Predation’s character creation follows the now-familiar Cypher formula of “I’m an adjective noun who verbs.”
In Predation, the players choose from four setting-specific character types:
- Karn – These are the ultimate warriors of the setting, that go well with aggressive companions
- Tec – Scientists and inventors, the tec are the ones who build machines and conduct research. Their companions tend to utilitarian or serve as extra muscle to keep them safe.
- Pteryx – Are the explorers and wanderers that track and trick their targets. Their companions often are chosen to help scout terrain or move in and out of places quietly and quickly.
- Osteon – The lorekeepers and performers are the social characters of the setting, and have dinosaur companions that serve as bodyguards
This serves as the “Adjective” of the formula, and aside from the descriptors of the Cypher System Rulebook, Predation has a list of several new ones. Each descriptor grants a host of things for the character, including a bonus to a character’s stats, a few abilities, skills and a few drawbacks (“inabilities”) and an initial link to the starting adventure to choose from.
The “Verb” of the formula is taken up by picking a Foci for the character. Much like the Descriptors, Foci also grants a connection with the team, as well as abilities per Tier for the character.
If there’s something about Predation that really sells it, it would be the fact that all the characters begin with a dinosaur companion.
Picking out a companion is as straightforward as character creation, along with starting statistics, the players also choose the companion’s type, background and disposition.
Another interesting gimmick is that rather than playing both your character and your character’s companion, the responsibility for playing the companion dinosaur is given to a different player.
This leads to an interesting dynamic where the companion player gets to add an aspect of unpredictability to a situation. That said, there’s still an interaction roll made where a character can tell their companion what to do. It’s up to the companion’s player to actually decide how it goes about it though.
Companions can be taken from various categories, such as Tyrannosaurs, Raptors, Ornithomimids, Ceratopsians & Ankylosaurs, Pterosaurs and even Early Mammals!
Overall, character creation and companion creation in Predation follows the same complexity of Cypher System. I’m a little iffy with regards to the names, but all the Cypher games tend to have funky naming systems for their character Types.
The addition of companions effectively doubles the number of Player Characters in a game, so it might get confusing. But that’s not a fault of the system and I expect that it’ll get easier with play.
Next up, we’ll be taking a look at the setting of Predation and see just how much trouble characters can get into!