Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

There are things out there, in the weirder reaches of space-time where reality is an optional extra. Horrible things, usually with tentacles. Good thing there's a bureaucracy to deal with them. Based on the Laundry Files novels by Charles Stross. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/the-laundry/
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Michael_Cule
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Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

Post by Michael_Cule » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:49 pm

I'm working through doing chargen for my first game. It looks to me as though the 'specialised' skills (Sorcery and Computer Use (Magic) are only going to be available at step 8: their job inside the Laundry.

But that gives them a level of only 10% at game start. And no way I can see to improve it.

Are levels that low viable for a starting character? I note that the magically capable types in sample starter characters are nowhere near that low.

Hermes Serpent
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Re: Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

Post by Hermes Serpent » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:52 pm

Hi Mike,

Generally those skills are taught in-depth inside the Laundry rather than acquired before induction.
Some of the Professions give you the chance to acquire them though - Clerical Worker, Consultant, Journalist, Engineer, Labourer, Occultist, Copper, Professor, Scientist, Spy, Student and Hacker get Computer use skill starting at 5%. None of the NPC's listed in the core rules are really anywhere near entry level in terms of skills. I think one of the other books has some rules for making more experienced agents IIRC.

Page 127 gives info on increasing Sorcery skill levels. Training courses p110 add more chances to boost Sorcery and Computer Use (Magic) skills.

I've never found a need to worry about characters wanting Sorcery for long. They go mad and are confined to St. Hilda's.
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"The One Ring's not a computer game, dictated by stats and inflexible rules, it's a story telling game." - Clawless Dragon

Michael_Cule
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Re: Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

Post by Michael_Cule » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:09 pm

The professions you mention are going to train you in Computer Use, yes. But not in Computer Use (Magic). And the specialisations don't seem to default to each other or have I got that wrong?

Most of the time, they're going to be using pre-written spell apps obviously. But sooner or later they're going to need to improvise.

And again there is the problem that the pregenned characters don't seem to conform to the character generation process.

Or is there a way to give a character experience that goes onto his Laundry skills and not his previous Profession skills and I've missed it?

Hermes Serpent
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Re: Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

Post by Hermes Serpent » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:56 am

The professions say Computer Use usually without specifying which or says (any two). Looking at the list under the Computer use skill gives a list of what type of Computer Use it could be. The specialisations don't overlap so your backstory will likely justify which type of use you choose. You could even, I suppose, put various amounts of CU(M) gained by various means into different aspects without breaking the system.

I wrote up a whole bunch about how Computer Use (Magic) and Sorcery work for IIRC the old forums. Grab the file and check that out. That'll cover most of the improvising bit.

Which pregenned characters are you referring to? There are lots of NPC's scattered throughout the various supplements that probably don't conform to anything but how they are represented in the books without matching the RPG chargen process exactly.
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"The One Ring's not a computer game, dictated by stats and inflexible rules, it's a story telling game." - Clawless Dragon

Michael_Cule
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Re: Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

Post by Michael_Cule » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:23 pm

p191 to 196 of the core book. Those are the pregenned characters intended for use by players as their starter characters, aren't they?

I'd be interested in the files you mention. How would I find them?

I'm getting less worried by this after reviewing the rules on magic use but nonetheless there is the anomaly between the pregens and what the system seems to create. And eventually they are going to need to do something in the field that pre-written spell apps aren't going to cover.

Hermes Serpent
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Re: Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

Post by Hermes Serpent » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:39 am

Ah p191-196. Those are a mix of characters from the book specc'ed out for use as NPC's or as characters in one-off games. They certainly don't read as new player characters. They seem to be more veteran characters from the Laundry Agent's Handbook from a look over them.

Note that age has an impact on skills. Page16 has you add 20 skill points per 10 years and +1 to EDU and you spend these points on pre-Laundry professional skills giving you another boost.

I'll often stat out pregens for con games in a similar way with those characters listed as taking certain classes to allow them features or skills etc to match the scenario.

In the Laundry forum is a link to a zipped file of the old forum posts. Download that and unzip to a new folder and then you can read through the old posts much more easily than going to clicdev which had spotty availability and was forever timing out. There is a lot of good material in those old posts.
Some TOR Information on my G+ Drive.
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"The One Ring's not a computer game, dictated by stats and inflexible rules, it's a story telling game." - Clawless Dragon

Michael_Cule
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Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

Post by Michael_Cule » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:09 pm

Thanks for that explanation.

But as I noted above, adding extra years to the professional experience before joining the Laundry doesn't help.

I only hope I don't kill them all off in the first adventure. (Getting to the neurotic stage of game prep now...)

Hermes Serpent
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Re: Char gen. Am I doing this wrong?

Post by Hermes Serpent » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:24 pm

I'm sure you'll do just fine. I don't remember us all getting killed when you ran Rumble down at the British Legion hall back in the day. Personally I play up the bureaucracy stuff for the frustration value and to stop the players having gadgets to solve every problem. In fact sometimes the gadget is the problem.

Nigel
Some TOR Information on my G+ Drive.
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"The One Ring's not a computer game, dictated by stats and inflexible rules, it's a story telling game." - Clawless Dragon

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