So we’re in a good place with regard to our moving-in status, so my spouse looks at me last night and says, “Ready to start the campaign?” I got everything set up, only to discover that the one thing missing was her character sheet, which is presumably still among the things yet to be moved from the old place.
We decided to spend the time allotted for our session on rolling a new character rather than just call it off until the next trip out for more boxes. I say “rolling” even though we went pure ATOW this time rather than using MW3. We like the idea of randomly generating attributes, so we played with some dice mechanics until we came up with a decent random roller for attributes: 1d6 + 1d4-1. Maximum attribute level of 9, minimum of 1. The average roll of 5 is one higher than I’d otherwise be satisfied with, but hey, she’s the sole PC in a single-player campaign. (If I were going to use random attribute generation for a group campaign, I’d make it 1d6 + 1d4-2, where a result on the d4 of -1 would be treated as 0. Just in case you want to try it out.) 5000 XP is a little low for a character in his 30s who’s done a lot and been around, so after some give and take we tweaked it up to 7000.
My spouse wrote down the skills and traits she wanted to have without assigning them any XP (including Dark Secret, the secret being that she had abandoned the Clans for the Inner Sphere, though she managed to rejoin the Clans while keeping the conditions of her return vague when they invaded the IS world on which she had taken refuge), then went through the modules and took them normally for additional skills and traits. We put many of her Interest points into Interest/Bardic Tradition, which I thought was appropriate for a Nova Cat with an introspective bent. The normally-assigned Interest/Remembrance was rolled into Bardic Tradition as well.
Some fascinating (to us, anyway) results arose from the interaction of Dark Secret and Interest/Bardic Tradition. At the end of chargen, Int/BT was her highest skill. Now recall that in our alternate history of Battletech, the Clan Remembrance is the collected populist writings of warrior-philosopher Aleksandr Kerensky (which brings BT’s Kerensky more in line with the Alexander Kerensky of Russian political history). We already knew that those writings would be tailored to individual circumstances and places as they were distributed, and individual Clans would begin tacking on new philosophies and histories to their own versions of the Remembrance. But connecting a few dots on her character sheet, my spouse made a bolder leap. Perhaps the original Remembrance was more drastically altered by revisionists after (or during) the revolution which created Clan society. Her character has such a high Int/BT because her apprenticeship to her mentor – probably the Nova Cat Loremaster, or perhaps a retired Loremaster; it hasn’t been cemented yet – involved researching those alterations and discovering the long-buried original Remembrance. That original version might have serious conflicts with the revised edition being passed off as the original. Those in power would be invested in keeping the original hidden – perhaps wiping it out entirely. They therefore had the mentor NPC killed, prompting the PC to flee for the Inner Sphere.
That meant the addition of a couple of new Enemy traits. One is represents the party or parties who ordered the hit; the other is the assassin who still has a job to finish. It also meant that the value of Dark Secret got bumped up by a couple of points, as now it’s not just “I don’t want anyone to know I’m a deserter” but also includes “the foundational documents which underlie our society have been forged for possibly grim purpose”.
I like this development a lot. I can still use everything I’ve planned so far, but now I have a much more interesting campaign arc to follow and some new plot toys to play with. Now the three-way conflict on Schuyler between the Nova Cats, the Smoke Jaguars, and the Combine population is a thin overlay for a potentially more drastic series of events.
The campaign will probably start in earnest this weekend. I’ll be sure to get some after-action highlights in. 🙂