Archive for the ‘Play This Character!’ Category


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.


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.


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


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.


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:


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.


Hard to Kill
Cast Iron Stomach
Riot Breaker
Able Drinker


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


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.


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


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.


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.

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

3 Step Story resulting in gaining the Fencer Advantage


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!


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



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

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

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



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

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

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.


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)

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

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

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

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


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)

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

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



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

– 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)

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

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

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

Nimbus Tilt: +1 Persuasion / -1 Composure

Mother’s Rosary Ring

Death 3
Matter 1
Mind 2

MANA: 10

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

Speak with the Dead p.128

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

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)