Character Building

When On Aptitude was released it provided mechanisms for your character to have specific traits and skill sets. It also added a mechanism for improving your characters skills.

This is a common area of interest for players, how to build up their character over time. There is always the ability to gain material wealth, and now there was a way to become more skilled.

In the Open Table Chassis currently under development there are a few more formal mechanisms coming your way for elaborating your character. It all started with the idea of a formal quest and a play tester hassling the Town Watch quartermaster for a discount on swords and armour.

Lets start with the later. It presented the idea that since there are services available in the home village, like things to buy, soldiers to hire, training to be paid for, that characters relationships with villagers might be something to formalize. This is especially of value because the home village is intentionally set up as a high game structure, reduced role play, space in the game. So a series of mechanisms for making friends and influencing people within the village has started to be put together to allow some services to be available, and some to be cheaper (or more expensive or unavailable if someone doesn’t like you).

To dovetail with that is the idea of village reputations. How good are you at looking after the people you hire on for an adventure? Are you generous or stingy according to village gossip? Do you honor quests you are given? Do you succeed even at the hardest quests? So the Chassis will also have a system for formalizing reputation within the village, which will influence not only your ability to access services and get them on the cheap, but also your ability to gain and maintain friendships with the town notables. Legendary reputations may also leak across into home villages of other DMs where your character is present from time to time.

So, what about the people “out there” in the adventure spaces of the world? They can have contacts and reputations for your character too, but in a less formalized, less detailed way.

The magic system as it is developing also takes advantage of these mechanics, allowing for reputations and relationships among the sorcerers and entities in the spirit worlds. This helps with gaining access to spells and to working to get spiritual aid. The details here are still in a very preliminary stage of design.

Finally there is a nobility layer being designed, where characters can work their way into noble standing, taking on certain duties but gaining access to grand quests.

When in full flight this gives players lots of scope for developing their characters and buffing up their capabilities. And the quest system also provides accelerated skill development and strong purpose for adventuring.


Update: Here is a write up at RPGGeek that overviews some of the play tests.