Monday, June 23, 2014

Underdark Musings - Company Game Trait Generator

At the very bottom of everything, the well stretching skyward, with the surface as distant as the radiant heavens of the Bother Gods, and for us equally unobtainable we took stock of who had survived slaughter by the maggot skinned beasts.  We sat around a meager fire making biscuits from the weevil rich flour  whose sacks had been torn in the combat.  Our only protection was a low roof of stone held by a myriad of pillars, an edifice much like a pier, but rising from the smooth dry stone of the cave.  As we sat, men and woman first tried to find those of their own country, or those who had made up the cliques and gangs in the camps above. 

The grim descent and the fight afterward had scattered and broken these chains of the past.  Amid the abattoir of our fellows, torn by the deep beasts, the past seemed less important then before, a rebirth from a womb of light and space into a place where darkness has twelve distinct varieties.  I found myself using the blade of the ax I had grabbed up in desperation to help the man next to me heat his doughy biscuits as well as my own. He was a lean and ageless man, and from his ragged robes I knew him to once have been a noble from the distant islands across the spotted sea.  From the scars of torture and the brands on his hands I also knew him to have been a sorcerer, who had somehow survived the special attentions of the Crusaders. He called me "Ax" from that day, and we became friends there. I for my part always called him as "Titter" from his strange laugh - in our own lands we would have clung to our proud traditions and he insisted on his title and honorifics while I demanded he respect the honors I once won in the City of Glass. 


-
Testimony of fallen redeemer No. 34 at the Inquisitional inquest regarding the White Fortress massacres.

I was thinking again about running a 'company style' game, where the player select from a large pool of potential characters, but do not each 'own' a specific character. Obviously generating PCs quickly is essential in such a game, and as mentioned in previous posts on the subject the goal is to have a varied party of 'adventurers' each session with a trade off between leaving the best company members in camp or using them as characters in a specific session.  While stat lines can be generated quickly, and equipment becomes more a function of company stores then individual record sheets, I wanted to add a bit more to character generation so that the company members, most who will be little more then replacements or NPCs could be a bit more memorable.

To this end, below is a table of 100 Nicknames and Traits, many of which also adjust statistics so that a player will have something to go on when starting with a new PC.


Using the the table is designed to be simple, requiring 2D100 rolls, and giving nicknames and characteristics that evoke some basic ideas about the character, give the player a chance to fill out detail and may provide a bonus, penalty or combination. In a 'company' still game, where the players select from a larger poll of potential PC's these nicknames could help define the characters before hand beyond just providing a stat-line.

Green are negative characteristics and nicknames, blue mixed and orange positive. The notations are designed as follows + or - followed by a traditional statistic abbreviation is designed to indicate a +1 or -1 to the statistic (maybe a 1d2 depending on game system), while a *+ or *- is a larger bonus or penalty, perhaps a D4.



Nicknames and Traits – Quick Generation
 D100
Name/Effect
Description/Effect
1
Worm/*-Chr *-Int
Diseased/*-Con
2
The Roach/-Con -Chr – Int
Missing Leg/*-Dex
3
Bad Mojo/*-Wis
Missing Arm/*-Str
4
Humongus/-Str-Con
Stunted/-Str/-Con
5
Lump/*-Int
Foolish/*-Wis
6
Runto/-*Str
Clumsy/-Dex
7
Smash n’ Grab/-Int
Horribly Scarred/*-Chr
8
Witless/-Int
Moronic/*-Wis
9
Weed/-Str
Elderly/-Dex-Str
10
Stinky/-Chr
Halfwit/*-Int
11
Greenguts/*-Con
Gullible/-Int
12
Smoker/-Con
Midget/*-Con
13
Maladroit/*-Dex
Illiterate/-Int
14
One-Eye/-Dex
Filthy/-Chr
15
Hunchie/-Str
Missing Eye/ -1 to missile attacks
16
Dirty Britches/-Chr
Scrawny/-Str
17
Wildman/-Int
Drug Addict /-Con
18
Naptime/-Wis
Obese/-Dex
19
Dead Light/-Int
Near sighted/-1 hit with missiles
20
The Creep/-Chr
Violent Zealot/-1 Wis/-Int
21
Sharky/-Chr
Pocked
22
Stumpy/-Dex
Extra pinky
23
Rabbit/-Con
Flatulent
24
Slouch/-Dex/-Con/
Abstainer and teetotaler
25
Grandpa/-Con/-Dex
Unnatural eye color
26
Constance/-Wis/-Int
Has autopsy scars
27
Brokeback/-Str
Always hungry
28
Wretch/-Int/-Str/-Con
Shockingly white hair
29
Badgerbag/-Chr/-Int
Missing 1D4 fingers
30
Devil Face/-Chr
Performs many tiny superstitious rituals
31
Hedgehog
Collects grisly trophies
32
Mouther
Musician
33
Lost Boy
Entirely hairless
34
The Prince
Covered in tattoos
35
Grim
Has slave/criminal brand
36
Strawman
Rumormonger
37
Giggler
Strange religious prohibitions
38
Ladykiller
Hates snakes
39
Footsore
Fond of black clothing
40
Redeye
Pleasant singing voice
41
Shark
Disheveled
42
Campfire
Neat
43
Two Penny
Gluttonous
44
Ditchwater
Lonely
45
Pinky
Animal lover
46
The Cheat
Opposite sex, in drag
47
Drip
Incomprehensible foreigner
48
Black Rose
Odd laugh
49
Lowtrade
Disgraced nobleman
50
Pleasant
Dandy
51
The Dancemaster
Peasant agitator and revolutionary
52
Diddler
Mildly xenophobic
53
Petunia
Excellent cook
54
Red
Former lawreader
55
Angel
Well-travelled
56
Bandit
Former stage actor
57
Preacher
Tiny Head
58
Blister
Former Tax Collector
59
Grumbler
Extra Finger
60
Blood Drinker/*+Con/-Chr
Potbellied
61
Runion/- Int/- Wis/+Chr
Enormous Beard
62
Monk/+Wis/-Chr
Former Acolyte
63
Throatcutter/*+Dex/-Str
High squeaky voice
64
The Dastard/+Wis/+Dex/-Con/-Int
Slovenly and shambolic
65
Lil’ Mercy/*-Con/+Dex/+1 Damage
Scarred face
66
Ox/*+Con/-Dex
Immaculately dressed
67
Beast +Con/+Str –Int/-Wis
Fear of stinging insects
68
Glass Green/-Con/*+Str
Crude barbarian/- Wis/-Int/+Con/+Str
69
Eggs/-Str/-Con/-Dex/*+Int/*+Wis
Offputtingly calm/-Chr/*+Wis
70
Ten Fingers/+Dex
Faulknerian idiot/+Str/+Chr/*-Int
71
Ironhand/+Str
Foppish dandy/+Dex/+Chr/-Con/-Wis
72
Killer/Backstab 2 in 6
Functional drunkard/+Con/-Wis
73
Deadeye/+1 Hit with missiles
Magically null/+4 all magic saves/*-Wis
74
Mother/+Wis
Brutal +1 Damage/-Chr
75
Lightfoot/2 in 6 Stealth
Child/+ Dex/-Con
76
The Barber/2 in 6 medicine skill
Sneering rationalist/-Wis/+Int
77
Hellion/+1 Damage all attacks
Devil blood/*+Str/+Int/no clerical healing
78
Crusher/+1 Hit with blunt weapons
Naïve optimist/-Wis/+Chr
79
Sorry/Crit on 19 or 20
Hypochondriac/-Con/+ 1 poison save
80
Ace/*+Str/+Dex/+Int
Upper class accent/+Chr
81
Spooky/*+Wis
Burly/+Str
82
Sweetpea/+Chr
Trustworthy face/+Chr
83
Monkeyman/+Dex
Prophetic dreams/+Wis
84
Ruin/ +Str
Stoic/+Con
85
Pincher/2 in 6 pick pocket skill
Iron stomach/ +2 to poison saves
86
Spider/2 in 6 climb skill/
Forester/2 in 6 Survival skill
87
Hexer/+Wis
Speaks the language of bees
88
Cutter/always has at least 1 dagger
Ambidextrous/+Dex
89
Dog’s Life/+Wis/+Con
Sin Eater/+1 to saves
90
Rat Nose/2 in 6 search skill
Flesh branded with magic sigils/*+wis
91
Hard Bread/*+Con
Decisive/*+Int/+Dex
92
Stainless/+Chr/+Con/+Wis
Inspiring/+1 to follower morale
93
Crossroad/+2 save vs. magic
Nimble fingers/+Dex
94
Warbaby/+1 Hp per Hd
Never ill/*+Con
95
Yellow King/+Chr/+Int/+Wis
Hexed tattoos/+1 AC
96
The Judge/*+Wis/+Int
Enchanted metal arm/+*Str
97
Cat/*+Dex
Mystically attuned/2 in 6 detect magic
98
Lucky/+1 to all saves
Giant Blood/*+Str
99
Doc/*+Int
Very well read/*+Int
100
The Hillock/*+Con*+Str
Exceptionally Handsome/*+Chr

4 comments:

  1. Gus,

    I'm trying to make sense out of this excellent table. First off, in the post you say that the table has 100 entries, but the table I see only goes to 86.

    Second is color coding, green seems to be uniformly negative, blue is mixed where there is minuses as well as pluses, and brown seems to be fully positive. Description 20 "Crude Barbarian" although green, seems to have a mix of pluses and minues. Should it be blue?

    Third, what does the astericks in some of the entries mean. For example Name 1, "Worm" had *-Chr *-Int. If I had to guess, I would venture that *-Chr means -1d6 to rolled Charisma, while -Chr such as in Name 10 "Stinky" means -1 to rolled Charisma. Is this correct?

    Thanks again for an awesome table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Libri, I fixed the table and added some information about usage - you're pretty much correct, though I'd only do a D4 penalty or bonus with the '*' traits.

      Delete
  2. I thought this was a great post so I added a link to it in my Best Reads of the Week! series. I hope you don't mind!

    http://dyverscampaign.blogspot.com/2014/06/best-reads-of-week-expanded-edition.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Charles, good to see myself in such fine company.

      Delete

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