Friday, August 19, 2011

Creating a character with a guy totally unfamiliar to roleplaying games using YDIN

Next post right after this will be how totally new person to roleplaying games created his first p&p character ever using YDIN. It is really interesting how he managed to make the character even though there are some freedom to create character and some parts you need to use your own ideas.
Read next post to find out, how it happened!

That text is from my previous post. In this post I will tell in detail how a friend of mine new to roleplaying games created a character with me for YDIN. This was just a test drive to see how simple YDIN character creation is.

(Originally I posted this report to rpg discussion forum, and this is a translation of that post. You can find original topic here: I have slightly modified the text to suit the blog post better.)

Creating YDIN Character With My P&P RPG Virgin Friend

I decided to as one of my internet friends would he like to create a character for my own roleplaying game system and he agreed to.

We share roleplaying history together in internet from mmorpgs and he has played roleplaying games with both computer and consoles. However he didn't have basically any knowledge about pen-and-paper roleplaying games other than what I have described to him.

Creating a character started with basics. What different sections in character sheet mean. Basically that numerical values tell is character good or bad in something. Is he or isn't he able to do something and how well he can do it etc. I explained how to assign points and what it means. Before that I wanted him to think about a concept for his character, what kind of character he would like to create. I told that his character will be made in modern world as a demo and there are no ready character classes or concepts. He could create a character as he pleases from pizza delivery guy to secret agent.

He pondered a while and told he wanted to create Chinese plumber. At first I thought that he was just fooling around and thought this whole thing was just a joke but I thought I'd go with him because i started it.

Determining attributes. Plumber became sharp in perception and agile but in social events he would be unnoticed. Based on attributes we determined other secondary attributes as "hit points" what was just a simple calculation.

After this we moved to skills. I told him that putting points to skills is basically similar to putting points to attributes and he got it right even though the scale in skills is a bit different. All skills he chose were logical to plumber.

After skills we moved to hobbies and I told him that they are know-hows outside of skills list which player can determine himself to individualize and color his character. A little of thinking, because there is no list for these. The hobbies he came up with catched me unaware.

Another of these hobbies was reading Mao's Red book out loud with 2 points and another was inventing catchphrases (Communist). They really did give character a touch and it reminded be about beginners asset to think outside of the box and not to necessarily optimize character for best performance in rules wise.

After hobbies there was again time to let this newbie to invent things by his own. This time gifts, special knowledges what give bonuses. Other was HVAC engineering and other plumbing the ducts. This plumber has natural talent in his work.

Last starting equipment which are based on skills. There are three initial skill levels and with skill level 2 you get minor equipment related to skill and with skill level 3 major item related to skill. Again he got to use his imagination comparing possible equipment based on his skill levels. And I was positively surprised.

Funniest and wittiest items were promotion ticket to Mao's Red Book part 2, keys to Scania R730 (heavy vehicles skill level 2. He doesn't own his own truck but it could be from his work) and pocket size encyclopedia. In my opinion these were fun little insights what made character concept better rather than rules technically making character better. Weapons character didn't possess.

After all this experiment was really nice. It was nice to spend some time together while doing what I like to do. And of course the best part was that he took this all seriously. Also I witnessed how sometimes beginner can come up with better ideas than veterans. Beginner doesn't necessarily optimize his character but instead makes it with passion. At first I was a bit worried that he only agreed to create character out of obligation because I asked him but he really was thrown into creating plumber also in rule mechanics.

Unfortunately story of this Chinese communist plumber stopped there even though he started to tell small details when I asked him about his character (World of Darkness prelude style "gaming). He started to describe his characters history etc. Unfortunately he ran out of time as he had to get back to army otherwise I would have tenderly slip a bit roleplaying in the aftermath of character creation.

Overall creating a character with roleplaying virgin was a fun experience. In its own way it widened my perception on character creation. This teatched that creating a character you do really create a character, not just a tool to interact in gaming world.

It was great!

Final Words

Apologies for translation. I did write that text in Finnish originally, but somehow translating text is a bit hard to do quickly. I didn't include all rules mechanic details to that report. Just the thoughts about the process.

YDIN character creation, Candy Storm

My online friend likes name Candy Storm, and I couldn't but help thinking about a concept about a stripper from Quentin Tarantino styled movie. Sexy, beautiful, agile but lethal. I decided to create character Candy Storm for YDIN.

So here is detailed character creation for imaginary character, Candy Storm.

Background Details

I only got name for this character, and idea about Quentin Tarantino movie like setting. I also feel, that Sin City could be great style for the city Candy Storm is living in. Ruthless and brutal where law is not better than criminals. Streets are violent and you have to be tough to survive.
Candy Storm couldn't find a good job, so she decided to give a try to be a stripper. She is good looking and her physique is great. But she didn't like how all the big clubs are. Corrupted and ran by bad people. She found this small club which owner is kind person but the problem is rough area. Luckily she's raised in bad neighborhood and knows how to survive.

Rules For Character Creation

You can find simple generic sketch for character creation in this blog here:
I use it and modern setting skills found here:

Those are just basic examples and may be different in detailed settings. Those are there to give some idea of how YDIN works and are also a tool to create example character in modern setting.


I've used this far "divide points" method, what is basically point buy. Now I'll try "roll the dice". I roll D6 six times and assign the results in attributes I want to. I don't have dice in hand at the moment, so I will use Hamete virtual dice server found here.
Results for 6D6 roll are: 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 3 what I will assign to Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence, Perception and Charisma.

Candy is agile person, so I will put the 4 to dexterity. Charisma, perception and intelligence are important for her, so I will put 3's on those. 2 to stamina as she is an exotic dancer and 1 to strength as her build is not big.
So the attributes are the following:

  • Strength 1
  • Dexterity 4
  • Stamina 2
  • Intelligence 3
  • Perception 3
  • Charisma 3
Secondary Attributes

Secondary attributes are based on attributes and are the following:

  • Health points 12
  • Wound points 3
  • Wounds 2
  • Defense 3
  • Mental points 20

20 points to buy skills. Third skill level costs 4 points. I choose from skills list the following:

  • Pistols 2
  • Hand to hand combat 2
  • Dodge 2
  • Acrobatics 3
  • Common knowledges 1
  • Empathy 2
  • Fast-tongue 2
  • Performing 3
  • Sneaking 2
  • Survival urban 2
  • Vehicles light & medium 1

Hobbies are some extra outside from skills list what are treated like skills. They give additional twist for character and what she can do. 5 points to spend similarly to buying skills. Her hobbies are:

  • Seduce 2
  • Exotic dancing 2
  • Rhythm ear 1

Gifts are special abilities what help out in certain situations. 3 points to share on gifts and power of gift determines the price.

  • No means no 1 (1 positive modifier to refuse)
  • Quick escape 1 (1 positive modifier to initiative when escaping)
  • Sexy 1 (1 positive modifier to outlook related tasks)

I wont use any skill list now, or buy equipment with character's credits (credits are the value, not actual price in currency). But I will assign free items based on character's skills and hobbies.

  • .22 pistol and ammo for 2 clips (skill pistol)
  • Pretty gloves with hard details, +1 to hand-to-hand damage (skill hand-to-hand combat)
  • All outfits sexy or not don't restrict movement (skills dodge, acrobatics and sneak)
  • Book How to understand feelings (empathy 2)
  • Lady bag full of items (maybe for distraction while talking, skill fast-tongue)
  • Sexy outfits and decorations for show (1 positive modifier for shows, skill performing, exotic dancing)
  • Rape alarm (skill survival urban)
  • Great perfume (seduce)
Candy Storm also has 25 credits to buy additional equipment or convert to cash (depending on setting details and item list. Starting wealth can also determine initial standard of living).


It doesn't take long to "roll your character" but the additional details like hobbies, gifts and equipment based on skills might take some time as they are determined by player. In setting there might be ideas of hobbies, gifts and equipment to choose from but the point is that player can personalize the character with these steps.

It took around 10-15 minutes to create Candy Storm from a scratch. Of course initial character concept might take from few minutes to days to come up with depending on player and his idea for character, but actual mechanical character creation doesn't take much time. Just determine the attributes attributes sharing points or rolling, buy skills with points and rest is tweaking and using imagination and ideas.

I am quite pleased how fast core character creation is, but it needs some additional thinking from player to make character unique. Every character will be unique thanks to freedom to choose hobbies and gifts.

Next post right after this will be how totally new person to roleplaying games created his first p&p character ever using YDIN. It is really interesting how he managed to make the character even though there are some freedom to create character and some parts you need to use your own ideas.
Read next post to find out, how it happened!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and a word or two about Savage Worlds

Watched Mummy: tomb of the Dragon Emperor in last two nights. I did not like it. But I do see that it could be nice action packed roleplaying adventure. Maybe using Savage Worlds rules.

Problem in the movie was that it mixed pulp action with mummy with ancient China kung-fu. I think it was when all these Chinese kung-fu movies were hot so Mummy crew jumped to that bandwagon. It didn't work for me. I do like some Chinese kung-fu (wire-fu) movies, but this was too much of a mix-up.

Anyways even though some movies might be stupid as a movie story, they might or could work really well in roleplaying campaign seed. This is a good example of that kind of movie. I didn't like it but still watching it was an inspiration.

I think that Savage Worlds for me means pulp action game. People say how SW can handle all kinds of settings but I see Savage Worlds as number one pulp style game platform. I wouldn't use SW for high-fantasy, cyber punk, horror, but for Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon King kind of action it could be perfect.

As a movie, I'd give Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor lousy 1½ stars.
As Savage Worlds adventure idea, I'd give 4 stars.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why I like the computer aided gaming I use so much?

How do I play at home today? I only have one resident player at the moment. As I live with her, we do play at our home. It is easy. Schedules are easy to work out and we can get really fast to play a game. But we have a twist how we play. We use messenger for that. But why?

Years ago we tried for fun to play by writing. We only got one PC and just opened text editor and wrote what player and gamemaster would normally say in the course of game. I wrote description and player wrote how her character reacted that. We decided to try that out because we were curious would we get more detail to descriptions when we wrote them. And we did.

It's like writing an interactive book. You have to pay more attention when writing and also get more focused how you play the situation. But we only write down directly game related roleplaying. All clarifications and rule and system related stuff we talked.

Later when we got our own computers we decided to try this with messenger. Similar, but easier as both have more space around.

Also it is great that after a gaming session I can just copy what we just played and paste it to text editor and save. We get a perfect fictional log of our games we can refer back and most important, read later about our games.

Currently I am saving our Fading Suns campaigns game logs to my rpg campaign blog called Kronikat - Chronicles (you can find it here in Finnish, and here with Google translation to English). I have to say how many little details and cool things or even full scenes are forgotten. It's fun to save them to blog and read what has happened in previous games.

I am not sure how this would work with full group of players in same room. Not as fun I guess if everyone's behind their computer. But still we do interact a lot while playing discussing about game related things, rules etc. We just directly write what happens in game. Details are discussed separately if needed and then written also down if necessary.

I have to say I like this method of gaming. It suits us really well and I really enjoy reading later how our games went.