Friday, March 24, 2017

Character Creation: Belly of the Beast

I backed this game on Kickstarter, and it's kind of a rarity inasmuch as...OK, I'm a bit of an RPG junkie. My usual criteria for backing a game on KS or buying it at a con (which is where I do much of my RPG shopping) is "is it a table-top RPG" and "is it not D&D."

Anyway, Belly of Beast was a rarity inasmuch as the premise hooked me and got me excited, rather than just tripping me "this is an RPG and therefore might be interesting as research" reflex. I read it on my trip to New York recently, and I want to run it. So, I'm gonna make me a character.

The Game: Belly of the Beast
The Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
Degree of Familiarity: None. I've read it, looks pretty simple, system-wise.
Books Required: Just the one.

Belly of the Beast is a game in which you play folks trying to eke out a life in the belly of a monster that ate the world. It smashed into the world as an asteroid, hatched, and started gulping down cities. The monster is big enough that it has a whole ecosystem, and three generations of people have lived and died since it started its feast.

The game is basically survival horror, but it's really damn focused, which I enjoy. So let's get to it.

Step one is, of course, character concept. I want to create an explorer - or rather, a forager, but one who specializes in getting into hard-to-reach places. So he's good at climbing up fleshy mountains (and, like, normal ones that have been swallowed), diving into subterranean lakes, and otherwise dealing with harsh environments. He's not great with people and social situations, though - he mostly grew up on his own and he's lousy as a trader or negotiator. (Note that this doesn't mean he doesn't like people, because lone-wolf characters tend to be kind of boring and hard to play with, and you know how I feel about misanthropy. Here, +Kate Bullock is very smart, go see what she has to say on the subject.)

Anyway, my character's name is Speet. That's not his "real" name (he doesn't really have one), but when he was about 13 and he approached someone to offer to work for them, he froze up, and the dude kept saying "speak!" Speet finally just repeated that, but his speech is a bit underdeveloped and he fronted the velar /k/ sound at the end of the word (why he didn't simplify the /sp/ blend is a different question).

Now I pick two Instincts that drive Speet, and each one gives me a maneuver. And, +Ben had these Instincts and maneuvers printed on the character sheet, god bless 'im. I'll pick Curiosity and Fear. For my maneuvers, I think I'll be able to spend 1D to identify any potential danger in a scene, and to spend 1D to identify something immediately useful. That's gonna mean I'd spend a lot of my dice on that stuff, but that's fine, you get them back pretty quickly, it looks like.

Next up, I define a Specialty. Bileborn (I'm hardy because I was born in the Evergut) and Forager (I can, like, forage good) both make sense, but I think it's closer to concept to take Bileborn and make up the difference with Skills.

Speaking of which, Skills are next. I can pick one of several arrays that gives me a certain number of ranks in Skills. I'll stick to my usual preference and take Specialized, so I get 1 Brilliant (I succeed on a 3 or better), 3 Capable (4 or better), 1 Acceptable (5+) and 3 Rotten (only succeeds on a 6).

Well, I'll put my Rottens in Influence, Lore, and Stealth. I know, I know, Stealth? But this guy's a climber and an explorer, being stealthy isn't what he's good at. I'll put Might on my Acceptable. For my Capables, I'll take Awareness, Cunning, and Coordination, which leaves Resolve as my Brilliant. Speet can power through almost anything; it's how he's lived this long.

And then I get a Talent, which is more free-form; it's what I do that makes me awesome. Actually, one of the examples is "Terrain Master," and I really like that.

Finally, Equipment. I don't like to shop, but this is quick. Speet needs a dagger, a backpack, climbing pitons, rope, and a pouch of herbs around his neck. That'll do it.

I would do starting Bonds, but that requires a group and it's just me, so that's me done!