Archive for the ‘Character’ Category

Johannes Cabal the DetectiveWe left off last time having decided to make a version of our favourite necromancer using the D6 Adventure rules which are available under the OGL. Now, normally when I put together a character I use the rules as written, trying to figure out how to really make the character for the game. In this case, however, I’m going to make an exception. Cabal is so unique that I can’t imagine any base generation process being able to capture all that he is. So out the window with the rules, and we’ll try to stay true to form for the man, hopefully not ruining any hope of play balance in the process!

So on with the Necromancer! And I have to start with a picture…this is honestly what comes to mind for me when I’m reading. This is the Cabal of my mind’s eye…
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tumblr_static_johannes-cabal-the-necromancer-coverI fell in love with the writing of Mr Howard when I read the first Johannes Cabal novel, Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. I’ve just recently picked up a copy of the second book, Johannes Cabal the Detective, and since I’m nothing if not easily influenced I immediately started thinking on how to play this as a game.

The first question was what rules to use?
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Frankie III

Posted: June 12, 2011 in Character, Horror, RPG
Tags: , ,

Carrying on from last time, today we’ll present Ms Shock as produced for Fear Itself.

Again too, some intro notes.  I used the standard character creation rules for the system to put Frankie together here.  The first thing I noticed is that it’s a very “stats lite” system.  The first thing you do is come up with a concept and a “role”, but neither directly effects the creation process other than to help focus the character being created.

Characters have no traits per se either.  They’re a collection of skills and abilities, which are actually point pools (more on these pools later).  These are basically the only numerical traits that are associated with your Fear Itself character.

I also find the skill system somewhat anemic.  Characters get 60 points to spend in the dice pools for creation, and I honestly had a tough time finding enough skills to put dice into.  There are no “fluff” skills, it’s all “infiltration” and “filch” and “mechanics”, no “entertainment” or “sexual technique” here!

Now about those point pools. (more…)

Frankie Shock (revisited)

Posted: June 10, 2011 in Character, Horror, RPG
Tags: , ,

I’ve decided that I really like Frankie Shock, the DJ I created for Don’t Rest Your Head.  She’s vaguely based on my favorite DJ on the station I listen to here in Ottawa, not that I know anything about the real DJ’s life but I combine what I hear with imagination, and so I get Frankie!

I’ve recreated Frankie in two different rule sets: Blood from PostMortem Studios, and Fear Itself, from Pelgrane Press.  I want to try an experiment with these two characters.  Both rule sets are for modern horror stories, but the approaches are very different.  Blood is just that, bloody!  It’s for John Carpenter, hack and slash, run from the killer type horror.  Fear Itself on the other hand, is more aimed toward investigative horror, Blair Witch and that sort of story (it is a GUMSHOE system game after all).

So my experiment is this, create the same character in both systems and then play out a game and see how the systems handle various elements.

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A new character for Don’t Rest Your Head

My Name Is . . .Francesca Shockley (Frankie Shock)

And I Am . . .a radio DJ for KROQ

What’s been keeping you awake?
My mother.  She’s nuts…No I mean really nuts.  Locked up nuts.  How am I going to take care of her?  How can I afford all this?  I mean someone’s got to get her care, get her looked after.  My kid sister’s useless.  Sure she’s a hot shot lawyer down in Pensicola (Annabella Kingsman, look her up) but like she’d ever haul her butt back here to help out and take care of our mom.  So there’s me.  Just me.

What’s on the surface?
Hippie dippy DJ girl.  I look like a stoned out rock groupie or something.  Yeah, I guess these tattoo sleeves don’t help but hey, they’re cool right?  And even though I’m a girl it makes me look like I could stomp your nuts into oblivion if you look at me sideways.  I like that.

What lies beneath?
I am the biggest softie ever.  I mean ever!  I’d give you the shirt off my back even if I didn’t have a shirt.  Nobody gets that.

What’s your path?
I want my mom back.  I want a family.  I want to feel like I did when I was seven, and safe, and protected…

What just happened to you?
Finished another 10 to 2am slot at the station, stopped by Tom’s on the way to my crapbox apartment and shot down too much whiskey while smoking too many smokes.  While walking back to my place (can’t afford a car), I saw this little girl…I swear she was wearing what was my uniform when I was seven, this short and t-shirt set with sneakers…anyway, she was talking to this tall dude.  Scary looking guy, musta been seven feet tall!  And he had like a beak or something!  She handed him a glass thing, like a snow globe, and asked “is this what you wanted?”

He made this evil snicker sound and took it.  I shouted to leave her alone, give it back, but he just snickered more and walked away.  I followed him, not really wanting to catch up but wanting to see where he went.  We went into the park as the fog started rolling in, and I lost him.  All I could hear was his umbrella tapping.  And now I’m in this graveyard, that I’m certain I never even knew was in my neighbourhood.

So now what?

Discipline 3
Madness 0
Exhaustion 0
Fight 2 Flight 1

Exhaustion Talent: Communication – I can speak with and understand any language (even though I only know english, and my high school teacher said I didn’t even know that very well)

Madness Talent: The power of words – Whatever I say happens.  Not like the Paper Boys, but like that old D&D spell “power word – kill”.  I say a word or two of command, and it happens, no matter what it is I say.

Building a character for DRYH is that easy.  Rules lite?  Yeah, kinda.  For characters anyway.  Dicing for stuff?  That’s another matter entirely…

So here I sit, a break finally in the chaos and insanity that has been life lately (don’t you hate when life gets in the way of gaming?), watching You Only Live Twice.  The classic Bond film is on in glorious HD and reminds me of the unfinished James Bond game I started last year.

The game was using the old Victory Games James Bond ruleset, which was produced under licence back in the 80’s.  It’s a neat set of rules that plays well and is quick and fun.  And one of the best things about it for me these days is that it’s intended to play with just a single character.  During character generation the power level of the characters is controlled by the “level” of the agent created.  Rookies need four or so to finish a mission, Agent level requires two or three, and 00 level needs just one, in proper James Bond fashion. (more…)

So I had to try out a Fiasco.  And the playset they released for January really caught my imagination: In a touring rock band.  Sex, drugs and rock and roll, what’s not to love?

We’ll start with “the setup”.

First off it’s a three person game.  I suspect that it’d be better as a four or even five person game.  That’d really give you the opportunity to develop and screw over the characters.  Because, really, that’s the beauty of the game, everyone’s supposed to get hosed.  Royally.  It’s what you want to happen.  And it’s a lot of fun doing it.

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