Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

2022 Character Creation Challenge after action report

Note: If you made it through 31 days of the challenge, read to the bottom of the post.

So the 2022 Character Creation Challenge is now in the books and this was a bit different from the 2021 challenge. I don’t know if I was more enthusiastic about the games in 2021 or if it was something else. Not knowing if there was going to be a 2nd challenge, I used a lot of games that I really wanted to run/play. For 2022 there were more games of “well it’s there, let’s take a look at it” which may have been the wrong attitude. But I’m glad that I used those games. While there are some that I’ll never play and may even trade the games away, I can still say that I’ve dipped my toe into the water. I was worried that my lack of enthusiasm for that game may affect the creation process. There was a few times I told myself “smeg it, I’m done”. I still want to do a variety of games, but I’m wondering if I should just limit it to the games I would actually want to play? I’ve got some time to think about this.

I tried to use the time that would have been allotted to me in a session zero time frame to create a character for the challenge. For some games that I am not familiar with I would probably need a lot more time to learn the system. For games that I am familiar with, I would need time to think about a character concept that would go with a party. During the 31 day challenge I also made a Far Trek character for an online game. That was done in free time and it took a few days because I had to confirm what positions were still available. Unfortunately the Engineering spot had already been taken up otherwise I would have requested the use of the character I made in 2021.

My biggest suggestions for game writers, a checklist or worksheet is a big help. Give a start and an end to the character creation process that includes the allocation of equipment. There were some really funky and weird equipment guidelines in some of the games. Some kewl and some made me scratch my head and wonder what they were smoking. Also explain your system before character creation starts. I mean explain it simply and save the extra details for later in the book. If you are going to have a player pick a value or belief for the character, give more than 2-3 examples. Even if they don’t get used they may inspire other ideas.

I would like to say that I’m very surprised by a couple of things. A thank you has to go out to the companies that still have character sheets available online for games that they haven’t touched in years. I was also surprised that some of the dead games were still available on DriveThruRPG. Especially the Farscape RPG since it is based on an intellectual property.

Last year I only printed out the character sheets just before I needed to use them. This year I had this drive to have all sheets printed out and ready to go before the challenge started. I was really glad I did this. When I discovered that one game (sideways glance at Fantasy Imperium) had a six-page character sheet and that I had scheduled it for a weekday, I moved that game to a day I had off. I’ve played with character sheets in excel, fillable character sheets and even sheets provided in a virtual table top. But I have fond memories of writing things down on a printed out sheet and loved doing that as part of this challenge. When I found my three-ringed binder full of old characters that I had played, I had a blast remembering the past games.

Yes there will be a 2023 Character Creation Challenge. Details won’t be posted for quite some time however as I’ve got to decompress.

The reaction to this year’s challenge is one of the many things that blew me away. The 2022 Character Creation thread on the RPG.net forums was named a Staff Pick by the moderators. This year’s thread has made it up to (at the time of this posting) 128 pages. This was three times larger than the 2021 thread of 42 pages. I loved reading all of the different blogs that participated. If I don’t have your blog on the Character Creation Page, please send me the URL. On social media I could not keep up with all of the entries using the hashtag #CharacterCreationChallenge. This was particularly true on twitter, that place was gangbusters. I tried to like and re-tweet as much as I could but some days that got to be too much. If I missed your post, don’t feel bad. Ten days into the challenge I realized that I should have kept a tally of how many entries there were for each system, but in 20/20 hindsight I’m glad I didn’t. That could have taken up a ton of time. Perhaps I’d do this if I wasn’t actually creating characters, but I really want to roll dice since I haven’t been able to get together with friends on a regular basis. There was a number of entries also posted on Facebook and MeWe. It wouldn’t surprise me if similar threads were popping up on other social media sites and message boards. If you hear of any that I don’t follow, please let me know.

Speaking of reactions, I added a new plugin for my site this year that tracked the number of visitors. It showed the sites that you guys would read. The top five games that brought in the most visitors was Dungeons & Dragons: Holmes Basic, Classic Traveller, Espionage! and Dungeons & Dragons: B/X edition. I still need to find a way to enable followers to comment on blog posts without having to worry about spambots infiltrating everything.

The 2022 games that made the most impression on me are Dune: Adventures in the Imperium, Star Trek Adventures-The Klingon Empire, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Boldly Go!, White Lies! and Covert Ops. I want to take deeper looks at Tiny Dungeon 2nd edition, Amazing Adventures 5E, Modern Age, Castle & Crusades and Classic Traveller. While I may never get a chance to play them, I do have a greater appreciation for Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Paranoia 2nd Edition. The low points of this challenge were Fantasy Imperium and Blue Rose.

A lot of participants were posting their list of games before the challenge started. While I had a spreadsheet created to help me with my entries, I’m glad that I didn’t post it. I swapped out a couple of games when two new games came into my possession. The two I rotated out was Rocket Age and The Frontier, which should be on my 2023 challenge list.

Here is my final 2022 Character Creation Challenge list.
Day 1: Dune Adventures in the Imperium Character: Tarkin Dal of the House Nimoi
Day 2: Wendy’s Feast of Legends Character: Garthos of the Order of the Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Day 3: Dungeons & Dragons-Holmes Basic Character: Dylath
Day 4: Men in Black The Roleplaying Game Character: Agent C
Day 5: BASH! Sci-Fi Edition Character: TaChar
Day 6: Star Wars Saga Edition Character: Keet Apaal
Day 7: Espionage! Character: Devron Marcus
Day 8: Star Trek Adventures-The Klingon Empire Character: Nurot son of H’unos
Day 9: Pirates and Plunder Character: Jason “Jake” McCabe
Day 10: Modern Age Character: Raymond Ray
Day 11: Farscape Roleplaying Game Character: Drellith
Day 12: Castles and Crusades Character: Godfrey of Cloverdale
Day 13: The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game Character: Judge Stark
Day 14: Boldly Go! Character: Tigrox Carvor of the SFS Valiant
Day 15: Covert Ops Character: William Greene
Day 16: Paranoia 2nd Edition Character: Car-R-PET-1
Day 17: Fantasy Imperium Character: William Moore
Day 18: Cyberpunk v3 Character: Freejack
Day 19: Amazing Adventures 5E Character: Derick Fieldstone
Day 20: Dungeons & Dragons B/X edition Character: Brother Alexander
Day 21: Prime Directive 1st edition Character: Kovil
Day 22: Werewolf The Apocalypse Character: Hans Brulker
Day 23: MERC Character: Mark Powell
Day 24: Dungeon Crawl Classics Character: Multiple
Day 25: White Lies! Character: Ronald Denton
Day 26: Classic Traveller Character: Tyrell Balto
Day 27: Blue Rose Character: Valk Starn
Day 28: Bubblegum Crisis Character: Taxun
Day 29: Technoir Character: Arron “Trench” Chambers
Day 30: Dark Conspiracy Character: Dale Laslow
Day 31: Tiny Dungeon 2nd edition Character: Rek Son of Talk

While I’m not trying to think of the 2023 challenge yet, I’m really hoping that I can find a copy of Star Frontiers for it. I’m also having doubts that I’ll ever find my Top Secret S/I collection. I may have to break down and see if I can acquire the rules again.

Also, if you purchased anything after clicking on the link to DriveThruRPG, thank you. I’m not doing this blog to make money, but the kickback helps when making game purchases for future challenges.

So did you complete the challenge and make 31 characters? If so, please email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com. My art school kid in college loved hearing about the characters I was making on a daily basis and the challenge in general. She created a badge for those who completed the challenge. If you buzz me, I’ll send you the badge to display.

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

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 11: Farscape Roleplaying Game

After I had posted my daily entry for Modern Age yesterday, I kept thinking that I should have done a deeper dive into the rules. I had assumed that since the rules explained the basics of the game quickly at the start of the book that the character creation steps would have also been as quick. I’m thinking that I didn’t give the game a good enough shake in my comments. So I started looking at getting a dead-tree version of the rulebook because I could easily flip back and forth between chapters while trying to get a handle on the rules (as compared to trying to scroll back and forth on a screen). I had found a copy on Amazon, but I didn’t pull the trigger just yet because I had just bought a new (to me) book a few days ago and I needed to stay within a budget. That book that was just purchased was slotted into Day 11 of the Character Creation Challenge. The book is the Farscape Roleplaying Game by AEG. I didn’t know this book existed until I saw it at a local store that had new and used books just this past weekend. I wasn’t expecting to find anything when I checked the RPG shelf and was pleasantly surprised. So I pulled one of the games I was planning to use (Rocket Age, I’ll probably add it to the 2023 challenge) and placed this one in it’s place. The flexibility to make changes like this is the reason I don’t post my entire list of games prior to the start of the challenge.

I didn’t watch the Farscape TV series when it first came out. About a year ago I started watching the series and I’ve gotten through the first year and a half (I need to pick it up again and finish it out). There were four seasons in total plus a TV mini-series . So I am somewhat familiar with this universe setting.

There are a few items that you would need from the Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 Players Handbook for this roleplaying game. The Farscape game is a D20 based system that uses the OGL. So this should be a quick review mostly talking about the differences that were introduced in the Farscape game.

Wow, the character creation information doesn’t come up until chapter 5 on page 145. The earlier pages gave a Farscape short story (written by Keith R.A. DeCandio) an episode guide, a guide to the characters, aliens and planets (none have stat information). All with a weird column setup that starts in one corner of the page and slides down at an angle to the other.

Generating the attributes refers to the D&D3.5 PHB so we roll 4d6 and drop the lowest and then assign the score to the attribute you want. Then select your race and add the racial modifiers. Not surprising, Humans are not on the list of available races since John Crichton was the only member of that species in the far side of the galaxy. So our selections are Banik, Delvian, Hynerian, Ilanic, Luxan, Nebari, Scarran, Sebacean, Sheyang, Tavlek, Vorcarian and Zenetan. For this character I’m going to select Banik. I applied the racial stats and abilities. Instead of Hit Points, your character in the Farscape RPG has Wounds. At 1st level they are maxed out (add class and any CON modifier) and randomly rolled afterwards. Something different from a standard D20/3.5 game is Control Points. From the RAW it looks like these are used for mystic powers, combat actions and other common actions. Like Wounds, 1st level are maxed out (add class and any WIS modifier) and rolled for each level afterwards.

Now onto the classes which are Aristocrat, Commando, Diplomat, Mystic, Pirate, Priest, Rogue, Scavenger, Scientist, Tech and Warrior. An option of a pirate is too good to pass up. I filled in the class skills, feats and other details. The characters get to choose two backgrounds which (at the cost of skill points) gives you certain skills and details. These backgrounds kinda made sense. The cost was more expensive than just taking the skills in some cases (but you could also substitute a background for a selected feat). If I was GMing a game, I’d probably give the PCs a little bit more for the cost of skill points. It also sounds like the backgrounds are optional, so I’m just going to select skills on my own. Wrapped up the equipment that a pirate in the uncharted territories would have and added them to the sheet.

Drellith was going to be a craftsman in his city before his transport was taken by the Peacekeepers. They accused everyone on aboard (passenger or not) of being pirates and imprisoned everyone. Learning from the pirates that were incarcerated with Drellith, he learned their tricks. When they had an opportunity to escape, he joined them.

Afterthoughts:

Would I play this game? Yes. Would I homebrew for this game? Yes. Will I get a chance to play? Probably not.

I was a little surprised that AEG still had games like Farscape and Stargate SG-1 still listed on DriveThruRPG. Usually when the license expires, they can no longer offer the product. This is a good thing for fans of the series or games still looking to obtain the product.

Additional Notes:

I re-visited the blogs from the 2021 challenge (that I had not already moved to the 2022 list) and found two more that had started participating. I’ve added these to the new list. I’m still looking for any additional sites of anyone that is participating.

Coming Up Next:

Castles and Crusades

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