Saturday, June 24, 2017

Character Creation: ScreenPlay

Three chargen posts in a row, whaaaaaaat the fuck?

Well, I mean, normally I post movie reviews, game write-ups, and character creation, right? I haven't watched any of the movies on my list in a while (I just bought a bunch of movies and Get Out is the next one; we're gonna watch it tonight). I've been traveling so I haven't run any games. I want to do a post about Origins but I haven't got round to it yet, so here we are.

The Game: ScreenPlay
The Publisher: Broken Ruler Games
Degree of Familiarity: Some. I wrote a review (which I'm submitting today) and I've run a one-shot.
Books Required: Just the one.

So, ScreenPlay is a setting-less game that focuses on the metanarrative of "people creating a story" and uses details of that story (among other things) as in-game currency. It's a really interesting game, actually, but like a lot of setting-agnostic games (like GURPS or Savage Worlds), I do need a setting (or "treatment") in order to make a character. There's one available for PWYW download (here) but my eyes glazed over when I tried to read it (don't feel bad about that, +Todd, that always happens to me with fantasy settings) so instead I'm gonna use the setting we came up with when I ran it a few weeks ago.

By "we" I mean +Matthew Homentosky+Amanda Slanker, and +Alisdair Lyons. The setting was very World of Darkness-esque; societies of supernatural forces all working at cross-purposes and so forth. We established that wererats exist and are outcasts from the larger society of the Clandestine (the blanket term for supernatural creatures), that vampires exist and there's a secret society trying to take over the world, and that hunters called Nephilim exist and try to steal power from the Clandestine. The players all made leading characters (a wererat, a vampire, and a former Nephilim, respectively), and so if I were going to play this game, I might like to play a warlock or something. Hmm.

Well, tell you what. I'll make the werewolf that the characters wound up fighting in our one-shot (think of it as a pilot for a TV show).

Step One: Mark Character Type. My werewolf is a supporting character; I don't think he'd show up every episode. There's no place to write that on the sheet, though.

Step Two: Choose Your Role. It's not "choose" so much as "create," but sure. His Role is "werewolf enforcer." He works for the Clandestine to keep things quiet, keep the wererats out, and generally keep the peace. His name is Keenrick.

Step Three: Create Your Potentials. Kinda like Aspects, in a way. I'm a supporting character so I only get two. If I'm making this guy as a Writer (i.e., player) rather than as the Director (GM), I have one at d8 and one at d6. I need to take "werewolf" in there somewhere, so I'll make my first one "Werewolf Hunter" and my other one "Grizzled." I fill in the die type and difficulties and details as appropriate.

Step Four: Set Resource Slots. These things allow for shifting die types or doing more damage. I'll put Hybrid Form as one, and Clandestine Status as another. Keenrick enjoy some autonomy to enforce the collective laws of the Clandestine.

Step Five: Motivations and Hindrances. Motivation is just that. A Hindrance grants me another Motivation, and I can use those to get XP. So. I think Keenrick's Motivation is "Protect Humanity From Knowing Too Much." He's a stickler for the law, but that's to protect people, not monsters. I'll take "Feral Rage" as a Hindrance (he's a werewolf, after all), hang on. Feral Hunger. That's better. And then I'll take "Atone for Killing My Friend" as a second Motivation. That'll make for a nice mid-season reveal.

Step Six: Set Maximum Stamina. I can spend Stamina in play to do all kinds of things; remove complications, flip Resources between their functions, make milkshakes. I get 7 Stamina as a supporting character.

And that's it, yo. Character creation is actually pretty quick once you understand all the terms.