System Overview 2: Character Creation
Once the campaign scope is created, it's time to create the heroes!
Character Backgrounds: As we discussed in the first development diary, our first step establishes a high level origin by answering four key questions:
- Origin: What is the source of your powers?
- Catalyst: Why are you hero?
- Drives: What pushes you beyond your limits?
- Powers: What are your powers, or other exceptional abilities?
This is the starting point for building our heroes.
Power Level: This step establishes the heroes starting Attribute and Talent arrays, along with giving the player a number of Advancement Points to craft their heroes. Power Level can range from pulp style mystery men to galactic heroes.
Starting Arrays: Players select a starting array for their Attributes and Talents based on the Power Level. Attribute arrays determine the Heroes general competencies. Are they well rounded (Balanced), or Focused in one area to the determent of others, or somewhere in between (Heroic)?
Talent arrays determine the number of starting Talents and level of ability. A character may start as an Expert in a limited number of Talents, or have a Diverse range of skills, or fall in the middle with a modest group of Competent Talents.
- Crossfire is a former Army Ranger and survivalist. Taking this into consideration his player selects the Heroic Attribute array and Competent Talent Array to represent a core group of related skills and more of a reliance on physical aptitudes.
- Former archaeologist Bulwark was reborn as a creature of stone and flame. For starting arrays his player selects the Focused Attribute array and the Expert Talent Array to represent his natural toughness and tight group of scholarly Talents. Although, he plans on adding some brains to that brawn with Advancement Points.
Advancement Points (AP): With the arrays picked out, players use AP to fill in the blanks, along with crafting the hero's starting powers. This can mean picking up a few extra minor Talents for the Expert, or boosting key Attributes.
Player's create their Powers by assigning a starting Role such as Offense, Defense or Support and selecting Boons based on keywords to define the power's abilities.
- Ronin was a part of the Metahuman Advancement Program. His player names Ronin's Power: Mapped Body, this power enhances his physical abilities and so his player notes that it supports physical actions.
Players don't actually need to spend AP right away. Instead they can hold on to their Advancement Points rounding out their character though game play based on the narrative. This works especially well for new heroes and teen heroes who may not know exactly what they are capable of doing.
Drawbacks: Players can select complications or add flaws to their character, such as vulnerabilities. Drawbacks offer characters an early boost but come with long term repercussions.
Issue 0 and Team Origin: Now that players have a better understanding of who their characters are, everyone provides a defining moment in the character's past. This doesn't have to be as a hero, it may be from any point in their life. Heroes gain an additional motivation based on this event. Like Advancement Points, this doesn't have to be done right away and can happen through the course of a story, when the hero finally decides to open up to a teammate or teammates.
With Issue 0s done everyone works together to explain how they became a team. This is a collaborative story with the GM taking a backseat. The Team Origin forces characters to work together and helps to establish an early group dynamic. This is also a love letter to the GM. Setting up potential plot hooks, major NPCs and giving the GM an example of the kind of stories at the Players hope to see. Each hero gains one final starting motivation based on the Team Origin.
Filling in the Blanks: The player notes the character's starting Stamina and Willpower.