Thursday, July 12, 2012

Let Me Tell You About My Character . . . Again

Following the death of my character, the chevalier de Saint-Sauvan, a few months back, I set about creating a new character for some ongoing Flashing Blades solo play.

Inspired by a number of recent threads at Big Purple on Honor + Intrigue, one of my GM's Day sale purchases, I want to see how La Planche would look in H+I.

H+I suggests beginning by envisioning the sort of character you'd like to play; since this is a conversion of an existing character, that's easy enough. First I need to define my character's Qualities. There are four Qualities - Might, Daring, Savvy, and Flair - and I have a total of four points to spread among them, with a maximum value of 3 in any one them. Looking at my rolled stats, it's clear that La Planche is fairly bright and reasonably personable, but pretty average physically, so I assign his points as Might 0, Daring 1, Savvy 2, and Flair 1. I have to admit, H+I's Qualities are much more 'swashbucklery-sounding' than Flashing Blades' Attributes. So far, so good.

Next I need to define La Planche's Combat Abilities. Once again I have four points to spend on Brawl, Melee, Ranged, and Defense. I can also buy-down to -1 in one area, so given La Planche's skill points invested in the rapier, I give him Brawl 1, Melee 2, Ranged -1, and Defense 2.

Now I select four Heroic Careers for La Plance; as before, I have four points to spend on the four careers as I wish. I know that La Planche wants to be an actor and a bravo, and that's about it. With H+I, I get to pick a little bit of a lifepath and background for La Planche based on the order of the careers selected. I pick Servant/Housekeeper 0, Thief/Soundrel/Vagabond 0, Duelist/Swordsman/Pugilist 2, and Artist/Composer/Performer 2; La Planche was a liveried servant in a bourgeois household but fell in with the wrong element, and after receiving instruction from a fencing master, he decided to put his wits to use in one of the few careers open to someone with his low background, the theatre. I'm a sketchy sort of background guy, so I'm okay with the lack of polish on that.

Moving on, I calculte his Lifeblood, which is ten plus his Might value, giving La Planche a Lifeblood of 10, and his Fortune, which is equal to his Flair + 3, giving him 4 Fortune points at the start. Fortune points appear to be something like action points, and may be earned and spent a variety of ways during the game. La Planche also gets a Composure score, 3 - the same for all characters - which measures a character's "self-discipline."

Next come Motivations. Playing to my character's Motivations allows me to (re)gain Fortune points. For simplicity's sake, since I am a Develop-in-Play guy, not a Develop-at-Start guy, I'll pick just one, Ambition. I'm going to gloss over the backstory for now, for the same reason.

Now I can choose Languages, at a level base on my character's Savvy; I give La Planche Basic knowledge of both French and Provençal. Unlike Flashing Blades, H+I assumes all characters are literate as well.

Boons and Flaws are next. My character gets one Boon, and may add up to two more Boons in exchange for two flaws. For La Planche, I pick Dueling Style (French Style) and Master of Disguise as Boons, and Illiterate as a Flaw.

The last step is equipment, which is assumed to be available appropriate to the character's station.

And . . . done.

I'm impressed by how well I'm able to make such a similar character for both systems. I'm not a fan at all of point-buy character generation, but H+I is simple and intuitive, and again, the results are uncannily similar. This suggests to me that, if faced with generating a character by point-buy, I can roll something else up first and then convert.


  1. Fascinating. How does it play compared with FB?

    1. Not sure yet - now that I have a character, I'll boot up Mythic and give it a shot.

  2. Mike, is your regular game of FB still running? I know y'all had looked into switching to G+ for some of your sessions.

    I was curious about how that was going.

    1. It is - we've been on hiatus the last couple of months as May and June are just crazy-busy in our household. Hopefully we'll be back to playing again this month.

  3. You've piqued my interest in this game. I like Barbarians of Lemuria, especially the simple mechanics and the way skills are handled as "careers." However, I do find that BoL characters often end up fairly alike -- since each chooses four previous careers, everyone ends up with a similar "rogue with a checkered past" (former beggar, gladiator, slave, pirate, etc). But I guess the idea is that everyone is playing a barbarian, just as in H+I everyone is playing a swashbuckler.

    I'll be interested to hear more about your actual play experience.

    1. I like games which reinforce archetypes - it's one of the reasons I like Flashing Blades, and the fact that I can make near-identical characters in both speaks well of both games capturing the genre.

      I'll post about my playtest, of course.