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[personal profile] innocent_man
OK, first of all, Teagan got her hair cut and donated 12 inches. Check it out:

Eggs: 4
Toast: 2
Salmon: 4
Donut: 7
Chicken: 4
Rice: 4
Pigskin: 3
Pop: 2
Chips: 12

Total: 42
Banked: 0

And now,

The Game: Haven: City of Violence
The Publisher: LPJ Design
Degree of Familiarity: Not much. I've read about half the book, but I'm not enthused to read the rest so I'm just gonna make the character and call it a day.
Books Required: Just the core, though Strunk and White wouldn't hurt.

OK, so, I picked this up at Origins in the cheap bin. I pick up a lot of games that way. They're not always, or even usually, good. This one, I like the premise. It's supposed to be an action/spy movie emulator in the mean streets of Haven. The problem is that the inspiration list reads like a list of every movie in which anyone ever fired a gun, ever. Payback is on the list, so is Grosse Point Blank. Those movies, while both violent, are very different in tone. So what are we emulating, here? Or, again, is the only keyword "violence?"

And then there's the writing. Here, lemme quote a sample: "The single most important part of playing any role-playing game and Haven: City of Violence is, no exception to this, is to create a believable character." That's a direct quote. That style of writing (that is, sloppy) is endemic.

But beyond that, the game is just boring. It's a traditional RPG (skill list, attributes, top-heavy combat system) hung on a really wide-open genre. The city itself has some detail to it, but it tries to shoehorn in too much, and it doesn't have a gimmick to hang its hat on.

Anyway. Let's do up a character. "Choosing a Character Prototype and adding your own touches can easily start your first character. Real leaders, however, make their own destiny and Haven offers an in-depth Character Creation system that lets you build your own personalized character from scratch." Sigh.

Oh! Oh! One more thing. The dude running the game in Haven? Called the Game Operation Director. Yeah. G.O.D.

Anyway, Step 1 (because I'm not going to just choose a Prototype and tweak it) is...Start with a pool of 100 CPs (Character Points). Um, OK. I've got a pool of 100 CPs.

What I don't have is a character sheet, because the author didn't think to include one. LPJ Designs, where Creative Ideas and Business Innovations meet! I found a homemade that someone did up. So there's that. On to Step 2 - Create Primary Attributes and Secondary Abilities. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you don't have any Secondary Attributes or Primary Abilities, does that not make sense?

Anyway, there are six Primary Abilities. I buy them one for one with CPs. I don't have any idea how much is an appropriate amount to spend on these (9 to 15 is average, but that's a pretty wide range). Looking ahead, I buy skills and Benefits with CPs, but I can get some back with Drawbacks. This is actually much like Chill.

Well, I don't need to get heavy into concept yet, but one of the (very) few things I find interesting about this game is that there's a secondary stat called Counter Measures. It's basically deactivating security and traps and things. I think it'd be interesting to play a character who was good at that, so I'll set my Agility and Intelligence high (because Counter Measures is based on those).

My primary Attributes are:

Strength 8
Will 15
Agility 18
Stamina 10
Intelligence 20
Perception 15

Total: 86

OK, now Secondary things. These are averages of the primaries, so we get:

Influence 15
Movement Value 9
Accuracy 17
Fighting Value 14
Subterfuge 18
Counter Measures 19
Concussive Health 33
Lethal Health 11

That was easy. I'm not only badass at Counter Measures, but I'm a good shot and (if I'm reading the numbers right) good at fighting, too. Well, it is a CITY OF VIOLENCE!

Step 3 - Skills. I get 7 skills (it's based on Intelligence), and they add a +1 to relevant rolls. I can also spend CPs to buy levels in skills, which add more of a bonus. Hrm. There don't seem to be any combat skills, which, with as granular as this skill list is (Accounting, Agriculture, etc.) is probably good.

OK, so I'll take the following:

Electrical Engineering
Law Enforcement

My attributes are pretty good, so I think I'll leave it as a +1 for all of these for now.

Languages: I get my native language + 4, because my Intelligence is high and all smart people are multi-lingual (duh). I take Spanish, Russian, Dutch and Hungarian. Oh, and by the way, the list of languages includes the following:

English - United Kingdom
English - Australian

OK, first of all, as different as British, Australian and American English are, people from these disparate lands can absolutely communicate, possibly with some effort, but by no means with the same difficulty as, say, an American and a Czech (just randomly picked one). Second, did you notice how American English is apparently the standard, and thus needs no further explanation? Telling, I think.

Anyway. Benefits. They cost CPs, while Drawbacks bestow them. I have 14 at present. I want Eagle Eyes (there's a flavor quote before each of these, and the one for Eagle Eyes is, and I'm not making this up, "I see you!!!!!"). I want Eidetic Memory. These cost 2 points each. Well, the book says they cost -2, which should give me four, but I know what the author means. I'll take Marksman, which is only 1. Holy shit, Nondescript is 6 points. And there's no game effect. It's just "people don't remember what you look like." Um, no.

Wow, I'm going to buying more Skills, I think. Let's look over Drawbacks, though I'm well within my points. There's one called Personal Constraint, which is meant to be behavioral. Here's another quote: "This type of drawback, should not be too specific, including your character cannot attack people wearing the color red on a Saturday during a lunar eclipse." Oy.

I will take it, though. My character doesn't kill good cops, and he assumes all cops are good unless they demonstrate that they're bent. This "costs" +1, which, screw it. I'll also take Traumatic Flashback. I have an idea about this.

Now, Special Abilities. Um, OK. I'll take Detect Flaw (I can sense weak points) and Sixth Sense (spider sense, basically). That eats 10 points. I have 3 points remaining. I'll go back and buy up Demolitions to Master (2 points) and Physics to Expect (1 point). Oh, and I grab some random numbers and figure out my language totals. I wind up speaking Russian and Hungarian fluently, Dutch and Spanish somewhat less fluently. Interestingly, it's possible to not speak your native language fluently under this system (your score is 10 + 1d10, but 12 is fluent).

Step 4 - Get money, buy shit. No thanks. Yawn. I have guns and shit, I'm sure.

Step 5 - Concept and shit. OK. Ivan Koltay was born to a Russian mother and a Hungarian father in a crappy section of Haven. Ivan, like his father, was brilliant and technical minded. He grew up hearing stories about the Russian police, though, and what fuckers they were, and his parents were big fans of American police officers and how the system worked in favor of the accused. Ivan went to college and got a degree in Physics, but then went to academy.

His brains pretty much meant he could pick his path, and he chose bomb squad. His parents weren't thrilled, but the technical aspects of the job thrilled him. And then his unit got offered a bribe - the local Russian mob was going to bomb a building, and the bomb squad's job was to make sure the bomb went off after the building was cleared. All the other guys went along with it, and Ivan, unwilling to turn all his buddies in and kind of touched that the mob went to such pains to clear the building first, agreed. Just this once.

He found the bomb, got the building cleared, and pretended he could disarm it in time (he totally could have; it wasn't sophisticated). Watching the building from outside, he saw a face in a window. A woman, maybe his age, screaming for help...and then the building came down. No one else saw it. Ivan still has nightmares about that day, and he couldn't face his squadmates again...but neither could he turn them in.

He quit the force, and found a crappy apartment across town, in the Mexican district (he speaks a little Spanish, and he dated a Dutch girl for a while and went home with her to visit family. He joined the force around then and there's actually a large enough Dutch section of town that he was able to keep the language). He sells his services to the Russian mob, the Hungarian mob, the Mexican gangs, whatever. He designs bombs, helps the bad guys hack past security, things like that. As far as he's concerned, the system works just like it does all over the world. Everyone is for sale.

Date: 2012-01-23 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
While I look at this picture all I can think is, "Look Daddy, she got away, but I still got THIS!"


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