Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reading Room: the Stars Without Number skim -- part 02

Character Creation
Stars without number has already managed to surprise me.

Awesomly iconic
art for the Expert
character class
With only three character classes, but multiple "templates" that fall under each character class, there's already a wide variety of possible characters represented by class and skills. The three classes are Expert, Warrior, and Psychic. Each obviously has something that sets them apart from the other classes. Psychics are the only ones who can use psychic abilities. Warriors get to ignore one (1) attack in a given skirmish. Experts get to re-roll one (1) failed skill attempt per hour.

Your Stat block is randomly rolled up, but there are rules that allow you to ensure that your character can function reasonably well in the game (minimum values for given stats based on class, reshuffling of points within certain parameters, etc.) Max bonus and max penalty on the 3 to 18 range of human stats are +2 and -2 respectively. Perhaps this is due to the 2d6 resolution mechanic for skills (ooh, classic Traveller), though it seems to make Stats less relevant given the d20 resolution mechanic for combat.

Two different resolution mechanics? Why? WHY? (Why not? I mean, Assassins got percentiles on their assassination attempts, and Thieves also get the percentiles, and there was the Turning mechanic. It's not that confusing, and very cleanly delineated. It's in the way that it's used. Even a single resolution mechanic can become very confusing if mishandled.)

Can't say more about this till I try out character creation proper, but I did skip ahead to check some other portions of the book to understand certain aspects of Character Creation (like the resolution mechanics).

So next time, we'll skip ahead to look at resolution mechanics and the factions rules, before I return and attempt a character.

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