Creating a Character
Character creation is designed to take less than 15 minutes. There are 4 important areas of a character:
One of the most important things about a character is their name. Let it resound and earn respect from other players. A memorable name, like other famous heroes that have come before you.
Skills and Expertise
There are 6 primary skills.. Each skill has 2 areas of expertise available. Skills provide an extra die to be used for success rolls. Expertise adds yet another die as well.
The player can select a set number of skills to be trained in and a set number of expertise available within those skills. These can also be chosen as random dice rolls for a more chaotic experience (see Minions). Typically a character starts with 3 skills and 3 expertise, but that can be changed by the Storyteller.
The six (6) skills (with the expertise) are:
Fitness (Athleticism & Acrobatics)
Knowledge (Lore & Scholar)
Awareness (General & Detail)
Performance (Diplomacy & Distraction)
Sneak (Disguise & movement)
Weapons (Melee & Ranged)
Each character gets a role (which has special skills). Roles are typically story setting specific.
An example of some roles (for MINIONS) are:
Strategist: Comes up with the plan (all brain, no brawn)
Muscle: Moves big things (all brawn, no brain)
Personality: The Flirt, The face, etc.
The Techie: Good with electrical things
Thief: Finding things usually that belong to other people
Operator: Vehicle Operation "specialist"
The dystopian setting Delta Nexus uses the term "Division" to indicate where each character is assigned to:
Technology and Design
For Aetheria, which is adventure fantasy, classes are used:
Equipment in RPG Anywhere is different. Based on the world, the Storyteller might:
Auto assign equipment: Delta World
Have players roll on a random table: Minions
Choose their equipment based on their role (Class): Aetheria
Have specific equipment based on their Role (profession): Occultis Mechanica, NeuroNexia, Star Voyager
The Story Teller presents the scenario and lets the players decide what they want to do, and then determine what skill (or skills), equipment and/or roles they need to use.
Minimum number of die that any a player will have for any challenge is 1.
Skill proficiency adds 1 die
Expertise adds 1 additional die.
Any equipment that can help them with the challenge adds an additional die.
Based on the World story setting, the characters role (class, sector, etc ) can provide additional die.
And finally, a player could help another player adding a final additional die. (doing so would eliminate their actions for that round)
A player (“Jeff”) wants to knock a burly guard unconscious. The challenge success (as decided by the Story Teller) can be a single success or may require multiple successes.
"Jeff" has the fitness skill (+1 die)
"Jeff" has a rolling pin. (+1 die)
The player gets to use 2d6 to try and succeed.
If “Jeff” also had Athleticism, the player would roll 3d6.
If "Jeff" had none of those skills, he would get the minimum of 1 die.
Rolling / Success / Failure / Critical Failures
A roll of 5 or 6 on a single die is a success.
A roll of 6 'explodes' and the player can roll that die again to try for an additional success
If the required numbers of successes are rolled, they succeed.
They do not make the required number of successes, they fail.
If they fail and the rolls include a 1, it is a critical failure.
The action goes off as planned. And the team is successful (in the above example the guard is knocked out)
The team failed in that objective and now they need to be prepared to perform damage control (in the above example the guard is hit on the head, but is now angry and preparing to subdue the team)
The team has critically failed in that objective and now they need to be prepared to perform serious damage control (in the above example the guard isn’t hit on the head because Jeff trips with the rolling pin, and knocks himself out cold. The team has to survive, escape and rescue Jeff)
Notes on Probability to compare successes with a standard d20 roll:
rolling a success on 1d6 (33.33%)
rolling a single success on 3d6 (57.87%)
rolling a single success on 4d6 (75.92%)
This may seem odd, but a level 3 Bard, performing in a bar will have a +5 in performance. and if they roll a 5, that is a 9 - which is still average. but rolling on an average of 10, that would be a 15 (or 75%)
The Story Teller
Setting the Stage
The Storytellers first role is setting the stage, addressing the players in the room (all of them). For each setting, this could be quite different. Examples:
“We have an especially important mission that is critical to our future and continued success. Please join me in giving a rousing welcome to missions that are the best of the best. They are trained by the best to be the best. A team so special, they have their own division.”
At this point, all the characters enter.
“Please take a moment to introduce yourselves”
Let the characters introduce themselves and state who they are and describe themselves and their claim to fame (even if it’s a lie)
“The public system in your personal quarters screeches on. 'Citizen. Please report to sector Alpha Charlie Kilo Victor Victor Delta Niner Four Seven Alpha Gamma Three for your mission briefing to begin promptly in thirty minutes. Thank you.' And the com goes silent."
And then just look blankly at the players.
"So, you are all sitting in a tavern, when a man dressed like a nun bursts through the door asking for help"
NOTE: please don't use the "you find yourselves in a tavern" line. ever. thank you.
Explain the Mission / Scenario
Note: Missions don’t have to be complex. Some simple missions plot hooks are:
Birthday preparation and shopping.
— Purchase Presents
— Get balloons; cake; streamers
Steal the newest prototype weapon from BBEG
Go grocery shopping.
Renegade robot on the loose. Subdue and restrain.
Infiltrate a crime warehouse and steal supplies.
Find and clear out a forgotten temple that was recently discovered.
Save the world.
Equipment & Gathering
With some settings, players will be already equipped (adventure settings, etc). But in some settings, it's fun to let the team try to gather / get "specialized" equipment for their mission. This can be done by having equipment delivered in a crate (Delta Nexus) or having the team gather equipment (Minions), or having a benevolent benefactor prep the team (adventurers) .
Note: That doesn’t mean it’s useful, but it means they have it to work with in the lab.
You can either provide a set list of supplies or randomize it: You can either roll on a random table or provide a list of pre-selected equipment. It will probably be useful (maybe?); they just might need to be creative. (P.S. This might be the only time you aren't using a D6)
Having all the materials, they may not be able to carry it all, but they have the opportunity for mission prep. OPTIONAL: They can attempt to combine items together to make improvised / improved items (rolling for successes.)
Mission Prep: Into the Lab (Optional)
If desired, the team can take all the equipment they have been given plus basic assembly supplies:
In "MINIONS," they might have items like:
They can attempt to combine items together (using their skills) to make items for their trip. Remind them that due to their capabilities, they can only take 3 pieces of equipment each.
Rope + tongs + garlic press + zip ties = Grappling hook (Challenge rating 1)
Canned fart spray + paint ball gun = The infamous fart gun (If they can successfully build it) (Challenge rating 4)
The Mission Begins
Now comes the fun part. Let the players tell you how they want to accomplish their mission. They will need to solve travel, infiltration, espionage, discovery, combat, guile, enjoying success, overcoming failure, AND HAVE FUN!
Your Job as the Storyteller
Let the players make their decisions. You decide what they roll based on their narrative. When they roll, you paint the picture of the outcome. Good or bad. Make it entertaining for everyone and that includes you.
Did they succeed amazingly well? Give them an unexpected bonus on success.
Did they fail spectacularly?" Give them a way to redeem themselves, no matter how outlandish.
Continue the narrative. Rinse. Repeat.
And have fun. Always have fun.