Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Character Creation: Verge

Best-laid plans. I'd really meant to do more characters, but then I always do.

Ah, well. As always, all we can do is better.

The Game: Verge
The Publisher: Peril Planet
Degree of Familiarity: None, really.
Books Required: Just the one.

Verge is one of the many games I got from the Haiti bundle a long time ago. It was created in a "make an RPG in 24 hours" challenge, I think the same one that gave us Shambles.

So, Verge is a quick little game, which the Peril Planet site says is getting developed into a larger one. It's billed as "fantasypunk," and unlike a lot of games that use the -punk suffix, this one actually tries to live it. The setting has an industrial revolution, and people rebel against conformity and erasure by trying to make themselves stand out visually.

The game explains the City, and the Cage (a huge-ass wall going around the City). Everyone is crammed into the City like sardines and it's making shit tense. There are monsters outside the walls that hate the City's inhabitants because of all the clear-cutting they've been doing. And graffiti talking about someone called "Keeton" shows up around the city periodically. Is Keeton a revolutionary? An evil spirit? Who knows!

Well! Having dug out the character sheet I printed off, I'm ready to get to work. I have the beginnings of a character concept.

Fittingly, I'm asked to start with a Concept. The book gives a few examples, but I want to play a tattoo artist. I note, though, that the Concepts listed don't all deal with professions; most of them define how you engage with the City and its issues. I think I'll play a Creep, kind of an information broker/trader. That doesn't preclude me being a tattooist. I figure people talk a lot when they're in pain.

I appreciate that the author mentions making characters together. It's such a simple thing, and it makes such a difference.

Right, now Stats. I have 15 points to split up between Strength, Wits, Grace (manual dexterity and such), Attitude (charisma, willpower, etc.), and Prowess (fightin' skill). I can't go over 5 in any one Stat.

Well, as a tattooist I think I want a high Grace, so I'll put that at 5. That leaves me with 10. I'll put 3 into Attitude, 2 each into Wits and Prowess, and that leaves 3 for Strength, right? Right!

Now, Edges. Edges are kind of like Aspects in Fate games or...characteristics, I think, in Dogs in the Vineyard. They're either reputations or secrets, and I have to have at least one reputation. I get five points to split up among them, so I could take five one-point edges if I wanted. Interestingly, although edges can be objects or tools, they're still reputations or secrets, so I guess it's a thing people know you have vs. a thing they don't know you have?

Well, I'll take "Inked Pig Tattoo Shop" as a two-point reputation. I'll take "Creep Diary," a leatherbound book in which he writes all the secrets people tell him, as a 2-point secret. And I'll take "Life displayed in tattoos" as a reputation; he's covered in tats, head to foot.

Health is Strength + 1, or 4 in my case. Reputation is (highest Stat - lowest Stat), or 3 in my case.

And then I need an Agenda, something I want to accomplish in the City. I think my character wants to sell his Creep Diary, once it's full, and retire to the comfortable, rich section of town.

And that's it, other than a name. Let's call him Orson.