Sunday, November 08, 2015

White Star Hack Update: Characters

Now that baseball is over for the year (congrats to my KC Royals!), I'm putting in more time to working on cementing my White Star Hack rules. Today, I'm going to cover how character creation will work.

First off, use the normal attribute score generation method that you prefer. The scale of the bonuses has been changed to
1-3          -3
4-6          -2
7-9          -1
10-12  -/+ 0
13-15      +1
16-18      +2
Ever 3 points after 18 confers an additional +1 bonus

The Attributes essentially cover the same areas that they do in nearly all OSR games. However, the big change is that Intelligence dictates the number of starting skill points that a character has to spend on skills at level 1, so Intelligence will be very useful even to warrior types that typically don't need a high INT score.

Once attribute scores have been generated, you'll select your race. Races are structured much like 3E-era D&D races. There may be bonuses and/or penalties to attributes, special abilities, etc. Each race will also have access to six Broad Skills for free. Broad Skills are the gateways to more specialized skills. Purchasing Broad Skills is expensive, but there are no ranks. By purchasing a Broad Skill, a character can attempt any specialized skill (that can be used untrained) under than umbrella without an Untrained penalty, but they can only apply their attribute bonus to the skill roll.

Once the race is selected, the player then selects a class. There are 5 classes to choose from: Diplomat, Freelancer, Psion, Tech, and Warrior. Make a note of any special notes or abilities for the class and then spend skill points on skills. Each class has a list of skills that are tied to that class. Buying a rank in a specialized skill requires the character to first have that Broad Skill. So a Diplomat can't purchase a rank in Pistol without first paying the cost to purchase the "Modern Ranged Weapons" Broad Skill first, even then that is considered a cross-class skill for a Diplomat, unless the Diplomat's second class is Warrior. Purchasing Broad Skills costs 6 skill points, while class skill ranks only cost 1 point, and cross-class skills cost 2 points.

Instead of Alignments, the player will select a Moral Attitude and some character traits. These don't dictate the way the character is played, but can give the player an idea of how they wish their character to act, and they give the GM an idea of what to expect.

Once skills are set, the player then rolls for starting credits and purchases equipment.

Skills is going to be the most time-consuming part of the character creation process. Even then, compared to Alternity, the process moves much quicker since I've pared down the costs and number of points that are being dealt with.

Next up, I'll talk more in depth about how classes are structured.