Special Note: I’ve had a few readers contact me on various message boards and via email stating that they are unable to log into my wordpress site to make comments. This site is not hosted on wordpress.com and the host that I am using has a lot of security set up after previous issues. So to get the feedback that I would love to see, you can email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or use the TardisCaptain Dot Com discord server that my lovely wife set up and maintains for me. I’ve already had a few people hop on this server. It has allowed me to have some interaction while keeping my hosts security concerns in mind. I was able to get the some links set up on the sidebar. Sorry about any confusion that may have popped up. And now, onto today’s entry for the Character Creation Challenge.
One of the bad events of 2022 was the invasion of Ukraine. I wanted to help in some way but I wanted to make sure that my support was going to a legitimate organization. DriveThruRPG had a special fundraiser around this time for gamers who wanted to help. They posted several sales of RPG bundles with the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. So I picked up one of the bundles that was made available. I could have done almost the entire 31 days of the challenge from this bundle alone. However I had some other games that I really wanted to create characters for (cough, cough, Alien).
One of the games in the bundle that caught my eye is When The Moon Hangs Low by Isolation Games. This is a gothic action RPG set in a fantasy Victorian inspired world where characters are tragic monster hunters in the capital city of Harrowmire. For Day 8 of the Character Creation Challenge, I’m going to create one of these monster hunters.
The character creation rules start on page 13. The first step is to generate a name for your character. I’ve noticed some systems put this step at the first and some at the last. If you have a good idea of what your character will be, I like having this step at the start. This way I can refer to the character by name as I’m writing this up. There are some sample names provided, but I already had my heart set on William “Kitt” Smythe.
The next step in making Smythe is creating his mark. This is something that the character experienced with the supernatural that affected them. It could be physical or mental. Something traumatic as this creates an ability that helps the character in the game. There is a list of marks in chapter 4 to select from. I had an idea for the character, but it didn’t 100% fit the concept. So I altered it slightly. Haunted usually means that you can talk and see ghosts. Well Smythe didn’t see a ghost, he saw a demon. The demon Torrazoth never gave his reasons for why he was running, but he needed to possess a body to hide in before other dark forces caught him. Smythe interrupted Torrazoth’s attempt to possess his younger brother. When he discovered that he could not beat the demon, he gave Torrazoth an option, take him instead. The demon agreed, but only if Smythe would help him hunt down the demons that were after him. Knowing that he could leave the countryside farm and hide in the city streets of Harrowmire, Smythe allowed the demon to take refuge within him. Torrazoth can speak to Smythe providing him with insight and sometimes even extra strength when needed. Smythe uses this ability to hunt demons, but knows that someday Torrazoth will fully take control. What will happen then, only the gods know, not that he could step inside a church to find out. I sub-titled this Mark “possessed”.
The next step is to generate the primary statistics and skills. I have a total of 20 character points to spend between the two. The primary statistics are Physique, Intellect and Presence. They seem pretty straight forward. The character starts with 1 point for free in all three. Then for every 2 CP spent, I can increase a primary statistic to a max of 5. I’m going to spend six points on Physique making it a total of 4 (Smythe grew up on a farm doing lots of chores), two points on Intellect for a total of 2 (he learned mostly from the school of hard knocks) and four points on Presence for a total of 3 (Smythe was well liked before he suddenly disappeared from his farming village). With the 8 character points left I’m going to choose the skills. They come in two levels, trained or mastered. When you roll a d6 from your pool, an untrained skill requires a roll of 5 or 6 to count as one of your successes. Trained skills succeed on a 4-6 and mastered skills succeed on 3-6. The GM determines the number of successes needed by how hard or easy the task will be. Untrained skills are free, trained are 1 CP and a mastered skill is worth 2 CP. Smythe was trained in Fight, Fortitude, Shoot, Reflexes, Craft, Drive, Animal Handling, and Willpower. There is also three knacks that I can select from my existing skills. These are skills that your character has a knack for (and increases your die pool for that skill). I selected Fight, Reflexes and Animal Handling.
The next step is to select three Edges from a list in chapter 6. These are unique abilities that separate the hero characters from the common NPCs. However if they are used too many times, it can contribute to your curse becoming more potent. Looking over the list, I believe that these edges come from the possession. So Smythe has Mantel of Darkness (which allows him to blend into the shadows), Shadow Step (step into one shadow and come out from another one within the line of sight) and Eldritch Bolt (shoot arcane energy at a target, Torrazoth only allows this as a last ditch effort).
The instructions tell me to create the derived statistics (Health, Wound Track and Resolve) and pick my equipment. All characters start with some basic items, with the rest selected by spending 200 Shillings. This included Smythe’s weapons and armor. I wrote down the statistics.
There are still a few sections not filled in on the character sheet. I assume that they would come into use when as a game progressed. I’ve scanned the character sheets and posted them below.
This process was pretty much straight forward. The system also sounds pretty easy as well. I would love to see a session for this system. I also like how the character has a curse with the mark. It got some creative juices flowing when I was putting the character together. I would love to hear more about the world this game was set in. I could see it also being a little steampunkish if the GM wanted to go in that direction.
Thanks to the responses on the RPG.net Character Creation Challenge thread, we had a discussion about my attempt to make a scout for Cepheus Deluxe yesterday. One poster pulled out his copy of the game and confirmed for me that the aging rules didn’t make much sense to him either. Yet another posted commented about how the aging rules was a carry-over from the original Traveller game that should have been re-written or scrapped all together. He also explained that I should have rolled 2d6 and subtracted the number of terms the character had gone through and then compared it to the chart for the results. This poster stated they did not use these rules as a character with average stats would die at the age of 66 while living in a futuristic world with advanced medicine. I could see the point he was making.
In a way, it was a little bit of a relief to see that others were experiencing the same thing that I was. If instructions for anything are properly explained, I can easily follow along. I know that when I’m trying to write up some instructions in personal or work-related documentation, I always try to have someone unfamiliar with the steps give it a look-over to see if they can follow along. Last year’s Traveller entry into the CCC generated a lot of traffic to the site so I knew this is still a popular game. I was hoping to receive some constructive feedback on my attempt to create a character.
Coming Up Next: