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. This is the second post; the first is here: Step 0.
Step 1: Choose a Playbook
Norah (MC): Now that we have our corporations, you can choose playbooks and make the characters who will be the protagonists in our story.
She introduces the playbooks one by one, reading out the brief descriptions in Chapter 3, says a little about what kind of thing each playbook focuses on, and puts the playbooks in the middle of the table for the players to look at.
Sarah: I want to play an Infiltrator! Is that cool with everyone?
John: I was thinking Infiltrator or Killer, so if you take the Infiltrator, I’ll take the Killer.
Aanya: I’m grabbing a Hacker…
Takumi: Perfect, I like the sound of a Driver.
Step 2: Name and Describe your Character
Norah: Okay, so start at the top of the playbook by picking a name and look. Those lists are there for your inspiration, they’re not restrictive.
The players start reading the playbooks and making selections.
Takumi: Actually, I think I want to play someone a bit more social than a Driver, can I have the Fixer instead?
John chooses the name Oakley for his Killer. Oakley has artificial eyes, a scarred face, muscular body and wears punk clothing.
John: Oakley is a rough looking guy with dark stubble that accentuates the long blade scar that cuts down his temple to his jawline courtesy of a jungle knife-fight. His eye balls are totally black, vat-grown replacements necessitated by exposure to flashbangs defending a corporate facility from a covert raid. He wears a deliberately punked up version of corporate military ware; corporate logos turned into anti-corporate slogans, torn and frayed edges on still perfectly fuctional fatigues.
Takumi chooses the name Hub for his Fixer. Hub has trustworthy eyes and a friendly face, a thin body and corporate wear.
Takumi: If you were to see Hub on the street, you’d think he was just a well-dressed corporate drone. He dresses to impress people in the corporate world; he wants their respect, and their money. He has a face that makes people trust him, with a friendly disarming smile.
Sarah gives her Infiltrator the name Zero. She gives her a nondescript face, restless eyes, a lithe body and street wear.
Sarah: Zero dresses to blend in. She has an extensive wardrobe and is always changing her clothes. There’s nothing remarkable about her face, except that her eyes are always flicking back and forth taking in information and calculating entry and exit routes. She moves with a cat-like grace and when she’s sneaking in somewhere, her clothing is always matched with the terrain.
Aanya decides her Hacker is named Core. Core has smug eyes, a smooth face, a small body and worn clothes.
Aanya: Core is a young girl, about 16, top of the hacking game and she knows it. She’s always looking for ways to embarrass her rivals and if you’re not a class-A hacker, she doesn’t think you’re worth talking to. She doesn’t give a shit about physical appearance, but her matrix avatar is a giant flaming demon with six arms and huge bat wings.