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Neuroshima: Post Nuclear RPG Part 2: Creating a Character.
- Neuroshima - RPG system about the USA after a nuclear war. Part 1: The universe.
Do you like post-apocalyptic games like Fallout or Mad Max movies? This RPG is suitable for you.
Neuroshima Part Two
If you like post-apocalyptic universes in RPGs or just want to challenge yourself in a nuclear situation, Neuroshima is a good option for you. In Part One I described the world a little. Today I want to show how to create the character. But remember that everything depends on you. You are mechanic in real life and want to use your knowledge in a game - choose a mechanic. Or if you want to broaden horizons, simply choose someone else like doctor or soldier.
Before you read this article there is a little dictionary:
- Game Master (GM) - someone who directs story, leads Independent Characters (IC) and make life-and-death decisions
- Independent Characters (IC) - characters lead by GM not by players
- EXP. - experience points
- dice - 3x dice with 20 walls
- gamble - local currency. In Neuroshima there is barter and gambles are equivalent value.
Below you have pictures of two pages of character's card created by myself. The card in pdf format you can download after contact with me.
Card of character part 1
Card of character part 2
1. An origin
An origin describes you and your life experience. A place where you born and grow up. An origin gives +1 to the main coefficient and one of three bonus.
Choose one of them:
- Hegemony +1 to Build (one bundle of Warrior abilities on 2 level OR win Initiative if you frighten an opponent OR once on session you could test Character insist of another coefficient)
- Texas +1 to Build (you choose between fitness or equestrianism, and your tests will be one level easier in this packet OR Dr Quinn: if you play women you have all medical skills on 4 level at the start OR any disease)
- Vegas +1 to Agility (3 times on session you can roll one die again OR bundle of
manual skills on 2 level OR bluff, persuasion and intimidation test against you are level harder)
- Detroit +1 to Agility (you can start engine in any vehicle in 30 sec if it is possible OR you can drive 25% faster than normal person OR you haven't any impediments of fire in moving)
- Salt Lake City +1 to Cleverness (you can throw away one die when you persuade someone about faith discussion OR in danger situation you say "I believe" and you can survive by miracle OR every test about prewar times is maximum hard)
- The Outpost +1 to Cleverness (repeat roll of one die in military vehicles, hard machines and computers tests OR repeat roll of one die in electronics tests OR every test connected with Moloch's machines is maximum very hard)
- Desert +1 to Perception (you could have a pet OR you are able to go coma for 3 months when you haven't got food, water or other supplies OR if you use handmade by yourself tool or weapon you can minus two points on one die)
- Miami +1 to Perception (your masking in water or swamp is 2 levels better than normal and your enemies are surprised when you attack in water OR you can repeat roll of organic diseases' and poisons' immunity OR you can repeat a roll of every condition test and you have additional trick "House on back")
- Mississippi +1 to Perception (you can smell mutants OR you can dive in water 30 sec on every 4 points of Building OR you can repeat flip of chemicals' immunity)
- New York +1 to Character (if you choose Technic specialisation you get extra 10 points to spend on abilities from Cleverness OR you have Master Game's prompt how rebuild building the best way OR one time on session if you try to pass damned hard test, you could add your Character to tested ability)
- Appalachian Federation +1 to Character (one packet from negotiations/empathy/willpower you have on level 2 OR during fight you ignore first light wound and can't be frightened OR one of your guns is your favourite weapon so you can repeat dice roll of stoppage's effect)
- This is no your business +1 to (your choice) (every single ability based on your highest main coefficients which you don't buy later in creation you will have on level 1 OR you can choose one bonus from another origin (except Dr Quinn if You play male))
2. A profesion
A profession, your job is who you are, what skills you have or will have. It determines how you play. Every profession gives one bonus. You could choose from:
- chemist (easier -30% condition tests against radiation and toxic substances OR pharmacy: med packs and painkillers)
- gangster (+100 gambles at the start OR automatic success on intimidation and morale tests)
- gladiator (eliminate somebody's success in hand fight when he/she have 1 or 2 on dice OR ability to use an extempore weapon on level 4)
- tradesman (+150 gambles on buddies at the start OR if you want to sell something worthless and using persuasion or bluff, your cleverness is higher about 2 points)
- New Age preacher (you know when someone lies OR if you roll 1 on dice, you have two successes, not one like normal - use maximum 3 times per session)
- cowboy (to reach for gun last zero second OR when you have the last bullet in a magazine, your test will be level easier)
- courier (+150 gambles on buddies at the start OR ability to hide little package in a car, it can't be found)
- hunter (you have a photographic memory and ask Game Master about a description of location or person if you pass a hard test of Perception OR your Character and Build are 2 points higher when you have a goal)
- mutant's hunter (pass a hard test of Cleverness and Game Master tell you about weaknesses of the mutant OR bonus -20% when you fight against mutants)
- member of the mafia (one point of evil reputation at the start plus reputation cost only 20 EXP. OR repeat every persuasion and intimidation test)
- medic (pass a hard test of persuasion and announce that you are a doctor, inhabitants will give you whatever you want OR ignoring all distraction like fire when you treat someone)
- mechanic (you're Macgyver, making tank by paperclips and matches, moreover +2 to Cleverness when you fix things OR when you break apart and assemble something you gain 20% parts of it)
- mercenary (15 points of reputation at the start plus reputation cost only 20 EXP. OR in fight you can boost on 2 points any of your abilities, but it works only by hour or in 10 tests, after that you need 5 hours rest)
- bodyguard (no distraction in Perception tests OR when you protect someone you win initiative test automatically)
- judge (bonus +2 points to persuasion and leadership skills OR +150 gambles on buddies at the start)
- specialist (every ability of general knowledge you have on level 2 OR you can concentrate on topic what give you +2 points to Cleverness even distractions, but other abilities are -30% lower than normal)
- shaman (GM and ghosts of ancestors could give you details about person or location but you must pass hard test of Build OR pray to your totem - bear to Build, hawk to Perception, coyote to Cleverness, cat to Agility, wolf to Character - this ability is +2 points higher, but rest is -1 point lower)
- rat (immunity on radiation, toxic substances, poisons, poisoned or mildew food OR pass a hard test of Cleverness and become invisible for other people)
- beast coach (you have beast as pet OR in a fight you're like an animal - 1,2 or 3 success on dice mean higher wound than normal)
- tracker (boost Perception +3 points in listening and looking out tests OR one automatic success in hunting and finding trails tests)
- highway warrior (bonus +2 to Agility when driving a car OR your car give you +50% cover and +20% for passengers)
- clan warrior (one automatic success when case applies to people from Desert OR +150 gambles on redskin buddies at the start)
- killer (when finishing your order you have one automatic success OR wounds in ambush are level higher and you have bonus +2 points to firing, throwing and fighting)
- machine killer (pass a hard test of Perception and GM tells you weaknesses of machine OR bonus +3 points to all abilities when you fight against machines)
- thief (boost +4 points to Cleverness when playing with anti-burglary protection system OR when you hiding, masking or skulk your enemies must pass their tests two levels higher)
- soldier (all abilities from small arms and pyrotechnics you have on 1 level at the start OR automatic pass morale test before fighting)
3. Main coefficients
You know more or less which character you will play. Now is time to use some mathematic. Take 3x dice and roll 6 times. In every roll take average (round up) from all dice.
For example: 10 + 12 + 15 = 37 / 3 = 13
Write these numbers and delete the lowest. Rest of them are your main coefficients - Built, Agility, Character, Cleverness, Perception. Of course, your decision is which score becomes which coefficient. Do it the most suitable way to your character. It could be a situation that some result is lower than 6 - then you write 6 instead of the real number from dice.
Next step is fulfilling test levels on Character Card. Your score represents normal difficulty, rest need calculates according to formula. On brackets there is the example:
- easy level +2 
- normal level +0 (score from dice) 
- problematic level -2 
- hard level -5 
- very hard level -8 
- damn hard level -11 
- miracle level -15 [-3 it means N like "not for you" test]
4. A specialisation
Another decision is choosing a specialisation. You have one of four: technician (T), ranger (R), warrior (W) and chancer (C). Different abilities depend on different specialisation, on Character Card they are marked by the first letter.
Specialisation gives you two benefits. First is bonus on start, extra 30 points to develop the character. The second benefit is these abilities will be 20% cheaper, when buying by EXP. And that's it.
Now you can boost your character as you wish. You get 30 points to spend on abilities related to specialisation and 35 points to all abilities. There is one condition - any development can't be higher than 5 level. After all, you will start as a beginner, right?
One ability on level 1 costs 3 points, but whole packet (3 abilities on level 1) costs only 5 points. If you want to develop the ability on a higher level you should pay a level cost, for example from level 1 to 2 - 2 points, from level 2 to 3 - 3 points, from level 3 to 4 - 4 points. But remember that each development must be paid, so from level 1 to 4, you will pay 2+3+4 = 9 points!
Unspent points perish.
Tricks are the special skills for example master of knots or very fast escape. Each trick has got minimum requirements to coefficients and abilities. You get one free trick at the start but must pass requirements.
In Neuroshima there are more than 100 tricks so it is material for a a separate hub.
7. An illness
In a post-apocalyptic world nearly everyone suffered some illness. You can choose or roll die and check what happen to you.
- calcification of lungs - problems with a condition, breathing
- Saturday night fever - muscle spasms, pain, moving like Travolta and collapse
- hemorrhagic fever - internal bleeding
- Mount Rushmore - stiffening muscles and poker face
- alien syndrome - acid sudor, itching, stinking
- bad kidneys - concentration problems, no appetite, no pee
- allergies - your choice of allergen, runny nose, blisters
- Boston madness - overreacting, irritability
- Thurman syndrome - stupidness, decline of IQ
- jactitation - spasms and epilepsy
- haemophilia - wounds bleeding more than normal
- Hollywood stupefy - disapear senses
- osteoporosis - better don't broke a leg!
- dizziness - balance problems, car sickness
- circulatory insufficiency - weak condition, a risk of heart attack
- anaemia - weak immunity, weak condition
- amnesia - lost memory and black-outs
- photophobia - you act like a vampire
- tongue illness - you speak more and more unclearly
- paranoia - physical health but see conspiracy everywhere
Of course, if you take the pills you are a normal man but if you forget about medications...
You start with one point of reputation in your homeland. During a campaign, you could gain reputation. What does it mean? People know you, your history, adventures. It could be a good or wrong thing. They can give you free food as a hero of a city or shoot you in a gang war.
9. History, appearance, attitude
Well, you nearly have your character. You know his or her profession, strengths and weaknesses. But if you want more fun from RPG you should know more. If your character have any family, siblings, lovers? How does he look like? What he likes or dislikes? What is his life goal?
Imagine yourself his or her in different situations.
10. An eqiupment
Of course, your character should have some equipment. You have 100 gambles to spend.
- ammo 2-3 gambles
- grenade 40-90 gambles
- fuel 3-15 gambles per liter
- medicines 1-10 gambles per dose
- guns 35-230 gambles
- electronic equipment and drugs 25-100 gambles
- cars 50-220 gambles
- medical equipment 5-20 gambles
- food and water 5-30 gambles per portion
- animals 20-100 gambles
You have your character
Now you have your character and this is the end of creation and begin to play. I swear that this boring time is behind you.
If You want the printable (pdf) version of Character Card, sent me a private message. I'll send you back the file.
In the third part of Neuroshima series, I will tell you about a mechanic, tests and their levels. How to gain and spent EXP. So see you soon.
- Neuroshima: Post Nuclear RPG Part 3: Mechanic
Every RPG has got two important elements: story and mechanic. This part is exactly about mechanic in Neuroshima.