Sunday, February 23, 2014

Character Creation: Perfect Unrevised

Taking a break from Demon writing to make a character.

The Game: Perfect, Unrevised
The Publisher: Buried Without Ceremony
Degree of Familiarity: None. Read it, looks interesting.
Books Required: Just the one.

Written by +Avery Mcdaldno (formerly Joe Mcdaldno) the same genius that gave us Monsterhearts (which, as you may know, I am currently running), Perfect, Unrevised is a kind of steampunky, Victorian-ish, dystopia in which characters live under a strict quasi-Puritanical monarchy. Well, kind of monarchy. The queen is dead, and her last admonition (supposedly) was for everyone to be like her. That is, chaste, pure, polite, sinless. Religious observation is mandatory, education, like everything else, is strictly regulated, and selling flowers can get you electroshocked. You could do Dishonored in this game without much difficulty.

Characters are criminals, but it's easy to be a criminal because so much is a crime. The game is divided into four repeating scenes. I like games like that; the only problem I tend to have is that they focus on one character at a time, but history (Ganakagok, for one) has shown that doesn't have to be the case.

So, let's make me a criminal. We start with a name; there's an approved list, which Inspectors in Cadence (our fictional country) will always use, even if my character uses a nickname. I go with Ransom Thorley.

Next we do Archetypes. They don't have a direct game effect beyond firming up a concept, but I could use that right now. What's Ransom's deal? Let's do Idealist and Leader. Ransom commits crimes because he knows that freedom is the desired state, and getting free is just a matter of getting people to claim freedom.

And then Concept. This is a one-sentence description of who my character is, his occupation, and why he commits crimes. So let's say "gentle, kind teacher who tries to inspire his students to claim their freedom."

Class and Waistcoat. My class determines the color of the waistcoat I'm allowed to wear. Based on the descriptions of the Classes, I think it's pretty clear Ransom is a Lesser, and wears a red waistcoat.

Freedoms: These are weird. They're laws I'm allowed to break, but they come with a price. I can choose two, so I'll pick the Freedom of Privacy (I can ask Inspectors to leave my house, but I cannot invite people in) and Freedom of Observation (I can enter buildings freely, but I cannot touch anything). Note that "can't" means "am not legally allowed to" - I'm a criminal, after all.

Certifications: My day job, basically, what I'm allowed to do. I already know I want Teacher's Hegemony (I educate the young), but I get two. I'll also be a Sentinel - I'm what passes for a journalist. And hey, that means I can teach the codes to the kids and then send them coded messages in the papers. Win-win.

Resources and Contacts: Resources are advantages I can use in play, but at chargen it's just a number. I can have 0, 1, or 2 Contacts, and given my character's somewhat social bent, I'll go with 2. So I get 5 Resources, and two Contacts rated +1 each, which I need to name and define a bit. I'll Delphine, my best student, and "Corvus," a code-breaker.

And then I get 3 Aspects, which can be memories, skills, personality traits and tools. I can use them to re-roll failed actions, but once they're gone, they're gone (much like traits in hollowpoint). I'll take soothing voice (personality trait), chalk dust in the air (memory), and personal code (tool).

And that's it! I don't start with a secret society, and everything else is in-play kind of things. I see Ransom as either being betrayed by his students (maybe not deliberately) and getting carted off for reeducation, or actually succeeding in inciting a revolt and watching in horror as it gets violently quelled.

Hey, it's a dark game. I like those.