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 Intro to Choosing Aspects

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Mayhawk
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PostSubject: Intro to Choosing Aspects   Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:52 am

Intro to Choosing Aspects

A lot of character creation focuses on coming up with aspects—some are called high concepts, some are called troubles, but they basically all work the same way. Aspects are one of the most important parts of your character, since they define who he is and they provide ways for you to generate fate points and to spend those fate points on bonuses. If you have time, you really might want to read the whole chapter we have dedicated to aspects before you go through the process of character creation.
In case you’re pressed for time, here are some guidelines for choosing aspects.

Aspects which don’t help you tell a good story (by giving you success when you need it and by drawing you into danger and action when the story needs it) aren’t doing their job. Those aspects which push you into conflict—and help you excel once you’re there—will be among your best and most-used.
Aspects need to be both useful and dangerous—allowing you to help shape the story and generating lots of fate points—and they should never be boring. The best aspect suggests both ways to use it and ways it can complicate your situation. Aspects that cannot be used for either of those are likely to be dull indeed. Bottom line: if you want to maximize the power of your aspects, maximize their interest.
When you’re told you need to come up with an aspect, you might experience brain freeze. If you feel stumped for decent ideas for aspects, there’s a big section focusing on several methods for coming up with good aspect ideas in Aspects.

If your character doesn’t have many connec- tions to the other characters, talk with the group about aspects that might tie your character in with theirs. This is the explicit purpose of Phases Four and Five —but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it elsewhere as well.

If you ultimately can’t break the block by any means, don’t force it—leave it completely blank. You can always come back and fill out that aspect later, or let it develop during play—as with the On-the-Fly Character Creation rules. Ultimately, it’s much better to leave an aspect slot blank than to pick one that isn’t inspiring and evoca- tive to play. If you’re picking aspects you’re not invested in, they’ll end up being noticeable drags on your fun.
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Mayhawk
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PostSubject: High Concepts   Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:58 am

Examples on how to choose a High Concept:

You could take the idea of “like your job” literally, as with Karrin Murphy’s high concept: Special Investigations Lead Detective.

You could just go with the template’s requirement without further embellishment, relying on the rest of character creation to show how you’re more than just a carbon copy of that character type, as with Michael Carpenter’s high concept: Knight of the Cross.

You could throw on an adjective or other descriptor to the template’s requirement to further define your own take on the idea, like Molly Carpenter’s high concept: Wizard-in-Training.

You could mash up the required high concept from the chosen template with a role or profession in society, as with Harry Dresden’s high concept: Wizard Private Eye.

You could combine the requirement from the template with how your character is connected to his family, especially if his family is well-connected or well-known. This is seen with Thomas Raith’s high concept: Fallen Prince of the Raith Family (since everyone in the Raith family is a White Court Vampire, the high concept still covers the requirement in an implied way).
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PostSubject: Example Troubles   Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:05 am

Here are some suggestions for sources of trouble for your character.

Some external troubles are about the difficulties of being able to do your job or your role in the first place—the sort that you have to live with rather than beat up—like Karrin Murphy’s Unbelieving Bureaucracy. This has no easy solution, because it’s not some- thing she can just fix by kicking ass and taking names.

Some internal troubles are about your darker side and how that interferes with what you need to be in order to live up to your high concept, like Harry Dresden’s The Temptation of Power. This has no easy solution, because it’s about an ongoing internal and external struggle, and minor victories and defeats abound.

True love inSometimes the trouble is something you bring down upon yourself, which also crosses the line between internal and external. Molly Carpenter’s Doom of Damocles falls under this—it’s internal because it reflects the temptation of quick power, and it’s external because the White Council watches her with unfor- giving scrutiny.
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