Thursday, January 1, 2015

Character Creation: Blue Rose

Character Creation!

Okay, so since we're on break, it's time to make a character, and thus Matt and Al and I will engage in creating one for a game that is long overdue: Blue Rose. Currently out of print (to my knowledge) Blue Rose was one of the first overtly inclusive RPGs, inspired by the fantasy romance properties of Mercedes Lackey, among others, where "fantasy romance" really means "fantasy that isn't primarily a heterosexual male fantasy," because really it's all fantasy no matter what. Still, the focus is on community and groups, inclusion instead of exclusion, and on that score "romantic fantasy" is the moniker the game itself chooses.

Blue Rose is a True20 game, so some of this is going to be super familiar system-wise. The setting is the kingdom of Aldis, which has entered an era of peace after the Shadow Wars of the Sorceror Kings. Nearby kingdoms still struggle under the Shadow, but the heroes of Aldis strive to defend the Light against all who would extinguish it.

Game: Blue Rose Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Green Ronin
Degree of Familiarity: Pretty familiar, both in recommended reading material and in True20 as a system.
Books Required: Just the core book, though we also have the Companion.

Attributes: Blue Rose is True20, which means it skips past the x20 attributes straight to the modifiers as scores. Attributes are the standard set: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma. Default is 6 points to spend, though racial choices impact this. I set my points as follows:

Str 1
Dex 2
Con 0
Int 2
Wis 1
Cha 0

She's smart, athletic, and if she's not overly Charismatic, she's really just about average in the world at large. If you like her, it's because of who she is over time, not the first impressions you get. She's not a first impression sort of person, and that's not the sort of thing that's important to her, either.

Races: In Blue Rose, you can be a human from a number of different cultures, one of the Night People (a strong, scary race designed by the Sorcerer Kings as servants), one of the Sea-Folk (androgynous merpeople with legs rather than tails -- think feyish Aquaman), psychic animals (often bonded with a humanoid), and Vata, who are kind of a cross between elves and gelflings-ish?). Al decided to be a Sea-Folk,  I decided to be an Islander (coastal human), and we decided to be half-siblings, since humans and seafolk can interbreed. In the face of this, Matt made the only possible choice left: a psychic dolphin.

So the three of us, more or less together, decided to make a seafaring campaign.

Roles: Al took Warrior, making a fighty Sea-Folk. Matt took Expert, and I took Adept, feeling that I'd need some magic as the only human among an otherwise aquatic party. Of the choices offered, I realized that doing something -bending-esque seemed really appropriate to this character, so I went with the shaping path, with a focus on Water and Wind.

Skills: Swim was a natural, along with Survival and Knowledge (Geography) (my favored race skills). I also went with Craft (wood carving) and Knowledge (sail), as well as Concentration, since Magic seems to need it. Why wood carving? Well, why not, really. Besides, wood floats.

Swim +5
Survival +4
Knowledge (Geography) +6
Craft (Wood Carving) +4
Knowledge (Sailing) +4
Concentration +3

Feats: So, my feats were pretty much determined by my Arcana stuff. As an adept, I get General and Arcane feats. I was trying to figure out how my spells (or Arcana, rather) worked, but after a decent amount of reading through the Adept role (where it's never clearly stated, that I found) and the Feats section (where it's hidden among everything else) I discovered that I had to take Arcane Training, which gave me two new Arcana each time. With that in mind, I went back to the Shaper template under the Adept role and just used the listed feats there, along with one of my favorited racial feats, as otherwise I wouldn't be able to take it.

Shaping Talent
Arcane Training (Manipulate Object, Move Object)
Arcane Training (Water Shaping, Wind Shaping)
Arcane Balance (lets me walk on any surface -- too cool not to take)

Arcana: So these work as skills do -- 1st level gets a +3 bonus if you're an Adept, along with the Int bonus, so that gave me a +5 in the above mentioned Arcana across the board, as they're all Int based.

Other stuff: So, out of the three alignment choices (light, twilight, and shadow), we all chose light. My calling was The World, which is exploration -- I want to go out and find new things and places and see what's beyond my island -- the sea calls to me. My light nature is Enthusiastic, and my shadow nature is Obsessive -- we used tarot cards and random draws to determine what we got. I also have a reputation of +1, and my only good save is Will (+2). My name is Ceta, and I'm out to see the world in the company of my childhood friends.

So there you go! FWIW, I think this is a pretty awesome incarnation of a fantasy x20 game, and if I were going to play in one, Blue Rose would get a vote from me. It's a shame it didn't get more love  back when it came out -- there's a lot of potential here. That said, I'm glad we own it. It's a cool setting, and worthy of exploration.