Character A Day, Day Twenty Two(ish)
The Dying Earth
The First Pro Game Writing I Did Was For This
In “The Excellent Prismatic Spray”, Not In The Core, To Be Clear
Without further equivocation or excess loquaciousness, permit me to offer for your discrete evaluation what is surely the apex of game design, the Dying Earth RPG from Pelgrane Press. Such works as this are not wasted on churlish rogues, nor those of obvious ill-breeding and poor condition; only such as possess wit and distinction, obviously including yourselves, are invited to partake.
We start, as is often the case, with a measure of puissance and vim, classified by the sages in three tiers; that of Cugel, a known miscreant and vagabond of deservedly ill repute; that of Turjan, a wizard of no small skill, and that of Rhialto, one of the rare few who can command the dread sandestin. As the sun may grow dark at any moment (odd pustules were observed last week, surely a sign of ill omen soon to come), the choice shall be the simplest, or “Cugel”, level.
It is with but 60 points that I set forth on my journey. First, I must determine a mode of Persuasion. Choosing one is suitable for those lacking in daring, but I have oft been favored by luck, so I shall roll. Doing so, it must be noted rewards me with points to spend elsewhere. As it turns out, my Persuasion is Eloquent, and I now have 66 points. (The distribution of points, much as the counting of terces following a game of chance, shall wait until all has been done.) Following this pattern of relying solely on the whims of fortune, I discover my own self to be:
Persuasion: Eloquent 8
Rebuff: Pure-Hearted 8
Attack: Ferocity 9
Defense: Vexation 9
As my choice of capricious fate has granted me 24 more points, for a total of 84, the expenditures on my abilities reduces that to 60. Eh? Fifty? Perhaps if one uses the simplistic numeric system taught to the dull-witted who need only count the hours they toil, but sophisticated folk, such as yourself, surely embrace alternative numeric system, such that… ah, it is of no import. Fifty it is.
I am a vigorous soul, so I shall have a Health of 9. As I attack with the might of an angry erb, I am automatically skilled in axe and rock. However, such weapons mark one as a rampaging brute, and so, I spend 2 points to learn the art of the rapier as well.
At this time, I have not delved into the magician’s arts, though perhaps in the future I shall master a spell or two.
Clearly, I am a true hero, one of the last few who walk this ancient soil. While others may seek only their own transient satiation as a means of escaping the knowledge of the coming darkness, I am above such temptations, and while I prefer to convince rather than coerce, the sight of injustice moves me to fury. Those blessed enough to make my acquaintance, if they are of good character or in need of aid, may call me Tyllian Zav; those not of good character had best keep my name from their mouths.
Thus, my skills are as follows:
Living Rough: 4
I must now consider the many temptations of the world, and how well I ignore them. Some invest no effort in such defenses, but I, Tyllian Zav, are made of finer weave! Thus:
Resistances: Indolence 2, Avarice 2, Gourmandism 1.
(I have no more capacity to resist Arrogance, Pettifoggery, or Rakishness than most, but a man with no flaws is not a man at all, but rather an animate statue, or so say the wise.)
This leaves me 5 points, with which I must buy possessions, for sadly, few who live today are filled with generous spirit, but rather, they demand compensation in forms other than humble gratitude. I have my normal clothing (2), for no additional cost, and:
- A rapier, in which I invest 2 points, helping ensure I retain it in dire circumstances.
- A fine cloak (1 point)
- A pouch of well-made dice of gaunt-bone, suitable for games of chance (1 point)
- A goblet, formed from an unknown metal, and bearing on it silver runes that, I am told, bespeak grand futures. (1 point)
And thus, with rapier in hand, I set off down a road that has been trod by uncounted billions, now dust, in search of what adventure may be found before darkness swallows all.