[Let's Study Mummy: the Curse] Character Creation

Posted: February 21, 2013 by Jay Steven Anyong in Articles, Let's Study, Mummy: the Curse, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness
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Hey there everyone. I know I promised this article a while back, but I decided to tackle the Decrees first before proceeding. Given that some of the broad strokes required in character creation will be the selection of a Guild and a Judge which in turn can dictate a character’s Decree. (Though that can be turned around and a Decree determines which of the 42 Judges to choose from.)

Alright, the first step for making a character in nWoD games is to determine the character’s virtue and Vice. These traits determine how the character behaves and have incentives towards being able to recover Willpower. For my character, I’ve decided to choose Wrath for a vice and Charity as a Virtue.

Next up is to distribute Attribute dots among the nine Attributes in the game. Each Attribute starts at a rating of 1, and I have three different pools (of 5, 4 and 3 dots each) to spend on each category of Attribute. The categories are Mental, Physical and social.

I’m considering a physically gifted individual with decent socials and with mental as his least developed set of attributes. This means I spend 5 on Physical, 4 on Social and 3 on Mental Attributes.

This is what I’ve come up with:

Mental: Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Resolve 2
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3
Social: Presence 3, Manipulation 2, Composure 2

The next Step would be to distribute Skill dots. Like Attributes, these come in three different pools (of 11, 7 and 4 dots each) which I distribute across 3 sets of skills. Again these sets mirror the ones from Attributes, with Physical, Mental and Social skill sets.

A quick distribution of points gives me the following spread:

Mental:
Crafts 1, Investigation 2, Politics 1

Physical:
Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Stealth, 2, Survival 1, Weaponry 2

Social:
Empathy 3, Intimidation 1, Persuasion 3

So far so good. We’ve got a beefy guy with experience in heavy lifting and manual labor, but also knows how to get along with his fellow man and exert some influence. Despite not being talented, he’s got a knack for keeping an eye out for trouble (Investigation) and working around bureaucracies (Politics) and being unremarkable while doing so (Stealth.)

At this point I get to distribute three “Specialties” a one die bonus to a specific subset of the character’s skills. I decide on:

Body Language for Investigation
Running for Athletics
Motives for Empathy

Each of these skills get a +1 die when rolling for that specific type of application of the skill.

Now we move on to the interesting part: the Mummy Template

JUDGES AND DECREES

First off, we’ll have to pick a Judge and assign it’s bestowed Decree (or do it the other way around and pick a Decree and assign a Judge.)

I personally feel that picking a Decree is less analysis paralysis inducing than selecting from 42 Judges, so let’s go with that. Given that the character’s primary Vice is Wrath, I’ll stick with the Lion-Headed, those ruled by emotion.

This gives us a choice of the following Judges: Akhi, Hepet-Khet, Neb-Heru, Neheb-Ka, Qerrti, Ruruti, Ser-Tihu, Tutuutef and Usekh-Nemtet. I suppose it’s time to check out the Judges and what they bestow.

Given the description of Neb-Heru, I figure it might work for this character. Neb-Heru is the Lord Above, the Judge that oversees those who act decisively but in extreme haste. Sounds like something that the character would be prone to doing, with wrath as a vice and all.

The Defining Pillar of Neb-Heru is Ab (heart)

The Bestowed Affinities of Neb-Heru are:
Epic Heart, Charmed Lives, Fearsome Soul, Living Monolith, Wisdom of the Ancients.

Next I choose a Guild. Given the nature of the character, we’re looking at someone who values the worth of emotions in the experience of living. He’s also an everyman sort, with a skillset that makes him good at odd jobs and keeping an eye out for trouble. I figure that this makes him a good fit for the Maa-Kep the Engravers of Amulets, the secret police of lost Irem.

Once we’ve made both selections, let’s apply the changes each bestows to the character. The Decree determines where I can assign a single additional dot to a pair of attributes. Since the Decree is that of Heart, I get to pick between Presence and Strength. I figure he’d make for an interesting character if he was truly inspiring to be with and spend the free dot on Presence. My Attributes are now:

Mental: Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Resolve 2
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3
Social: Presence 4, Manipulation 2, Composure 2

PILLARS

Pillars are the basis of a Mummy’s powers, and are named after each of the 5 soul-parts of Iremite mysticism. These are: Ab (heart), Ba (spirit), Ka (Essence), Ren (name) and Sheut (shadow).¬† I have nine dots to distribute between the five Pillars with the following restrictions:

No Pillar may be bought higher than the primary Pillar of the mummy’s Decree (in my case, none of the Pillars can exceed my rating in Ab)
No more than one Pillar mnay be left with a rating of zero dots.
The fifth dot in a Pillar costs two dots and may only be allocated if all four of the other Pillars have at least one dot.

Okay… let’s see what we can come up with:

3 Ab
2 Ba
2 Ka
1 Ren
1 Sheut

AFFINITIES

Now we get to the funky powers of the Arisen. On character creation, the Mummy begins with one Soul Affinity based on the Judge, one Guild Affinity from the Guild and one other that they meet the prerequisites for.

The character also starts with one Utterance that they meet the requirements for. If the character bought at least one dot in every Pillar (which I did) then they also get a second bonus Utterance.

Taking a look at the Affinities available, I opt to go for Epic Heart as a Soul Affinity.

Being part of the Maa-Kep also gives me the Affable Aid Affinity.

Healing Counsel is my third choice, taking advantage of my high Ab rating to pull off something really interesting.

Now moving on to Utterances. Due to how I distributed my Pillars I get to pick two Utterances of my choice, as long as I qualify for them.

First off I go for Blessed is the God-King, since I’ve got enough Ren and Ab to qualify.

As a little bit of interesting paradox, I’ll also pick Torn Veil of Forgetting that will allow my character to cloak himself in anonymity.

ADVANTAGES

The next part is distributing and calculating derived attributes.

Willpower is Resolve plus Composure, resulting in a starting pool of 4

Sekhem starts at 10

Memory on the other hand is the Morality stat of mummies, and newly Arisen begin with a Memory of 3.

MERITS

Starting characters begin with 7 Merit dots. I figure that spending them on Language (1 dot) will always be good. Furthermore I’m obligated to spend to get a dot in Cult, Guild Status and Tomb. This means I only have 3 dots left for Merits.

I figure I might as well start with a decent cult, so I spend all my remaining points to bump Cult to 4 points (2 Reach and 2 Grasp)

EXPERIENCE POINTS

Starting characters also get 20 experience points to spend however they wish.

In my case I’m looking at bumping Willpower, by increasing my Composure to 3 dots. This costs me 12 experience, leaving me with 8 left. The remaining I spend on improving my pillars. Each new dot costs the next rating x3, so I’ll increase my Ren to 2, for the cost of 6 experience. The last 2 experience points I’ll set aside for later.

Right, now that’s over let’s take a look at the sheet in one go:

vIRTUE: Charity
Vice: Wrath
Concept: Supervisor

ATTRIBUTES
Mental: Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Resolve 2
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3
Social: Presence 4, Manipulation 2, Composure 3

SKILLS

Mental:
Crafts 1, Investigation 2 (Body Language), Politics 1

Physical:
Athletics 3 (Running), Brawl 3, Stealth, 2, Survival 1, Weaponry 2

Social:
Empathy 3 (Motives), Intimidation 1, Persuasion 3

SEKHEM 10
MEMORY 3
WILLPOWER 5

PILLARS:
3 Ab
2 Ba
2 Ka
1 Ren
1 Sheut

AFFINITIES:
Epic Heart (Soul)
Affable Aid (Guild)
Healing Counsel

UTTERANCES:
Blessed is the God-King
Torn Veil of Forgetting

MERITS:
Languages 1
Cult 4
Tomb 1
Guild Status (Maa-Kep) 1

Despite a little bit of page flipping, Mummy’s character creation isn’t all that more (or less) painful than most nWoD games. The Decrees and the Judges make for interesting reading, and the Affinities implement some very interesting powers.

In many ways the Mummies break the rules of the nWoD. They have little bonuses via their affinities that simply make them better. They’re not going to match the flexibility of Mage or the cunning trickery of Changeling, but their powers are honest, open and bold. Utterances are pretty powerful, and the Affinities can be used to hone the Mummy into a terrifying opponent on and off the field of battle.

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