Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The RPG Character Library: Mystwood LARP

It's been a while since I've made up a LARP here's a LARP character.

Mystwood is a game that I occasionally play up in Maine. It currently has two chapters, Mystwood: The Keep, which runs in Jefferson, ME, and Mystwood: Burgundar, which runs in Harrison, ME. The two games are interlinked and share continuity, which means that you can take a break from the Keep and hang out with the Norsemen, or vice versa.

Mystwood is what I like to call a "day in the life" LARP. Player characters are, for the most part, regular people, with day jobs and professional skills that they can use to improve the town. The game is a continuing LARP (meaning that it runs forever and doesn't build up to some kind of apocalyptic end-game), but the staff runs numerous overlapping Chronicles that provide the requisite amount of adventure and excitement.

One of my favorite things about the game is character generation and progression. To start with, you get to buy ranks in one or more gifts. These gifts give you adventure-y type abilities, such as weapon skills, magic spells, summoning bolts of power, and so on. Then you get to pick your profession from a list. Your profession will give you income, appropriate skills, and crafting skills. If you have the ability to use magic (because of your gifts), then your profession might also give you spells.

You can round out your character with some advantages and flaws, if you like, and you can choose to be devoted to one of the three divinities of the misty wood: Justice, Mercy, or the Wild.

My actual-factual character is a chap named Enoch Smith, a vampire (with a small v--being a Vampire in Mystwood gets you murderstabbed) gravedigger with a deep and abiding faith in the Wild. I could just present him here, but I feel that doesn't abide by the spirit of the arbitrary rules of this challenge, so I decided to make a new character from scratch.

The character I chose to make is actually an NPC character I played at a Mystwood one-day event a couple of weekends ago. The character had a name, a job, and a personality, but with no stats, so this is my opportunity to flesh him out and make him look like a player character. I'm going to have to cheat a little bit, since getting the character to where I want him to be requires that I take an Advanced Profession.

My character was Quintus, chamberlain of House Titus. The closest profession that fits my character concept is the Advanced Profession: Steward.  In order to qualify for an Advanced Profession, I would need to first acquire resources during the game. In most cases, all I would need is money, but for Steward, I need to find a wealthy patron to support me and give me a job. If Quintus was a real PC, I'd have to start at the bottom with a Basic Profession and work my way up. Since he's an NPC, we can assume that he did all that at some point in the past.

Speaking of Basic Professions, I figured that Quintus must have had one when he started out working for the Titus household. I went through the book and chose Cook. The nice thing about choosing professions is that it gives me a solid idea of Quintus' history. Apparently he started out in the Titus household as a humble cook but, through skill and competence, rose to be the chamberlain of the entire household.

As is the case with many of my LARP characters (especially those made using the MASI rules), Quintus is described more with words than with numbers. Read on if you'd like to see what he looks like.

Quintus Sextus Septimus, Chamberlain of House Titus

Hit Points: 5 (2 base, 2 from Courage, 1 from Livery)
Livery: The keys of House Titus, worn around neck on a cord.

Courage, Rank 3
This gives Quintus +2 Hit Points and Use of Arms, which allows him to use all basic melee weaponry. He also gains the Stretcher Bearer ability, which allows him to move unconscious people out of danger/toward a physician. His Courage allows him to Disengage once per Renew (imagine one of those nifty slashing moves that drives all your opponents back from you), and one use of Battle Endurance per Renew (allowing me to heal myself in the midst of a battle with appropriate, dramatic roleplaying).

Dexterity, Rank 2
Thanks to this gift, Quintus can attempt to disarm traps and pick locks (interesting things happen around the Titus household, I guess?). He is also able to use crossbows and bows (not that he ever does). He may make one Special Weapon Attack per Renew.

Quintus' initial profession was that of a Cook in the Titus household. This gave him two skills: Butcher, which allows him to cut up normal animals and turn them into Food tags, and Cook (4), which gives him the ability to make nourishing food that bestows beneficial effects. The number in the parentheses indicates how many crafting points Quintus gets, and each dish takes a variable number of crafting points.

Quintus, is no longer a cook, however, and has switched professions to Steward. He loses all of the skills from his previous profession, but gains a bunch of new ones, including Cook (6). He also gets the following:

Buy/Sell (50): I can go up to Ops once per game and arrange to buy and sell things. I believe the number in the parentheses is the maximum amount of Crown (i.e. cash money) I can buy or sell.

Commerce: Quintus knows how much things are worth. If there's a "Commerce" tag on an item, he can read it to learn secret things about it (such as how much it is and a bit about its history).

Leadership: Quintus may call "Heal 2 to X by Gesture." Quintus can only use this skill on retainers and followers of his patron, Lord Titus.

Scribe (2): Another crafting skill. Quintus gets two crafting points to make documents and send letters.

Other Skills
I assumed that Quintus would have gotten enough experience (represented in the game as Moonstones), to purchase the Livery skill. His livery is represented by the keys to the household, which he has on his person at all times.

Advantages and Flaws
Most of the advantages in the game either require you to take an obvious mutation (which is one of the reasons why Enoch, above, is a small-v vampire) or aren't terribly appropriate for a humble servant of a noble house. Because of that, I didn't take any. Because of that, I also didn't have to take any flaws. For those that are interested, the game rules state that you can take up to 4 points of advantages, but you must balance out your advantages with an equal value of flaws.

So, Quintus is flawless. Something he'll happily tell you all about if you'll let him.

I portrayed Quintus as being not particularly religious. He pays the usual amount of lip service to the three deities, but isn't particularly devoted to any of them.

And thus, the character write-up ends!

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