Saturday, June 21, 2014

Character Creation: Ninja Burger!

The plan over the summer is do a character every other day, which means I spend a day reading a game, and then make a character. That might be too lofty a goal, but I shall do my best. I want to make a dent in my list so that I have a chance of coming out of the summer without losing ground.

The Game: Ninja Burger (2nd Ed)
The Publisher: aethereal Forge, though their main site seems down
Degree of Familiarity: None. Read the book, it's nice and simple.
Books Required: Just the one.

So! This game is built on the PDQ system, same as Truth & Justice. You're playing ninjas delivering burgers for the titular burger chain, and the game offers a handy grid to determine both level of violence and level of realism. The game can be played Beer n' Pretzels, or you could do a longer-running but still silly game. One thing I find interesting is that the authors did take the time to mention that most of what pop culture says about ninjas is nonsense, and the skills you get just for being a ninja are actually more in keeping with the "reality" of the ninja, rather than the pop culture...but the implementation is still very much in the pop culture venue. Anyway, the book takes a lot of inspiration from sources I like, including Snow Crash.

Making a character, then, means I'm making a young ninja doing deliveries for Ninja Burger (delivery in 30 minutes, or we commit seppuku!).

First thing I need is a name. Now, ninja get ninja names, which are Japanese, and there's a handy random table, so I'll roll on that. I get Inaba Toshiro (family name first). I'll say his real name is Bill Wu - since Ninja Burger is located in Chinatown in San Fran (last place anyone would look!) he just saw a "now hiring" poster, and he's fine being a ninja.

Now I need a Job Title. It's very tempting to make a Ninja Chef, but I've made cooks before. I think I'll make a Ninja Spotter. Basically I watch, invisibly, for trouble. I haven't made a wall-climbing throw-things character in a while, after all.

And then, Qualities. I get Ninja at Average (because I just started), and then I can pick from a few packages. I could take three Goods, or a Good and an Expert. Hmm.

Well, in keeping with my concept of Bill/Toshiro as a new, green, and not especially focused ninja, I'll take three Goods (I also get a Poor, but that's true no matter what I take). So I'll take Hiding, Throw Things, and Chinatown (since he grew up here) as Goods. For my Weakness, I'll take Easily Bored.

Now, some background. I need an Element, and a Clan, and a Matter of Honor. There are random tables for this kind of thing. I'm fine with doing it random. Bill's pretty random in general.

My Element is Fire, and my Clan is (hang on) Silver Soaring Tiger. My Matter of Honor is that I will never remove my mask if others can see.

And that's actually it. Bill probably has a nickname, but I'd let the other players come up with that. I like the idea of him becoming more engaged in his job and have some (very light) conflict with his family over this silly "ninja" thing.