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Table of
Contents

Welcome to 
Olympus

The State of
the World

Game
Mechanics

Characters

Attributes 
& Skills

Actions &
Combat

Cybernetics

Equipment

What's New

Downloads

Game Design
Notes

Links

Guestbook

Email
 

III.  CHARACTERS

In this chapter:

Templates
Types
Attributes
Advantages and Disadvantages
Details
Choosing Skills
Chi
Character Advancement


TEMPLATES

In order to play Appleseed, you'll need a character.  The list below is really only illustrative.  There are folks from every walk of life, profession, and background in the Appleseed world.  Even those in the same profession specialize in different areas.  You can select one from the list below or create your own. 

Badside Scout
Bureaucrat
Cop
Crook
Cyborg Mercenary
Government Agent
Medtech
Mutant Weirdo
Robot
Smuggler
Soldier
Technician
Terrorist
Zealot
Copy the structure from one of the Character Templates above onto a piece of paper to create your very own character sheet.  I will try to make and post one when I get time, but don't hold your breath!

TYPE
In Appleseed, a character may either be a normal Human, a Bioroid, a Mutant, Light Cyborg, or a Full-Body Cyborg.  Each Type has particular advantages and disadvantages.  Note that the starting Attribute Dice for characters is higher than it would be for "non-heroic" non-player characters in the world of Appleseed.  Most standard NPC's would start with fewer attribute dice.
 
Type
Att.
Dice
Attribute Limits
Adv & 
Disadv
Starting 
Skill Dice
Notes
Human 18 1D-4D 2 free Advantages
8
Humans are actually a minority in Olympus, but remain the majority in the rest of the world.
Bioroid 19 1D-4D, any one Att. may be raised to 5D No free advantages. 10, at least 3 must be in non-combat skills. Bioroids must undergo Longevity treatments every 2 weeks or begin to suffer -1D to all attributes until treated.  When the Bioroid reaches 0D in Constitution, they die.
Mutant 18 1D-5D 3 free Advantages, which should be related to the character's mutations somehow.
7
Mutants are the products of post-war toxic exposure, radiation or experimentation.  They are likely a kind of Bioroid that does not need Longevity treatments.
Light Cyborg 18 1D-4D, but may be raised by chosen cybernetics. Starts with 2, but must pay one for each implant chosen at start-up. 8 Typically, these are humans who have suffered some  injuries that required cybernetic replacements.  Most common are prosthetic arms, implanted eyes, and occasionally artificial organs.  See Cybernetics for more information.
Full-body Cyborg 21 1D-7D for Physical Attributes.  1D-4D for Mental Attributes.  Futhermore, 'Borgs suffer -1D to all Presence rolls.  See below. None, considered to have been invested in cybernetics. 6 A Full 'Borg likely had to replace his human body after a greivous injury that nearly killed him.  Full 'Borgs must be registered in Olympus and require regular, and expensive, maintenance.  See Cybernetics for more information.

Constructing Full Borgs as starting characters:
When a player choose to create a full Borg he should follow the following steps.  As always, the GM should feel free to modify these steps and starting allowances as desired.  See Cybernetics for more information.

1.  Allot the Atribute dice, following the limits outlined above.
2.  Starting Armor Value: 25
3.  Starting Jump Bonus: 2D
4.  Starting base HP:  25
5.  Add 2 Standard Optical Implants, with up to 4 options (free, GM's discretion).
4.  Add 2 Standard Audal Implants, with up to 2 otions (free, GM's discretion).
7.  Standard brain box.
8.  Standard Filtration systems (all).
9.  Customizing your Borg:  at the GM's discretion, you can choose to raise and lower some values to personalize your creation.  Generally, the GM should not permit players to raise or lower levels more than 1 level from the standard at character creation.  (For example, the Cyborg Mercenary in the Templates section lowered his Armor Value by 1 and increased his Jump Bonus by 1D).  No value should exceed 7D at character creation.
10.  Approximately 50,000 dollars in debt (from implants or maintenance costs).
ATTRIBUTES
Select the Type you wish to play and find the starting Attribute Dice for your character.   At least 1D must be placed in each attribute and no more than 4D can be assigned to any one attribute for normal humans.  (Note:  Dice may not be broken up into 3 "pips", or "+1's", like they can in the SW RPG).  The average for "normal" humans in any one attribute is 2D.  The Attributes are:
Strength: a measure of the character's muscle power. 
Dexterityindicates the character's flexibility, grace and hand-eye coordination.
Constitutionrepresents the character's hardiness, such as resistance to disease, exhaustion and pain.
Knowledgeserves to show how broad and deep a character's general understanding of the world, from streetsmarts to scholarship.  Includes technical and mechanical skills.
Instinctsmake up one's perceptive abilities--his awareness to his environment as well as behavioral cues from other people.
Presencerepresents the character's force of personality, ability to perform, orate and convince other people.  Generally, his "people skills."
Example:  Ryan is making a character named Kreiger, a rookie Cop. He chooses a Human decides to create his own template rather than use the one provided.  He comes up with the following Attributes:
Strength: 3D
Dexterity:  4D
Constitution: 3D
Knowledge:  3D
Instincts:  3D
Presence:  2D
ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES
Advantages and Disadvantages exist to represent areas in which a character may excel or suffer.  Each character starts out with the Advantages and Disadvantages granted by his chosen Type.  Beyond that, players may purchase 1 additional Advantage for a starting character given that they pay for it with a Disadvantage.  Advantages may only be taken once (no "stacking").  After character creation, players cannot purchase additional Advantages (though changes in the character due to circumstance may be similar to them).  The number next to the Ad/Disad name indicates the "level" or "severity" of that particular trait.  An Advantage with a (2) behind it is worth two normal Advantages and must be paid for with two Disadvantages (or a Disadvantage with a (2) rating).

Design note:  Life nearly everything in this game, Advantages and Disadvantages are completely optional.  My main reason for coming up with them was to give humans some bonuses relative to other Types.  They should never be allowed to imbalance a game and GM's should alter them accordingly.

Advantages:
Acute Senses (1):  Boost to any Search or Tracking attempt that relies on one of the five senses.
Ambidextrous (1):  Character may use either hand with equal skill.  Furthermore, the character may weild and shoot two guns at the same time and only incur a -1D penalty rather than the normal -2D penalty.
Appeal (1):  Boosts to all Presence-based skills.
Cat-footed (1):  Character is exceptionally light on her feet.  This grants a Boost to the following skills: Stealth and Acrobatics.
Contacts (1-2):  Taken at level 1 means the character has some relatively high contacts that may get information for him from time and time (sometimes in exchange for favors or cash).  At level 2, this character knows influential people at the highest levels of society who will occasionally do him a favor.
Egghead (2):  This character is an especially able student and can learn Advanced skills under Knowledge as if they were normal skills.  They must still learn prerequisites.
Flexible (1):  Character is exceptionally limber and graceful.  Boosts to Dodge, Martial Arts, Brawl, and Running.
Gearhead (2):  This technophile loves all things mechanical.  +1D to Value, Scrounge and Bargain rolls that involve acquiring or appraising technological items.  Furthermore, this Boosts any Mechanics, Electronics or Computer Ops rolls.
Hawkeye (1):  Boosts to rolls that involve firing a weapon or throwing something (Firearms, Heavy Weapons, Throw).
Intuitive (1): This character knows how to read other people and use it to her advantage.  Boosts to Profile, Con, Persuasion, Bargain and Perform.
Iron Will (1):  +1D to all Willpower rolls.  Furthermore, the strength of the character's convictions make them more charismatic and gives Boosts to Persuasion, Perform (Orate only), Bargain and Command.
Lucky (1):  Character receives an extra die once per game, to roll as an additional Wild Die for one action only. 
Resources (1-2):  At level 1, this character has a sizeable savings accounts and/or investment portfolio that can be liquidated to equal several thousands of dollars (10,000 + 1D6 x 10,000).  At level 2, this character has a trust fund and will likely never need to worry about finding a job--unless the cash dries up, of course (GM's discretion...heh heh)
Stout (1):  Boosts to Lifting, Endurance and Resistance tests.
Tree-hugger (1):  This character prefers the outdoors and is especially able in the wilds.  Boosts to Survival, Tracking, Climbing, and Life Sciences rolls.
Wily (1):  This character is particularly crafty and her plans often go off without a hitch.  +1D to Tactics rolls when character makes a plan.  Also, +1D to Persuasion and Con rolls when those skills are used to get information out of someone.
 

Disadvantages:
Addiction (1-2):  At level 1, you're easily driven to distraction by the object of your addiction (cigarettes, comic books, etc) and will go out of your way and sometimes abuse your duties to fulfill it.  Can make a Easy Willpower test to avoid giving in.  At level 2, the characters has a serious problem with a dangerous addiction:  drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.   Once per day the character must make an Very Easy Willpower test or give in to the addiction.  For each day that has pased since the character last gave in, the difficulty increases by 1 level (Easy on Day 2, Moderate on Day 3, etc.).  If the character reaches the Heroic difficulty and passes, then he has "gone on the wagon" and must only has an Easy test every day (forever) to avoid sliding back into addiction.  Character points and Chi may be spent to avoid the addiction.
Clumsy (2):  You basically has two left feet.  You trip, you stumble, you fall on your face.  You're a regular Jerry Lewis.  When you roll a 1 on the Wild Die for any Dexterity-based action, you Complicate if you roll a 3, 4, 5 or 6 (rather than just a 6).
Criminal Past (1-2):  At level 1, you were a known theif and perhaps did some jail time.  There may still be a few authorities who have some questions for you...At level 2, you were involved with serious crimes, perhaps murder, kidnapping or drug smuggling.  You've never paid your debt to society and some Inspector Javert is out there, looking for you...On the bright side, at level 1 you get a Boost to any Streetwise roll and at level 2 you get +1D to Streetwise.
Debt (1):  You owe a debt of thousands of dollars to someone who is beginning to run out of patience.  You must make payments of approximately 1000 dollars per month.  The debt itself is 1D6x 10,000 dollars.
Dependent (1):  Someone depends on you to take care of them.  You must provide housing, food, clothes and other support.  This might be a child, sick relative or someone else to whom you owe a debt. 
Disorganized (1):  This character is simply unable to get his act together.  -1D to Business and Tactics rolls. Furthermore, you've incurred 1D6 x 1000 dollars worth of debt because you never keep your finances straight.
Dumb (1):  You're just not all that bright.  -1D to rolls that involve problem solving, including repair and medical skills.
Grouch (1):  You've got a bad attitude, buster.  -1D to actions based on Persuasion or Bargain.
Injury (1-2):  At level 1, this character suffers from a chronic, but not debilitating injury.  Examples include a bad back, arthritis, a trick knee, etc.  The injury will flare up when the character Complicates any Dexterity roll and will result in a -1D to all Dexterity-based tests for 2D6 hours or until treatment is given.  At level 2, the injury is more disabling.  It may include having to rely upon crutches or a wheelchair, a seeing-eye dog, or something similar.  The injury cannot be treated with modern technology for some reason (aside from a full-body replacement).
Naive (1):  You often believe the first thing that anyone tells you.  -2D to Profile and -1D to Bargain attempts
Phobia (1-2):  At level 1, the character is either slightly afraid of common things (Easy Willpower test when coming across rats, snakes, blood, etc) or very afraid of very rare things (Difficult Willpower test when encountering a dead body, a solar eclipse, etc.).
Technophobe (2):  This character doesn't care for technology and is particularly clumsy with it.  -1D to actions making use of advanced technology, such as operating a computer, science skills relying on complex equipment, piloting a landmate or other modern vehicle, etc.
 

DETAILS
This is your opportunity to round out the character and provide a description, background, personality quirks, goals, etc.

Speed
Normal characters can move 10 meters per round while walking.  With successful Running rolls, they can increase this value.

Unarmed Base Damage Value (BDV)
BDV depends on the skill the character uses to attack.  Normal humans have a bare-handed BDV of 1D.  If a character has the Brawling or Martial Arts skill, their BDV is 2D.

Strength/Lifting Bonus
This represents the additional amount of damage a character can do because of his strength.  Take the Strength attribute OR the Lifting skill and divide by 2, rounding down.  This value is added to any damage rolls resulting from successful Brawling, Martial Arts or Melee Weapons rolls.  Certain armored suits and cybernetic implants may alter this value.

Body Points
These represent the physical toughness of your character.  To get starting Body Points, roll a number of dice equal to the character's Strength + Constitution score and consult the table below.  Take that sum and add 10.  If a character increases his Strength or Constitution attribute in the future, he may roll another die.  Furthermore, certain cybernetic enhancements may increase this number.
 

Standard Die
Result Number of BP's
1,2 4
3,4,5 5
6
Wild Die
Result Number of BP's
1 3
2 4
3,4,5 5
6 6 (and reroll)

Description
    Describe your character:  How tall is he?  What kind of clothes does he wear?  Does he have any noticeable marks such as tattoos or scars?  Does he have cybernetic implants?  Blue hair?  Cat-like ears? Just what kind of freak are you creating, man?

Background
    It seems that all of Shirow's characters, even the supporting cast, have a rich background.  They come to Olympus from all over the world, with vastly different beliefs, experiences and motivations.  Give your character a history.  Why has he come to Olympus?  Does he have family?  Was he grown in some vat in a dilapidated Shanghai laboratory?  Is there some intrigue in his past he hopes no one will discover?

Personality
    Is your character a grouch?  Is she impulsive, always itching for a fight, or is she more thoughtful and cautious?

Objectives
    Everyone appears to be in Olympus for a reason, if for none other than to escape the strife elsewhere in the world.  But many have secret agendas that only come out with time.  Does your character have a personal or professional goal?  Is he a spy?  A terrorist plant?  An anarchist Luddite?

Connection to other Characters
    Most of the characters will just be meeting one another as the game campaign starts.  They may be assigned to the same police squad or live in the same building.  Some may have known others for longer periods.  They may be related, or lovers, or even enemies.
 

CHOOSING SKILLS

Starting skills
Find the starting skill dice for your Type.  Furthermore, each character can list 3 additional skills that they take a "0D" under each Attribute.  The character may still perform any other skills under that attribute, but at a -1D difficulty.  There'are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. GM's may (and should) excercise discretion in assigning higher difficulty levels to "unlearned" skills.  Certain characters may not have the background necessary to attempt certain skills.  For example, a character who grew up in the Badside would have no idea how to go about fixing a landmate.
  2. Advanced skills represent much more complex areas of study.  As such, a character cannot attempt an Advanced skill without having assigned at least 1 die to it.
Specializations:
    Many skills have specializations which allow the character to focus on a certain aspect of the skill.  If a specialization is taken, a character may advance in that specialized aspect of the skill at half the normal cost of advancement.  However, uses of the skill not covered in the Specialization remain at the base skill level.
Example: Kreiger has Firearms at 4D.  He decides to take the specialization Firearms:  Submachine Gun to advance to 5D at a cost of 6 CP rather than 12 CP.  Anytime he fires a submachine gun, he gets to roll 5D, but all other firearms are used at 4D.
    Specializations may be selected at Character Creation.  If so, the character receives 2 dice for every 1 spent.  Thus, a  player decides to Specialize in Submachine guns, he can gets +2D to all rolls with that kind of weapon.  Alternately, the player may put 1 die into Submachine gun and put another in some other Specialization (such as Driving:  Motorcyle, etc.).  Note:  Characters may not start with general skills greater than 6D or Specializations greater than 7D!

    Specializations are independent of the skill from which they are derived.  If the player later increases the skill, the Specialization does not increase.  If the Specialization increases, there is no change in the base skill.

Advanced skills:
    Some particularly complicated skills require two times the normal amount of Character Points to allow for Advancement.  They also typically require some other prerequisite skill.

CHI
Chi symbolizes the inner strength and resources of a character.  It is usually a manifestation of their heroic qualities.  However, ethics and morals in the world of Appleseed are often murky and highly subjective.  Usually, characters may only gain additional Chi points by spending the ones they have.  This is a bit of a gamble, since they will not always regain spent points.  At the end of each game session, the GM decides whether the characters regain spent points and if they are granted additional Chi.

In other D6 games, characters gain Chi/Force/Hero points when they use existing points to preform heroic actions.  In Appleseed, heroism is often in the eye of the beholder.  So, in deciding whether the character regains the spent Chi point, or is granted an additional one, the GM should first decide whether the character acted "heroically" within the character's own personality or code of ethics.  At it's most basic level, good guys should act like good guys and villains should perform villainy.  Note that there is no equivalent to Skeptic or Dark Force points in this game.  Bad guys just act like bad guys, and the players want to play a jerk, you should let them (though you can certainly make life more difficult for them in other ways!)

Generally, you may follow the guidelines below:

  • If the character spends the Chi point to perform a heroic act, usually to save someone's life, stop a bad guy, or attempt an action that risk his own life, then he should receive the point back and gain another.
  • If the character uses the Chi point to perform a difficult task, but that is either not very dramatic or heroic, then he should get the point back but not gain another.
  • If the character spends the Chi point to accomplish a relatively normal feat or to just save his own sorry hide, he does not get the point back.
A character may spend up to 2 Chi per round, each doubling the dice pools of 1 action(See Using Chi). 

Finally, if a character has no Chi points, the GM may decide to grant one after a particularly heroic or risky act (or an act that furthers the character's strong motivation).

ADVANCEMENT
At the end of each adventure, players will usually be rewarded Character Points at the end of an adventure by the Game Master.  They may keep these CP's for later use or spend them on learning skills.

Increasing skill levels
     For normal skills, it costs a number of Character Points equal to the current dice value of the Skill x 3.  Thus to advance from 4D to 5D, the player must spend 12 CP's.  Specializations cost the current dice value x 2 (moving from 4D to 5D would cost 8 CP's).  Advanced skills cost the current dice value x 4.  If the character has the skill at "0D," meaning equal to his controlling attribute, he is considered to "know" the skill and advances in this manner.

Example: Kreiger has Firearms at 6D and wants to increase it to 7D.  To do so, he must spend 18 CP.  He decides that's too expensive, so he Specializes in Handguns and takes Firearms:  Handguns at 7D, costing him 12 CP instead.
Learning new skills
    To learn a new skill, the character must spend a number of CP's equal to the controlling attribute x 3. If the character does not "know" the skill (i.e., he suffers a penalty when using the skill because he did not choose it at "0D"), the skill starts at a level equal to the controlling attribute.
Example:  Krieger wants to learn the Piloting skill.  He has a Dexterity of 4D.  Thus, he spends 12 CP's and  and gets Piloting at 4D.  To increase to 5D, he would have to spend another 12CP's (see above).
Learning Advanced Skills
     Some skills represent very complex sets of abilities.  These skills, referred to as "Advanced Skills" usually have prerequisite skills that the character must first gain proficiency in before the Advanced skill may be chosen.
Example:  Kreiger suddenly decides he wants to be physician.  He must first meet the prerequisites for Medicine, which are First Aid at 5D, Life Sciences at 4D, and Education at 4D.  Assume that he taken those skills at "0D."  He has a Knowledge attribute of 3D, so he must pay 3x3=9CPs to get First Aid at 4D, then another 12 to get it to 5D.  Next, he'll have to spend 9CP's get Life Sciences at 4D, and another 9 to get Education at 4D.  Finally, he'll be able to start learning Medicine.  He must then pay 3x4=12CP's to get Medicine at 3D.  That's 51CP's!  He'd better start saving those CP's now... 


A Note on Eggheads:  A Proposed Scholarship Program
I've often noticed that players avoid having a "scholarly" character in many games. Many systems make it easier to be a battle-ready thug than a learned physician.  This is probably somewhat close to reality, but it makes for unbalanced games--and punishes those who want to do more than hack and slash.  Often specialists, such as physicians, end up helping other characters more than they themselves gain from their own skills.

So I recommend that GM's consider a "scholarship" program for players who want to start out as physicians or some other expensive specialist.  Perhaps give them some extra dice at character creation to put into these specialized skills.  If it seems that you are imbalancing the game, you can saddle them with deep debts or other problems as a result of their "higher" education.

Improving attributes
   To improve an attribute, a character must spend 15x their current skill value.

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