Friday, September 20, 2013

Character Creation: Cold City

Done writing for the day, not quite ready to go to bed, not exhausted (yet, though still sick), and I feel like making a character. So!

The Game: Cold City
The Publisher: Contested Grounds Publishing
Degree of Familiarity: None. I've read it.
Books Required: Just the one.

This was one of the many games I got in the Haiti bundle waaaaaay back a few years ago. I finally got round to reading it, mostly because +Rose Bailey brought it to my attention vis a vis Demon: The Descent, and it looks really cool.

Basically, you're playing people policing post-War Berlin for supernatural craziness, but it's not just Hellboy in Germany. You're at odds with the folks in your unit, who are probably different nationalities from you, and you can't ever be sure who to trust. It's interesting to me that, in the era of 1984-like surveillance on everything (hi, NSA!), we're seeing this greater influx of spy-related games; this, Nights Black Agents, Blowback, Demon, and so on. (In related news, some of the same overarching issues inspire Daedalus, but it's not going to have quite the same spy theme or flavor.)

So! Cracking open my pdf, let's see what I need to do.

First thing, Nationality. I can play an American, a Brit, a French, or a Soviet. Hmm. It'd be interesting a play a Soviet and play up the fact that the Russians lost, what, 50 times as many people in the War as anyone else? I think we'll do that. My character's name is Ivan Nikolaevich Osinov.

Next, Occupation. Member of the RPA, yes, but what before that? Ivan served in the Red Army. He was part of the anti-tank brigade deployed at the Battle of Stalingrad, which he considers to be his finest moment. At the time, he was very young (we'll say he was only 17 then, which means he's still pretty young by RPG standards), and he wasn't really cogent of how the war was going. It wasn't until later than he found out how many of his countrymen died. Background plays into this, too. We'll say Ivan's a demolitions expert. He had a knack for electronics and he's deft and hard to rattle. Plus, the demo guy that was supposed to go into battle took a sniper round to the head the day before, so Ivan had to fill in.

Draw is what drew Ivan into the Underground War. That is, how'd I learn about supernatural shit? I think Ivan saw that bodies of dead soldiers were being cleaned up, put on ice, and sent into Berlin. If I were playing this game, I'd get a Draw scene to flesh that out, but that's good enough for me.

Attributes: Only three, Action, Influence, and Reason. I get 1 in each and then 5 more to split up. 2 is Average, 3 is Good, 5 is Badass.

Let's see. I think Action and Reason are going to be my high ones. I only get 5 points to throw around, though. Can't even put them all at 3. Hmm. I'll put Action at 4 and Reason at 3, leaving Influence at 1. Not my strong point.

Now, Traits. I get five, but two have to be negative.

"Steady under pressure" sounds good for a demolitions guy. That's positive. "Has seen too many dead Russians," I think, is negative. "Near-perfect memory" is positive (good for remembering which wire goes to what). "Electronics expert" sounds OK, obviously positive. And, finally, "keeps everything in order" is my other negative trait; Ivan's a little OCD.

Next, Hidden Agendas. One is personal, one is national. For my personal agenda, Ivan wants to get his family out of Stalingrad. He loves Mother Russia, but he's not stupid, and he knows what's going on. For his national agenda, he wants to make sure the world learns about Russia's sacrifices in WWII. It seems like folks in the West think that the USA won the war single-handedly sometimes, and that galls the hell out of Ivan.

Now, the last step would be Trust, but that only works if I have a group, which I don't. So that's actually it for my purposes!