Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Playtest Update: Character Sheet Peeks!

Holy smokes. I'm not sure how old this request is, because for some reason it didn't ping a notification to my email, but I just found it!

Could we see some updated character sheets? Maybe examples from the playtesters?

Sounds great, and sure! Since they just passed their one-year anniversary as testers, here are the sheets for our fabulous ongoing Mortal-level playtest, featuring some folks you may know from other blog posts. These are Mortals who have finished a complete Saga and played for a solid year, so they're pretty far into their development, and you'll see them looking a lot more filled out and specialized than the starting-level ones that we've been spoiling over at Kickstarter!

Alas, we don't have artwork for these characters, so their portraits are blank, and you may also notice that these are just the first pages, which is because the full sheets are elsewhere this week for storage. (Also, our graphics expert is on a job, so I put these together, so please pardon the smudges of my less professional skills.)

This set of characters is a really neat one, because you can see where this particular group decided to gravitate toward roles within the whole. While any Hero can have any set of Aspects, and there's definitely overlap between different characters who share skillsets, these are a good example of how we sometimes talk about a character as an Aspect type - for example, a Creator or a Sage, even though they clearly have other Aspects as well.

For example, these six characters clearly claimed one of the Aspects as their own and made it their home. Even though every single character clearly has some dots of Sage, it's also obvious that Bernard is THE Sage, and that while some characters have utility there and can contribute, he's the go-to guy for matters of the mysterious universe of the mind. It's equally obvious that Jennifer is the Warrior, Nate is the Trickster, Annie was the Lover, Emilia is the Hunter, and Ruby is the Leader. We didn't ask them to take on those roles or push them to develop into them; they did it on their own, responding to niches where they realized the group could use someone who was really good in a certain area, and spreading out to make sure the team had a balance of possibilities when together. That's not the only way to set up a group - you can definitely have multiple people being the Warrior or the Lover, trading in having someone who can handle any situation with the most appropriate stat for having everyone be able to absolutely demolish certain areas of expertise instead, or the ever-popular and hilarious "every problem looks like a nail" approach, where everyone goes hard into a couple of the same Aspects and become a roving band of hunter-wizards who solve all their problems with tracking skills and animal husbandry.

The only Aspect lacking a specific dedicated person in this group is the Creator (well, and the Lover now, since Annie met an unfortunate yet heroic end attempting to save her companions from being eaten by tigers), which the players consider Bernard's "job" because he has the most direct skills in it, but which is really not super focused on by anyone. That's okay - Creator powers and skills are awesome and the group could definitely use them, but they also get by fine with several people dabbling in it and pinch-hitting when necessary, and who knows, maybe someday someone will decide to invest. Or, maybe not, and then they'll either avoid creation-based stories or figure out creative (ha) solutions to those they encounter.

These folks may head on up to another tier soonish (although I say that knowing full well that their first Saga took a scientifically measured One Trillion Years, so who actually knows), but in the meantime, they're in a sweet spot where they're well-established and developed as Mortal Heroes, but not quite ready to go on to leave the fields of their human problems behind.

I'll leave you with this snapshot from Jennifer Clarke's character sheet, because she may not have a character portrait but her player does know exactly what she's about:

A true hero of our times.


  1. Very much looking forward to trying out character creation for myself - I like the sheet design, it's very easy to read. Is there a space for your own artwork on the additional sheet(s)?

    1. I'm glad to hear it's easy to read - there's a lot of information to provide so that's been a big concern!

      Hmm, you know, the additional sheets don't at the moment have a dedicated artwork area, but that's a neat idea to maybe see about incorporating for something in the future. :) We love artwork, but hadn't made it a priority since every player isn't an artist and page space is at a bit of a premium on these.

    2. At the very least, there could be a small portrait space for people to put a coat of arms, holy symbol, tattoo, or other associated artwork on their sheet. That shouldn't take up too much space. :-)

    3. Oh, yeah, that's what the empty circle in the middle there is meant to be for. Too small?

      (It used to be bigger, but shrank in redesigns to make sure everything else would fit and be clear.)

    4. Hard to say - I don't know how big the whole sheet is in the first place. But that would work perfectly for personal marks and the like, true. :-)