Friday, October 30, 2015

Character Creation: Bulldogs!

I wrote a review of Bulldogs! that you can totally go check out, but in brief: It's a Fate-based game in spaaaaaace in which you play folks delivering cargo for the TransGalaxy Corp. That's right, it's Futurama, the RPG.

"Delivering cargo" may sound kinda dull by itself, but c'mon. It's high-action space sci-fi, with weird aliens and ship-to-ship intimacy. It's pretty awesome, very light-hearted. And I'm gonna make a character.

The Game: Bulldogs!
The Publisher: Galileo Games
Degree of Familiarity: Not bad. I've run it once, and I'm pretty familiar with the underlying mechanics.
Books Required: Just the one for the version I have, though the newer one I assume requires Fate Core.

So! In the character creation section, the first thing we'd do, as a group, is create the ship and the captain. I think, though, that since I don't have a group, I'll use the example captain and ship. That would make my character part of the crew of the Black Watch, under the command of Jocaar Laf't, who's a real hardass and a mean drunk.

And now I pick species, which means I need to actually think about my character. I actually don't have a strong feeling one way or another, so I think I'll roll for it. There are 10 species in the game, so let's just roll a d10. First roll gives me a Tetsuashan, but it occurs to me that the last time I made a space opera character, I made something slug-like. Let's re-roll.

The re-roll gets me a robot. Hmm. I'm actually OK with that. Robots (or "robuts", as Dr. Zoidberg would say) in Bulldogs! can be humanoid or not at the player's discretion. This also allows me to play Bender if I wanted to, but I don't know that I do. I think it'd be interesting to play someone like (god help me) Lisa Ryder's character in Jason X, a robot built for...who knows, really...and upgraded to ass-kickin'. Yeah, that's fun. I'll do that.

That means I get two Heritage Aspects. Hmm. I'll take Slave to Programming; my character started off as basically a heavy lifting tool; strong enough and tough enough to handle hostile environments, but human enough to pass. And then following a nasty scrape on Stakes, they reprogrammed him to be an ass-kicking bot. He's programmed to defend the crew, and dammit, that's what he does.

I'll also take Never Eat, Never Sleep, Never Stop. Sounds fairly badass.

Next I need an Aspect for my Homeworld. Now, robots don't have a homeworld (Chapek 9 notwithstanding), so this probably refers more to my construction or original programming. I'll take Uncanny Valley Citizen. He's (?) just human-looking enough to be creepy (well, there aren't really humans in this setting - Arsubaran, I guess).

Now I get a Personal Strength and a Personal Weakness. Well, for Personal Strength, I'll take Battle Droid; he's great in a fight! For Personal Weakness, I'll take I Am Not a Gun (y'know, I could have made a funny, drunken robot, but nooooo, gotta go to Iron Giant for inspiration). He is a badass, but he aspires for more.

Former Associates is weird; presumably I was just purchased by/for this crew...or was I? I think maybe they won him in a game of chance, and it was his former owners that jumped the crew of the Black Watch on Stakes. I'll say this Aspect is What Did They Syndicate Make Me Do? He only has bits of code to remind him of his life before being reprogrammed as a manual laborer, but reprogramming him again as a battle droid unlocked some old "memories."

OK, now I have four Aspects about my current berth. The first is Desperate Situation, which I've actually kinda somewhat defined. I'll call that one Won In a Game of Chance. The Job on the ship is easy enough; Synthetic Muscle.

Shipmates...hmm. I'd need to know more about them. It says that one of them is a woman named Annabelle Quinn "with secrets to keep," so I'll say that Quinn Knows the Truth. Finally, I need an Aspect that reflects my relationship with the captain. I'll say that my robot isn't afraid of Laf't; what's he gonna do, sell me? But on the other hand, I can't disobey him. I'll call that Aspect Yes, Captain Laf't.

Now Skills. Clearly I should be Dual Focus. Unfortunately the Skills aren't listed on the sheet, so I need to look them up. I get two at Great, two at Good, three at Fair, and five at Average. Too many bloody Skills.

Well, one of my Greats is clearly Fists, and I think the other should be Guns. And, hell, I'll put Weapons at Good. I'll put Might as my other Good Skill.

Seems like I should know criminal stuff, right? Or, no, wait, Endurance. I'll put that, Academics (memory banks!), and Systems at Fair.

And then for Average, I'll take Artillery, Athletics, Gambling, Intimidation, and Pilot.

Now I deal with Stunts and Special Abilities. Since we're starting at the "Trouble" power level, I have 7 Refresh, but I'll bet some of that is going to get eaten up by my racial abilities. Let's see!

So, the way this works is that I get a number of racial abilities and drawbacks, some of which are optional, some aren't. I get Reprogrammable (I can reconfigure my Skills if I put the time into it), Never Sleep (duh), Don't Breathe, Machine Resistance (I'm artificial, so heat and cold have less of an affect), and Immortal (I don't naturally die). But on the minus side, I also get a vulnerability to EMPs, I don't heal naturally, and I get some bigotry from folks who don't like robots.

Now the optional stuff (right now I'm at 6 refresh). I don't want extra limbs, so that's out. I don't need extra senses. I do kinda want Extra Speed, so I'll take that. I don't need Hover. And then I can take Programmed, which lets the GM compel my programming since I can't act against it, but I've got something like that with the Slave to Programming aspect anyway, right? So I think I'll skip that. I have 5 refresh left.

So, Stunts, then. Stunts work like they usually do; I get a bonus to a certain type of action in certain circumstances. Actually, there are a few in the book I like. I'll buy Army of One (I can spend a Fate point to negate a bonus a group gets against me). I'll also take Crippling Blow (letting me place consequences in a fight) and Stay on Target (letting me place aspects by aiming with a gun). That take me to two refresh left, and I think I'm good there.

I could shop for gear, but you know how I feel about that. I think all I need is a name.

My robot is a Valetron Model 85S, designed to be a personal labor assistance - lift heavy things, push things, carry things. He's been reprogrammed to kick ass, and one of the wags on the ship struck out the "Va" and wrote "Ki", so he's a "Kiletron", which is silly because "Kill" should have an extra "l." Anyway, everyone calls him Killy, anyway, except Quinn, who always calls him "Ven." He isn't sure why, and she never elaborates.

And I think that'll do. Groovy!