Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spirit of the Century: Time Heals All Wounds, The Finished Mark Twain

I had some time over lunch to put the finishing touches on my Spirit of the Century Mark Twain for the Time Heals All Wounds adventure I want to have ready for Gen Con. It's been a blast fitting the history and legend of Mark Twain into a FATE based character.

As I've posted in this series, my overall character concept for Twain is Time Traveling Man of the World. With a generous amount of help from the Internet (and Google+), I have a fantastic list of FATE aspects to establish Twain as a Spirit of the Century character.

Spirit of the Century, and FATE, uses a rating system known as The Ladder to describe abilities and difficulties of things within the game. It looks something like this:

+8 Legendary
+7 Epic
+6 Fantastic
+5 Superb
+4 Great
+3 Good
+2 Fair
+1 Average
0   Mediocre
-1  Poor
-2  Terrible
A person with an Average (+1) score in an ability is considered to do it regularly, competently, but not exceptionally. Characters in the game have the following skill pyramid; one skill at Superb (+5), two skills at Great (+4), three skills at Good (+3), four skills at Fair (+2), and five skills at Average (+1).

With this in mind, I wanted to capitalize on the idea that Mark Twain was a man of his wits, that he could fast talk or charm his way out of any situation and into the hearts of almost anyone. It seemed like a perfect fit to make his superb skill Rapport which includes the trappings of First Impressions, Closing Down, Opening Up.

To bring in Twain's stage presence and his worldliness, I chose Art as one of his Great skills. Art includes the trappings of Art as Knowledge, Art as Craft, Art as Communication, and, most importantly for Twain, Art as Performance. To capitalize on his old river boating and fighting newspaper man days, I filled his other Great skill slot with Fists. Twain's a hard drinkin', hard fightin' kind of guy or at least he was.

For his Good skills, I went with Empathy for its trapping of Reading People. I also pulled in Might (trappings of Fighting People, Breaking Things, and Lifting Things) to further play on Twain's tough past. And then I rounded out the Good skills with Academics, with the trappings of Research, Exposition and Knowledge Dumping, and Declaring Minor Details, to showcase his intelligence, research and storytelling abilities.

For his four Fair skills, I started with Resolve, for his coolness under pressure. As he was a multi-patent holder and maintained a fascination with technology and science, I gave him Science. I figure that the trappings of Lab Work, Medical Attention, and Science! could also come in handy during the adventure. As a physically tough and verbally impressive individual, Intimidation, with the trappings of Threat of Violence and Brush Off, seemed to fit the bill. Finally as a former newspaper man and as a world traveler, Investigation isn't a stretch.
Then it's more of the same for the Average skills. I've finished everything off with Gambling, Drive, Contacting, Alertness, and Endurance.

For Twain's Stunts, I chose:

Blather [Rapport]

Razor Tongue [Art]

Poison Words [Art]

All the World's A Stage [Art]

and I made up the stunt, Temporary Time Shift [Science]

And, with that, we're finished with Twain.

Mark Twain, Time Traveling Man of the World

Hard drinkin', hard fightin'.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Man of the World.

Accidental Time Traveler.

A Particular Way With Words.

Big Spender

Fate Tied to the Comet

Impressive Mustache

The Mysterious Stranger

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

Beat the Clock

Tesla's Friend and Benefactor

Thrilled by Man's Ingenuity, Disappointed by His Stupidity
    Superb: Rapport

    Great: Art, Fists

    Good: Empathy, Might, Academics

    Fair: Resolve, Science, Intimidation, Investigation
    Average: Gambling, Drive, Contacting, Alertness, Endurance

    Blather [Rapport]

    Razor Tongue [Art]

    Poison Words [Art]

    All the World's A Stage [Art]

    Temporary Time Shift [Science]

    Health: [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]    [ ] [ ] [ ]

    Composure: [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]    [ ]

    If you like this series or have any ideas of that you'd like to share, please post them in the comments. I've had a lot of help already and more is always appreciated.

    ** Storied Adventures seems to be obsessed with Spirit of the Century at the moment, but it's a bit broader than that. It is usually a board and table top gaming blog that is written by a guy who loves board games and is returning to RPGs after a 20 year absence. I am attached to my wife's Amazon affiliate account, so purchases made through any Amazon links support the ongoing blogging efforts of Storied Adventures (many thanks!)


    1. well done sir!

      Mark Twain is awesome for SotC when you consider the great quotes he put forth just being ammunition for his aspects.

    2. Thanks for words of encouragement.

      I'm having a blast working up the adventure. I can't wait to run some people through it.