Monday, May 19, 2014

Character generation for MechWarrior, Transformers, or Star Trek (part 1)

Star Wars Tapestry

Multiple characters per player. The player has 10 points to divide between the Individual Fields of his characters; another 10 points to divide between the Shared Skills of his characters; another 10 for Background; another 10 for Resources. The points each character spreads across Individual Fields, Shared Skills, Background and Resources must combine to the same total as each other character. If four characters, then each character must total 10 points; if five characters, then each must total 8 points; if six characters, then four must total 7 points and the others must total 6 points.

Using "Falco" as an example:

Individual Fields describe a broad area of expertise. Central tasks (e.g., Gunnery, Piloting, Sensor Operation) are made as trained rolls with full skill bonus. Fringe tasks normally associated with other skills (paperwork, repairs) are made as trained rolls but without any skill bonus. Field tasks which somehow relate to the character's Shared Skill (e.g., firing a 'Mech weapon carried like a giant pistol) receive the Shared Skill bonus as an additional bonus.

Shared Skills are basic training common to every character on the sheet (e.g., all four characters "Drive" as a 2-point trained roll). They also indicate the strongest attributes of each individual character. Any untrained roll which relies on the same attributes as one of that individual's Shared Skills receives the Shared Skill's points as a bonus (e.g., Small Arms requires steady hands and good eyes, so "Falco" gets a 2-point bonus when catching a thrown object, which also relies on steady hands and good eyes).

Background skills represent the characters' upbringing, affiliations, hobbies, or other specialized fields of knowledge. Social class or geography/climate indicate familiarity with associated culture and survival skills; affiliation skills represent knowledge of culture, language, and specific social hierarchy. Ridiculous future sports, future pop media genres, and specialized careers (gastroenterology, archaeology) are background too.

Resources indicate the quality of equipment all characters receive for any Shared Skill any character has, and the quality of equipment individual characters receive for their own Individual Fields. (E.g., all four characters receive a 1 point medkit and 1 point survival kit; "Falco" alone receives a 4 point 'Mech.)

2 points of skill is equivalent to "Green" MechWarrior skill.
4 points of skill is equivalent to "Regular" MechWarrior skill.
6 points of skill is equivalent to "Veteran" MechWarrior skill.
8 points of skill is equivalent to "Elite" MechWarrior skill.

[Edit: "Advanced Field" and "Basic Skills" renamed to "Individual Fields" and "Shared Skills," respectively.]

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Apropos of Nothing

I have bunches of .txt files containing notes for writing an RPG, in the (increasingly hypothetical) event I should want to write an RPG. Those notes can be divided into certain broad categories. I wonder if the proportion of notes I have on each topic corresponds to the proportion of pages I would want an RPG book to devote to those topics. 

(Crunch week for me, so have some stream-of-consciousness.)