The setting is a parallel universe, almost (but not quite) exactly like our own.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2011, to be exact.

Everything is just as it is now, as for as most of the population is concerned, with the exception that the rate of violent crime is higher. A great deal of it is unsolved. This isn’t a cause for (undue) worry, it’s the way it’s always been. People are used to it. People are less likely to take strolls through parks at night, etc.

Note: Under the circumstances I’ll stick with male pronouns for brevity.
Your character can be of any age and background, but he should live and work in Minneapolis. I’m imagining most of you as mid-twenties, just at the start of career development, but there really isn’t any reason to stick to that.

You need to pick a background, something to make your character heroic. Something that has brought you into connection with the “supernatural”. You might (even probably) not even be aware of what is going on.

After your initial experience, thing have changed. You may have questioned your sanity, if you didn’t have somebody to explain to you what was going on. In general, attempts to explain or seek help have been met with extraordinary levels of disbelief and denial. Things have begun sliding around your field of vision at night in the shadows.

Your background and type of character is totally up to you, within reason.

Some suggestions:

  • Cop
  • Reporter
  • Martial Artist
  • Soldier
  • Con Man/Grifter
  • Mastermind/Brainiac
  • Mobster
  • Gangbanger
  • Occult Researcher
  • Computer Specialist
  • Techo Wizard/Gadgeteer
  • Weapons (Hand) Master
  • Firearms Master
  • Thief/Stealthy
  • Demon Hunter
  • Wizard
  • Psychic
  • Telekinetic
  • Pyrokinetic
  • Ghost
  • Demonic Influence
  • Werewolf
  • Vampire (Partial, etc)
  • Undead (Revenent, etc)

Combinations of these are welcome, as are ideas of your own.

The system I am using has Attributes, Powers, and Skills.
I’m still deciding how much of this I’m going to expose to the players, whatever I expose I’ll probably put up on a site like Obsidian Portal.

Attributes are things like Strength, Intelligence, etc.

Powers are things like the ability to cast spells, turn into a wolf, etc.
Powers can be negative, and choosing negative powers can give you more “points” to give you positive powers (to a limit).
For example a werewolf character might have as a negative power the fact that he loses control at certain times of the month and in response to certain stimuli. As a positive power he might get increased senses and damage reduction to all but silvered weapons.
We are more going for drama than min/maxing here.

Skills are learned abilities – like computer proficiency and facility with an axe.

If you choose a character type that is heavy on skills and light on powers, that’s no problem. Note also that the system supports deliberately choosing no powers or extraordinary skills – the “ordinary guy in over his head” type. The Xander type. Not that I expect you to choose this. But if you do there are ways of balancing the effect during play.

In the end I’m taking something called the ‘Unisystem’ and customizing it slightly to use 2d10 instead of 1d10 as a base roll. This turns out to also be the system that the Buffy and Angel RPG uses, so a lot of source material is there to steal from, but I’m not sticking to that so free to try to do anything you want.

What I’d like at first is a brief description of the kind of character you would want to play, and his abilities and skills. That will give me the info I need to know for where to focus my time. If everybody chooses to play a wizard, I’ll first let you all know (to give you a chance to change your mind), and second put a lot of time into customizing that mechanic so you can all play different types of wizards that focus on different aspects of magic. If nobody wants to play a psychic I won’t bother developing those rules at all, etc.

During this time I’d like you to develop a character history – the more detailed the better. I’ll work with you to both integrate the background into the general world setting and attempt to integrate the various character backstories together if at all possible.

Afterwards I’ll give you the information you need to choose more specific character stats.


Dark Minneapolis mooman