22 June, 2017

Randomising The Law

I've been digging back into my game The Law. The core system of character generation offers a few choices that lead to a few specific choices, then direct characters toward something that would feasibly make it out of basic training in the Academy of Law. This was intended from both a diegetic (in-world character directed) perspective and a non-diegetic (player directed) perspective. You can find the original concept here.

But I've been reading a lot about random character generation, and regular readers of the blog will know that I love the concept of the life-path character generation system.

This has led me to considering new ways of creating characters in the game. I'm not sure if I'll be offering these generation options as a part of the basic rules, or as a variant in some kind of player's guide...but here's what I've been thinking.

If base attributes are d4, where an upgrade either increases an attribute die by +d2, adds a skill to the character, a resistance, or provides some kind of equipment/environmental advantage, then we're looking at fourteen upgrades for a starting character (typically +4 to various attributes, +6 to skills, +4 to resistances).

Option 1. 
Roll a die for every year of life above age 4, starting characters are 18 when they leave the Academy and become probationary agents.

Under this system, characters would still choose the type of family they grew up in. They'd roll a d12 on a specific table for each year of their childhood and pre-academy life, but once certain threshold conditions had been met, they'd shift to a new table reflecting their academy training.

Childhood Table (roll d12)

  1. Increase Conflict Attribute. (Reroll if this would increase attribute above d8. +2 to Recruitment Threshold)
  2. Increase Influence Attribute (Reroll if this would increase attribute above d8. +2 to Recruitment Threshold)
  3. Increase Knowledge Attribute (Reroll if this would increase attribute above d8. +2 to Recruitment Threshold)
  4. Increase Mysticism Attribute (Reroll if this would increase attribute above d8. +2 to Recruitment Threshold)
  5. Increase an Attribute commonly associated with your family's type (Increase lowest attribute if this would increase attribute above d8. +1 to Recruitment Threshold)
  6. Gain a Conflict Skill (+1 to Recruitment Threshold)
  7. Gain an Influence Skill (+1 to Recruitment Threshold)
  8. Gain a Knowledge Skill (+1 to Recruitment Threshold)
  9. Gain a Mysticism Skill (+1 to Recruitment Threshold)
  10. Gain a Skill associated with one of your family's attributes (+1 to Recruitment Threshold)
  11. Gain a Skill of choice (+1 to Recruitment Threshold) 
  12. Gain a Resistance associated with one of your family's attributes (if you have rolled this previously, gain a different Resistance. +3 to Recruitment Threshold)    

If Recruitment Threshold is 12 or greater, start rolling on Academy table...

Academy Table (roll d6 until all academy skills possessed, then roll d6+4 for remainder of rolls)

  1. Gain an Academy Skill (Investigate, Judge or Shoot) (If all Academy skills are already possessed, increase your lowest Attribute)
  2. Gain an Academy Skill (Investigate, Judge or Shoot) (If all Academy skills are already possessed, gain a Resistance associated with your highest attribute)
  3. Gain an Academy Skill (Investigate, Judge or Shoot) (If all Academy skills are already possessed, gain a Skill associated with your highest attribute) 
  4. Gain a Resistance not currently possessed. 
  5. Gain a Resistance associated with your highest Attribute.
  6. Increase an Attribute associated with your family (Increase lowest attribute if this would increase attribute above d8.)
  7. Increase your lowest Attribute
  8. Increase an attribute of choice (up to a maximum of d10)
  9. Gain a Skill associated with your highest Attribute
  10. Gain a Skill of choice

If I was following this sort of system, I'd add a follow-up roll for each option. These follow-up rolls would provide some kind of in-game justification linking the increase to an element in the agent's backstory.

Option 2.
This one's a bit simpler, but I feel like it needs a bit more work.

Roll 4 d4s, where each die increases an attribute and adds a skill to the agent's repertoire.

  1. Increase Conflict and choose a Conflict Skill
  2. Increase Influence and choose an Influence Skill
  3. Increase Knowledge and choose a Knowledge Skill
  4. Increase Mysticism and choose a Mysticism Skill

Gain the three Academy Skills (Investigate, Judge and Shoot)

Roll 3 d6s, where each result only adds a single element to the agent.

  1. Increase an Attribute associated with the family (up to a maximum of d10, otherwise reroll).
  2. Choose a Skill associated with one of the family's Attributes
  3. Gain the Resistance associated with your highest Attribute
  4. Gain a Resistance associated with one of your family's Attributes
  5. Increase your lowest Attribute
  6. Gain a Skill of choice   



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