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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