Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Other Side - The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Pulling the name from my never finished system for Dark West on this one. I've always been a fan of having advantages and disadvantage in my games. It helps add depth to the characters and gives the GM a bit more insight into what the players actually want to do with them. So nearly any system I come up with is going to have these. Just sometimes how they work may vary a bit. Here are some details on how I see them working in The Other Side at the moment.

The Good and the Bad.

First thing out of the box I am not going to allow these to give the PC's any sort of financial or material gains. Turns it into more of a 'look what I get to start with!' situation. Instead they will be about their actual body of the character. Things that will affect their physical, mental and social abilities. They will be subdivided down into those three categories as well (hat off to the old WoD on this).

Now what I haven't decided on is how to figure out how many of each the players can choose. There is always the point buy method of varying degrees. Massive point pool to buy the entire character with, but this doesn't fit how I see the rest of character generation. Point swap, where the Bads would give you points to buy the Goods with, this has potential. Then there are a few random methods as well. Rolling dice for the number you get is an easy out but lacks flair. Or maybe even the lifepath set up that is used in games like Cyberpunk 2020. I just want to make it match the feel of the game somehow, exactly how to do this is the big question.

The Ugly.

Now this idea is lifted pretty much straight from the Kult rpg and honestly it's probably the main thing about character creation that I loved in it. Every character has something they don't want others to know, part of their past that makes them what they are today. They all have a dark secret. Nearly anytime I've ever ran anything horror related other than Kult I wished that I had put this into it. So much to use is just handed over on a silver plate to the GM. So I am damn sure going to be putting this into The Other Side.

Now I always like it when players make their disadvantages/advantages all cross into each other and with their dark secret. Suffering from nightmares from when they were the victim of a medical experiment, cold blooded because years back they were in a situation where they had to kill other people to survive, these sorts of things. So I'm going to work in a way to reward players for doing this. Depending on how I end up making the resolution mechanics it may be chances to reroll per game, extra dice in die pools, or bonuses. Maybe even all of them based on how the relation is done.

I want character generation to make the players think about how they want their characters to really be. All the way to the core. This seems to be a good step in that direction.


  1. I agree - advantages and disadvantage give something extra to the character. If the players are mature enough to understand that it's not only a way to "get points" in some way.

  2. Yeah I don't want to turn it into a study of getting disadvantages to buy cool advantages. Sla Industries and most of the White Wolf stuff turns out that way. This is why I'm torn on how to go about it. I want to give the players some choice in picking them out so they can build a character they want. But I'm still way early in putting the system together phase.