May 03, 2012

RPG Play: Monkey Pirates Character Creation

Previously in the Monkey Pirates RPG blog series:
Introduction to the game

Creating a player character in Monkey Pirates is done through responding to a list of quick questions.

Question 1: What is your name?  Something worthy of a pirate and/or monkey.
Question 2: Do you want to be more of a Pirate, or more of a Monkey?
Question 3: As a Pirate, do you want to be better at Swords or Sailing?
Question 4: As a Monkey, do you want to be better at Climbing or Chatter?

The stats are listed as follows:
  • Pirate
    • Swords
    • Sailing
  • Monkey
    • Climbing
    • Chatter
The base stat for both Pirate and Monkey starts at '4.'  If you answered Pirate to question #2, then decrease your Pirate stat to '3,' and increase your Monkey stat to '5.'  If you answered Monkey to question #2, then decrease your Monkey stat to '3,' and increase your Pirate stat to '5.'  The base stat for each sub-category is equal to the modified stat of its corresponding main category (so either '3' or '5').  Now, in similar fashion to answering question #2, decrease and increase the sub-category stats based on how you answer questions #3 and #4.

Example: So, if I answered Pirate, Sailing, Climbing, I would have:
  • Pirate - 3
    • Swords - 4
    • Sailing - 2
  • Monkey - 5
    • Climbing - 4
    • Chatter - 6 
Next, if you answered Pirate to question #2, you get one Treasure point; if you answered Monkey, then you receive one Luck point.

Finally, for thematic flavor and flair, write a Quote, Reputation, Description, and Favorite Thing for your character.  Each of these four should be no more than a sentence apiece.

Quote – Something that your character might say often or with feeling.
Reputation – What are you known, or infamous, for amongst pirates?
Description – How do you appear to others?
Favorite Thing – What does your character go bananas over?

With this simple structure at hand, I sat down with the kids and guided them through the short character creation process.  With only a few tips from me, they took to it quite naturally, even working together to balance their party so that each had a particular strength in a different area.  The only times they struggled at all was in creating a quote and, to a lesser extent, their reputation.  But this exercise will be a good learning tool for them, as there are a couple of similar concepts which are deeper and quite integral to the game that we are interested in purchasing (see this review of Mouse Guard, if interested).  I thought we might have an issue when it came to choosing the captain of this pirate band, but Hope and Cory decided that they didn't want the responsibility!  Perhaps Brendon is a natural-born leader in our midst?

(Brendon's character) Captain John Smith
  • Pirate - 3
    • Swords - 2
    • Sailing - 4
  • Monkey - 5
    • Climbing - 6
    • Chatter - 4
Quote:  "Charge!"
Reputation:  Cute and cuddly.
Description:  Looks like I'm made of gold.
Favorite Thing:  Diamonds

(Cory's character) Shiver Paw
  • Pirate - 5
    • Swords - 4
    • Sailing - 6
  • Monkey - 3
    • Climbing - 2
    • Chatter - 4
Quote:  "I was born to eat bananas!"
Reputation:  Athletic and fast.
Description:  Breathe smells like bananas.
Favorite Thing:  Bananas

(Hope's character) Blue Tail
  • Pirate - 3
    • Swords - 4
    • Sailing - 2
  • Monkey - 5
    • Climbing - 4
    • Chatter - 6
Quote:  "Don't touch my booty!"
Reputation:  I can surf on one hand.
Description:  Tall with tiny feet, scary looking and always carrying a map.
Favorite Thing:  Fancy Boots

Next post: Session 1 - The 'Tail' Begins...

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