If you’ve read the Kickstarter Preview [Link accessible for backers only] of The Sprawl, you may have noticed a big highlighted heading, “Extended Chargen Example”, at the end of Chapter 3: Making a Character. Over the next week or two, I will post sections from this extended example. If there’s some aspect of the process that isn’t clear, make a note in the comments and I’ll expand or clarify my description as necessary. The earlier posts are here: Step 0; Steps 1 & 2; Steps 3 & 4; Step 5; Steps 6 & 7.
Step 8: Choose Directives
Norah (MC): Now choose two directives from the list on your playbook. In The Sprawl your character gets better by “marking experience” when certain conditions are met. You mark experience when certain moves happen…
Aanya: Like the Rep move I thought about choosing for Core: “When your reputation gets you into trouble, mark experience.”
Norah: Exactly! Everyone also marks experience when you, as a team, do what the mission requires according to the Mission Directives. Those are different for each mission. Finally, the third way you mark experience is with these Personal Directives. These apply individually, so choose two things from that list that you want to play to and get experience from.
John: Two of mine have a blank spot in. Can I write in when it applies?
Norah: Yes. You just have to make sure the sentence makes sense. Usually it can be a group or an individual, but sometimes one will fit better than the other.
John: Okay, well Oakley is a Masochist. When he suffers one or more harm, I’ll mark experience. He’s also Protective. He has a daughter in The Sprawl; he looks after her and sends her money.
Norah: Tell us about Oakley’s daughter! What’s her name? How old is she?
John: Her name is… Robyn. She’s ten and lives with a foster family. He sees her every week or so. She thinks he’s in the army. Which is kinda true…
Norah: So when Oakley puts his responsibility to Robyn ahead of the mission, you mark experience.
Takumi: Money is a major motivation for Hub, so I’m going to pick the Financial Directive first: When Hub hinders the mission for a chance at extra profit, he marks experience.
Norah (looking at her notes): Is that how his team got killed in Peru?
Takumi: … Oh… yeah, definitely! He got greedy and they got dead.
Takumi: And since then he’s made a lot of contacts in the shadiest parts of cyberspace, trading sensitive information. When his membership in Darknet hinders the mission, I mark experience.
Norah: That’s the Network Directive, right?
John: How long will it take for Takumi to sell us all out?! Wow!
Aanya: Core’s not going to sell the team out, but she is going to cause trouble. I’m choosing Illustrious! When your desire for fame draws unwanted attention to the mission, mark experience.
Norah: Perfect! What else?
Aanya: Um… Revealing! I want to know more about Hub’s Darknet. When Core discovers more information about Darknet, mark experience.
Norah: Lucky last, Sarah.
Sarah: Yeah… I was looking at the full list in the book but I’m just going to choose two from my playbook: Financial and Violent. She has a lot of repressed rage at the corporations, and it often comes out in missions: When she deliberately chooses to use violence to overcome a problem when a non-violent option exists, I mark experience. Financial is the same as Hub has.
Norah: Great, we’re almost done, just one step left…