So, as detailed in my previous post, I’m creating Hero. Given that he is a remake of a remake, his backstory is already finished and so is his personality. I’m working on the crunchy parts of making his character and fleshing out some of his 2D-ness (which is odd, since he is actually an extremely intelligent person with actual depth, but he acts completely two dimensional).
The first thing I do is decide on stats. This may be revised later, but in general it helps me get an idea of what type of abilities I want. In the Yume En system, we operating on the “8” system; that is, you have 8 points in each stat and can raise and lower them how you see fit, to a max of 15. Hero is going to be taking a lot of abuse and need some brain power, with no real leadership capabilities or real personal charm. As such..
STR 07 AGI 07 HEA 15 INT 11 CHA 04 WIL 04
For reference, a 5 is considered a normal human being with no powers; as such, he’s below average charm and will, above average strength and agility, and well above average in intelligence and health.
This does, however, give a slight problem. You see, most RPG heroes use some type of melee weapon, and my stats dealing with melee are, shall we say, not so great. So, my idea is to shift forms to different types of “characters”; basically giving myself a stat penalty to Intelligence and a bonus to Strength or Agility, depending on the situation. That will come up a bit later though.
The Yume En roleplaying system is a classless system; the concept is that you basically make your own class while you are making your character using skill points, similar in style to GURPS (the creator had never played GURPS prior to the construction of the first edition of AnimeRPG, so similarities aren’t intentional). You start with 50 skill points to distribute how you see fit, typically mostly being spent in some type of system that forms the spine of the mechanics of your character.
Or, in short, you’re spending skill points on class abilities for your character’s class.
Hero was a hybrid Improvisational character. What this means is that he had some standard styles of abilities (think spells or feats from D&D) and some Improvisational abilities. Improv in a roleplaying system is not something I’ve seen too often – the basics are that you don’t make up what the ability can do until you actually need it. It is very versatile, but typically at the expense of power or some type of cost. He also had some other standard powers (things that don’t belong in a system; for instance, a Rogue’s sneak attack isn’t really a system, but the rogue talents in Pathfinder is).
I typically make characters by first stating some of their defining characteristics, figure out how much those cost (or in the case of disadvantages, how much they give), then figure out what else I need. This isn’t a full power system, this is just flavor / style first. Sometimes, the flavor and style actually answer later questions anyway. :)
Defining characteristics of Hero – the good and the bad.
First and foremost, Hero thinks he is the main character of every game. Since different RPGs use different weapons for the main character, Hero has the ability to use all of them. In a system like D&D, this isn’t all that hard to demonstrate – you either have the ability to use a weapon or you take a penalty to it. In Yume En, on the other hand, each weapon type is its own skill.
In order to approximate the cost, I’m consulting this page. Detailed on there is how to estimate the cost of an ability; after my estimates, I take it to two other people (Antimerus and Rekenner; one is the creator of the system and the other is the EM running the game) and we talk about it. So, in this case, Antimerus believes this is a Moderate ability that is likely to come up multiple times per adventure – “Abundant Moderate”, which is 2 × 4 = 8 SP. My viewpoint is that it is a Moderate ability that is likely to come up a single time per adventure – “Common Moderate”, which is 2 × 3 = 6. Since we both agree on the power of the ability (basically, useful when it comes up), the only debate is the frequency it will come up.
In this system, you can change your skills between adventures if you wish – so, for instance, if Hero had an awesome sword but found an even more awesome Bow, without any ability he’d just need to wait until the end of the adventure before being able to use it. From my perspective, that means that the only time the ability will come up is when he’s changing weapon types – making it probably only come up once per adventure. Antimerus agreed with my argument, so it costs 6 SP.
In the same vein, Hero has a couple of other characteristics that make him, well, him.
Multiple Choice Hell
Hero occasionally gets stuck in the mindset of older video games and can’t actually answer for himself. He’ll get multiple choice answers (none of which are all that useful) when someone asks him a question sometimes. The frequency is the easy part – I’m saying it is Abundant, as I want it to happen a couple of times per adventure on average. The hard part is estimating the hindrance. Antimerus was recommending that I base the power on how much of an impact I want this to have happen to Hero. For the time being, I’m going to place it as a Moderate (Abundant Moderate = 2 × 4 = 8 SP).
Hero has played so many video games, he doesn’t remember which ones were real, which ones actually happened to him, and which ones were just mashups of other games. Whenever Hero rolls a 1 on a d20 for any type of skill check, he will have a flashback that will delay him by an action in whatever he was doing and/or distract him by giving him a -5 penalty to skills for five minutes. Basically, this serves as a sort of critical fumble and is likely to come up at least a couple of times per adventure. In order to make this easier to calculate, it will only impact the first of each skill rolled per round; in low levels, this is essentially meaningless (I’m likely only attacking once per round), but later on it would make the disadvantage substantially worse than it is now (I’d be likely to roll five or six attacks in a round). This way, I only have to roll once. This is still a really nasty ability both in combat (I lose a turn) and out of combat (I lose the chance to do X, most likely). Abundant Major hindrance means 4 × 4 = 16 SP
This is already almost 1200 words long, so I’ll put this into Part 3. :)