Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Character Generation Project: Mutant City Blues

Those of you new to the blog (or especially to the project) will find the overview of what this "Character Generation Project" is all about here. Stephanie's overview of character generation in general is here.
The sheet is easier to read here.

Which game is this for?
Mutant City Blues

How long did it take you to generate the character?
About an hour.

What was your character concept going into generation?
I didn't have one - I took the player's handbook's advice, and looked to the Quade Diagram for inspiration.
It really is that easy in this game - just pick a super power that seems interesting to you and see what it's linked to. *BAM!* Instant character concept.

Did you feel like character generation captured the flavor of the setting?
Did this influence your decision-making process during character generation?
Yes - using the Quade Diagram definitely helped keep the flavor of the setting up-front.

How much control did you feel like you had during character generation?
Quite a bit - putting the skills together gave me a lot of control over what direction my character would take.

Did the game help you make the character you wanted, or did it feel like you were fighting the game?
I think going through the various skills helped guide me into a character concept.

Do you like the character you ended up with?

Do you think your character fits your concept?
Again, I didn't come into this one with a preconceived concept.
I pressed her on this a bit - even though she didn't come into it with a concept, the character - on paper at least - does fit her on-the-fly concept.

Do you feel like your character would be effective and/or useful in a game?
Something I like about the Gumshoe system: It's next to impossible to create a truly worthless character. Not that I plan to issue that as a challenge to any of my players ...

Was there anything in particular that you struggled with mechanically?
I still don't quite understand "pool points", and I'm not sure I've handled those properly - I'm not sure where the "pool" for each of the skills comes from.
Having played other Gumshoe-system games before, I know that your Ability is your Pool for points - but that's not explicitly spelled out in Mutant City Blues, for some reason.

Did anything run more smoothly than you had expected?
The mutant powers - I was expecting that to be more difficult than it was.
Other than possibly ICONS, MCB has the easiest super power selection process I've ever seen. The Quade Diagram is a concept I'm likely to import into other super-powered games.

What changes would you have made to the character generation process?
A quick discussion of the pool points (especially Health and Stability) would have been useful before the general skills.

Did anything leap out at you as obviously broken or unbalanced?
Not really - the Quade Diagram helps keep you from just picking all the "best" powers and enforces a balance with its defects.

What led you to choose this game as the next one to make a character for?
It looked like an interesting idea, and I like the idea of having mutants integrated into society, and how that would affect law enforcement.

How would you compare your experience with this game to your experience with other games?
This was a much easier character generation than, say, All Flesh, and I think I ended up with a character I would really like playing.

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

Does this character make you want to play this game?
It does - I'd like to see how my character would work with a team.

Do you have any other questions, comments, etc.?
In the end, I really enjoyed this character, and the generation process gave me a good idea of the flavor of the game.

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