15 Upgrades

I've looked at the starting characters in "The Law".
 

If we assume the baseline for a named character is:
 
  • One point in each attribute
  • No skills/abilities
  • One defence in each ability
  • No edges, advantages, or equipment
 
...and we assume that each type of upgrade is roughly equal...

 
...then a starting "Agent of the Law" has 15 upgrades.
 
They start with a total of:
  • Eight points spread across the attributes (that counts as 4 upgrades)
  • Seven skills/abilities (that's another 7)
  • One defence in each ability (but they may have forfeited skills to gain extra defences, at a 1-to-1 ratio)
  • Four pieces of equipment (which is the final 4, adding up to a total of 15)
 
The baseline character is below average, the die rolling system generally means they are more of a liability to their allies than an advantage. The starting "Agent of the Law" character is slightly more likely to succeed on actions, and slightly less likely to cause additional sacrifices. This is a good thing, it keeps the story moving forward. If a starting "Agent of the Law" limits their actions to a specific sphere of activity where they've been designed to be effective, they'll be even more capable of pushing things forward (but they'll be less capabke if doing so with other types of action).

I like the idea of forcing a spread across the different types of upgrade, and that's where the lifepath system of character generation is developing. I'm also getting some ideas from another old system, I'm pretty sure it's Pendragon, but the more recent system Chronica Feudalis is coming to mind as well.

 
These systems draw on the character's ancestry to provide choices. Your mother and father play a role in your genetics and initial upbringing... if you have lost your parents, then two figures in the community provide that initial development. Then an outside mentor provides some additional training or guidance.

 
For the moment I'm working on the idea of two parents (each of whom provide an attribute bonus, and a skill/ability bonus), a mentor (who also provides an attribute bonus, but a pair of skill/ability bonuses), then a random table that will provide a high chance of new skills/abilities, a lower chance of edges or equipment, or a rare chance at additional attribute points. This means that out of the 15 starting upgrades, two will come from each parent, three from a mentor, and the remaining eight will be random, but focused according to the environment where the character developed (meaning a character raised in the desert will be extremely unlikely to have a "swim" skill, unless the rolls came up really unusually).

 
Now it's all about fine tuning those random tables.

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