Campaign of the Month: March 2014
Step 0: Extra Credit Homework
On the forums there is a topic titled Extra Credit Homework that give you advice on setting up your basic character page. This will help you build a basic idea for your character and setup your Obsidian Portal character page. Each step gets you small rewards too, so bonus.
Even if you don’t do any Extra Credit, you should still have a name (Both True Identity and Vigilante Persona) and a basic concept before continuing.
Step 1: Reading and Deciding
Open up the Casting Call spreadsheet next. There are four tabs to this spreedsheet, each one pre-populated with a variety of choices for you to connect with.
Pick 3-5 Features, 2-3 Extras (Including a Faction or two), and 3-5 Locations and fill out the spreadsheet as per the guidelines on the Home tab. Information on Features, Factions, and Extras can be found on the Face Briefings page, while Location information can be found on the Locations page and the Map
The Casting Call sheet is acting as our Pathways map, meaning its as much for other players as it is for me. When filling out fields, you should write how you know\relate to the character or place. Avoid writing statements here, we’re less interested in how you feel about people and this point and more interested in how you know them.
Casting Call Sheet Explained
Character creation in C+ Dramatic Roleplaying is meant to be very collaborative. Players are suppose to set aside a session to do something called a Pathways chart, which is a flowchart to the characters and their relationships. Since we don’t have the luxury of being able to flowchart everyone together, I’ve opted to try a different method.
The Casting Call spreadsheet is as much for the players as it is for myself. It’s not part of your Character Sheet and you shouldn’t be putting things that would be on your sheet here. It’s more of a brainstorming and explanation sheet. If you want to have a relationships with an NPC, explain how your character knows that NPC here. If you want to have access to certain resources (Having worked with or currently working with a Faction. Having an Extra you can turn to for advice\etc. Having a Location that helps you in some way.) explain how your character knows of that person or place and why they use it.
The goal is that players can look at this sheet, see who knows who, and add to or build off of those existing ideas. Need a Villain to have killed your wife? Check the chart and see who’s important to the other characters. Everyone having a tie to an NPC is a great way for the character to come together. Don’t worry about stepping on toes here. The more people connected to a Feature the better.
One common issue I’m seeing is people writing Statements (how they feel) on the Casting Call sheet. You’re on the right track, but in the wrong place. Save those for your character sheet. This is for facts, not feelings. Define your connection to the Feature\Extra\Location.
Casting Call Sheet Reminder
This keeps coming up, so let me say this loud and clear:
Don’t put Statements on the Casting Call sheet.
Don’t put Statements for Leads.
Don’t put Statements for Features.
Don’t put Statements for Extras.
Don’t put Statements for Locations.
Don’t put Statements in the spreadsheet.
Put Facts on the Casting Call.
Step 2: Values
Each Value starts at D4. You have nine (9) steps in increase the six Values with. Each step increases the die size ones. D4 to D6 to D8 to D10 to D12. After you have your Values rated, write Statements about them. More information on Values and Statements can be found on the Values page.
Step 3: Everything Else
Next you’ll have thirty-one (31) steps to spend on Assets (Distinctions and Abilities), Relationships, and Resources (Extras, Factions, and Locations). More information can be found about each subject on their respective pages; Relationships Distinctions, Abilities, and Resources.
Relationships and Resources all start with a free D4 rating. Assets must be bought from zero. This means it costs Four steps to increase a Relationship or Resource to D12 and Five steps in increase an Asset.
You’ll start with a D4 relationship with every other Lead (Player) character as well, plus their alter-egos. This means you would have both “Richard Grayson d4” and “Nightwing d4”.
You’ll also write Statements for your Relationships, note your Triggers for Distinctions, note your Special Effects for your Abilities, and your Specialties for your Resources.
With Abilities every step you put into your power gives you one free Special Effect. This means Abilities with a D12 rating have five Special Effects.
Features\Extras & Relationships\Resources
There is an important distinction between Features and Extras that I want to make clear. When building a character Features can only be Relationships and Extras can only be Resources. You can not have a Relationship with an Extra or use a Feature as a Resource.
The difference between a D6 and a D8 can be a little confusing. Mostly because it can mean two very different things depending on what trait we’re talking about.
Die ratings can mean two things but luckily there is an easy way to tell which one you need to think about. If the die rating has a Statement attached to it, it means how important that Trait is to your character. If there isn’t a statement, the die rating means how good your character is with the Trait.
A common mistake is to have negative Statements attached to low die ratings. This implies you don’t really care about that statement, which might not be what you’re going for.
Just remember, Statement Traits are rated by how much your character cares. Non-Statement Traits are rated by how good your character is.