Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Bandit Country: Character Components

Character creation in Bandit Country is, of course, a mini-game. I want it to engage Players right from the start. I want to introduce the mindset of the game and for the Players to rub up against its limitations even as they define their avatar. 

Why Limitations? Bandit Country is not a heroic game, at least in the gaming sense of the word. Characters are limited and this is intended to create a friction. But I am getting ahead of myself here so let's start with the components of a Character: Specialties and Assets.


I chose these nine Specialties to define the risk taking activities that a Contractor can engage in while on an operation. Risk and Risk Management are at the core of the mechanics of the game and define the stories that will be told while playing Bandit Country. 
Specialties can be ranked Elite, Professional or Civilian according to the choices the Player makes during character creation. 
You will notice that the Specialties are all `doing things'. Specialties define what a Contractor does, not what they know. There are no academic specialties such as forensics or interpersonal specialties such as interrogation. This cuts to the core of what Players do in the game.
Bandit Country is a game of building human intelligence networks at great risk for customers who will not support them if things go pear shaped. Every Contractor is a superb recruiter. That's why they got the job. If the team needs an academic expert to complete their objective they will need to recruit one. Or use an Asset.

Assets are packages of pre-configured capabilities. They are rated from 1, low to 9, high. An Asset can represent a Specialty. For example a standby team of break and enter Techs could be Intrusion 3. It can be a line of credit, $300,000; Funds 5. It can be an accessible resource; Safehouse 4.
Assets by default are burned as they are used. Otherwise they have some sort of conditional refresh. For example, the Break Team refreshes following a Report to the Stakeholders.
Contractors start with some Assets and Players can negotiate more during operations. Players can also develop their own Assets during play.