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

Character Creation Challenge Day 12: Age of Empire

Creation Challenge Day 12

I found a copy of Age of Empire: A Role-Playing Game of Mad Victorian Fantasy at a local thrift shop. The store must have received a box from a collector or closed game store because the book (and several other RPG books which I also picked up) were in very good condition. When I first saw the book sitting on the shelf, I thought it was a book about the Microsoft video game, Age of Empires. Then when I realized it wasn’t connected to the video game, I wondered: “How did they get away with using a name so similar to the one used by Microsoft?” You don’t antagonize a big corporation with lot’s of lawyers. A quick google search later took me to RPGGeek.com where it mentioned that a settlement with MS had taken the game off of the market. No other details beyond that so (shrugs) who knows what happened in the legal wrangling that took place. However, since the likelihood of playing a campaign with this system is small, I decided to make it one of my entries into the Character Creation Challenge.

The game is definitely a Steampunk game, but is not limited to Victorian London. One of the many influences on the game was the Western Spy-Fi series, The Wild Wild West which had been a favorite of mine when I saw the re-runs on television. So I decided that I wanted to create a character that had the profession of Spy. In Age of Empire, you don’t have classes, you select the minimum requirements for a certain profession. American agent Walter Williams will have to have several things generated in order to be playable. His Statistics (Body, Mind & Spirit), Defining Traits, Skills and Finishing Touches.

For the Statistics, a player is given eight points that can be allocated between Body (the character’s strength and agility), Mind (intelligence and mental ability) and Spirit (social, faith and mystic power). No stat can be higher than 5 or lower than 1. Since a secret agent needs to be well rounded, I selected 3 for Body, 3 for Mind and 2 for Spirit.

In order to meet the minimum requirements for the Spy profession, one of the first Defining Traits I selected was “Jack-of-all-Trades”. You get one Defining Trait for each point you have in each of the three statistics. I selected a series of traits that I felt would be worthwhile to a spy in the field.

As with the Defining Traits, there were minimum requirements for skills. These were Analysis & Disguise (under Mind), Fencing, Firearms and Fisticuffs (under Body) with no required skills under Spirit. It took a second to find out how many skill points I had to spend (luckily there was an example of creating a character in the book and it explained some of the steps I had just read). I spent my skill points (15 each for Body and Mind skills, 10 for Spirit skills) that I felt was appropriate for an espionage agent.

As a spy, my character has a special ability of obtaining three (highest stat) gadgets per adventure. Those should come in handy. Rolling for starting funds was the first time I had to make a dice roll in the character creation process. The equipment list was rather small, so I selected what I could and considered the character created.

Walter Williams was born from an American Father and a British Mother. He learned at an early age that acting was a way to become popular. While he was raised in the United States, his mother taught him all about the British way. When Walter was starting out as a new actor, he was approached by a friend who served with the American government. They needed agents to gather intelligence around the world. Walter’s acting would allow him to pass of as both American and European. He was placed in a traveling stage performing group which gave him cover for being abroad as well as having certain items. “Oh, that’s just a prop pistol.” Walter is now on assignment while traveling across the globe. Here is the character sheets.

Walter Williams character sheet page 1
Walter Williams character sheet page 2

Afterthoughts:

It appears that the system used for Age of Empire is pretty simple and easy. You use a D6 for each skill point and add your Stat score. The Author (Game Master) rolls an opposing roll and the highest score succeeds. There are also rules for magic and mysticism that I didn’t really get to read at this time. I wouldn’t mind trying out a gaming session or two to really get a feel for the game. And with the lack of companion publications for the game, it’s wide open for homebrew supplements. I wonder if they would actually get used if I wrote anything up for them. The creators of the game included statistics for historical figures such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Wyatt Earp as well as fictional characters like Count Dracula and Phileas Fogg. I thought that was a nice touch as I usually wonder what a character’s game statistics would be when I’m watching an entertaining show.

Additional Notes:

I would like to thank those supporters who have used the DriveThruRPG links to purchase game material. The affiliate funds may not be a lot, but I will be using them to purchase games for future reviews. You can also support what I do on this site by purchasing from one of the Amazon affiliate links or clicking on the Ko-fi button on the main page. This site isn’t a money making opportunity. I’m just trying to use the affiliate options to keep a hobby from digging too deep into the family finances.

Coming Up Next:

Far Trek, a fan made RPG based off of a popular Science Fiction franchise.

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 11: Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Edition

Creation Challenge Day 11

Outside of the early Dungeons and Dragons editions (Blueholm, B/X, BECMI) the 3.5 edition is probably the version of D&D that I have played the most. I participated in a campaign with a very good Dungeon Master who loved running Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. He explained the world and scenarios very well, while still giving us just enough freedom to screw up as characters (as we would often do). While playing this version, I would often wonder if I could port the rules to cover another genre. Especially since the D20 system could be used (within reason) for other universes.

In that long campaign, I played an Elf Wizard who had become quite powerful. In the game he had participated in rescuing the Grand Druid for a god called The Great Oak. When this campaign was ending, I started thinking about what would make for my next character. I wanted to play something I hadn’t played at all, so I came up with Dral Ironhand, a Dwarf Cleric who was instructed by the Dwarvish God of Knowledge to write chapters for a Dwarven holy book. Thus the character’s quest would be to write down his experiences for the Tome of Ironhand. Unfortunately we were unable to get back together to start a new campaign, so I thought I’d make this character for the Character Creation Challenge.

I like how the 3.5 Players Handbook has a Character Creation list directly on page 6 of the book. In my humble opinion, too many RPG books try to go into too much detail at the start of the publication when I want to know how the mechanics work. If I’m standing next to the shelves of books at my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) and within a few minutes of previewing the game I have a good idea how the system may run, that increases the likelihood that I’ll buy the book. I also like how the ability rolls use the 4d6 drop the lowest technique. I’ve always been a fan of this idea. After rolling and adding the racial adjustments, Dral Ironhand had the following stats. STR: 16, DEX: 12, CON: 15, INT: 10, WIS: 18 (woot 3 sixes) and CHA: 10. Rolled a 7 for hit points, but added 2 for the Constitution bonus. I later selected the Toughness feat which added three more HPs. I wrote down my Feats, Special Abilities and selected my spells. For my spell domain, Ironhand is in the Good Domain. I started out with 130 GP to equip the character. I had to buy a warhamer since that was the favored weapon of the character’s deity. One of the interesting changes from the earlier editions of D&D is the requisite that Clerics are forbidden from using bladed weapons is gone. I purchased the remaining equipment that the character could afford and I considered the character done. Here is the character sheet.

Dral Ironhand sheet 1
Dral Ironhand sheet 2

Afterthoughts:

Creating Dral Ironhand reminded me why I enjoyed the 3.5 edition of Dungeons and Dragons. The system was detailed enough to be unique, but simple enough to put a character together. If I get another chance to participate in a 3.5 campaign, I’m seriously considering asking if I can use Ironhand as my character.

Additional Notes:

To the owners of the blogs I have listed on the Character Creation Challenge page, I am enjoying visiting your sites and seeing your entries into the challenge. Not only am I interested in the choice of gaming systems, but why you selected that system as well. Thank you.

Coming Up Next:

The steampunk game Age of Empire.

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 10: Star Trek Adventures

Creation Challenge Day 10

I’ve always been a big fans of role playing in the Star Trek universe. It is an iconic series so someone will have at least some basic knowledge of it. Plus another geeky activity that Star Trek & SF fans like to do is compare the characters/ships/equipment for series to series or even franchise to franchise (OK, Worf with a Bat’leth vs Chewbacca with his Bowcaster, who would win?) The statistics in role playing games gave fans a chance to at least put these questions in a frame of reference. So when Star Trek Adventures by Modiphius was announced, I was really intrigued. Yes I know that the Klingon Core Rulebook is shown in the picture, but I’m not planning to make a Klingon character as I’m still reading the book. My FLGS just barely got it in stock and my wife got it for a late Christmas present. I was so excited I just had to have it in the picture for this Character Creation Challenge entry.

Stivon is a male Vulcan Science Officer serving on the USS Tacoma, an Excelsior-Class starship during the 2290’s (around the time of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). In STA you have six attributes. Control (How the character controls themselves both physically and mentally. Think dexterity plus focused mind), Fitness (Physical strength, health and endurance), Insight (Understanding others people, their feelings, your self-awareness and wisdom), Presence (Charisma and diplomacy basically) and Reason (Logic, learning and observation). Characters also have six Disciplines. These are Command (Leadership skills), Conn (Piloting skills), Engineering (Fix things and build things skills), Security (Shoot and don’t be shot skills), Science (Understanding things around us skills) and Medicine (Fix up character skills). In the game when facing a challenge the GM will tell you to add an Attribute with a Discipline to come up with a target number that you need to roll under. You roll at least 2d20 (or more if you can pull them from a pool) and each roll under your target number counts as a success. Some more difficult tasks may require a certain number of success in order to succeed the task.

Each character starts with 7 in all Attributes and 1 in each Discipline. Then you go through a “Life Path” creation process with opportunities to add to both Attributes and Disciplines until you get the end. Each character will end up with a maximum of 56 points in Attributes and 16 points in Disciplines. You will also end up with some history, Values, Talents and Focuses. The history gives your GM some possible plot points to use in the game later. The Values are something your character believes in represented in a short quote (example: I’ll give Stivon “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”) The Value can be used in gameplay to gain extra dice to roll or other bonuses if applied at the appropriate time. Focuses are specialized skills (such as Cybernetics or Small Craft Piloting, etc.). These give you additional die or other bonuses during play. Talents are items that come naturally to your character through it’s development (such as Mind Meld or Neck Pinch) but may have specific requirements (Vulcan only, etc.). As with Focuses and Talents, they add bonuses to gameplay and flesh out the character.

Stivon was born and raised on the planet Vulcan so he gains the advantages from this environment. While I selected the homeworld for Stivon’s environment, I randomly rolled for the upbringing which resulted in Artistic & Creative. The RAW state that my character could be accepting or rebelling against the upbringing. Stivon’s parents were musicians so in being accepting, he grew up with the logic of how music was created.

Next Stivon entered Starfleet Academy. He wanted to explore more of this universe and was torn between the path he choose and the Vulcan Science Academy. Eventually the opportunity to see music from other cultures was the deciding factor in selecting Starfleet. This resulted in additional values, attributes, disciplines, focuses and talents. I decided that Stivon would be an experienced officer (other than young officer or veteran officer) and added the value and talent from that step.

There are at least two career events that can happen to a Starfleet Officer durring their many tours that are randomly rolled. These can create plot points for the GM to use as well as adding attributes, disciplines and focuses. For my first event, Stivon discovered an artifact from an extinct civilization. While on Rolvath Prime, Stivon discovered a device that allowed two individuals to instantaneously share each other’s history in a matter of seconds. While this gave a young Caitian ensign a vast appreciation of music, Stivon was unnerved by the encounter in experiencing the family history of many siblings. For the second career event, Stivon was mentored. Inspired by the first event I decided that Stivon would seek out a Vulcan officer to help him meditate and calm his mind. He took ten months of leave on Vulcan and studied various techniques to return his mind to normalcy. While he felt confident enough to resume his duties, he now understands Caitian history and culture.

The finishing touches wrapped up Stivon’s stats, stress value, damage bonus, department position and assigned equipment. The character sheet is posted below.

Stivon character sheet

Afterthoughts:

With other entries in the Character Creation Challenge, I only used the primary rulebook to create the character. After creating a Star Trek Adventures character last month for an upcoming campaign I elected to use a fan-made character creation guide just because it was all laid out step-by-step. The STA core rulebook has a lot of good rules in it, spread out in different sections. The character creation guide quickly pointed me directly to the page numbers I needed to see. As I mentioned above, I just picked up the new Klingon core rulebook. I’ve heard that it is better organized (I’ll check that soon). I can say that I’m very happy that the Klingon book design was dark text on white pages. The black pages with white and orange text was very hard on the eyes. The character creation process reminded me a little of the FASA Star Trek system. I think if I create a bunch of new characters the system will make a little bit more sense to me. I’m really interested in creating stats for characters we see in the expanded Star Trek universe.

I almost forgot to mention, technically I was suppose to create two characters for STA for a campaign. A secondary character just in case the session doesn’t call for your primary character. An away team is heading down to the planet to rescue the hostages? Instead of the player with the science officer being bored while his character is stuck on the ship, he just grabs his secondary character that is a lower ranked security officer and continues with the game. I thought this was an excellent idea.

Additional Notes:

I have not discovered any new blogs displaying new characters today. But there is an active hashtag in social media for #CharacterCreationChallenge which has been getting used a lot. There is also a lot of players participating in the challenge on the RPG.net message board.

Coming Up Next:

Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Edition

Posted in: Archer, Character Creation Challenge, No One Lives Forever, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 9: Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes

Creation Challenge Day 9

Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes (aka MSPE) is a role playing game released by Flying Buffalo and written by Michael Stackpole. If that name sounds familiar it may be from his various novels that he has written. Mr. Stackpole has penned several novels for Star Wars, Battletech and other series. He was also a big defender of the role playing industry when the “this game is evil” scare reared its ugly head in the 1980’s.

When I did my Character Creation Challenge entry for Top Secret, I created Secret Agent Gary King, one of the new recruits in an attempt to re-build the active agent roster for UNITY, an intelligence organization that is assisting the western powers in the 1960’s cold war. Today we are going to introduce another new recruit, Andrew Knightley. I am taking the names from characters in a favorite movie, but the characters are completely generated for the game and are not completely based upon the characters in the movie.

The attributes for characters in MSPE is Strength (ST), Luck (LK), Intelligence (IQ), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON), Charisma (CHR) and Speed (SP). You roll 3d6 for the attributes and if they don’t come up with all three numbers on the same roll (example: all 3s) then you add all three rolls together for the attribute score. If the three dice all come up the same number, you roll 2d6 and add those rolls to the first set. I ended up rolling this on my CHR roll, Three 5s came up so I rolled two more dice (3 and 1) for a total of 19). After this section the RAW has me fill in some character basics such as name, race, nationality, level, description, et. The Hand to Hand adds score is determined by DEX, ST or LK while the Missile adds is only benefited by a high LK. Money uses the same 3d6 triples technique that we used to determine attributes and then timed by 1,000. Unfortunately I only rolled a total that started me out with $1100. Adventure points are a form of experience points and can be used to improve your skill levels. First-level characters start out at 0 AP.

This is a game that uses skills. Your character’s starting skill points is the is your IQ score. So Agent Knightly will have 13 skill points to spend. I liked that some skills were only attainable by higher IQ scores. However the pilot skill needing an IQ minimum of 14 with a Doctorate skill only needing an IQ of 13? How many times have we seen drunk or barely competent pilot in various shows? If I was a GM, I’d allow the pilot skill to be taken at a lower IQ (probably 12 or 13) without little convincing. As a new agent with some military background, I selected the appropriate skills. I saw some skills that could be assigned to Cate Archer in the No One Lives Forever video game series. I’ll have to write up her stats for this game.

In other RPG books, the equipment is listed pretty early in the books. In MSPE, the Provisions is in the later half of the book. When looking to equip Agent Knightly, I had to go through several pages before reaching the equipment section. Then it was mostly arms and armor. So I added what I thought would be prudent and considered the character ready to play..

With how high his CHR score is, Agent Knightley would almost be the “faceman” for the group. But he could work together or on solo missions if the need arises. The sheet is posted below.

Andrew Knightley character sheet

Afterthoughts:

I didn’t get a chance to go through the combat or chase rules for the game. So I’ll have to check those out later. But for the most part, the character creation process was pretty up front. It started out with a series of “Do This” steps with a “We will explain this in more detail later” response. I found this helpful when trying to create my first character for the game.

Additional Notes:

Added a livejournal (that’s still alive?) link for someone who is participating in the Character Creation Challenge. I’m still looking for other links.

Coming Up Next:

Star Trek Adventures by Modiphis

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 8: Mutant Crawl Classics

CCC Day 8

I just recently obtained this rulebook thanks to my Secret Satan at RPG.net and when I opened up the box, I knew that I would need to make a character(s) for the Character Creation Challenge. Mutant Crawl Classics is a companion game to Dungeon Crawl Classics. Both are D20 based, but just different enough that I don’t know if I’d call them retro-clones. Mutant Crawl Classics was geared towards fans of past games like Gama World and other post-apocalyptic settings. I’ve always had an interest in this genre. A lot of movies out of the 80 and 90’s dealt with the aftermath of a nuclear conflict or some other end of the world event. Mad Max, Damnation Alley and other movies (some really cheesy) graced our screens.

In the rules, you create a number of zero-level characters that end up going through a funnel. The survivor (if any) becomes your first-level character and you select a class then. The character sheet has a slot for four zero-level characters, so let’s see if I can make them up. The character attributes are Strength, Agility, Stamina, Personality, Intelligence and Luck. These are 3d6 rolled in order. Because there are four characters, I’m not going to list all of them down like I had in the past. Some characters had better stats than others.

This game uses some odd dice. For the first time in forever, I actually had to pull out a d30 and roll it for a game. The table for the new character’s birth sign uses a d30. I don’t know if I fully understood the Birth Sign lucky roll. Do they get something extra if they are rolling for that specific challenge? This could have been explained a little bit better.

I really don’t know if I filled out these sheets correctly For zero-level characters it starts with a series of instructions, but then nothing on certain items (I was able to hunt some of them in the book, others I could not find. I think for the most part, these characters are ready to play.

Mutant Crawl Classic characters

Afterthoughts:

There are a TON of charts in this book. Depending upon the campaign, there could be more than hunters and gatherers as starting occupations. I’ve never been a big fan of a ton of mutations, but that may change if I had a chance to actually play. I’ve never roleplayed in a character funnel before. That could be an interesting experience. I think I’d rather have a person who is an experienced GM in Mutant Crawl Classics for my first campaign. I have a feeling that they may be answering a few questions as I get use to the game.

Additional Notes:

No new additions to the Character Creation Challenge page in regards to new links. But I am still looking for any new ones. Thanks to another visitor who clicked on the DriveThruRPG link and purchased several items.

Coming Up Next:

Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes by Michael Stackpole

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 7: Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

CCC Day 7

OK, confession time. Even though this game has been out for a few years, I have not had a chance to play it yet despite purchasing the book when it first came out. When the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Players Handbook was released in 2014 I was playing in a very long-running Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 campaign with a very good Dungeon Master. This game didn’t end until late 2019. While I’ve been looking to get into a D&D 5E game, an opportunity hadn’t come up yet. Then the COVID-19 bleakness hit and while I’ve moved to some online RPGs (which is tolerable, but not preferred) none of them have been for this system. My college-age child has played the 5E game quite a few times with friends and loves it. I was also in a game store a few weeks ago and the owner described how 5E was more simpler and streamlined than the previous edition. While I’ve read through the rules, and they intrigued me, I haven’t had a chance to play. So for the Character Creation Challenge I decided that one of the entries would be for this edition.

I’m going to go with a race and class that I haven’t seen in the earlier editions of Dungeons and Dragons. Morthos will be a Tiefling Warlock who is on a quest for knowledge out in the unkind world he inhabits.

The RAW instruct me to roll 4d6 for each attribute and drop the lowest die. We then assign the scores to each attribute. I like this method because I think it makes for more heroic characters. With the racial modifiers Morthos ended up with STR: 11, DEX: 11, CON: 12, INT: 15, WIS: 15, CHA: 20 (I rolled an 18 and added 2 for being a Tiefling). I also like the fact that the starting hit points at 1st level is the max for the class plus CON modifier. This gave me 9 hit points.

There character sheet had very small fields for equipment and spells. I placed equipment on the 2nd page and the spells would eventually end up on the same page, so I just put them there. I found out after I had completed everything that I was missing a third page. The skill section could have used a little bit more explanation. I also elected to use feats since I was familiar with them from the 3.5 game. I think I got the bulk of the items needed down. Feel free to shoot me a message if I made any major mistakes. Here is the character sheet:

Morthos Character Sheet page 1
Morthos Caracter Sheet page 2

Afterthoughts:

I can see the appeal of 5th edition. It seems a little bit more streamlined. I wonder if the actual gameplay is that way. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to find out soon. I thought it was interesting that humans get +1 to all attributes (usually they don’t as they are the base race). I liked some of the spells. As I mentioned above, the feats and skills could have been explained a little bit better. But I feel like I should be able to pick it up quick.

Additional Notes:

I came across another blog participating in the challenge today and added it to the CCC page. I’m still on the hunt for others. I am very pleased with how many people on the RPG.net message board who are participating in the challenge. I’ve even received a few “thank yous” for suggesting this. I’m glad that others are getting joy out of this.

Coming Up Next:

Mutant Crawl Classics by Goodman Games

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 6: Gangbusters B/X

Creation Challenge Day 6

I found out about Gangbusters B/X version on the DriveThruRPG’s website and a Gangbusters RPG fan group on FaceBook. This genre has intrigued me ever since the original Gangbusters game had been released by TSR back in the 80’s. This new version uses a variant of the Dungeons and Dragons B/X edition so it is a D20 system. An interesting note about the photo above. Since I had purchased the PDF version of this book I planned to print out the cover just like I did with my FrontierSpace entry into the Character Creation Challenge. However my printer ran out of ink while I was printing the cover (It looked like a bad abstract painting). So I placed the book on a tablet for use in the photo.

The rules don’t state any specific method for rolling attribute scores other than rolling 3d6. So I’m going to stick with the basics and roll them in order. This resulted in the following statistics. STR: 14, INT: 10, WIS: 11, DEX: 15, CON: 9, CHA: 13. While the character had a higher DEX, I decided that my character would be in the Connected class with a primary attribute of CHA. The RAW allows me to reduce STR, INT or WIS to increase the primary attribute. I took 4 from STR and 2 from WIS (making them 10 and 9) to add 3 points to CHA.

A Connected Class is someone that has friends and associates in the right places. I selected this class as my character is going to be a private investigator tasked with helping his paying clients get their issues resolved. I wrote down the special skills (Who’s Who-Police, You Owe Me) and rolled the hit points. Yikes, it was a 2. He better be careful while at the 1st level. I wanted my character to be one of the good guys so I selected an alignment of Law Abiding. I’ve also written down the different Savings Throws (Moxie: 16, Quickness: 16, Toughness: 17, Driving: 17, Observation: 16)

I rolled the starting cash of $100 to equip the character. There wasn’t any place on the character sheet to write down the equipment, so I wrote it on the back and I considered the character done. I was now ready to introduce James (Jimmy) Dutton, Private Eye to the 1920’s world of gangsters and lawmen. His grandfather was a police officer and his father was a veteran of the great war. He grew up in Rock Junction and originally wanted to be a police officer, but couldn’t meet the physical requirements. So he trained to be a private investigator. Here is the character sheet.

Character sheet for James Dutton

Afterthoughts:

I wanted to create this character because this is a game that I could see myself playing. I noticed that the character sheet needs some changes. No place for experience points, no place for Type, Equipment, Weapons, etc. The game book also had a few minor mistakes (a box of ammo was listed with 20 bullets in one section, 30 in another) but that’s to be expected from a fan-created love letter to an older game. When I open up most RPG books, I wonder if I could write up homebrew items for the system. I was feeling it here with this game.

Additional Notes:

I found another link from a Tumblr blog that is participating in the Character Creation Challenge and added it to the site. If I am missing any, please email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.

Coming Up Next:

I dip my toe into Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 5: Frontier Space

Creation Challenge Day 5

If FrontierSpace gives you the same vibes as Star Frontiers, that’s because the designer was a big fan of the Star Frontiers game. However this is not a retro-clone. Far from it actually. It has it’s own universe and a very interesting D100 based system that has intrigued me. Your character has a set of abilities and skills and the referee determines what combination of the two you need to combine to come up with your target score to roll under to succeed. This was the first time I had seen this style (I saw this game just before Star Trek Adventures was released) and it made sense. Not only did I have to buy the PDFs from DriveThruRPG from DwD Studios, but I’ve been buying the community created content that DwD allows in the game license. I could very easily see myself creating material for this game.

As mentioned above, the abilities that a character possesses is Strength (STR), Agility (AGL), Coordination (CRD), Perception (PER), Intelligence (INT) and Willpower (WIL). You rolled two d10s and added the two together and consulted a table to come up with the score. Instead of taking the rolls in order, you found out the scores and then elected which ability to put them into. The race you select for your character may add or subtract from these scores. I decided that Gax, a member of the Novim race, would have the following ability scores (these have been adjusted for the racial modifiers). STR: 65, AGL: 65, CRD: 60, PER: 55, INT: 50, WIL: 45.

Next the skills may seem a little weird. A score of zero means that you are trained in that skill and your character has overcome any of the negative modifiers from not being proficient in that skill. A -5 or -10 score means that you know something about that particular skill. If you get into the positive modifiers, you are an expert in that skill. Any untrained skills are basically -20. The RAW instructed me to select one skill that is of primary importance to what I wanted my character to be. That would have a score of zero. Two other skills can be selected to have a -10 modifier. Everything else would be unskilled. The skills are Academic, Artist, Commander, Diplomat, Explorer, Marksman, Medic, Pilot, Scientist, Technician, Thief and Warrior. I decided that Gax would be a good at flying ships, I put his Pilot score at 0. Being a member of a mercenary group he should also be good at Marksman and Warrior which I marked down at -10 each. Thus if the Referee stated that I needed to make a check for flying through an asteroid field, I he could tell me to make a roll for my AGL+Pilot (65+0) for my target number of 65. If I rolled less than this on percentile dice, I would succeed in my task.

I continued to write down my stats based off the Novim race. One of these is determining which Ark I came from. The Novims were genetically engineered as a slave race that escaped from their masters in Arks. Members of each Ark generated certain tendencies that would be beneficial to the character. Gax came from the Anthem Ark which gave him the ability to heal 3 BP (body points) per day instead of 1 with no scarring.

The character creation process has you select a personality such as a moral code and descriptors. If you role-played within your character’s personality, you could earn additional developmental points (DP) for the session. For the moral code I selected Honorable (Very) and for the two descriptors I selected “I do the job I was paid for” and for the second one I rolled for a random one from the list provided and got “Delusional belief in the supernatural”. I wonder how a member of a cloned race got that one.

For equipment, luckily there is a standard equipment pack and this counts towards two of my six items granted to me durring the character creation process. I also selected a Security Ballistic suit, an enviro suit, a monoknife and an auto-pistol. I filled in the items and tallied up my character’s body points, melee damage bonus, ranged damage bonus, movement and initiative. I only earned one destiny point that I could use durring the game to change a result. Here is the final character sheet which I believe I filled out correctly.

Character sheet for Gax
Character sheet for Gax page 2

Afterthoughts:

This system looks pretty simple and quick to pick up. It’s been a while since I’ve read the entire book, but just going through the character creation process was pretty straight forward. It also looks like the system is set up to be used in a sandbox for homebrewers. I just wish the company could come out with additional supplements to flesh out some other ideas. I could see myself playing this RPG.

Additional Notes:

I found a couple more blogs with people participating in the Character Creation Challenge. I’ve added the links to the page. I would also like to give a big thank you to the visitor who clicked on one of my DriveThruRPG links and purchased a lot of games. I get a little kick back from this that will be used to purchase additional games for future reviews.

Coming Up Next:

Gangbusters B/X by OSR.

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

Character Creation Challenge Day 4: Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game

Creation Challenge Day 4

The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game is a very good retro-clone which combines elements of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 and Old-School editions into a rules-lite system. A PDF copy of the rules and supplements can be downloaded for free on the Basic Fantasy website (which also contains a very active community of content creators) or for the low cost of $5.00 on Amazon (which is where I picked up the book seen in the photo above).

I haven’t done any long campaigns with BFRPG, but I did use it to teach a niece and nephew how to play when they were interested in learning about role-playing games. It must have worked because at least one of them joined a local gaming club at his school. I’ve also heard of other groups using the low cost as a way to provide RPG materials to their members. I do know that when I see the creativity on the BFRPG Message Boards, it makes me want to be creative as well.

This character is going to be completely random going in. I’m not going to decide on a race or class until I’ve rolled the attributes. Doing the straight 3d6 method the following attributes were created. Strength: 11, Intelligence: 9, Wisdom: 12, Dexterity: 14, Constitution: 15, Charisma: 10. With stats like this, I’ll run with a Halfling Thief. I filled in my abilities, languages, savings throws and other statistics. I ended up rolling 120 gold pieces for his starting money and I equipped the character.

Character creation was quick and simple. Especially since the character sheet pointed towards the page numbers needed to fill in the details. I had never really created a Halfling character before so I had to look up some name generators online.

Ponto Greenbottle is a young Halfling that was bored in his farming community which often got him into trouble. One day a roving band of Goblins attacked the farming community were Ponto lived taking the Halflings for an easy target. Ponto and the community members were able to hold the raiding party at bay long enough for a band of adventurers to ride in and drive the Goblins off. One of the rescuers was a Halfling who recognized Ponto’s abilities and secretly gifted him a set of thieves tools to practice with. Realizing that he also wanted to be an adventurer, Ponto quietly gathered the equipment he would need to be to survive in the wilds. Just after he turned 20, Ponto quietly slipped out of his village vowing to seek his fortune.

Here is the character sheet.

Character Sheet for Pronto Greenbottle

Afterthoughts:

Basic Fantasy RPG is just that, which is a very good thing. An old school game for anyone who wishes to play. The rules are easily accessible and quick to learn. The armor class scale is better going up than down. Races and classes are separated which I liked. There is only one rulebook, but many minor supplements. This allowed DMs to customize their game by stating: “Use what’s in the rulebook and add items from the following supplements, Druids, Barbarians, 0-level spells and the Equipment Emporium.” More supplements are in development by the BFRPG community on the community message board.

Additional Notes:

I thought I had set up the blog to accept comments on posts. Apparently I messed something up and comments are currently not allowed on the new blog. I am trying to see if I can get this issue resolved.

Several more blogs of players who are participating in the Character Creation Challenge have been added to the main page. I am still looking for other blogs and message boards.

Coming Up Next:

Frontier Space by DWD Studios

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