removing as many vampires as he can.

Anyway, here's the character sheet:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Character Generation Library - Classic Battletech

Going through my drive library right now, because it's easier than grabbing a book at the moment. I have "Classic Battletech" which I remember as Battletech 3rd edition.

I grew up loving battletech. We used to play it at Bryan's house with coins for minis until the wee hours in the morning. It's where I loved to play with infantry and artillery even though the game is about giant stomping robots. I bought the 3rd edition of the RPG as soon at it came out when it was still put out by FASA. Some of my good friends make up the current Catalyst Demo team in Toronto, current and forever Vulture Cup Champions.

I have a grasp of this game. Anyway, since it's on the list, let's do it.

Game: Classic Battletech
Pages: 242
Genre: Science Fiction
My Familiarity: Pretty good.
Designers: Bryan Nystul
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Affiliate Link to core book

Step 1 - Affiliation

You are never just you in Battletech. It's Feudal space time so you have to come from somewhere. Normally I play Davion because who doesn't want to play as the people with the big metal fist on a sun background. Clan stuff is less interesting to me because of how stratified everything is.

With that in mind, let's go Steiner because money and social military stuff is fun.

Primary Language: German
Secondary Languages: Scottish Gaelic, Italian, Swedish, English
Bonus Skills: Negotation +2, Appraisal +1
Traits: Increase value of Timid and Combat Paralysis by one when purchased after life path
Path Restrictions: None, +1 when rolling on Free Trader Path.

Step 2 - Life Path!

Classic Battle tech has a pretty extensive life path system. What happens is straightforward but the ending gets all ... kinds of extra complicated. Anyway, you get stuff when you pick a life path, and then you roll for the random event that shaped you.

Stage 1 - Early Childhood

Let's goooooo Nobility. Because Steiner.

Time: Character is 10 at the end of this stage
Attribute Minimum: SOC 5
Attribute Thresholds: STR -1, BOD -1, RFL -1, INT +1, CHA +1, SOC +1
Traits: Wealth, Well-Equipped, Enemy
Skills: Language/German +1, Protocol/Steiner +2
Next Path: Prep School
Event: 4 - I have a younger sibling who covets my inheritance [Enemy]

Okay, so wealthy family with a younger sibling. We never got along since mother died. I moved on and he just couldn't, and blamed me for "getting over it." Now they feel like they deserve all of what mother left us in her will.

Stage 2 - Late Childhood

Since I'm the elder child, I'm totally going into Prep School. I have to prepare to take over the family, and it was a great relief to be away from my younger brother.

Time: Character is 16 at the end of this stage.
Attribute Thresholds: SOC +1
Traits: Well-Connected
Skills: Academics/Biology +2, Computers +1, Language/English +1, Protocol/Steiner +2
Next Path: New Avalon Institute of Science
Event: 9 - Every school needs a "source," and you happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. [SOC -1, Contact, Wealth, Appraisal +1, Negotiation +2, Streetwise +1]

So my character is at Prep School, and because of the family connections I to cover for someone who brought in some illegal substance on the school. Which gave them access to a whole network they didn't know existed, but ultimately became aware that the family still had some ties to it. Which is why they were let in.

I think this character is a woman dealing with a jealous younger brother now. With that in mind, off to the New Avalon Institute of Science.

Stage 3 - Higher Education

New Avalon Institute of Science time! Oh, because it's classic it's still after the Steiner Davion marriage so Federated Suns are apparently still a thing?

Time: 2 Years
Attribute Minimums: INT 5, WIL 3, SOC 3
Attribute Thresholds: INT +1, SOC +1
Traits: Poverty, Well-Equipped
Skills: Bureaucracy/Federated Suns +3, Computers +1, Academics/Biology+2, Academics/Chemistry +1, Language/English +1, Perception +2
Next Path: NAIS Major Subpath
Event: 9 - Got the best professor at the school [Add +3 to any one skill learned in this path so Physics]

Subpath: NAIS Major
Time: 2 Years
Traits: Well-Equipped
Skills: Any four relevant skils +1, Anyone field skill at an additional +1
Fields: Scientist
Event: None
Next Path: NAIS Advanced Studies Subpath

Subpath: NAIS Advanced Studies
Time: 4
Attribute Minimums: INT 6, SOC 4, DEX 4
Traits: Wealth, Well-Equipped, Well-Connected
Skills: Add +1 to Half the skills earned this path so far (round up) and +1 to any four other skills
Fields: Doctor (requires Scientist)
Next Path: Civilian Job

So, my character she graduates as a doctor at the age of 26. I think that's the family business, doctoring. She went into it to take care of people, like her mother who ended up being sick. It was her unconscious way of dealing with the death.

Okay, Fields are something you need to explain. When you have a Field they're a bunch of skills that come under it that you can use those points for. I've got Scientist and Doctor. This will be important later (like I said, the life path is fun but a little ... convoluted at the end ... character creation comes with a worksheet because ... you'll see).

Scientist gets:

Doctor gets:
First Aid

Stage 4 - Real Life

This gets into a bit of repetition. You can keep doing this for as long as you want, it just takes time. She's going to do her doctor job for 4 years and we'll see what happens.

Path: Civilian Job
Time: 4 years
Skills: Career/Any Relevent +3, Career/Any +2 twice, +1 any other skill. I get to choose an option, so I'm going to say Leadership +1
Event: 6 - I hate my job and day dream the hours away (-1 to all skills gain on this path which is pretty painful)

Okay, so she gets there and it's everything I hate about my family rolled into my day job. Thankfully there is money so she's going to travel next.

Path: Travel
Time: 1d6 Years (rolled a 1)
Skills: Interest/Any +2, Zero-G Operations +1, +1 to any other skill. Choosing: Art/Painting +1
Event: 10 - You are in the right place at the right time to stop the assassination of a duke. [Good Reputation (2), Contact (2), Wealth]

Okay, so I think that's where I'm going to end it. My character is 29, and just had a life changing event. She saved a fellow noble from an assassination attempt, and the thrill of all that made her want to start her own kind of doctors without borders, except I don't know if it's altruistic or not ... it's just starting.

Ha! That's it. She's starting her own "mercenary" group but it's not about the standard stuff. It's looking to go for people who need help and protection. Maybe she'll scrounge up a Mechwarrior or two for protection.

Step 3 - Assign Attributes, Traits and Skills

Okay, here's where we spend things and go back and deal with time line. You get 50 points to spend on Attributes and positive traits. I can take negative traits in order to get more points.

There are nine traits, Strength (STR), Body (BOD), Dexterity (DEX), Reflexes (RFL), Intelligence (INT), Willpower (WIL), Charisma (CHA), Edge (EDG), and Social Standing (SOC).

I need to find out what the minimum requirements are for my life path and what the thresholds are. The thresholds are were the cost changes for those attributes. Thresholds start at 6 (except edge which starts at 8) and then are modified by life path. Also there's an age thing, but since she's 29 there isn't any bonus or penalty.

Stats - Minimums - Thresholds 
STR - None - 5
BOD - None - 5
DEX  - 4 - 6
RFL - None - 5
INT - 6 - 7
WIL - 3 - 6
CHA - None - 7
EDG - None - 8
SOC - 4 - 7

Okay, so I'm going to have to spend to the minimums, which means that 17 of my 50 points are spoken for. There's a chart and 4 is listed as "fair" for a description. So I'll put that into STR and BOD and REF which has me as 29 points. I think I'll up SOC to 5 and EDG (which is a luck stat) to 6 which puts me at 36. CHA to 6 and DEX to 6 which makes it 44. 6 more points to play with, oh! Will, which will become a 6, which puts me at 3 left, so one more for INT CHA and EDG. Final stats look something like this.

STR - 4
BOD - 4
DEX  - 6 
RFL - 4
INT - 7
WIL - 6
CHA - 7 
EDG - 7 
SOC - 5 

Now come traits. I've already got a whole bunch so I'm not going to get anymore.

Then skills ... this took me a while to figure out the first time I did it.

So you take all those pluses that you earn and add them up. If you get enough Skill points you get that level of skill. If you have any extra you can spend that later. So I have Medtech 1+3 which means 4. That means I have a +1 skill with 1 skill point left over. In full here are the list of skills and I have 12 extra skill points.

Academics/Biology +1
Academics/Chemistry +0
Administration +0
Appraisal +1
Art/Painting +0
Bureaucracy/Federated Suns +1
Career/Scientist +0
Career/Doctor +0
Computers +1
First Aid +0
Language / English +1
Language / German +0
MedTech +1
Negotiation +1
Perception +1
Protocol/Steiner +1
Streetwise +0
Surgery +1
Training +0
Zero-G Ops +0

Now I can spend the difference between levels in skill points to increase them. So it's 2 points to go from a +0 to a +1, and 4 points to go from a +1 to a +2.

Administration +1
First Aid +1
MedTech +2
Negotiation +2

Those are the only skills I'm changing. 

Step 4 - Buy Shit

Nope I'm good thanks. If I was playing the game, sure because it will come up but not in this so I don't have to and I'm not gonna.

Step 5 - Finishing Details

Name: Rika Muller
Age: 29 (Thanks Life Path)
Affiliation: Steiner
Height: 5'3"
Weight: Who the fuck cares.

I would have a contact through school, the prep school contact is another Mercenary named Henrik Zajac. The really big Contact is P.K. Steiner a third or fourth cousin, the Duke that I saved from assassination. I already have one Enemy with my younger brother and so the other one is a Word of Blake fanatic who was trying to have P.K. Steiner killed who we'll call Geoff Bergevin.

She's got a slight German accent that she's been working hard to get rid of too.

Jesus this is long. Imaging what it's like if I bought things. The first image is the worksheet, the second one is the character sheet.

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