Friday, July 20, 2018

Character Creation: Chosen

I don't normally stack chargen posts like this, but I haven't run any games, watched any movies (for the project), or played any board games since last time, so here we are.

(Really I should be writing, but depression is kicking my head slowly and steadily today, so I decided I needed to do something and this is better than surfing Facebook and being sad.)

The Game: Chosen
The Publisher: Clockworks Games (now defunct; their old URL is a video gambling site)
Degree of Familiarity: None, I've read it
Books Required: Just the one.

Chosen is by Aaron Rosenberg; I worked with Aaron a little on some Dark Ages books for White Wolf back in the day, and he's a good writer. I did a character for another of his games (Asylum) and I've got Spookshow kicking around as well. Chosen is...a little strange.

The intro to the game talks about mythical beasts choosing avatars in a modern-ish setting, and obviously I can get behind that. And then it's far-future interstellar exploration, and like, cool, it's fun to mix classical mythology and sci-fi. The underlying conflict of the game is the fight between Beasts (creatures of chaos and creativity and individuality) and the Wizards (more about order and regimen), but you actually play Gifted, who can become Chosen of Beasts or Wizards, I guess?

Part of the problem is that the setting and its elements aren't especially intuitive. I mean, it's not like, say, Unhallowed Metropolis where you can say "Industrial Revolution-London, zombie plague, also werewolves and vampires, and the most badass job you can have is 'undertaker' because the dead don't always stay dead" (weird setting but pretty easy to explain). That's not an indictment of the game, mind, just that it didn't really gel when I was reading it. Part of the problem is just layout; there are headers, but very little in the way of formatting on the actual page (no bold or italics) and the print is light and there's watermarking, so it's kinda hard to read.

(I admit, too, that as I was reading it I was hoping that the characters were chosen of the Beasts, but they aren't. Some of the terminology is similar to what we used for Beast: The Primordial, which is pure coincidence, obviously, but it did kind of make reading the book a little fraught for me.)

So, moving on. There are two character creation sections in the book, one in the chapter called "Character" and one in the one called "System." I suspect I shall have to do some flipping. (Doesn't help, too, that the character sheet I have is photocopied and not very good quality.)

OK, anyway, the "Character" section says to choose a place of birth first, while the "System" section says to think about age and gender and the basic shit first. Hmm.

Well, one of the places you can be from is called Solaris Minor, and it's a "resort colony." The text describes it as a cross between Las Vegas, Harvard, and Disney World (the planet has education and tourism as its main sources of revenue). I think that's an interesting mix, so I think I'll say my character is from there, and leaving for the first time, probably something to do with figuring out that he's Gifted.

Next bit is Occupation, which might help me figure a little more out. I think I'd like my character to be an Entertainer. Figure that while in our real world, aspiring to be an entertainer is chancy because there's so much competition and so little promise of a non-exploitative job, on Solaris Minor being an Entertainer is a solid choice because there's so great a need. So my character had a nice singing voice and a decent stage presence, and here we are! My Occupation Skill is (not surprisingly) Performance.

OK, back in the "System" section the book says that after I determine basic conceptual stuff, I should jump right to Function (which is part of my Gift). Generators are creative and energetic, that sounds about right.

So now I select my beginning Gift. Since I'm a Generator, this is something that I can create. Were I a Matter Generator, f'rex, I could make matter from nothing. The obvious choice is Emotion Generator, since, like, as an entertainer that's my whole job. But actually I think I want Energy Generator, because I think his performance ability is all him. His Gift comes in the form of showmanship and pyrotechnics. Def Leppard for the 26th century, if you will.

Now I select my Form. This literally my body type. I think I wish to be Standard (no bonuses or penalties, Health of 10).

Now the book says I fill in Background, which is where the other section said to start. Mregh. OK. I'm from Solaris Minor. I fill in the rest of the basic stuff, too; I'm 5'10", slender, blue eyes, brown hair, named Lorin Wynn. 22 years old.

(I'm starting to remember that Asylum had similar organizational issues.)

Anyway, this is fun. I get my Occupation Skill at 5, which doesn't come out of my Skill Points. And now wheeeee we get 2 freebies, but you can get more by buying Disads, which I'm supposed to do now!

Fine, let's do that. Oh, wait, Ads and Disads affect Skills...which come later. Man what. And like, one of the Disads is "Hunted". In what way does that effect Skills? Jeez.

OK, I want Well-Connected (Entertainment) and Backing (my parents and my agency). That costs 8 points. I can balance that out with Disads, so I'll take Slow (-1 to Initiative) and Dependent (I rely on my parents for support) and then spend my 2 freebie points here. Cool.

Skills, then. I get 25, plus the 5 free in Performance. Let's also take Dodge, Acting, Dancing, Musical Instrument (Guitar), and Singing. I can only take 5 in each, so I hope that's enough. Good grief, why is Performance a separate skill when you've got Dancing, Singing, and so on?

Anyway, now appearance? This is so random. Well, I went through it a little. Lorin is always well-dressed - comfortable but stylish - because his agent insists. His teeth are perfect, his eyes clarified blue, and his nails are always manicured. His shoes come equipped with little panels that can slide into place in case he needs to tap-dance at a moment's notice.

OK, now Characteristics. There's a list and I get one to start with. I'll pick Sensual - I prefer to live in lavish surroundings.

And then (ugh) equipment. Well, there's actually a process here. I have Backing and Well-Connected, so I have tools and equipment for whatever job I do (clothes, guitar, probably) and if I have connections in a given area I pay half for relevant equipment. My starting funds as an Entertainer are 12,500. Because I grew up in a resort colony, I can...apparently buy anything. Neat! Now, do I wish to buy things? I do not, sir!

That's me done, actually. Yeah, this is kind of a jumble.