Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dystopian Universe RPG Beta Playtest - Organization and Character Generation

Towards the end of July, Evil Hat Productions put out a call for playtesters to try out the Beta version of The Dystopian Universe Roleplaying Game. It's a modified version of the Fate system set in the same world as Indie Boards & Cards' games CoupThe Resistance, and One Night Revolution. Long-time gaming friend Marty got accepted into the beta playtest and asked fellow podcaster Alex, my friend Adam, and myself to participate.

So, on August 28, we got together over Roll20 (another first for us) and started building out Paris Nouveau and our characters within it.

Although we did character generation first, I'm going to show the steps in reverse order as, in hindsight, that makes the most sense. Particularly since building the Government before La Resistance gives them something to resist against.

The Government!
Taking into account that every Citoyen is plugged into Augmented or Virtual Reality (AR or VR) and is doing pattern matching for the Government, it makes sense that they'd try to convince their drones that servitude leads to a better AR/VR experience. Therefore:

Slogan: Paris Nouveau: A Better Reality for Every Citoyen

We decided that there's just not enough resources (food, water, living space, etc.) for the citizenry, therefore, it's best to let the weak die (or kill them outright for the smallest infraction). Since all the wastewater gets recycled, it makes sense to also recycle the biomass. Therefore, deceased Citoyens are reprocessed into Artificial Protein Extract (APE).

Scandal: APE is People!

Trying to limit The Government's ability to mess with us directly, we chose:
Corporate: Investing in Infrastructure - During the debrief, if you have any leftover fate points, you can put up to 2 of them in your bank.

However, Marty made sure he could mess with us, so he chose:
Security: Surveillance Optimization -  You start every scene with +2 blowback.

La Resistance!
Adam decided he wanted to play the Malcontent and named her Coquin. Since Coquin became the de-facto leader of our little party, we let him choose our Manifesto. He simply chose to borrow from events happening in Real Life™.

Manifesto: Make Paris Nouveau Great Again!

Since Adam's Malcontent will have the social skills covered and my Cleaner will have the combat skills covered, we wanted to give Alex's Hacker, Raphael, a place to shine.

Weakness: Plagued by Compromised Communications

Trying to give Coquin a leg up, we chose the branch of the tree that would get the people behind her:
Support: Hearts and Minds - Whenever you create a prep advantage with Maneuver, it gets 2 additional boosts.

I tried to talk Adam and Alex into going further down the Support branch, but they decided having access to gear and supplies was more important. They chose:
Resources: Hijacked Shipments - With a prep action, you can requisition equipment with a total cost of 1 or lower.

Viktor Le Nettoyeur (Viktor The Cleaner)
It should come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of Luc Besson's films and Jean Reno's acting. So, when presented with the opportunity to play a French Cleaner, of course I jumped at the chance! I even went so far as to call him Viktor, although I changed the name slightly and chose Dolph Lundgren as his stand-in (sorry Jean!) - I can't be TOO obvious...

With my archetype chosen (and thus my social class), I printed out the provided playsheet and started filling it in.

The playsheet provides questions that prompt you to generate your aspects. Here are mine:

The mission comes first.
I am too efficient for the general good.
Coquin and I are of like minds.
The Ambassador is too far reaching.
Enough Citoyens have paid the Government's price.

In this variation of Fate, they've distilled your abilities or skills down into four Means, similar to Approaches from Fate Accelerated. I wanted Viktor to obviously be capable of taking someone out and to be able to watch from the shadows, therefore I chose:

Fight: +3, Manipulate: +1, Maneuver +2, Observe +2

Once again, the playsheet provides a list of stunts; I just had to pick them. I ended up with:
Great Wealth (Default) - The cost of equipment that I buy is 1 lower than usual, to a minimum of 1.
Stealth Augmentations - I can spend a fate point to disappear from a scene. I can show up during a later exchange in a different scene.
Kill Without Hesitation - When I deal physical harm, I can give the GM 1 blowback to force my opponent to mark an additional condition, provided my intent is to kill.
Slippery - I get +2 to avoid detection with Maneuver.
By choosing four stunts, I had to reduce my Refresh (starting Fate points) by one.

Backstory (Extra Credit):
Coquin is making a name for herself in La Resistance. So much so, that her name has come to the Government's attention. As such, they have decided to put Viktor close to her. Providing a cleaner to La Resistance is quite a bit of overkill (literally), but that's what La Resistance is looking for and The Government trusts Viktor to get the job done.

Little does the Government know, but Viktor is starting to feel the pressure of being their favorite precision tool. Particularly since target selection has widened from well-known dissidents to faceless rabble-rousers.

Being this close to Coquin, Viktor realizes her words and his feelings are not so very different at all. Late night discussions with Coquin huddled around gas lanterns in La Cave have grown longer. It wouldn't take much to push Viktor's alignment needle over to that of La Resistance.

That does it for organization and character generation! We're now ready to play!

1 comment:

Ol' Whisker said...

Too bad I've missed the "call for arms" for the beta testing... but thanks for your review! Looks like I will get the game when it's out :)