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

Character Creation Challenge Day 28: Apes Victorious

Character Creation Challenge Day 28

Apes Victorious is a role playing game that is heavily inspired by the 1970’s Planet of the Apes franchise. I’ve enjoyed watching this series when I can and I even put in the DVD of the first movie last night to prep for today’s challenge. While I’ve seen a few of the newer Planet of the Apes movies, I haven’t sat down and watched all of them. This was a universe I was interested in role-playing in. So I decided to make a character for the Character Creation Challenge.

One of the things that stood out from last night’s viewing is that the smart Humans did not have their technology to save them or confirm their stories. The ship crashed in the water and the non-intelligent Humans stole and trashed their equipment. Making another astronaut character seemed a little cliche, but the Apes Victorious book suggested that a smart Human could have emerged from a cryo-sleep in a bunker. So Martin Reynolds was a smart Human that was woken from his hibernation state by an alarm that he needed to evacuate the underground facility quickly before it exploded. Grabbing a few things while running for the exit he now finds himself in an unknown world. What will he find? What caused the destruction of his bunker? Who else survived?

Apes Victorious uses the same system as other Goblinoid Games (Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, Starships & Spacemen 2e) which are all D20 based with a few minor tweeks. The ability generation is done by 3d6 with the option to assign the scores after rolling. I will be using the Astronaut class for the revived sleeper (since he just woke up and not constantly living underground like an underdweller descendant).

The only difference between B/X D&D attributes and AV attributes is Psionic Potential (PSI) replaces the Wisdom (WIS) score. Astronauts do not get any attribute adjustments so Reynolds ended up with the following stats. STR: 11, CON: 11, DEX: 17, INT: 13, CHA: 9 and PSI: 8. Rolled a 5 for his Hit Points.

The equipment was easy (Astronauts get this). I didn’t include the rubber raft since he was actually a sleeper instead of a flyboy.

It appears that only Underdwellers get the psionic abilities. I wrote down the To Hit score and the save checks for Energy Attacks, Poison or Death, Stun Attacks and Radiation. After I wrote some description notes I considered the character done. Here is the character sheet.

Martin Reynolds character sheet

Afterthoughts:

I really want to write up a homebrew for the Sleeper class now. It would be very similar to the Astronaut but have some tweaks from the Underdwellers and other sources.

I liked how the character sheet has the graphics that remind me of the classic PotA series. The system was pretty basic and straightforward. I could see myself playing or even being the Ape Master (Game Master) for a campaign.

Additional Notes:

While I still haven’t been able to locate any additional websites that has posts for the Character Creation Challenge, I have been seeing a lot of participation on the social media hashtag #CharacterCreationChallenge.

Coming Up Next:

Starships & Spacemen

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 27: Star Wars Roleplaying Game

Character Creation Challenge Day 27

While I’ve had lots of experience with the D6 Star Wars RPG by West End Games, I have never played the D20 Star Wars RPG by Wizards of the Coast. I’ve been able to collect a few of the books. Apparently there is a revised edition and a saga edition with smaller books. But I’m not certain how they all go together. But being a Star Wars fan I knew I had to make at least one character in this system for the Character Creation Challenge.

I will be using the Revised Core Rulebook that was published in 2002. I’m thinking a Fringer that is a member of the Rodian race named Navik. He was kicked out of his village by a rival who’s father was on the village council. Navik wandered the lands until he decided that he wanted to leave his homeworld, probably forever. After taking a few odd jobs he ended up helping some rebels. Feeling like he was wanted for once, he has joined the cause for freedom in the galaxy.

With this being one of the many D20 variants I was curious on how the attribute generation was set up. They had the 4d6 random generation rule, the planned generation with base attributes and spending points to obtain the score you wanted or just a standard score package. The last one didn’t sound very fun, I’ve done the second before so I rolled. I just feel better rolling for the character. After adding racial adjustments Navik had the following stats. STR: 15, DEX: 16, CON: 14, INT: 13, WIS: 14 and CHA: 8.

Interesting, this game calls it Vitality Points instead of Hit Points and your CON score is your Wound Points. There are also Force Points (even a non-Jedi starts out with 1 FP). A Reputation score is also a part of the character.

Not a lot of basic equipment in the core rulebook I wonder if one of the supplements had a lot more equipment to choose from. But I selected what I thought a wandering Fringer would have and called it good. Here is the character sheet.

Navik character sheet
Navik character sheet

Afterthoughts:

I was a little surprised that Bounty Hunter wasn’t one of the classes in the core rulebook. With how popular the Mandalorians are I thought for sure that they would be in there. I was thinking about making a Bounty Hunter after watching The Mandalorian series.

This character sheet uses really small fonts. I understand trying to get as much as you can on the page, but I probably wouldn’t use this character sheet in a campaign. I’d probably put something together in Excel.

Being familiar with the D20 system I could see myself easily playing this system. However if given a choice I’d play the D6 version first probably due to the nostalgia factor.

Additional Notes:

I’m having a lot of fun coming up with these characters. Some I had a general idea what I wanted to do before I started. Others like this one I made up on the spot. It’s interesting to see where inspiration strikes and where it strikes from.

Coming Up Next:

Apes Victorious

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 26: Star Trek Roleplaying Game

Character Creation Challenge Day 26

The Star Trek Roleplaying Game by Decipher was the first Star Trek RPG that I played with my local Star Trek club. I was even able to GM a few sessions. I had a group of young Ensigns (the player characters) lead by an NPC Lieutenant as the CO, head to a shipyard to recover the USS Crockett for refitting just after the end of the Dominion War. Starfleet needed to pull some older, but still serviceable ships out of mothballs to rebuild the fleet and get back to the primary duty of exploring. Because the PCs got kicked off the station managing the shipyard, the team left with the Crockett before making sure the ship was ready to go. There was a very large nest of Talarian Hook Spiders that woke up from hibernation when the environmentals warmed up. As the crew tried to re-take back the ship, one of the PCs accidentally set the Lieutenant on fire who then fell in the turboshaft that they were traversing through. Luckily he survived despite being very injured. After the players recovered the ship and got to their destination, the poor Lieutenant was placed on a medical leave and eventually retired somewhere far away from the PCs.

For this entry in the Character Creation Challenge, I decided that I would make an Andorian Flight Control Officer serving on the Nebula Class, USS Ulysses NCC-66808. His name would be Ensign Rexun and is is a member of the Athrun keith (clan). Selecting the race and the profession was the first and second part of the character creation process.

The attributes used in this STRPG is Strength, Agility, Intellect, Vitality, Presence and Perception. For the random method roll 2d6 nine times and discard the three lowest results, then assign a score to the attribute. There is also a pic method but I felt like rolling dice today. With the racial modifiers Rexun ended up with the following attributes. STR: 8, AGL: 8, INT: 9, VIT: 8, PRE: 7, PER: 9.

Reaction tests are like savings throws. You select the highest of the attribute modifiers that feed into the four reaction scores. These also in turn generate your Initiative and Defense scores.

This is a skills based system. I’ve been a fan of these types of systems, but I’ll play the “general skills” games as well. I just feel that the skills list makes the character unique, especially when you are homebrewing a character seen in the show or in the expanded universe. These skills are selected by going through several steps including Personal Development (military brat was selected) and Professional Development (I selected Helm/Navigator)

The character creation process rounded out with wound status, courage and renown. There is a chapter on equipment, but it wasn’t part of the creation process listed on pages 20-21. In the RAW Starfleet equipment is assigned as per the mission needs. I considered the character done. Here is the sheet.

Rexun character sheet
Rexun character sheet

Afterthoughts:

Creating this character brought back lots of good memories. Especially with friends from Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet. We did some homebrewing in our games and it made me want to homebrew again.

There was a time I had to go find the Players Guide errata. Luckily I had it readily available. The book had a few rough edges while trying to navigate the character creation system. Quite a few bookmarks were used. I remember in the Fleet we had created our own Character Creation Guide to assist members unfamiliar with the game.

Additional Notes:

We are entering the home stretch towards the end of the Character Creation Challenge. Because I’m creating a character and writing a blog post at the same time, it takes quite a bit of coordination and energy. Especially when I have to stop myself from pulling out the other resource books and fan made homebrews after the character is created. I get distracted by the shiny things sometimes.

Coming Up Next:

Star Wars Roleplaing Game by Wizards of the Coast

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 25: Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition

Character Creation Challenge Day 25

So another confession time. I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, but I’ve never created a character for it. Back when the 4th edition of the rules had just come out, my wife and I went to a local gaming store and joined the official gaming league and participated in a demo of the game. The characters were pre-made on these half-page sized cards. Even though we bought the Player’s Handbook, we never went back to continue in the game. We just were not impressed with the rules that gave it an “MMORPG” feel. So when the Character Creation Challenge came about, I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to create a character using the Rules-As-Written.

I haven’t created a ranger yet and I haven’t created a Dragonborn character. So today’s entry will be for Kriv the dual-wielding ranger. There are three methods of generating ability scores. I selected method 2, customizing scores. The six scores start with one at 8 and the remaining at 10. Then you have 22 points to spend (consulting a chart) for the attributes you want. By the time I added my racial modifiers and spent my points Kriv had the following attributes. STR: 16, CON: 13, DEX: 15, INT: 10, WIS: 15, CHA: 10.

While I was writing down my class abilities, they had things called Class Features, Powers and Exploits. If I read the rules correctly, you get all of them for your level. It is something I haven’t seen in any of the other D&D editions and I think this gave it that MMORPG feel. I’m really glad they didn’t continue this part of the game into the 5th edition.

Wait, if I want low-light vision I have to take it as a special feat? The race doesn’t have it automatically? As I read through the feats it sounded like there were some that should have been automatic for the races. But when I went back and checked the racial descriptions, they were not listed. While I was still jumping from section to section in the book (and using a lot of bookmarks) they a least had a section showing the character sheet with information on where to find the information to fill in for each section.

Equipment was pretty quick an easy. Not a lot on equipment but a lot of information on magical items that you could obtain. Very strange. Here is the character sheet after filling in everything that I could find.

Kriv character sheet
Kriv character sheet

Afterthoughts:

While I was going through the book I found the original character card stuck between the pages of the book for Alvenor the Paladin. Apparently it had remained there since that first game. There was also a second paper showing the Undermountain Play Tracker. I head earned 100 XP, three more Renown Points and 13 GP. The DM’s name was Matt.

While I was creating this character, I talked it over with my wife and got her thoughts. She also didn’t like how this edition was set up. She also used the term, “It was too much like the online games”. I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one that recalls this. I don’t see myself playing or homebrewing for this edition. But I do wonder if the other books smoothed out or aggravate the rough edges found in the players handbook.

I will say I did like how the character sheet had guidelines for some sections. It did help.

Additional Notes:

I was able to locate another blog with someone who is participating in the Character Creation Challenge. Chimerical Realm has been added to the list of links. I’m not certain how I missed this one before. It looks like this person has been participating for the entire month. If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know via email Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.

Oh and for those of you who asked, we were able to get a permanent fix to our furnace issue. Luckily it was an inexpensive sensor that needed to be replaced. Thanks for asking.

Coming Up Next:

Star Trek Roleplaying Game by Decipher

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 24: Doctor Who Roleplaying Game

Character Creation Challenge Day 24

While I have played the FASA Doctor Who RPG many, many years ago. I have not had the chance to play Cubicle 7’s entry into the Doctor Who game universe. So this will be an introduction to the game for me. I picked up the book from a local game store a year ago and I also had a chance to get a lot of the PDF books in one of the charity bundle sales. I’ve also noticed that a lot of fans are homebrewing their own “publications” for this game with unofficial “Expanded Universe” sourcebooks. This gives me a little bit of hope and inspiration as I’d like to do this with other universes (Star Trek in particular). So I knew that I had to make an entry into the Character Creation Challenge with this game.

Since I made a Gallifreyan Time Lord with the FASA system, I think I’ll make a companion with this game. Tim Bronson was originally a police officer in a small city when he got caught up in some business with a mysterious stranger, some weird alien looking things and some para-military group that claimed they were working with the United Nations. Turns out, they were working with the UN and they all helped to stop a group of aliens from harvesting Human body parts for some intergalactic medical black market. The mysterious stranger, called The Baron, put in a good word with UNIT’s commanding officers. Upon this recommendation, they invited Bronson to join them in their quest to keep the Earth safe from the aliens that wish to harm the planet and it’s occupants. Sometimes he’s with a team heading off planet, other times he’s helping The Baron with some urgent tasks. But he’s been running ever since that fateful day.

The character creation system assigns you points to build a character. They can be spent on Attributes, Skills and Traits. The attributes are Awareness, Coordination, Ingenuity, Presence, Resolve and Strength. They have a score range from 1 to 6 in each attribute. For a law enforcement character I selected the following. Awareness: 4, Coordination: 3, Ingenuity: 3, Presence: 2, Resolve: 3 and Strength: 3. The Traits that Bronson had (which also pulled from the same pool of character points as attributes) was Brave, Lucky, Keen Senses (sight), Voice of Authority (aka The Policeman’s Voice), Quick Reflexes and Friend (all of his buddies back in the police force). There were a few other traits that were intriguing (including some bad traits that would have gained me points) but I decided not to go overboard on the character.

There are twelve skills listed. Each skill can also have an Area of Expertise (but they cost points to put into them). So I selected the following for my police officer turned UNIT operative. Bronson’s area of expertise was Interrogation (trying to get information out of a suspicious person). The Stuff section basically stated to select what you thought your character should have. So I picked a few things that a former police officer may still have in his possession and called it good. Here is the character sheet.

Tim Bronson character sheet

Afterthoughts:

I liked the detailed explanation of the attributes. Ingenuity-3 represents this, Strenght-1 represents this, etc. It detailed what an average Human would have for statistics which, I think, helped players create their characters. This level of detail also went into the Traits and Skills.

I also liked that the end of the character creation process was noted in the book. Usually a character creation process just pushes you into the next chapter, then the next and so on. There were times I was wondering “Am I done or did I miss something?” Especially when I would see blank spots on the character sheet. I usually had to go look up the index to find the section to fill in that part of the sheet.

I really had to resist the urge to pull the other books out and check out what they had listed for stats and information. I may have to do that soon, especially the fan made stuff.

Additional Notes:

Dealing with a malfunctioning furnace made me wonder if I was going to be able to get a character made today. Luckily we were able to get a temporary fix going until we can get a professional in to look at the system. I really dislike the winter and the cold weather. I’ll take the heat of summer anytime.

Coming Up Next:

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, No One Lives Forever, Role Playing Games, Spy-Fi

Character Creation Challenge Day 23: Top Secret: New World Order

Character Creation Challenge Day 23

When I original came up with the concept of the Character Creation Challenge, I had intended to do a character write up for the Top Secret S.I. role playing game. However as I searched and searched through the boxes in my garage, I could not find the game. I had purchased many of the game supplements when they originally came out and I’m really hoping that they are still in an unopened box somewhere. However I was lucky enough to discover that the PDF version of Top Secret: New World Order role playing game was free on DriveThruRPG. At the time of this blog post, it is still free to order so I figured that it would be a good way to learn this new game from the original Top Secret designer, Merle “The Administrator” Rasmussen.

This will be the last espionage game that I will be using in the 2021 challenge. And for this entry I will be creating the character of Peter Page, another new operative to help refill the depleted ranks of UNITY. He joins agents Gary King, Andrew Knightley, Steven Prince and Oliver Chamberlain in the active field. If those names sound familiar, they are the names of the main characters from Simon Pegg’s 2013 comedy movie “The World’s End” which was the last movie in the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy.

The game uses five different types of dice. d4 (Weak), d6 (Average), d8 (Healthy), d10 (Robust) and d12 (Paragon). Sometimes the player may be instructed to “step up” or “step down” the dice depending upon the situation they players find themselves in. It also utilizes a type of exploding dice called Burst & Blowback. The burst is the highest roll of the die, and you get to roll again and add all the rolls to get the total. A blowback is rolling a natural 1 and it may or may not lead to bad results.

Characters have the following attributes. Nerve, Suave, Pulse, Intellect and Reflex. You roll percentile dice and consult a chart. Agent Page ended up with Nerve- d10, Suave- d12, Pulse- d10, Intellect- d6 and Reflex- d6.

For a random background I rolled Actor. That almost makes sense with the high nerve and suave. There is an optional rule to have an impairment selected or randomly assigned to the character. If you do this, your character also gains an additional specialized skill. I let the dice roll and Agent Page has Vertigo. Next comes languages. Again random roll stated that he knows three other languages besides his native English. These came up as Burmese, Chinese-Canton and Arabic.

The Tradecraft skills are the same as some of the attributes other than one that is the “weak area” of the agent’s training. I chose Tech as his weak area so his final Tradecraft is Human Intelligence (HUMINT) d12, Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) d6, Technical Operations (TECH) d4 and Combat d6. It appears for a skill check you will roll your attribute die + tradecraft die + asset bonuses to obtain a result that must match or exceed a certain target number. Other situations such as combat or perception will follow similar patterns. There are specialized skills your character can also obtain which will result in higher die rolls when your specialized skill matches the task. These can be improved with character advancement. I selected the specialized skills that a master-of-disguise would need to help the team.

Starting characters can purchase equipment for $3,000. There was a lot of really interesting gadgets. It referred to real life costs, which would help in a modern game. Since these characters are based in the 1960’s, I guesstimated what my character would have. Specifically a disguise kit. Here is the character sheet.

Peter Page character sheet
Peter Page character sheet

Afterthoughts:

I like how the character sheet looks like it is being read out of a folder. I also like how the attributes have grid-lines that connect it to the tradecraft that is being used. Very good design.

This was my first deep dive into the game rules. I’m really curious on how this comes out in play. I could see myself using these rules and probably homebrewing some stuff for this game.

Additional Notes:

No new additions to the link of participants in a while. But there has been a steady stream of new characters coming out on the blogs and on the social media hashtag of #CharacterCreationChallenge. Keep it up.

Coming Up Next:

Doctor Who Roleplaying Game by Cubicle 7

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 22: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition

Character Creation Challenge Day 22

I had a subscription to Dragon Magazine back in the late 80’s. I don’t remember what issue it was, but I remember reading the announcement that TSR was going to release Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition. I immediately called up one of my gaming buddies and I had to read the entire article to him. I don’t recall how much of 2nd edition I played. Just after the game came out I had moved to a rural area for a job and it took a while before I found any gamers. When I did, they wanted to play Twilight 2000. But I still have my 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook so I decided that I would revisit that time by placing an entry into the Character Creation Challenge.

Xal Tolman is a Human Wizard that has just set out to find his fortunes after studying under a master in his home city. His goal is to come back with an artifact that will secure his membership within the local spell casters guild.

The RAW for generating character ability scores is vast in 2nd Edition. There are seven different methods that can be selected. I’ve already done Method I in this challenge (roll 3d6 for each attribute in order) and Method V (roll 4d6 and discard the lowest die) so I decided to try Method II (roll 3d6 twice for each ability and keep the highest score). This didn’t always guarantee a high roll for each stat. One roll set had me selecting between an 8 or 7 for the attribute. Ugh. While another had me choosing between a 14 and 13. Double ugh. I had forgotten that ability scores of 13 and 14 don’t really get any adjustment bonuses, but on the flip side the STR of 8 will not give me any penalties either. The remaining attributes are DEX: 13, CON: 14, INT: 16, WIS: 12 and CHR: 14. I wrote down my abilities and stats.

A wizard didn’t get or need a lot of equipment so that was pretty easy to select. Magic Missile was the lone spell I got at first class. Filled in some skills and called it good. Here is the character sheets.

Xal Tolman character sheet
Xal Tolman character sheet
Xal Tolman character sheet

Afterthoughts:

It had been a long time since I had created a 2nd edition character. I can see where it still has hold overs from 1st edition and I can see where the foundation was laid down for 3rd edition. I really don’t know if I’d ever get a chance to play in a 2nd edition campaign. Most players want nostalgia with 1st edition or they liked 3.5 of the new 5th edition. But it was fun to go through the rules again. I’ve also been finding old notes in some of my older books. Some have been interesting to read.

Additional Notes:

Started getting the final prep done for the rest of the month. I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for the later half of the Character Creation Challenge. If you are still going, good job. If you’ve run into a stumbling block, pick yourself back up and keep going.

Coming Up Next:

Top Secret NWO

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 21: Prime Directive

Character Creation Challenge Day 21

So this is a licensed Star Trek RPG, kinda. Amarillo Design Bureau has the rights to create a starship tactical game based off of the Star Fleet Technical Manual published by Franz Joseph. This was the first tech book for Star Trek fans that captured a lot of imaginations in the 1970s. It was also a time when licensing for products based off of a canceled television show was loosely defined. The long and short of it is ADB could make games based on the elements of the Tech Manual which includes some classic and animated Star Trek episodes, but they could not cover the other Star Trek series. The game ADB is best known for is Star Fleet Battles. And they added to their universe with additional races and ships not seen in the other series. Some years ago, they added a role playing game based off of the SFB universe they had created called Prime Directive. After a 1st edition, they came out with a “2nd edition” of the game that used GURPS or the D&D D20 engines. Being a fan of the D20 system I had picked up those books from a local game store. Note: I am using the D20 version of the books which have been discontinued by ADB in favor of the D20 Modern (D20M) version of the game. I haven’t had the chance to get my hands on the D20M books to see how they compare with the regular D20 version.

This entry into the Character Creation Challenge will be straight from The Original Series era, but using one of the races seen in the SFB universe. Rigellian Ensign Paran Rei is a member of the Medical Department on the USS Hudson.

The Prime Directive core rulebook shown in the photo above is an “add on” book to the Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 Player’s Handbook. While the PD book gives information on races, classes, equipment, etc., it refers to the 3.5 PHB for rules on character generation, combat, etc. So I’ll be using the same character creation system when I did my D&D v3.5 entry into the Character Creation Challenge.

After rolling 4d6 (and dropping the lowest die) and adding the Rigellian racial stats I ended up with the following attributes. STR: 11, DEX: 10, CON: 13, INT: 13, WIS: 17, CHA: 13. Not bad rolls on this one. Noted down the savings throws, HP, racial feats and abilities and languages.

There were a couple of skills that were unique to the game. I also had to refer to the 3.5 PHB on a few things to make sure I was selecting the appropriate skills for a medical officer. There was also a section on Character Education. For this I selected Starfleet Academy and wrote down the appropriate skills.

I really didn’t select any equipment other than writing down what I thought a standard Starfleet medical officer would have. The RAW had a Purchase DC, but you don’t really purchase anything in Starfleet. Here is the character sheet.

Paran Rei character sheet
Paran Rei character sheet

Afterthoughts:

Since I know and understand the 3.5 rules, this build was pretty quick and easy. Prime Directive didn’t throw too many extra rules at me that bogged things down. If I were to run a campaign, I’d probably homebrew a lot to bring in the other races, events, ships, equipment seen in the later shows.

There were a lot of other future reference books mentioned in this rulebook. I’ve picked up the Klingons and Romulans supplement for PD20 and a PD20M supplement. ADB advertised books for the Gorn and Feline Empires (as well as other races), but they have not released them as of yet. I wish that they could finish them up as I’d love to buy them.

Additional Notes:

I’m starting to get into a pattern with the Character Creation Challenge. I prep as much as I can a head of time (taking photos, prepping the outline of the blog entry, character concepts) so that the day of is just die rolling, deciding and writing my thoughts down in the blog. It’s still a bit rough when I’ve got limited time. Normally when making characters you are not under a deadline.

Keep posting your characters. I’m still trying to read them.

Coming Up Next:

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, No One Lives Forever, Role Playing Games, Spy-Fi

Character Creation Challenge Day 20: Spycraft

Character Creation Challenge Day 20

I own both version 1.0 and 2.0 of the Spycraft Roleplaying Game. I even remember going to a friends house and playing in a massive session. It may have been a Living Spycraft game or it may have been part of the Game Control (GC is the Game Master) created world. I remember we had to make a raid on a stronghouse and we spent most of the game planning our way to infiltrate and obtain the goal before we had to shoot our way out.

Being a big James Bond fan I had always been interested in espionage RPGs. This fandom was expanded by the video game series No One Lives Forever. Someday I’m going to create a sourcebook for the NOLF characters and events and I’ve always thought that Spycraft would be the system I would use for it. NOLF is where UNITY originated from that is need of new agents. Agents I am creating with this Character Creation Challenge. Today we are creating Oliver Chamberlain, who’s name I pulled from [REDACTED]. So far no one has guessed where I’m pulling these names from.

Spycraft v2.0 is a modified D20 system. The publisher added a few spins to the game to make it fit into the world of super spies and blazing guns. The first step is to create the concept. Originally I was going to make Chamberlain a Hacker since that is one of the classes in Spycraft, but then it hit me, in 1968 they didn’t really have hackers like those listed in the book. So I changed the concept to Intruder. Basically an infiltration expert that is also good at getting equipment by any means necessary.

As a D20 system, it has the standard attributes. STR, DEX, CON INT, WIS and CHA. However you don’t roll the 3d6 to generate the scores. Like the EverQuest RPG, you start out with a base score of 8 and then you have so many points to increase the attributes you want to use. For Spycraft you have 36 points and a chart with a rising score cost (slightly different than the EQRPG) Chamberlain needed a good DEX and WIS score so I concentrated there. Next you selected your Origin which consisted of Talents and Specialties. These would almost make up a background history to build upon, but they would also adjust your ability scores amongst other things. Chamberlain is an Orphaned Criminal. After adjusting the stats he ended up with the following. STR: 10, DEX: 17, CON: 11, INT: 10, WIS: 15, CHA: 10.

I wrote down the information for the Intruder class. The skills were very detailed with sub-skills that are automatically gained underneath and result caps. It was all very crunchy. But I selected the skills I thought that an Intruder would need to be successful. I also selected Burglar for his level 1 feat. I noticed that the feats are just as detailed as the skills are. Very crunchy, which isn’t a bad thing for detailed play. Next you selected interests (hobbies basically) which may add bonuses to certain checks if the GC agrees. Now we are up to step 7 which his selecting a sub-plot. Chamberlain has a nemesis (which I won’t create now) that may pop up every once in a while.

Next step is filling in the missing blanks like Vitality Points (i.e. hit points) and the like. I’m glad that the RAW has the 1st level characters starting out at max VP. I filled in the rest of the items as instructed. Then we got to the gearing up. Again the game had a lot of details here. If I was just starting a campaign, I’d ask the GC for a few items appropriate for my class (lock picks, rope) a weapon (pistol with a silencer) and a motorcycle and I called it good. I’m sure the excess detail will make sense if I was actually playing, but for this challenge, I’m done. Here is the character sheet.

Character sheet for Oliver Chamberlain
Character sheet for Oliver Chamberlain

Afterthoughts:

I love it when a RPG book contains a quick guide for character creation in one location so you can see all of the steps at once. The Spycraft 2.0 book did this very well with some sections color coded. However even with this helpful section, there were still sections that I would have relied on a GC to answer any questions. I know that there are sections of the sheet that are blanks.

Overall though I could see myself playing this system like I had before. I think the GC at the time was someone connected with the publisher of the game so he explained it very easily. Plus, as I mentioned above, we did more role-playing than dice rolling. But as I was assembling this character and reading the rules, my mind started homebrewing stats for agents I had seen in video games and other media.

Additional Notes:

I’ve noticed that Twitter’s hashtag search is much more efficent and user-friendly than Facebook’s. I haven’t come across any new blogs or message boards yet. But I am very impressed with some of the blog entries. While I’m reading them, I feel like I’m sitting down at the table with the writer as they explain the character. Plus I’m seeing some very interesting insights on some of the different games out there. Keep it up.

Coming Up Next:

The Prime Directive D20 RPG

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 19: Tall Tales BX

Character Creation Challenge Day 19

I’ve never played any role-playing games based on the Western genre. I would watch a lot of classic Western movies and television shows and thought that it would make for a good RPG session. I would also wonder, what would the RPG stats be for Blondie (aka The Man With No Name) in the classic movie ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly‘ or James West in ‘The Wild Wild West‘? With a good system, I was sure I could homebrew up some stats.

I knew there was several Western RPGs out there. However I never really owned one until I found Tall Tales BX on DriveThruRPG. This game was written by Mark Hunt who also released Gangbusters BX and was an earlier entry into the Character Creation Challenge. Tall Tales was on sale when I purchased it so I was able to pick it up for a couple of bucks. Plus it was built around the B/X rules which I was very familiar with. So I selected it as today’s entry into the Character Creation Challenge.

As with most games based off of the D&D D20 format, I’m always curious how the ability scores are generated. Tall Tales stuck with the standard 3d6, but it gave the option to discard sub-par characters and re-roll. The RAW also had the option to adjust certain ability scores (only STR, WIS and INT could be lowered). I ended up with the following stats. STR: 15, INT: 9, WIS: 9, DEX: 13, CON: 12 and CHA: 10. Hmm.. pretty average.

The Classes have minimum requirements and are as follows. Gunslinger (a fighter), Desperado (a thief), Mountain Man (I think this is the equivalent of a Druid), Snake Oil Salesman (a swindler that makes potions that may or may not work), Brave (Native American cross between a Ranger and Cleric) and Singing Cowboy (you guessed it, a bard). There is also a More Classes supplement that allows you to play a Lawman, a Preacher or a Gambler. With the stats like this, I elected to take the Gunslinger. The class didn’t have a prime requisite (and thus no bonus XP). This resulted in a d8 for HP (I rolled a 7). I also wrote down the various special abilities for my selected class.

I love the fact that the Alignments are titled Law Biding, Neutrality or Dishonest. I also wrote down my character’s language which is Common (i.e. English). You also had the option to roll to determine your career before the game started. I rolled to see what he was and the Soldier result came up. The RAW stated this was to help the Judge (Game Master) decide on your skills you can use during play, but it did not expand upon this.

The game still listed all money as Gold Pieces, Silver Pieces, etc. instead of dollars which I thought was a little our of character for a Western RPG. I rolled up my character’s starting money and equipped my character.

The Saving Throws are interesting. They are Gumpton (resist with willpower), Quickness, Toughness, Riding and Observation. The information wasn’t listed with the other character creation sections so I had to go search for it. But once I had it and the “to hit” roll information listed down, I was done.

Earl “Buck” Turner was a veteran of the US Army but only served for a couple of years before deciding to head west in order to be a bounty hunter. He brings them in Dead or Alive for the reward. And the reward money is what he wants to collect. Here is the Character Sheet.

Earl "Buck" Turner character sheet
Earl "Buck" Turner character sheet

Afterthoughts:

I saw some areas where I wanted to write up some additional information on equipment and weapons. When I get some free time (yea right) I’ll have to see if I can put something together. I could really see myself playing this game. I like how some of the classes are set up (including the extra classes) and I’d be curious of how my fellow gamers would take to a game like this.

Additional Notes:

I want to thank those that gave me feedback on yesterday’s Character Creation Challenge entry. Apparently others had noticed the typos in the rule books. It also tells me that people are reading my blog entries. Thank you.

From the #CharacterCreationChallenge hashtag I was able to locate another blog participating in the challenge. I have added the Orc.One blog to the list of links.

Coming Up Next:

Spycraft

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