Learnin’ Through The Breach – Part 2 – Character Creation Steps 5-9

Heyo gamers, I’m back with the next installment of Learnin’ Through the Breach! Check out the first post to see how we’ve gotten to where we are. Building characters takes a good deal of time and imagination we’ll jump back into the 14 step Character Creation process to see what we can learn. I Want to point out again that I’m somewhat familiar with malifaux, the world, the theme and the characters. A little rusty on lore but I’m kind of creating with the game and background in mind. If you don’t know Malifaux as much it may be better to read the lore and such before character creation. We’ll get to Lore in this blog series but not until after character creation and basic gameplay.
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*pic of the book or pages
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Step 5, Mind. Deal the top card from the fate deck and place it to the right of the Station Card. This card like the Body has 4 numeric values that are to be assigned to the 4 aspects. Our Mental Aspects are, Intellect, Charm, Cunning and Tenacity. Filling in these stats will help us build our necromancer *Cough* magician. One should think of these stats as traits and aspects that came about due to early adulthood and such to continue fleshing out the story. I drew a 5 of crows, which gives me a -2/0/0/+2 to assign, the Mind Fate quote reads “you will not heed the mentor” for the 5 of crows. I like the idea of our character being swayed by something internally the necrotic essence within is his mentor yet he’s betraying it and acting against the mentor’s wishes. I’m going to throw the +2 stat to Tenacity as it contributes to Necromancy and some other skills I’m digging for this character like Barter and Centering. I’ll assign the two 0 stats to Cunning and Intellect so he’s an average human when it comes to those stats. Explains his fathers mundane prestidigitation abilities. The -2 will go to Charm, I’m seeing this guy composing himself in a greasy kind of salesman way or at least a having a real pasted on charm, a try hard perhaps when it really matters. Running with his family and dealing with mentor revealing himself made his mind a little unstable to say the least for a few years there but he’s back and he’s positive that he’s got it under control now, well mostly. Almost. In Summary I’ve got +2 Tenacity, 0 Cunning, 0 Intellect and -2 Charm.
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*pic of spread now
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Step 6, Endeavor Skills. Deal another card off the fate deck and place it below the station card as your endeavor card. This will determine the skills your character learned in adulthood or more recently. The main difference between these and the root skills is that the character actually chose to learn these or had some power in acquiring them as opposed to the Root Skills that the character gained through childhood. I drew a 13 of Masks which gives me 2,2,2,1,1,1 to assign to six skills other than my root skills (Necromancy, Prestidigitation, Carouse, Deceive and Toughness). The Endeavor fate quote is “When hope drowns in but three tears”. yikes. Without knowing much about the skills yet, I’m just going to try and stay well rounded in my selections. In most games I take this approach rather than specialize too much. Let’s kick things off with 2 going to the Stitching skill, for sewing “fabric and corpses” the book notes. He learned originally to make stage costumes but the mentor showed him how to stitch other things. The next 2 will go towards Explosives because what magic show isn’t complete without pyrotechnics. Our characters tend to be more showy and less effective but cool nonetheless and that’s why he originally took them up. The last 2 will be assigned to Acrobatics, as he practiced for showmanship but after being on the wrong side of the law for some time he learned to become more nimble and such to avoid physical confrontation. I’ll assign a 1 to Barter, most of his connections are afraid of him now but our character does have some skills at negotiating prices and deals. A 1 will also go towards Thrown Weapons, he throws knives and small sharp objects with relative accuracy thanks to a William tell like apple stunt he had in an old show. Our third and final 1 will go towards Centering which involves keeping oneself calm in times of terror. He’s got a necrotic entity living within his mind that slowly allows him to “remember” more and more unpleasant business. He’s about as zen as they come. In Summary my Endeavor skills are Stitching 2, Explosives 2, Acrobatics 2, Barter 1, Thrown Weapons 1, Centering 1.
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*pic of spread now
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Step 7, Station Skills. Look back at the station generated in step 2 to see the skill associated. You gain one rank in that skill or in another if you already have at least one in it. If you recall our character’s station was Magewright, his parents were basically blue collar factory mages. The associated skill is Enchanting which I haven’t taken yet so now I’ve got Enchanting 1.
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Step 8, Modify. This step gives you two points that can be used to modify your character and form into your concept a bit further. Each point can either increase 1 aspect by +1 (can’t go above 3 in this way) or Gain 2 ranks in a skill you do not already possess. Each choice is to be tied into the characters back-story. The first point will be spent to increase intellect to +1 the justification is that the mentor has revealed more secrets to him and occasionally answers questions or makes observations that our character works into daily life. The second point will increase my Resilience to +3 again due to the mentor\necrotic entity\demon thing taking more control and releasing more power the ol’ magician\necromancer got even tougher not to mention he hits the bottle a bit now to deal with the literal demons so his tolerance is up. There’s a little blurb on Languages, having the literacy skill lets you learn more of them but they are earth based ya know, like English, Russian and such. Every character knows some English as that’s the main language of Malifaux and the Guild but they can also know one language of their homeland or upbringing. I think our Mage will know some Spanish, not exactly fluent but his parents were.
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Step 9, Divining Fate. Now Aspects and Skills have been set our character becomes “Fated”. All those Fate quotes are to be combined together in reverse order. Their total being the characters destiny! This allows the fatemaster to work that into the game and the character concept to be cemented. The destiny is read Endeavor Card -> Mind -> Root -> Body -> Station. Each line should be mulled over as the destiny is very important to all aspects of gameplay and story telling. Destinies can be defined individually or there is an option to define the players destinies together to see if there are any links. That may be a cool option. Let’s see what our character has for a destiny now.
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“When hope drowns in but three tears.” –  Endeavor Fate
“You will not heed the mentor.” – Mind Fate
“As the witless man fears the child” – Root Skills Fate
“The red woman will light the path.” – Body Fate
“And she will mourn you all her days.” – Station Fate
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Okay, well first of all read that one more time. Wow, how fucking cool is that. Sounds like a legit kind of destiny or something. That’s awesome and unique to each character wrapped up with the campaign too oh my. The story telling will be too good. Let’s take a stab at interpreting our yet-to-be-named Magician’s destiny to wrap up. So the first two lines taken together boil down to something like when time is running out you’ll do something stupid or of your own accord. Or when you’re at your lowest point in life you will ignore the mentor. Oh, I like that. Let’s say after the catastrophe where he turned half an audience into zombies after killing them in a horrible fashion, “on accident” the mentor kind of took over and sent him to some dark places where he acquired a few skills and as he crept closer to some ‘end’ that the mentor had in mind (maybe to be freed or something) he eventually got his shit back together or found a reason to push onwards with life. Let’s face it, probably a woman. Maybe some nurse he saw when stealing corpses for something nefarious caused him to try and clean up his act. He’s still working up the nerve to go back, he is at -2 Charm after all. Looking at lines 2 and 3 together, the witless man is mistaken to fear the child there is some error in our characters way in that he’ll betray even another ‘mentor’ or patron in the future by mistake. Looking at lines 3 and 4 together and keeping that same mistake\fate kind of idea, perhaps the red woman will mistakenly or accidentally reveal something. If I recall the red woman is tied up in the lore of malifaux. Or maybe some mistake she had made in the past lead to the entity within the mage existing and it has yet to fully impact her and her followers. Our character will be at the precipice of delivering that impact if he makes the right decisions that is. But it looks like he’s destined to make a grand mistake and that weighs on him heavily when he has to make decisions of any importance. Also it’s got some behind the scenes stuff for a fatemaster to work with using the red woman and the entity within the magician to weave some story and such. I can dig it a great deal. A wonderful story building mechanic for an RPG.
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The more I learn the further I’d like to travel Through the Breach. We’ll attempt to wrap up character creation in the next post and finally decide on a name for necromancer magician. Cheers, find me over on twitter @vorgames.
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