Saturday, January 22, 2022

Everway in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge

 For day 22 of the #CharacterCreationChallenge I get visionary! 

It's a crying shame that this game didn't do better than it did, and also that I've only been able to play it once. It's an amazing piece of work for evoking story and myth. I'm just going to walk through making a character to show you how. The concept of the game is that the heroes can travel through spheres, and each sphere has its own rules, own style, and own set of problems. Travel is through gates, which all heroes have a way to open, but also emotionally aware enough people can pass through them or open them for others. 

First, the game needs a premise. Normally this would be the Storyteller's job to develop, but lacking one I'm going to use "Falling into Dreams". The PCs have all fallen through dream gates into the world of the spheres. Maybe they are physically there until they find a way home, or they wake up at home every morning like Little Nemo, or they're struggling to stay asleep like Randolph Carter, but each dream sphere presents new opportunities.

Second, you're supposed to use the Vison Cards or other inspiration to find an evocative image and base your hero on that. Since I no longer have the vision cards, I'm instead hitting the portfolio of the amazing Beth Spencer and here's the image, Profferings and Offerings

Chosen because I already own a print of this on my son's bedroom wall. And the kid looks just like my son, with doggie and all. So that's it. Zachary is exploring the dream spheres. He's an 11 year old oy with immense empathy, energy and curiosity, exploring and waking up in his bed every morning, unable to articulate exactly what he saw. His name means "God remembers" and I think that's going to inform a lot of his abilities. 

He needs to select one of the seven motives – mystery, wanderlust, knowledge, beauty, conquest, authority, or adversity – and I think wanderlust is the best fit. Zachary always want to keep moving, to travel and see and do. 

Now he needs Virtue, a Fault and a Fate from the Fortune Deck, all of which help define his character and also modify play when those cards come up on Storyteller draws. The Fate can and will be changed when Zachary meets whatever his current fate is. 

 I did a quick random pull, that I reserve the right to change. 

Virtue: The Priestess (Understanding Mysteries): the priestess stands between the world of deities and the world of humans. She is in touch with the unspoken worlds of magic and miracles as well as the mundane world. Correspondences is the Moon. 

Fault: The Phoenix Reversed (Destruction): This card means annihilation, as when water quenches fire and both the water and fire are destroyed. Correspondences are water and fire. Water is the element of eternity; fire is the element of change. The Phoenix encompasses these opposites, as it also encompasses the opposites of youth and age, death and birth. 

Fate: The Unicorn: balanced between Purity and Temptation, Zachary will face a choice, or perhaps be baited into danger by purity used as a trap. 

Next is the question of Powers. Heroes have 20 Elemental Points for Powers and Elements, and Powers cost from 0-3 points, based on whether they are Frequent, Major, or Versatile. Everyone has a single 0- point power, which is a knack that is none of those three, but can also have a power of 1-3 point cost. (Heroes can instead opt to have Magic, which is tied to an element, can run as high as 7 points, and let the players invent their own rules for how this much more versatile and potent resource works, but that's not what I intend to do here.)

Zachary's 0-point power is Doggie, his stuffed dog. Now, animal companions can cost between 1 and 3 points based on what they can do – scout? Attack? Talk? – but Doggie's gift to Zachary is just this: he is never alone. That's it. Doggie will always be with him, and while he's there, Zachary is never alone. Until you've been truly alone, you don't know what a comfort that can be. 

Now then. His other power is Frequent, Major, and Versatile, and I'm willing to kick in the 1 point extra for an extraordinary, weakness free power. That power? God Remembers. As with the example Mystic Eye power where the hero can concentrate to gain visions of the past, future or distance places, God Remembers means Zachary can just remember things he has no reason to know about places he's been or people he meets. There's no precognitive aspect, but the memories themselves are crystal clear and always reveal something of value, even if they cannot reveal everything. With concentration Zachary can try to remember specific things (like the answer to a puzzle or the combination to a lock), but his memory cannot always be directed. 

That's a 4-point power, leaving Zachary with 16 Element points. Elements (Air for thought, Fire for action, Earth for might, and Water for feeling) are rated from 1 to 10. You're also supposed to define a specialty for each element, where the element counts one point higher. 

Looking over the sample ratings and thinking of a small and slight 11-year-old boy, I end up with 

Fire: 4 this is low to average for a hero, and generally means the hero can defeat an average person in combat. Not so much an issue for Zach (who will almost always use this to effectively escape) but I wanted to showcase Zachary's boundless energy. For his specialization I defined _ Scamper_. 

Earth: 2 this generally means unhealthy and easily tired, but in Zachary's case it's just that he's so small. He can't lift or carry much, when he sleeps, he sleeps hard. But I did want to add the specialization of _Tiny Frame_. His weakness here is also a strength when it comes to slipping into small places or hiding. 

Air 3: the real-life Zachary suffers significant cognitive difficulties, but his dream state is average in intellect, can speak well but misunderstands some things. His specialization is _Delightful Voice_, for he is always so happy and singing. 

Water: 7 is a superhuman level of awareness. Zachary is able to pass through gates unaided and even lead small groups, he understands the desires, intents, and feelings of even animals and can sense moderate energies. His ears are exceptionally sharp, so his specialization is _Keen Hearing_.

I'm quite happy with this. Time for some adventures with a boy and his Doggie. 

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