The incidentals chapter includes several things that are needed to complete a persona but are not substantial enough to warrant their own chapters. The subjects in this chapter have very cursory explanations. Detailed explanations are omitted so that specific interpretations are not foisted onto a campaign. Nothing in here is a hard and fast rule – nothing in this book is for that matter. This chapter has the potential to remove some of the imagination for persona creation. If the referee requires that all PSHs have grey eyes in her campaign, then ignore persona appearance in this chapter. If iron products do not exist in her milieu, then omit iron products from the equipment lists.The incidentals chapter is divided into two distinct categories: the material and the immaterial. The material part consists of condiments such as money and toys. The immaterial part helps the player define her persona’s appearance, history, and personality.
Personas get a certain amount of start-up funds. These monies are usually enough for the persona to equip herself. If the money isn’t enough to equip the persona, then it acts as an excellent incentive to go exploring. Money is covered in greater detail in Chapter 23: Money. All players make a roll on the Personal Money table according to their persona’s class. If the personas are living in a fully functional society, a roll in Chapter 53: Treasure may be more appropriate.
Table 10.1 Persona Start MoneyCalculate your cash, scratch, bux for a start up player persona. eps=electrum pieces, but obviously would reflect what ever unit currency the campaign is using
|Persona Class||Start Money (eps)|
|Knite||1-20 gps (1d20)|
|Mercenary||40-160 (1d4 times 10)|
|Nomad||0-5 gps (1d6 minus 1)|
|Alien (non class)||None|
|Persona Class||Start Money|
If the referee permits, the expedition may start the campaign with a supply of equipment. This equipment will be of the mundane, low tech variety and does not include the types of toys found in the Technology part of this book. High tech mundane equipment functions the same as low tech equipment except that high tech equipment is lighter and costs more. The wates and costs of equipment are listed in kg and electrum pieces. The Mundane Equipment Lists are found in Chapter 24: Equipment Costs. The effects of equipment wate is covered in Chapter 18: Encumbrance.
The equipment lists are divided into groups that make equipment purchase easier. Example groupings include Armour, Type A Weapons, and Miscellaneous Equipment. A complete equipment list should be included on the persona record sheet. The persona’s equipment list can be quite important for role-playing. How does a persona spike a door without spikes? What do personas eat if they cannot hunt? How do they start a fire to cook with? How do they carry water? These questions and more are easily answered by the persona’s equipment list.
In order to save the player the effort of pouring over the equipment lists and possibly making a fatal error, a basic survival pack is included in the equipment lists. This pack supplies all the necessary survival equipment for a flat cost.
Toys are special equipment generated on the Technological Object Yield System. The toy system is notorious for countless deci-dice rolls that produce nothing more than a nondescript black box. The same dice rolling could just as easily generate the persona a space vehicle. How many toys a persona can start the campaign with depends in part on her rolls and in part on her class. If the player rolls random junk, it doesn’t count as a roll and if the persona gets a toy related to her class, she must stop rolling. The most toys a persona can get is three. So each persona can expect to get between 1 and 3 toys with a sprinkling of random junk in between.
Robots and Aliens
Robots and aliens receive none of the start-up particulars that anthros do. They must fend for themselves using their natural or mechanical abilities to survive. This means that bots and aliens do not get to roll start-up money or start-up toys and they cannot use start-up equipment. There are exceptions though. Any bot or alien persona with a persona class (androids or highly intelligent aliens) may use mundane equipment; however, they must obtain it through avenues predetermined by the referee.
The immaterial incidentals are actually the most important part of the persona creation. This is where the player gives her persona character and flare. They immaterial because they are not material possessions, but the much more important elements of personality and character.
The player must name her persona. Of all the components of her description, she must ensure that her persona has a moniker. Using her persona’s instead of her own when role-playing makes the whole fantasy more real and more fun. A mechanic could be called “Hans Tinker”, a mercenary called “Hans Grenade”, or a sensitive nothing called “Hans Ophe”. A robot could be called “QT”, “Sybilarium Quilt”, or “Robert Ott”. Aliens can call themselves anything they want.
The history of the persona should be developed during the campaign. Pre-campaign history is determined by class, race, and maybe place of birth. Place of birth depends heavily on the campaign of the referee and may be determined by race, class, or random rolls. For example, ursidae may come from the cold mountains and humanoids may inhabit a local tropical forest while robots may not even know why they were build. The pre-campaign history of the personas, or maybe just the expedition, is usually used by the referee to brief the players on the milieu in which they must survive. From that point on, the players control the destiny of their personas and the referee supplies the milieu in which they create their own history.
Both description and history are merely the basis for the most important part of the persona: her personality. The personality of the persona is likely to differ from the player’s although what the player believes will greatly affect the actions of her persona. The persona may exude extroverted traits like distrust of veterinarians, abject fear of reptilians, compulsive desire for battle, or overwhelming worry about present predicament but these are all injected by the player. How constant the persona’s personality is doesn’t really matter because most players will find themselves switching from trusting to paranoid in an instant. The most important factor is that if the persona has some particular point of view then the player can have fun by exercising it.
There are no tables for determining persona appearance like there are ones for referee persona appearance. The looks of the persona are determined by her race and the descriptive species chosen by the player. How a persona dresses, what jewelry she wears, her fur colouring, beak shape, and eye colour are chosen by the player. Players with robot personas have the option of describing themselves or using the robot shape tables. The tables are present to accommodate referees and unimaginative players. Combots may look ferocious and relation bots may look friendly. Aliens must randomly determine their appearance on the Alien Appearance Table because their movement rate is determined from their description. Alien size and wate must be randomly determined in that chapter.
Detailed aspects of the persona’s description will very rarely come into play. Unless the expedition manages to get into trouble with the local law, things like hair (fur) colour, eye colour, skin (scale) colour, and distinguishing features (horns, antennae) will be of little significance. Players should remember that in most campaigns, bots and aliens are very rare and a detailed description of them may be no more elaborate than “bot” or “creature”.