Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gloomspear's Saga: Part Five

In Central Casting: Heroes of Legend, the twists and turns of a character's life have an effect on their personality, represented by Lightside, Darkside, and Neutral traits. Considering all the crap Gloomspear's been through, you'd expect him to have a pretty negative take on life, but apparently not: the winding road to adulthood has left him with four Lightside, one Neutral, and two random personality traits.

Lightside traits first, then. I turn to table 647: Lightside Traits and roll 2d20 four times, resulting in scores of 13, 14, 32, and 10. This means Gloomspear is Pious (which the author defines not-too-subtly as "reverently devoted to worship of God"), Honest ("always gives what is due"), Benign ("gentle, inoffensive"), and Trusting ("trusts others to behave correctly"). So Gloomspear's a big pussycat, considering everything he's been through. Too bad about that berzerker rage.

Gloomspear's Neutral trait, rolled on table 318B: Neutral Traits, is Grim - "unsmiling, humorless, stern of purpose" - a roll of 28 on 2d20. Well, that's more like it. Even though Gloomspear is strong of conviction and generally morally upright, he's not cheerful about it. That makes the Lightside rolls easier to swallow.

Last, I need to make a roll on table 318A: Personality Trait Check to see what to do with his random traits. My first percentile roll of 99 indicates that I need to roll up an Exotic Personality Feature on table 649. First, I need to figure out what type of exotic trait he has by rolling a d20... and I roll a 20, so "Several Features manifest themselves. Roll 1d3+1 times on this table." All righty, I get a 4, so that's 3 more rolls: 18 (Sexual Disorder), 11 (Behavior Tag), and 10 (Allergy). All right, Gloomspear's getting weird...

Deep breath. A quick glance at table 649F: Sexual Disorder shows me that it's definitely the product of somebody who's not particularly open minded: transsexualism, bisexuality, and homosexuality are all listed as disorders, and it's explained in a sidebar that "All Sexual Disorders are considered to be Darkside personality traits by most societies, fantastic or otherwise." Nice editorializing there, Jaquays. I guess the description of the Pious trait should have tipped me off. But we've come this far, so let's see what happens, shall we? I roll 2d8 and get "Too Prude: Convinced that sex is bad in any form. Despises all who lower themselves to it, including self." Well, that could sort of make sense, considering that Gloomspear's cursed to cause the death of anyone he loves, and who knows what happened to him (or what he witnessed) when he was enslaved or imprisoned as a child? I'm now directed to roll a d8 to see if his prudishness is an attempt to hide his own sexual disorder, and thankfully, it isn't.

That gave me the heebie-jeebies a little.

I still need to roll Gloomspear's Behavior Tag and Allergy. I roll a d20 for Behavior Tag and get a 4: "Distinctive Possession". I'm to select an object "for which the character is well known and which he may not wish to be parted from". I'd say it'd make a lot of sense if this was his cursed spear. It's given him his moniker, and he actually can't get rid of it - not that he'd wish his curse on anyone else. The Allergy is pretty unremarkable, as my roll of 5 indicates an "unusual food type", with a 1 for its strength, meaning it's a mild allergy. So, Gloomspear has a mild allergy to... let's say frog meat. Underwhelming, as I said, but they can't all be telepathic tamarins and wondrous wizards, right?

One last random trait to go. I roll an 86 on d100, meaning it's a Darkside Trait. (Hopefully it's not something really monstrous, like being gay or having premarital sex.) I roll 23 on 2d20, meaning Gloomspear is Angry: "spirit always unsettled, never at peace". That directly contradicts my earlier roll of Benign, but hey, that's how the cookie crumbles. I'll take Angry over Benign, anyway - it just makes more sense for this character.

You're instructed to total up your Lightside, Neutral, and Darkside traits, and assign the character an alignment according to whatever you've got the most of. In this case, Gloomspear would come out as a Lightside (i.e., "good" or "lawful") character, but I've already written in Neutral on my character sheet. Next time I'll make the character after using Central Casting, as I think that would make more sense.

That's it for Gloomspear! Overall, I'm impressed with how this worked out, despite the prejudices of the author and a few rolls that were contradictory or not to my taste. The subtitle of the book, Heroes of Legend, turned out to be very appropriate to the results I got. Gloomspear feels like a big, high-fantasy tragic hero, maybe a bit more AD&D 2nd Edition than Labyrinth Lord, but still pretty damned cool.


  1. Not too shabby.
    --I do remember wincing at some of Jaquay's notions.

    Thanks for posting the whole process. :)

  2. Of course, all that background has a very strong chance of going phfft once Gloomy hits the dungeon. :)

  3. Don't think I hadn't thought of that! Yeah, as fun as this was, I think that it's only really useful for a particular type of campaign. Labyrinth Lord probably isn't the best fit.