Sunday, February 12, 2017

Turn, Two Character Sheets, One Identity

John has been encouraging me to write about my new game I'm working on, Turn. Turn has been a project long simmering, but I've only recently begun putting down words for it, with John's help. I wanted to talk a little about the relationship between the two aspects of the characters.

Turn is a game about shapeshifters in rural towns who experience the struggle between their human side and the call of their beast, trying to maintain the balance between the two and keep their identities hidden. Turn itself is not about external threats like hunters or other shifters coming to town. It is about internal threats, personal struggles, and achieving the goals you have as a human and a beast.

Each player starts with two sheets, one human role and one beast archetype. As players advance and gain more archetypes for their beast side, they can change out that sheet. I'd like to talk about two of the sheets we worked on last night, the Late Bloomer role and the Raven archetype.

The Late Bloomer

You were, and had always been, normal. You had a life as a human that was outright mundane, and it was satisfying. There were days when you looked out the window and felt a stirring in your heart, but that was all, until your beast burst forth. Now, you look at the world with new eyes, and struggle to find your footing while you straddle both worlds, wondering which side will slip first.

The Raven

Ravens are clever, omnivorous birds who are messengers of forewarning and can solve problems many beasts would find a challenge. Their ability to fly is valuable, but their keen intellect and sharp beak serve just as great a purpose.

The Late Bloomer can use their social status they have from their longer, uninterrupted human experience to influence NPC’s who are suspicious of fellow shifters to be less concerned. The Raven has a variety of powers, but I want to focus on a power called Ruffling Feathers. With Ruffling Feathers, they can spur dissent - distract others, make them angry or upset, etc. It’s really a shit-stirring power.

When a shifter is in their human form, they can draw power from relevant beast powers to influence their situation. A character playing the Late Bloomer, who would know a lot about how people behave and what makes them tick, could cause quite a ruckus drawing from an ability like Ruffling Feathers.

For each role and archetype there are a number of goals for shifters to achieve to progress. While some goals may be conveniently aligned, for the most part, these will be competing goals to contrast the powers and backgrounds that do fit together well. These conflicting priorities will hopefully result in hard choices with fruitful results.

This is just a simple examination of how the archetypes and roles interact in Turn, and as the design progresses, there will be more aspects to look at.

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