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[7th Sea Backer Preview] Character Creation Example

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Hey everyone! Today we’re going to try building a character for 7th Sea 2nd Edition using the Backer Preview PDF.

As a fan of swashbuckling adventure, I figure I might as well run 7th Sea’s character creation through the paces. As such I’ll work on putting together in a step-by-step feature similar to the one I use in my Let’s Study articles.

CONCEPT:

Step 0 in 7th Sea is coming up with a concept. I’m not going to be terribly original here and I’ll go with a homage to El Capitan Alatriste, the protagonist of a series of novels by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (go read it!) It won’t be a strict adaptation of the character but it will definitely be influenced by it.

For the purposes of naming, let’s go with Esteban.

TRAITS:

Every hero in 7th Sea has 5 Traits. Each of these begin at 2, and you have 2 more points to spend to increase them.

For Esteban, I’m going for:

Brawn 2
Finesse 3
Resolve 3
Wits 2
Panache 2

NATION BONUS

As a soldier from Castille, my character gets an option of a +1 to Finesse or +1 to Wits. I’m going for Wits on this one, bringing his Traits to:

Brawn 2
Finesse 3
Resolve 3
Wits 3
Panache 2

I know I could have gone for Finesse to make him more combat capable but eh, I like witty heroes.

BACKGROUNDS

Next up, I get to pick 2 Backgrounds to define Esteban’s history. To that end I went ahead to pick Mercenary and Soldier.

These picks bestow Quirks, Advantages and skills which are detailed below:

Quirks

Soldier: Earn a Hero Point when you stick to the plan regardless of
the danger to yourself.

Mercenary: Earn a Hero Point when you choose to ply your trade for a
reason that’s worth more to you than money.

Advantages

Hard to Kill
Cast Iron Stomach
Riot Breaker
Able Drinker

Skills

Aim 1
Athletics 1
Brawl 1
Intimidate 2
Notice 2
Warfare 1
Weaponry 2

SKILLS

At this point I now get to spend 10 points on improving and adding to Esteban’s Skills. Each point buys one more rank in a skill, to a maximum of 3.

Hitting Rank 3 allows me to reroll any single die when taking a Risk using the Skill.

Spending my 10 points, I end up with

Aim 2
Athletics 2
Brawl 2
Convince 1
Empathy 1
Hide 1
Intimidate 3
Ride 1
Notice 3
Warfare 1
Weaponry 3

Not so bad, he’s definitely a well-rounded character from the looks of it.

ADVANTAGES

In addition to the Advantages gained from the Backgrounds, I have 5 points to spend on new Advantages.

I ended up spending all 5 points on the Duelist Academy Advantage.

Hard to Kill -You no longer become Helpless when you have four Dramatic Wounds. Instead, when you have four Dramatic Wounds any Villain who takes a Risk against you gains 3 Bonus Dice (rather than 2). You gain an additional tier of Wounds. When you have taken your fifth Dramatic Wound, you become Helpless.
Cast Iron Stomach – Spoiled or raw food never negatively affects you, and you still gain required sustenance from it.
Riot Breaker – When you take Wounds from a Brute Squad, subtract your Resolve from the Wounds. The remainder is how many Wounds you take, to a minimum of 1 Wound.
Able Drinker – Alcohol never affects you, no matter how much you drink.
Duelist Academy – Aldana Style

ARCANA

For Esteban’s Virtue and Hubris, I’m going for:

Virtue: Astute
Activate your Virtue after a Villain spends Raises for an Action. That Action fails. The Villain still loses the Raises she spent.

Hubris: Loyal
You receive a Hero Point when your Hero goes back for a fallen comrade or refuses to leave a wounded ally.

STORIES

At this point I need to craft a story for Esteban. Here’s what I’m working with right now:

Dangerous Rivalries

Esteban is trying to survive the relentless Mercenary trying to kill him to assume the mantle of the best Mercenary in Theah.

Ending:
Esteban stands victorious but troubled that the duel will only inspire another, more talented rival.

Reward:
3 Step Story resulting in gaining the Fencer Advantage

DETAILS

For the rest of the details Esteban begins with:

Reputation: Loyal
Languages: Old Thean, Castillian, Voddacce
Secret Society: None
Wealth: 0


Character creation was surprisingly quick, and easy enough to follow. There’s little in the way of flipping back and forth, and the Advantages and Background Quirks are all rather evocative.

The Stories mechanic is like a fork of the Chronicles of Darkness Aspirations, wherein you define your end-state, but not the next steps. 7th Sea puts a lot of narrative power in the hands of the player, which unburdens the GM a bit, but does take a bit of time to get used to.

Good work from the 7th Sea guys!

[OVA: the Anime RPG] OVERWATCH: Hanzo and Genji

And we’re also back with more OVA conversions of Overwatch characters! Today we’re looking at the Shimada brothers, Hanzo and Genji.

HANZO

500px-Hanzo-portrait

Real Name: Hanzo Shimada
Age: 38
Nationality: Japanese
Occupation: Mercenary, Assassin
Base of Operations: Hanamura, Japan (formerly)
Affiliation: Shimada Clan

ABILITIES
Agile +2
Gear +3
– Storm Bow Attack +3 (Ranged +0)
– Scatter Arrow Attack +3 (Ranged +0, Multiple Targets +10)
– Sonic Arrow Sixth Sense +3 (Ranged +0, Continued Effect +10, Activation -10)
– Dragonstrike Attack +3 (Ranged +0, Area Effect +10, Armor Piercing +5, Effective +5, Activation -10, Elaborate Gestures -5)
Iron-Willed +2
Knowledge:  Yakuza +2
Perceptive +2
Quick +2

WEAKNESSES
Arrogant +1
Code of Conduct +2 Honor
Infamous +2 Master Assassin
Loner +2
Obsession +2 Redemption for killing Genji Shimada
Outcast +2 Walked away from Shimada Crime Family
Rival: +2 Genji Shimada

GENJI

595px-Genji-portrait

Real Name: Genji Shimada
Age:35
Nationality: Japanese
Occupation: Adventurer
Base of Operations: Shambali Monastery, Nepal
Affiliation: Shimada Clan (formerly), Overwatch (formerly)

ABILITIES
Agile +2
Attack +3
– Fan of Blades Attack +3 (Ranged +0)
– Swift Strike Attack +3 (Weapon -5)
– Deflect Attack +3 (Weapon -5, Trap +5)
– Dragonblade Attack +3 (Armor Piercing +5, Effective +5, Elaborate Gestures -5, Weapon -5)
Barrier +2 (Triggered by Deflect Attack)
Flight +2 (Unique Weakness: Only for double-jump)
Iron-Willed +2
Perceptive +2
Quick +2

WEAKNESSES
Bizarre Appearance +2 Cyborg Ninja
Code of Conduct +2 Overwatch Mission / Vision +2
Code of Conduct +1 Shambali Philosophy
Obsession +2 Redeeming Hanzo
Wanted +2 Shimada Clan
Wanted +2 Talon
Rival +2 Hanzo


I was a little worried about designing their powers given that their Ultimates were supposed to be stronger than the usual powers. Thankfully the “Effective” Ability Perk covers that. Genji’s deflect is also a bit difficult to mimic and I ended up setting it up as a weird combo: a Trap attack that requires an action to set, and then triggers simultaneously with a Barrier to represent the absorption and reflection of the attack back to the shooter.

[OVA: the Anime RPG] OVERWATCH: Winston

800px-Winston-portrait

Welcome back! I’m still trying to get my head around character creation for OVA, so today we’re looking at another character from Overwatch, Winston the Scientist!

Real Name: Winston
Age: 29
Occupation: Scientist, Adventurer
Base of Operations: Horizon Lunar Colony (formerly), Watchpoint: Gibraltar
Affiliation: Overwatch (formerly)

ABILITIES
Gear +2 (Jump Pack)
Abilities:
– Agile +2
– Flight (Unique: Limited to Jumps / Must land at end of movement -5) +2
Weaknesses:
Focus +2

Attack +3
– Tesla Gun +3 (Ranged 0, Weapon -5)

Barrier +3
Inventor +3
Transformation +3
– Strong +3
– Tough +3

WEAKNESSES
Awkward Size (Gorilla) +2
Bizarre Appearance (Gorilla) +2
Code of Conduct: Overwatch Mission / Vision +2
Focus: Barrier Projector +2
Obsession: Restore Overwatch +2
Transformation Trigger (Insults) +2
Wanted: Talon +2


Putting Winston together was a little trickier than Tracer was. I’m slowly coming to learn how to use the “container” abilities like Transform and Gear which give you a separate pool of points to spend at the cost of making them all vulnerable to destruction or dependent on the same trigger to kick off.

It’s a lot like a simpler version of HERO, honestly and a part of me is happy at the idea of being able to build stuff like this again.

Now who to build next, any suggestions? Two down, nineteen left to go!

If you’re curious to check out the system behind it, OVA is available in PDF from DriveThruRPG for only $15.00

[OVA: the Anime RPG] OVERWATCH: Tracer

555px-Tracer-portrait

Hey everyone! Out of a dare, I’m not putting together a one-shot or an RPG session set in the world of Blizzard Entertainment’s new IP: Overwatch.

As to be expected form Blizzard, the lore and backstory of Overwatch is fully realized, and this opens up quite the opportunity to run games in it from a Tabletop RPG perspective. Given the fact that Overwatch’s characters range from soldiers, to scientists to oddities, it seems that a Superhero or Generic RPG would be a good choice.

Seeing that I’m working on this as just a one-shot, I’ve opted to use the excellent OVA: the Anime Roleplaying Game from Wise Turtle Publishing. It’s a neat game with simple enough mechanics, but have options broad enough to pull off all of the game’s characters. Today I’ve put together a character sheet for Overwatch’s “mascot” character, Tracer.

Code Name: Tracer
Real Name: Lena Oxton
Age: 26
Nationality: English
Occupation: Adventurer
Base of Operations: London, England
Affiliation: Overwatch (formerly)

ABILITIES (TOTAL 16)
Agile +2
Attack +3
– Pulse Pistols (Ranged: +0)
– Pulse Bomb (AoE +10, Ammo: 1 Shot -15)
Evasive +3
Teleport +3 (Self-Only)
Pilot +2
Quick +3

WEAKNESSES (TOTAL 13)
Bizarre Appearance +1 (Chronal Accelerator Harness)
Code of Conduct +2 (Overwatch Mission / Vision)
Focus +3: Chronal Accelerator Harness
Focus +2: Weapon Pulse Pistols
Overconfident +1
Rival: Widowmaker +2
Wanted +2 (Talon)

Health 40
Endurance 40

If you’re curious to check out the system behind it, OVA is available in PDF from DriveThruRPG for only $15.00

[Mage: the Awakening 2nd Ed] Sample Character: Kibo

Capture

Photography: timmyang.com

To celebrate the release of the second edition of Mage: the Awakening, I’m putting  up a character that you can play!

Today’s sample character is Kibo (True Name: Rei Hiramatsu) of the Suicide Pact. I’ve detailed the origins of Kibo and her cabal in a post from way back that you can read here.

 

This take on Kibo is her after her Awakening has given her life direction. Once an aimless youth, she’s committed herself to becoming a Grief and Trauma Counselor. This reflects very much on her skills as well as her Aspirations (and Obsessions.)

Given Asia’s hesitation to talk about their feelings with strangers, Kibo knows that her path isn’t going to be easy. Still she’s had some success with her mission and is confident that she’ll be able to make a difference.

Then the suicide pacts start happening. Though different in methods and victim profiles, they all signed off with the Latin phrase, Memento Mori “Remember death.”

Shadow Name: Kibo (Hope)
True Name: Rei Hiramatsu
Path: Moros
Order: Free Council
Concept: Awakened Grief & Trauma Counselor

ASPIRATIONS:
– Stop a suicide from happening
– Bring peace to a family who lost someone to a suicide
– Influence a community to change in ways to prevent Karoshi (death from overwork)

ATTRIBUTES
Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 3
Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2
Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 3

SKILLS
Academics 2
Medicine 2 (First Aid)
Athletics 3 (Running)
Brawl 2
Stealth 2
Empathy 3 (Great Listener)
Persuasion 3
Streetwise 3
Subterfuge 2

NIMBUS
The joy of finding something you thought you had lost forever.

Nimbus Tilt: +1 Persuasion / -1 Composure

DEDICATED MAGICAL TOOL
Mother’s Rosary Ring

ARCANA
Death 3
Matter 1
Mind 2

GNOSIS: 1
MANA: 10
WISDOM: 7

OBSESSIONS:
Get to the bottom of the increasing number of suicide pacts in Tokyo that share the same signature in their suicide notes: “Memento Mori”

PRAXES:
Speak with the Dead p.128

ROTES:
Corpse Mask p.129
Touch of the Grave p.130
First Impressions p.160

MERITS
Free Council Status * (FREE)
High Speech * (FREE)
Contacts: Ghosts of Suicides *
Contacts: Emergency Medical Response Personnel *
Contacts: Psychologists (FREE)
Contacts: School Guidance Counselors (FREE)
Professional Training: Grief & Trauma Counselor (Empathy & Persuasion) **
Trained Observer ***
Shadow Name **
Languages * (English)

[Exalted 3rd Edition] Character Creation Field Test: Wayward Falling Star

I promised myself to give Exalted another shot when the new edition came out, and that time has finally come. In order to sort of make sense of the new system, I figure I might as well start a short series of articles that deal with different facets of it.

To start off, I’m going to try rebuilding an old character of mine from my days playing Exalted in the first edition: Wayward Falling Star. (His name is on p. 641 of the book, in the backer list!)

I won’t bore you guys too long with the specifics, but Wayward was essentially Moses meets the Rock’s version of the Scorpion King. He exalted as a Zenith Caste solar during his daring escape where he led his fellow slaves to freedom and established a small tribe composed of former slaves. He’s big, tough, eloquent and compassionate.

With that in mind, let’s get started.

Attributes:

As with most Storyteller games, Attributes are divided into 3 categories: Physical, Social and Mental. In Wayward’s case, that’s the same order of priority that I’ll be using. While all the stats under each category begins with 1 dot, and you get 8 more dots to spend on the attributes in the first category, 6 in the next and 4 in the last.

Physical: Strength 4, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4
Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3
Mental: Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 3

Abilities:

Exalted also begin with Caste and Favored Abilities that show their competence in certain skills. Unlike previous editions, you now get to choose 5 abilities from a list of 8 different abilities as your Caste Abilities.

For Wayward, I’ll be a Zenith caste Solar, and I’ll go for: Athletics, Integrity, Presence, Resitance and Survival.

For Favored Abilities, I get to choose 5 additional abilities from the full list of abilities in the game.

I’m choosing the following:
Bureaucracy, Awareness, Melee, Occult and Socialize

Once done with this, I also get to pick a Caste ability as a Supernal Ability. This is also new to this edition, and is essentially the thing that the character is best at. Charms purchased for the Supernal Ability treat your character’s Essence as 5 for the purpose of purchasing and upgrading them.

In Wayward’s case, I’m looking at giving him Resistance as his Supernal Ability.

After all of these choices have been made, I have to distribute 28 dots among the Abilities. After that, I also have to assign 4 specialties.

This is what I’ve come up with:

*Athletics 3 (Feats of Strength)
*Awareness 2
Brawl 1
*Bureaucracy 1
Dodge 1
*Integrity 2 (Self-Righteous)
*Melee 3
*Occult 1
Performance 2
*Presence 3 (Sincerity)
S*Resistance 3
*Socialize 3 (Slaves)
*Survival 3

Merits

The next step involves picking Merits. Wayward has 10 points to distribute on Merits to help define his backstory and assets.

Followers (**) – Small tribe of 50 former slaves that have followed Wayward to freedom.
Lanugage (*) – Low Realm and FlameTongue
Mighty Thews (***) – Add dotsin this Merit to the dice pool of all Feats of Strength
Pain Tolerance (****) – -2 Wound penalties are reduced to -1 and -4 are reduced to -3

Charms

Here’s the real meat of the character creation system. Charms are the powers that are most accessible to the Exalted allowing them to do the impossible.

Solars begin with 15 Charms. It’s quite a lot, and I’m pretty sure that I might get into trouble if I were to copy all the mechanics here, so I’ll just have to rattle off the Charm names below:

Athletics:
– Increasing Strength Exercise
– Thunderbolt Attack Prana

Melee:
– Excellent Strike
– Fire and Stones Strike
– Dipping Swallow Defense

Presence:
– Listener-Swaying Argument
– Harmonious Presence Meditation
– Tiger’s Dread Symmetry

Resistance:
– Durability of Oak Meditation
– Spirit Strengthens the Skin
– Iron skin Concentration
– Ox Body Technique (-1 & two -2 HLs)

Socialize
– Mastery of Small Manners
– Motive Discerning Technique

Survival
– Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit

Okay, that was a lot of reading, but I’m pretty happy about my selection of Charms. It’s much more well rounded than I thought it would be, and hits all the story notes that Wayward should be known for.

Intimacies and Limit Trigger

Exalted characters begin with at least four different Intimacies, one of which must be Defining, One must be Major, one Negative and another Positive.

Wayward sees himself as a priest of his chosen people, and feels very strongly against Slavery, so let’s go with:

Defining Intimacy: “I am a priest of the Unconquered Sun”
Major Intimacy: “Freedom from slavery is the right of all sentient beings”
Minor: My People (Protect and Guide)
Minor: The Guild (Despicable Criminals)

Limit Trigger: Being unable to help others who are in slavery or suffering

Bonus Points

There are 15 bonus points to spend on improving the character. I’m going to be spending a bit in order to buy up Willpower and a few other traits.

+3 Willpower (6 points)
Raising Perception to 3 (3 points)
+6 different Favored Abilities (6 points)

Finishing Touches:

At this point I just have to record the following:

Essence: 1
Willpower: 8
Health Levels: -0, -0, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -3 and Incapacitated

Personal Essence: 13
Peripheral: 33

Complete Character sheet:

Wayward Falling Star
Zenith Caste
Former Slave turned Tribal Leader

ATTRIBUTES

Physical: Strength 4, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4
Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3

ABILITIES

*Athletics 4 (Feats of Strength)
*Awareness 2
Brawl 1
*Bureaucracy 1
Dodge 1
*Integrity 2 (Self-Righteous)
*Melee 3
*Occult 1
Performance 2
*Presence 4 (Sincerity)
S*Resistance 4
*Socialize 4 (Slaves)
*Survival 4

MERITS

Followers (**) – Small tribe of 50 former slaves that have followed Wayward to freedom.
Lanugage (*) – Low Realm and FlameTongue
Mighty Thews (***) – Add dotsin this Merit to the dice pool of all Feats of Strength
Pain Tolerance (****) – -2 Wound penalties are reduced to -1 and -4 are reduced to -3

CHARMS

Athletics:
– Increasing Strength Exercise
– Thunderbolt Attack Prana

Melee:
– Excellent Strike
– Fire and Stones Strike
– Dipping Swallow Defense

Presence:
– Listener-Swaying Argument
– Harmonious Presence Meditation
– Tiger’s Dread Symmetry

Resistance:
– Durability of Oak Meditation
– Spirit Strengthens the Skin
– Iron skin Concentration
– Ox Body Technique (-1 & two -2 HLs)

Socialize
– Mastery of Small Manners
– Motive Discerning Technique

Survival
– Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit

INTIMACIES

Defining Intimacy: “I am a priest of the Unconquered Sun”
Major Intimacy: “Freedom from slavery is the right of all sentient beings”
Minor: My People (Protect and Guide)
Minor: The Guild (Despicable Criminals)

Limit Trigger: Being unable to help others who are in slavery or suffering

Essence: 1
Willpower: 8
Health Levels: -0, -0, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -3 and Incapacitated

Personal Essence: 13
Peripheral: 33

First Impressions

Wading through charms is much easier than I initially thought, given that there were so many. Being able to just look them over based off what your Essence rating could afford was a much better way of doing it.

Given that I’ve not had a lot of experience with the combat system means that most of my charm picks were meant for survival right now but as I get experience with it, I’m certain things will become more interesting.

Overall I’m happy with it, but I am a little concerned that it will take quite a while for people to make a character but then again Exalted traditionally did take an entire session for people to build characters.

So far I’ve not gone screaming to the hills at my attempt to build a character, though I must admit that this is a rather simple build as I haven’t decided to go for anything like fancy Evocations or even Sorcery, and I’m hoping that that wasn’t a sub-optimal choice.

What do you guys think? Any other fellow backers with opinions on how this should have been done? Let me know!

[Play This Character] nWoD G-M Chronicles: Bartholomew Thorne


Capture

Once a promising police officer, Bartholomew Throne was thrown off the force for having killed a suspect that he was supposed to drive to the Police Station after a routine drug bust.

When interrogated for his actions, Bart refused to say a word. Only his sterling record allowed him to spend only a small amount of time in prison before being released.

Bart knows that people wouldn’t believe him if he told them of what the suspect did, how it transformed into something else inside his car. He didn’t believe it himself, and still has nightmares of that time.

Now he works as a private investigator, taking all sorts of cases from the routine “Catch an adulterer” sort to weirder requests, just waiting to see if he’ll run into one of those things again.

Concept: Small Time Private Eye
Virtue: Just
Vice: Cruel

ATTRIBUTES:

Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 2
Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3
Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 2

SKILLS:
Mental: Crafts 1, Investigation (Background Checks) 2, Medicine 1
Physical: Athletics (Running) 2, Brawl (Grappling) 3, Drive 2, Firearms 2, Stealth 1, Weaponry 1
Social: Empathy 2, Intimidation 2, Persuasion 1, Streetwise 2

MERITS:
Professional Training: Detective ** (9-Again on Asset Skills: Empathy, Investigation)
Contacts (Private Investigators) ** (Free from Professional Training)
Close Quarters Combat **
Police Tactics ***

CONDITIONS:
Notoriety (Persistent) – Disgraced Police Officer

Health: 7
Willpower: 4
Size: 5
Defense: 4
Initiative Mod: 4
Speed: 10
Integrity: 7

I like nosy characters. Bart’s certainly one of them. As a private eye, he’s got the attitude to go an venture into the unknown and snoop into other people’s business. His backstory leaves him open to exploring any of the various supernaturals, and if anything he might make a good Hunter: the Vigil character as well.

He’s a fairly decent build, though perhaps built a little too strongly towards combat. His Close Quarters Combat and Police Tactics merits allow him to leverage his physical strength to great effect, and he can restrain targets easily with handcuffs for further questioning.

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