Transformers

Aestelon: This is very much a work in progress; I initially started writing it as a much more traditional game of stats and bonuses, but quickly realised how clunky it was becoming, and very much counter to the spirit of No Dice (and much more of a headache for me, too!). So I've jumped back to basics and I'm starting again with a simpler base of story rules, with just a smattering of stats to add flavour and to help the Host in certain matters.

Character Creation

When creating a character, instead of a bunch of grey statistics, we can start with a bio, a character profile. Think about what you feel is important about them and start with that. Do you have a particular 'class' in mind, or a personality type, or something you really want them to transform into? Start with this, and flesh the rest out around it. For inspiration, you can look at Marvel's Transformers Universe profiles at www.ntfa.net, or the Tech Spec transcripts on www.tfu.info.

Aspects you should define include:

Name: Think of this as more of a codename or nickname. Transformers are generally named based on what they're best known for; most often it'll be reference a to a key personality trait, or a special ability.
Allegiance: What faction do they run with? In most cases, the options will be Autobots and Decepticons, but through the ages, several other factions have risen and fallen, including the Ultracons, Predacons and Maximals. Your Host should let you know which factions are available.
Function: This equates to your character's class or career. What role are they assigned to within their army? Bear in mind this can relate to specific or non-specific combat roles, or any number of non-combat assignments.
Motto: This is entirely optional, but many Transformers have some kind of quote which helps to quickly illustrate their personality.If you can think of a catchphrase or personal motto, by all means include it.
Alternate form: What does your character transform into? Unless your game is set within a more limiting time period (such as the Beast Wars era, where everyone had to assume organic disguises), you can probably let your imagination run wild here; Cybertronians have adopted any number of disguises over the years, from cars, jets and tanks to robot animals and dinosaurs, as well as hand-held weapons and other devices.

Bio: Include here as much as you like regarding your character's personality, and any backstory or history that may have helped shape it.
Abilities: Write down all the things that help your character; skills, physical traits, unusual powers, and any equipment they use as standard. Don't forget to include anything relevant about their alternate mode (like top speed and range etc.).
Weaknesses: Anything that's likely to hamper your character. This can be physical weaknesses, such as low strength or stamina, vulnerability to certain forms of attack, or personality flaws. Don't worry if you don't want one or can't think of one; there are many Cybertronians who possess "no known weaknesses". That doesn't mean they're invulnerableā€¦

Tech Specs

While we're running light on numbers, you can opt to create a Tech Spec 'meter' for your character; this is a traditional means of comparing Cybertronians' capabilities, hearkening back to their introduction on the backs of the first Transformer toys. It's not necessary (unless your Host decides to enforce it), and is kind of arbitrary, but it's certainly recommended; it can help you get a feeling of how they compare to other players' characters and to any opponents you may face. It can also help your Host in determining any card draws he asks you to make. Some of the stats below may not be particularly suitable for use in determining card draws, but I've left them in (at least for now) for the sake of tradition; they've remained intact for the last 25 years, so I felt it's appropriate to keep them in.

The stats on the Tech Specs are:

Strength: Physical strength, illustrates how much your character can lift or move, how high he can jump and how hard he can hit in close combat. 5 is the average strength of a fairly average-sized Cybertronian (e.g. Jazz or Sunstreaker).
Intelligence: Indicates ability to learn, general knowledge already accumulated, and on-the-spot problem solving abilities.
Speed: Generally this equates to your character's best speed, in whichever mode he happens to be able to achieve it; this may be his vehicle mode's driving or flying speed, or robot mode's flying or running speed.
Endurance: Combines physical durability and stamina. Endurance can help determine how hard you are to put down in a fight, and how long you can run without refueling.
Rank: Illustrates your place in the chain of command, and therefore who you answer to and who is answerable to you. As a rule of thumb, rank-and-file warriors rank at 5, with specialists around 6 or 7, unit leaders and command staff at 8 and 9, with only the top-ranking commanders at 10.
Courage: Indicates the likelihood of your character carrying on in the face of overwhelming odds. Probably not one you're ever likely to need for a card draw, as it's better to leave things like that down to roleplaying. However, it's a potentially useful reminder for when you're trying to decide which way to run.
Firepower: Provides a rough idea of the punch your character packs in ranged combat; use this as a general guide, but individual weapon descriptions for specific abilities.
Skill: Shows how much skill and training the character has regarding his stated function; a skilled commander, for instance, has a sound knowledge of military tactics and is good at inspiring his troops to obey his orders. A high skill in Demolitions could illustrate training in explosives, and an ability to accurately judge structural weak points. Note that a low Skill doesn't automatically mean the character is incapable of doing his job; depending on what the function is, he may be able to perform it relatively untrained through other means, such as brute force, sharp wits or high speed.

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