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Table of Contents Introduction/How to Use this Book Rules & Terms ‘n Stu. Applying the Guidelines .. Creating a Character History Dice Explanations. Other Uses & Abuses... 2 Motivations: Justitying a Character's NPCs: Creating Special Characters Linking Events. Future Histories Birth & Family . Place of Birth Unusual Births . Parents & NPCS .. Significant Events of Childhood & Adolescence ‘Special Events of Childhood & Adolescence ... Education 2 Significant Events of Adulthood ‘Alignment & Altitude ‘Occupations Special Occupations Merchants... ‘Government Jobs Crafts Occupation Performance HODDIES enn Tragedies ‘Something Wonderful Otherworid Event Lo-Tech Events Group Encounters... Tamished Tomorrows. Final Frontier Events... Imperial Space Events . Post Holocaust Events, Underworld Experience Miltary Experience ROROLTSSSSHEGHSSSSRBRBRRVBRBGGSoeVVwaow Battle Ready! Miltary Duties. tary Rank.. Miltary Skils.. Inthe Service of... Exotic Events. Death Situations. Death of a Loved One .. Personalty Trats.. Eat Personal Tats Others Other Groups. Guardians. Aliens Nobles . Atticial Persons. Unusual Pets. Companions... Rivals Gitts & Legacies Techno-Wonders C1018 en Birthmarks Body Locations Talents, Mutations & Modifications Sorious Wounds. Bionies. Psionics - ‘Appearances: Crimes... Unusual Skis. arae2seeas 752: 753: a8 acnEeesHHNY Copyright © 1989 by Task Force Games. Allrights reserved. The pubisher ens permission to copy (or persona use ony he character history worksheet onthe inside backcover. Otherwise, no parto this book ‘may be reproduced or ransmittedin any form or by any means, electronic ‘oF mecharioal, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, oF ‘computerization, orby ary information storage and evioval system, with ‘ut permission in wring from the publisher, Task Force Games, 14922 Calvert Stroot, Van Nuys, Calforia 91411. "This book has been created for Task Force Games by Jaquays. Design Sudo, 1126 Fourth Street, Jackson, Mi49203, Paul Jaquaysand Fis ascociatos welcome your comments and suggestions regarding this ‘book and future products inthe Central Casting’™ lino. ‘Central Casting™ is Task Force Games’ trademark for iis game ‘aide daaling with character and adventure creation Catalyst™ isa trademark owned by Flying Bula, Inc. Advanced Dungeons & 9, AD&D®, Star Fronters™, Speliammer™, and Gamma WoridDare radomarks ownedby TSA, In.2500 AD™, Mega Trav- cler™ and Travellor®aretrademarksof GOW. Car Wars®and GURPS® ‘are registred trademarks of Stove Jackson Games Incorporated. Living ‘Sol ic a trademark of Leacing Edge Games. Teenage Mutant Ninja ‘Turlos® isa registered trademark hold by Kevin Eastman and Petar Laird. Star Trek® is a ademark of Paramount Pictures Corporation Batletech®, Renegade Legion® and Shadowrun™ are trademarks of FASA Corporation. Lords of Creation™ isa trademark of the Avalon Hill Company. Space Masier® is a trademark of Iron Crown Enterprises. Robotech is a registered trademark of Harmony Gold USA, lnc. Star ‘Wareiis aregistered rademarkot Lucas Fims, id, Warhammer 40,000 ye Trader™, Dark Future™ and Adeptus Ttaricus™ are trademarks ‘of Games Workshop. Mekion™ and ( aro wademarks of Talsorian Games. Lid. Aftermath™ Is trademark of Fantasy Games Un- limited. TeLords™ is a rademark ofthe Blacksburg Tactical Research Center. The Morrow Project™ is atrademarkof Timeline Lid, TWERPS™ Is a trademark of Reindeer Games. After the Bomb™ is a trademark of Palacium Books. Useothename of any product without mentionofrademarkstals Inthis book should not be construed as a challenge to such status. The Inclusion of these product names in no way implies any approved usage ‘oF official Fcensing ofthe contents ofthis book with the aforementioned products. HI EIROES ror TOMORROW Character Creatiom System for Science Fiction Roleplay Games A detailed, stand-alone system for creating intensely individualized, involved and invigorating backgrounds, personalities, motivations, and skills for both player characters and nonplayer characters alike—complete with roleplay hints, gameplay benefits, and guidelines for fitting skills into any roleplay rules system. by Paul Jaquays This book and Amanda who, Editor: Ruta Jaquays for Zac ai a ‘will lke thie stuff someday. Cover Artist: Paul Jaquays Illustrators: Paul Jaquays and Zachary Jaquays Layout & Design: Paul Jaquays Logotype Design: Darlene ‘The author extends his appreciation to Rick Britton, Randy Cox, Jeff Grubb, Steve Jackson, John Olsen, Michael Pondsmith, Review & development: Ruta Jaquays, Michael’A. Stackpole, Jordan Weissman, B. Dennis Sustare, and . ‘and David Wylie for their generous help in Bruce Jaquays good idea (or two) providing research material for this book. NOS o eta) Introduction 2 How to Use this Book Introduction Iwantto letyou in on asecret. Central Casting™was orginally supposedto be just one book. Ihad this great idea for a book that ‘would (in a clever generic sort of way) deal with every imaginable type of roleplay gaming system and character type, trom fantasy adventure games 10 futuristic, hard-science fiction roleplaying. Everything would have been’in there, magic, dragons, space ships, tontacled horrors fromthe outer darkness, big guysinspan- dex ong-ohns and capes ust everyting ‘Luckily I didnt work out that way. Rolepiay accessories that woigh in ike the Manhattan yellow pages and wield a sticker price that could go neck-and-neck with acompact car are notparticularly {good ideas for the adventure game market. So together, Task Force and I paritioned the book into three logical groupings. First, there came Central Casting:™ Heroes of Legend, a ‘background creation book for fantasy adventure characters. That book was just chock-full of details to expand the roleplaying horizons of players and game masters everywhere. It really seemed lke {had put everything into it that I could. ‘Of course, hat was before this book. When itcame time to do ‘a science fiction book, | had to reevaluate what went into it. For various arcane reasons, the page count was to stay the same. Nevertheless, everything that dealt with the basic aspects of character creation had to stay and any extra space would be allocatedtorspecial'science fiction" stuff. Aquickanalysisbrought forth the analogy of the five-pound bag which must contain the proverbial 10 pounds of stuf,” or your sult case at the ond of a ‘vacation. | think | Solved the problem in much the same way—1 stood on it, smushed It down and packed itin ‘tii ll ff. f you're familarwith CC1 (uh... that's what Ruta andicall Cantral Casting: Heroes of Legend in order to speed up conversations) you'll be happy to know that all the basic stutf from that book is here along with even more stuff (a software upgrade helped pack more type ‘onthe pages). And there's more, lots more! Somehow Imanaged ‘tocramit with all sorts of special stt! to deal with your favorite SF game systems, including more spectic conversion notes. I did say we broke Central Casting down into three groupings, ide’ | Yet, 1 told you where we were going from here, | would bbe giving away vital trade secrets. So I eave It upto your more- than-ertile imaginations asto where we go from here. Um... your ‘comments and suggestions for hat hypothetical future book (let's «allt CC3 for short) would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, ‘Spocialthanks gototoks at Task Force Games, FASA Corpor ation, ron Crown Enterprises, R. Talsorian Games, TSR, Palla- dium Books, and West End Games who contributed reference books and information for use in developing this product. Also extra special thanks to Ruta who edited my variable English and to Bruce Jaquays and B. Dennis Sustare for their suggestions. Footnote to the Introduction ‘There is slightly more than a remote possibilty that certain, aspects of this book may not mesh perfectly with your favorite ‘science fiction or science fantasy roleplay game (or may not even mesh well with other aspects ofthis book). Inthe unlikely ‘chance that such an improbable situation occurs, 've provided a simple way out. The caretul application of tagentialy-polarized anti-matter plasma to the data-link on the back cover will ether smooth out the problem ... or end the universe as you know i. ‘Sorry, but there's stil afew bugs in the system. Silt you find something that really just doesn’t work, my rule ‘of thumb is to simply throw out the second rol (the one that conflicts) and reroll Paul Jaquays August 14, 1989 Howto Use this Book Let's do it! Grab your favorite bag of dice, and we'll stat creating super-exciting dynamic characters that look, feel, and act like they just walked out ofthe pages of arealsciance fiction novel {(woll... maybe not Elison, Heinlein, or even Michael A. Stackpoia, but still larger than ife and pretty neat stu). Before Starting Make sure you have the following Items: a variety of dos (04, d8, 48, 610, €20—H you don’t know what these are see Dice Explanations on page 7), a sharpened pencil, several photocop- lesofthe charactor worksheet, and acouple bookmarks (vust ms, ‘youwillneedthese a fis). Permission is grantedto photocopy he ‘Worksheet on the inside back cover for personal use only. Getting Started Creating character histories is fun, but it takes time. Planon spending as much as a half-hour per character. However, there are shortcuts you can take. For aquick NPC (or player characte) history, goto NPCs: Creating Special Characters on page 9. you just want to gat going, jump ahead to Future Histories and start rolling dice, Onthe other hand, i you wantto know what to downen you get there... read on, Those Funny Numbers You've probably noticed that every table starts with a three-digt ‘number like 101 or 745. There are a couple reasons for this. Initially, you use these tables in sequence. Alter Table 101: Character Face you go to 102, thento 103 and so on. When you complete Table 312: Alignment & Attitude, you're done (most) However (you ask), 3121s the last table, why do tables through 967 exist? Good question! The rest of the tables are like data banks in a computer or reference books in a library. ANhough the table numbers have ‘nothing to do with the Dewey Decimal System, they do dvidethe tables into nine general catagories. You will be jumping around {romtable to table, grabbing abit of data here, a piece of tion there until you are done creating the history. Character’s Heritage and Birth Significant Events of Lite & Education Personality Development ‘Occupations & Hobbies Miscellanaous Event Tables Personality Traits (good, bad, and wel) Various Peopie/Being types Miscellaneous Other Stuff GM's ONLY (players not alowed) — wel Serious about this. Players and GMs dant read this unless you are told toby the book. Don’ spoilt for your later cha Rules & Terms 'n Stuff 3 Rules & Terms 'n Stuff ‘Central Casting : Heroes for Tomorrow is agenericroleplaying aid or use with all scionce fiction game systems. Even though the ‘game rules areas variedas humanity, ike humanity, they allshare basic precepts. The Central Casting systembuilds upon these ike- nesses to provide solid game-play benefits for the characters. Whose histories it creates. A basic set of mechanics for generic, attributes and relative skill systems follows. In some cases these Will be guidelines, in others minimal rule systems are set forth to ‘accommodate special skills that may not be duplicated by each ‘and every game system. ‘These “rules” are here to help you adapt the Central Casting histories to your favorite game system, not io replace those rules, In all cases, the Game Master (GM) who moderates the game ‘campaign is the last word on his game world, not this book! The authorstrongly suggests that your GM be allowedtoreadthis book before creating histories for characters in his world and that ifpos- sible, the GM be allowedto be apart of creating that history. Keop inmind, however, that this is now your book; f you wish to change: anything, go ahead! ‘Sexism and Central Casting: People who are bothered by the editorial use of the pronouns "he" and “his” to describe mem- bors of both sexes willbe annoyed. his book. This editorial style has been adopted to resolve the cumbersome (and space inten- sive) use of “he or st ‘something in the book is gender-specific, all uses of "he" or “his” ‘can refer equally to both sexes. The author trusts that this bow to convenience will not dampen your enjoyment of the book, but makes no apologies fort. Character History Worksheet Goto the back inside cover. See the form there? Good! Make abunch of copies oft (Go on, the publisher's already sald t's OK Trust mel). Notice how lots of lines have those unny numbers we takod about earier next to them. Well the information you need tofilin the blanks nextto each number comes froma table inthis book witha matching number. In fac, you want, you can ignore: althese VERY IMPORTANT (but time-consuming nonetheless) instructions and just go to the tables indicated by the numb there and follow those directions. What do you moan where's the NAME Table? Umm... Ithink maybe you should|ustkeep reading, OK I wont tell anybody. | promise. Central Casting Skill System To be all things to all science fiction roleplaying games, the Central Casting game aids use an 11-level Ranking systemtor all skils and abies that a character may lear, including combat {weapon use), magic use and. occupational skills. The Rank system is designed to work with game systems in a relative ‘manner. Based on the 1 to 10 value range for known skills, a character with a Rank 1 skill at something would be a beginner, ‘novice or apprentice, whileacharactor witha Flank 10 ability would bbe a master whose skills have reachedthe mortal limits available tothose of his racial heritage. The Ranksystemis easily extended ‘beyond 10to accomodate those characters whose skills become ‘mythical, approaching those of legendary heroes or demigods.. ‘The Central Casting Ranks ar Q Rank 0. None, The character has no knowledge of, talent for, oF skills a the indicated occupation or skil Rules & Terms 'n Stuff @ Rank 1.4 Raw Beginner. The characterknows just enough {0 perform a skil, or be eangerous with Q. Rank2. An Apprentice. The characterhas learned most of the basics, but has yet fo become competent. Rank, Average. Most fok who practic this skill never go ‘uch beyond his evel of mastery” ; Q Rank 4, Fairly Competent. The characer is better than ‘verage and shows falent, but nothing extraordinary. Q. Rank 5. Good! The character may be a joumeyman at this Skil. Real talent here that needs further developing. O Ranks, Very Good!t The characteris goodenoughtohave Some razzie dazzle atthe skil, butis not yet a master. Butthen, ‘only @ master of the skill would know that. Rank 7. A Master. Many will seek the charactertor service and instruction . O Rank. AReknowned Master. Folk trom istantcomers of the world (or universel) know of the character's ski. Q. Rank 9. A Grand Master. There are fow, i any with greater skill The character's skil is known throughout the world or even the galaxy). Such talented people are quite rare. Rank 10._ Legendary Skil Though sil within moral bounds, tales of the character's prowess wil live on long after he is gone. Hardly ever encountered. Q Rank 11+.Mythical Skill, The character has abilty far beyond the mortal norms. Some kind of alien, superscience or supernatural influence mustbe present forthe characterto obtain, this level of sil, General Attributes itis fairto say that no two science fiction game rules systems are exaclyidenteal expecially wien comes to acharacters a tributes, the building blocks which form the character's physical ‘and mental existance and detine many of the characters basic skils, his life energy, psionicabilty andsoon. Nevertheless, most, nota, systems buldthelr characters up from similartypes ofat- tributes. Central Casting assumes that most characters wil ave basic attributes similarto or based onthe ones described below. During the course of generating a history, some of these attributes may ’be modified by events inthe charactersife. Recordany modtica- tions to the character's attributes in the spaces provided in the lower right-hand comer ofthe history worksheet. Q Strength. Sometimes called Physical Strength, this is a ‘measure of the character's abilty to lit, move, wear or use things. Low Strength indicates a weakling, while high Strength isfoundin ‘muscleboundheroes. Intelligence. Aiso called 10. This is braininess, the abilty to think logically, soive problems, and deal with complicated con- cepts. Low Inteligence indicates deficient mental abilty. High Inteligence is genius level. Luck, Called Powerby some, itcan also be an indicator ofthe character's Sanity. tis a measure of he characters innate abilty to ride out the influences of the random events of the universe. Q Willpower. Thisis ameasure ota character's abilty to resist psionic (mental) attacks, overcome personal temptations, or urge his body on to feats above and beyond their normal capabilities. It {is also his strength for psionic attacks against others. 1D Dexterity. Sometimes referred to as Aglity or even Phys- ical Prowess and includes Manual Dexterty. itis a measure of a character's nimbleness, the ease with which he moves. Low Dex- terity means a siow, clumsy character, while high Dexterity can ‘mean a hand that is truly quicker than the eyo, Rules & Terms 'n Stuff 4 Applying the Guidelines Q Constitution. Thisisthe measure of acharacter’s health, his physical well being. A character with a high Constitution can generally be expectedto ondure physical hardships with ease, and be more resistant to disease and injury. Q Charisma. Used here in the sense of personal magnetism oF leadership ablity, this Is not Appearance. Acharacter with iow Charisma would have problems attracting followers. Q Apy Thisisalsocalled Physical Beauty or Come- liness, but is often called Charisma. tis essentially a characters 'ooks, what others see. Alow Appearance is unnattracive, wile ‘a character with vary high Appearance would iteraly stun mem- bars ofboth saxes. fa game system doos not normally have an ‘Appearance attribute, the Charisma attribute does double duly ‘and represents both. Q_Age. This is the character’ physical age. When a character isbom, heis age 0 (zero). Most events that happentoa character ‘occur ata spectic age. Usually, these characteristics are calcu- latedforwardfrombirh. When creating beginning playercharacters, Central Casting assumes they begin adventuring just as th reach adulthood. The chart aithe bottomof hepage showsthe Ife stages for a typical human character. ‘Childhood. Childhood covers the years priorto adolescence. During this period, a character is rarely able to match an adult in anything. Acharactor at this age will only have (1d6x Age)% ot his Strength, Constitution, and Inteligence attributes. ‘Adolescence. During this period, the character transcends {rom chiidhood into adulthood. A character at this age wil only hhave (1d6x 10}+30% of his Strength, and Constitution atrbutes.. ‘Adulthood. This s quite often as much a social consideration ‘as itis aphysical one. The characteris assumed to be a full and responsible member of society. Allthe characters attributes are at their peak. Mature, Elderly, and Ancient. Atsome pointin acharacter’s life, his body begins to slowly deteriorate underthe burden of age. His retiexes slow, his strength wanes and his mind wanders. ‘Those attributes that decline with advancing age and the stage of lifein which attribute deciine begins, is listed below. When achar- ‘acter reaches an age in which decline could begin (see chart below}, roll a dB for each affected attrbuta. I the result isan 8, reduce theatrbuteby 1 point (See Bonuseson page Storhow his affects characters with maximumattribute ranges higherthan 18), Roll once each year thereatter. Dexterity dectine begins at Mature ‘Strength decline begins at Mature Appearance decline beings at Elderty Constitution deciine begins at Elderly Intelligence decline begins at Ancient Race Adolescent Adult. Mature Elderly Ancient Human 13-18 19.39 40:60 61-80 81+ Age & Technology. For Tech Levels above 8, add the ech Laval number (see Table 102: Technoculture) to the age ranges for Adult and upward, indicating the ite lengthening ton-