Saturday, April 2, 2016

Character Creation: Nefertiti Overdrive

I asked folks on ye olde Face'd Book for suggestions on games for which to make a character, but, instead of any of the nominees, I choose the legendary HAROLD ZOID!

No, really, I'm gonna make a character for Nefertiti Overdrive, because I just wrote a review of it and I'd like to be able to link to a character in said review. So here we go.

The Game: Nefertiti Overdrive
The Publisher: Sword's Edge Publishing
Degree of Familiarity: Some. I ran a one-shot last week.
Books Required: Just the one.

Nefertiti Overdrive uses basically the same system as Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, so it's weird for players who are used to "roll to pick the lock" and it's a process even for us weird narrative types. That said, I think the system works perfectly well in play. My gripes with the book are mostly that it doesn't tell us enough about what's cool about the setting of the game and spends too much time talking about the meta-aspects of it.

But let's talk chargen. The game really assumes you're going to use the pre-gens, but you know how I feel about that, I want to make my own Egyptian wire-fu badass. Let's use the handy list of Egyptian names in the book and call him Tjepu (although the temptation to use one of the names Bender calls out for the dead Pharaohs in "A Pharaoh to Remember" is great. ANOPSES! CLEOTUT! WHATSHISNAME!).

Anyway, what's next? Well, characters are pretty minimalist in their Attributes, really. We've got four categories, with two Qualities each, and then each category gets a dX/dX; when you roll, you take the lower one by default or the higher one if you can manage a cool description. Two Attributes (so, Quality pairs - the terminology here is somewhat confusing and redundant) are d6/d8, and two are d6/d10.

Concept: These Qualities are for the character's niche in the group, culture, what they're meant to represent, overall culture. OK, gotta thing about Tjepu a little. This is a game of wire-fu set in Ancient Egypt, so while not every character has to be a combat badass, c'mon, let's be real. But I think I want a slightly more bookish character. Ooh, shit, can I play the Hulk? Like, someone who's mostly peaceful but can freak the fuck out?

Let's say poor Tjepu and his mother died during childbirth, but his mother, while weighing her heart against the feather of Ma'at, struck a bargain with Apep. Tjepu has the Heart of the Devourer - he carries a piece of the great crocodile with him always. So his Concept Qualities are "Heart of Apep" and "Unassuming Scribe." Definitely d6/d10 there; I want to be able to bust out the big guns with Heart of Apep.

Elements: This can be skills, training, equipment, and so on. Hmm, maybe Heart of Apep should have gone here? Nah, it's been with him since birth. We'll say he is Knowledgeable and can Scent the Unjust (sounds noble, but remember what Apep does to the unjust). We'll put d6/d8 here.

Traits: Only three choices here: Physical, Mental, Social, and I get two. Physical and Mental, obviously, and we'll put d6/d8 here.

Drivers: This oddly-named category covers motivations, desires, and needs. I want something to indicate that he just can't let injustice or evil go - the heavy-hearted and meant to sate Apep's hunger. Hunger for Injustice sounds good. For the other one, I think the Tjepu is a historian and scholar by inclination, and a rage-monster by birth. Forever Seeking Truth sums it up. Obviously, we've got d6/d10 here.

Pivots: There are like Milestones in MHR. They're just two goals that drive the character. How is that different from Drivers, you might wonder? Well, Pivots aren't Attributes so they don't have ranks. And, um. That's it. They can sure be related to Drivers, though. Let's say his are I must sate the serpent's hunger and I must live up to my mother's ideals. She was willing to haggle with the gods to keep Tjepu alive; he wants to be worthy of that.

There's a section on the (extremely minimalist) character sheet for "Story", but I've kind told it here. I picture Tjepu as being largely unwilling to fight unless he has to (which he always does), and then when battle actually starts his eyes go red and slitted, his skin gets lumpy and tough like a croc's, etc. Lots of fun "avatar of Apep" stuff to do. Frankly, I think this game would benefit from having a bit more obvious magic in the book.

And that's me done, I think! Tune in tomorrow for another character!