Sunday, March 26, 2017

Character Creation: Jadepunk: Tales from Kausao City

Well, I had grandiose plans for making a character for a game closer to the top of my list, but then I started reading a bunch of PDFs of D&D clones and kinda went "fuck it." So instead:

The Game: Jadepunk: Tales from Kausao City
The Publisher: Reroll Productions
Degree of Familiarity: None with this particular game, but I've played and run a lot of Fate.
Books Required: Just the one, as far as I can tell. I don't think you need Fate Accelerated, but I have it if I do need it.

So, I read this book on the plane back form New York. It's a cool martial-arts/wuxia/sword and sorcery kind of thing. I think you could do Man with the Irons Fists with it, but it takes itself a little more seriously than Feng Shui. It's actually kind of a cool setting; if I ever did run it, I think I'd pick up one or two of the sourcebooks, which is saying something (I almost never buy sourcebooks anymore).

Anyway, the book starts off with a foreword by +Bruce Baugh noting that many games don't ask players to consider how moral their characters are, which I kinda disagree with. My experience has been that a lot of games do ask that, but comparatively few make it part of the mechanics, and of those, few integrate mechanics and morality well.

In any case, I need to start off with a concept that will give way to Aspects. Since the characters in Jadepunk are, of necessity, rebelling against the violent government, I need to think about my character's reason for fighting back. I want to take inspiration from the three secret masters in Kung Fu Hustle, men who are expert combatants and come out of retirement only to fight on behalf of others.

My character is from Tuyang (pardon my lack of an accent mark). He served in the military and did his time out in the outskirts of nowhere, where he discovered that the "bands of marauders" were just as often nomadic Naramel tribes just looking to survive. He retired to Kausao City and opened a bakery (everyone loves cake), and for the most part, could live with just watching the world go by.

That's a good start, and it's enough to give me my Portrayal Aspect: Secretly Badass Baker. I think it also gives me a Background Aspect: Retired Tuyang Military.

Next is Inciting Incident, or why I decided to rebel. My character was a good soldier, followed orders, and so on. He was always a believer in the rule of law; yes, soldiers broke the law and violated their oaths, but there were military tribunals for that. All in all, justice will out. Except then he saw that those in power don't respect the law; The Council Forced People From their Homes. Soldiers came and evicted a whole block by force, and my character stood up in court to argue their case. The judge, clearly bribed, came down in favor of the Council.

So, with that in mind, my next Aspect is my Belief. I think I'll phrase this as Justice is Blind, and Must be Led. He used to believe that justice always found its own way, but clearly that isn't the case. Finally, I get a Trouble Aspect. I would take "Reluctant Whatever," but honestly the interesting part of that story after the hero decides "yeah, I'm in this," so I'll take Hero of the Dispossessed. His bake shop is well-known, and his reputation as someone who'll stand up for the common folk is spreading, which actually isn't good.

Now I do Professions, which are basically what this variant calls Approaches. I've got six to worry about, and I get Good, Fair, Fair, Average, Average, Mediocre to throw around.

Well, I think it's in concept to take Fighter at Good (there's no Baker Profession, after all). I'll put Scholar at Fair (he managed to make a decent showing as a lawyer), and I'll put Explorer as the other one. I'll put Scoundrel and Engineer at Average, and that leaves Aristocrat as Mediocre. Makes sense.

Next is Assets, which are like stunts, but somehow a little more narrow in scope. I can take Allies, Devices, or Techniques. Hmm. I'd like to take the bake shop as an Asset, can I do that? Doesn't seem like it (I could spin it as an Ally, but eh). I'll take a Technique, though. I want a fighting style.

Techniques have to key off one of my Assets; the obvious choice is my Background one. So let's say that my character learned the Tuyang Army Style. It focuses on protecting allies, hard strikes to take down foes, and supporting comrades. My Technique Assets can be different attacks within that style, should I be so inclined.

I'll first take on called Clear the Way. I get a +2 to Fighter when Creating an Advantage for a comrade, but one after we've already been in one fight together (have to have time to learn their style). That only costs me one refresh, because one gives me two features (Focus twice) and a flaw (Situational).

For another, I'll take Technique. I want to be able to whoop ass. Very simple, just +2 to Fighter when outnumbered. Call it Tuyang Army Style.

And then do I wish to have a Jade sword or something? I think I do not. I think that'd be good, actually; it'll leave me 5 Refresh, so I can have a bunch of Fate points at my disposal.

And that's mostly done, except I need a name. There are example names listed for each of the nations, and I like Myon (though around the way it's Myon the Baker).