27 July, 2018

Bring Your Own Miniatures - Character Development

Kill Team from Games Workshop seems to be getting a bit of traction, which is great.  I'm really hoping to get a closer look at it in the next week, but for the moment, this Bring Your Own Miniatures project is focused on individual characters, and a few offsiders, rather than being focused on a team. So, I'll take a look at what they're doing, but concentrate my own efforts on something that's more like the old GW Inquisitor game.

I know I've discussed the idea before, but there are various schools of thought about character development. I really thought about this long and hard when developing The Law, but in that game I ended up going with an open ended development system where a character could feasibly start physically weak, and end up as a muscle-bound powerhouse. For that game setting it makes sense; characters can be loaded up with cybernetics, genetically engineered, or become augmented in all different ways. For this game setting, I'm not so sure.

In games of the D20/D&D/OSR ilk, attributes don't really change much at all after character generation, with average scores of 10-12 a single attribute might increase by a single point every couple of levels, and in most games you only increase levels every couple of sessions. Things like increased hit points, new spells, and improved attacks are more regular, but things like improved equipment are more regular advancement options.

The other extreme is having no advancement system at all, relying purely on improved weaponry, armour, and other equipment. I don't think that's the best option for a game about heroes in the making.

Mordheim' s advancement rules are enticing. Roll dice, and see what upgrade they give you. Once you hit a cap, then either roll again or you choose the alternate option given by the random result.

I'm actually liking the Kill Team advancement elements I've seen so far. It reminds me of what I originally did with Voidstone Chronicles (now on sale), and what I did with the Can of Beans LARP system. Characters have a basic class that grants some kind of ability, this branches to two intermediate classes whoch specialise that basic class in some way, and each of those branches to two advanced classes (for a total of 4 advanced classes per cluster).

I'm thinking that characters in this game should be able to increase their elemental scores, but not freely increase them. Instead I'm thinking that elements can increase by 2 points above their starting scores. This maintains the flavour of the character, and gives 12 possible advancements. If I apply an archetype system to the advancement process, then this could add a bit more versatility to the way characters improve.

I just need to think of a good way to implement that.

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