So Tiny Dungeon 2nd Edition was not originally on my list of games for the 2022 Character Creation Challenge. In fact, 48 hours ago I didn’t even own a copy of the game. However there was a sale going on at DriveThruRPG and I picked up the rulebook for a very good price. I was originally thinking that I’d use it for the 2023 challenge, but as I glanced through the rules, I realized I’d rather do it now. The original entry for day 31 was a game that could easily wait until next year (another PDF buy) so I made the call and here we are.
The basic for the system is that all tasks are determined by rolling 2d6. If you have an advantage, you can roll 3d6 (highest you can roll) and if you have a disadvantage you only roll 1d6 (which is the lowest you can roll). If you roll a 5 or 6 on any die, you succeed in the task. This is a minimalist rule set.
Tiny Dungeon 2e uses Heritage instead of races (they had races in the 1st edition) and your first step is to select one. The choices are Human, Fey (called Elves by Humans), Dwarf (called Dwarves by Humans, grin), Goblin, Salimar (Salamander people), Treefolk (think Treebeard from Lord of the Rings), Karhu (Bear people) and Lizard Folk (I wonder why these guys didn’t get their own name?). Goblin sounds tempting, but not as tempting as a Karhu. When you select your heritage you get the traits that the heritage comes with.
The next step is to select three unique Traits from a list. A trait is basically a skill or special ability that your character has. Looking this over I selected three that I thought would be appropriate for the character. The weapon group that my character would be proficient with was already determined by his heritage so I moved onto the Family Trade. This is something that you grew up learning (perhaps your dad was a cook, etc.). This character’s family was one that participated in fishing for the local sleuth (tribe). The last step is to select a Belief. This sounds like the Values that Star Trek Adventure characters have. This can be good, bad or neutral and basically defines the character. Since this character was almost captured by slavers, his belief is “Slavery is wrong.”
When it comes to equipping your character the rules keep it simple. If you selected a specific weapons proficiency, you get one weapon of that type. You also receive the clothing and armor standard for your type of character. Armor serves no mechanical function in this game (if I was running an adventure, I might change that). Each character also starts with 10 gold and an Adventurer’s Kit. There is an optional inventory system based on slots (like the slots you would see in Diablo II) and an optional system for wear and tear on your equipment called Depletion. I filled in a few basic items on the sheet dealing with descriptions and I think this character is done.
Rek Son of Talk was born and raised in the Karhu lands of Whitewater. While on a fishing expedition down one of the rivers he was captured by a tribe of Gnolls. He was the only survivor from the attack. They were leading him away to be sold off to the Rockfang gladiatorial arenas when he was rescued by a band of adventurers. Being too far from home and wanting to re-pay his rescuers, he joined the party on their quest.
After creating the character I did see that there was an optional armor rule that allowed for damage reduction. I’m really curious now how this game plays at the table. There were a lot of optional rules to make it a little more advanced than the basic minimalist game without adding too much to the system.
There is a science fiction version of Tiny Dungeons called Tiny Frontiers and a post-apocalyptic version called Tiny Wastelands. I really want to obtain these variants see how it compares. I could see myself playing and homebrewing for this system.
And with that, I’ve completed 31 characters in 31 days. Instead of going too deep in my thoughts of this year’s challenge, I’ll save that for the after action report. If you made it to 31 days, please let me know at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.
Coming Up Next:
2022 Character Creation Challenge after action report
“I love Starfleet. Okay, and I don’t want to live in a castle with pet dragons and all the mutton I can eat. You need to accept the fact that I’ll be a virgin for the rest of my life.” Billups- Where Pleasant Fountains Lie, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #WeAreStarfleet
February 1 “Vulcans do not approve of violence.” Spock- Journey to Babel, Stardate: 3842.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet
In the early 1990’s the cyberpunk genre was the new “it factor” for roleplaying games. When something becomes popular a lot of publishers try to release their own take on the genre. This would also make it a very crowded market trying to stand out on the local gaming store shelves. Dark Conspiracy was GDW’s entry that tried to combine both cyberpunk and horror elements. Think Johnny Mnenomic meets X-Files meets Judge Dredd. I remember seeing ads and books for Dark Conspiracy, but the gaming group I was involved in had already elected to go with the Cyperpunk RPG. So I never picked up any of the books.
It is the early 90’s in this alternate history, my gaming buddies have decided that Dark Conspiracy is our next campaign and I need to sit down and make a character for play. Let’s see what the main rulebook can tell me about creating a character.
So the first thing is that the game has a two page worksheet that you fill in before you transfer everything over to your character sheet. Hold on, I’ve got to scan in a copy of this as well. OK now I’ve got one printed out let’s fill it in.
Items 1-4 are basic. Name (Dale Laslo), Gender (male), Nationality (American) and Native Languages (English). The worksheet even guides you to page numbers if needed. For item 5 we are rolling for basic attributes. These are Strength, Constitution, Agility, Intelligence, Education, Charisma and Empathy. The last one you roll a 1d6-1. The remaining attributes roll 2d6-2 and anything that comes up zero gets a re-roll. Once I have these scores determined, if they are less than 33 I can add points to any attribute (nothing above 10). I ended up rolling 41 points for attributes so what I rolled stands. I could have done point allocation, but that would have only been with 36 points so I’m glad that I rolled.
So you start the character creation at the age of 17. Before you turned this age you earned four background skills selected from a list. It also listed the controlling attribute which helped in deciding which skills to take. You gain more skills by doing four years at a career. The career term also gains you a contact, secondary activities and money. Once you’ve finished a term, you can elect to do another one (or roll a certain number if you want to be random) and continue on. If you have a lot of terms, your age can rise to the point where it affects your attributes. This way if you wanted to play an aged professor when the game starts, you can do so. Also a term can be four years at a college if you elected to do so. With the attributes I rolled for Laslo, I didn’t think he would get into college so he signed up for the US Army and got into one of the elite corps. Where he stayed for three terms (12 years). Earning three military contacts (two foreign). I wrote down his various skills or attribute bonuses. From here we were able to generate the character’s initiative, age, base hit capacity (aka hit points), weight (yes there was a formula to follow), load (how much the character could carry), throw range and unarmed combat damage. The worksheet states that we need to generate our base hit numbers for ranged combat, but the book did not have that in the same order. I had to go track this down elsewhere, and I was unable to find it. The index had nothing on base hit numbers. Screw it, I’ll leave it blank for now.
Using my final equipment allowance, I allocated weapons, armor, tools, ammo and transport for this character and called it good. I think I did right on the equipment. I’m definitely noticing a lack of help on starting equipment in most games.
Dale Laslow came out of school thinking that he wouldn’t be able to get into any college or university. He signed up for the US Army, and to his surprise he was accepted into the Rangers. He spent 12 years serving the country in various hotspots around the world before an injury forced him out of the service. Wondering what he was going to do with his life a friend looked him up and inquired if he wanted to join his mercenary squad. They had just been hired to provide some protection for an unusual group of investigators.
Trying to find a character sheet for this system was next to impossible. I ended up trying to scan in the sheet from the book. If the image looks a little warped, that’s because I couldn’t get the pages flat against the scanner.
While the character worksheet to assist in the creation of the character was very helpful, it still needed some polishing. There should be more page number references to easily find things.
Without knowing what was planned with “fellow players” and gamemaster, it was kind of hard to see myself playing this game. I didn’t get a chance to dive too deep into the actual system rules so these are just numbers on paper. It looks like there was a lot of thought put into the world-building for this game, but I don’t see myself playing it at this time.
One of the things I love about the RPG.net forums is the vast amount of knowledge available. Practically every game has had someone who knows about it and can give some feedback on it. When I posted my Technoir character yesterday, one of the posters stated that this was the first game that they had not heard about. So I was able to introduce someone to a new game.
Technoir is another roleplaying game that I gave a home to after a friend was trying to clear out his bookshelves last year (thank you Stan) so I thought I’d use it in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge. This game was published by Cellar Games in 2011 and was written by Jeremy Keller. It printed in the 5.5 x 8.5 digest size. According to the Technoir website, the game was taken over by Dream Machine Publications around 2018/2019 with plans for new expansions. The site lists a companion called Morenoir, mech supplement called Mechnoir and several location settings.
In Technoir, the player character is called the protagonist. The generation steps are laid out both in the book or as a free download from the website. The first thing they have you do is select three training programs. These are basically jobs that your character can do. Each program increases a Verb by one and you get to pick one Adjective. The Verbs appear to be the stats of the character. They are Coax (a form of intimidation, manipulation or seduction), Detect, Fight (hand to hand), Hack, Move, Operate (also driving and repair), Prowl, Shoot and Treat (healing). Adjectives look like basic descriptions about your character (agile, obsessive, sexy, tough, etc.). For your first three Programs, you can select two of the same (selecting different Adjectives with each one) but you can’t use all three in the same program.
So this guy is going to take Bodyguard (alert), Pilot (quick) and Soldier (tough). I filled in the verbs (including the 1 free one at the start of creation) each program came with and wrote down the adjectives.
Now the protagonists get to choose three Connections from the Transmissions (series of adventures) chosen by the Game Master. There is one in the back of the book for Los Angeles so I selected three connections from there. If the GM changes Transmission is a new game started with new protagonists or does the existing protagonist select new contacts? Some of the steps with the contacts require participation by your fellow players, so be prepared for a solid session zero dealing with character creation. I used one of the voices in my head for one of them but this part was quite difficult by myself. You pick your contacts, your fellow players select how they are connected to you (respectful, lustful, dependent, etc.)
Kreds are the currency used in Technoir. For step five you would purchase your objects. These are equipment, cybernetics, weapons all with their own adjectives. You can also buy upgrades for your objects which adds additional adjectives. A new protagonist starts with 10 kreds to buy stuff. The equipment was pretty basic and straightforward, which was quite a relief from some of the previous character creations where equipment allocation turned into a nightmare.
The final step is to select the protagonist’s name, handle (nickname) and description of what they would look like on the street. Then each protagonists starts with three push dice that I believe are placed on the character sheet in play. Basically the character is done except for what would have been needed from your fellow players.
This protagonist is going to be Aaron Chambers aka “Trench” because of the trench-coat he always wears.
The example of three different characters being created in the book helped me follow the process. I tried reading the basic system for the system and it just seemed to confuse me at first. There is something about Push Dice (I think it’s a dice pool) and other D6’s that you would use to determine random results.
While I appreciated how quickly the character creation process was, the explanation of the system was not listed in or near creation. I really appreciate the writers who give a basis for the game before the character is create. This helps with the character creation process. Once I understand how Technoir works (if I ever do), then I may have changed a few tings in my character.
Kudos for having the character creation process available as a free download from the publisher’s website.
I really don’t see myself playing or homebrewing for this game.
I really shouldn’t create characters when I’m hungry. My lovely wife is making dinner upstairs and I can smell it all the way down here in the office. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go see what she made.
The same friend who gifted me The Men-in-Black RPG also gifted me Bubblegum Crisis MegaTokyo 2033-The Roleplaying Game (thank you Robert). This is based off of the Bubblegum Crisis anime. I was hoping to watch some episodes before I created a character, but unfortunately my January schedule has been quite busy. I’ve heard of this series, but I have not had a chance to enjoy it yet. I think it may be right up my alley as I’ve enjoyed other Anime like Akira, Cowboy Bebop and The Dirty Pair. Bubblegum Crisis is a cyberpunk game set in Tokyo years after it had been destroyed in a massive earthquake. A new city has been built over the old one. This lead to a tale of two cities with different standards of living between the two. Megacorporations (who else) built robots called Boomers to help mankind that over time, went crazy and started killing people. The AD Police and a group of vigilantes, called the Knight Sabers, are trying to fight off this threat to humanity.
Since I was using this system for the 2022 Character Creation Challenge, I opened up the book and looked at the first section. There is a brief introduction to the series and your basic description for first time players. Apparently this game is based on the Fusion System combining parts of Champions and Cyberpunk rules. Luckily on page 22 there is a lifepath generation with different steps listed. So let’s get started.
First step in the lifepath is to roll a d10 to select your personality. A roll of 8 resulted in “sneaky and deceptive”. Oh I like this character already. Next d10 roll for who he values the most came up with 9, a “personal hero”. Hmm? Who? I’m not familiar enough with the characters of the show to select one of them. Now there is a second roll on a different table for what you value the most and I rolled a 2. This gave me the result of “honor”. A sneaky and deceptive person who values honor? Well we’ve seen some pretty honorable bad guys in different anime series. The worldview is the last roll in step one and a roll of 10 gives me “people are scum and should be wiped out”, um… OK.
Second step is for childhood and early development. The family status is first and a roll of 8 says that this character came from a “well to do” family. He went to good schools and wore good clothes. Now we come to the first fork in the road. Was there any childhood traumas? Rolled a 4 which came up as negative. So we skip the childhood events and proceed to step three.
The previously mentioned step three deals with the life events after childhood. Sticking with the d10 you discover your age. Rolled a 2 and added it to 16 to make the character the age of 18. For each year above the age of 16 you roll against a life event, so two rolls for this character. This roll is a d6 which came up as 3 for the first year, roll on the friends and enemies chart. Back to the d10 we rolled a 9 which came up as An old enemy is now a friend (choose which one). OK who? Perhaps this could be the personal hero I rolled above? For the second year the d6 gave us a 6, nothing happened that year. Moving on to step four.
The character’s current situation is step four and requires a d10 roll. The 8 gave us “your involved in craft-work or construction.” Well at the age of 18 he would be just starting some sort of career. Artist or builder? With his “people are scum” worldview I don’t think he’d be a builder. So perhaps he is the angsty artist. Yea, emo boy angry with the world wants to be a singer. A young anime Morrissey who hated another singer and now they work together. Were the hell is this character going? The last item in step four is to determine the current outlook on life. Oh this should be good. A roll of 6 states “I crave more romance and passion”????? Actually I probably would have begged the GM to let me select one of the other options like “my life is crazy and out of control”. Yea let’s go with that. And that finalizes the lifepath.
The next page brought us to the stat generation. The book described the range for the stats (zero or less all the way to ten and above) with titles for each level (Challenged, Competent, Exceptional, etc.) with the average joes falling in the 1-4 range and heroic type characters averaging a score of 7. You have primary stats and figured stats. The primary stats are purchased with a number of points. Afterwards the figured stats are generated using mathematical formulas. The number of starting stat points are determined by the GM by what type of game they want to run. They range from 3 points per stat for a competent (realistic) style game to godlike cosmic with 8 points per stat. Lacking a GM I asked one of the voices in my head and he said to go with Heroic style (5 points per stat). With ten primary stats this character has 50 stat points to spend. Our primary stats are Intelligence, Willpower (determination stuff), Personality (think charisma), Technique, Reflexes (response stuff), Dexterity (balance stuff), Constitution (health stuff), Strength, Body (toughness stuff) and Movement. I tried to differentiate between similar sounding stats. I spent my 50 points, generated my figured stats and moved on.
Now we have the Campaign Options. This is a number of “campaign points” that you get to apply to your character to give them skills, money and other items. This is based upon the scale listed above (realistic to godlike cosmic). Since we went with Heroic we get 50 campaign points.
With the skills the first thing the game gives you is a free set that everybody knows. Thank you. This is something that I thought should be a lot more common in games. If I live in a city, I’m going to know things to survive/function in that city. So the everyman skills start with a level of 2. I can add to the level if I desire. The general skills have to be purchased with campaign points at a 1 to 1 cost. I selected the skills I thought my character would have, but did not spend all of my campaign points as I had other items to purchase such as talents. The talents cost 3 campaign points per item. These seem to be like feats in other roleplaying games. I selected a series of talents that I thought would fit the character. There are also perks and privileges (such as membership, renown, wealth) and complications (issues with your character that earn you campaign points if I wanted to try to min/max anything.
Now it says the character is done, but I don’t have any equipment yet. So I finally tracked down the interesting equipment section. Lot’s of info about some of the equipment in the show but I don’t know if my character is a person in a suit. I know they are not driving a mech. An entertainer is listed in one of the profiles but nothing about the equipment they would have. The money thing was based on the Yen, but I’m not certain how much I started with or how my wealth score came into effect. This is probably something I would talk over with a real GM (not just one of the voices in my head) and see if we could clarify stuff. So I’m going to stop the character creation now and scan the sheet for the website.
Oh, before I do that, the character’s name is Taxun. If I could find a photo of a young Morrissey I’d use that. If this was an actual Cyberpunk game, he’d be a rockerboy.
The use of the lifepath in this game was weird, but I liked it. It didn’t feel forced like I had experienced in other character creation systems. I could see how the creative juices had to flow to make it work all together with only one minor adjustment.
Thank you for putting each section of the character creation process with clearly numbered steps. Also a thank you to the writers for breaking down the character sheet in the character creation process. I really like it when core rules present this for new players.
Breaking down what each stat score represented helped with the character creation process. I could also see this being used when trying to homebrew something for this game.
Continuously dipping into the optional rules when they were not on the character sheet was a little distracting. The die rolls for actual play could be 1d10 or 3d6 as per the GM. I think the game should have decided on one and stuck with it.
The different styles of campaigns was also interesting. It would take a lot of thought by GM and players at/before session zero so that they are all on the same page.
This game suffers from a lack of “now equip” your character which kinda dissapointed me considering how well developed the first part of the character creation process was. I only had to use one bookmark for the game instead of multiple bookmarks and lots of page flipping.
The system seemed pretty straight forward (to complete a task, roll a die, add your stat and skill level and any modifiers and beat a target number). I wonder how the game plays at the table. While I’d like to try this game once, I don’t know anyone who is playing this or any anime style games right now. So I think my involvement will end with this character.
I am really interested in watching the series now to see if my character ideas would have changed.
The last days are upon us for the challenge. Will you be able to cross the finish line?
As I have mentioned before, last year I had a couple of friends give me their extra RPG books for various reasons. One set of books that I had never seen before was titled “Blue Rose: The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy”. What the heck is that? I had heard of various companies trying to differentiate itself from a crowded RPG market. My previous entry on the Fantasy Imperium game the publisher called it an “Interactive Storytelling Game of Historical Fantasy”, but the authors could never clearly define what “Interactive Storytelling” was and how it differed from regular roleplaying games. Since I wanted to create a character for the 2022 Character Creation Challenge using the Blue Rose system (this is first edition based on the True20 rules, not the new Blue Rose 2nd edition using the AGE RPG rules) I read through some of the parts of the book even before the challenge began. I wanted to make sure I understood what “Romantic Fantasy” is just in case it was relevant to character creation. There were two sections that touched on this topic. The first made it sound like it was based of a series of fantasy authors, some I had heard of, others I had not. Characters are different? Magic is also different, somehow? I’m still scratching my head. So I sought out the second section on this topic. OK, characters are supposed to be emotional. OK, good roleplayers can already do that since they know their character. And romances are a big factor of the game, either between player characters (whoa, red flag, red flag) or between PCs and NPCs. Yea…
Ya know what? Screw it. I’ve been wanting to tip my toe into a True20 system and since I don’t have the main book, I’ll use this entry as a learning experience to see what this is all about. Since I doubt I’ll ever be able to use this character in an actual campaign, I’ll just make a basic character just to see how it works.
So from the looks of things, the True20 system is a D20 variant. It has the same abilities, skills and feats that we’ve seen in Dungeons and Dragons v3.5. There is also something called Arcana, which appear to be some type of mystical powers. In combat characters also have Conviction, which can be spent to improve a situation (re-roll a die, recover from injury, etc.)
For Blue Rose, you play a character in the world of Aldea. There are several Human cultures within Aldea and they all have different stats and abilities. There are also several non-human cultures (no dwarves, halflings or officially elves). These include animal-people, sea-people, a race called Vata (they sound like elves without the pointed ears), night people (orcs? I think?).
Ability scores range from -5 to +5. Your new character has 6 points to place in any of the standard abilities which are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution (the physical scores), Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma (the mental scores). You cannot place more than 5 in any starting ability. A negative score can be selected with the positive score used in another ability. I’m not one for taking a negative score, so I placed my five points in three different abilities that I thought would be good for the character.
Next you choose your background. This is very similar to selecting your race in other games. However the same race can have different backgrounds. If you play a human in Blue Rose, you select from one of the cultures such as Aldins (from the heartland), Forest Folk (from the northern forests), Islanders (from the southern islands), Jarzoni (religious people from the flatlands), Kerns (humans living in a kingdom ruled by a lich king), Rezeans (people from the plains, think Native Americans) and Roamers (think nomads). While they all have the same stats, the different backgrounds have different favored skills and feats. While you are not locked into these favored items, you have access to them despite your role (class). I looked over the non-human backgrounds as well, but none of them really sounded interesting. I selected a Forest Folk.
After this are your Roles. These are basically classes in other games. There are four roles each with different paths (sub-classes?) and these are Adepts (magical scholars), Expert (specialists), Warriors and Mixed-Role (multi-class). If you are familiar with most fantasy games, you’ll find a role in here that you’ll find in other games. You want to play a barbarian, there’s a roll for that. Same with thief, bard, etc. For this character, I’m selecting the Warrior with the path of Ranger. I selected the favored skills, the known skills (the bonus for a known skill is not as high as a favored skill)
The alignments are light (good), shadow (evil) or twilight (no not the vampire movies, neutral). I selected light. There was also something called a calling, which could have been selected or drawn randomly from some deck of cards. I had already decided that the character was going to protect nature so when I saw it on the list, I already knew that is what he would do. There was also a list of Natures both light and drak that you needed to select from. I think this was just to give you some ideas on what type of character you have. I’m glad there was a list as most games just expect you to pick one out of the air. However I had already selected “dedicated” to protecting the forest for light and “standoffish” for dark as he dosen’t trust humans after seeing how the wilds have been treated. As a starting character, his reputation is 0.
Each new character starts out with a wealth score of 5 (plus any CHA bonuses). If you spend wealth on expensive items, your score goes down (it can’t drop below 0) and as you gain levels (or by other methods) the score raises. If you want to buy something out of your wealth range, you have to make a roll against a wealth check to see if you can obtain it. Depending upon the cost of the item, your wealth score can go down. Buying anytihng above your wealth cost automatically makes your score go down. Roll a D20 + your wealth score and if you rolled higher than the cost, you’ve purchased the item. Items at or below your wealth score automatically succeed in purchases. You can even “take 10” or “take 20” to find the best deals, but it takes longer to aquire the item. Looking at the cost of some items, it seems like it would be better to obtain the items at or below your wealth score first then try to get some of the higher items. For example, that wealth score of 5 is not high enough to automatically get a longbow (cost 16), so get your dagger (cost 4) first. Masterwork items add +5 to the cost but give you bonuses to the use of the item. This is an interesting system, but I’m not certain if I like it. I wonder if the designers didn’t expect you to have a lot of equipment as the section on the character sheet is tiny. Just buying a basic thing like a standard sword is going to lower the wealth score of a new character, then buying leather armor is going to lower it even further. Yea I realized I’d had enough. I tried to fill in the blanks left on the sheet and threw it in the scanner.
First of all, thumbs up for some of the inclusivity seen in the book. Our gaming tables should be a safe welcome place for all. The art is also very well done, I wondered what the opinion of my college age kid studying art would have been? I would like to recommend to the publishers that they not use a shadowy text on a bright background as seen on the back of the book.
The worldbuilding looks very detailed and with the different cultures (and stats for members of that culture). The only down-side to this is that I didn’t feel like I could homebrew for this world. It seemed like the GM and players were locked into this setup. Personally, I’d rather have the freedom to utilize my own world where I have more control. While I might be tempted to play a game just to try out the system, I doubt I’d actually play Blue Rose as part of a campaign.
I really want to check out the True20 system now and see how it compares to Blue Rose. I did see some things that I liked in the system. Is the wealth score a standard in True20 or is it just for Blue Rose? The more I think about the wealth score concept, the more I don’t like it for starting characters. I could see a wealth score being useful in a sci-fi style game where they have access to replicators, but in a fantasy setting? I don’t know. This has been a bigger stumbling block than the “romance” thing.
I think I (might) have figured out this “romantic roleplaying” thing out. The impression that I’ve received from looking through the book, and I’ll admit that it could be a wrong impression, is that this is a game for fans of “shipping”. For those of you not familiar with the term, “shipping” is a sub-set of fandom where fans want to see a relationship (where the term “shipping” comes from) form between two characters seen on a show/movie/book/etc. A good example of this is a group of fans who wanted to see Captain Janeway and First Officer Chakotay from Star Trek: Voyager start a relationship. They would make up memes, fan-fic, artwork, etc. with this train of thought and share them with like-minded individuals. While most “shippers” are not obsessive, it can be taken too far. Voyager is over 25 years old and just last week I saw a meme where someone was mad that Chakotay had dated Seven of Nine at the end of the series. Please note: Just because this sub-set of fandom is not my cup of Earl Grey tea doesn’t mean that it’s bad. I’m certain that other Star Trek fans would think my “Treknologist” habits of wanting to know starship minutia are just as weird. With roleplaying games, if the subject of romances is brought up in session zero, I’ll let my preferences known that I’d prefer not to participate in such activities in-game and that I really didn’t want to spend my limited gaming time watching others sim a romance at the table. If a romantic encounter unexpectedly pops up in the middle of an RPG session, my paranoid gamer mind will be internally screaming (in a perfect Admiral Ackbar accent) “It’s a trap!” I showed the Blue Rose core book to my geek wife, who has also been roleplaying for many years, to get her opinion. When she got to the romance sections she stated “like I need a book to tell me that my character can have a romance.” With the proper group prepared before hand, a romance themed game could work. I’m just not that target audience.
I mentioned in my post where I created a Classic Traveller character that this game was very popular, and still popular today. After posting the character the number of site visits from the post were very high and I had multiple people respond about the character posted. For the most part they said I had made the character correctly. High Psg is High Passage which is a free nice room on a passenger vessel (compared to the cyro-sleep chamber option that I could have ended up with). I still needed to buy equipment but I had plenty of cash to do so. There was a second page to the Personal Data and History (character sheet) that would have given me room for this info. I think after the challenge is over I’m going to have to take a deeper dive into the Classic Traveller system. Oh and they stated that the character creation was a mini-game and that dying in the mini-game was a common occurrence.
Coming Up Next:
Bubblegum Crisis: MegaTokyo 2033-The Roleplaying Game
Dungeons and Dragons is considered the granddaddy of all roleplaying games. Approaching 50 years since it’s first publication and it is still going strong. There was another game that was very popular when RPGs were new and that was Traveller from Games Designers’ Workshop. While D&D was fantasy, Traveller was science fiction and had a very popular following. So why did I never get a chance to create a character before now? Unfortunately the friends in my gaming circles were primarily players of D&D, FASA’s Star Trek, WEG’s Star Wars and others. I saw the Traveller books, but couldn’t afford to pick them up when no one I knew personally was playing. As the years went by, I’d see the new editions of Traveller come out, some sounded interesting, some did not. The idea of roleplaying in a universe where a centralized empire was no longer in control sounded very intriguing.
Thanks to various PDF bundle sales, I’ve been able to pick up a couple of versions of Traveller including the first edition commonly known as the Little Black Books. I knew that I had to create a character for the 2022 Character Creation Challenge. So opening up the first book, let’s see where the dice take us in.
So the very first thing the RAW states is: All characters start at the age of 18, untrained and inexperienced. You build your character from here and take them through a career before you use them as a player character. That makes sense.
I like how they have the series of characteristics set up. There is the usual list that you can find in most RPGs. Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence (defined as an IQ representation), Education (highest level of schooling reached) and Social Standing (social class and level of society). Instead of writing them out or using abbreviations on your character sheet, you use the Universal Personality Profile (aka UPP). All characteristics are listed in the order posted above and are represented by hexadecimal (base 16) characters. 0 through 9 correspond to the numbers they represent. Numbers higher than 9 are represented by the letters A (for 10) through F (for 15). So the UPP is listed in a string of six digits. For example, a UPP could be B97A58. Strength would be 11 (represented by the letter B), Dexterity is 9, Endurance is 7 and so on. I remember seeing stats for characters in reference books and did not understand what they meant until now. When the game was made, I could see the designers trying to save space by using a setup like this. I still remember the 8+3 file name format in older computer DOS displays. Characteristics are generated by rolling 2d6. Yes this doesn’t generate a lot of stats that are above 12, but the game seems to indicate that other factors can change your characteristics. The clicky-clack of the dice was completed and I had my UPP of B96667.
The Social Standing was not high enough to automatically bestow a Noble Title, but I was instructed to select my character’s name at this time. Pulling some ideas out of the air this character shall be known as Tyrell Balto. The Rank is mentioned as a commission or promotion that Balto may have earned while in the service and can be referred to even after leaving.
Speaking of service, Balto would have enlisted in one of six possible options. Navy, Marines, Army, Scouts, Merchants or Other (unproductive carriers such as a criminal organization). You don’t just automatically join one of these, you have to enlist and roll to see if you are accepted. I had to scroll down to find the enlistment target numbers. There are some bonuses to the roll if you have certain characteristics. The advantage for enlistment is that you become an officer sooner, this comes with some bonuses to various skills and stats. I debated about which service to try to enlist for. All had their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s try for Navy. I rolled higher than the enlistment target number so Balto is a part of an interstellar navy.
The first term is four years, now making Balto the age of 22. Did he survive in those four years? Yes there is a chance that the character can be killed during creation. I remember hearing about this, but this is the first time I’ve actually experienced it. Needed a 5+ and rolled a 5, whew. Did Balto earn a commission during the first four years? the dice say yes, again I rolled exactly what was needed. However I did not roll high enough to earn a rank promotion. A commission and a rank promotion is worth acquiring extra skills. So I get to roll for three skills (2 for initial term and 1 for the commission). There are four tables but I can only roll on the first three. I want to increase one of my characteristics so the first roll gives me +1 to Endurance. Next I rolled for the skill Gun Combat-1 and finally Electronic-1.
Now I can retire from the service or I can reenlist. Again there is a target number to see if the Navy will let me stay, which I succeeded. So four more years in the service, which he survived (I don’t know if I like this survival rule). No commission but he did get a promotion to Ensign. So two more skill rolls which were +1 to INT and Vacc Suit-1. Let’s try for another term in the Navy. Rolled a 6 which is what was needed (now age 30) of which he survived. No commission or rank advancement this time. So only one skill roll which resulted in Mechanical-1. Let’s try for one more term, which was not accepted. So now Balto is mustering out. Which results in more benefits (4 in total due to the numbers of terms and rank). This resulted in a membership to the Travellers Aid Society, High Psg (I think this is High Passage? I’m not sure.) and 60,000 in cash.
So Tyrel Balto was an engineer in the interstellar navy for twelve years. And there are a lot of blank spaces on the sheet and I have no idea what my equipment is. I think if I would have looked in the other books there may have been something. Perhaps I should have used the Classic Traveller Facsimile Edition to create this character. Here is the sheet.
For a game published in 1981, I think I followed the character creation process pretty well. I was still jumping back and forth between several pages (which is a pain in a non-bookmarked PDF) and a few things still confused me. The number of skills seemed a little low, but not actually playing the game I could be wrong. Having the possibility of the character dying during creation would have probably made me upset. There is an option of an early retirement with a wound, but that didn’t really appeal to me either. The ranks seemed woefully low as well. A service record of 12 years and only exiting as an Ensign?
If I was planning to make more characters (or assist others), I probably would have put together a worksheet to speed the process up. I’d like to play this game once just to say I’ve tried it. After I’ve done that is when I would determine if I was going to continue playing or attempting any homebrewing.
Thanks to the power of Twitter, DwD Studios liked and responded with answers to my post yesterday regarding White Lies. It was actually kewl to have the conversation with them. They clarified the COST question on upgrades that I had posted. The cost for the upgrade is the same as the base weapon. HALF is half the cost of the base weapon, etc. It was mentioned in the rules that I had missed. They also confirmed that the XP bonuses do stack, but he stressed that this was an optional rule. I think it’s good when companies actually interact with their customers in a manner like this. I doubt I would have gotten a quick response like this from a larger group.
Coming Up Next:
Blue Rose The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy
DwD Studios has put out several games that I’ve featured in the Character Creation Challenge. Earlier this month I created a character for Covert Ops. Last year I used FrontierSpace on one of the dates. For this entry, I’m using their espionage game called White Lies. This game is based on the Swords & Wizadry Whitebox (an original D&D retroclone so in essence this is a d20 based system). At the time of publishing this blog entry, there was no cost to download a PDF of the game (or any of it’s supplements) from DriveThruRPG. I am tempted to get a PoD copy of this game as well.
White Lies is billed as a roleplaying game about doing bad things for good reasons. Let’s make a seedy underworld spy that works for Bureau 19 (the agency in the game). The attribute generation is the standard 3d6 going down the line. STR, INT, WIS, CON, DEX and CHA. An Intelligence score of 13 or higher earns a 5% bonus to all experience point awards. The same with Charisma or your classes prime attribute. I wonder if these bonuses would stack? While there is basic character creation at the start of the book, an advanced supplemental training is also available in the back of the book if Admins allow it. For action checks (not attack rolls) you roll a d6 and add any modifiers. A roll of 4 or above is a success for standard actions. The Admin may determine that some tasks require a higher target number.
After rolling the attributes, you can select your class. The minimum prime requirement for each class is 9. We can select from Confiscators (thieves), Eliminators, Infiltrators (con men), Investigators and Transporters. The additional supplements gives the options for Recon Scouts and Telepaths. With the high Dexterity score that I rolled, I’m going to select Transporter. I filled in the special skills and bonuses. This character also starts with a vehicle worth $50,000 (nice).
Speaking of equipment, agents automatically start with a semi-auto pistol, an operative kit, one other equipment kit of choice (I selected Technicians to fix the car if needed) and 3d6x100 starting cash. The basic for the AC is the lower number is better. But the RAW gives the Admin the option to use the ascending armor class. I’m sticking with the basic.
Add up armor class, select languages, write down movement (based on weight carried) and roll 1d6 for HP (add any CON modifier). Luckily I rolled a 6. I did look at the supplemental training in the back of the book and I selected Drive.
Ronald Denton wanted to be a race car driver every since he saw his first race. He learned all about cars while growing up. Unfortunately, no one wanted to hire a race car driver from the coldest wastelands of South Dakota. A friend hired him on to help with transporting cars from one side of the states to another. During one of these runs, Denton assisted an agent escaping through some treacherous roads. Impressed with his driving skills, the agent arranged for Bureau 19 to hire Denton and he hasn’t looked back since. He eagerly went through the training needed to become an agent.
I am really curious to see how this game would play at the table. I could see myself playing it and homebrewing it. The book was pretty well laid out. I wasn’t searching too hard for information. An index would have been nice at the back of the book, but the PDF is bookmarked. There were a few equipment items that had “cost” listed as the price. I’m not certain if this is instructions for the Admin to determine the cost or if it was in error. Nothing else stood out to me editorial wise.
Another blog has popped up and been added to the list at the Character Creation Challenge page. Yes new blogs can come up any time. If I’m missing any, please email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.
We are in the last week of the challenge. The finish line is in sight.
In the 2021 Character Creation Challenge I had the opportunity to create a character for Mutant Crawl Classics. I was really impressed with the game after I had made my character. I had the opportunity to pick up a bunch of PDFs for Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics in a charity sale, so I knew that I was going to use it in the 2022 Challenge. Then a few months later I was able to find a dead-tree version of the core rulebook at a good price, so I picked it up. Once again I love the feel and weight that a game book brings up when I’m holding it in my hands.
I really want to try a Dungeon Crawl Classics or Mutant Crawl Classics game for a few different reasons. But one of the big ones is that I want to experience this idea called ‘The Funnel’ where you make multiple level-zero characters and see which ones (if any) survive to make it up to level one where you actually select your class.
I did a lot of the character creation process breakdown in my MCC character creation. Since that game was based upon DCC it basically follows the same process. I think the biggest difference is that there are more starting occupations in DCC compared to just the two in MCC.
Some idle thoughts that came up while creating characters. Somehow the occupation roll mostly fit what meager attributes the characters had. I wonder if the level-0 characters can trade or sell their extra item before the adventure? What am I going to do with a chicken while in a dungeon? It would have also affected the equipment that I might buy for the character if I can sell a 10 ft chain to a store for half of the cost listed in the book. I still had to look up a few items like speed and initiative. But they were easily found.
I think I filled out the character sheets correctly.
I still like that I can get some use out of my d30 that is in my dice bag. If I’m ever able to play DCC or MCC, I should invest in the other “funky dice” that they describe in the game.
Loved the art in this book. A lot of it was inspired by old-school books that contained interesting art.
Additional: I forgot to mention that there are rules to create standard characters if your GM didn’t want to run a bunch of zero-level characters through the funnel.
After yesterday’s post about the Merc RPG, I had a former player contact me on social media. Apparently there was a supplement to the boxed set that made the game feel more like a role playing game.
“Wait, like to work on the bridge? Like Jadzia Dax?” Tendi “Who the bleep is that? I don’t know who that is. No, like Spock.” Dr. T’Ana- First First Contact, Stardate: 58130.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #WeAreStarfleet
January 29 “You think that the loss of a colleague or friend doesn’t affect us? It does. But if we give in to those emotions, they overwhelm us. You’re the ones to be envied.” T’Pol- The Forgotten, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet
January 30 “It looks horrible, tastes worse, but it’s absolutely guaranteed to make you feel better.” Dr. Crusher- Angel One, Stardate: 41636.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet