OK, so I have been thinking some more on this and I think, for the forums, we could design a character that is “in line” with our live RP characters, but wit more depth. I am thinking of going with the FUDGE system as it seems fairly straightforward and infinitely adaptable.
First, there needs to be a clear guide on how to set up your character. I am going to say, for now, we stick with human (or more or less human) characters, so we don’t have to add in complexities of alien traits or anything like that. I am not ruling it out; we could explore it later when we get more comfortable with a system and decide whether it is working or not.
Pulling stuff from FUDGE then, this is an idea about how we would go about designing a character (and remember, this is still a train of thought, nothing is set in stone… yet).
Each character is defined by its traits. There is a simple system of describing those traits –
Obviously this list is ordered from best to worst. They are taken directly from FUDGE, and I don’t necessarily think we need to go about renaming them. Basically though, the most common should be “fair”. Any undefined trait is automatically “Poor” and you can make your character better by boosting traits to being “Good” or “Great”. In very rare circumstances (and by rare I am talking very very rare reserved for people who have played years and years) a character may be able to obtain a “Superb” trait. There was a suggestion of “Legendary” but I don’t think we will use that unless someone is given the trait posthumously 😉
There are then 5 trait types, though I think we will stick with 4 (as 5 refers to “Supernormal” powers e.g Arvonian skin camouflage, Torgoth strength etc.) So the four will be “Attributes” – basically your ability to think and do. We could have things like “Reaction time/Reflexes”, “Constitution”, “Perception”, “Reasoning/Problem Solving”, “Coolness”, “Honour”, “Duty”, “Self Discipline”… “Security Clearance”. The decision would need to be made about how many attributes we should define I think, as well as most relevant ones to use.
Next, there are skills to choose from. These, like attributes, help define your character, and should link logically to the attributes you have e.g. a “Great Piloting” skill would link with the “Great Reflexes” attribute. We could then have a load of skills that link in with your preferred area of expertise as well as more general ones that would link with the academy training you all supposedly went through 😉
The next trait is “Gifts”. These are basically things your character is good at. Some ideas are “Always keeps cool”, “keen senses”, “reputation as a gifted engineer”, “connections to the skaraan free slaves underground movement”
To balance them are “Faults”. These are things that make life more difficult for you. Great one to get in there is “Brother is Unuaklhai”, or “drinks excessively in the bar” or even “gung-ho”.
So from here, we could decide on the most important traits to try and define (giving a list of ones to consider) but also allowing players to add their own traits to the list where they feel necessary. As a player, you would then pick and define as many traits as necessary. Anything undefined which is an attribute would be defaulted to “Fair” and skills would be “Poor”
When it comes to designing the character, we could specify how many “Superb”, “Great”, and “Good” attributes you can have e.g. 1 superb, 1 great and 2 good. The same would apply to skills e.g. 1 superb, 2 great and 6 good skills. We could also define a limit to the number of skills you can specify. And finally we would work out some kind of gift/fault restriction too, e.g. for every 2 gifts, you must have 3 faults.
The whole point of this would be to help define our characters so that we are inventing less on the spot and sometimes (only sometimes) missing the mark e.g “I am so strong I am able to wrestle the torgoth attacking the base to the ground and and bludgeon it to death with the butt end of my sidearm.” or “I am such an amazing engineer, I can deactivate the bomb that was planted there, saving everyone from having to evacuate, then reverse engineering it so it creates a small portal to the hidden arvonian ship nearby, teleports there and explodes inside, killing the agent with the top secret missile plans he stole from me because I have security level 1000000 and I know shit like that”…… you get the idea 🙂 And yes… these are deliberately extreme and comical ideas..
So anyway, I can formalise everything above and we can come up with a list of possible skills, attributes and gifts/faults that could be used as suggestions for character design. What do people think about this?