Bob Bobby Bobinski, Age 26, Comedic Entertainer
COG: 6 CDN: 5
EDU: 6 FIT: 7
PER: 8 MUS: 7
RES: 6 AWA: 3
CUF: 3 OODA:1
Language: English: 6 (Native)
Language: Polish: 4 (Competent)
Agriculture: 4 (Competent)
Animal Husbandry: 2 (Novice)
Artisan: Comedy Writing: 3 (Novice)
Deception: 8 (Professional)
Driving/Heavy: 2 (Novice)
Fieldcraft: 1 (Novice)
Mechanics: 1 (Novice)
Mounts: 2 (Novice)
Performance: Stand-Up Comedy: 8 (Professional)
Persuasion: 5 (Competent)
The descriptors in parentheses are Ratings, and define what Bob rolls for these things. I've tried to ignore the threshholds and just make Bob naturally. So it looks like Bob is going to be a social skills master, but has some survival capability and the groundwork to develop a trade. Hell, he could lead a small farming community of suburbanites like this! With that inspiration, I think it's time for the balloon to go up. Now we choose his "Last Year" phase.
2012 began with a nuclear-enhanced winter due to nuclear exchange in Europe, followed by martial law in the US due to food shortages (and more), massive outbreaks of war across the globe, and finally ended with a sputtering nuclear exchange that crippled without destroying. This is called "The Last Year," and life changed greatly.
To reflect this, characters' career options are greatly restricted. Characters whose last phase was a military one automatically choose Twilight Warfare (it's called "voluntold" :P), former military who chose to be reservists can choose Twilight Warfare as well, as can those whose last phase was law enforcement, espionage, or paramilitary. There is the Urban Survivalist path, which requires 6+ points in Streetcraft... looks like Bob's not doing that. Rural Survival requires 6+ points in Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, or Fieldcraft. Let's come back to that. There's also Irregular Warfare, which requires 4+ in all Physical attributes and in one ranged weapon--both eliminate Bob, due to his AWA3 (Awareness is physical, I should juggle the order a bit up there huh?). There's also Displacement, which has no prerequisites: It's easy to become a refugee!
But looking at Bob, he's had ample opportunity to be farmer enough to have a 6 in Agriculture, but I like the whole "riding horses with a movie star" bit. So, since I notated each career path the way I did, it's easy for me to go back and pencil in a few changes:
Background Skills: 15pts
Language: English: 6
Language: Polish: 4
Artisan: Comedy Writing: 2
Performance: Stand-Up Comedy: 3
Slacking: 4pts Professional Skills, 2 max in any one.
Performance: Stand-Up Comedy: +2 (5)
Artisan: Comedy Writing: +1 (3)
4 Personal Skills:
Driving/Heavy: +1 (2)
Undergraduate University: Prerequisites COG 5+, EDU 6-7 (8 or higher has earned their Bachelor's and must go on to higher education). 2+COG Professional skills, 3 max in any one skill.
2 Personal Skills:
Performance: Stand-Up Comedy: +1 (6)
Entertainment: Prerequisites PER9+ (which he has now, 8+1=9), 6+ points in Deception or Performance, which he now has. 15 points Professional skills, no more than 6 total in any.
Deception: +5 (8)
Performance: Stand-Up Comedy: +2 (8)
Persuasion: +4 (5)
4 Personal Skills:
Animal Husbandry: +1 (6)
That's exactly what I'd do on a paper sheet--well, OK, I'd just use the eraser, not cross things out, you get the idea. So now he's got Agriculture of nothing, and Animal Husbandry of 6 (Competent). We can now make his Least Year phase Rural Survival. So let's do it!
Age 26-27, The Last Year
Rural Survival: Prerequisites 6+ in Agriculture, Animal Husbandry or Fieldcraft. Check! Bob gets 3+FIT=10 professional skills, no more than 3 in any one.
Persuasion: +3 (8)
Animal Husbandry: +1 (7)
Fieldcraft: +3 (4)
Mounts:: +2 (4)
Personal Skills: Hah! It's the end of the world, jackass!
You get 2 more things from this phase: Rads and Equipment Dice. Rads express your radiation exposure due to the aforementioned nuclear slip-n-slide, Equipment Dice are how you outfit your group.
Rads: 1d10x1d6. I roll a 4 on my d10, looking good... and a 1 on my d6. Bob has only gotten 4 rads. Dodged a bullet!
Equipment Dice: Base of 2. Make a Fieldcraft (COG) check, add margin of success.
With a Fieldcraft of 3, Bob is Competent. According to a certain chart he just rolls 2d20L--that means 2d20, take the Lowest result--versus a target number of his COG or lower.
So I roll a d20 once, and it falls on... a 1. Wow, I think my room has high gravity! The "Margin of Success" referred to is how many points you beat the roll by, so subtract the roll from the TN. 6-1=5 so Bob got an MoS of 5. Getting an MoS of 5 or greater indicates utter, undeniable, exceptional success, so we're sitting pretty. But wait, wasn't it 2d20L? The second die isn't wasted--if it succeeds, add 2 to the MoS. As a house rule, if it comes up 20... maybe things aren't so great as we thought. ;) So I roll again, this time a 5. That succeeds, and it doesn't matter by how much (or in this case how little) since we already succeeded. MoS 5, +2 for the extra succeeding die means 7.
Equipment Dice: 2+(MoS)=2+(5+2)=2+7= 9 freaking dice. Some small groups don't end up with this many pooled together! This also gives us a basis for the narrative.
** Note, I jacked this up originally, thought I was dealing with PRE instead of COG, so the results are based off a 13 MoS in the future examples. Ah well, such things happen! It doesn't really change the idea the example's getting across. **
Bob was surrounded by celebrities and their hangers-on when the balloon went up and the world fell down. He had been with his mentor-slash-employer filming on location; after being caught in the middle of their first real war, the group spent a few months hightailing it out of the area and back to the aged actor's ranch. As personal assistant Bob was welcome, but the others who remained had to pull their weight. More than once the ranching community nearly dissolved. It was his mentor who kept the group's spirit together, but it was largely thanks to Bobby's relative expertise that their bodies survived. In the past few months, however, it has become clear: The herd is dying and his aged mentor's health has taken a turn for the worse. Bob has taught them everything he can, and the herds have been migrated for the season. He has six months before he will really, truly be needed again... And there are rumours of a hippie commune about one month's journey to the north who happen to have a famous doctor among their members. And so an unlikely envoy begins his quest to save his hero and his people.
If the guys back home only knew...