Saturday, 10 March 2012

Polish Resistance: Character Creation II

When I picked a subset of Cyberpunk 2020 character creation rules for my Polish Resistance games, I missed out on an important rule: Friends & Enemies. There are three reasons I skipped this one:

  1. It was part of the complex Life Events step which I considered extraneous. Anyway I prefer that characters start with minimal back-story so that the player can flesh out the character during play.
  2. Generating a friend/enemy required 7 dice rolls for the various tables provided, and I was looking for a simplified rule-set.
  3. I came from a DnD background where no such rule exists, so I saw it as extraneous.

However there are some good reasons to add Friends and Enemies to character creation:

  1. In city-based settings, the city is too complex to come up with a detailed description of the cityscape. If the GM is going to give any depth to the city, he needs to focus on just the part of the city the characters know. A Relationship Map is a good way model the social aspects of this.
  2. Having players create NPCs is a good way to encourage them to contribute to the setting in an active manner. Hopefully this mindset continues during play.
  3. The focus on character relationships moves the game's goals from purely combat and treasure-based to other goals. For instance gaining power, influence, and a reputation. Perhaps that's why DnD's endgame is so elusive: if the whole focus is on treasure and XP from the beginning, it's hard to suddenly transition into a mode of finding followers, a castle, etc.

So without further ado:

Simplified Friends & Enemies Rule

Create 1d3-1 friends and 1d3-1 enemies for your character. Each NPC should come with a name, a short description, their relationship to the PC, and where they usually can be found.

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