Sunday, September 28, 2014

Character Creation: Of Gods and Heroes

I wanted to do two characters this weekend, but then I got busy yesterday and had to run Chill (which became an object lesson in "why it's important to do the investigation before the combat"). So I might still do two, if I find the time, but for now:

The Game: Of Gods & Heroes
The Publisher: Green Fairy Games
Degree of Familiarity: Not much. I've read it, and I've got a one-shot scheduled.
Books Required: Just the one.

So, Of Gods & Heroes is an RPG inspired by the big, larger-than-life, heroes of myth. The tagline for the game includes the phrase "punch monsters in the face," which, I discovered, is a good way to sell people on the game. The author, my fellow IGDN member +Justin Bow, was selling it at GenCon (not to me, because I backed the Kickstarter), and his pitch involved asking people their favorite mythological hero and helping them make a character based on that. I tried to stump him by giving him Orpheus, but that didn't work. Turns out you can make a character like Orpheus in this game just fine. I'm not going to, however.

There's a certain degree of player-involved setup that goes into the game; you need to decide the influences on your culture and what kinds of gods you've got going on and so on. The default assumes a sea-faring, iron age culture, and that's fine with me.

Step One: Conceptualize All Over the Place. Sounds messy. Anyway, as there's not a default setting for this game (rather, the default setting is "mythology"), I don't have anything in particular in mind, so I'll go for a kind of stealthy, night-hunting, Artemis-only-male-and-not-quite-so-angry thing. I'll call him Ardhem. Just sounds good to me.

Step Two: Fatal Flaw. Every myth-sized hero needs a fatal flaw, of course. Ardhem's, I think, should be tied to being hesitant...oh, wait, "Merciful" is one of the examples. I kind of like that. I get a Legend Point when I let someone live and they try to kill me later (which, holy shit, that would require the right group).

Step Three: What Makes You a Hero? I need a Prowess and an Epithet (much like another mythology-inspired game, this asks for a cool-sounding title, which I like).

There's a list of Prowesses, and I'm having trouble deciding. I want "Stealthy," but that's not a choice...oh, wait, "Dextrous" works on stealth. OK, fine, I'll make another jumpy-flippy-sneaky-throwy charcter. Twist my arm. I'll take "the Silent" as my epithet.

Step Four: What Are Your Skills? What, indeed? I have 25 points to divvy up. Everything's 1-for-1 except Rhyme, which is 2-for-1, and I can't go over 4 in anything.

Well, the Skill chapter tells me that some combat skill is a good thing, that the Resistances should get 2 each, and that Perception is a good choice in general. You know what I think; If it's important enough that everyone should have it, then either fold it into the rules so you don't have to fuck with it at chargen or give it to everyone by default. But whatevs. I have 25 points. I want:

Intimidation (being all scary while hiding)
Throwing Weapons
Mental Resistance
Physical Resistance
Social Resistance

I would take Rhyme (which allows for magic) but I can't figure out the system. The Rhyme Skill seems to indicate that I can only take points in Rhyme if my Prowess allows it, and then I have to take Specializations in magic before I can use I can't grok it; I'll have to get Justin to explain it before I run this game. I could take Rituals, I suppose, but screw it, I'll just assume Ardhem makes do without magic (how sad).

So, plugging some points into these Skills, I wind up with:

Intimidation 3
Throwing Weapons 3
Mental Resistance 2
Physical Resistance 2
Social Resistance 2
Athletics 3
Sneaking 4
Tumbling 2
Perception 2
Hunting 2

Step Five: What Is Your Fate? I actually tinkered with an idea like this a long time ago, but never really made it work - you know your character's Fate going in. It's "fate" in a very broad sense; "betrayed and murdered" is good, but specifying who is doing the betraying and murdering isn't.

Well, Ardhem's Fatal Flaw is that he's Merciful, so obviously that should get him killed. I think he intervenes in a fight without understanding what's happening, misunderstanding the situation in such a serious way that the aftermath gets him killed (like maybe the guy he saves is a blasphemer and the God of "Mind Your Fucking Business" takes it out on Ardhem later.

And that's it. Well, I'll say this, chargen is nice and simple. Gotta get this magic thing sorted, though.