Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mechanics Talk: Explain to Me How to Creator

While we polish up the last of the mechanics and the playtesters cry about switching gears, we've had some questions about what a day in the life of various kinds of Heroes in HJ might entail. So I'm going to do a quick (ha ha, "quick") series of posts about what you do with each Aspect and its Talents, and how a Hero that has them might contribute to their group and be an awesome embodiment of them during their adventures. It's sort of like an advance breakdown of the explanations of what Aspects and Talents do in the book - so here we go!

Creators are about, well, being creative - not just making new things, but improvising on the fly and finding ways to apply energy to maintain things and people. Remember, not every person with the Creator Aspect has many or even any dots in all the attached Talents, but they're the ones who have access to these kinds of skills and abilities!

What do you do on your adventures and for your group when you have Creator?

Making Stuff: Creators are the ones who can create new things, which could be anything from a pedestrian building of a table to a widely-sung piece of sculpture that starts a new art movement. They're also the mechanics, tinkers, and fixers of the world - when your weapon gets broken, or you need more ammunition made, or you ram your car into a tree one too many times in pursuit of your mortal enemies, the Creators are the ones who can fix everything up and let you keep on rolling. Obviously, they can do these things for themselves, but they can also do them for the rest of the team, meaning that having someone with the Creator Aspect is a huge benefit to everyone. When you're a Creator, if you don't have what you need, maybe you can just make it, and if your gear breaks down, well, you can just bolt it back together and keep moving.

Providing Medical Care: Creators are also good at the maintenance of living things; they can't necessary make them (well, not as Mortals, anyway, except for the old-fashioned procreative way), but they can help keep them in good working order. They're the ones who can provide first aid if someone is injured or life-saving feats if someone is Mortally Wounded, and they're also the ones who have access to the most Blessings that magically heal wounds. Again, they can use these skills to help themselves out, but they can also use them to comfort and heal others, so a group with a Creator is a group who loves that Creator for all the incredible help they can provide. If a Hero has enough Creator that it's one of their main Aspects, they also have access to the Empowerment Endowment, which lets them create rest periods for everyone to recuperate and regnerate.

Performing Art: Creators are the creatives, so they're also the people who are creating in real-time - singers, dancers, actors, stand-up comedians, improvisational performance artists of every kind. They can come up with new things on the fly, not to mention creating songs and choreography people will remember for the ages if they're skilled enough. Now, how much people like the Creator themself performing depends on what other Aspects they have - Lover for attractiveness or Warrior for physical power and skill often come into play - but without the Creator themself, nobody's going got come up with any performance of rememberable value.

Inventing Things: Just like they're creative enough to invent new works of art and improvise a five-hour song cycle on the spot, Creators are also creative enough to invent entirely new ideas and things - they're the Einsteins and Imhoteps, the coming up with brilliant new logic leaps and inventing brand new technologies. These things take a while in many cases, of course, but if someone came up with something new and brilliant, that Hero had the Creator Aspect - it's the home of new, innovative, and incredible.

What is the Creator Effortless At? Creators have a leg up when it comes to surviving anything that would try to break down their bodies or energies - after all, they're wellsprings of raw energy and hard work, and they can dump that into their own maintenance as well as into helping others or making external things. Creators are better at resisting poisons, diseases, radiation, environmental pressures, and other outside forces that might try to sicken or weaken them, as well as being better at resisting magical powers that do similar things. Everyone can get extras to help them with this kind of resistance depending on how the progress around the webs, but the Creator is better at it naturally.

What are the Creator's Drawbacks? Creators, of course, love to try new things and innovate - and sometimes that causes problems, even when it's also brilliant. Creators are the ones who are likely to accidentally try something before it's quite out of the half-baked stage, which means some of their Blessings can make items volatile (essentially, prone to explosion or weird side effects) as a result of skipping their testing phases. The Creator Aspect is also very much about the now; they can handle problems when they arise, repair injury that has already happened or address existing damage or challenges, but they aren't as good at planning ahead for the future as some of the other Aspects.

In playtest groups, Creators have recently excelled in their adventures by building a raft to help travel through a treacherous swamp; single-handedly inventing a new kind of fashion and using it to impress local people into granting them safe passage; rigging up a fuel alternative to make a car go much faster than it should have been allowed to by pouring magic-tainted juice in with the gasoline (spoiler alert: it got very unstable, but they went very fast); and improvising such sick burns in an impromptu rap battle that they actually shamed an enemy into going home instead of remaining to have their feelings hurt further.

The Talents under the Creator umbrella are of course Art, Energy, Vision, and Willpower; we've been discussing altering the names on these in an eleventh-hour change recently, mostly because we've gotten some feedback that while "Art" is using a traditional meaning of the word to describe skill in making something, it's caused some confusion about the fact that it doesn't apply to some of the fine arts, which are more commonly referred to as "art". So if you've got an opinion, throw it at us in the comments!

Edit: Pulled the trigger too soon! Now updated with images!


  1. Given that we last got an explanation of the different Talents quite some time ago :) and given that you end off with a note that you're possibly considering renaming these and they may have had their area of influence slightly changed, I think it would be great if you gave us a short description of what each Talent actually does now, both for this Creator Post and for all the future ones :) Then I think we could give you a better opinion on the name change :)

    1. Yeah. We'll get on this at some point soon.

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  3. I would presume, then, that the Creator is the one you get to assemble the Ikea furniture?

    1. Certainly cant trust the warrior to do it.