Monday, June 3, 2013

Beyond the Wall: Self-Taught Mage Playbook

As the other bloggers work on their portions of the Beyond the Wall blogfest, I figured I would get a slight jump start myself and roll my character’s attributes and characteristics according to the Self-Taught Mage playbook. I’m generally a slow writer and it takes quite a while for me to mull over new ideas enough to produce something legible and coherent. Best I lay out the character traits revealed by the rolls now so I can start the process, break it up into more easily wrangled pieces. 

The first category deal with the character's childhood, broken down into more specific questions to be answer by the dice rolls. My set of specific rolls for this section can be found here:

Question 1 provides details about the characters parents and what the character learned from them or by living with them. I rolled a 7 on a d12 (total number of choices), which states “Your parents ran the local inn. You grew up meeting many travellers and hearing their tales.” Additionally, with each piece of the character to emerge from these questions and rolls, the character gains something, in this case, +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis.

Note the starting base ability scores for a Self-Taught mage are 12 for Intelligence and 8 for everything else.

Question 2 is how the character distinguished himself as a child. Roll of 4 on a d8, which says “No secret escaped you.” Gain: +2 Int, +1 Dex.

Question 3 is about your other friends in the village aside from fellow party members. Rolled 1 on a d8 yields “Laboring with the blacksmith took your mind of your troubles.” Gain: +2 Str, +1 Cha.

At this point, the character found an old tome of magic and began learning from the book. Becoming a level 1 Mage, the character gains Sense Magic and Spell Casting as class abilities, in addition to the skills Ancient History, and the cantrip Mage Light. What else does the character learn from his experiences as a fledgeling mage? Several more questions answered by dice rolls will give us hints. Those roles on the character’s experiences are here:

Question 4, who wrote the book of magic? Rolled a 4 on a d6, the answer is “The head of a secret order from long ago.” Gain: +3 Wis, Skill: Politics. Interesting, actually all the options are very evocative. The only problem I see here is the beginnings of skill redundancy from previous trait options, characters could conceivably get the same skill offered twice. The full game text may have a resolution such as a bonus if the character ends up with options giving them the same skill twice. I’ll have to check on that, but it doesn’t affect this character.

Question 5 is what sort of mage was the book’s author, more so the mage archetype, magical style or school, rather than his position or occupation like above. Rolling a 1 on a d6 gives me “A clever illusionist. You learned the following magics: the spell Greater Illusion, the ritual Wizard’s Mark, and the cantrip Glamour Weaving. Gain +2 Cha and spells mentioned.

Question 6 says a spirit of Chaos was drawn by the characters power. How did he fight it off? Also this is the part where one of the party members is involved in the character’s history. Each playbook has a section like this involving the player character to their right on the table. In my case that is Pearce’s character, the Witch’s Prentice. Rolling a 5 on a d6 results in “You stood behind the wall of your power until it grew weak. The friend on your right learned a lot from your brave stand, and gains +1 Int.” Gain: +2 Int, Spell: Mystical Shield.

The final question deals with a real wizard from the south passing through the village when the character came of age and what the wizard though of the character. This could set up a potential mentor, a rival, a villain, or other NPC. A result of 4 on a d6 is “He was amuse by your first steps towards learning magic and taught you a trick.” Gain: +2 Cha. Ritual: Unseen Servant. Some of the other options provide rituals, others result in items like a staff.

The next few steps involve compiling all this information into a character sheet with some additional stats derived from ability scores or from being a level 1 Mage. The character gets equipment and fortune points (more on this later) and the character is good to join his friends on an adventure beyond the walls of their village.

Each player is allowed an opportunity to exchange one of their roll results for another option of their own choice within the same section. I will reserve that until after all the players have rolls posted and we’ve had time to look ever everything. I’ll probably only do this to maximize connections with other characters or otherwise enhance conflict potential for this character.

The tentative stats for this character are Str: 10, Dex: 10, Con: 8, Int: 17, Wis: 12, Cha: 15

I will have an additional bonus from the player on my left, Brett who is the Would-Be Knight, due to both characters sharing a situation arising from Brett’s character history. We have barely begun and already we have emerging memorable events and personages connecting us to the village and each other.