A Glimpse of Character Creation
Now that we’re in the final stretch, getting ready to the pull the trigger on sending the Far West Adventure Game to press, we’ll be posting more preview material about the game here on the website. Our first glimpse is an overview of Character Creation.
Heroes in Far West are the protagonists of their own adventure series. Players create heroes following the guidelines in the rulebook, with the assistance and guidance of the Narrator. Heroes are defined by several components arrived at in steps, which are outlined here.
Every hero has certain basic abilities that define what they are capable of doing. These abilities are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Wits, and Charisma. Abilities have two components: the ability pool, which represents the available reserve of that ability for use in contests (which we’ll explain later), and the ability bonus, which is a numeric score, ranging from -5 to +5 or higher, averaging 0 for a normally capable person. Depending on the option chosen by the Narrator, players can either randomly determine how strong, smart, and tough the hero is via die rolls, or can choose the appropriate ability scores via the non-random option. See Hero Creation in Chapter III: Heroes Wrought From Iron, Villains Borne of Fire, for more information.
Backgrounds & Occupations
Heroes do not spring into existence fully formed. They all come from somewhere, and did something before choosing to follow the heroic path. By choosing (or randomly rolling) a Background and an Occupation, players can determine the conditions under which the hero was raised, and what training they received. Backgrounds and Occupations bestow additional bonuses to certain abilities, as well as a range of Areas of Knowledge (q.v.) to choose from.
Areas of Knowledge
Areas of Knowledge represent training in a particular sort of task or knowledge, everything from horseback riding to the mysteries of Cog Science. Someone trained in climbing, for example, is able to climb faster and with more confidence than someone who has never been trained. Areas of Knowledge (abbreviated as AOKs) offer a bonus to any roll where that AOK comes into play.
Spirit is the inner power of a hero, that quality that keeps them going when a lesser person would give up, as well as the fuel which powers their amazing feats of Kung Fu prowess. It is a reservoir determined by combining all of a hero’s ability pools, and modified by a hero’s Rank (q.v.) and certain Edges (q.v.).
Heroes have a set of descriptors called Aspects. Aspects cover a wide range of elements and should collectively paint a picture of who the character is, what they’re connected to, and what’s important to them. Aspects can be relationships, beliefs, catchphrases, descriptors, items or pretty much anything else that paints a picture of the character. The player can spend Spirit to tag an aspect for a bonus to a roll, or the Narrator can award the player Spirit in return for compelling a character’s aspect for a penalty. For more detail, see Chapter IX: Furious Action.
Heroes stand above everyday people in terms of ability, power and inner Spirit—yet there are differences in power between heroes as well. The Narrator will determine the Rank that the heroes will occupy within the game. A hero’s Rank determines their total Spirit, the types of Kung Fu that they have access to, and more. The available Ranks are: Novice, Initiate, Master and Legend. Non-heroic individuals are considered to be unranked. See Hero Creation in Chapter III: Heroes Wrought From Iron, Villains Borne of Fire, for more information.
Heroes are customized via their choice of Edges. Edges are a hero’s talents – the special things that they can do. All of a hero’s special abilities, the things which separate them from normal everyday people, are contained within Edges – some of which have prerequisites, some of which do not. A hero’s Kung Fu styles, for example, are acquired through the “Martial Training” Edge. See Chapter IV: Legendary Deeds And Mighty Exploits for more detail.
Heroes in Far West often owe allegiance to one of the many Clans – sects organized along philosophical, political, or vocational lines. Some of the Clans are secret, some are open – all have obligations of loyalty, and benefits of membership (teaching members secret forms of Kung Fu, for example). Some characters may have no Clan allegiance, or serve the interests of the Empire. For more information, see four part look at the Clans, here on the website, or Chapter V: Pilgrims On The Dust Road in the rulebook.
At the end that process, you’ll have a hero ready for the Far West.
In the next preview, we’ll take a closer look at combat.
…and if you missed our Kickstarter, we’ve now put the general-release Retail Edition of the Far West Adventure Game up for pre-order here at our store. The game ships in August.