Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Life as a Writer: Wanderer Update

Here's the scheme for character generation as of this draft:
  1. Attributes: Roll 2d6 to determine the scores for your character's Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Use Traveller notation for scores above 9.
    • Note: Charisma is not merely how alluring your character is, but also a measure of divine favor. Social Status is another matter.
  2. Status: This is akin to Career in Traveller, with no draft step. You roll for each in descending order until you succeed or you run out of options. If you run out, your character is an Outsider with no Status at all and considered an Outlaw.
    • Note: The loose social model is based on the Ancient World, not the Medieval World. You'll have to bodge things to conform to anything more specific or different from this norm.
  3. Career Development: Using the options provided by Status, determine which Skills your character learns over the interim. Your character starts at Age 14, so a one-term character is Age 18. This otherwise works as Traveller.
    • Note: Careers are restricted by Status, and so are the skills that come out of them.
  4. Determine Boons: Instead of mustering out, ending development means that's when your character's backstory is done. Instead of benefits, your character won boons from patrons--mortal and not alike, as your table decides--and you roll on the provided tables to determine them.
    • Note: Ships--boats, really--are possible, but they will be the sort found in the Ancient World. Weapons will be exceptional in quality by default; magical weapons--explicitly supernatural--is a campaign decision not assumed here. Secret Society membership is a catch-all for various esoteric associations, and not presumed to be any in particular. Money is in gold and silver. Attribute modifications are presumed to be due to esoteric treatments received previously.
  5. Details: Determine name, sex, appearance, and other specifics that include connection to other characters at the table.

Now, that's the sort of minimalist approach I'm going for. There will be tables for the Careers and Status steps, and being that I'm presuming the Ancient World I also presume the presence of pre-Abrahamic religion and mythologies being a big deal in various social worlds. I'm making this with the assumption that you have the Internet, libraries, and can go dig up historical and mythological information on your own. That's a big reason for why I am not making a setting for Wanderer.

Tabletop RPGs are a hobby, and part of that is to deal in world-building, and to that end all I need to do is provide a framework for resolving actions and giving context for interactions. You want Wanderer to be a Hyborean Age epic? Go read Howard. A historical epic in Old Kingdom Egypt? Get some Osprey books, some documentaries, and make some notes.

I have no intention of spoon-feeding you supplementary material. This should be more than enough, minimal as it is, for you to do what you want.

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