Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 23: Merc

So the game Merc, published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1981, was one of those games that I always saw advertised in different magazines. I never found it at my local gaming store or at conventions. It was through an online auction site that I acquired this game (a long with a few others in the lot) and I decided that I wanted to try it out in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge. Let’s make a mercenary.

The Corporation is the company that is hiring mercenaries to work trouble spots around the world. Some covert and some overt. There are three sections that need to be determined to create a character. Physical Appearance, Physical and Mental Attributes, and Character Specialties. The dice used to create the character is 3d6, 1d6 or a type of percentage using d6 that range from 11-66.

To start the Physical Appearance is the age. 3d6+20 is what you start with, I ended up with 33. Nationality and Name are selected by the player. I’m going with American named Mark Powell to keep it simple. A random dice roll determined that Mark is of average height between 5’7.5” to 5’10”. Going in the middle I’ll select 5’9”. It talks about Weight, but mentions it will be discussed later in the character creation process. Random roll for hair color makes Mark a redhead with Hazel eyes (quickly looks up what hazel looks like, looks kinda brown to me but I’m not a color connoisseur). You even roll for the skin complexion, which ended up with Fair or Light Skinned (apparently they keep track of sunburns in this game). We even roll for what type of voice the character has? I guess it factors into something called Command Control. Will Mark end up with a voice that sounds like Pee Wee Herman? The dice say his voice is average (no affect on Command Control). Oh all of these rolls on physical appearance can be adjusted depending upon your nationality. The last item in the Physical Appearance section was what hand Mark preferred, which resulted in Right.

Now we move to Physical/Mental Attributes. These are Strength, Agility, Intelligence, Knowledge, Intuition, and Prior Military Experience (listed as Past Military Experience on the character sheet). You roll the 11-66 results and then select the score to which attribute you wish to use to meet your specialty minimum requirements. I rolled two really good scores and one really bad score. I checked out the specialties to see which one I wanted Mark to have for Primary and Secondary. Out of the 15 options, I selected Sniper/Sharpshooter for the Primary and Driver/Pilot for the Secondary. I assigned the attribute rolls to match the requirements. This also allowed me to fill in Mark’s weight and carrying capability.

On the Modified Test Rolls, are the attribute scores the attribute modifiers? Oh there they are, under the individual attribute descriptions. There is a weapons list with weight, but no costs. There is also no equipment list (unless I’m missing a book, which is possible since there is only one in the boxed set along with some handouts). I noticed that there is no info on experience points, rank or cash on hand. (Rank and XP were found in the GMs section) I really wonder if I’ve got an incomplete set now? A quick trip to the Merc entry on Wikipedia states that I’ve got everything, so yea. I guess I’m done? The second sheet mostly deals with wounds and nothing was written on it, so I didn’t scan it.


I liked how quickly into the character creation the book took us. You want to shoot things, let’s get rolling. And the more I read, the more my eyebrow raised.

For the random rolls of physical appearances everything was pretty average. You had an equal chance to be a red-head vs a brunette. The only one that was not balanced was the hand preference.

While I was getting a “G.I. Joe” feel from some parts of the book, this system seemed off. 2d6 for some attacks while others were 3d6. Lot’s of info on movement, zero on equipment. No index to try to look things up. No background info on the Corporation or why they are hiring out mercenaries. Considering when Merc was released, this seems more like a wargame that tries to be a roleplaying game. I seriously doubt I’d play this game and I know I won’t be homebrewing for it. In fact I’m seriously considering adding this game to the trade pile.

There are plenty of other games that are fully fleshed out if you wanted to run a mercenary style campaign.

Additional Notes:

Besides creating a character for Merc, I also created a new character for Far Trek in the hopes of participating in an online game. The character was submitted today to the GM. I’ll let you know how the game goes.

I don’t think I have any more boxed sets scheduled for 2022, but if I use any in the future challenges I’ll have to make sure that they are complete before selecting them.

Coming Up Next:

Dungeon Crawl Classics

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Horror, Role Playing Games

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 22: Werewolf The Apocalypse

So I really debated about using this next game in my 2022 Character Creation Challenge. Werewolf The Apocalypse was published by White Wolf Games in 1991 and was part of the World of Darkness series. I recall playing the table top version of Vampire The Masquerade with my regular gaming group. I even found the character sheet from that game in my book of characters that I had somehow kept all these years. I don’t know if the system never appealed to me after playing VtM or if I’ve just never found werewolves interesting. That last part may come from the original Universal Pictures werewolf films. Every time Larry Talbot whined about being a werewolf, I wanted to turn it into a drinking game. When the World of Darkness LARP was popular in the 90’s, I recall a roommate that really liked the werewolf side. This book was one of the many gifts I received last year so having the physical book in my hands made it more of a candidate for the challenge. I always figured that if I still wasn’t impressed after creating a character, I could put the book in the trade pile.

I don’t recall anything about the game system from the Vampire campaign. So I’ll be going back into this set of rules without any preconceived notions. The universe background sounds interesting. Werewolves are trying to keep a balance to prevent the planet from being destroyed in an apocalypse (hence the reason why the name is in the title of the game).

So this character, what breed is he out of three choices? This guy is going to be Homid (human raised). While he seemed a little wild while young, he never knew that he was a werewolf until his body started changing. Next is your Auspice, or what phase of the moon you were born under. There are five choices. I still don’t know what these mean in the form of character creation. I selected Ahroun because I can at least understand what fighters are. Next is to select one of the 13 tribes (no, not the 13 tribes in Battlestar Galactica). There was a little bit more descriptions for this selection, so I chose Get of Fenris.

Ah, finally, we are onto the Attributes. They are Physical (Strength, Dexterity and Stamina), Social (Charisma, Manipulation and Appearance) and Mental (Perception, Intelligence and Wits). Each Attribute gets one free dot, then you select a primary attribute, a secondary attribute and a tertiary attribute. These get 7, 5 or 3 dots that you get to spend in each category. Since my guy is going to be tough, Physical will be the primary followed by Mental then Social. I fill like I’m taking a test by filling in all of these little circles.

Now we have abilities, which are basically talents, skills and knowledge that your character has. You choose which one of the three categories are primary (earns 13 dots), secondary (earns 9 dots) and tertiary (earns 5 dots). At this phase, I can only place 3 dots max in any item. I filled in my test… er… ability scores.

In the Advantages, there are also three categories, but they look different than the Attributes and Abilities. Some of the Advantages have scores (Renown), then there are backgrounds and gifts. The “checklist” didn’t go into a lot of detail where the other items had something. There were a lot of “see pg XX” items listed. Ugh. I tried to fill in what I could from what was found.

Finally there are 15 bonus points that you can spend everywhere, but certain items cost more than others (raising an attribute cost more than raising a background). I filled these in. Oh, and I guess I should come up with a name. Hans Brulker was born and raised in Germany. While his parents were killed when he was young, he didn’t know his true nature until an “Uncle” found him just after he noticed that changes were happening to him. Changes that were not explained in school. This “Uncle” told him about his true nature and brought him into the pack.


I do want to give the writers some kudos for quoting a song lyric from bands like Sisters of Mercy, Killing Joke, Black Sabbath, The Cure and others. I’ve seen a few publications where they have used quotes from popular culture. It helps me understand the context they are trying to get across.

Having the chapter before character creation with a quick look into the system is also a really big help for new players. Even in the 90’s there were lots of games that didn’t explain the core system very well.

I can see where there were a few editing mistakes “See traits pg. XX” that should have been caught before printing.

While I’ve got a little better appreciation for the game after going through the character creation process. I don’t think that I’ll be playing this game or homebrewing for it. I’m not aware of anyone who still plays the White Wolf table top roleplaying games.

Additional Notes:

I had a chance to talk about the Character Creation Challenge at a local gaming store today. Several of the people thought it was a good idea. I’m still amazed at the number of posts on the forums and using the #CharacterCreationChallenge hashtag.

Coming Up Next:


Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 21: Prime Directive 1st Edition

So in the 2021 Character Creation Challenge I created a character for the D20 Prime Directive roleplaying game. I talked about how this is a licensed game set in the Star Fleet Universe, which can only use races/events referenced in the original Star Trek series. Because of this, they would never lose the license (a good thing) but the company has had challenges coming out with newer supplements (still waiting for the various Gorn and cat races supplements). Since the first edition of Prime Directive (also known as PD1) was a different game than the D20 and GURPS versions, I decided that I would create a character for the 2022 Challenge.

The characters in Prime Directive are members of Starfleet. But instead of serving as a Captain or Department Chief, they serve on Prime Teams. A troubleshooting group that, if needed, are expendable. These specialists can come from various backgrounds that are sent to emergency hotspots on various missions.

The first step in character creation is selecting a race. There is the standard Federation races seen on Star Trek like Humans, Vulcans and Andorians. For some reason Tellarites are not listed in the core rulebook. Then there are Rigellians (large humanoids), Alpha-Centauran (Female dominated humanoids) and Cygnans (albino humanoids good with tech). All of these races have different characteristics which are Strength (STR), Accuracy (ACC), Speed (SPD), Leadership (LDR), Logic (LGC), Intuition (INT), Discipline (DIS), Technical (TEC), General Knowledge (GKN) and Perception (PER). All the races have set numbers except for Humans and Alpha-Centaurans. Later in the character creation process you can adjust these numbers.

Let’s go for a race I’ve never played before. Between the three new races I selected this character to be a Cygnan named Kovil. Next for Kovil is deciding which Starfleet service division he would be a member of out of Command, Engineering, Marine Service Combatant, Science, Medical and Psionic. I’m going to make an Engineer.

There are a series of skills that each character has. There are basic skills that each member of Starfleet has plus the skills acquired for the service division and branch. Apparently the Engineering division has only one branch, Technical. As a member of Starfleet, each person has a rank. They could be enlisted or an officer. This was the first dice roll of the game as the rank was randomly assigned. 2d6 and check the chart for your division. Kovil rolled a 10 which resulted in a Lieutenant (j.g.) rank. And, for some reason, you roll for the seniority of your character. Afterwards you come up with the Professional and Heroic Reputation scores along with the Initial Background Ratings. (boy there are a lot of these things in here, I wonder if they will all add up in the end)

Now, that I’ve received my “free” skill points, I get to use Initial Character Improvement Points (which is 56 to start out with plus some bonus points based upon my seniority). Character improvement points can be awarded after adventures to improve your characters. These can be spent on skills or characteristics. Now that we have our final characteristics and skills, we add the two together and divide by 2 (round down) to determine how many d6 dice you roll when using that skill. Ugh, this is a lot of complication, but now this section is finally done.

Now comes the section where you determine how much damage you can take in various forms. These include Stun Damage and Lethal Damage. Had a few movement stats to fill out. Oh gheez, now you get 10 more points to put in to skills that are just personal interests. While this is a kewl idea, I swear this paperwork never ends. Had I known this section was here, I wouldn’t have picked a few things in this category earlier.

There is a whole page for equipment, which is assigned before missions. So yea, I’m done making this character and I’m only scanning in the sheet that I actually filled stuff out on. There was still a few blank spaces, but I think I’m done.


While going through the branches, it looked like the had some branches pretty well fleshed out while others seemed lacking. There was a lot of focus on rank and seniority while trying to warn players not to abuse it. I haven’t seen this come up in other system documentation.

I don’t know what it is, but the way this rule book is laid out has made my eyes glaze over. Eventually I was wishing that they could just get to the point when things were being explained. I seriously doubt I’d play this system without seeing it in action first. While it’s a Star Trek game and I want to homebrew for them, this one may be on the bottom of the list. I haven’t heard of anyone playing this game.

I did get the urge to make an actual checklist for character creation that would have helped.

Additional Notes:

10 more days left in the 31 day challenge. We can do this. You can do this. You can still jump in and have fun if you want. That is all this is for, is to have fun. I’m learning a lot. Some good, some bad, but I’m learning. I’m having fun, when my college age kid calls me every night one of the things she asks is “What character did you make today?”

Coming Up Next:

Werewolf The Apocalypse

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 20: Dungeons and Dragons B/X Edition

So in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge, I’ve made characters for the Dungeons and Dragons-Holmes Basic edition. In the 2021 challenge I had created a character for the Dungeons and Dragons BECMI edition. Today I am creating a character for Dungeons and Dragons B/X edition. Back when I first started playing any role playing games, I don’t know if my first character was a Holmes Basic or a Dungeons and Dragons B/X edition. I just know it was one of those two because I didn’t get my own BECMI basic book until a few months later.

As with the Holmes entry, I’m going to create the character by the rules as written and let fate decide what we end up with. (makes clacking sounds with the dice). OK, the highest is Charisma at 15 (not a prime requisite for any class in this edition) and the next is Wisdom at 13. Everything was OK except for a Dex of 8 (yikes). Constitution and Charisma are the attributes that cannot be raised or lowered. No attribute can be lowered past 9, so I can’t make any adjustments to what I rolled. STR- 9, INT- 10, WIS- 13, DEX- 8, CON- 10, CHA-15. Sounds like this character will be a Cleric with some good looks but is slightly clumsy. Rolled a 4 for hit points (not bad for a d6) and this guy is going to have a Lawful alignment.

Staring with 120 GP to select equipment. Because of the character’s negative Dex adjustment, I elected to buy plate armor. Yea I had to sacrifice a few other things that I could have picked up at the beginning (Holy Water), but if the character survives by not getting hit, he’ll be able to pick up more equipment later.

Brother Alexander was a young novice at the Church of Karameikos in the town of Dravin. He became quite popular amongst his fellow priests and the congregation in general. After a year of service, the head of the church in Dravin informed him that he had been called to travel the roads of the Grand Duchy. He was to spread the word, assist church members and rid the land of evil that was threatening the faithful. Despite his friends warnings, Alexander accepted the calling. After several weeks of weapons training, he was given a suit of plate armor, a shield and some equipment and was instructed to find others that could assist in his quest.


Oh man, I had so many memories opening up this book again. It always puts a smile on my face when I see the artwork and text. There were so many possibilities when we were playing the game. If a rule didn’t fit, we made adjustments and kept on playing. That was the way it needed to be.

Not once, or twice, but three times they have you a summary of how to create a character. Plus they showed you a sample character sheet that was already filled out. Game designers, this is how you do it. I think it took me longer to look up religions in the Grand Duchy of Karameikos and come up with a backstory than it did to create the character.

Additional Notes:

There haven’t been any new blogs discovered that are participating in the #CharacterCreationChallenge. I am still re-tweeting any twitter posts that use the official hashtag. I’m also liking Facebook posts as I find them. Facebook’s hashtag search isn’t as good as Twitters.

Coming Up Next:

Prime Directive 1st Edition

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 19: Amazing Adventures 5E

I was able to pick up PDF copy of Amazing Adventures 5E at an end-of-year sale on DriveThruRPG. While the setup in the book is mostly 1930s-40s pulp adventure, there are also sections about modern, supernatural and future. There is even a section about importing your fantasy 5E characters over just in case the DM wants to use a portal/time travel/magic hole/etc. on the players. I thought this would make an interesting entry in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge.

As mentioned above, this is a sandbox game. Since I’m lacking a GM to tell me what world I’m creating a character in, I’m sticking with the pulp style presented and creating a character from that. Derick Fieldstone will be an ex-cop turned detective who moved from the east coast of the United States to Bay City along the west coast.

There is the standard attributes in a D20 based 5E system. To generate these stats the rules recommends starting each stat at 7 and then spending 36 points to increase them to the max of 18. There are two optional methods (4d6 drop the lowest and arrange or a couple of presets) but I’m going to go with the points system for this entry.

I wrote down the basics for my class. My HP, XP, Equipment, AC, Speed, Alignment, etc. In Amazing Adventures you only get a feat at 1st level if you reduce four ability scores by 1. I’ve already gone through the ability scores so I don’t want to adjust them now.

Under “Rounding Out The Character” I selected the Law Enforcement background since Derick was once a cop. I already had the proficiency listed and weapons. So I selected a car. I could randomly roll a Personality Trait, Ideal, Bond and Flaw and write a brief description on the character sheet.

Amazing Adventures has Inspiration Points. If you play your character that is true to the personality, the GM can reward you with inspiration points. These can be used to gain advantages to yourself or an ally, avoid death, or just plain luck. It sounds like the luck and fate points used in other games. All new characters start with 5 Inspiration Points.

In your class you gain some starting equipment tool-kits and packs. This boils down to “what would your character have that fits the character” as common items. My gumshoe wouldn’t have a rocket ship, but he could have a car. Each character does have a starting wealth rating as determined by your class. This rating can be increased through game play.

Here is the character sheet. I think I’m done.


I was happy that there was some suggestions and guidelines for the character background in “Rounding Out the Character”. Too many times I’ve seen rulebooks state “Pick a flaw”. Um, yea I’m not good at that sometimes.

I thought it was funny that the character sheet had a last will and testament.

Yes I could see myself playing this game.

Additional Notes:

We are coming to the back end of the challenge. Some of these have been a real challenge. By this time last year I was in a grove when I was creating characters. This year I’ve noticed that I haven’t reached that level. I wonder if it’s because this is a larger batch of systems that I’m not use to?

If you are still going, good for you. Keep going. If you’ve had real life get in the way, feel free to jump back in when you can.

Coming Up Next:

Dungeons and Dragons B/X Edition

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 18: Cyberpunk v3.0

I recall playing the first Cyberpunk that came out. I even posted my Solo character previously on this blog. So when a copy of Cyberpunk V3.0 fell into my hands thanks to a friend, I knew that I had to use it for the 2022 Character Creation Challenge.

In my quick research before starting this blog entry I discovered that the v3.0 game was different from the original first edition system by quite a bit. Which is fine because it’s been so long since I’ve played Cyberpunk that I’ve forgotten how the system ran. I have some good memories of our gaming sessions, but I couldn’t describe the system now.

So starting brand new, lets crack open the book and see what we can come up with. Looks like you can select from a template and add a few modifications. Making sure that was correct, I flipped through the book. Sure enough there is an advanced section (looks like they also have basic and advanced combat rules as well) with lifepaths that look very detailed along with Character Points for buying stats. In the past when I’ve created a few characters for the challenge, I’ve pretended that a bunch of friends are sitting down with the core rulebook just as this game came out and we are trying it for the first time. I’m going to run with that theme on this entry and take a template and create this character.

I will talk about some of the attributes used within the game and briefly talk about the points use in advanced character creation. The attributes are broken down into three categories. Physical: Reflexes, Dexterity, Constitution, Strength, Body and Movement. Mental: Intelligence and Willpower. Technical: Technique (that’s it). Normal people have a score of 2-4 in each attribute. One point equals one point in attribute. The number of points is in question. You can randomly roll 13D10 and that is your starting number, or roll 1d10 for each stat then roll 3d10 for extra points to add to your stats. There is also something called Flash Characters that with a single roll you get a bunch of pre-generated stats (I guess that would be useful for a quick NPC). And the last option is the Referee can declare what type of game this is (Average to Major Hero) and give the points based on that declaration. There are then some Derived Statistics generated from the primary statistics. Stun, Hits, Stun Defense, Recovery, Run, Resistance, Luck Endurance and Humanity. Afterwards you would choose perks, talents, skills and equipment.

So, going back to the templates you have the different “classes” within the game. Solo (independent fighters), Media (reporters), Tech, Netrunner (hackers), Divemaster, Subjocks, Shifters and Waleboys (water nomads who live on the sea), Mechajocks (drive large fighting robots), Imaginators (transforming robot drivers, I think?), Idols (famous people, called Rockerboys in the first game), Security Ops, Scout, Panzerboy (tank drivers), Warriors (fighters on the roads), Shamans, City Fighter, Traders (merchants), Beastmasters (control bioform pets), Surfriders (independent water nomads), Transporters (long haul drivers), Protector (law enforcement), Wiseman (thinkers), Dragoons (heavy combat), Combat Fighter and Streetdealer (rogues). I don’t recall any water based characters in the first game. Some of these redundant sounding types may be a part of different AltCult (Alternative Cultures, or groups of people following the same ideals).

I never played a Netrunner in the original game, so I’m going to pick one now. His handle will be FreeJack. According to the RAW, you take the already provided statistics and you can move any of the three basic stats on the template. Afterwards you generate the derived stats. I liked the fact that there was some freebie equipment and then pick six from a list for a starting character. In other games the equipment allocation had seemed to be missing so I had to guess.

It looks like there is an entire section on lifepaths depending upon your AltCult that can fill in a lot of details or you can write them out. If this was for a full game, I’d get this section filled in. I think the basics to start play are on the sheet.


Thank you to the game designers for giving us a character sheet breakdown in the book. Including details like this help in character creation.

Would I play this game, doubtful. Not because it looks bad or anything, but because the new Cyberpunk Red has been released. Any players are probably using the latest system.

Additional Notes:

I’m still recovering from the weekend’s website fiasco so I haven’t found a lot of other blogs that are participating. Please let me know if you see any.

Out of curiosity, I did a YouTube search for Fantasy Imperium. I only found two review videos and no game play videos. They did not give any high marks to the game at all. They even dove deeper into the issues than I had. But they were also doing full reviews instead of just creating characters. If you would like, you can see them Here and Here.

Coming Up Next:

Amazing Adventures

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 17: Fantasy Imperium

Fantasy Imperium by Shadowstar Games is an Interactive Storytelling Game instead of a Role Playing Game. What does this mean? I’m about do dive in and find out since this is my Day 17 entry into the Character Creation Challenge. I had obtained this game last year when a friend gifted it to me while trying to reduce the number of books on his bookshelf. So I figured I’d give this game a go for the 2022 challenge.

If you are looking at the image above, yes all those pages are part of the character sheet. It’s six pages long. I had discovered this when I had printed out all of the character sheets before the challenge had started. When I saw the number of sheets, I moved the date for this character to January 17th because I thought I’d need more time to go through the process. Well as I discovered two days ago, all of that free time went poof. So lets see what we have in store for us.

The colorful maps on the front and back inside covers show the details of Europe in 1121 AD to 1348 AD. This is the basic time-frame that the game is set in. Magic is available, but risky and frowned upon in medieval times. The game is described as a battle between good and evil. OK I’m on board so far.

The GM is called a Storyteller and the players are, in a sense, actors. I’m still confused by the “storytelling” aspect. I’ve seen games like Amber and online Sims where you just “spoke your part”. But I’m also seeing various statistics and an RPG system. So what is this game?

Ah the Characteristics (aka the attributes). Strength, Endurance, Dexterity, Intuition (think Wisdom), Self Discipline, Reasoning (memory of things you have learned), Ego (confidence and self-worth), Awareness, Presence (think Charisma) and Attractiveness. To generate these, roll d100 and go down the list. There are a bunch of additional rules when generating the characteristics, but the big one is if more than half of the stats are under 50%, you can scrap them all and start over. I had a really good roll for Strength (97) and a really crappy one for Intuition and Reason (17 & 22). Not enough to scrap the entire lot. Consulting the other options I can see that I can re-roll one Characteristic (OK now intuition is now 86, kewl). The character is not female so I can’t re-roll my Attractiveness, meh. There are three extra rolls that I can use throughout the character creation process. A Reason of 22 is not the best, but I have a feeling that I need to save the re-rolls for something else. So my Characteristics are set and this character will be a strong type of fellow. To use the characteristics, you roll a d100 and then add it to the characteristic roll, the higher number wins. The characteristic results are also use for combat factor statistics. These include Hits, Stun (Shock on the sheet for some reason), Morale, Winded, Exhausted and Burnout. Power (for magic), Fate and Luck are randomly rolled or decided depending upon the profession. There is magic resistance (called savings throws on the character sheet) of Ceremonial, Natural, Extrasensory and Black Arts (Black Magic on the character sheet).

Next came the History and Appearance (page 6 of the character sheet). The RAW stated that this would be determined by the Storyteller based upon the date and setting (oh boy). Nationality was just selected. Screw it I’m going with Medieval England. So he’s a typical guy from the British isles with brown hair and average looks. I get to roll for the social class. The d100 resulted in Lower Middle Class (rank 2). Just barely missed rank 3 by a few points. The number of siblings is also randomly rolled (he has 5). What year was he born? I guess that would have been coordinated with the Storyteller. Let’s say the game is set in the year 1348 and he’s 22 years old. So 1326 is when he came into this world.

Now the book wants us to create a background for the character. This is probably more of the “Interactive Storytelling” element. Actions, goals, needs, flaws, history, reputation, etc. There was a ton of details that they wanted. Probably more than is standard for a RPG character. Page six of the character sheet is for this entire section. Unfortunately I’ve been robbed of the time needed to do something of this detail, nor do I have a Storyteller with an idea of what type of campaign they are going to run in Medieval Europe.

I’m assuming that the character creation continues when we move into chapter 2 detailing skills and professions. Fantasy Imperium is a skill-based system (which I have enjoyed in other systems). Basic skill calculations are taken from a Characteristic and dividing them by five. You can then spend skill points (new characters get 100+d100 to start) to a base skill number to increase that final skill number. Each skill point is worth 10% to the final skill number with new characters not getting more than 3 points per skill unless it is a professional skill which can have up to five points. I can only choose a profession from my social class (rank 2). Looking over the list I selected a profession (some, while historically accurate, didn’t make sense for a game) that my massive strength would have justified. The Man-at-Arms. Not only did this give me the skills to start, it also determined the Income and Savings. The skills also include the use of weapons. This took a while to complete. I quickly filled in some of the blanks spots on the sheet (not all of them over six pages) and I would have moved onto equipment, but I’ve run out of time. So I would have worked with my Storyteller to make sure I was picking up stuff appropriate for the time frame.

I did not scan in any character sheets that did not have any details on them. There were sheets with weapons and armor, magic and the massive character backstory details.


Well one advantage of having the sheet being so many pages is that everything was easy to read. There have been some character sheets where they make the font so small it makes it harder to read. I still think that six pages are a little excessive. There were also items on the character sheet that did not match the book. I’m assuming that Shock = Stun between the two, etc. This really should have been noticed by the editors.

The players will be doing a lot of work with the Storyteller before starting this game and creating characters.

There were a lot of adjustments to the statistics for female characters. Some good, some bad. There was also a ton of crunchyness in this system. I don’t know if this was part of the Interactive Storytelling or what? If I could find a video of a game in play, I might watch it to understand more. But I seriously doubt that I’ll play or homebrew for this system. It already has a ton of stuff in it so I don’t think there is anything that could have been added.

There is a ton of detail in this book. It may be a good resource just to have to use for your preferred fantasy/medieval style campaign. There was also a lot of good art in this book. I can tell that a lot of effort went into the book. Since I had never heard of the game before the book came into my possession (it was released in 2006) I don’t think a lot of other people have heard of it either.

From what I did read, I never did find out what it meant by Interactive Storytelling.

Additional Notes:

While my site was inaccessible to me (and everyone else) I had started writing the blog entry in a text file. When I could start posting again, I just cut and paste into the blog entry. I usually have the blog editor open as I’m creating the character so I can type in my thoughts as they hit me. I’m now wondering if I should stick with the text file first then worry about the blog entry later. Forcing myself to explore other options has given me something to think about. This entry was done as I had earlier and I may experiment with the next couple of entries.

Coming Up Next:

Cyberpunk v3

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: January 17-23

I had to get some help in posting blog entries to past dates.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of January 17th through the 23rd.

January 17
Happy Birthday to Isa Briones. @TheIsaBriones #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard #WeAreStarfleet

“We can’t be your means of redemption. We’re too busy trying to survive.” Soji Asha Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard #WeAreStarfleet

January 18
“You want to watch the Karo-Net tournament. She wants to listen to music. So, you compromise. You listen to music. You like Earth jazz. She prefers Klingon opera. So, you compromise. You listen to Klingon opera.” Odo- A Man Alone, SD: 46384 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

January 19
“The chronicle is the life of our village. Without that past, our future means nothing.”  Vorin- Homeward, Stardate: 47423.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

January 20
DeForest Kelley born on this date in 1920. #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

“I doubt any god who inflicts pain for his own pleasure.” Dr. McCoy- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Stardate: 8454.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

Happy Birthday to Rainn Wilson. @rainnwilson #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #WeAreStarfleet

“Well, they say confession is good for the soul. Too bad none of us have one anymore.” Mudd- Choose Your Pain, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #WeAreStarfleet

January 21
“I’d like to thank you now, for putting your doubts aside and helping me to put mine aside as well. Good luck to each of you.” Janeway- Shattered, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

January 22
“Evolution is more than a theory. It is a fundamental scientific principle.” Dr. Phlox- Dear Doctor, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

January 23
Star Trek: Picard premiered on this date in 2020 with the episode Remembrance. #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard #WeAreStarfleet

“The Federation understood there were millions of lives at stake.” Picard “Romulan lives.” Richter “No. Lives.” Picard- Remembrance, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 16: Paranoia 2nd Edition

The computer is your friend. The computer wants you to be happy. No this isn’t the latest advertising slogan for Facebook, it’s part of the in-game universe concept for Paranoia (2nd Edition) by West End Games that was published in 1987. I just picked this boxed set up at a game swap last fall and I thought it would be perfect to use in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge. I never had the chance to play this game when it first came out, but I recall a co-worker telling me about a hilarious scenario that happened while he was playing. It sounded like fun.

For those of you not familiar with Paranoia, it is a role-playing game that is set in the future where humanity lives in a computer controlled Alpha Complex. No, this is about the future not about today. The central computer controls everything and is trying to keep you safe from conspiracies, communist plots, secret societies and enemies of the computer. Why do you keep asking if this is a game set in modern times? Your character is a troubleshooter for the computer trying to discover the hidden fiendish plot that is about to be sprung upon your paradise-utopian society. All while trying to hide the deep dark secret that you harbor from other troubleshooters. No, I’m tired of that question. The computer says we should move onto character creation.

So the first thing needed is a name. But just not any name. There is style to the name that usually involves a pun. Your security clearance level (represented by a color) is in your name. Pick a name you want to use. All characters start out at security clearance Red, so R is in the middle of the name. After the security clearance is the three-letter designation of where you live in the Alpha Complex. Since the character is also a clone (making clones is much easier for the computer than trying to have humans do it the old fashioned way) you start with the number one (since you are the first clone in the series). If your character gets terminated, then your back up clone will be activated and the number will increase by one. So this character is named Car-R-PET-1. Yea that should about cover it. What, where you floored by that pun?

Next comes your attributes which are Strength, Agility, Dexterity, Endurance, Moxie (think intelligence), Chutzpah (communications savvy), Mechanical Aptitude and Power (as in Mutant Power). You roll a D20 and go down the line for each attribute. Once that is done, the computer allows you to re-roll for two of your lowest rolls, but you must take the second roll no matter what. I ended up with a STR 17, END 7, AGI 15, DEX 5 (re-rolled to a 12), MOX 11, CHU 17, MechA 6 (re-rolled to a 10) and POW 16. Other than the low endurance, I think this character seems alright. From these attributes you get some secondary attributes in the form of capacity, bonuses and bases. I followed the RAW to fill these in.

Now the RAW directs you to your service group. Basically your job within the Alpha Complex. Car-R-PET-1 works in Power Services which maintains the power plants and primary maintenance of services like air, traffic, water, etc. Afterwards I get to roll the secret mutant power my character has (and should keep secret from everyone). I ended up with [HIDDEN] which was written down on the second secret character sheet. I did not roll for a membership in a secret society and I did not mark it down on my secret character sheet.

OK, next came the skills used in the game. Each group of skills uses a specific skill based that was determined above. Then I have 30 skill points to distribute between the individual skills (up to 12). I was able to get my skill selected, then the book went into some different details for the game. Um… where’s the equipment that I needed to select? There is a list with costs in the back of the book, but no info on the starting costs. Ugh, this happens in a lot of books. Fine, I looked at the sample characters and selected some of their equipment. There are still some blank spots on the character sheet, but I guess I’m done.


Having to move to the back of the book to find charts while following the rules was a bit annoying. Same with the lack of equipment allocation for new characters. Other than that, the system explanation was pretty quick and simple. I don’t think this game was meant for long term campaigns. Some quick fun games and then back to your regular system. You really need a sense of humor to play this game. Since I enjoyed “It Came From the Late, Late Show”, I think I probably would have enjoyed a game or two of Paranoia.

Additional Notes:

This character was completed on Day 16, but with the technical issues on my website it wasn’t posted until January 17th. I posted a picture of the character sheet on social media.

I did get a comment on social media after I had posted the sheet. Someone mentioned that the computer must have been generous by giving me a laser pistol. I had to be honest and let them know that I pulled some of the equipment from the pre-published characters in the back of the game.

Coming Up Next:

Fantasy Imperium

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