Sunday, January 29, 2017

Character Creation: QAGS

Two chargen posts in a row, whaaaat. I have some time, and this'll put me caught up with my weekly character resolution. (Normally I'd stick a game prep post in there, but Night's Black Agents got cancelled yesterday and I already have my Feng Shui prep done.)

The Game: QAGS (Quick-Ass Gaming System), 2nd Edition
The Publisher: Hex Games
Degree of Familiarity: None. I don't think I've ever played this system.
Books Required: Just the one.

I got QAGS 2nd Ed in the Haiti bundle a really long time ago, and I've read most of it. It's near the top of my list and I think it's pretty simple, so that's a good choice for today.

My first hurdle, though, is that QAGS, like GURPS, is just a system. By itself it doesn't have a setting, but the book handily provides 10, and I just happen to have a 10-sided die right here (because +Michelle didn't put her dice away after Promethean last week). Rolling, I get 2. The 2nd genre setup in the book is...cinema verite. Um, OK. Interesting setup for something as light as QAGS, but I'll give it a shot.

I want to point out that Heathers, "all that Danielle Steel crap," and outright porn are in this list.
The sample campaign they give you for this is Dude, Where's My Cape, in which all the characters are sharing an apartment, all of the characters are superheroes with secret identities, and all of them are hiding the truth from others. I think that's sort of clever. I also think that maintaining that beyond a one-shot would be really difficult, but hey, maybe with the right group? The setup suggests that one of the characters be a super-villain, and hey, you know, that sounds like my jam.

So, let's see how character creation works. First thing I need, as usual, is a concept. Well, with our fairly thin set-up, and assuming I want to be a supervillain in our weird sitcom-ish cinema verite thing going on, and wanting to keep things light, my villain is call the Pedant. He's not really concerned about "good" and "evil" per se; morality is relative and the free market will sort it all out. No, he just wants everyone to be right. Have you considered the data? Have you checked your sources? You'd better have.

In his day job, he's a freelance writer and editor (magazines, mostly), and he makes a living (like most sitcom characters, he has an unrealistically fantastic apartment), but he's always hurting for extra cash. Hence, robbing banks and pulling heists, which supervillains don't do enough of anymore.

His secret identity is Maynard Milton (folks call him "Milt", which he hates, but recognizes that "Maynard" isn't much better). His concept/archetype is "Know-it-all." QAGS lists archetypes, like from Campbell, and I think "Threshold Guardian" fits the Pedant pretty well.

Now I start doing numbers. I had to dig around a little; the GM would decide the number of Yum-Yums players get to make characters (I'm not making this up), but there's a chart in the GM's section, and apparently 100 YY makes an average character. I have to figure that despite our powers, these characters are going to be mostly "average", given the genre (runs in my head there was a super-hero movie that kinda fits this, The Specials maybe?). Anyway, 100 Yum-Yums. You got it.

First, Body, Brain, and Nerve. I don't picture the Pedant as being especially fit. 11 is average, so I'll just do that.

Brain, though, that's where I'm a Viking. I want Pedant's Brain score at the top of the curve. Max is 16, so let's do that. I've spent 27.

And then Nerve. I guess 13, better than average but not amazing? That means I've spent an event 40 points.

Next up, Job. Writer/Super-Villain, sure. I'll say that Pedant is better than average at this, so the score is 10, which costs me 20 points. I've spent half my points.

Now I get a Gimmick. A Gimmick covers a whole lot of ground, and it's probably where my super-powers should come in. I could take something like "Remembers Everything" but frankly with my Brain score as high as it is, I don't really need to. Hmm. I feel like the Pedant should be a mind-controller or other form of psychic? Or, hey. There was a power in Shattered Dreams called "Reality Check" that let you impose the rules of "real life" on dreams. I want Pedant's power to be something like that, except we'll call it "well, actually" - he can shut down other being's powers and impose "reality" on the situation by explaining it. Gimmicks have ratings, which measure how often they show up in a session. It starts at 10, and I've got 50 freaking points left, so I'll pump 10 points into this and take my rating up to 15.

Now I get a Weakness, which is just like it sounds. Pedant's Weakness is that he's Easily Frustrated, in all senses of the word. I'll leave it at 10.

And then I get Skills. Skills aren't covered by my Job, they're things I do as a hobby, basically. I have, what, 40 points left, meaning I could take a bunch (they're three YY for a +1 and then 1 YY for every additional +1 after that, so I could take, what, 10 Skills at +2? That seems absurd. Howzabout I dump 6 more points into my Job, making it 13, which takes me down to 34 points to spend? Sure.

Skills, then. I think "Defensive Driving" sounds good; it's not what Milt is trained in, but it's become necessary. I'll dump 4 YY there for a +2, which leaves 30 points left, my goodness. I'll take "Fisticuffs" at +1, because I'm sure it'll come up. 27 points to go. I see Pedant as being decent at hacking, so I'll take Hacking at +4, which costs me 5 points (down to 22). Wow, 100 is a lot of points (though of course I can't know if this makes for a viable character). Oh, wait, something I missed: If you raise your Gimmick it automatically raises your weakness, so I would need to spend 15 to bring my Weakness from 15 to 10. Shit, sure. That means I have 7 points remaining. That's more better.

Well, my HP starts at 11, but I can raise it, so I'll put it to 13 (4 YY), which leaves me 3, which is fine, because having a few in play is a good idea.

Now a few little quirks: My tag line is "Um, no." Dumb fact is on the sheet, but not actually mentioned during chargen (anyway, Pedant knows all the dumb facts). WWPHITM stands for "who would play him in the movie?" I think Pedant is pretty obviously played by Patton Oswalt.

And there you have it! I think episodes of Dude, Where's My Cape? should all end with the characters playing a board game in Milt's apartment, discussing the events of the episode while the credits roll.