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> Background Based Character Creation Method, Stolen from Traveller RPG; needs input
post Jun 18 2009, 06:21 AM
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Immortal Elf

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As I'm sure most people don't check up on the Community Projects section very often, I thought I'd direct people's gaze towards this self-inflicted project.

Background Based Character Creation

I understand that many people don't like a random aspect in their otherwise nonrandom chargen, which is why I hold it as an alternative method for my own amusement, which when "complete" could likely be trimmed down for use as a non-beneficial augmented use; that is, all of the aspects that would contribute to statwise character increases would be removed or reduced in impact such that one could not gain or lose more than 10 to 20 BPs worth of skills or minor qualities.

The idea is to produce a series of tables for which random events for a character's past can be quickly used to flesh out a character, though the full tables would be intended to be used as a substitute for point by as far as skills go (that is 250 or so BP to stats / qualities, followed by "career path" tables). I can't begin to work on how well the method works until I have a full set of tables, parts of which are proving difficult.

For example, on the common Life Events table (you roll a 7 on 2d6 for your career event and you're directed to the Life Events table) if you roll a 12 you have an unusual event, possibly being psychic to finding alien artifacts (possibly dating to older than humanity), which is fine in a space faring sci-fi game, but has no place in ShadowRun (while it'd be "realistic" to have a 2.3%* chance of getting the CHANCE to roll to be a mage, it wouldn't be fun).

Another sticking point is that Traveller has far more skills than ShadowRun, some of which have sub-skills ("specializations" i.e. Gunner (Turrets) 1 means you have a +0 to all gunnery tests unless it's with turrets, then you get a +1. Gaining another rank of the skill either gives you Gunner (Turrets) 2 -or- Gunner (Turrets) 1, Gunner (other specialization) 1. You can't ever be just generally good at a skill). So filling out the random skill acquisition tables for some careers is proving difficult. For example, a mage split between Summoner and Sorcerer have only 3 skills on either side (Summoning, Banishing, Binding on one with Spellcasting, Counterspelling, Ritual Spellcasting on the other, leaving Arcana, Enchanting, Astral Combat as "general" between them, and not every character would want all three of any set!).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

*0.4% per 4 year term of service in a career; 7 on Events, 12 on Life Events, 1 on Unusual Event, followed by another roll; 2d6-N where N is the number of terms served. If the result is 1 or greater you're psychic. If you get under a 7 you're at a penalty to learning how to use your powers. If you're a Drifter (that is, someone without a job) you have a 14% chance per term of getting an Unusual Event; a 6 on the Drifter Event is an automatic Unusual Event, a 7 gives you a Life Event as normal, after the 1/6th chance of getting to roll to be psychic over 6 terms as a drifter you have a 14% chance of getting tested at some point, everyone else has a 3% chance of being tested.
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