Friday, October 7, 2011

FtA: Character Generation, cont'd

I'm settling into the Character Generation system.

There will be four stats, initially.  I may expand, but for right now, there will be Toughness, Agility, Intelligence and Will.  To start, you pick your genotype (Baseline Human, Mutant, Mutated Animal, Mutated Plant).  Each genotype will have associated Starting Stats, which represent the minimum stat levels for that group.

Next, you pick your Path - Sturdy, Quick, Smart or Charismatic.  These represent the way you have lived your life until now, and each modifies your attributes - Smart means you have focused on intellectual pursuits, and gives you a bonus to Intelligence, but a fine to Toughness, for instance.

Then you pick your skills.  Each skill is associated with a certain attribute, and you'll have a number of points with which to buy skill.  You can distribute them as you like, the ranks will be between 1 and 5, and ranks will become more expensive as they progress.  1 rank is 1 point, 2 ranks are 3 points, 3 ranks are 5 points, 4 ranks are 7 points and 5 ranks are 10 points.  Once your skills are distributed, the average of your skills (rounded down), including skills you put no points into, determines the final modifier to your associated attribute.  So if there are 10 skills associated with Toughness, and you have 10 points left, you can put 1 rank into each skill and get a 1 point modifier to your Toughness (10 ranks divided by 10 skills = 1), or you can 5 ranks into one skill, and get no modifier to your attribute (5 ranks divided by 10 skills = .5, rounded down = 0).

Next will be mutations.  Each genotype will have its own set of mutations, and for each there will be two charts - Passive and Active Mutations.  Passive mutations are mutations that just exist - a third arm, for instance.  Active Mutations are those that require you to make a decision to use, and have a chance to succeed.  The number of mutations you have will be determined by a fifth, separate attribute, Abnormality, which is rolled randomly, and determines the number of mutations you have.  For each mutation, you roll percentile dice to see whether it is passive or active, and then roll on the table to determine what it is.  The strength of any Active Mutations is determined by the Mutation Attribute.

Finally, pick equipment and you're done!  There are a few other things that I need to work out, Damage Points, Armor, etc.  These will be derived stats, and based on an Attribute, plus any modifiers granted by skills taken.

The way I'm envisioning it, character creation should not take very long.  I should have a formal writeup within the next week or so, and I'm hoping to test out the system with my guinea pi... er, gaming group in two weeks or so.


  1. Posted by Adam of Troy:

    I like that there doesn't seem to be much of an emphasis on specialization. Doing so seems to create a min/maxers playground (i.e.: No but see my high defense modifier doubles as offense w/ Weapon Finesse and then Improved Trip lets me stab anyone I trip but because of Combat Reflexes if I'm able to trip & stab multiple people then if they try to roll away or stand up I get to stab them all over again...).

    And I think I see what you're getting at with skills divided by ranks rounded down and added to attributes - it's like the more you trained in a field the better you got, pick up allot of cardio/survival skills and watch your toughness go up...

    But I'm just not a fan of specialization at all. I think there is enough of a bonus being the most agile or the smartest w/o "double dipping" as it were and becoming even more agile or smarter because of all the skills you've chosen (it's my feeling you chose all of those agility or intelligence based skills not because they boost your stats but because they make sense for an agile or smarter character to possess).

    I just don't like the idea of an agile guy picking a smart path, or an intelligent guy picking "a body path" (it feels like min maxing to me). I think it's more streamlined getting attributes and picking skills, you want your body guy to be smarter? Fine switch the attributes around or just buy more ranks.

    Which brings me to another point, how are you gonna generate these attributes? I'm a big fan of point buys for balance - but then again this is Gamma World derived so maybe paths with more extreme outcomes might be truer to the source.

  2. Posted by Adam of Troy:

    Excuse me I just saw the blog discussing points buy-ins and will continue my discussion of them here -->

  3. If I'm reading you right, I don't think you have to worry about double dipping. Without the skills, everyone is the same (well, anyone from the same genotype). The path you take will modify your stats slightly, but not to a crazy degree (I'm thinking +/-1s, maybe +/-2s at the most). Its the skills that are going to determine who the really smart people are vs. who the strong people are. Maybe a better way of putting it is, rather than it being a path that represents your actions so far, maybe it should be called natural inclination? Some people are just born a little smarter than the rest of us, and some people are born big. That sort of thing. But (and I think this fits with the theme of the game) it's your actions that truly matter. The skills you've practiced through life are what's going to really ramp up your attributes. Nurture over nature, so to speak.

    Does that address your concern?