Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Character Creation: Dresden Files Accelerated

First character of 2018. Yay!

So, in 2017, I made 39 characters for the project. My goal was 52 (one per week), so I fell a bit short. In particular, of course I went from late October to late November without doing any (some personal issues interfered, plus I went to three cons in as many weeks), and of course during the school year it's easy to go weeks without doing one because I tend to game and sleep on weekends.

I'm gonna set the same goal for myself in 2018: One character a week, for a total of 52. As a point of interest, there are presently 258 games on my list, and that doesn't count games that I've Kickstarted and just not received yet or games that I'll buy in future. If I managed to do 52 games a year, and assuming I only add 20 games per year to the list, I'd be caught up by the end of 2026. For context, I started this project in June 2008, right about the time Cael was born. He'll be 18 when I get caught up, assuming my math is right.

(hahahawheee i really do love this though)

Well, maybe this year I'll try and be better about blocking off time every week to read a game and make a character. What the heck, it's more likely than weight loss.

The Game: Dresden Files Accelerated
The Publisher: Evil Hat Productions
Degree of Familiarity: A decent amount. +Michelle ran a game set in Baltimore wherein I played a kinetomancer, and I ran one set in Lexington. They weren't using this ruleset (except for the very end of Michelle's game), though.
Books Required: Just the one.

So, of course I made a character for the first version of this game some time ago (some time ago. More than seven freaking years ago). Anyway, the essence of the game hasn't changed much, just the mechanics have.

The first thing that I'd do if I had a group would be setting creation, but I haven't got that. There's a handy example right up front, though:

So I'll use that! I love New Orleans, anyway. First thing I do is choose a Mantle. Last character I made was a White Court vampire, and the character I played is a focused practitioner. I don't want to make a wizard, I don't think. Hmm. Suppose I make a changeling? What would it look like to play a Winter Court changeling in a town that doesn't get "winter" the way other places do...especially since the climate is changing now? I like that notion.

OK, to make a changeling, I pick a Pure Mortal mantle and then add changeling on top of it. I have an idea.

Bartholomew Griggs (please just call him "Griggs," not "Bart", for the love of god) is a forensic pathologist. He works in the shittiest hospital in New Orleans, and that means he pulls bullets out of bodies and compares wounds to weapons a lot. I'm taking the Medic mantle and then adding Changeling, too. So I get Medical License as a Condition, and then First Aid and Medical Care as stunts. I can choose one more for free, so I'll take Forensic Pathology.

For Changeling, I get the Called Condition (I can mark it to use Fae stunts, but if I fill it I have to choose to become fae or human, or abstain from magic for a while). I also get one Fae stunt as a core stunt. I'll take Cloak of Shadows - I can see in the dark and, once per session, hide perfectly. Griggs hears "holy shit, Griggs, how long you been standing there?" a lot.

Next up: Aspects! High Concept is easy enough, that's just Shadowy Changeling Coroner. Trouble Aspect is a little tougher, though, and requires that I think about Griggs a little more.

OK, so, Griggs is a doctor, so why is he this kind of doctor? I think he figured out he was a changeling while in his residency "upstairs." He was doing a psych rotation and they brought a guy in raving about "the Cobblers." He saw Griggs, stopped, gibbered, pointed, screamed "You! You're one of them!" and then ripped out his own eyes. Griggs isn't sure why, but in that moment he knew. He was one of the Cobblers, or at least, he half was. He took his next rotation in pathology and found that it fit.

See, death is very much a part of the Winter Court, but it's not about killing, it's about remembering the dead and paying them their tribute. Griggs has always felt that memento mori is important, and now as a pathologist, he helps the dead gain justice, peace, and closure. The trick is, though, that he's not a wizard dealing ghosts or ectoplasm. He's a changeling dealing with death on a much more story-focused level. He closes the books on the story of a person's life, and it's often inconvenient for him if they don't know when to leave. He often concludes autopsies by saying "Thank you for being here," and he considers that the end of it.

So what's his Trouble? His Trouble is that the dead don't always start quiet. I think that'll work as an Aspect, actually: The Dead Don't Know Their Place.

And then a third Aspect. I like the idea that Griggs is spooky, but regarded as wise. I'll take Basement Sage as the Aspect - other doctors come down here to ask him questions, if they can work up the nerve.

Next is Approaches. One Good, two Fair, two Average, one Mediocre, standard FAE allotment. The names are a little different, but they work more or less the same way.

I think Grigg's Good should go in Intellect. I'll put the Fairs in Haste and Focus, the Averages in Force and Guile, and the Mediocre in Flair (Griggs is, obviously, not a flashy guy).

I get 3 refresh, though I can spend some on stunts, if I want. I want to pick up Ghostbane, which lets me interact with ghosts as though they were incorporeal. And, oh heck, there's one under Medic called Psych Rotation, which lets me use my First Aid stunt on emotional or mental conditions. Shit yeah.

And then about does 'er. Griggs would be an interesting character because the thrust of the character's conflict, at least at the beginning, isn't on the Choice, but on some of the kind of knock-on effects of him being a changeling. I think the Choice would come up in play, but in a different way than I've seen it happen in other games.