[Let’s Study: Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein] Part 4: Character Creation

Posted: June 28, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games

Now that we’ve had a chance to look over the rules for DH:LoF, we’ll move on to creating a character. Promethea is a place rife with all sorts of conflict that is the perfect breeding ground for heroes.

First step is to create a concept for your character. I tend to favor making concept first before spending points to tweak, so I have no problem with this.  I’m thinking of an avenging member of the Resistance, young, brash and determined to take revenge on the system. His sister lost her eyes to the Dark Harvest on a whim of a noblewoman who envied them. She’s still alive and living with him, unaware that he’d joined the Resistance.

Next up, we choose a Social Class. This is an interesting choice given that the book doesn’t really go into mechanics on this, but instead gives a description of the kind of influence, networks and social circles and freedoms that each group enjoys. For my avenging resistance fighter, I’m going for Middle Class. He’s not from the Working Class and neither was his sister, making what happened to them more tragic in a sense as the Middle Class tends to be “less” likely to be chosen for the Harvest, but they’re not immune.

Now we finally get to numbers. We start off by assigning attributes. There are six attributes in the game, three physical (Strength, Dexterity and Fortitude) and three mental (Presence, Wits and Resolve). I found it interesting that the attributes all start at 0, which represent an Average value. The player characters, being of the more Heroic sort, have 6 points to distribute among their stats, to a maximum value of +3. If you’re so inclined, you can also drop two attributes by one point to salvage extra attribute points, but be careful, whenever a Negative attribute score comes into play, a Black Die is automatically added to the roll.

So, after giving it some thought, here’s what I’ve come up with:

Strength 1
Dexterity 2
Fortitude 0
Presence 0
Wits 1
Resolve 2

Derived Attributes taken from the above scores are:

Initiative: 3+Perception Skill
Health: 2

The next step involves spending 50 Character Points. These points are used to purchase Skills (30 points must be spent on skills, and no skill starts higher than 4), Talents (no more than 4), Privileges, Contacts, Assets and Augmentations (if any).

This is where things get a bit messy, so let me do this one at a time. With skills, I figure our protagonist should have a fairly broad set and spend 30 points on the following:

Athletics (Dexeterity) 2
Bull (Presence) 2
Conceal (Wits) 2
Dodge (Dexterity) 3
Etiquette (wits) 2
Firearms (Dexterity) 4
Fisticuffs (Dexterity) 3
Forgery (Wits) 2
General Knowledge (Wits) 2
Hide & Sneak (Dexterity) 3
Perception (Wits) 3
Photography 2

Next up, I get tos pend the rest of the 20 Points I have left over on Traits. Each trait costs 3 points each, and I am allowed no more than 4 talents.

I figure that our protagonist has spent an inordinate amount of time practicing with guns while plotting revenge, so I pick up:

Deadly Shot (3 points) +1 die to damage in range combat with Firearms
Quick Draw III (6 Points) my protagonist can draw, ready and use a weapon in the same action.

11 Points left on everything else, so I decide to grab a few Privileges along the way:

Ear of the Street (5 points)
Shop (2 points) – His sister probably lives above the storefront
Society Friends (4 points)

Moving on to complications now

Dependent is an obvious choice for his blind sister
Vow is another good choice for his promise to take revenge

Taking two complications gives me 8 extra Character Points (5 for the first one, 3 for the second) I figure I might as well add those back to my Skills, resulting in:

Athletics (Dexeterity) 4
Bull (Presence) 2
Conceal (Wits) 4
Dodge (Dexterity) 4
Etiquette (wits) 3
Firearms (Dexterity) 4
Fisticuffs (Dexterity) 3
Forgery (Wits) 3
General Knowledge (Wits) 2
Hide & Sneak (Dexterity) 4
Perception (Wits) 3
Photography (Wits)3

Now that we’re mostly done, let’s give this protagonist a name. Thankfully there’s a list of names provided for characters of either gender. Going over it I figure that Ivan has a nice ring to it. I’ll get Rozsa as the name of his sister.

I found it just slightly odd that the discussion on Class Modifiers is all the way after character creation, as the mention of it while making the character was somewhat confusing as I’d not heard of it before. That said the mechanics behind them are rather neat, with each step away from your social class being an increase in difficulty to the task.

As for equipment Ivan gets 5 picks of the equipment in the book that makes sense.

Small Pistol (Damage 6, RoF 1, 6 Shots, Reload Time 4, Range 20)
A box of Ammo
A camera
Extra film
Travel Papers

And there we have it. Ivan took a bit of time to build but that’s not surprising since it was the first time I’ve tried building a character in DH:LoF. That said, his Dice Pools tend to range from 2-8 dice, which seem to be fairly reasonable.

There’s plenty of room to make interesting characters in the game and while I didn’t make an Augmented character, I’d like to put it out there that the character generation rules do account for Augments just in case you want stranger features to your character.

Tomorrow we put Ivan to the test as he set up a mock combat with him against some opposition. Will Ivan’s Quickdraw and training with the pistol help him win, or is he doomed to end up on an Evsiceration Rack? We’ll find out on the next installment of Let’s Study Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein

  1. Tom Reed says:

    I really do like your “Let’s Study” articles. The more I read of this Dark Harvest, the more interested I am becoming.

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