Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Character Creation: Magicians

This makes 300 characters on the project! As of this writing, I've got about 250 more to go, but of course, that's only until I get more RPGs. Like I've said, I'll probably never finish, but what the heck, it's fun.

The Game: Magicians
The Publisher: Samjoko Publishing
Degree of Familiarity: None, I've read the book
Books Required: Just the one.

Magicians is a really interesting game. It's a "you're pupils at a magic academy" game, but the academy is in Korea, and the conceit of the game is that learning to cast magic goes along with learning a new language. As such, you're playing characters who don't speak Korean and learning the language along with the magic. This ain't just whistling Dixie - as part of the game, you speak Korean and use an app on your phone or computer to judge pronunciation, and that's part of the success of the spell. Magic is even arranged into three tiers depending on your level of proficiency, going from "verb + noun" up to learning grammar.

(I was actually a cross-promotion for Magicians; it was running on Kickstarter at the same time as A Tragedy in Five Acts, so backers of both got a Tempest-inspired set of plot cards. That doesn't mean anything as far as making a character today, just a data point.)

So! I need to come up with a teenage protagonist who's learning to use magic and attending Hwang-Gun College of Magical Pedagogy. I think it'd be fun to play a character who grew up in a school district like the one I work in (that is, underfunded and inner city), so we'll say my character is from Detroit. His name is Kennath ("Ken" is fine). Ken is brash, clumsy, and homesick.

There's no slot on the sheet for it, but I have a Mentor. Ken's Mentor is Dr. Ee, who teaches Illusion magic. Dr. Ee performed the ritual that reveals Ken's True Name, which I could make up or use a formula. I think I'll do the latter. Eem Hyo-Su it is!

Next I do my "conflict character." This is an NPC (well, except that another player does play them, but then I'd play someone else's, so) that exists to make my character's life hard. I think Ken's conflict character is Chad. Chad is an incoming student, same age as Ken, who doesn't believe that Ken should be there. Ken's grades weren't great, after all, and he speaks in vernacular, and well, should people "like Ken" really be doing magic?

(I have no idea if this dynamic would actually work at the table, mind, but for purposes of the chargen project I think it's OK).

There's a "conflict card" I'd fill out for Chad, but I think that's probably fine.

And then I have to decide why I'm unhappy, what Ken's "wound" is. I think I'll say that the education system in the USA failed him, he knows it, and he's not as strong in language in general as many of his classmates, so he wonders how that's going to impact him learning magic.

Ken feels that things would be better if one of his friends from his old neighborhood were here, just so he'd know that someone like him had a chance of succeeding.

Normally at this point I'd write a sentence or two about how Ken feels about the other characters, and I'd spend Drama Points equal to the number of players into the categories on the sheet, but since it's just me that's basically all I need to do. I do wonder about favorite spells, though - the example characters don't have them filled out, so I guess I'll skip them, but it'd be interesting. I get the feel that Ken thinks he'd be good at flashy magic like fire or flying or telekinesis, but Dr. Ee sees some potential for subtlety and finesse in the lad.