NAME & SCHOOL OF ROCKThe first and most important thing is to name the character and determine exactly which School of Rock they were brought up in. Schools of Rock, as I have mentioned, are more than just simple music schools, they define a way of life for a whole section of the inhabited universe.
The characters we are going to create here will be a pair of rival Titan Riders: Keneniah, a Nazarite; and Asmodeus, a Sabbathite. The names fit the schools, the Nazarites taking names from angels and Biblical heroes and the Sabbathites taking names from fallen angels and bastardized Latin names.
The Schools themselves will affect the rest of character generation (and I'll talk more on them in detail in a future post), so we'll move along and show their character by example.
ATTRIBUTESIn BoHM we use the same four attributes as BoL, but we've reskinned them to sound more Metal: for Strength we have Might; for Agility we have Celerity; for Mind we have Savvy; and finally, Appeal is now measured in Cool. We still distribute 4 points amongst the Attributes, as with BoL. One attribute can be reduced to -1 to gain an extra point for another.
For Keneniah, we are going for a more well rounded character, so we will be placing 1 point in each Attribute.
MIGHT 1, CELERITY 1, SAVVY 1, COOL 1
For Asmodeus, we are going to focus more on Might and Cool, so 2 points in each of those. In addition, the Sabbathite School provides a +1 to Might, so Asmodeus' final Attributes look like this:
MIGHT 3, CELERITY 0, SAVVY 0, COOL 2
Every School of Rock has a Bonus in either an Attribute or Combat Ability, meaning that the average character will have 5 points in one or the other. This is intentional as it further delineates the strengths and weaknesses of the various schools and fits in well with the extended range of difficulty set forth in the previous post.
COMBAT ABILITIESAgain, we have reskinned these to fit the thematic qualities of the Metalpshere: Brawl is now Rumble; Melee is now Shred; Ranged is now Fire, and Defense is still pretty close to the original as Defend, which fits in better with the other CAs, from a tense perspective. Again, our characters have 4 points to spend. Like attributes, one Combat Ability can be reduced to -1 to raise another by 1 point.
Keneniah gets the School bonus here, adding +1 to Defend, and sticking with our drive to be well-rounded, his Combat Abilities come out thusly:
RUMBLE 1, SHRED 1, FIRE 1, DEFEND 2
Asmodeus' stats are going to lean more heavily on personal combat, to take advantage of his heavy might, and he'll probably wear heavy armor to make up for his average defense:
RUMBLE 2, SHRED 2, FIRE 0, DEFEND 0
CAREERSThere are 24 Careers currently in the game, and our characters have 4 points to spread amongst 4 careers, with no career starting out with a rating greater than 3.
Keneniah is going to take advantage of a special ability of his School and take a career normally not allowed to anyone but The Church: Priest. Along with that, he's going to want to be able to fight in Titan combat, so he takes Titan Rider. He wants to play up the leadership side of his character, so he takes Manager. Finally, he wants to be able to do some basic repairs on his Titan and other equipment, but cannot take Tek (another Career only available to the Church), so he takes Roadie. He spreads his 4 points amongst those four careers thusly:
TITAN RIDER 2, MANAGER 1, PRIEST 1, ROADIE 0
Asmodeus, coming from a very different school has very different interests. He is fascinated with the Occult and so he takes Occultist. He also wants to ride the 'Heavy Metal' and takes Titan Rider. His final two skills reflect his dedication to his School's Style: Inquisitor, because only the most dedicated deserve to be a Sabbathite in his eyes; and Warlord, to indicate that he is Sabbathite nobility. He takes an even spread in those careers.
TITAN RIDER 1, WARLORD 1, INQUISITOR 1, OCCULTIST 1
STYLESOur characters must now choose 4 Styles of Rock to play in. They receive 4 points, as above, to distribute amongst these styles, with the following restrictions:
- They must take their School as their first Style.
- They cannot take a Style that is opposed to their School of Rock.
- They cannot have more points in a Style than they do the Style of their school.
Keneniah's main Style will be Nazarite, Christ Rock. He won't even touch Sabbathite music, which is opposed to Nazarite music, but he does appreciate both Dedite power shredding (and has an affinity with the application of force) and Yngwie virtuosity (along with a bent towards skills that require precision and timing), so he takes those. For his final Style, he chooses Ledite, as he finds the blues driven but contemplative style to be very cool (and his slightly intellectual nature is derived form this). He spends his 4 points in these styles in an even manner, with no style being greater than the other:
NAZARITE 1, YNGWIE 1, DEDITE 1, LEDITE 1
Asmodeus prefers the upper half of the Rocktagon with a little wild chaos thrown in, so he goes for the party-hard Glamling style (which enhances his vitality and makes him somewhat fearless), the Dedite style (for the raw destructive power it provides) and throws in some Punk for flavor (he is highly adaptable and good at sorting through chaos), but he makes sure that his main style is his first and most potent style:
SABBATHITE 2, GLAMLING 1, DEDITE 1, PUNK 0
INSTRUMENTSEvery Headbanger is proficient to some degree in 4 instrumental styles (and has 4 points to spread around those instruments). There are 5 to choose from: Axe, the ubiquitous guitar; Bass, the bass guitar which provides a pounding rhythm; Percussion, the use of drums; Vocal, including singing or spoken rap; and Other, which covers a wide range of other instruments which must be chosen separately.
Keneniah is going the frontman route and chooses:
VOCAL 2, AXE 2, BASS 0, OTHER (KEYBOARDS) 0
Asmodeus goes for the might of pounding rhythm with a bit of back up vocals and an instrument designed to unnerve his enemies:
BASS 2, DRUMS 1, VOCALS 0, OTHER (BAGPIPES) 1
HARMONICS & DISCORDSEvery Headbanger starts off with 1 Harmonic and 1 Discord from their School of Rock, which, if you will recall, are activated by hitting the Harmonic or Discord numbers on the Rocktohedron. Headbangers may take an additional Harmonic, but must either take another Discord or reduce their starting Fortune to 3.
Keneniah's Harmonic number is 1. He has the following choices:
- You Are I Am: The Nazarite is infused with the Holy Spirit and gains 1 Fortune. This may take them above their maximum.
- Reborn: The Nazarite is filled with the breath of life and regains 3 Fight.
- Seventh Angel: A guardian angel intervenes, aiding the band in small, almost imperceptible way. The Nazarite generates 3 Bonus Dice that can be added to any of their Band's rolls until the end of the scene.
His Discord Number is 5 and he must choose one of the following:
- Abyss: The Adversary takes a personal interest in the Nazarite and their band. The enemy gains D6 Penalty Dice that they may apply to the entire Band for the rest of the scene.
- Holy War: The Nazarite becomes wrathful and divisively sanctimonious. They take a Penalty Die on any Cool rolls for the rest of the scene.
- Lamentations: The Nazarite has a crisis of Fath that reduces his Nazarite Style to -1 for the rest of the scene.
Asmodeus has an entirely opposite set of Harmonic and Disocrd realities. His Harmonic number is 5 (the opposite of Keneniah, which is appropriate as they are of opposing schools), and he has the following Harmonic choices:
- Iron Man: The power of the abyss seems to fill the Sabbathite with unholy vigor and they regain D6 Fight.
- Sabbra Cadabra: The Sabbathite sometimes pulls off miraculous feats that seem for all the world like true Magick. The roll is counted as a Success, even if it is a Failure or Critical Failure.
- Hand of Doom: Those around the Sabbathite feel the hand of The Adversary himself interfering with their actions. The Sabbathite gains D6 Penalty Dice that can be added to any roll from any character until the end of the scene.
Again, Asmodeus Discord is opposite that of his rival Keneniah, a 1, and he has the following Discords from which he must choose 2 to make up for his bonus Harmonic:
- Paranoid: The Sabbathite is distracted by what they think are demons eyeing them with diabolical intent flitting about with just outside of their direct line of vision. They suffer a cumulative -1 modifier to all rolls for the rest of the session.
- Faeries Wear Boots: The Sabbathite is convinced that demonic gremlins in massive Doc Marten boots are interfering with their actions by hobbling gear and stomping on their feet. This roll becomes a Critical Failure automatically and cannot be rerolled or modified in any way.
- Crazy Train: The Sabbathite sees demons of madness swirling around the heads of D6 Band-Mates and allies, who suffer an automatic Discord on their next roll, even if they roll a Harmonic.
SECONDARY CHARACTERISTICSIn BoL we have Lifeblood, which is called Fight in BoHM (as in 'having the fight beaten out of you'). It is figured the same way: 10 + Might.
Next we have Fortune, which are like Hero Points and have a similar function. You start with 6 in BoHM, as they have an additional use that will see them spent a bit more freely, that of negating Discords.
Fame is a new Secondary Characteristic, and it represents a pool of influence that can be used during an adventure to add 1 point to any Cool roll to influence others. Like Fortune, it only recovers at the end of an adventure, so it is a dwindling resource. Fame is equal to Cool during character creation, but may be raised using advancement points, to represent the Headbanger's increased notoriety spreading their reputation throughout the Metalsphere. If there were a single number that represents 'winning,' in the Charlie Sheen sense of the word, this would be it and the Headbanger with the highest Fame should lord it over the other, lesser players.
There is a fourth characteristic that will be introduced in a later expansion: Freak. For those who want Sabbathites to cast real sorcery, Priests to get actual miracles from God, and Punks to disrupt their foes with Psychic screams while Ledite Yogis levitate above the fray, this is the power source of those sorts of things, which will be an option in the expansion, which will cover all sorts of alternate wrinkles for the universe of the Metalsphere, and it will be equal to 10+Savvy.
Keneniah's Secondary Characteristics come out as follows:
FIGHT 11, FORTUNE 6, FAME 1
Asmodeus comes out a bit tougher and a bit more notorious:
FIGHT 13, FORTUNE 6, FAME 2
GEAROk, so I fibbed a bit, as I still haven't worked out the way Gear will be distributed. the general idea however is to restrict it in a way similar to BotA, as this is a post-apocalyptic universe, but not so severely and without the between-adventure attrition found in that game.
Career will play a large roll in what you can have and you will gain a number of free points, + career points + special items that are granted by your school to equip your Headbanger. I imagine that, as both the above Headbangers have Titan 2 a careers, they will be able to pick up a Medium Titan as part of their equipment.