Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dice as Destiny!

Today's excellent post over Grognardia way, On the Oracular Power of Dice, reminded me of this bit of True Scientific Realism from Encounter Critical:
It is unrealistic to require characters to qualify for a character class; many people are very bad at what they do. Certainly, nobody asked us if we were qualified to design this game. Every class has one or more qualifying statistics ... You must have a score of 9 or better in the qualifying statistics or your Experience Point bonus odds are halved....Apart from this anyone can qualify for any class. If a Frankenstein-Klengon wants to be a doxy we aren't going to be the ones to tell her she isn't pretty.
Sometimes playing strictly by the dice gets frustrating, but it can also force you to think creatively. You can even trick your brain down paths you would never have gotten to otherwise. Messing around rolling up EC characters one night I decided to embrace this doctrine at every level of character generation: stats 3d6 in order, naturally, but I also diced for character race, evolution level, mutant and hybrid status, and even class.

I confess, at first the Amazon warrior I rolled up left me a little underwhelmed. Obviously, the very fact that Amazon warrior is a player character option is Exhibit A for Awesome, it's true. Even so, I wasn't grooving with it. Then, a roll or two of the dice -- hybrid: planetary ape -- and in a flash, Barborilla, Amazon-Ape Arrow-Maid, was born!

Portrait created with HeroMachine
ESP 10

Hit Points: 10
Melee: 70% damage +0
Missile: 96% damage +8
Saving Throw: (with armor bonus) 56%

cannibal urges, edible excretions (sweats a nutritious sap), self-consuming brain
GEAR: Compound bow, bardiche, cutlass, buckler. Utility belt, 60' rope, canteen, camping gear, first aid kit, potion of strength

HISTORY: Barborilla was the love child of the Amazon Spearwardess Anje and the ape N'Traza. Anje's love of battle far exceeded her maternal drive, so Barborilla was raised by her father, a hard-working teak miner of the Ape Sultanate. A runty child, only her father's high status in the Silverbacks Local 55 kept her from being cast out of the troop. Despite lacking the strength of her forebears, she grew into a fiercely proud woman, using her cunning and her deadly aim to earn the respect of the apes. Now she seeks to test her mettle in the wider world.

QUIRK: Nearly dead to magic, Barborilla has trouble perceiving sorcerous effects, often doubting the presence of magic even close at hand. She is reluctant to rely on magic of any sort, and may have to be tricked to take advantage of magical tools and spells. She is under the impression that her potion of strength is an extremely potent vitamin soup.


Jeff Rients said...

Never mind about sending me a link to your blog. I found it on my own.

Max said...

Welcome! And thanks -- I picked up EC after reading your posts on it. I was fortunate enough to read the earliest posts first, when little was known about the game, so I even got to experience the fun of the big reveal!

Dr Rotwang said...

Yeah. YEAH! This is how you do it. YEAH, BABY, YEAH!

Gravy without the lumps!

Max said...

Howdy, Doc! Only the man with the best blog title in all thee Known Worlde! Thanks for visiting.