Important Considerations to Begin
Each character represents something more than the average apocalypse survivor. Tenacious, yes. Resilient and resourceful, check. But there’s something more to them, that doesn’t allow them to stop, to settle into a small farm on the edge of a relatively safe community; something that drives them to venture out into danger and potential death in spite of all reason.
And beyond that, the very matter of the universe seems to seep and bleed, twisting into unidentifiable shapes, no matter what facet of that existence you once called home. How does your character cope with that strain; what provides him comfort when all hope is lost?
These are a few of the basic character questions that will be answered during Character Creation; things that make the character press on even when they should stop, and that give them that boost of confidence or resolve to not bend beneath the weight of it all.
A Character’s Drive is the answer to the first question above: why not retire? Why do the Characters continue to strive and struggle in potentially fatal situations, regardless of other options available. As a mechanic, acting against one’s Drive can be cause for loss of Stability, while acting in direct accordance can boost a Character’s resistance to Stability loss.
- Some travel to gain, others to do what they feel is necessary. You got in it to help people. You’re no innocent, simply someone who wants to make sure those who can do are allowed to live in peace, free from tyranny.
- You encountered something from somewhere that gave you experiences you’d never felt before; and that you’ve never been able to duplicate. Perhaps a strange smoke gave you psychic dreams, or you shared the lusts of a succubus for a heart-pounding evening; whatever the initial drug, you won’t stop until you have more.
- This character is drawn to the spirit of the adventure itself; meeting new things and seeing distant places, all while under the constant specter of danger and insanity. These characters are adrenaline junkies, driven to put themselves into the thick of danger for the thrill of survival, and the stories to tell later.
- The curious character is drawn to the mystery, to the absence of knowledge about what is going on out past the edge of their senses and, potentially to a greater extent, how it all began. This character is obsessed with the riddle of it, with unraveling the mystery, damning the risks involved.
- This character holds some personal sense of responsibility, some near-paternal sense of duty that requires he step in when danger is discovered, so no one else has to put themselves on the line. The duty-bound character isn’t doing what’s right, he’s doing what’s necessary to protect others, because he can only trust himself to get the job done right.
- The world-weary character is similar to the Adventurer, save what they are longing for is to feel something. Perhaps they encountered a psychic vampire who siphoned joy from them, or they have experienced so much near the rifts the world seems to have run out of wonder. Either way, the ennui character travels more from boredom than for excitement.
- You didn’t want to be here. You didn’t ask for this. But you had to come. If you didn’t, then they would be all alone. You are a follower to another character, whether they know it or not; a hanger-on, a member of the entourage, an employee, or a stalker, who’s to say. You’re here because they are, plain and simple.
- The hunted character might have been part of a merc op that went wrong, or have served in a military unit and gone against orders. Maybe she’s a former crime moll, on the run from a particularly bloody coup. Whatever the reason, the character finds that her pursuers find her wherever she goes, usually to the trouble of those she finds comfort in.
- In the Blood
- You come from a line of travelers, adventurers, or simply put-upon victims of the malevolent forces ebbing and flowing from the rifts. Either way, it’s almost a family tradition, an urge to keep going, so that your forebears can be proud of your wonders; or impressed at your feats; or cowed by your victories.
- Nowhere to Go
- You’ve got a reputation, either by blood or actions, for being a bad luck charm; or a monster. Either way, no one welcomes you, and those who don’t know you when you arrive soon see discover your nature or reputation through whispers. Congratulations, you’re famous; and can’t rent a pot to piss in.
- Something out there hurt you, or someone you care about. While you will help others on the way, everything you do is a potential weapon to turn against those who wronged you in the past. Whatever it costs, whatever it takes, you will have your vengeance or die trying.
- Seeker of Knowledge
- You aren’t idly curious, or obsessed with the minutiae of the day-to-day. No, not you; you’re out for the big secrets, the truths hiding on the other sides of those great chaotic windows. Things seep into this world that break the laws of science as we understand them. You just want to catch up with what they know about science.
This is more esoteric than a Drive; a character’s Solace is something that they can seek comfort in, when the worst has happened. It can be a religious belief, a military paradigm, an important memory from childhood, or even simply a person that they keep in touch with.
To use a Solace, a player must justify how the character is calling this particular idea to themselves at this moment. Perhaps the believer utters a prayer, or another character clutches a small trinket their mother gave them. Whatever the method, there has to be one for the Solace to be of benefit.
This, in large part, balances the idea of a less convenient solace like “this guy I know” who can be reached occasionally on radio but is also in danger from enemies against a solace that is safely locked in a character’s mind.
Should a character ever be confronted with the loss of their Solace (proof their god is a charlatan; the failure of military tactics; seeing their childhood home burning, possibly again; or the death of betrayal of their ‘special person’), they immediately lose 4 Stability and cannot regain it until they have roleplayed the development of another Solace.
Character backgrounds will involve both career and species choices, and will cost points out of a characters original build. Career options will often come with an intangible benefit in addition to the mechanical ones, coupled with a detriment to off-set the benefit.
Character species will include a D-Bee rating, which will represent how easily they are detected by those who hunt such creatures. Rather than D-Bee rating, a few races will instead have the trait Genetically Engineered, representing their creation at the hands of human scientists. This will make them undetectable as D-Bee (on Earth), but will compensate with a built-in control.