Sunday, May 17, 2015

Character Creation: The Silver Kiss of the Magical Twilight of the Full Moon

No, I didn't make that up.

So, as I've mentioned many times, I bought a charity bundle once, and I'm still working my way through all the games I got. I think I've run one or two, but honestly I couldn't say. It's been a lot of years. This game is one that came out of one bundle or another, and when I asked for inspiration songs on Facebook today, +Amy Veeres gave me this one:

I kinda like it, but it's definitely got a wistful teenage romance vibe to it. And what RPG does that make us think of?

That's right, Monsterhearts. But I did that already. So instead:

The Game: The Silver Kiss of the Magical Twilight of the Full Moon
The Publisher: Talula Games
Degree of Familiarity: None. Just read it, it's pretty darned simple.
Books Required: Just the one.

KSMTFM (as it's called in the book) is a game about a pair of lovers (one supernatural, one not) and a pair of best friends (one supernatural, one not) and the wacky, angsty hijinks they get up to. It really is like a lighter, PG-rated version of Monsterhearts in a lot of ways, which is fine; there's ample design space for more than one game there.

To make a character, I'm asked to pick the role I want - that is, supernatural or not; best friend or lover. I think I'll go supernatural lover, because it ain't like there's anyone else for me to cede that to. The first thing I'm asked to do is decide what kind of supernatural creature I am. The song I'm taking as inspiration is warm and kind of hopeful, and so rather than going vampire or werewolf, I shall say that my character is a demigod.

Actually, this'll be fun. My character is Phaeton, the son of Helios. You know the story, it's pretty classic. Teen convinces Dad to let him drive the car, and he crashes it. Yes, in this case the car happens to be the sun, but whatevs. So somehow, instead of crashing and burning in ancient Greece, Phaeton fell to Earth in modern-day [wherever].

I'm asked to come up with the rules about my particular supernatural character. That is, if I'm playing a werewolf, can I change whenever, or only the full moon? Basically, "the rules." OK. I'll say Phaeton can make light or heat at will. His eyes glow in the dark (but he can cover that up with heavy-duty sunglasses), and he gets sick if he's out of the sun for longer than 12 hours at a time (winters are hard). Kept indoors or underground, he'd die in a few days.

That's pretty good. Now I pick a secret agenda from a choice of five. Everyone gets their own sheet of five agendas, and they're meant to inspire the kind of over-the-top emotional response that teens are prone to.

Well, this ain't even a choice. I've been warned against humans. Phaeton's dad used to warn him that getting with humans just leads to pain and misery - look at Zeus! That guy can't keep his hands (among other things) off humans, and look how much trouble he gets in! Also most of his paramours wind up dead or turned into stuff.

Now I think of an actor that could play Phaeton, and come up with adjectives that describe the character (not the actor, though it's all in the same sentence, which made me think it was all one step at first). Hmm. Let's do adjectives first. Phaeton is buff, tanned, empathetic, and hot-headed. As for an actor, cripes. I need someone who's in their teens, but that's not really my demo. Hmm. How about Sam Clafin, the guy who played Finnick in Catching Fire? I think he'd work if he tanned well.

Stats, then. There are four, and they're rated 2/4/6/8 (who do we appreciate?). 2 is bad, 8 is awesome. The stats are Coping, Pretty, Bad Ass, and Emo Quotient.

Well, I think Emo Quotient should be low. Sorry, but I don't see Phaeton moping about. He's a doer. He's out in the sunshine, because sitting in his room will literally kill him. That gets my 2. I'll put 4 in Coping; Phaeton is hot-headed and impatient. I'll put 6 in Bad Ass; he's a demigod, so he's pretty tough. That puts 8 in Pretty, which is appropriate, because he's literally the son of the sun. That's gotta make you, well, hot.

And that's actually it. If I was playing, the GM would print off and hand out some emo quotes, which the players would get rewarded (with chocolate!) for using in character, but as it's just me, no real point.

This game is cute. It's really light the system's basically an afterthought, but the writing is clean and the secret agendas and quotes are a nice touch.