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Gabe / on Mon, Nov 12 2012 at 10:39 am

Thornwatch

I’m still working hard on Thornwatch. We have been testing it here in the office every Monday night and it’s really getting good. Just this last week we implemented a character creation process that is working really well. As I’ve said before, each character is made up of a deck of cards. Similar to Pokemon you have a deck of skill cards as well as attacks and powers that rely on those skills. I needed a way to make players feel attached to this deck though and have some idea of how to behave in RP situations. So here’s a breakdown of how our character creation system is working right now.

Players begin by drawing a single card at random from the “Scar” deck. Characters in the Thornwatch are already veterans of many battles and this scar represents some past encounter. These Scar cards get shuffled into your deck and live there forever. A scar might be a bad knee or the memory of a lost ally. When a player draws into their scar it must be resolved immediately.

Next a player looks at the new “traits” list and rolls 1 d10 to gain a trait at random from the first list of ten possible traits. These are things like relentless, polite and charming. Finally the player chooses a trait from the second list to round out his character.

The player now has a scar and two character traits. Before the game starts each player tells the party what his traits are and describes to them how he got his scar. The scar card is then shuffled into the players deck. Describing how you got your particular scar has been a lot of fun but it’s also a quick way to give your character an exciting backstory.

we have run this now in our games here and it works awesome. players begin each game with a really good idea of how their character will act as well as a bit of their history. We have had some great stories about how scars were obtained and they really serve to enhance the RP. Just these three simple steps work to make some really interesting characters! For example last week the warrior drew a bum knee scar and his traits were stubborn and hard of hearing. He decided that he was one of the very first Thornwatch and now he’s an old man. He played an old curmudgeon all night and it was great.

The scars are also fun in game. When the Warrior hacks through a skeleton and then draws into his bad knee and falls over or the Mage draws into his memory of a betrayal and tries to get away from his allies.

Players also gain a scar card after being revived from the death state. this is still a new mechanic but so far it’s pretty cool. When someone draws into missing eye and is like “that’s from when the vampire king killed me!” it’s really fun.

I’m planning on doing some public tests of the game over at Card Kingdom. I’ll be posting information on how you can get in on one of these pretty soon. Just keep an eye on my Twitter.

-Gabe out


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