Sunday, November 19, 2017

Characters in Lords of Creation

Art by Dave Billman

The first step in creating a Lords of Creation character is to record the player's name on the Character Record Sheet.  There is also space for the character's name.  Fortunately, it is explained, “If you don't yet have a name for your character, leave the character space blank.”

There are five basic abilities:
     MUSCLE is a measure of overall muscular ability and general physical strength...
     SPEED measures basic muscular coordination and manual dexterity...
     STAMINA is a measure of general health and physical well-being...
     MENTAL is a measure of the character's mental abilities including such things as intuition, logic, and will-power...
     LUCK is a measure of the character's chance of surviving accidents and other unusual circumstances.
The score for each basic ability is determined by rolling 2d10.  Each basic ability is associated with a “modifier” equal to the basic ability divided by ten (rounded up).  The modifier derived from Strength is Close Combat Damage Bonus; Speed, Initiative Bonus; and Stamina, Healing.  “Power Modification” – used in Mental Combat – is derived from Mental.  The Luck modifier added to five equals the character's Luck Roll – “a chance to let fortune come into play in the game.”

A character's Personal Force equals the total of his or her basic ability scores divided by ten.  Among other things, Personal Force “determines a character's experience level.”  Actual Experience Points are used to increase basic abilities; a certain amount of Experience Points increases a given ability by 1d6.  As basic ability scores increase, so does Personal Force.  Every ten points of Personal Force means a new “title” for the character.  (“Title” is the Lords of Creation equivalent of “level.”)  There are eleven titles, ranging from Neophyte to Lord of Creation.  The amount of experience needed to increase an ability by 1d6 increases as title improves.  For a Neophyte, the amount is ten points and for a Lord of Creation, two thousand points are required.  Each title confers a title ability.  We are informed, “Title abilities work only at the discretion of the GM.”  (original italics)

Player characters start as Neophytes having the title ability of Dimensional Sight, which is described as...
...the ability to see other-dimensional creatures that would otherwise be invisible.  Such creatures as ghosts, beings from elemental planes, sprites, etc., would only be visible to to characters having Dimensional Sight.  The ability is used as a vehicle for the GM to introduce creatures into a normal setting to create an atmosphere of eerie mystery.
Title abilities should not be confused with powers like Wizard and Telepath.  “At the start of the game no characters have special powers.”

All (human) Lords of Creation player characters begin with a movement rate of sixty feet per game turn.  (1 turn = 6 seconds)  The average of Muscle, Speed, and Stamina equals a character's Physical score, which is used in combat.  The equivalent of hit points in Lords of Creation are Life Points.  A character has a base number of Life Points equal to his or her Stamina score.  For every title attained (including Neophyte), 1d10 Life Points are added.  To put this in perspective, a knife inflicts 1-6 damage, a two-handed sword does 2-12, and a shotgun does 3-18.

A character starts with a number of skill levels equal to his or her Personal Force.  As alluded to previously, there are fifty-three combat skills and twenty non-combat skills, each with five levels of talent.  According to The Book of Foes, Davy Crockett has the following skills:  Knife – 3, Flintlock Rifle – 3, and Wilderness – 4.  (The first four levels of Wilderness are Survival, Trapping, Hunting, and Tracking.)

A starting character has an amount of money equal to $10 multiplied by d100.  Equipment may be purchased with these funds.  Player characters are assumed to start in the modern world and can therefore obtain items from the aptly named Modern Equipment List.  Lords of Creation also provides an Antique Equipment List and a Futuristic Equipment List.  Prices on the Futuristic List are given in credits (cr.), the future equivalent of “U.S. dollars of the 1980's.”  Prices on the Antique List are given in silver centums (SC).  Equal to a dollar, a silver centum coin is equivalent to 1/100th of a pound of silver.  Yet it is also explained:
     Currency values fluctuate throughout time and space.  Currencies are also called different names in different countries.  If the GM wants, he can devise tables to cover currency fluctuation, but it is seldom worth the effort.  The GM can also add more flavor to an adventure by using currency names special to the adventure (franc, deutchemark, peso, florin, drachma, bezant, etc.).  Such names add to the background of an adventure, but do not essentially change it.

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