Der Rot Konig
 member, 198 posts
 Educated Pirate
Sun 24 Mar 2019
at 04:21
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
I'm in the process of writing up a new game but it has just occurred to me that I'm somewhat limited in games with detailed character builds.

Examples: GDW games, such as Dark Conspiracy or Twilight 2000, which have multiple backgrounds to build a character with.  Warhammer Fantasy also employs the same concept.

I'm looking for a game system that works with this concept.  Oh, just to get picky, I need it to be somewhat modern.  If it helps, the game is based in the early 80s, for sake of careers, equipment, etc.

Hopefully, by broadening my game base to begin with, I can increase my player pool.

Thanx for reading ☺️
aguy777
 member, 306 posts
 Join Date:
 Thu, 28 Nov, 2013
Sun 24 Mar 2019
at 04:50
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
You could look at Shadowrun 5e for ideas. Especially from the Run Faster sourcebook's Life Modules. They basically give you your skills, languages, and money through your life choices including nationality, formative years, teen years, further education (if you choose), and real life (IE: a job before you became a Shadowrunner).
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1485 posts
Sun 24 Mar 2019
at 05:31
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
Um, are you looking for mechanical results? For these choices to impact stats?

If not, dnd has a hero builder's guidebook with plenty of stuff for generating backgrounds, tables by race and home environment, and stuff. Easy enough to adapt to contemporary setting.

If you want mechanical repercussions, the easiest way is to set aside several starter choices (such as traits or the first feat in Pathfinder) and discuss the background with the player then choose those things for them based on their background.
Der Rot Konig
 member, 199 posts
 Educated Pirate
Sun 24 Mar 2019
at 13:00
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
Ok, I'll try to expand a tad, if it helps.

The players would not be gifted heroes in any sense.  Yes there may be a police officer or soldier but the characters will essentially be just regular, everyday people facing rather steep opposition.  I want them to have a wide range of skills, etc. to draw upon.

Also, it would help if the system was rather popular.  Finding players can be rough sometimes, no matter how fun or good a system is.
Hendell
 member, 169 posts
Sun 24 Mar 2019
at 14:16
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
Both Shadowrun 5e and any version of Mechwarrior (as different from Battletech) have an extremely detailed life path system that guides the character creation process through both logical choices and random events to result in a set of system mechanical features that offer a wide range of skills.  Both systems also have provisions for using extra or overflow points in ways to specialize or focus the characters a bit at the end.

Neither one is strictly modern but that is largely a matter of flavor text and you would need to be rewriting most of it to fit your system mechanics as you don't want to use the actual system mechanics from either game if you have any other choice.
Tortuga
 member, 1854 posts
Sun 24 Mar 2019
at 14:28
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
G U R P S
GhostShipBlue
 member, 123 posts
 Punk rock joy!
 Molotovs in stemware.
Sun 24 Mar 2019
at 14:41
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
GURPS or Hero might do the trick and both are popular. By adjusting the points available and putting powers off limits you can keep the power level where you want it. Both offer wide skill lists and easy ways to add new ones.

Other options that tend to keep power levels low are Eden's Unisystem. Witchcraft and All Flesh Must Be Eaten are good options for "Everyman" kind of characters. Call of Cthulhu might be worth a look too. As is Gumshoe. Both CoC and GS offer mechanics for useful non-combat skills and make direct combat a less attractive option. Night's Black Agents is a more combat oriented port of Gumshoe.

Most modern games are geared toward super competent characters and narrative advantage and Night's Black Agents is one of those.

Edit: Blacksburg Tactical Research Center's EABA, while not especially well known, is an ideal tool and quite a lot of fun. Greg Porter's design aesthetics are well suited to the kind of setting you're describing.

This message was last edited by the user at 15:31, Sun 24 Mar.

Bornite
 member, 62 posts
Mon 25 Mar 2019
at 01:36
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
I'll second EABA.  It does work really well.  But as it's practically unknown, I'll go with what for me would be the first choice - Gurps.  It's very well known and can be dialed up or down as you wish.

One thing that you might consider doing is (whatever system you use) adapting the GDW Lifepath method of character generation.  It worked well in multiple versions of Traveller and T2K.  It would be some work, but the end result would be unique and fun.
Rockwolf66
 member, 56 posts
Mon 25 Mar 2019
at 02:39
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
Cyberpunk 2020 and a couple of R. Talsorian games have rather detailed background generators.

Traveler has a very detailed background generation system(to the point where you can die during your background generation).
GhostShipBlue
 member, 124 posts
 Punk rock joy!
 Molotovs in stemware.
Mon 25 Mar 2019
at 12:37
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
In reply to Rockwolf66 (msg # 9):

If a lifepath system is the crucial component, Traveller might be the best choice (although Cepheus Engine might do just as well) as it isn't designed to yeild strictly military characters. MechWarrior, Twilight 2000 and the Infiniti RPG by Modiphius all use detailed life path generators but are geared toward strictly military characters. Stars Without Number might be worth a look too. I don't know the Revised Edition but it uses a class and backgrounds system. It's a game that's well known and supplements like Other Dust might be extremely useful in racheting back tech levels. The upside of Cepheus and SWN are their not very experienced if you get a PDF to check out.
steelsmiter
 member, 1980 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Mon 25 Mar 2019
at 18:59
Re: Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
Der Rot Konig:
Ok, I'll try to expand a tad, if it helps.

The players would not be gifted heroes in any sense.  Yes there may be a police officer or soldier but the characters will essentially be just regular, everyday people facing rather steep opposition.  I want them to have a wide range of skills, etc. to draw upon.

Also, it would help if the system was rather popular.  Finding players can be rough sometimes, no matter how fun or good a system is.

Since I don't play it any more, it would be almost useless to parrot the notion that GURPS is one of the best systems I've ever seen for this and the other requirements you listed period. I only quit playing it due to lack of forum support that wasn't a direct attempt at a cash grab. I won't go into detail here since it's off topic.

So with that being said, Modern AGE system has a good variety of Professions, Backgrounds, and Drives that come together to form their characters, and while the variety is less significant than GURPS, the game is also less complicated than GURPS.

Modern AGE is also fairly compatible with previous games in the system, Dragon AGE, Fantasy AGE, and Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana.
Knight_Vassal
 member, 456 posts
Sun 7 Apr 2019
at 19:53
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
In reply to GhostShipBlue (msg # 10):

The Mechwarrior system can provide any number of careers as can Shadowrun. GURPS is a solid system with a plethora of possible tie ins. And a myriad of ways you could grow it. Granted this is the older version I think 2nd or 3rd edition that I am referencing. Possibly 4th.

  West End Games had a Heroes and Rogues supplement that I used for a bunch of systems for many years because they were great questions to answer in a general sense to get into character. Some better and more relevant than others. All are good options and just require a little bit of effort on your part to clean up for your game.
horus
 member, 683 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sun 7 Apr 2019
at 23:58
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
I've seen a couple of systems based in d6 Epic (Final Sword Productions) that use character templates to allow a player to build a character for a particular role quickly with a minimum of customization.  Such systems provide several templates (over 30 in one game of my experience) for different military and civilian careers.

This concept could likely be adapted to other games as well.  The only thing limiting such a system is the number of templates provided, and whether or not you elect to also allow character builds "from scratch".
Hunter
 member, 1494 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 00:42
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
In reply to aguy777 (msg # 2):

Shadowrun has always had a detailed character creator, even going all the way back to first edition.  I'd recommend starting there if you're looking for a good character builder.    Also, I know that Pathfinder has a decent random character builder in it.
swordchucks
 member, 1554 posts
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 00:45
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
Eclipse Phase 1e has a nice system in Transhuman that builds a character out of a series of packages.  It isn't a rigid system, but instead provides large chunks of character resources spent in predefined ways that would fit characters in various ways.  Every character has to have a Background package and everyone has to have a Faction package (though that second one is EP specific).  The packages can vary in size (so you can be a Scientist a little, a good bit, or a whole lot, for instance) and largely mimic the point-based core system.

Transhuman also offers a lifepath method for picking packages, which includes random events at a few points.  It's a very interesting and modern version of the lifepath and one I'd probably mimic if I was trying to do one.
gorchek
 member, 8 posts
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 14:20
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
It may be a bit hard to find, but the Central Casting series (Heroes of Legend, Heroes of Now, Heroes of Tomorrow) gives some pretty detailed and interesting backgrounds.
Der Rot Konig
 member, 200 posts
 Educated Pirate
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 19:47
Suggestions: Detailed Character Gen.
Thanx for the input peeps.  I've decided to go with GURPS!  Why only question is...why did I never look into this system before?!  It quite literally covers just about anything and everything you can think of!