Monday, June 14, 2010

Gieden, Chapter Three: Character Creation (Stats)

The Physical Stats:

A measure of your character’s nimbleness in hand and foot. This is needed by athletes and tumblers, as well as those who wield weapons or want to dodge well.
0--Inhumanly clumsy. You can't do fine manipulation and can hardly move without falling.
* Clumsy. You trip over nothing in broad daylight.
** Average Dexterity.
*** Dexterous. Your balance is good and your fingers quick.
**** Impressive. You could be a circus performer, a master swordsman, or an origami expert.
***** Wow. Rarely will you see another with such grace.

Magical Resistance:
The ability of your body to channel magic without being destroyed. After you have determined how many dots to put in this stat, you will multiply that number times two, and darken that many of the donuts around the outside edge of your Magic Circle. Then, each time you use magic, you will subtract the magic's rank from the number of darkened circles.
0--Magic takes a physical toll on you each and every time you touch it.
* Low resistance.
** Average resistance.
*** Strong Resistance.
**** Magical Prodigy.
***** Magical Powerhouse.

Extreme physicality, such as that used in combat, long distance running, or heavy labor, takes a toll on us all. This statistic puts a number on how long your character can perform without being weakened by exhaustion.
0--One round of strenuous activity exhausts your character, causing penalties (see the section of Chapter Eight: Combat, at the end of this post).
* You have to make an exhaustion roll, as described in Chapter Eight: Combat, after two rounds of strenuous activity.
** Average Physicality. You make an exhaustion roll after four rounds of strenuous physical activity.
*** Make an exhaustion roll after six rounds of strain.
**** Highly Trained. Make an exhaustion roll after eight rounds.
***** Physical Powerhouse. Make an exhaustion roll after ten rounds of strenuous physical activity...if you still have any opponents left standing.

This is a measure of how much weight your character can carry, as well as how devastating they are with their fists. It will come in handy for barroom brawlers, people who want to carry an arsenal wherever they go, blacksmiths, carpenters, and those who want to appear physically intimidating.
0--Powerless. Either you are only a few inches tall or you have trouble lifting your own limbs.
* Below Average. Can lift only 40-60 pounds, and 60 is really pushing it.
** Average Strength. Can lift 60-100 pounds.
*** Strong. Can lift 100-150 pounds, slightly more with adrenaline.
**** Very Strong. Can lift 150-210 pounds, and can bend smallish metal objects.
***** Incredible. Can lift 200 pounds without undo strain and bend prison bars.

The Social Stats:

This represents your character’s physical beauty. Perhaps this shouldn’t be the case, but it’s a tough world out there, and anytime you want to be popular, it helps to be beautiful.
0--Yuck. Perhaps you’re horribly scarred, or you have a particularly disgusting Taint. Whatever it is, people are repulsed by you.
* Unattractive. You aren’t just plain, you actually have one or more feature that makes you unattractive
** Average. You are somewhat plain; not off-putting, but no beauty.
*** Nice Looking.
**** Lovely Lady/Handsome Hunk. You are often the target of longing stares and romantic overtures.
***** Drop-dead Gorgeous. You inspire awe in the opposite sex and envy in those of the same sex. As long as others are around, you won’t be paying for your own meals, and if you're a woman, you also don't have to worry about opening doors or carrying heavy loads.

This is a measure of your ability to make friends and influence people. It's as important to charlatans as courtesans. It's also a boon to musicians.
0--Unlovable Cad. Not even your mom likes you. This makes it almost impossible to work with others.
* Socially inept. You sometimes come across as rude or just plain clueless.
** Average. You aren’t invited to many parties, but you aren't thrown out on sight, either.
*** Social. Most people will get along with you fine, and you are unlikely to offend.
**** Social butterfly. You are welcome most places, and strangers are drawn to you.
***** Absolutely Charming. You are welcome at any party and people flock to you.

This represents your familial, political, or social ties. You should jot down the name and station of your connections, unless you have 5 dots in this Stat, in which case your connections may be too numerous to list. If you are in an extremely low-population game, then the Game Master may tell you that the number of dots you have in this stat represent the total number of people willing to help you, in which case, one dot is one contact, two is two, three is three, and so on.
0--Outcast. No one knows you, and they aren’t inclined to do you any favors.
* Name dropper. You have a well-known acquaintance.
** One connection. You either have one friend that is somewhat wealthy, powerful, or well-respected, or you have a couple of friends that are willing to do you minor favors.
*** Reasonably well connected. You have several ties to the wealthy and powerful, and at least one of them owes you some small favor.
**** Connected. You may be a public official, or perhaps you just know all the movers and shakers. You can call on a favor or two, and your connections may prove useful in all sorts of situations.
***** Power Broker. You not only know the rich, powerful, and noteworthy, but you know all about them, too. They will gladly fulfill your requests, if they can, and will not openly snub you. You may be a high ranking public official or a courtesan, or perhaps you were born into the most prestigious family on your continent. Whatever it is, you know everyone, and everyone knows you.

This represents how easy it is for you to bend others to your will. Keep in mind that this Stat demands a certain level of intelligence and roleplay on the part of the player, but if used correctly, it can be an incredible force for good – or evil.
0--Blatant. You are straightforward to the point of rudeness, and couldn't verbally sway a small child.
* Average. You can convince someone who was pretty sure anyway.
** Heckler. You can goad or badger someone into rash action – sometimes.
*** Silver-Tounged. In some cases, you can manipulate the light in which actions or words are seen, causing harsh words to seem gentler, an innocuous statement to seem riddled with hidden meaning, or a casual good-bye to mean that the speaker cares nothing for the listener.
**** Mind-Bender. Not only can you manipulate the light in which words or actions are seen, but you can also suggest that you noticed a meaningful glimpse or gesture that others did not. Sometimes, your words paint such a masterful picture that the listener could swear that they, too, caught the ‘hidden meaning’. Later, it can be hard for others to convince the target that they didn’t witness the gesture themselves.
***** Puppet-Master. You are capable of convincing groups of people that your version of the story is the correct one, even if they saw otherwise with their own eyes. It would take much convincing before they would believe something other than the version of the story you told them.

The Mental Stats:

This represents the knowledge that you have and how easily you can grasp a new concept. This is very important when deciding what to do next or trying to decipher an ancient text.
0--Duh… You have a hard time keeping up with normal conversation.
* Can you repeat that? You have to have things explained multiple times.
** Oh, now I get it… You are of average intelligence. No less, no more.
*** Intelligent. You were always “the smart kid”, and you often win at games of intellect.
**** Intellectual. You are a great planner, quick on the up-take, and have a great store of knowledge from which you can draw.
***** Genius. You have a vast amount of knowledge and can make an instant assessment of any situation. The Game Master may give you extra information from which to formulate ideas, and your character will never forget pertinent information.

Magical Talent:
Whether you are Roian or Gieden, everyone has the ability to reach out for magic. They also have a certain talent for working that magic. This is represented by the Magical Talent Stat. However many dots you place in this Stat, you may then place that many dots into the Magical Discipline(s) of your choice. The only two rules are: 1) The Magical Disciplines you choose to use should be representative of your character’s personality, and 2) you may not place more than 3 dots in any one discipline when creating a beginning character. If you choose to place four or five dots in this stat, then you may put up to 3 dots in the magical discipline that best correlates to your character’s personality. You may then place the remaining dots in any discipline(s) of your choice.
The Magical Talent statistic is located in two places on your character sheet. One is just underneath Wisdom on the third Stat column. The other is in the center of your Magic Circle.
A zero in this stat means that you are an anomaly; you actually do not have the power everyone else has been gifted with and can never grasp magic’s power. The average person would have two dots, with some having slightly more or slightly less. Four dots is exceptional, and five is a once-in-a-generation kind of talent.

This represents your alertness. If you spend time on the battlefield or in the presence of the rich and powerful, you will need to keep your eyes open.
0--Deaf/Blind. You are always the last to know when things happen and routinely stumble into peril.
* Huh? You don’t notice much.
** Average. You notice some things, if they are obvious enough.
*** Perceptive. You notice what others miss and seldom fall prey to traps or ambush.
**** Eagle-eyed. You notice details and nuance that escape ordinary people.
***** Nothing escapes you. People may suspect you of having extra-sensory perception.


Even the smartest people can make dumb mistakes. Your wisdom score shows how ‘street smart’ you are and how likely you are to have sound judgment; a must for anyone who wants to survive for long.
0--No common sense. You routinely suggest the absolute worst way of handling a given situation, and will act without thought. Groups may refuse to work with you and consider your presence hazardous.
* Reckless. You often act without thinking things through.
** Average. You put at least some thought into your actions and try not to act rashly.
*** Thoughtful. Things usually go the way you envision them, and you make a good leader.
**** True Wisdom. You are unlikely to ever show an error in judgment (even if this means the Game Master is forced to give the player a few extra hints).
***** Oracle. People often turn to you for advice, and you almost always know how a given action will play out. Very little catches you by surprise.


Assigning Dots in the Statistics

Look over the physical, social, and mental statistics. Choose which of these is the most important to your character, which is secondary and which is tertiary. You may divide 12 dots among the stats in your primary category, 10 dots in your secondary category, and 7 dots in your tertiary category. No Stat may be raised above a 4 until bonus points are assigned.


Physical Exertion, Physical Exhaustion (From Chapter Eight, Combat)

Combat takes a toll on both the attacker and the defender. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. In the case of this game, how long your character can fight without exhaustion depends on your Physical Stamina Stat. Count the number of dots your character has in that Stat. That number, times two, is the number of rounds your character can fight, run, or do other physically exhausting tasks without risk of exhaustion.

Every round after you exceed that ‘safe’ number of rounds, you will roll a number of dice equal to the dots you have in the Physical Stamina Stat. The difficulty begins at 6. If even one of your dice shows 6 or above, your character is fine. If not, your character gets a 1 point penalty to every roll they make until they get to rest. Also, as long as the exertion continues, you must make an exhaustion check at the end of each round. Any penalties you have accumulated count for this roll, too, and failing it gives you another 1 point penalty.

For Example: Terrence the Terrible has a Physical Stamina Stat of 3 dots. He is in physical combat with another character, Clarence. For the first six rounds of combat, Terrence is in no danger of physical exhaustion. At the end of the sixth round, however, Terrence must roll 3 dice. If none of them show 6 or above, then all of Terrence’s rolls will be lowered by 1 point until he gets some rest.

Poor Terrence has no luck. None of his dice show 6 or above. Now, when he swings his fists at Clarence (usually a Hit Difficulty of 6), he must roll a 7 or above to succeed. At the end of the round, he rolls his 3 dice again to see if he gets even more exhausted. This roll also has a 1 point penalty, meaning that instead of a 6, one of his 3 dice must show a 7.

Terrence is once again failed by his dice. Now, he has a 2 point penalty to all his rolls until he gets some rest. Clarence is not only harder to hit (Terrence would have to roll an 8 or better), but he’s landing a lot more hits as well (the Dodge Difficulty is usually a 6, but with Terrence’s penalties, he has to roll an 8 or better to dodge).

At the end of that round, though, Terrence finally has some luck. One of his dice shows an 8, meaning his penalty will stay at 2 points, but Clarence is starting to show signs of exhaustion. He’s slowing down a bit, and his aim loses some of its focus. Maybe this battle won’t be so tough after all…

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