Picking up where I left off last week, I'm pushing ahead with Star Wars RPG character creation for the upcoming conventions. Plus a few other random bits of news.
Random bits first:
- Fantasy Flight Games is suffering shipping delays like everyone else receiving goods through the ports in California. They have posted a list of affected products. Looks like my bank account gets a reprieve from the imminent Armada arrival.
- FFG announced a pair of X-wing Miniatures playmats. I'm surprised they didn't have something out a lot earlier, as third parties have had similar products for a long time now. Still, they don't have the Death Star.
- A new preview of Star Wars Age of Rebellion Fly Casual is up.
- Dave Filoni released color guides to the Rebels characters to help out cosplayers and droid builders.
- Something is Awakening at FFG.
- Geeky Jerseys is now making their Black Squadron hockey jersey for a limited time only.
As for the convention adventures, I'm still in character creation. Last week's flu is mostly gone, and I had some other tasks to take care of, so I'm still not as far along as I hoped. Admittedly, my speed is also affected because I spend probably too much time considering the options. However, working on characters through the flu-haze proved to be slow and I soon decided I needed a new aid to keep things straight.
Enter the Character Worksheet. This is a simple excel file I created to help me keep track of XP spent. It's nothing too detailed, but it tallies up what was spent where. How much went to Characteristics vs skills vs talents vs Force powers. This serves as a nice double-check on the math, which is a good enough reason to use it. However, an even better reason is that when creating convention characters, I often change my mind as to their abilities as the design progresses. Sometimes, that means reverse engineering the spent XP to move it to the new function. Simple changes are easy, but this helps more with the bigger changes. It isn't an exact list of what was bought where, but instead it is a summary how the points were spent in the various categories.
Eventually, when I'm sure I haven't made some silly mistake somewhere, I'll post it for others to use if they like.
The character sheets I created last week are working out nicely. The graphics alignment between text and background image isn't perfect, but close enough. There are always a few tweaks along the way.
Anyway, the goal is to finish all of the character stats first, then come back to the backgrounds after I know more about the story. I like tying the characters into the story, but I've learned that a few paragraphs are all that are needed for the players to get the idea. If it is too long, they won't read it, or won't read it closely enough and then forget useful details during the game. Also, players never pick up on subtleties. If I want the character to use certain traits or have certain connections, it's spelled out and highlighted (not literally) in the text. I've also stopped writing personalities and let the players bring their own take to the situation.
Actually, letting the players have more influence on the character during the game is something I've continued to develop. I no longer list gender or physical descriptions. This allows the player to pick something comfortable for them to play. This extends to using a neutral sounding name, which is actually pretty easy in Star Wars, where odd names abound. I don't let the players name the characters so that I have an easier time running the game. Basically, it makes it easier for me to track what PC belongs to what plot point in my game notes. Plus it avoids names inappropriate for Star Wars (and inappropriate all together).
In the past, I've adopted FFG's method of having several Obligation related histories that the players choose from at the start of the game. It gives the players a taste of how the different Obligations affect the game. Plus as a GM, having different Obligations with different characters creates different conditions in each game session. This time, however, I'm making the Obligation/Duty/Morality and Motivation choices to better align with the story plotlines I have in mind.
So, on to the next character...