Monday, January 01, 1990

Storymap Preparation--Generate Characters' Game Stats

Once your group has created the storymap, each player will need to determine the Virtue, Attributes and Traits that will define his characters.

Assign Virtue
Virtue is a declaration of the character’s overall allegiance to good or evil. Not only does Virtue establish a character’s role in a story and influence reactions to the character, it also determines the cost of Traits purchased for the character. The player should choose a Virtue rating that is appropriate to the character. Prime/Vespers is in the middle, while Lauds/Compline and Matins grow progressively evil and Terce/None and Sext grow progressively good. The Devil’s Hour only functions as a die result; it is not permitted as a Virtue choice.

Purchase Traits
Every character will have one or more moral Traits that are central to that character’s personality. These can be almost any personality trait and can include any virtue or vice. Here are some examples.

Not only do Traits provide a roleplaying guide for the players, they can be used during conflict resolution to change the potential outcome.

Traits are rated using clock faces. The darker hours (Matins and Lauds/Compline) represent evil Traits and the lighter hours (Terce/None and Sext) represent good Traits. The darker the hour, the more intense the evil. Conversely, the lighter the hour, the more intense the good. There are no Prime/Vespers Traits.

Each character begins with five points to purchase Traits. Some of these Traits will be suggested by the relationships on the storymap, while others may be determined by the player’s interpretation of the character. A Trait is purchased for one point and can be of any legitimate face. In other words, a Matins Trait does not cost any more than a Lauds/Compline Trait.

Purchase Inspiration and Corruption
Inspiration and Corruption (collectively abbreviated I/C) measure the influence of Good and Evil of the character. As the character is affected by evil or performs evil acts, his Corruption increases. In the same way, a character’s Inspiration increases when he does good or is affected by good. Inspiration and Corruption are not tracked using clock faces; instead, they are each measured on a numeric scale of 0 to 5. (The effects of I/C are described in detail in a later section.)

Any points not spent on Traits must be spent on I/C at a cost of 1 point per point of Inspiration or Corruption purchased.

Purchase Attributes
The whole of a character’s effectiveness is summed up in his Attributes. All conflict resolution begins with one of the three Attributes.

Force—This is the ability to impose your will and desires on another person or entity. This does include a lot of fighting (i.e. I impose upon you my desire for you to feel pain and/or die) but it can also apply to intimidation or any other activity that is a direct imposition of force on someone else. Force is rarely subtle or hidden. Rather, it is usually fairly blatant and immediately effective.

Insight—This is the ability to be deceitful, manipulative, perceptive, wise, intelligent, and empathetic. Insight can also be used to counteract someone else’s use of Insight (e.g. hiding your true emotions from someone). Insight is usually more subtle than Force and also usually takes longer to be effective, but it can be more powerful in the long run, because it subverts the will, rather than breaking it.

Determination—This is the ability to impose your will on yourself. Ordinarily this is used to defend against someone else’s actions (e.g. resisting torture, avoiding seduction) based on pure willpower. However, it can also be used for actions based on stubbornness or endurance (e.g. crossing a desert on foot, wearing out an opponent in combat)

The player is given another five points to assign values to the character’s Attributes. The cost for an Attribute is as follows:

Name Cost
Sext: 4
Terce/None: 3
Prime/Vespers: 2
Lauds/Compline: 1
Matins: 0

Any points not spent in this step are lost.

Here are some questions to assist in the assigning of Attributes.

Force—Is your character physically strong? Is he intimidating? Does he have a forceful presence? Do people obey him out of fear? Is he a vicious fighter? These kinds of factors contribute to a high Force.

Insight—Is your character intelligent? Is he wise? Is he a good manipulator? An excellent tactician? A schemer? Perceptive? These kinds of factors contribute to a high Insight.

Determination—Is your character patient? Does he endure pain well? Does he have an iron will? Does he hold to his principles? These kinds of factors contribute to a high Determination.


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