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Author Topic: Demon Cops - Character Creation  (Read 1996 times)
Henri
Member

Posts: 88


« on: June 17, 2004, 03:48:13 PM »

If this should be in Actual Play, please feel free to move it.

Last night we had our first session of Demon Cops, in which we discussed general aesthetics and created characters.  I think the characters still need a bit of work, so we'll spend another half hour on them next week before beginning the game proper.  All five of us (including me) are new to Sorcerer.  Only one of the players (Dev, also on the Forge) is familliar with the game at all.  Incidentally, we are all around 22 - 23 years old and live in Cambridge, MA.  

So I begin the session by asking people about Anime they like, and what comes to mind when they hear that "Demon Cops is an anime-inspired rpg about elite cops who deal with supernatural crime in a demon-infested city."  None of us have seen Wicked City, but we have all seen Ninja Scroll.  Eventually we settle on something that is mostly dark and angular, but with some opportunity for cuteness and humor, along the lines of Hellsing, of which we are all big fans.  We all also like Vampire Hunter D a lot, but want something a little bit lighter.  We discuss lines and veils, and decide to put a veil on any actual sex.  We don't set up any lines, although one player asks to put a "dotted" line on rape, asking that I be hesitant to bring it up (and I wasn't really planning on pushing sexual violence anyway).  Then I explain some of the rules and we jump into character creation.  Here are the characters.

Jay Hale - played by Dev
Appearance "Bogartese Noir, tan skin"
Telltale - when angry, wind blows through hair
Stam 5 - Buff, martial artist
Will    4 - Hotshot
Lore   1 - Demon Cop trained
Cover 4 - Demon Cop, Snoop (detective)
Humantiy 5
Price -1 - Anathema to women (penalty to all rolls involving women)

Justiss - Jay's demon
Type: Object
Telltale - Reddish reflections
Appearance - Big (Shiny) Fucking Gun
Stam 3
Will   6
Lore  5
Power 6
Desire: Power
Need: "Fetishistic Stroking and Shining" - yes, it is a cock
Abilities: Special Damage, Ranged, Link, Transport, Boost Will (all to self)

Daniel - played by Heather
Appearance - Cute Asian (Chinese) boy
Telltale - missing pinky on left hand
Stam 4 - Martial Artist
Will   4  - Do gooder
Lore  2  - Half Demon
Cover 4 - Baseball player
Humanity 4
Price: OCD -1 to rolls when around disorder

Babe Ruth - Daniel's Demon
Type: Parasite
Telltale - Daniel has pointy ears
Appearance - intangible essence inside Daniel's head
Stam 4
Will   5
Lore  4
Power 5
Desire: Mayhem
Need: ESPN
Abilities: Cloak, Perception (yet to be specified), Daze, and Fast

Eugene Takahashi - played by Novalis
Appearance - blank (need to fill out next session)
Telltale - Sticking up hair
Stam 2 - martial artist
Will    4 - angry
Lore   4 - adept
Cover 4 Demon Cop, 2 Aikido master
Humanity 4
Price Pacifist, -1 when committing violence in anger

Toboe, Eugene's demon
Type: Object
Telltale: fruity smell
Appearance: Ornate scroll depicting ancient temple
Stam 4
Will   5
Lore  4
Power 5
Desire: Corruption
Need:  New books
Abilities: Hint, Aror, Boost Lore, Perception (magic map)

There is a fourth character, but his player had to leave early and took his character sheet with him to finish it on his own, so I won't post that now.

Ok, here is the relationship map / back story
The aged Izumo Katayama is a very successful Japanese business man who is the founder of a multi-national electrical engineering company.  He is also a Kendo master and sorcerer.  Many years ago, he had an affair when on business in California, and his bastard son Oda Katayama was born to an American woman.  Now middle-aged, Oda is the head of the American branch of Izumo's company.  He and his American wife, Lillian Graves Katayama, have a son (Aki) and daughter (Oki), who are twins.  Lillian's son Howard was only a toddler when Lillian and Oda married, and is very much part of the family.  Oda has continued the family tradition and trained his three children to excel in the art of Kendo.  Oda is not a sorcerer, but is aware of his father's sorcerous dealings.  Back in Japan, Izumo had a legitimate son, Zenko Katayama, only a few years younger than Oda.  Zenko has been trained by Izumo in the art of sorcery.  

The conflict begins when Izumo dies (of natural causes, he's like 90 years old).  At his death, he sends his most valuable sword, Muramasa (an Object Demon) to Oda in California, rather than leaving it to Zenko.  Zenko is not happy, and travels to California to try to convince Oda to give him the sword.  Oda refuses.  That night, Oda is killed and sword is stolen.  

Individual back stories and (most importantly) Kickers

Jay Hale
Jay used to work as a private investigator, with his partner Taylor.  One day, Taylor was killed.  Jay took his gun (Justiss, the object demon), and later joined the Demon Cops and learned about demons.  However, it still bugs him that he never avenged his partner.
Kicker: He receives a mysterious package in the mail, a dossier on one Cindy Lee, a Chinese-American woman (remember, he is Anathema to Women).  The dossier claims that Cindy killed Taylor.

Daniel
Daniel is looking for the person who killed his ex-girlfriend.  However, he is actually the killer.  Or, rather, his demon Babe Ruth is, who was at the time Possessing him.  However, he has no recollection of the possession at all!  Also, from before his Demon Cop days he has ties to the Hong Kong mafia (ie. the Triads) in Diablo Del Rey, with whom he retains dealings under the table.  
Kicker: The Triad's big rival in Diablo Del Rey, a Mexican Cartel, contacts Daniel and gives him a box of baseball cards containing hints as to who the killer of his ex-girlfriend is.  

Eugene Takahashi
Novalis took the offer I made of tying his character's back story and kicker heavily into the pre-existing relationship map.  Like Oda, he is a Japanese-American martial artist, and the two are good friends.  They have had many intense discussions as to the ethics of violence, and although they disagree, in their arguments they found a bond of friendship.  Eugene is also good friends with the rest of the family.
Kicker: Eugene receives a phone call from Lillian, who is distraught over finding her husband murdered, and naturally called Eugene, who is both a friend and a cop.
Logged

-Henri
Henri
Member

Posts: 88


« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2004, 04:21:40 PM »

So now that that is done, this week I have to prep for the first real session, which is what I am hoping for feedback on.  I've read through the Art Deco Melodrama threads, which were very helpful (a big thank you to Ron and the others on that thread).  Here are some of my concerns.  I'm afraid of being too wimpy.  I know Sorcerer benefits from the GM applying lots of pressure, even right at the start, but I'm not sure how to do this.  I've been working on comming up with bangs, but I'm not sure how good they are.  I want bangs that will do at least one of the following: 1) Hit the character's weak spot by taking advantage of their Price and really making them feel the cost. 2) Give them tough decisions with the possibility of Humanity checks (Humanity in Demon Cops is based on social responsibility as an officer of the law). 3) Lead to cool, ass-kicking combat, but combat that doesn't feel gratuitous.  

Bangs I have so far
General
-Howard Graves is discovered dead, apparently killed by a katana.
-If Zenko is arrested, his demon Kageri kills a random civillian and demands the release of Zenko
For Jay
-Cindy Lee, the suspect, winds up on his doorstep.  She claims that she was a good friend of Taylor and that her life is in danger (probably from the Triad) and begs him to help her out as a favor to Taylor.  
- He discover's Taylor's journal, which reveals that Taylor was secretly involved in organized crime (maybe with the Cartel, or maybe the Triads).
- He discovers that the killer was, in fact, Daniel (before Daniel was a Demon Cop)!
For Daniel
- The Mexican cartel offers to reveal the secret of his ex-girlfriend's death if he betrays the Triad to them.
- He discovers that he was the murderer (I'm thinking that this should happen relatively early, so that the player is left with a "Fuck, now what" rather than having it be the climax of Daniel's kicker, which would be too predictable.
For Eugene
- His boss tells him to stay away from the Katayama case because he is too emotionally involved and gives the case to the other PC's.  
- Oki (Oda's daughter) tries to seduce him.
- If she succeeds, and if later she or Aki becomes a suspect in the murder of either Oda or Howard, she pleads with him to protect them from the law.

That's it so far.  But I feel like there are things missing.  The only one who's price I've managed to exploit is Jay.  Also, I don't see much opportunity for combat.  I think combat is fun and cool, but I can't think how to work it in without it seeming really gratuitous.  Basically, I don't see any reason for anyone to attack the PC's, especially since they are cops and killing cops is generally dumb.  

Oh, I should have included stats for Zenko and the demons of the NPC sorcerers.
Murumasa - bound to Izumo Katayama (who is dead)
Type: Object
Appearance: katana
Telltale: reflections of people in blade appear to by covered in blood and dying in agony.
Stam 7
Will   8
Lore  4
Power 8
Need: To be bathed in blood
Desire: Competition
Abilities: Boost Stamina, Fast (confered), Special Damage, Taint
Before it will Bind with anyone, it likes to test them.  It does this by using its Taint ability to get them into a fight, and then Boosting the crap out of their Stamina, taking advantage of the rule that Boosts in rapid succession force you to make a Will check or be Confused and that boosting past 2x Stamina incurs damage.  The sword figures if you are baddass enough to win a fight even with your own weapon fighting against you, you are cool enough that it would think about Binding with you.  

Zenko
Stam 4 Martial Artist
Will  6 High Self Esteem
Lore 5 Adept
Humanity 2
Cover 6 Business man
Price -1 - untrustworthy
Telltale: ???

Kageri - bound to Zenko
Type: Inconspicous
Appearance: Shadow demon (like in Vampire Hunter D 2: Bloodlust)
Telltale - shadows moving independantly of real objects
Stam 5
Will   6
Lore  5
Power 6
Need: Total Darkness
Desire: Power
Abilities: Armor, Cloak, Perception (see in the dark), Shadow, Special Damage (lethal)

Eiji - bound to Zenko
Type: Parasite
Telltale: ???
Stam 3
Will   4
Lore  2
Power 4
Abilities: Armor, Vitality (conferred to Zenko)
Logged

-Henri
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2004, 08:22:25 AM »

Yay, Demon Cops!!

Henri, I do recommend getting together with the group for alcoholic beverages and a communal viewing of Wicked City. It's a good movie and a lot of fun.

One thing isn't clear about your back-story. Your writeup is playing it safe: "Oda is killed and the sword is stolen." C'mon, spill - either Zenko killed him or he didn't, and the sword is happy with its new master (whoever it is) or it's not.

I do like a lot of your Bangs, but I think that's because I would play them somewhat aggressively. If you don't play them aggressively, they'll sit there - wimpily, as you say. You'll have to be sensitive to which NPCs the players embrace and adopt, and then adopt those NPCs yourself, and play them with great enthusiasm.

Have the players filled out the diagram on the backs of their sheets? Have you seen them? Do you know what "bullseyes" the characters, in terms of immediate people, places, and things? This is key material, and it should provide 99% of the prep for your first session.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Henri
Member

Posts: 88


« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2004, 02:12:22 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
One thing isn't clear about your back-story. Your writeup is playing it safe: "Oda is killed and the sword is stolen." C'mon, spill - either Zenko killed him or he didn't, and the sword is happy with its new master (whoever it is) or it's not.

Okay, fine, I'll stop being coy.  The killer wasn't Zenko, it was Howard.  But that is because his mother put him up to it.  Lillian and Oda weren't as happily married as appeared on the surface, and in fact he was cheating on her.  Lillian has been plotting against him since she found out, and when she saw the chance to frame Zenko, she jumped for it.  She used emotional bullying to get her son to do the dirty work.  If Aki and Oki find out, things are going to get really messy (literally) in the Katayama household.

Quote
I do like a lot of your Bangs, but I think that's because I would play them somewhat aggressively. If you don't play them aggressively, they'll sit there - wimpily, as you say. You'll have to be sensitive to which NPCs the players embrace and adopt, and then adopt those NPCs yourself, and play them with great enthusiasm.

I did some more work on one of the NPC's, Cindy Lee.  I've decided that she was the apprentice of Jay's partner Taylor, but Taylor was keeping her secret from Jay.  She murdered him and was going to steal his gun (Justiss) when another one of his demon's attacked, seriously wounding her and putting her in the hospital.  She still has a limp and walks with a cane.  Now she is back and still wants to get her hands on Justiss.  She sent the dossier to Jay herself to throw him off, and then throws herself on his doorstep pretending to be running from the Triad.  What happens next will depend entirely on Jay's actions of course, but she is willing to use violence, seduction, lies and trickery, or whatever else it takes to get that gun away from him.  I gave her a fairly badass gargoyle demon (Inconspicuous) with Power 6 and the abilities Cloak, Travel, Transport, Warp, Armor and Big.  So she should be a worthy foe.  Or, who knows, maybe an ally if something really weird happens.  

Quote
Have the players filled out the diagram on the backs of their sheets? Have you seen them? Do you know what "bullseyes" the characters, in terms of immediate people, places, and things? This is key material, and it should provide 99% of the prep for your first session.

No, actually I half forgot to do that and we half ran out of time, but we'll get to that at the start of the next section.
Logged

-Henri
Henri
Member

Posts: 88


« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2004, 07:07:37 AM »

Here is the last character.
Droo - played by Jon
Stam 3  - Arcane Regimen
Will   4   - Quiet Pride (Rude and Arrogant)
Lore  3   - Demon Cop Trained
Cover 4  - Motorcycle courier
Price -     Intollerant of Disagreement (-1)
Humanity 4

Backstory:  Before he was a demon cop, Droo was in a motorcycle gang.  But the demon Scurlock (a Sacrifice demon from the Demon Cops book) killed off every member of his gang except for him.  So he cleaned up and joined the Cops to learn about demons and get his revenge.  Eventually Scurlock was defeated and put in a Contain.

Kicker:  Scurlock has escaped!!!
Logged

-Henri
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