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Quick Characters for Legacy

One of the things I’m hard at work on is a revised edition of Legacy. Part of this process is to identify bits of the original version that didn’t quite work in play: the one I’m talking about today is character focus. One common complaint is that with every player getting their own faction, games often devolve into players taking it in turns to have solo scenes interacting with their families. While I’m also working on structuring the game so that there’s more to push characters to work together, I wanted something to liven up those single-family scenes.

My solution for this was Quick Characters. If you want to play out a particular player character’s actions in detail but the fiction makes it implausible for the other major characters to be involved, the other players take control of members of the active player’s Family using simplified playbooks. These playbooks give some options to flesh out your character, but mostly inherit stats from the active players family.

Using these new characters, you play through the story as normal until it’s time to shift focus to another family or character. At that point, the group can choose – either each player can keep these minor playbooks in case focus returns to that family, or the playbooks can go into a group pool for anyone to pick up as the situation desires. If you’re familiar with Ars Magica’s troupe play rules, this is intended to create a similar effect.

Here’s the playbooks:

How they work

Quick Characters still use the Character basic moves, and have Force, Lore, Steel and Sway, but have simplified playbooks. They inherit a stat line, a move and gear from their Family, enabling them to be generated quickly.

We haven’t written up the family side of this completely yet, but here’s an example:

Enclave of Forgotten Lore Quick Characters:

Stats:

Add +1 to Lore or Steel.

Gear:

Take gear according to your Surplus investment (more on this later), +1 to Data or Outfit.

Inheritance Move options:

  • Radio Rig: Can sense when Tech is within a mile, and track it down to within 100 metres.
  • Pain Box: You have a device that causes intense pain in anyone within a few dozen metres (melee, nonlethal, area, hi-tech).
  • Survey drone: You can roll +Lore with Wasteland Survival, so long as your trail is visible from the air.
  • Hot Rod: You have an exceptionally fast vehicle (land-based, Might 1 Chrome 1 Brawn 0), and can move points between its stats with 15 minutes of tinkering.
  • Educated: If you give advice to somebody based on your knowledge of the Before, they take +1 Forward.