The Game: Riders: A Game About Cheating Doomsday
The Publisher: Talespinner Holdings
Degree of Familiarity: None, but the system is pretty reminiscent of PbtA.
Books Required: Just the one.
So, in Riders, you play servants of one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You're trying to prevent the End Times, though, which involves seeking out the troubles that may herald send End Times and resolving them before
This game has wound up on our short list to play a couple of times, so I'm sure it'll be in the rotation at some point. For the moment, though, let's us make a Rider.
First thing we think about is Life Before, that is, before I got tapped to be a Rider.
Actually, first, I'm gonna post this:
OK, back to work. So, my first Element (these characters are all made up of Elements) is Dream, something he accomplished or wanted to accomplish. I'm gonna say "Survived to 25" as his Dream. That was something he wasn't sure he could do. For Regret (pretty much what it sounds like), I'll say "Pushed his brothers away." Of course he just didn't want to make them go through seeing him die, but he wound up being such an insufferable dick that they had to cut him off. He misses them, but he doesn't want to risk luring Death upon them by visiting.
Profession. Hrm. What'd this guy do? Can't have been something that required a lot of schooling, I guess. I think he wrote freelance, mostly magazines and whatnot. Enough money he could live on. "Freelance writer," then.
Hobby. Is "gravestone rubbings" too obvious? Oh, how about graffiti? "Tagging artist." Sure. I like the idea that his hobby is kinda illegal, because really, what are they gonna do? Put him in prison?
Sin. I have the standard array of seven. I'll take Pride.
Virtue. I'll take Charity. He's pretty big on giving shit away, because, like, fuck it, he's probably not going to need it.
OK, now I add modifiers to each of these (+1, +1, +2, +2, +3). So, where do I want the big boost? I think his Dream makes the most sense. I'll put the +2s in Sin and Virtue, and that leaves +1 in the other three.
Now I do Element Dice, which means I get to split up 2D6, 2D6, 2D6, 3D6, 3D6, 4D6 the same way. I can assign a lot of dice to something low-modifier'd, to balance things out, if I so desire.
I'll put 3D6 in Regret and Hobby. I'll put 4D6 in Sin, and that leaves 2D6 everywhere else.
Now, I consider Life as a Rider. First thing is: Why did Death pick me? I think it's pretty obvious; not only is this guy gonna die (which doesn't make him special; everyone is gonna die), but it was his defining feature. What everyone knew about him was that he was not long for the world, so he marinated in his own impending death. It might have started as a coping mechanism, but it passed that into a major facet of his personality.
Next, we think about a Shepherd (angel that wants to protect humanity). This would be a group thing, but it's just me, so. We'll say the Shepherd was a cop that found my character as he was about to step into a bar right before it erupted in flames (my character was there to witness all the death). The Shepherd, Officer Smoake, showed my character how to shut off the gas in the building and save everyone, and in the process, showed him that he doesn't have to be defined by death.
How long have I been a Rider? I think a little while, maybe six months. He did some Rider-y things before he met Smoake that he's now not proud of, but like, no point in feeling guilty. Everyone dies.
And then my Unearthly Element, which is Rider of Death 2D6/1D6.
And then Gifts. I get Doomrider (my magic motorcycle; it says "of your choice," so mine will be something that doesn't make that godawful BRUM BRUM noise the used to wake my daughter up from her nap when fucking bikers would tear down Fowles Road), Resilience (I heal quick, turkey), Tongues (I speak all the tongues of Babel), and Coils (I have a bunch of health). That's the standard Rider package. As a Rider of Death, I also get Time of Death (I can tell, in a general sense, when someone's going to die) and Scythe of Death (I can summon a goddamn mystical scythe).
And then I get one more, and god damn this is a tough choice. The Death Gifts are baller, and a lot of them fit this character, too.
Huh. I think I gotta go with Fear the Reaper, just because of that line in the song ("God damn right, you should be scared of me"). It lets me instill fear in all Earthly beings.
Oh, one more bit: Three Death-related questions.
Why did Death pick you? I think I answered that; Death defined him. It was a natural fit.
Did you ever kill anyone before? No, and the thought would have horrified him, no matter how much he rabbited on about "fuck it, everyone dies." For him that was a call to be generous and maybe a little maudlin, not homicidal.
Why do you think the world is worth saving? Precisely because it has to end someday.
My character's name is Kevin MacHeath (and he's heard all the Mac the Knife jokes, thanks).