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Author Topic: Storypunk: Character Sheet & Advancement  (Read 3206 times)
Jonathan Walton

Posts: 1309

« on: March 26, 2003, 12:43:32 PM »

Check out the new Storypunk character sheet:


Characters are quantified in 3 ways:
1. Name
2. Themes
3. Permanent Themes & Duties ("I am...")

Name goes on the far right, in the boxes that are surrounded by, "hello, my name is: _________, but that's not who i am."

Themes take up the bulk of the sheet.  You write them in the light-blue, crayon-shaped boxes to the right of all those circles.  When you sustain a Theme during play, you take a Drop (one of those ubiquitous little glass counters) and place it in one of the big circles next to the Theme.  If a Theme gets sustained 3 times by the end of a play session, the player marks one of the smaller white circles to show advancement.  If you try to raise a Theme that already has 9 circles marked, it becomes a Permanent Theme, meaning it moves to...

Permanent Themes go in the section labled "I am," because they've become a crucial part of a character's personality.  Other things that go in this box are Duties, adminstrative responsibilities that a character may have within the Troupe.

Non-administrative Duties, the roles that the characters take in the stories they break into, are now called Masks and are not a part of the character sheet.  Instead, they are written on index cards (or represented by thematic cards like in Tarot or Everyway decks) and passed around among the players to represent which character is taking control of which character.  One Duty is that of being Mask-Maker, who determines when a story element needs someone to support it and passes Masks out.

One thought that I want some feedback on (in addition to whatever you guys think about the stuff above and the sheet design):

I want characters to be able to intentionally cause Themes to deteriorate or to destroy Permanent Themes with a good amount of effort.  Here's the system I've developed for this: Themes that don't have any Drops on them by the end of a session loose one circle of potency.  If they don't have any levels to loose, they disappear.

But I want characters to be able to loose levels faster if they intentionally act against the Theme that they have.  How fast is the issue.  On average, players are going to play through 3 stories in the course of a single session.  And loosing one level per story is too fast.  Perhaps if they actively work against their Theme, as well as not adding any Drops to it, it'll drop an additional level.  So 2 per session would be the max.

Additionally, if they have an empty Theme slot open on their sheet, a player can take one of his/her Permanent Themes and place it on in that slot as a 9-circle Theme.  Then, they can lower it from there if they like, all the way to nothing.  This allows for character evolution over time, but not in any numerically quantifyable way.  The stuff in the "I am" box just changes during the course of play, depending on what Themes the player and character want to support.


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