Monday, April 1, 2013

Character Creation: Farewell to Fear

I know, last week on Facebook I said I was reading Roma Imperious, but it's on my laptop and I didn't have time (I spent most of last week prepping for MarCon - there's a post about that coming soon, too) and doing proofing for A Tragedy in Five Acts, which is now on sale at DriveThru RPG and you should totally go buy it, unless you're waiting for a print copy, in which case fair enough).

Anyway, so I'm planing on reading Roma Imperious this week and doing a character this weekend, but for today, I just finished reading Farewell to Fear (it's been bedside reading for a while), and so I figured I'd do that one.

The Game: Farewell to Fear
The Publisher: Machine Age Productions
Degree of Familiarity: Not much. Just read it, haven't had a chance to play it.
Books Required: Just the one, plus a class sheet from the website.

So, Farewell to Fear is billed as a progressive fantasy game. The group collectively decides, at the beginning of play, what their revolution is going to be (cultural, scientific, etc.). And then you pick a class, and decide on a personal revolution as well. I'm getting shades of Apocalypse World, here, which is never a bad place to draw on.

So I need to pick a class. There are six on the website. Priest-Hunter is interesting to me, as is Chef, and of course Wizard. Anthropologist I could make work, but I'm not feeling it today. Chevalier, eh. I'm happy it's not "fighter," because yawn. Operative looks cool, but I've been doing a lot of spy-related stuff lately. Hmm. I'm torn between Chef and Wizard. What the hell, I almost always make magic-using characters first time out of the gate in fantasy games. We'll try it.

OK, since I don't have a group, there's not a group to collectively decide upon a revolution. If I were playing, I would probably push for either fantastical change or scientific advancement. Let's go scientific advancement. It says I'm supposed to circle "d6" under team revolution, but the Wizard class sheet has numbers instead (I assume this is a misprint).

The different class sheets are laid out differently. That's...sort of annoying. I play with a lot of people that don't assimilate new games real well, and consistency on the character sheets is a good thing.

Anyway, now I pick a personal revolution and a need. I think, if I'm reading this right, that one of those two gets a +2 and one gets a -2, but it's not real clear, and there's no example of character creation (game designers, I beg you, always an example of chargen). Assuming I've got this right, I look at the Needs and the personal Revolutions. Hmm. I like Cultural Revolution (people can have magic to help them, whether they think they need it or not). The Needs are a little harder for me. I think, tying it in with the Cultural Revolution, I'll take the one about building a community. I want to be not the aloof wizard on the tower, but the well-respected, kind of quirky wizard in the town. I think the Revolution is more important to me, so I'll put that at +2 and the Need at -2.

Now, Skill Tree. So here's a thing: The word "skill" does not appear on the character sheet. Hrm. I think that, based on the "tree," that we start with the Core Ability (again, the word "skill" is never used). And then we get four points, so that's four circles filled in? I guess? There are numbers on the sheet, and the bits on the right and left have bonuses that are explained, but I'm buggered if I can figure out the ones in the middle. I guess I'll fill in the bottom three circles, and then I can take a bonus to Research (on the left) or a Magical Tool (on the right). I'll go with the Magical Tool; the shit on the left is destructive, and I don't see that for this character.

OK, now Background. This is another not-very-well-explained thing. I can take a single rank of a Background. It says to fill in the first rank of background, and pick a location and profession. So I could be a warlock of Kenuuise, I suppose (the world of Farewell to Fear is really well fleshed-out, with lots of letters and in-character correspondence that gives you the feeling that people here have their own history and bias and so on). Well, sure. So I'll take "Magister of Waarhuise." Waarhuise is the home of magic-user types, and "magister" means "teacher." That's nicely presumptuous.

Abilities! Instead of the usual Strength, Dexterity, etc. we get Analysis, Conjecture, Experimentation, Probability and Research. All very scientific. As a Wizard I get +2 to Research, and then if I'm reading the Skill Tree right I get another +2. So let's assume that's +4 to Research and I get another +2 to throw around.

I think Probability is not this guy's strong point, nor is Conjecture. I think Analysis and Experimentation are the better fits for a somewhat arrogant idealist, so I'll split the points there.

Equipment! I get a a specialized +2 staff, orb, or whatever from my Magical Tool Skill (again, if I read this right). It only applies when I use my Ultimate Tool Skill (huh-huh) but it's not tied to a particular Ability. OK. I want a staff, so I can look really imperious. I'll go really on the nose here and name the staff Noblesse Oblige.

And then I get two more pieces of equipment that do have to be tied to an Ability. Let's say a book - History of Arduise, a volume somewhat older and more, um, edited than Professor Anderssen's (+1 to Conjecture). And then I'll take a crystal pendulum (+2 to Probability).

I get 3 Vigor to start, and then I need a description and a name. Sure thing. His name is Micah. He's hale and healthy, wears his pendulum on a silver chain around his fingers (and twirls it when he's nervous), and quotes the History of Arduise like it's gospel or something.

Looks good. I'd like to play this game, but I'd really like to read an example of play or chargen. Gotta download a module at some point and see how those work.