Sunday, July 26, 2015

Character Creation: Men in Black

Man, I was doing so well, too. I had like four in a row, and then I got busy with Demon stuff and it just slipped off the damn radar.

Well, anyway, I'm gonna try and do one more character before GenCon, and then do a few after I get back in between finishing development of Promethean, and then maybe try and do one a week after school starts.

Anyway, today's selection is:

The Game: Men in Black: The Roleplaying Game
The Publisher: West End Games
Degree of Familiarity: None. I've read it.
Books Required: I thought you needed the Masterbook core, but apparently not, so just the one.

I asked for song suggestions a while back over on Facebook and got a bunch of good ones, but holy shit listen to this.


That's a mashup of "Peter Gunn" and "Every Breath You Take," and it's freaking slick. I like it, and it seems appropriate to a Man in Black, someone who's left behind his life but, like K in the movie, hasn't quite given it up.

Well, this game is meant to be light and funny, so I won't get too deep into character backstory, but that's a decent starting point. I get 24D (dice) to build the character, starting with Attributes. Each die can be broken up into "pips," totally 0, 1, or two. I've got eight Attributes, and they're basically the standard spread: Reflexes, Coordination, Endurance, Strength, Knowledge, Perception, Confidence, and Charisma (seems weird to split those last two, but whatever).

Oh, wait, I get 24D to do Attributes, but then I get more for Skills. So I could split these up evenly and wind up with 3D - about human average - in everything. I like that, but I'm not gonna do it.

I do need a basic concept, here. Let's take witness protection and really freaking run with it. My character was an average guy living in Chinatown, second generation American, making a living doing deliveries for his uncle's store while he worked his way through college. He had a girlfriend, and things were going pretty well. And then he witnessed a triple murder (Triad related) and his girlfriend (who isn't Chinese) pressured him into testifying. He was put into protective custody, and his WitSec handler, as it happened, is from Neptune (well, one of the moons). Recognizing the guy's untapped potential, he pulled some strings and got him the black suit. Now he's just Y, but he wants to go back to his old life. It's just not safe.

OK, that's not bad. I can split things up pretty close to evenly, since Y is a fairly normal guy. I'll put 3D+2 into Reflexes, 3D into Coordination, 3D+1 into Endurance, 2D into Strength, 3D+0 into Knowledge, 3D into Perception, 2D into Confidence, and 4D into Charm (Y is personable and a good talker, plus he can play the "I don't really speak English" card to great effect; he's actually fluent in several languages, some of them extraterrestrial).

Now I get 7D to split up among Skills. I can break these up into pips, too, and given that there are a lot of Skills I guess that's what I'm meant to do.

This is interesting. "Linguistics," which lets you figure someone's general intent in communicating with you, is Knowledge Skill, while actually knowing Languages (which you have to buy individually ugh) is a Perception Skill. I think I'd have reversed those.

Anyway, I have to have 2D in a language to speak it fluently, which is fucking stupid, but OK, fine. I'll take 2D in English (since Y's native language is Cantonese), and since that's basically a third of my points, I'll put 2D into Linguistics so I can at least fake it. Better put something into Marksmanship; I'll break up a die and put +2 there. I'll put my +0 into Dodge (another stupid Skill), and my +1 into Streetwise. I've got 2D left. Ugh. I'll put 1D into Disguise and then split the last one; +2 into Charm, +1 into Scholar, and +0 into Running (worked for J).

I start with 5 Character Points and 1 Fate Point, so that's easy. Because this game is pre-1999, I roll to get my hit points (Body Points), so hang on, need entropy. I roll my Endurance and add 20. I roll 10, add my +1, and that gives me 31 Body Points. My Speed is 30.

I can have two Useless Skills at the whim of the Director, but since I don't have one let's assume I can take those, because they're fun. I'll say that Y can fold paper cranes expertly, and can make good dumplings.

And that's pretty much it, because I've already done the backstory stuff.