Sunday, January 9, 2022

2022 Character Creation Challenge 9) Twilight 2000

Today's challenge we mix Good Will Hunting with Saving Private Ryan in the year 2000

Another one of those games I love conceptually because it is so distinct in its setting and player objectives – you're in WWIII Europe, the army has just collapsed, survive as a unit long enough to possibly get home. When it came out it was totally unlike anything else I'd seen, but by the time I got the rules (in the mid 90s) I didn't have a player base much interested in that sort of thing. 

I knew right away I wanted to play into one of my favorite character types – the big strong guy – and T2K has an interesting method for attribute generation: you are allowed to Favor some stats at the expense of Slighting others. This means that when you roll your 4d6-4 the Favored stats are brought up to the average of your roll and 20, while your Slighted stats drop to the average between your roll and 1. There isn't a rolled Strength score (there's a Fitness score that is rolled, averaged with Stature to get Strength, and is then never seen again… Ok, that's interesting). So I Favored Stature and slighted Education. After my Psi-World character I didn't want to have a super educated character again. 

The rolls were Fitness 8, Agility 8, Constitution 15, Stature 6 (favored, raised to 12), Intelligence 15, Education 8 (slighted, dropped to 4). This gives a stat total of 62, which is relevant later and character with lower stats end up with more time in country and more skill points because of that. The 8 Fitness and 12 Stature average to a 10 Strength. Not really what I was after, but I do have a good picture of the character now – whip smart but ill-educated, probably a troublemaker at school who was shunted into shop classes and detention. Average strength, a little below average agility, but tough as nails. I'm seeing a broken home life, the type of kid who would, like Will Hunting, take the wrench over the belt cause fuck him, that's why. 

There's a lot of fiddly calculations for hit capacity (Con and Stature serve him well there), throw and carry, but the big thing is the Military Base, which is (120-total attribute points)/7 and my PC, Marty Clebowitz, named for one of my school friends who joined the army out of HS, has an impressive 8. I then get to roll 8d6 for months in combat, coming out with 30. Marty has been in the war for 2.5 years. During that time he's also picked up 26 RADs of radiation. 

With a roll of 6, Marty lucks out on the Coolness under Fire, where a low score is best. His 1d10-1d6-(time in combat/10) is 1. Marty is almost preternaturally calm in a firefight. 

Age is interesting: time in country /12 round up (3)+EDU (4)+base of 8+1d6 for his 30 months in country yields an age of 20. Marty skipped the end of school and enlisted at 17 in order to get away from his family. (Who are American, and he joined the US Army; This matters when it comes to gear and skills.) Since he has to have his INT + EDU (19) beat 2d6+16 he has almost no chance of being an officer, and with a roll of 7, is not. Instead, the rank table says he's a Sergeant at age 19. That works. For service branch I went with Engineer and an ADM Specialist; he's smart enough and makes the roll, which means he was likely studying some of this on his own and learned really damn fast in the field. This gives him NWH 50 and CBE 30 as skills. 

Oh year, that's right. T2K lists all skills in 2-3 letter abbreviations followed by what the skill actually is in parenthesis. In this case Marty has Nuclear Weapons Handling 50% and Combat Engineer at 30% This might be where he got that high RAD count. 

Skills are somewhat complicated to buy: you have a handful of them at minimal levels due to amry training, and then you get 300 Background points, your EDUx20 in Education points and your Militart Base x40 in Military Points. Each skill has a code telling you which pools of points can be used to advance which skills (MBE means any, while E means just education, for example). I spent Marty's meager Education points on Mechanic and Electronics, with a little bit of Body Combat. School taught him how to repair vehicles and some electronics, and also how to fight in the halls. 

His Background skills all went into outdoor/hunting skills, his escape from his home before the army. This will make him very useful in war-torn Europe when reconnaissance/hunting, bow hunting, fishing, etc. will be crucial for food. Then we have his vast store of Military skills, which basically went into making everything at least the 50% maximum normal spend (skills raised from 51-80 cost twice as much). I boosted is Combat Rifleman to 65 and his Combat Engineer to 60, but I wanted to go broad here rather than deep. Marty is super smart but not educated, and I didn't want to go too crazy on what he can do. 

This is an eminently playable character, and one I can see enjoying. 

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