Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Character Generation Project: Fvlminata

Character: FvlminataTo the right, you can see the first character Stephanie created for our character generation project.  I'm not entirely sure why, but she chose Fvlminata as her first public foray into character-making.  Okay.  That's a lie.  Check the questionnaire below and she'll tell you why this was her first choice.

The scan you see is actually a second scan - the first one was done in pencil, and didn't scan very well so she recopied it in pen.  For the record: I think that recopying in pen made both of us a bit twitchy.

I don't think I've ever done a character in pen - it's generally not a good idea - I can see writing new skill names in pen, but ratings do change with time and experience, so I would never put any numbers on a character sheet in pen. And I don't think I'm alone in that.

If you can't read the sheet, by the way, clicking it will take you to the image's page on my Flickr photo stream.  We will likely refine a few things which are project-related as we go along.

As promised, here are her answers to the questionnaire:

Which game is this for?

How long did it take you to make the character?
About 90 minutes.

What was your character concept going into generation?
A merchant who is able to defend herself, but does not actively look for trouble.

Did you feel like character generation captured the flavor of the setting? Did this influence your decision-making process during character generation?
Yes and no - I didn't feel that this was particularly different from historical Rome, other than giving me a bit more freedom as a female character than I would have had in a strictly historical setting.

How much control did you feel like you had during character generation?
Quite a bit

Did the game help you make the character you wanted, or did it feel like you were fighting the game?
The game helped guide my character in a way I didn't expect, but I don't feel like it wouldn't let me do what I wanted to do.

Do you like the character you ended up with?
I do - it wasn't entirely what I started out with, but I liked what it turned into.

Do you think your character fits your initial concept?

Do you feel like your character would be effective and/or useful in a game?
I think she would probably be good for reconnaissance and information-gathering, but would not be the best in a fight unless she was cornered.

Was there anything in particular that you struggled with mechanically?
It took a little while to wrap my head around the humors and the temperaments were a bit difficult to understand. I also wasn't sure, with the skills, whether it would preferable to be reasonably good at a lot of things or to be really good at only a few things.

Did anything run more smoothly than you had expected?
There was a little bit of a stumble with the humors, but otherwise it went smoothly.

What changes would you have made to the character generation process?
I think the combination of occupation and rank could be better explained, but other that, it seemed to fit the system.

Did anything leap out at you as obviously broken or unbalanced?
It would be easy to make an overpowered fighter, with the skills and attribute point-buys, but I think it would end up coming down to GM discretion to prevent that.

What led you to choose this game as the next one to make a character for?
The concept caught my attention, and I was curious about how it was implemented.

How would you compare your experience with this game to your experience with other games?
It struck me as odd that I could theoretically create a character who would have no ability in combat or magic, and would be basically useless - other games I've played have made it pretty near impossible to create a truly useless character.

[Eric's Note: Prior to this, Stephanie's experience consists of D&D and pre-generated characters for one-shot games]

Is this a character you would be willing to play in a campaign?

Does this character make you want to play this game?

Do you have any other questions, comments, etc.?
I would have appreciated a better overview of the system before going straight into the character generation portion of the book - while I appreciated the charts that indicated what was average, above-average and extraordinary in terms of the skills and attributes, a brief intro into what one would be rolling before setting those numbers down would have been nice. The book goes straight into character generation, however, and I didn't really delve into the mechanics of the game much as I would going through "by the book", as it were, and working my way through based on what came next in the book.

Did you consider creating a magic-using character?
Not really, no.  I didn't even look too much at the magic system.

Were you afraid that a magic-user would be too complex for someone new to the game?
For some reason, the idea of magic and Ancient Rome just didn't click.

Did the availability of gunpowder in an otherwise mostly historical setting impact your character generation at all?
Nope.  It just didn't seem to come up, other than as a possible skill choice that didn't fit the kind of character I was creating.


  1. Huh! Stephanie twice alludes to being surprised by the result:

    "The game helped guide my character in a way I didn't wasn't entirely what I started out with, but I liked what it turned into."

    Could she elaborate on that? At what point did the character start taking its own course, and what elements of the process caused that?

  2. If I were to be playing this character in a game, she would be a seductress - the temperament led me down that way, and it actually led me to change my skills for Venus. Not what I had anticipated, but something that would be fun to play.