Sunday, December 9, 2012

Let's Make a Year of the Phoenix Character!

Meaning:  I make a Year of the Phoenix character and you get to read about it.

Among the six pre-generated characters Martin Wixted provides in his Year of the Phoenix role-playing game, various ethnicities and lifestyles are represented.  African-American?  Check.  Native American?  Check.  Hispanic?  Check.  Lesbian?  Check.  Neo-Pagan?  Check.  No Asians.  Well, we should address this dificiency.

The first part of making a Phoenix character is establishing 'societal information.'  Dao “David” Long is of Chinese heritage.  I roll 1d6 for Social Status; a result of '3' indicates middle class with an annual income of 30-59 K.

Next, we have 'physical information.'  We choose 'male' for gender.  Height (for males) is 6d10 + 145 cm; weight is (2d8 x 5) + 30 kg.  By rolling the appropriate dice I obtain 184 cm (6') and 70 kg (154 lbs) – kinda slim.  The age formula is 2d6 + 20; David is 26.  A result of 7 indicates that his dominant hand is his right.  His 'Conditioning' is 70% as a result of '1' on (1d6 + 6) x 10.  The '7' we obtained in calculating Conditioning is added to another d6 (a result of 2) to determine that David has '9' Ergs.

The next section is 'factored information.'  We multiply David's weight by his 'CON%' to find his 'Muscle' of 49 kg (108 lbs); which is the amount of weight he “can lift, carry, and push.”  This puts him in a 'Damage Class' of +1, which will improve – by one die side – the amount of damage he does with “[w]eapons requiring...physical ability to wield” (e.g., a d6 becomes a d7). 'Body Points' reflect “how much damage your character can withstand in each body part without having it disable him or her.”  The 'BOD' for each body part is calculated as a fraction of weight.  Here are the results for our character:

For the sake of comparison, glass has an average BOD of '1' while brick has an average BOD of '9'.

Since this is taking longer than I anticipated, we will forgo 'Characterization' and (most of) 'Finishing Touches' for now.  Rolling '7' on 2d6 gives David the rank of 1st Lieutenant.  With that rank, he can fill any of the nine positions ('Service Branches') of the Project Phoenix Special Reaction Team (other than Commander – which requires a rank of Captain).  Let's take a look at the positions as described on page 12 of the Training Guide.

Commander – “Crew safety and flight execution is the commander's responsibility.”  He or she delegates other responsibilities among the crew.
Pilot – Essentially, the pilot controls the Shuttle and “is the final judge about a go-ahead or mission scrub if problems arise.”
Communications and Payload Specialist Lt. Uhura and “coordinates payload operations.”  In addition, “customarily takes the role of interpreter when dealing with non-English speaking gamemastered characters.”
Medic – “[S]ince the characters will be as far from hospital care as humanly possible (when they're in space), the Medic's responsibility is to provide first aid and emergency care.”
Support Services: Combat Engineer – “Combat Engineers deal with the construction and destruction of buildings” (i.e., demolitions) as well as “other skills necessary to ensure the survival of American freedom.”
Support Services: Mechanic – “Mechanics routinely repair, maintain, and jury-rig vehicles and robotic devices...”
Support Services: Electronics – This position addresses the accurate functioning of electronic equipment.  This is the only 'Service Branch' that provides training in computer programming.
Infantry – “The 'grunts'...are often the first ones into a combat situation, and the last ones out.”
Infantry (Heavy Weapons) – “The heavy-duty bunch, Infantry (Heavy Weapons) are specially trained to capture and hold enemy strongpoints.”

I had hoped to completely generate a character in one post, but that's not going to happen.  Since I am stopping at this point, I will entertain suggestions from my cherished readers as to the 'Service Branch' from which David will receive his training.  I think it should be one of the 'Support Services' since none of these positions is represented among the pre-gens.

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