John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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Atlantis: The Second Age Character Creation - Green Bodhan

Since I'm currently playing in a game of Atlantis: The Second Age being run by spross for the month of July, I thought that I would post up the character that I created for his game. Somewhat in detail. So here he is.

Game: Atlantis: The Second Age Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Khepera Publishing
Degree of Familiarity: I've been running the current version of the game for a while now. You could say that I'm familiar with it. :)
Books Required: Atlantis: The Second Age.

Please note that this post is extremely long, as I've gone into the game mechanics a bit in terms of character creation, and have provided background on the character and the choices. Hence the majority of this post is behind the cut. That said, there is some of the game mechanics and descriptions of game world elements that I've skimped on in this write-up, so if you want to know more, just drop me a line in the Comments.

For those who don't know, Atlantis: The Second Age is a sword & sorcery roleplaying game set in the Antediluvian world filled with savage warriors, powerful magics, and cosmic horrors. It's a Sword & Sorcery fantasy roleplaying game in the vein of the old Tor and DAW books, owing a lot to Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Moorcock, and Fritz Leiber. Anyway, here's the character creation process. Bear in mind that this material is quite long, due to the way the background section is written up.

Step 1: Come up with a Character Concept for the player character that you want to play.
The first step that I always include in my games is to have the player come up with a Character Concept for the character they want to play. This is basically a one- or two-sentence bit that gives you all the essentials about what the character in question is.

I decide that I want my character to be a skilled archer, some type of scout, but I've not really decided where from or any of that. Since I'll be playing this character myself, I decide to create a male character, though I don't have a name for him yet. He's a Human character, and working with Tammy a bit here, I decide to make him a scout/guide. However, I will leave some of the details about him until the Life Path section (see below).

Step 2: Choose a Race.
The first step in Character Creation is to choose a Race for the character. From this, one gets one's basic Attributes as well as some racial abilities. The basic races for the Atlantis: The Second Age RPG include the Ahl-at-Rab (a species of saurian), the Andaman (the beast races, of which there are seven), the Atlanteans (duh!), the Humans, the Jinn (not saying anything else about them here), the Lemurian (the ancient Ape-Man species), and the Nethermen (not saying more here).

I decide that I will make the character male, and that he will be a Human.

The basic Attributes used in the Atlantis: The Second Age RPG are Intelligence (INT), Perception (PER), Will (WIL), Charisma (CHA), Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON), Speed (SPD), Combat Rating (CR), and Magic Rating (MR). Only two of these require additional explanation. CR is a measure of a character's natural ability in combat situations, and serves as the Attribute for most combat-related activities. MR is the basic Attribute pertaining to the inner power of the character to manipulate the universe, and is used as the Attribute for most most magic-related activities.

I decide that I want my nameless guy to be somewhat strong, dexterous, and combat oriented, and have a modicum of savvy. All of the Attributes for Humans begin at +0, but as a Human, I receive 5 points to put into my Attributes due to the Inheritors of the Earth Racial ability. I can also add two more points into the Attributes if I take the equivalent penalty in other Attributes. I also gain an extra 2 points in Attributes, as a gift of the gods. So that gives me potentially a +9 and -2 to my Attributes for the character.

I spread them out as follows: Int +1, Per +1, Wil +0, Cha +0, MR -2, Str +1, Dex +3, Con +1, Spd +0, CR +2

Thus, my nameless character is slightly more intelligent and perceptive, somewhat strong, very dexterous, relatively hearty, and has an innate grasp of combat related things. Along with the Inheritors of the Earth Racial ability, I also note the two others that she receives as a Human, Zeal and Tyche.

From what I've got here as the basics, I note to myself that I see my nameless character as being agile, combative, and somewhat bright.

Being a Human, I start with a base of 20 Hit Points, and I make a note of this.

Step 3: Choose a Culture for the character.
The player chooses a Culture for the player character next. This gives you an idea of where the character comes from, what part of the world they are from, and will determine their base Skills and possibly their outlook on life. Because there are Cultures for most of the Antediluvian world (with some exceptions), the list of these is just too long to include here.

Looking at the map of the world (and discussing the matter with spross and Tammy), I decide that I'm going to do the atypical, and play a character from the Europan nation of Oggia, where the equivalent of the gypsies dwell.

Being from Oggia, I start with the following Skills: Deception +2, Evade +1, Lore (Europan Folklore) +2, Mode (Sensory) +1, Perform +2, Sleight of Hand +2, and Speak Alban +10.

I choose Play Mandolin as my area of expertise under Perform, thus making the skill Perform (Play Mandolin) +2.

I really don't want to play a mage in the game, and make a deal with spross to take the point from Mode and switch it into Perform, raising that Skill to a +3. The character is atypical of the gypsy type, having no affinity with magic, and that suits me just fine. Thus, the Skills look as follows when I'm done:

Deception +2, Evade +1, Lore (Europan Folklore) +2, Perform (Play Mandolin) +3, Sleight of Hand +2, and Speak Alban +10.

As an Oggian, I also receive a bonus to my CHA of +1, raising it to +1.

Step 4: Choose a Profession.
The player next chooses the Profession for the character, that is, what she does for a living. There are four general Professions (Slayer, Taker, Shaper, and Teacher), and the player is encouraged to choose one of the sub-Professions contained therein.

For my nameless character, I'm obviously going to choose Slayer. Within the Slayer profession, I have to choose from Scout, Soldier, Warrior, or Brigand. I've got a basic concept in mind for my nameless character, so I choose the Scout occupation for the character.

As a Scout, he adds a bonus +1 to CR, bringing that up to +3.

He receives the following Skills due to his Profession: Athletics +2, Evade +8, Influence +2, Speak (Atlantean) +3, Parry +4, Profession (Guide) +10, Steath +5, Tracking/Shadowing +5, Weapon (Player's choice) +10, Weapon (Player's choice) +4.

The two Weapon Skills are "Player's Choice", so I went ahead and choose them here. Since I cannot start with a Skill over 10 at this point (that can only happen due to the Life Paths (see below)), I choose to take the primary weapon as Ranged, and the secondary weapon as Melee. Like I said, I want the character to be an archer. Thus, the Skills look like this when I'm done:

Athletics +2, Evade +8, Influence +2, Speak (Atlantean) +3, Parry +4, Profession (Guide) +10, Steath +5, Tracking/Shadowing +5, Weapon (Melee) +4, Weapon (Ranged) +10.

In addition, the Scout Profession gives the character the Talent of Advanced Missile Training.

He begins with a Wealth Rating (WR) of +1, and his Starting Gear consists of: Lightweight full suit of armour, weapon of choice, bow, Traveller's gear, and a horse. I'll come back to the Starting Gear later, in the final write-up for the character.

Step 5: Determine the character's Life Paths.
The player determines the character's Life Paths. This provides the player a good idea where the character has been, what he has seen and done in his lifetime before the start of the game. The Life Paths are broken up into quite a few separate sections, and rather than list them all here, I'll just go through what the characters gains from them in total.

First, we start with What Comes Before - the character's Upbringing, Childhood Encounter, and Family Status.

Randomly rolling on the charts for these, I determine that the character had a Savage Upbringing. He is the bastard child raised by the clan; that as a child, he was instrumental in stopping a coup; and his family's status is on the rise but tenuous.

From these, the character gains +2 to Unarmed Fighting, +3 to Instinct (these are basic to his Upbringing), and +1 again to Unarmed Fighting. Since I must choose a specialisation for the Instinct Skill, I take Initiative for this purpose.

The player then decides how many Life Path choices that he will make for the character.

Given that I've set the character up to be an archer, I'm going to take at least two Life Paths, and see if my age allows a third or a fourth in this regard.

I roll for the Paths as follows, and come up with the following events in the character's life and the abilities added to the character as noted.

Path 1: Warrior. +1 Weapon (Ranged); Tragedy: He is the cause of a war or conflict where many innocents suffered and died. Everyone knows your burden and shame; -10 to Renown. This period of his life ages the character another 5 years.

Path 2: Scholar. +1 Lore (Europan Folklore); Scholar Special Event: For a few years he was the travelling companion of an Atlantean Hero. He experienced many things and witnessed a great many wonders; +1 to Skill of choice (I opt for Lore (Survival: Forest)). This period of his life ages the character another 5 years. Eek!

Path 3: Warrior. +1 Weapon (Ranged); Scholarly Pursuits: He studied at the feet of a great Himvati philosopher, and learned secrets of the mind; (+1 to MR). This period of his life ages the character another 2 years.

For each of the Warrior Paths taken, I received a +1 to Weapon (Player's choice). I stuck these into Ranged combat to round out the character a bit more. For the Scholar Path, I chose Lore (Europan Folklore), and added to the skill as I already had taken it.

Step 6: Spend the Customisation Points for the character.
Once the player finishes determining the player character's Life Paths, the player receives 30 points to spend on Customisation of the character. These points can be spent to modify the Attributes (at a cost of 5 per point), Skills (at a cost of 1 per point), and Talents (at a cost of 5 per Talent in one's Profession and 10 per Talent outside it, as well as 5 point each per Unrelated Talent).

Looking at various charts and tables, I decide how to spend the 30 Customisation Points on the character, whom I now call Bodhan.

I begin by spending 10 points to increase my WIL by +1 (giving me a WIL +1) and DEX by +1 (giving me DEX +4). That leaves me 20 Customisation Points.

I spend another 5 points to take the Second Wind Talent. That leaves me with 15 Customisation Points.

Finally, I spend the final 15 points on Skills: Athletics +3, Animal Handling +1, Resolve +2, Evade +1, Weapon (Melee) +3, and Lore (Survival: Forest) +5.

Step 6a: Determine the character's Age.

Because he is Human, Bodhan begins as an Adult of 18 years of age, but due to his Life Paths adding 12 years to his age, he is 30 years old.

Step 6b: Determine the character's Hit Points.

I start with 20 Hit Points due to my Race (Human), and since I have a CON of +1, I start the game with a total of 21 Hit Points.

Step 6c: Determine the character's starting Renown.

Bodhan starts with a base Renown of 0, but has a -10 Renown loss from one of his exploits. Thus, he starts the game with -10 Renown.

Step 6d: Determine the character's Hero Points, and the character's Atman ratings.

The character starts with 5 + CHA Hero Points. With a CHA +1, this gives Bodhan 6 Hero Points to begin with.

Atman is, to all intents and purposes, the character's self or being. How the character's elements are arranged and focused. No element is inherently bad or good, but too much of anything can twist a character somewhat. The Atmans represent the character's personality, passions, ambitions, goals, and personal drives. The Elements that compose the character's Atman wax and wane as the character journey's through life. There are three Element pairs - Air/Earth, Fire/Water, and Empyrean/Void, and a character assigns a number of points into the Atmans equal to the number of Hero Points they have.

Since Bodhan has 6 Hero Points, he can assign 6 points into the various Atmans. Looking over the definitions of each of the Elements of the Atman, I decide to assign them as follows: Air 1, Earth 1, Fire 1, Water 1, and Void 2.

Step 7: The player should finally also choose some Disadvantages for the character.
These Disadvantages should be chosen to make the character more interesting and less "perfect". The player should choose Disadvantages based on how he intends to play the character and on things he might find interesting. The character must have three (3) Disadvantages chosen among Relationships, Internal, and External Problems, and may split no more than five points among them in terms of severity, with no Disadvantage being set higher than 3.

Looking over the Disadvantages, I decide on the following:

Relationship 2: Enemy. The son of the Oggian who masterminded the coup wants me dead.

Internal 2: Guilt. He is guilty about the conflict that resulted in the innocent deaths and suffering. Bodhan will not allow innocents to suffer.

External Problem 1: Wanted. The last male heir of clan Trelesta has died, and now the clan seeks him out to rule, even though he is a bastard. Still, blood is blood. And no, he doesn't want the responsibility!

Step 8: The player should decide on the Destiny and Fate of the character.
The Destiny of the character can be any effort that is worthy of a Hero, grand enough to inspire the help of a god. It is intended to change the face of the world, leaving the Hero's mark on the land, and should be something that sets the Hero apart from the mundane mortals of the world.

After some thought, I decide that Bodhan's Destiny is to become the King of the Gypsies and destroy the evil at the heart of the Black Forest.

The Fate of the character, on the other hand, is usually tragic. Normal, mundane mortals go about their lives walking down the middle road, dying in obscurity. The higher a Hero climbs, the farther the fall if they fail. The nail that sticks up must be hammered down; such is the purpose of Fate.

Given what I have chosen for the character's Destiny, I decide that Bodhan's fate is to become the enslaved minion of the evil in the heart of the Black Forest, and to die in ignomy, all his deeds forgotten.

And that's pretty much character generation. When the character is all done, Green Bodhan ends up as follows:

Green Bodhan
Human Oggian Scout, 30 years old

Race: Human
Gender: Male
Culture: Oggia (Europa)
Profession: Slayer/Scout
Age: 30

INT +1, PER +1, WIL +1, CHA +1, MR -1
STR +1, DEX +4, CON +1, SPD +0, CR +3

Hit Points: 21
Renown: -10
Hero Points: 6
Atmans (Air 1, Earth 1, Fire 1, Water 1, Void 2)
WR: +1

Animal Handling +1, Athletics +5, Deception +2, Evade +10, Influence +2, Instinct (Initiative) +3, Lore (Europan Folklore) +3, Lore (Survival: Forest) +6, Parry +4, Perform (Play Mandolin) +3, Profession (Guide) +10, Resolve +2, Sleight of Hand +2, Speak (Alban) +10, Speak (Atlantean) +3, Stealth +5, Tracking/Shadowing +5, Unarmed Fighting +3, Weapon (Melee) +7, Weapon (Ranged) +12

Racial Abilities:
Inheritor of the Earth, Zeal, Tyche

Advanced Missile Training, Second Wind

Relationship 2: Enemy. The son of the Oggian who masterminded the coup wants me dead.
Internal 2: Guilt. He is guilty about the conflict that resulted in the innocent deaths and suffering. Bodhan will not allow innocents to suffer.
External Problem 1: Wanted. The last male heir of clan Trelesta has died, and now the clan seeks him out to rule, even though he is a bastard. Still, blood is blood. And no, he doesn't want the responsibility!</i>

Destiny: To become the King of the Gypsies and destroy the evil at the heart of the Black Forest.

Fate: To become the enslaved minion of the evil in the heart of the Black Forest, and to die in ignomy, all his deeds forgotten.

Starting Gear:
Lightweight full suit armour (leather cuirass and legggings (PR5, Cost -2); Dagger (Acc+2, DR6, Fast, Quick, Parry); Gladius (DR8, Fast, QUick); Short Bow (Acc+1, DR-, Fast, RoF 1, Ammo 1, Rng 40m, Cost -2); Quiver w/ 10 standard arrows (DR8, Impaling) and 5 barbed arrows (Acc-1, DR5, Impaling), Traveller's gear; mandolin and case; and a horse.

That's the character I created for myself to play in spross's game. To be honest, he's not quite the way I envisioned him. Part of this was due to the Life Paths that came up on the dice, and the other part of this was not wanting to step too much on Tammy's character's feet, as she's a thief and I didn't want to duplicate too many of her skills. Given a choice, the character would have a higher PER, a bit of SPD, and would have the Tracking/Shadowing and Stealth skills higher, as well as a bit of Investigate/Search and some Ride ability. But one does the best one can. :)

And there's the character I created for spross's Atlantis: The Second Age Roleplaying Game. The character has additional equipment that I picked up and asked for, but I've not included that here.

Comments and feedback are welcome. :)
Tags: atlantis rpg, character creation, green bodhan, personal, rpg, rpg hut

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