Where I read: Noir (Swedish RPG)

Lundgren

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It has been a while since I read through my copy of Noir, and I’m the type of GM that (over?) think a lot of a setting. So what is my own additions and whats actually in the book have started to be a bit fuzzy. As I read through it all again I’m going to give writing a “Where I read” a try

To my knowledge, there is currently no English version of the game, and I don’t think there is any plan at the moment to translate it. However, there have been plans for an English version of Noir, and they are involved in KULT: Divinity Lost. So depending on their experiences from that game, and potential interest for Noir, I think they might pick up their old plans or create new ones.

Noir is a Swedish dystopian rpg from 2006 by Marco Behrmann and Petter Nallo, and the book comes in at just over 350 pages. Thumbnails of each page of the book can be found here, and it can be considered NSFW.

An English text about the game from the creators can be found here.

While it certainly is possible to use it for classic production era Film Noir, it is more focused on Neo Noir like Sin City, Dark City, Se7en, and Gotham. The mechanics would most likely fit Sin City without even having to tweak anything, and the GM might actually have to control the char-gen a bit if a character like Marv isn’t fitting the current game.

The setting in the book, The Empire and its capitol Sandukar is more inspired by central and eastern Europe than the US. So on top of a lot of Noir tropes one would expect, there is also a bureaucratic dictatorship oppressing the population.

In a way, Noir can be seen as a few different but on the surface similar settings. It can be used as fairly realistic, but put in a made up world to avoid real world biases on how things work and what things meant in history. It can be used as a crap-sack world that is hell because, well, it is located in hell. The setting can be a feverish dream world-esque world, where things isn’t as static or solid as our world is. It can also be used for a horror noir setting.

The system is actually more Neo Trad, but in my opinion it is just a matter of a minor tweak of when “plot points” can be used, removing the GM’s pile of “plot points”, and change whom describes what, and the game is pushed right into a more traditional way of running a RPG (which I prefer myself).

As the book is in Swedish, even quotes will be a translation.

The back of the book has the text:
It is a time of worldly decay, mysteries, violence and dark eroticism. The scene is the multi-million city Sandukar, the heart of the giant Empire. It is a place for hardboiled men, dangerous women and fallen fighters — individuals creating their own rules and by their own actions shows what is right or wrong.

It is a journey into an existence where strong and destructive emotions like desire, aggression and vindictiveness rules over the dark backstreets. Egoism, greed and vanity overshadow forgotten virtues like love, justice and generosity. In the State’s ministries faceless bureaucrats rule through contradicting forms and regulations. In assembly rooms do the highborn plan new conspiracies and intrigues to increase their power and prosperity. On the streets do ordinary citizen struggle against brutal gangsters, corrupted police officers and sadist employers, in a fight to see the next day.

It is a time for unwilling heroes.

Noir is a dystopian roleplaying game written by two veterans of Swedish roleplaying game development, Marco Behrmann and Petter Nallo. Between themselves they have close to 30 years of experience of roleplaying games and are behind titles like Eon, Neotech and Viking.


The first page with actual text in the book has a list of the people involved developing and designing the game, artists, game testers, etc. It also contain a warning stating it is not suitable for sensitive people or those under the age of 15. Then there is a table of content taking a full page, with the opposite page having the symbol of Sandukar and a single quote.

“This must be the place I always wanted to leave. -Talia Navarre”

The actual meat of the book will start in the next post, and first up is a five page fiction introducing one of the signature characters; the private detective Gabriel Jandaran.
 
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Lundgren

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The introductory fiction is written with black text on a white background. The font is similar to that of an old mechanical typewriter. The text is in two columns per page, and as the first page has art on the left half.

It start with:
I died a few minutes ago. Or, that had been the plan. As usual in this city, nothing goes as planned. However, I’m going ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning, about twelve hours ago.

The fiction is about how the private investigator Gabriel Jandaran is interrupted while having lunch by a goon employed by one of the powerful industrialists in Sandukar. He is hired to discretely investigate a missing person. As the first paragraph of the fiction already revealed, things definitely didn’t go as planed.

During the four and a half page of fiction it managed to at least touch the topics of incest, abuse, rape, and murder. Love or hate fiction in rulebooks, the introduction firmly places it at the same end as Frank Miller’s Sin City. Someone that wants a production code era type of game probably should let someone else GM, or dig out the mechanics for them.

Chapter one comes after the above mentioned fiction, and it start with a half page of fiction. This new shorter fiction has another font, and is not written in two columns. This one gives a quick flash of how brutal showbiz can be, from the point of view of a now one-eyed manager.

As the chapter starts, we gets a text about what a roleplaying game is, and then what Noir (the RPG) is. Except that it describes roleplaying from a more sandboxy perspective, it is a fairly standard description.

The text about what Noir is, is about a fifth of a page and talk about how it is a dystopian setting, of how it is darker and more dangerous, things we shirks away from and don’t want to experience in reality. A world where life is cheap, and the options are dark or bleak. The rest of the page is what builds up a Noir mood.

A map of the empire, with its seven provinces, is presented and takes half a page. It isn’t a detailed map, and Sandukar is the only city presented. There is a map of Sandukar on the next spread, and it isn’t detailed either.

The rest of the chapter has short introduction texts of the empire, Sandukar, the “noble families” (ätterna in Swedish), the religion, the bureaucrats, the military, the enemies (there is the “Enemy”, which the empire have waged war against for generations, and there is a rebelling province), the “Infection” (which adds a supernatural aspect to the setting, if wanted), and a little bit of the mechanics. All of this is just a quick overview with a few highlights. There is also an example in transcript form of how it might sound at the table during play.

The introduction does a good job in my opinion to paint the broad strokes of the setting, with its corruption, the violence, and the oppression; but also about how most have normalized it and are apathetic to the situation.

As also mentioned in the introduction to the mechanics; the mechanics are not meant to be realistic, but to feel plausible.

Next up is chapter two; “Main Character”, and is about how to create a player character. It takes up page 24 to 87. However, to create a character, there is actually a lot of information needed from chapter five; “Influence”.
 

Lundgren

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It can be used as a crap-sack world that is hell because, well, it is located in hell.
I just noticed this as one of the designers signature on the previous incarnation of the main Swedish RPG forum;
"I en främmande tid och en fjärran värld slöt sju ätter en pakt med mörka makter för att vinna makt och insikt i det fördolda. Men deras girighet och hunger slukade dem och de drogs ned i skärselden där de blev fångade i en tidslös existens parasiterande på varandra och de själar som kom i deras grepp."

A translation would be:
"In a strange time and a distant world, seven noble families made pacts with dark forces to win power and insight into the obscure. However, their greed and hunger devoured them and they were pulled down into purgatory where they became trapped in a timeless existence, parasitizing on each other and the souls that came in their grasp."

So, yup... I guess that pretty much makes it the default mode.
 

Simlasa

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This setting (not sure about the rules) sounds like the sort of thing I'd enjoy a LOT, given like-minded Players and such. Like a lower powered World of Darkness.
Does it have an 'Appendix N' of influences from books and movies?
 
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Voros

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Interesting, with that name I was hoping for something more based on the classic 40s noirs but this does sound intriguing. I’d probably dump the setting and go for a 70s revisionist noir like Chinatown feel.
 

Lundgren

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This setting (not sure about the rules) sounds like the sort of thing I'd enjoy a LOT, given like-minded Players and such. Like a lower powered World of Darkness.
Yeah, that pesky little detail of finding like-minded people (that also have available time on a matching schedule...).

My guess is that people liking World of Darkness or Kult are the ones most likely to like Noir, regardless if they are on the "trench-coat and katanas" or the "politics and personal drama" end of the spectrum. Just that people on either side of said spectrum most likely are bad fits with each other, despite them liking the same game.

When it comes to the setting, the book paints with very lose and broad strokes (For example, Sandukar is only stated to have tens of thousands inhabitants), and then dives in on closeups where it describes a specific taxi company or a restaurant. As someone preferring a lot more details about a setting, as a part of my "preparing to improvise" I have a lot of notes on how I fill in the blanks (in Swedish).

While it isn't for everyone, it is a quite interesting system. The mechanics however are spread over chapter 2, 5, and 6 (chapter 6 is combat, and the only chapter with less pages than chapter 6 is chapter 1). I think the WIR will actually make the system sounds a lot more complicated than it is, so perhaps I should make a little detour with a character creation demo and quick mechanic introduction before diving into the meat of that.

Does it have an 'Appendix N' of influences from books and movies?
The last page with text contain a list things they recommend for the reader to pick up inspiration. While it doesn't say those things inspired them, I'm guessing it is because they found it inspiring they are doing the recommendation.

Being a bit lazy at the moment I took a photo of that page. A few of them have the Swedish translation of the title, but most mention the English title. However, a quick translations of the headers...
Författare => Author
Böcker => Books
Serietidningar => Comics
Musik => Music
Rollspel => Roleplaying game
Datorspel => Computer game
Filmer => Movies
TV => TV

Noir RPG recommendations.jpg
 

Lundgren

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Interesting, with that name I was hoping for something more based on the classic 40s noirs but this does sound intriguing. I’d probably dump the setting and go for a 70s revisionist noir like Chinatown feel.
I think it would be able to handle both. Just that one would need to dump the setting, and everyone around the table are on the same page.

Far to long since I last watched Chinatown. I have to rectify that at some point :smile:
 

Lundgren

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This post gave me some headache, as translating RPG terminology can be hard.

The second chapter also starts with a very short fiction; less than one page. This time about the dangers of trying to dig up evidence for an article on certain people.

Before the book describes how to create a player character, or Main Character as the book calls them, it has a little bit of text that a character shouldn’t be an immaculate and good hero. The anti-hero, with a tragic background, broken relations, destructive behaviors and weaknesses, makes a much more interesting character according to the book.

Next is a list of 16 steps on how to create a character, and then having a summary of how to do each step and page references to the full text. These steps and summaries are on a thick, 2 page wide, sheet in the expansion/addon “The game package” (Spelpaketet). Having it on that separate sheet makes it a lot easier to create a character, as it will be enough flipping through the book anyway.

The first step actually tells the reader to fetch a character sheet (referred to as a personal file), a pen, and an eraser; with the extended “summary text” (this one is the only one that isn’t a summary for something else) including a note the you can use just some plain paper, but it would be more work. Perhaps a bit redundant, but I can’t say it have ever bothered me and it isn’t taking up a lot of space.

The list also branches into two ways of creating a character. Either picking a template and background package, or doing the full version. Including the first step, it is actually a 7 or 14 step process.

The list of the steps:
1. Fetch a personal file, pen, and eraser.
2. Pick an archetype, or go directly to step 4.
3. Pick a background package, then go directly to step 13.
4. Decide on a Concept, in the format of “Nature + Occupation”.
5. Place the Characteristics.
6. Increase the Abilities.
7. Calculate the Main Character’s Skill Values (this is just adding each Ability to a Characteristic).
8. Pick Expertises where applicable.
9. Pick the Main Character’s Limitations.
10. Decide on the Main Character’s Features.
11. Define the Main Character’s Traits.
12. Decide the Main Character’s Relations.
13. Calculate the Attribute Values.
14. Flesh Out the Main Character.
15. Decide on a name for the Main Character.
16. Get the Main Character’s funds and pick equipment.

While a character will be competent within one area from the start, the GM might give some XP from the start to let the Main Character’s become even more competent, or to round out the character, before the game starts.

The summaries have a short introduction text, and many of them have either a list of examples or a short table.

Both Nature and Occupation has 36 examples each, so using them could for example give a desperate athlete, a depressed priest, or a manipulative doctor.

In the brief summary for the Characteristics, we mainly just learn that we can place one at 6, one at 5, three at 4, three at 3, and one at 2. It is not until chapter 5 they are explained.

Each of the Characteristics have three abilities/skills. The amount of points to distribute over each set of thee abilities is twice the value assigned to their Characteristic. So a Characteristic of 4 have 8 steps to spread out.

In Rules as Written, an Ability score of 4-6 gives one Expertise for that Ability, 7+ gives two. A house rule even recommended by one of the designers is to let everyone have 10 Expertises, and just bother with the qualification requirement on each Expertise. What Expertises there are comes later in the chapter.

The Limitations are a what would be drawbacks in most RPGs. The summary says 10 points has to be spent getting some. Having blood-tie connections is considered a Limitation.

The Features are both drawbacks and qualities. 10 points to buy positive Traits, but one can get more points by picking negative ones.

Traits are a personality facet that can be either good or bad, depending on the situation. Having a suspicious nature makes it harder to fool the character, but it also makes it harder to trust those the character need to trust. Being aggressive can be useful when there is a need for violence, but not so much when it is a need to deescalate something by talking someone down.

Relations are people that has an opinion about the character, and the player wants that NPC to be part of the game. 10 points are to be spent to create 3 NPC, and the points are spent on making the NPC being less negative against the character, and for the NPC to have more influence. Points can also be spent for the NPC to have an attraction or passion for the character.

A common reaction for players that are new to Noir is to only create useful connections. This is also for rivals, scorned ex lovers, that nemesis of a compatible sexuality and a spark flying attraction, a vengeful partner of ones lover, etc. This is both for having people on the character’s side, and to create conflicts interesting to the player.

To make a relation that is hostile and has very little influence cost 0 points. Changing hostile all the way up to friendly is 4 points, changing very little influence to having a lot of influence is another 4 points. Attraction is 1 point, and passion is 2 points.

The Attributes are a bunch of values that are either derived from other values, or the result of points spent or gained on Traits. Some of these are points that can be spent by the player, other are used to modify die rolls.

After the summaries, there is a two and a half page about fleshing out the character (its summary was a paragraph long). None of it have a mechanical value. It is about the character’s personality; what the like or don’t like, any mannerism, childhood, any dark secret, etc. There is quite a few examples to use or draw inspiration from.

The authors apparently agrees with me that it might be a good thing to show how the creation of a character looks, before going further into the mechanics. Following the section about fleshing out the character, there is a five and a half page where they show a character being created. I had forgotten it was located fairly early in the book. The character they create is the private detective from the initial fiction, Gabriel Dimitri Jandaran.

Instead of just translating the creation of Gabriel, I’m considering creating a character from scratch. However, first I need to figure out some acceptable translations for things on the character sheet.
 

Dumarest

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Interesting, with that name I was hoping for something more based on the classic 40s noirs but this does sound intriguing. I’d probably dump the setting and go for a 70s revisionist noir like Chinatown feel.
I found the choice of setting interesting/odd as the logical locale for me would have been Los Angeles and environs given that list of recommendations.
 

Lundgren

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I managed to drop this when I began translating things for creating a character, and then got some water damage in my apartment (the central heating system tried to dump all its water into my apartment). I should pick this up again :smile:

Well, as I understand the two main inspirations for the games are "Dark City" and "Sin City", with a dose of Kafka and Central/Eastern Europe under the Communist era, and making their own place that isn't entirely nailed down opens up for some flexibility. Also, it avoids some discussions on what's correct or not.
 

AsenRG

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It is a time of worldly decay, mysteries, violence and dark eroticism. The scene is the multi-million city Sandukar, the heart of the giant Empire. It is a place for hardboiled men, dangerous women and fallen fighters — individuals creating their own rules and by their own actions shows what is right or wrong.
Hey, how did I miss that thread:shock:?
OK, I've only read your first post so far. But with that name...
If I ever run this game, which is not a given (I'm not fluent in Swedish)...
It's going to (secretly) have the training grounds for the shock troops of a new world government in it. Also, the biggest prison (openly:devil:).

Now let me keep reading:tongue:!
 

Lundgren

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Hm... Looks like I will have to recreate my document where I translated the stats and skills on the character cheat. :errr: I recall I had to struggle a bit, as my more spontaneous translation ended up using the same English word for two different words in Swedish.

Hey, how did I miss that thread:shock:?
Stealth mode :hehe:

OK, I've only read your first post so far. But with that name...
I know the writers have hinted the name of the city was intentional, so the connection you are making is probably why they picked it.

They never said what it meant, so I don't have a clue myself.

(I'm not fluent in Swedish)...
You're not? :shock: I though our beauti... hm... weird... never mind... :tongue:

It's going to (secretly) have the training grounds for the shock troops of a new world government in it.
Secret training grounds? Some representatives from the Ministry of Truth wants to have a word with you. :wink:
 

Lundgren

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Before I go redo the translation and post about a character creation example, I thought I should post how the character sheet from "Spelpaketet" (play kit or play package) looks like. A dossier in the state archive.

10457

10458

Left side:
Top section; name, concept, trait of character, driving forces/motivations

Middle section; Stats and skills

Bottom left; Specialisations

Bottom right; Limitations and Characteristics

Right side:
Top left; Damage/dizziness

Top middle; Mental well being

Top right; Some combat stats

Middle left; Wounds

Middle left upper; Weapons

Middle left lower; Fate and experience

Bottom left; Equipment and belongings

Bottom right; Relations and contacts
 

AsenRG

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I know the writers have hinted the name of the city was intentional, so the connection you are making is probably why they picked it.
It's always good when the writers are Dune fans:smile:!

They never said what it meant, so I don't have a clue myself.
Neither do I, obviously. But it sounds like Sardaukar to me:wink:.

You're not? :shock: I though our beauti... hm... weird... never mind... :tongue:
Not all beautifully weird minds on the Internet think in Swedish:thumbsup:.

Secret training grounds? Some representatives from the Ministry of Truth wants to have a word with you. :wink:
What secret training grounds:shock:?
 

Lundgren

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Lundgren

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What's more fitting to the spirit of Noir than some thread necromancy:evil:?
Any references to resurrection or other forms of superstition is not approved by the ministry of truth.

(Which also means that there are no such references to anything like that in the book, and page 280-311 is absolutely not about "The Taint" or forces beyond what is explained by state approved science)
 

Lundgren

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I'm still struggling with translating stuff. The character creation is quite involved, but calculation heavy bits are front loaded. But then, the default mode is also to run Noir in a character centric way instead of adventure centric.

Anyhow, so here is a character created from Scratch. As I want to show how it can be used to create something quite different from the more classical two fisted detective (which the book uses as an example, which is page 34-39), let me present Gregor Krämer. An accountant living in a marriage that has since long flat-lined.

Thanks to his good friend Leonard Schultz, a police officer, he has learned how to use a handgun; and he is a bit ashamed to never have served in the war, he kind of hope to end up in a gun-fight so he can prove he is a man. Being a bit of a klutz, most think he would fare well if that ever happened. Still, he might just be able to keep enough of a cool head to be useful in one.

So here is how I came up with him, going through the steps as written:

1. Well, I’m doing this on the computer, so skipping fetching a character sheet, pen, and paper. So technically, I’m already breaking the plan…

2. I’m not picking an archetype and background package, so I’m jumping to step 4.

4. The book says to decide on a concept (not anything I do, but for the sake of the example). I’m writing down “shrewd accountant”.

5. Place the Characteristics. I need to place one 6, one 5, three 4:S, three 3:s, and one 2. Each characteristic have three skills, and the amount of skill levels to put on them is twice what the Characteristics have.

I want our accountant to be a beast when it comes to juggling numbers, but a fairly frail man. Looking at the physical Characteristics, I put the 2 at Coordination, at 3 on the other two, making him more of a klutz. I’m putting the last 3 on Insight as I think he should have a bit of trouble understanding people, and not too strong at standing up against peer pressure (might be a want to fit in, but not really knowing how).

To be able to make him a wizard when it comes to bookkeeping, I put the 6 at Education and the 5 at Creativity. The remaining Characteristics gets the three 4 I have left.

This give us:

Coordination 2
Physique 3
Dexterity 3

Education 6
Creativity 5
Will 4

Insight 3
Perception 4
Charisma 4

6. As mentioned, the points to spend on each section, is twice the amount placed on the

Putting a zero on Melee, Sleight of Hand, and Construction kind of solidify him as a klutz, and in a fist fight against a wet paper bag, he’s in trouble. Having a zero will give a -5 to the skill value (putting two of them into negative numbers)

On the other hand, I’m putting a 10 on Humanities, and a 9 on Deduction. When keeping or investigating ledgers, I’m building toward him being an animal.

I’m planing to let him have a police officer as a friend, whom have taught him how to use handguns.

Coordination 2
- Melee 0
- Reactions 3
- Agility 1
Physique 3
- Fitness 2
- Strength 1
- Physical Resistance 3
Dexterity 3
- Sleight of Hand 0
- Throwing 1
- Firearms 5

Education 6
- Humanities 10
- Medicine 1
- Science 1
Creativity 5
- Construction 0
- Create 1
- Deduction 9
Will 4
- Determination 3
- Mental Resistance 1
- Composure 4

Insight 3
- Empathy 1
- Social Resistance 3
- Worldly 2
Perception 4
- Intuition 4
- Driving 2
- Awareness 2
Charisma 4
- Charm 3
- Leadership 1
- Persuade 4

7. Add up the basic skill levels. To put it in perspective. To succeed on a skill check that is not against an opposed roll, it is to get 2D10 + skill + difficult modification at 20 or higher.

Coordination 2
- Melee 0 -3
- Reactions 3 5
- Agility 1 3
Physique 3
- Fitness 2 5
- Strength 1 4
- Physical Resistance 3 6
Dexterity 3
- Sleight of Hand 0 -2
- Throwing 1 4
- Firearms 5 8

Education 6
- Humanities 10 16
- Medicine 1 7
- Science 1 7
Creativity 5
- Construction 0 0
- Create 1 6
- Deduction 9 14
Will 4
- Determination 3 7
- Mental Resistance 1 5
- Composure 4 8

Insight 3
- Empathy 1 4
- Social Resistance 3 6
- Worldly 2 5
Perception 4
- Intuition 4 8
- Driving 2 6
- Awareness 2 6
Charisma 4
- Charm 3 7
- Leadership 1 5
- Persuade 4 8

8. Time to pick expertises. Most are just a narrower focus on the skill, giving a bonus within that area. However, some give bonuses elsewhere. For example, to execute someone in cold blood require a dice roll to not hesitate. The Expertise “Cold blooded” gives +5 on that roll.

As mentioned before, by the book, each ability that is between 4-6 gets one expertise, and 7+ gets two.

The five in Firearms allows us to pick one, and I’ll give him a specialization in pistols, as that’s what he has been practicing with, getting a +2 when using them.

The ten in Humanities gives two. I pick a specialization in “Finance/Bookkeeping” twice. First gives +2 and the next another +3. This gives an effective skill at 21 within that area.

The nine in Deduction gives another two. I’ll pick both within the specialization of Investigate/See Connections. Also bumping that with a +5, putting the effective skill at 19. If there is any creative accounting, he will sniff it out.

Composure of four. I pick the ability to once per session being able to attempt raising his mental wellbeing. Considering I’m going to give him a minor depression, he will probably need it.

Intuition of four. Personality intuition (+1 Impression, which improves the odds of a favorable, or at least less bad, first impression).

Persuade of four. One step of specialization in bribing (you just have to grease the wheels from time to time). +2

As also mentioned in a previous post, a suggested and common house rule us to just let everyone pick nine or ten Expertises. There are still some rules on how they can be placed, so it mainly takes away the incentive to try to optimize for the 4 and 7 thresholds.

Coordination 2
- Melee 0 -3
- Reactions 3 5
- Agility 1 3
Physique 3
- Fitness 2 5
- Strength 1 4
- Physical Resistance 3 6
Dexterity 3
- Sleight of Hand 0 -2
- Throwing 1 4
- Firearms 5 8 Pistol +2

Education 6
- Humanities 10 16 Finance/Bookkeeping x2 +5
- Medicine 1 7
- Science 1 7
Creativity 5
- Construction 0 5
- Create 1 6
- Deduction 9 15 Investigate/See Connections x2 +5
Will 4
- Determination 3 7
- Mental Resistance 1 5
- Composure 4 8 Self discipline (once per session, can attempt to raise the mental wellbeing).

Insight 3
- Empathy 1 4
- Social Resistance 3 6
- Worldly 2 5
Perception 4
- Intuition 4 8 Personality intuition (+1 Impression)
- Driving 2 6
- Awareness 2 6
Charisma 4
- Charm 3 7
- Leadership 1 5
- Persuade 4 8 Bribe +2

9. Limitations. According to the book, we need to pick ten points of drawbacks from a list of things.

Among the drawbacks, there is the option of picking family members. His Wife that dislikes him, his son that looks very favorable at Gregor but lacks any means of his own, and his quite influential brother.

Fear, noticeable. Spiders. 2p
Depression. Lowering maximum Mental Wellbeing by -2. 2p
Weakness, noticeable. Blond women. 2p
Family (3, 10 relation points, spent as explained in a later step). 4p
Jolanta Krämer, Wife, dislike, moderate influence. 2rp
Zbigniew Krämer, Son, benevolent, minimal influence. 3rp
Ludolf Krämer, Brother, neutral, significant influence. 5rp

As Gregor is a competent accountant, I’m having Jolanta as a homemaker, taking care of representations, and making sure it looks like they are a happy couple.

Zbigniew is in his late teens, probably dreaming of doing his patriotic duty by signing up for the military.

Ludolf is a successful businessman and well connected. Ludolf’s extroverted and go get it mentality, versus Gregor’s more reserved manners and spending his nose in books and ledgers, have often made them oil and water. Ludolf just don’t get Gregor, and thinks he should get off his lazy ass and do something with his life (meaning; to become a successful businessman).

10. Features. Ten points to spend on positive features, and can take negative features to get more points. Some things, like size and body shape is here, even if picking the 0p level is an option.

He is short, smart, a bit charming, and live fairly comfortable. Living standard 7 is described as well paid in a good position at his place of employment, like doctors, lawyers, higher officers, or successful small business owners. Almost, but not quite, upper class.

Charming. Impression +2. 2p
Talented. Learning +2. 4p
Size. Small (value 12, defense +1). +1P
Body Form. Normal. (size +0, wound threshold +0, Movement +0, Memorable +0) 0P
Appearance. Attractive. Bonus/Penalty +1. 1P
Living standard. 7. 4p

11. Traits. These can be both positive or negative, depending on the situation. One to three is recommended, but the player can pick as many they think fits the character. They can also be stronger or weaker. Each trait must have at least one expression (a narrow area where it is stronger).

Three seems to fit. He doesn’t make much noise, but is genuinely interested in people. However, his sexual mores isn’t really state approved.

Careful (Discreet)
Loving (Interested)
Lust driven (Dominant, Pervert)

12. Relations. Ten points have to be spent on three relations. This isn’t just beneficial relations, so it can also be “design your own nemesis.” Each have what they think of the character, how much influence they have, and if they have an attraction to the character.

So we have his friend the police officer. He isn’t too far up the ranks, but he can pull at least some strings.

A female prosecutor that hates how he makes her feel, and craves more of it. She wouldn’t hesitate a second to throw a wrench into anything Gregor is involved in; unless when they’re having hot perverted dom/sub sex.

Then a revengeful man that got ruined as Gregor dug up some irregularities in his book keeping. He don’t have any leverage, but he hates Gregory’s guts.

Leonard Schultz, Police officer, amicable, moderate influential. 5p
Irina Aslanova, Female prosecutor, dislike, influential, attraction, passion. 5p
Piotr Andreyev, Revengeful former business owner, hostile, limited influential. 0p

Not part of the mechanics, but lets have Leonard and Gregor’s wife Jolanta having an affair behind his back.

13. Calculate the Attribute Values.

Defense (Intuition + Reaction + Awareness)/3 : (8 + 5 + 6) / 3 + 1 : 7
Learning (Determination + Deduction + Worldly)/3 : (7 + 14 + 5) / 3 + 2 : 10
Impression (Charm or Leadership + Composure + Worldly)/3 : (7 + 8 + 5) / 3 + 3 : 9
Standard of Living 7
Will to Live (Determination + Fitness + Composure)/3 + 5 : (7 + 5 + 8) / 3 + 5 : 11
Reputation 5
Damage Increase (Size + Strength)/10 : (12 + 4) / 10 : 1
Size 12
Combat Movement (Determination + Fitness + Agility)/3 : (7 + 5 + 3) / 3 : 5
Wound Threshold (Fitness + Size + Strength)/3 : (5 + 12 + 4) / 3 : 7
Luck 0
Stamina (Mental Resistance + Size + Strength)/3 + 5 : (5 + 12 + 4) / 3 + 5 : 12
Appearance Attractive, +-1
Well-being 8
Fate 10 (or 25 if using the Game Package)
Overview (Reactions + Composure + Awareness)/3 : (5 + 8 + 6) / 3 : 6

14. Flesh Out the Main Character.
The character have already got some meaning to the numbers, but there is room to add more details and he still lacks some goals. What is it that Mr. Krämer wants to achieve.

A goal or motivation can be either something that can be achieved and then satisfied, or something ongoing that needs/can to be fulfilled over and over again. They can also be subdued, burning, or manic in its intensity. Depending on the player group, some of the goals might be hidden from each other, or even targeting another player character.

With two war raging, and a propaganda machine tooting soldiers are more manly than those not serving, he wants to prove he is heroic. He wants to be (an active part) of a fire fight, rescue someone from a fire, or otherwise “prove he is a man.” This is a burning goal.

He wants to become his own boss, having his own firm. This is a subdued goal.

Part of him buying into the propaganda makes him angry when war veterans are being shafted. He does some pro bono work to help. This is a subdued on-going motivation.

His apartment is in the nicer part of Ikonen (a district of Sandukar, somewhat like Manhattan and Bronx are two different parts of New York).

15. Decide on a name for the Main Character.
Gregor Krämer, 43 years old.

16. Get the Main Character’s funds and pick equipment.
Living standard of 7 states the character owns; a normal apartment in a fine neighborhood, a car of fine quality, a closet containing a dozen clothes, shoes, accessories of fine quality, and furniture of normal quality. 50,000 Zovrins in cash, and can have up to 500,000 Zovrins in credits. (a car of normal quality costs 40,000z, a lunch cost 30z, a dinner 50z, a bottle of alcohol 20z; where lousy quality is x0.2 on the cost).
 

Edgewise

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I found the choice of setting interesting/odd as the logical locale for me would have been Los Angeles and environs given that list of recommendations.
That's totally true, but this reminds me that noir is partly rooted in the work of European filmmakers like Eisentein and Lang.
 

Lundgren

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The next chapter is how to create a character through using an Archetype and a Background Package.

An Archetype contains the Characteristics, Abilities, and Expertises; while the Background Package contains Limitations, Features, Traits, and Relations. They are built by the mechanics, so it is possible to just use an Archetype; or build a character with an Archetype and Background Package, and then modify it by freeing up a few points and place them elsewhere.

The list of Archetypes is:
Lawyer
Businessman
Academic
Worker
Performer
Athlete
Conman
Criminal
Bureaucrat
Lone Wolf
Femme Fatale
Fixer
Freelance
Loiterers
Tactical Police Officer
Artist
Police Officer
Prostitute
Priest
Reporter
Fighter
Soldier
Technician
Hitman
Investigator
Caretaker

And the list of Background Packages is:
Irresponsible Connoisseur of Life
Cynic Detective
Dedicated Detective
Bold Bone-crusher
Fanatic Agitator
Greedy Conman
Doctor with a Heart of Gold
Investigative Journalism
Heroic Veteran
Dedicated Scientist
Ruthless Seducer
Coldblooded Assassin
Cold-hearted Avenger
Corrupt Official
War Damaged Soldier
Suspicious Petty Criminal
Naive Actor
Uneducated Pugilist
Frightened Refugee
Shrewd Businessman
Talkative Fixer
Brash Socialite
Devout Priest
Tired and Worn Worker
Venturous Adventurer
Adventurous Dilettante

I can’t really say how useful they are, as I’ve only used them once when I did a quick explanation of the system. If nothing else, they can at least be used as inspiration to get started.

So, let us slap Investigator and Cynic Detective together.

From the Archetype:

Coordination 2
- Melee 2
- Reactions 1
- Agility 1
Physique 3
- Fitness 3
- Strength 2
- Physical Resistance 1
Dexterity 3
- Sleight of Hand 2
- Throwing 0
- Firearms 4

Education 4
- Humanities 4
- Medicine 2
- Science 2
Creativity 4
- Construction 0
- Create 1
- Deduction 7
Will 3
- Determination 2
- Mental Resistance 2
- Composure 2

Insight 5
- Empathy 2
- Social Resistance 4
- Worldly 4
Perception 6
- Intuition 5
- Driving 2
- Awareness 4
Charisma 4
- Charm 1
- Leadership 3
- Persuade 4

Expertises:
Teachable (Determination)
Instinct (Intuition)
Detect Ruse: Threats (Social Resistance)
Weapon Handling: Revolver (Firearms)
Clear-Headed: Crime Scene Investigation/Forensics (Deduction)
Clear-Headed: Investigate/see connections (Deduction)
Observant: Notice Deviations/Details (Awareness)
Versed: Criminals (Worldly)
Persuasive: Interrogate/Interview (Persuade)


From the Background Package:
Limitations
Family: One NPC [2 points]
Weakness (Noticeable): Alcohol (Whiskey) [2 points]
Weakness (Blatant): Opposite Sex (dangerous men/women) [3 points]
Honor Codex (Basic): Always finish a started case [1 point]
Ailment (mild): Gastric Ulcer [2 points]

Features
Looks: Attractive [1 point]
Hardboiled [2 points]
Quick-Witted [2 points]
Talented: Deduction [4 points]
Favored by Fate [1 point]

Traits
Suspicious (inquisitive)
Inclined to take risks (Snooping)

Relations
Ex-husband/Ex-Wife; Influence 12, Dislike, Attraction, Family
Crime Detective; Influence 12, Neutral
Snitch; Influence 12, Dislike
Bartender; Influence 6, Benevolent

From that, we pretty much just need to give the character a gender, a name, add what he or she wants to achieve, and add some numbers together.
 

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The chapter trailing the Archetypes and Background packages is the one about Expertises. It’s a quite hefty one, covering pages 58-79. Page 58 only contains text on half of the page, and it describes what an Expertise is.

The descriptions of the different Expertises begins on page 59, but is then interrupted as page 60-61 is a list of all of them. However, this makes the list being a two page spread, instead of ending up on different sides of the same leaf. So I think it was the right choice.

The chapter then continues describing the Expertises until the end of the chapter.

Quite a few of the Expertises are just a narrower focus of an ability, giving a bonus when dealing with that area. Then, others alters different things; Most of them adding a bonus on the Attribute Values.

Each Expertise has a prerequisite of a minimum level in the ability, and potentially some other Expertise as well. Then each Expertise also has a complexity. The sum of the complexities for all Expertises under one ability may not exceed the level in the Ability itself.

So, in my example character Gregor Krämer, I took two steps to Increase his skill in Humanities with a +5 within the field of Finance/Bookkeeping. Each of those two steps have a complexity of two. As 4 is lower than the 10 he has in Humanities, he can still add more Expertises to it.

Expertises do stack, so with a bunch of extra XP the mechanics would probably handle a John Wick kind of character quite well (however, for Neo the Taint mechanics would have to be used, with its drawbacks nerfed).

My attempt to translate the list of Expertises can be found here:
Expertise [Complexity] Requirement
Amateur within <sport> [1] <Ability> 4+
Practitioner within <sport> [1] <Ability> 7+, Amateur within <sport>
Professional within <sport> [2] <Ability> 10+, Practitioner within <sport>

Focus [2] Determination 4+
Teachable [2] Determination 4+
Alert [3] Determination 7+, Teachable
"It's only a flesh wound..." [3] Determination 7+
Persistent [2] Determination 7+
Stubborn as sin [3] Determination 10+, "It's only a flesh wound..."
High-performance [3] Determination 10+, Alert
Assertive [3] Determination 10+, Persistent
Endure stress [3] Determination 10+
Obstinate [4] Determination 13+, Assertive

Charismatic [2] Charm 4+
Very Charismatic [2] Charm 7+, Charismatic <in sphere>
Exceptionally Charismatic [3] Charm 10+, Very Charismatic <in sphere>

Reading [2] Empathy 4+
Animal-friend [3] Empathy 4+
Understanding [2] Empathy 4+
Sympathetic [2] Empathy 7+, Understanding
Comfort and calm [2] Empathy 4+
Intuitive [4] Empathy 7+
Significant Reading [2] Empathy 7+, Reading
Intensive Reading [4] Empathy 10+, Significant Reading

Pickpocketing [2] Sleight of Hand 4+
Lockpicking [2] Sleight of Hand 4+
Tricks [1] Sleight of Hand 4+
Experienced Pickpocketeer [2] Sleight of Hand 7+, Pickpocketing
Improvised Lockpicking [3] Sleight of Hand 7+, Locksmith
Locksmith [2] Sleight of Hand 7+, Lockpicking
Magician [2] Sleight of Hand 7+, Tricks
Illusionist [3] Sleight of Hand 10+, Magician
Lock specialist [3] Sleight of Hand 10+, Locksmith
Master Pickpocketeer [3] Sleight of Hand 10+, Experienced Pickpocketeer

Driver [1] Driving 4+
Train Driver [1] Driving 4+
Air Driver [1] Driving 4+
Pilot [2] Driving 4+
Skipper [1] Driving 4+
Experienced Driver [2] Driving 7+, Driver
Veteran [3] Driving 7+, Pilot
Master Driver [3] Driving 10+, Experienced Driver
Ace [3] Driving 10+, Veteran

Academic Field [2] Humanities 4+
Linguist [2] Humanities 4+
Academic Specialist [2] Humanities 7+, Academic Field <field>
Academic Authority [3] Humanities 10+, Academic Specialist <field>

Tact [2] Intuition 4+
Inspiration [2] Intuition 4+
Instinct [2] Intuition 4+
Sense of directions [2] Intuition 4+
Eyes in the back of the head Intuition 4+
"Something is wrong" [2] Intuition 7+, Instinct
See through person [3] Intuition 7+, Instinct
Self-Preservation [3] Intuition 7+, Instinct
Vigilant [2] Intuition 7+, Eyes in the back of the head
Sixth Sense [4] Intuition 10+, Vigilant

Throwing Technique [2] Throwing 4+
Combat ready [2] Throwing 4+
Avoid [2] Throwing 4+
Sidestep [3] Throwing 7+
Draw and Throw [3] Throwing 7+, Throw Specialist
"Bullseye" [3] Throwing 7+, Throw Specialist
Throw Specialist [2] Throwing 7+, Throwing Technique <type of weapon>
Twin Throw [2] Throwing 7+, Throwing Technique <type of weapon>
Double Throw [3] Throwing 10+, Throwing Specialist
Repeat [2] Throwing 10+, Draw and Throw
Kill Throw [4] Throwing 13+, "Bullseye"
Twin Targets [3] Throwing 13+, Twin Throw
Masterly Sidestep [3] Throwing 13+, Sidestep

Diving [2] Fitness 4+, Swimming
Good Shape [2] Fitness 4+
March [1] Fitness 4+
Swimming [1] Fitness 4+
Sprint [1] Fitness 4+
Very Good Shape [2] Fitness 7+, Good Shape
Tough [2] Fitness 7+
Strong Lungs [2] Fitness 7+
Exceptionally Good Shape [3] Fitness 10+, Very Good Shape
Very Tough [3] Fitness 10+, Tough
"Take it as a man" [4] Fitness 10+
Extremely Tough [3] Fitness 13+, Tough
Fantastic Good Shape [4] Fitness 13+, Exceptionally Good Shape

Technical Field [2] Construction 4+
Technical Specialist [2] Construction 7+, Technical Field <field>
Technical Authority [3] Construction 10+, Technical Specialist <field>

Animal Trainer [2] Leadership 4+
Presence [2] Leadership 4+
Rhetoric [2] Leadership 4+
Teach [2] Leadership 4+
Aura of Authority [2] Leadership 7+, Rhetoric <group>
Respectable [2] Leadership 7+, Presence
Intimidating [2] Leadership 7+, Rhetoric
Educate [2] Leadership 7+, Teach
Control [3] Leadership 10+, Aura of Authority <group>
Brilliant Educator [3] Leadership 10+, Educate

Medical Field [2] Medicine 4+
Medical Specialist [2] Medicine 7+, Medical Field <field>
Medical Authority [3] Medicine 10+, Medical Specialist <field>

Detect Ruse [2] Social Resistance 4+
Skillfully Detect Ruse [2] Social Resistance 7+, Detect Ruse
Expertly Detect Ruse [3] Social Resistance 10+, Skillfully Detect Ruse

Scientific Field [2] Science 4+
Scientific Specialist [2] Science 7+, Scientific Field <field>
Scientific Authority [3] Science 10+, Scientific Specialist <field>

Amateur Boxing [2] Melee 4+
Martial Art [2] Melee 4+
Melee Weapon [2] Melee 4+
Self Defense [2] Melee 4+
Fisticuffs [2] Melee 4+
Ready to Fight [2] Melee 4+
Wresting [2] Melee 7+, Fisticuffs
Defensive Techniques [3] Melee 7+, Martial Art
Counter Attack [3] Melee 7+
Offensive Techniques [3] Melee 7+, Martial Art
Parrying [2] Melee 7+, Melee Weapon <weapon>
Professional Boxing [3] Melee 7+, Amateur Boxing
Slugger [2] Melee 7+, Fisticuff
Strangulation [4] Melee 7+
Two-Weapons Practitioner [3] Melee 7+, Weapon Master
Weapon Master [2] Melee 7+, Melee Weapon <weapon>
Blocking [2] Melee 10+, Defensive Techniques
Draw and Attack [2] Melee 10+, Weapon Master
Knock-out Punch [3] Melee 10+, Professional Boxing
Clean Attacks [3] Melee 10+, Weapon Master
Combinations [2] Melee 10+, Offensive Techniques
Takeover [2] Melee 10+, Defensive Techniques
Neutralize [3] Melee 13+, Defensive Techniques
Precision Attacks [3] Melee 13+, Combinations
Two-Weapons Master [3] Melee 13+, Two-Weapons Practitioner

Duck [2] Reactions 4+
Explosion Sense [2] Reactions 4+
Quickness of Feet [2] Reactions 4+
Quick Reactions [2] Reactions 4+
Instant Parrying [2] Reactions 7+
Quick Movement [2] Reactions 7+
See Opportunity [3] Reactions 7+
Reflexive Reaction [2] Reactions 7+
Combat Impulses [2] Reactions 7+, Quick Reactions
Exploit the Situation [3] Reactions 10+, Se Opportunity

Emotionally Dulled [2] Mental Resistance 4+
Fearless [3] Mental Resistance 4+
Very Emotionally Dulled [2] Mental Resistance 7, Emotionally Dulled
Extremely Emotionally Dulled [3] Mental Resistance 10+, Very Emotionally Dulled
Steel oneself [2] Mental Resistance 10+
Insensitive to Pain [4] Mental Resistance 13+

Agile [1] Agility 4+
Breakfall [2] Agility 7+
Limber [2] Agility 7+, Agile <within specialty>
Quick [2] Agility 7+
Very Quick [2] Agility 10+, Quick
Graceful [3] Agility 10+, Limber <within specialty>

Aura of Calm [2] Composure 4+
Ice Cold [3] Composure 4+
Self Discipline [3] Composure 4+
Mental Reserve [2] Composure 7+, Self Discipline
Strong Soul [3] Composure 7+
Balanced Mind [4] Composure 10+, Self Discipline
Inner Calm [3] Composure 10+, Strong Soul
Gain Composure [2] Composure 10+, Self Discipline
Source of Power [3] Composure 10+, Self Discipline
Play Dead [4] Composure 10+, Self Discipline
Trick Death [5] Composure 13+, Self Discipline
Self Healing [5] Composure 13+, Self Discipline

Creator [2] Create 4+
Distinguished Creator [2] Create 7+, Creator <field>
Eminent Creator [3] Create 10, Distinguished Creator <field>

A Lot of Lead in the Air [2] Firearms 4+, Weapon Handling <weapon type>
Suppressive Fire [2] Firearms 4+, Weapon Handling <weapon type>
Combat Experienced [2] Firearms 4+
Take Cover [2] Firearms 4+
Weapon Expert [1] Firearms 4+, Weapn Handling <weapon type>
Weapon Handling [2] Firearms 4+
Hail of Bullets [2] Firearms 7+, A Lot of Lead in the Air
Massive Counter-Fire [3] Firearms 7+. Two-Handed Shooting
Counter-Fire [3] Firearms 7+, Weapon Expert
Sharp-Shooting [3] Firearms 7+, Weapon Expert <a rifle with Scope>
Bullet Placement [2] Firearms 7+, Weapon Expert
Heavy Weapon Specialist [4] Firearms 7+, Weapon Expert <a heavy weapon>
"Take cover!" [2] Firearms 7+
Two-Handed Shooting [3] Firearms 7+, Weapon Expert <any one-handed firearm>
Restrained Shooting [3] Firearms 10+, Weapon Expert
Double Reload [2] Firearms 10+, Two-Handed Shooting
Double-Hit [3] Firearms 10+, Weapon Expert <any one-handed firearm>
Multiple Targets [3] Firearms 10+, Two-Handed Shooting
"Close, but not close enough!" [3] Firearms 10+, "Take Cover!"
Quick Draw [2] Firearms 10+, Weapon Expert
Critical Hits [2] Firearms 10+, Bullet Placement
Avoid [2] Firearms 10+, "Take Cover!"
Weapon Play [2] Firearms 10+, Weapon Expert
Execute [4] Firearms 13+, Weapon Expert
A Lot of Targets [4] Firearms 13+, Multiple Targets
"Two in the head, one in the chest" [4] Firearms 13+, Weapon Expert

Clear-Headed [2] Deduction 4+
Clever [2] Deduction 7+, Clear-Headed <area>
Genius [3] Deduction 10+, Clever <area>

Lift/Drag [1] Strength 4+
Fit [2] Strength 4+
Ripped [2] Strength 7+, Fit
Fists of Lead [2] Strength 7+
Threatening [2] Strength 7+, Ripped
Fists of Iron [2] Strength 10+ Fists of Lead
Jacked [3] Strength 10+, Ripped
Beefy [3] Strength 10+, Ripped
Robust [3] Strength 10+, Ripped
Smash/Break Item [3] Strength 10+, Fists of Lead
Very Strong [3] Strength 13+, Beefy
Pulverize/Tear Apart Item [4] Strength 13+, Smash/Break Item
Fists of Steel [3] Strength 13+, Fists of Iron

Resilient [2] Physical Resistance 4+
Abstinence Control [2] Physical Resistance 7+
Very Resilient [2] Physical Resistance 7+, Resilient
Exceptionally Resilient [3] Physical Resistance 10+, Very Resilient

Observant [2] Awareness 4+
Very Observant [2] Awareness 7+, Observant <area>
Extremely Observant [3] Awareness 10+, Very Observant <area>

Polite [2] Worldly 4+
Versed [1] Worldly 4+
Understand the Situation [2] Worldly 4+
Local Knowledge [1] Worldly 4+
Gambler [1] Worldly 4+
Well-Dressed [2] Worldly 4+
Fixer [3] Worldly 7+, Understand the Situation
Detailed Local Knowledge [2] Worldly 7+, Local Knowledge
Very Versed [2] Worldly 7+, Versed
Skilled Gambler [2] Worldly 7+, Gambler <type of game>
Style and Taste [2] Worldly 7+, Well-Dressed
Extremely Versed [3] Worldly 10+, Very Versed
Very Skilled Gambler [2] Worldly 10+, Skilled Gambler <type of game>

Persuasive [2] Persuade 4+
Very Persuasive [2] Persuade 7+, Persuasive <sphere>
Extremely Persuasive [3] Persuade 10+, Very Persuasive <sphere>
 

AsenRG

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Any references to resurrection or other forms of superstition is not approved by the ministry of truth.

(Which also means that there are no such references to anything glike that in the book, and page 280-311 is absolutely not about "The Taint" or forces beyond what is explained by state approved science)
Of course not:shade:!

Also, I really like Gregor. Midway through chargen I started imagining him in black and white. Like an old movie, or the Sin City comics.

There's only three things I don't understand about him.
1) If he's angry when veterans get shafted, what's his anger management therapy?
2) If the cop is really a good enough friend to help him with that shrewJolanta,shouldn't he be worth more points?
3) What's perverse about his se ual preferences:shade:?
 

Lundgren

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Also, I really like Gregor. Midway through chargen I started imagining him in black and white. Like an old movie, or the Sin City comics.
:thumbsup:

There's only three things I don't understand about him.
1) If he's angry when veterans get shafted, what's his anger management therapy?
Well, he complains about it, and as the Swedish saying goes, cleanching his fist in his pocket. Then of course downing enough booze to be considered an alcoholic in most western countries (but as he isn't in a western country, he doesn't drink enough to get any points for it), and having sex with blond women. Then, punching holes in a piece of paper at the gun range. You know, the usual stuff.

And of course the occasional pro bono work, so he can feel he is actually doing anything about it.

2) If the cop is really a good enough friend to help him with that shrewJolanta,shouldn't he be worth more points?
You would think so. But unfortunately, no.

3) What's perverse about his se ual preferences:shade:?
Are you questioning what the state considers to be healthy or unhealthy ways of conducting coitus?
 
Last edited:

AsenRG

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Well, he complains about it, and as the Swedish saying goes, cleanses his fist in his pocket.
Clenching his fists in his pockets, is that what it means:smile:?

Then of course downing enough booze to be considered an alcoholic in most western countries (but as he isn't in a western country, he doesn't drink enough to get any points for it), and having sex with blond women. Then, punching holes in a piece of paper at the gun range. You know, the usual stuff.

And of course the occasional pro bono work, so he can feel he is actually doing anything about it.
Sounds completely believable. But the question was actually "how does he react to the fact that veterans-shafting probably happens all the time in this setting":wink:?

You would think so. But unfortunately, no.
Well, then shirking familial duties comes cheaply:tongue:!

Are you questioning what the state considers to be healthy or unhealthy ways of conducting coitus?
IC or OOC:shade:?
IC: "Of course not! But who would think to deviate from the list of state-approved ways of conducting coitus? Are there even other ways:grin:?"
OOC: It's not the state's job what those ropes are for:devil:!
 

Lundgren

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Clenching his fists in his pockets, is that what it means:smile:?
Yup. :shock: Edited...

Sounds completely believable. But the question was actually "how does he react to the fact that veterans-shafting probably happens all the time in this setting":wink:?
The combination of living in a nicer area, and the propaganda down-playing it or blaming it on a few unpatriotic elements (can't have people not signing up for the wars). So I think most of it is out of sight for him, and without looking close enough, it can be hard to see the difference between that and a lot of other people having a hard time and being shafted in the setting.

Well, then shirking familial duties comes cheaply:tongue:!
But then, his pal is nice enough to help without needing any recognition for it. :grin: So he doesn't know he can shirk it. :tongue:

IC or OOC:shade:?
IC: "Of course not! But who would think to deviate from the list of state-approved ways of conducting coitus? Are there even other ways:grin:?"
OOC: It's not the state's job what those ropes are for:devil:!
Noir is the only roleplaying-game where I have been sure some detail in it was added from my own "perverted mind", and later when rereading it realizing it was "setting as written". :tongue:
 

NinjaWeasel

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I actually thought this thread was going to be about that. A friend of mine owns a copy.
I own a copy of that Noir too. It's a fun read but never got to play it. It gets criticised for some issues in char gen (mostly the point costs if I remember rightly) but otherwise it seems like a decent enough, solid, traditional system. There's also a 2 page PDF out there on the web that has errata/fixes for the issues mentioned so that's not even a big deal really.
 

AsenRG

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Yup. :shock: Edited...
Disappointing! I just thought I've learned an expression in Swedish:grin:!

The combination of living in a nicer area, and the propaganda down-playing it or blaming it on a few unpatriotic elements (can't have people not signing up for the wars). So I think most of it is out of sight for him, and without looking close enough, it can be hard to see the difference between that and a lot of other people having a hard time and being shafted in the setting.
Right, but...believing propaganda after seeing the accounts? How does he do that?

But then, his pal is nice enough to help without needing any recognition for it. :grin: So he doesn't know he can shirk it. :tongue:
Do you only need points for stuff you know you can do:shock:?

Noir is the only roleplaying-game where I have been sure some detail in it was added from my own "perverted mind", and later when rereading it realizing it was "setting as written". :tongue:
Can I suggest the Beyond the Eyes of Madness supplement for Fates Worse than Death RPG, then:shade:? It covers this matter, along with others, with a clinical, yet occasionally highly entertaining tone. And suffice it to say, with a profession* being Sex Worker, along with the Freaks and Sexologists gangs in the corebook, the author ain't shirking from the topic...:devil:

BTW, the example of a swinging couple posting an invitation for the Greatest Serial Killer in the setting made me laugh so hard I almost woke up the neighbours! (It was a "hey, I know people that might do that without realizing that if they get what they wish, they're both OUT" moment. Needless to say, Colin has featured prominently in my campaign:evil:).

*The author calls them "classes" in the book, but what they really do is set the prices for buying the different skill groups (based on the people you hang with and availability of people to teach you and opportunities to practice). And since you can be from a given "class" and have prices based on being a Medic, I'm calling it a Profession:gunslinger:!
 

Lundgren

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Disappointing! I just thought I've learned an expression in Swedish:grin:!
Sorry about that :clown:

Right, but...believing propaganda after seeing the accounts? How does he do that?
You mean he should dig deep enough to find any systematic problems? :shock: It's all just greedy individuals, and at occasions just an honest mistake, right? The reason why the benevolent state isn't perfect.

Do you only need points for stuff you know you can do:shock:?
Well, if we are talking about the system it's only dealing with how likely it is that the person would help or hinder the character, how much influence or resources the person have, and if they have the hots for the character.

So his police buddy would maybe help him, but not stick out his neck for him. His wife might throw a wrench in anything he is up to, but not if it would mean anything negative for herself. As long they are married, she most likely wouldn't do anything that could affect his income. Had she been one step lower on that scale, she might have gone with a "screw the consequences" and being focused on giving him hell.

Making someone hating the character influential still cost points by the book, so had I made the wife (someone with a less than neutral opinion) less influential, I could have "upgraded" the pal (someone with a positive opinion) to have more resources/connections.

Can I suggest the Beyond the Eyes of Madness supplement for Fates Worse than Death RPG, then:shade:? It covers this matter, along with others, with a clinical, yet occasionally highly entertaining tone. And suffice it to say, with a profession* being Sex Worker, along with the Freaks and Sexologists gangs in the corebook, the author ain't shirking from the topic...:devil:

BTW, the example of a swinging couple posting an invitation for the Greatest Serial Killer in the setting made me laugh so hard I almost woke up the neighbours! (It was a "hey, I know people that might do that without realizing that if they get what they wish, they're both OUT" moment. Needless to say, Colin has featured prominently in my campaign:evil:).

*The author calls them "classes" in the book, but what they really do is set the prices for buying the different skill groups (based on the people you hang with and availability of people to teach you and opportunities to practice). And since you can be from a given "class" and have prices based on being a Medic, I'm calling it a Profession:gunslinger:!
Never heard of that game. Might look it up at some point :smile:
 

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If you look FWTD, add "Vajra enterprises" to the search. That's the publisher and prevents the multiple false positives you'd get otherwise.
Though I think you can just find it on Drivethru.
 

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OK, so last time you showed us chargen. What's next in the book:shade:?
There's actually two, albeit short, chapters left for the character character creation chapter (chapter 2), Limitations and Traits. While far less than the list of Expertises, I haven't have that much time to translate them yet. However, I think I will be able to make a new post soon (and preferable before I get my hands on season 3 of Babylon Berlin).

After that, it is time for the chapter on equipment, fashion, and weapons; followed by the chapter about the setting.
 

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There's actually two, albeit short, chapters left for the character character creation chapter (chapter 2), Limitations and Traits. While far less than the list of Expertises, I haven't have that much time to translate them yet. However, I think I will be able to make a new post soon (and preferable before I get my hands on season 3 of Babylon Berlin).

After that, it is time for the chapter on equipment, fashion, and weapons; followed by the chapter about the setting.
Babylon Berlin, wait:grin:!
 

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So I finally got around to translating Limitations and Features, which should be the last of the tricky "on-to-one" translations. At least for quite a while.

After Expertises comes Limitations. By the book, the player needs to spend 10 points on them. It can be that the character has family obligations (the ones here is those relevant to the story, so the character might have more family members), code of honor, ailments; but also things like depression, nightmares, substance abuse, etc.

Depression (1 to 10 points)
Substance Abuse (1 point)
Wanted by the law (1,2 or 4 points)
Family (2 to 4 points)
Code of Honor (1 or 3 points)
Ailment (2 to 4 points)
Nightmares (2 points)
Minority (1 point)
Impaired Hearing (1 to 2 points)
Impaired Eyesight (1 to 2 points)
Fear (2 to 4 points)
Financial Debt (1 to 2 points)
Weakness (2 to 4 points)

A one point in Wanted by the Law means the police is keeping an eye open, but they’re not actively searching. Four points however means the character is declared an enemy of the state and is a priority.

Depression works mechanically that it lowers the max potential mental health of the character from ten with the amount in Depression. At a mental health of five or lower, the character begins to get penalties on doing anything. At zero, the character is catatonic; which would be the highest possible value at 10 points of depression.

So it’s quite possible to create a character that is unplayable, but it would be an active choice to do so.

Weakness can mean an urge to rescue any stray cat or dog, or help children in need (and the brutal setting of Sandukar don’t make a lack of those. The weakness can also be towards things like taking drugs or having sex. When a redhead flutters her eyes, the character’s ability to say no to help her out drops hard, and things like that.

It is just a few pages, which is directly followed by the part about Features. The player have ten points to spend on positive things, but can get extra points by picking negative ones (the book limits the negative ones to a total of five points).

The recommendation from the book is to start with the Body Size (which is divided into two separate part; one about length, and one about body type), Looks, and Living Standard. All of those has zero points for being average.

Now, being outright hideous might give a bonus instead of a penalty in certain citations (and being good looking might give a penalty). Being small do make it slightly harder to get hit in a gun fight, but being big means being able to take more of a beating (or dealing it while punching.

Being a former inmate is considered a one point drawback. However, when dealing with criminals, that is most likely beneficial.

As Features can be drawbacks, both Limitations and Features can feel as if they have an overlap. However, by having them in two different section, the player can’t use Limitations to buy more Features. In my opinion, it works quite well; and it shouldn’t be too hard to ignore or change for those preferring to handle it in some other way.

Aptitudes and Gifts
Gifted, 4p, Increase Learning by 2.
Charming, 2p, Increase Impression by 2.
Hardboiled, 2p, Mental Resistance.
Fast, 2p, increase Combat Movement by 2.
Iron Health, 2p, increase Physical Resistance by 2.
Natural Warrior, 2p, increase both Damage Increase and Defense by 1.
Quick Minded, 2p, +2 bonus on Social Resistance on seeing through attempts to confuse or influence by words.
Hard as Nails, 3p, increase Wound Threshold by 2.
Strong soul, 3p, increase Will to Live by 2.
Combat Minded, 2p, increase Overview by 2.
Tough, 2p, increase Stamina by 2.
Talented, 4p, a skill always count as being marked (cheaper to increase)

Flaws and Disabilities
Can’t hold liquor, 1p, -10 on Physical Resistance regarding alcohol.
Limp, 2p, decrease Combat Movement by 2.
Crux, 1p, the cost to raise a specific skill is doubled, and it can never be marked.
Weary of Life, 2p, decrease Will to Live by 2.
Impressionable, 1p, -2 penalty on Social Resistance.
Reserved, 2p, decrease Impression by 2.
Ailing, 1p, decrease Physical Resistance by 2.
Damaged Hand, 2p, can’t use one of the hands.
Pain-sensitive, 2p, decrease Stamina by 2.
Weak Grip, 3p, -2 penalty on anything using the strength of the hands.
Learning Impaired, 3p, decrease Learning by 2.
Anxious, 1p, -2 penalty on Mental Resistance.
Impaired sight, 2p, decrease Overview by 2.
Fragile, 3p, decrease Wound Threshold by 2.

Fatalist, 3p, Fate Points cost half.

Jail Bird, 1p, have been to prison. +2 bonus on certain interactions with criminals. Most of society won’t trust the character.

Body Shape, 0-3p extra. From thin (1p) to very obese (3p).

Reputation, 2p or 4p. Can be based on respect and admiration, or on fear and oppression.

Living Standard. 4p extra - 10p. Living standard 0 (4p extra) is homeless and only owns the worn thing carried around. Living Standard 10 (10p) is well within the upper circles of society.

Size 2p extra - 5p. From being 140cm (4’10”) to 230cm (7’6”)

Lucky, 0-10p, Each point in luck cost one point.

Appearance, 3p extra - 6p, from being hideous to being ideal. Both end of the scale can be a bonus or a penalty depending on the interaction.

Fate’s Favorite, 15-25p, extra Fate Points from start.
 

AsenRG

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So I finally got around to translating Limitations and Features, which should be the last of the tricky "on-to-one" translations. At least for quite a while.
That's good to hear:thumbsup:.

So far, it looks like a normal "benefits and drawbacks" section. And I like it that "Appearance" is noted that "can be a drawback depending on the interaction". Some people get riled up when this happens...
Their tears are very tasty, especially on sunrise, with added mint flavour:devil:!

BTW, what's Overview?
 

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BTW, what's Overview?
Overview, or Överblick as the Swedish term I translated is the "situation awareness" in combat. The modifier is for the skill roll when trying to raise it. It is then the resources where each combat action has a cost depending on where on the exceptional failure to exceptional success scale the roll ended up on (an exceptional success might even raise it a bit).

The current level for the Overblick resource pool also acts as the initiative for the round.
 

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Can you do a street level 'batman' style campaign with this?
Never thought about it before, but I think the system could handle it.

The system don't have as much variation when it comes to melee or thrown weapons as it have for gun-fights. But basically, a batman-like character would probably just be one with stats, skills, and expertises far beyond a character built with the standard char gen.
 
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