Sunday, October 8, 2017

Awesome Games, and Also Character Creation and Game Prep

Hey, people who like games! Do you like games? You know you do.

So, in addition to my own Kickstarter for Undead, the third supplement to Chill 3rd Edition, which sports one hell of a writing team and is made of candy, there are a whole bunch of other awesome game products being funded on Kickstarter right now. It's like a bunch of us just independently decided "hey, October sounds good" and launched the Kick-starts!

(That is, in fact, exactly what happened.)

With that said, I know there's enough money in the world for us all to get funded. So I'm gonna use this character creation project to pimp some of them, including my own. First up is Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse, which I'm going to pimp by making a character for Big Eyes, Small Mouse because HMTM isn't actually available yet, since it's still Kickstartering.

Anyway, HMTM is a Fate-based RPG by +Derek A. Kamal in which you play mice in motorcycle clubs. I have no idea what more you'd need to convince you, but here's the Kickstarter. It's presently sitting at about $600 below goal, so it's pretty darned close. Back it, and then go back Undead in gratitude for showing you these wonderful things.

The Game: Big Eyes, Small Mouse
The Publisher: Guardians of Order
Degree of Familiarity: None with this game in particular, but I've played and run the underlying system some.
Books Required: I need Big Eyes, Small Mouth, but I have it handy.

So! Looking through this book, in the spirit of most Tri-Stat games (such as Silver Age Sentinels and Dreaming Cities), Big Eyes, Small Mouse presents a genre and some basics for setting up the game, but really the idea is that you develop your own talking-animal setting. There's a city called Mousetropolis that's pretty fleshed out, there, so I'm gonna assume my character is a citizen thereof, and that the game is going to be some kind of rollicking adventure that involves a rag-tag group of folks who have to come together to do great things.

That in mind, I think I want to play a mouse who's down on his luck and feeling like the world owes him something. I don't have much more in the way of concept yet; it'll come to me as I got. Figure on his Archetype as Mimic (that is, a mirror of human custom), Background is Urban (he lives in a city), and his Motivation as Hero (superficially he's out for number one, but he's really a good-hearted mouse).

Next step is to determine species, but I know I'm a mouse already. I start with Body, Mind, and Soul all at 3, the Diminutive (3BP) and Easily Distracted - Chese (1BP) Defects, and Stealth and Urban Survival at 1. I have spent 5 Character Points and 7 Skill Points (figure I start with 30 and 20, respectively).

Now I assign stats, which means I can raise them if I wish. I think I do; I'm below average across the board. In keeping with my idea of making my mouse with a lot of potential, I'll set his stats high and worry about Skills later or not at all. According to the BESM book, 8 is "highly capable," and if I wanted 8s across the board that'd cost me 15 points of my remaining 25. Screw it, let's see what happens.

And now, character attributes. I don't have any of these from my template, so.

I want Divine Relationship, because a) it's in concept and b) you're dumb if you don't. I'll put 5 into it. I'll take Attractive at 3 (I'm a real cute mousie), and I'll take Aura of Command at 3 (I can stand up and lead other mice, I just don't know it yet). I'll take Heightened Awareness at 1, too, which takes me to 12 points spent, which puts me 2 over, which is fine, 'cause I like Defects.

I just need two, so I'll take Marked at one (I'm mostly grey, but I have a black birthmark on my tummy; makes me look mysterious) and Phobia (birds. An owl got my mom. I don't want to talk about it).

Skills, then! I have to be thrifty; I've only got 13 points left and I don't feel like taking more Defects. Assuming the "modern military" Skill costs, I'll take Burglary at 2 (6 points), Urban Tracking at 1 (3 points), and Unarmed Attack at 1 (4 points). That's my 13.

Finally, Derived Traits. Now, this is weird. This version of the game uses Pep and Scratch instead of Health and Damage, to account for the scale, but then there are sections that talk about figuring out Pep taking into account the Diminutive Defect. So far, so good. Except as a mouse, I have Diminutive 3, as does the example character, but he's figured Pep under the Diminutive 1 header. WTF?

Well, I'll just do the same thing. That's Body + Soul (16) x 5 (80). My Energy Points, though I don't necessarily use them, are also 80. Shock is 16, Attack Value is 8, Defense Value is 6.

That just leaves a number and a background. My mouse's name is Montgomery. He lost his mother to an owl when he was young, and grew up in Mousetropolis Orphanage. Turned out when he became an adult, he does odd jobs for a living, but has never really managed to catch a break. Of late, he's turned to light burglary, but the outfit he's with (run by a spider named Desmond "Daddy" Longlegs) is getting more greedy and volatile by the day. Montgomery isn't in this to hurt anyone, and he's just decided that the last job was his last one. Daddy isn't after him, at least not now, but if Montgomery tries to go to the Swiss Cheese Guard singing any songs, well, he'll have an Itsy Bitsy Spider all up on him.

One other thing, gotta do some quick Blades in the Dark prep. During our downtime, the players decided that they'd like to take a score that would improve their rep with the Gondoliers. Sure thing. Well, the Gondoliers and the Spirit Wardens are enemies, and Toasty's character is a former Warden, so there's already some drama there. However, the characters are already at -2 with the Spirit Wardens, meaning if that situation degrades any further they're at war, so I should probably offer them two options. Maybe three, since I had another idea that they didn't pick last time:

Score One: Making an Omelet: The Spirit Wardens use deathseeker crows to seek out people who die in the city. The Unseen wants to weaken that ability by training their own, but they haven't managed to breed them. They want some eggs from the rookery at the Belleweather Crematorium. Grull (a carriage driver, but actually one of the Unseen) can give them the job. He'll meet them wherever they want with the goods, but they have only an hour to get the eggs from the Crematorium to him or else they don't get paid. Complications: Ghost guardians, guards with sparkcraft weapons, someone might recognize Cage's mask, doing this loud will mean going to war with the Spirit Wardens.

Score Two: Free the Ghost: Nyryx (a possessor ghost) has possessed a Gondolier named Strain and taken him and his boat to the North Hook Channel. The Gondoliers think he's dead - his boat was found washed up near the Docks. In fact, Strain is still alive and possessed. He was tattooed with a warding glyph before taking a spirit-smuggling job on the side, but the glyph was tattooed incorrectly, and Nyryx (who was en route to the Gondolier's headquarters for questioning about Cage) got stuck. Nyryx is trying to find someone who can undo the glyph, but he's being circumspect about it. This one's tricky; it's presented to the characters as "find the missing Gondolier" by Captain Vale (who's somewhat sympathetic to the characters), but she doesn't know anything beyond he's missing and his boat was found between Brightstone and the Docks. Complications: Long investigation to find the guy, possessor ghost is an enemy/rival of Cage, no immediate promise of reward.

Score Three: Smuggle the Cloak. Dundridge & Sons has fashioned a custom cloak for someone, with alchemical treatments soaked into the fabrics - or so they say. Word on the street is that it was designed for the head of the Spirit Wardens, but a number of factions (including the Gondoliers, the Unseen, the Lampblacks, the Red Sashes, the Hive, and just about any cult) would pay well for it. It's being transported to its owner in a special carriage, locked and guarded by the Silver Nails. The characters can steal or replace it before they pick it up, or try to hit them in transit. They could in theory also go to Dundridge and underbid the Nails for the job, but that'll piss off the Nails. They learn about this situation from Jul, a blood dealer (some of the blood they deal was used in the creation of the cloak). Delivering it to a given faction is worth money and status, but it also pisses the one who commissioned it - Lord Spurlock. Complications: Wraiths trying to steal it (not a problem if they steal it before the Nails pick it up), demonic interference, Silver Nails are pretty badass.

While I'm at it, I should create any faction clocks I need. Let's see. I like the Unseen "infiltrate the Spirit Wardens" clock, and that implies I should use the Spirit Wardens' "uncover the infiltrators" clock. The Gondoliers have the "investigate desecrated hollows" clock, too, which seems to be related, and I'll note Spurlock's "fulfill debt" clock, though I won't activate it yet. I don't have good sense of how far along those opposed clocks should be, so I'll fortune roll it. Aaaaaand, shit the Unseen are just about in. I have some ideas about this; it'd be interesting if the reason the Spirit Wardens aren't really keeping up on the hollows is because they know the hollows are Seterra's doing, but they don't want to let on until they have a way to fight her. Likewise, the Unseen isn't deliberately doing Seterra's work, but they're being duped. Spurlock is trying to get out from under and that cloak was going to be a way to forestall his debt for a while; if the PCs don't take that gig then he'll get the cloak, which might have some consequences later.

  • Unseen: Infiltrate the Spirit Wardens: 5/8
  • Spirit Wardens: Uncover the infiltrators: 2/8
  • Gondoliers: Investigate desecrated hollows: 1/8
  • Spurlock: Fulfill debt to Seterra: 0/12