Character Advancement

Character Advancement is the process of making your character more powerful using the Essence you have earned in previous adventures. By now, your character probably has some experience: maybe they beat up some baddies, or thwarted an assassination attempt on Mayor Sympriono, or recovered a lost artifact.  Whatever it was, if they made it out alive your Moderator probably ended the session by letting you know that you earned yourself some Essence. (Check out our prior blog about Essence.)  In this blog we’ll tell you exactly what you can do with Essence and how to do it.

The Beyonder Builder: Character Advancement

You have two main options for advancing your character: you can use our online system, or do it by hand.  In either case, you can find information about Character Advancement in Beyonder: The Science of the Six, page 96.  If you are going to use our online system, you will want to log on to the Builder page before getting started. (If you created your character using one of our many online CharGen methods you already have access to the Builder; if not, it’s easy to register.)

Let’s look at the four ways you can spend Essence to make your character better by improving:

  1. Talents (and receive Proficiencies every 3 Ranks after the first)
  2. Defense Ratings (Inner, Outer, or Ethereal. Combat Defense increases with Outer Defense)
  3. Barriers: Overcome a Barrier in a new Energy or increase Barrier in an Energy you have already overcome (and receive Barrier Ability, too)
  4. Powers: Invent a Power, Learn a Power that has already been invented, or modify a Power that you already know. Also, for any Power you already have you can develop a Mastery for that Power, which allows you to specialize it in certain ways (we’ll talk more about that in a later blog).

This seems simple, but there are a lot of options within each category.  There are 15 Talents to choose from, 3 Defense Ratings, 6 Energies, and an almost infinite number of Powers (we have provided you with about 480 to start you off).

With all of these options, how are you going to keep track of it all?

If you use our online builder it’s easy, especially if you use a tablet or computer to view your character sheet rather than printing it out.  First, your Moderator needs to send you an invite to be a player in their campaign. Once you accept, they can grant your PC Essence after each adventure.  Look at the icons at the top of your character sheet; the one that looks like a stock market growth graph is the Character Advancement button. This will take you to a form where you can allocate your Essence. Just move the sliders, click submit, and you’re good to go!  If you have questions, click on “View Instructions” and you’ll see an easy guide for the Character Advancement process.

Important: Remember that any unused Essence will be wasted, so make sure to allocate it all, even if it does not reach the next benchmark.  You will be able to keep adding to it after your next adventure.

You Can Also Keep Track by Hand: You may prefer to do things by hand by hand, on a piece of paper.  You can do this in either of two ways. First, you might want to build the initial version of the Character using the Beyonder online system.  If so, then you can print out the Character sheet from the online system and that includes two pages at the end that you can use for Character Advancement.

If you just want to do everything by hand, then you can print out the PDF Character Sheet and work from that.  You’ll find the PDF Character Sheet in the “Game Aids” section of the online Builder system, under the “All My Stuff” tab.

There are spaces on the character sheets for each of the four main things you can improve: Talents, DRs, Barriers, and Powers. There are boxes in each section to keep track of Essence you have spent.  For example, let’s say you have Rank 4 in the Athletics Talent. In order to reach Rank 5 you must spent 15 Essence (3x the target Rank). Each time you allocate some Essence to this Talent, you check off the appropriate number of boxes next to that Talent. Once you have reached the target number, you can update the appropriate part of your character sheet and erase the section on Character Advancement to clear room for another ability.

After you have done this one or two times it will become second nature. It’s especially easy to  keep track of unfinished abilities that need to be topped off. So – go try it out, and have fun!  

The Martles of Ethem

By Javeer Akcher: Senior Physical Investigator for the Guild Energetic Research Collective (GERC)

Martles, of course, wander the oceans of our planet, Ethem.  It is not as well known they they also roam the Tamarran Continent as well as (according to rumor) beyond the reaches of Tamarra.

Martles do not found cities or kingdoms because they spend much of their lives traveling and exploring the world. They do have homelands on Ethem where they are born and where they return periodically for large gatherings of their kind.  It is said that there are four martle homelands on or near the Tamarran Continent:

Allassa Marren, in The Icy Wastes: Deep beneath the surface of the Icy Wastes lies a vast network of tunnels.  It is said that it extends far beyond the borders of the Tamarran Continent, an expanse that is so large that even martles rarely travel it all.  It is said among martles that “It takes five lives to know the tunnels of the ‘waste land’”. Some martles, a very few, have made it their life’s quest to explore and understand all of these tunnels.

Vashaff, in The Eastern Coastline Volcanoes: Six major volcanoes line the eastern coast of Tamarra where it meets the Kellith Sea.  They run from the Zwingel Territories of the zweyjen along the southern coast of the continent to the Sea-Looking States, which lie off the eastern coast.  There are martle enclaves scattered among the many firths and caverns found where the Eastern Mountains meet the rough ocean waters.

Tooleesa Arroon, in the Long Coral Reef: The Long Coral Reef is hundreds of miles long, running north to south through the Lossolla Sea off the western coast of Tamarra. The martles have long had a homeland in the northern parts of this reef.  Over many centuries they have developed a strong racial bond with the various kamari enclaves that live here in these forested lands that line the western coast.

Ka Gra Kanna, in The Rock Islands: These islands are located in the ocean in the far north of Tamarra, a little over 300 miles north of the Land of Hetherall and almost 200 miles below the southern coast of the Icy Wastes.  The martles and the Ice Giants that live there have, over many centuries, become strong allies and often good friends. They are known to help each other in time of need.

It is interesting to note that martles have eidetic memory: their minds capture everything that happens to them and around them as they travel the world.  For this reason they are sought out as “witnesses” to history and as guides to help travelers find their way on their journeys.

Martles can live very long lives; there are some who are believed to have lived as long as six or seven hundred years or more.  One of my great friends, the martle named Aktil Na Baylarassa, is no exception. Born in SP~4,682, he is one of the oldest martles in the world.  He can remember when the Regma Worms rose out of the sea to attack Eldrim city and when the Nulentians arrived on the shores of Tamarra to launch their second invasion of our Continent. He was even there during the bloody Wars of Sorcery.

If you are ever fortunate enough to meet a martle in your life’s travels, it would be wise to make their acquaintance.  If the opportunity presents itself, befriend them. If it should happen that the martle you meet is Aktil Na Baylarassa, please give him greetings from his loyal friend Javeer.

The essence of Essence

The last few blogs have described ways to create new characters in Beyonder.  After creating a character, maybe you joined up with a few others and went on an adventure:  fought some monsters, made some new friends, saved a lost child. Maybe you returned a treasure to a rich patron.  Whatever you did, you must have grown, and your Moderator probably awarded you Essence at the end of the adventure.  But what is Essence and how do you use it?

Inside the Beyonderverse, Essence is a sort of concentrated form of the Six Energies.  Essence builds up in everyone as they go about their lives: it’s generated by everything from normal daily activities to using Talents to channeling Powers.  Just as in our world, you become better and stronger by practicing something. Most people have little or no control over how their Essence is distributed; wherever it is applied, it stays.  If a player uses the Melee Combat Talent they get better at Melee Combat. A player who uses the Deception Talent gets better at that. But you are not most people.  You are one of the rare few who was born a Channel.  Your connection with the Energies gives you the ability to control how the Essence flows.  As a result, you can actively direct how you grow.

As a player, you use Essence to make a character more powerful in areas you choose.

You can gain new abilities, like learning a new Power or overcoming a Barrier in a new Energy.  You can also improve abilities you already have, including your Talents or Defense Ratings. On an average adventure your PC will earn 10 Essence to put toward Character Advancement, plus or minus a few depending on how challenging the adventure was for you and your allies.  You can allocate that Essence to a number of different areas, although you must spread it out some.

Generally you can spend no more than 4 Essence on any one aspect of your character at a time.  You must allocate all of your Essence before your next adventure.  Any unused Essence is lost.  This means that most of the time you can only partially upgrade something.  The character sheet has checkboxes to help you keep track of how much Essence has already been spent.  Once the right number of boxes are filled, you have completed this next step in building your character.

Chapter 5 of Science of the Six has a ton of options for what you can buy with your Essence. We have even created an online utility to help automate the process  – but that will have to wait for another blog.  Until then, start checking off some boxes and using all your Essence!

Behind the Scenes: “Off-The-Rack” and “Master Builder” Character Generation

And now for the exciting conclusion of our series on Chargen for Beyonder!  So far we have delved into the Make Your Character with an Adventure (MYCA) method and the Custom-make Your Character (CYC) and Quick Choices methods. We’re going to finish this series off with the two fastest, most hands-off methods available on our online system, including Master Builder, our most gritty, ultimate-control, mega-versatile method.  Let’s dive in!

First, we’ve got the Off-The-Rack method.  This has pregenerated characters, either made by one of the members of the FNB Games team or by one of you lovely folks out there exploring the Beyonderverse.  Pick any one and make a copy for yourself. Login to the Beyonder Builder page and choose the “Off the Rack” method under Create A New Character.  it will bring up a list of characters available to you, each with a name and a description.  If you click on it you can edit the name and description for your version. Then click “Create My New PC” and you’re done.  It’s that easy.

You also have the option of creating what is called a “Pre-Generated” character (“PreGen”).  A PreGen is a copy of an existing PC; it can be made from any one of your existing PCs. Once created, that PreGen PC will appear on the list of “Off the Rack” choices, along with any other PreGens. Here’s how you do it:  Open up one of your character sheets on your My Characters tab and you will see several icons across the top.  The one furthest to the right says “Make a PreGen Character from this PC,” and it does just that.  Now others can make a copy of that character for themselves. It doesn’t get much quicker or easier than that now, does it?

On the flip side, we are in the process of developing the most complete character creator Beyonder has to offer.  We call it the Master Builder.  

What is the Master Builder and who should use it?  For the most part it’s intended to be used by the Moderator, but advanced players may find it useful too.  It is designed not just to make starting characters, but also to make stronger, more seasoned veterans. When we create more powerful characters, our Moderator will often allot us a certain amount of Essence to build our PCs.  The Master Builder keeps track of the Essence you spend as you build your character, making this process much easier. It is also helpful for Moderators who want to create an NPC and match its strength to a certain level. Instead of creating a baseline character, giving them Essence, and leveling them up, you can jump right to the final product!

In terms of interface, the Master Builder looks and feels very similar to Quick Choices or CYC.  There are tabs for various aspects of your character (Race, Barriers, Talents, etc.); you select an option or enter a value.  What makes Master Builder different is that it allows you to bend or break some of the rules. For example, if you want to create a character that has a higher or lower baseline control of the Six Energies, you can give them more or fewer points to spend on their Affinity Scores and even give them Affinities higher or lower than the usual range.  

Along the left side of the screen there are a number of “Validation Flags” to let you know if you are outside the normal range of things.  Green means that your character is totally kosher and ready to go. Yellow means that you haven’t broken any rules, but your character is not as fleshed out as a standard character.  For example, you will get a yellow flag if your character has not yet been given a Barrier in at least one Energy. You will get a red flag if you have bent the rules beyond normal range (such as making a Wellyn with Size(7), or having Mentarch Powers without having Barriers in Mental).  You will still be able to create the character; the flag is just a warning that you have bent or broken the rules. If you hover over the flag, it will tell you what triggered it.

You now have at your disposal all of the options for CharGen in the Beyonderverse (so far).  We hope you each find the method that works best for you! We would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions – or just tell us what your favorite method is and why.

 

Coming soon to a blog near you: Essence and Character Advancement!

Behind the Scenes: CYC and Quick Choice Character Generation

Welcome back to another edition of “The Many Ways to Make A Character in Beyonder” (that’s not really what it’s called.)  If you haven’t seen our overview of chargen options or the details about our choose-your-own-adventure style chargen, start there and then come back to this.  So, now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at two more ways to create a starting PC in Beyonder.

What brings you here?  Maybe you are the kind of player who knows exactly what she wants and doesn’t want to leave it to chance.  Maybe you’ve already created a few characters using MYCA, have come to know the options available to you, and want to try something new.  Or maybe you just don’t like choose-your-own-adventure games. Whatever your reason, there may come a time when you feel like trying something new.  

The next thing you may want to try is called Custom-make Your Character (CYC).  This will allow you to get your hands dirty, so to speak, as you make decisions about every part of the character creation process.  You can either do this manually using your copy of Science of the Six (page 86) or head over to our website here and have the whole thing automated for you. You’ll just need to click on your selections.

If you create a character using Science of the Six, there are 11 steps to the CYC process which I will outline below.  Keep in mind that this whole process is automated and streamlined if you create your character using our online system.

  1. Choose one of The Ten Races to play.  This choice will affect your Move Score, give some Affinity and Talent bonuses or penalties, and provide some special Racial Abilities.  
  2. Choose your Size, which will determine your Soak and Damage and give you a bonus or penalty to Combat Defense (CD). This will also give you some Talents when relevant.  Big characters cause and can withstand more damage, but they’re easier to hit. Smaller characters are the opposite. Each Race has a reasonable range of Sizes from which to choose.
  3. Choose your character’s gender. While it will not change anything about the mechanics of your character, could have a significant effect on how you roleplay your character and how others interact with them.  Keep in mind, if you choose to play a Heolas, that they are all genderless. If you chose to play a Kamari there are three genders to choose from: male, female, and tree (the third option does not make for a very exciting PC as it is literally a tree – although there are a few stories we could tell you about a certain tree…)  
  4. Choose your Energy Affinities.  The average person has Energy Affinities of 0 if they’re lucky, but because your character is a Channel, you have some exceptionally high scores (and possibly some lower ones to balance things out — the range is from -4 (quite poor) to +4 (very good).  Each of the six Energy Affinities is associated with one of the six Guilds on the Tamarran Continent.  So, it would be good to give yourself a really good Energy Affinity for whichever Guild you plan to join.  Keep in mind, though, that if you choose a really high Energy Affinity value, such as a +4, then you’ll have to to take some hits in your other Affinities to keep things balanced.
  5. Choose your Organization.  This isn’t necessary, but it can add a lot of flavor to your character.  This comes with some bonuses in the MYCA version.  There are no system effects from this choice; much like gender, this will have a lot to do with how you play your character.
  6. Choose your Talents and Wealth.  You will pick one at +3, two at +2, and three at +1.  You also get to choose a Proficiency for each of these Talents (you can find examples of Proficiencies on our website).  Instead of a Talent you can allocate one of these to your Wealth Rating, which will otherwise start at 1.
  7. Choose your Guild.  As discussed in Energy Affinities above, this should probably match up with the Energy Affinity that you set to be the highest, although that is not required.  Along with that, you get 1 Barrier in your chosen Guild as well as one of three Barrier Abilities. The complete list of Barrier Abilities can be found in Science of the Six (page 99).
  8. Choose your Powers.  You can do this in one of two ways: 1. Choose the quick and easy method by selecting one of the Schools of Study.  These each provide a thematic and balanced starting set of Powers. 2. Select each individual Power on your own. If selecting your own Powers, you can either choose from the 480 Powers provided in Science of the Six (page 166), or create your own Powers from scratch using our rules for Power creation (pages 163-165).  Keep in mind that higher level Powers require more time to activate and cause greater Fatigue ( see pages 160 and 161 for details).
  9. Choose some equipment.  You can buy one item with a cost of up to 5, two additional items at a cost of up to 4 each, and three more items with a cost of up to 3 each.  Items can be found in Science of the Six ( Chapter 9, Items, page 144).  Important Note:  if you are not armed and armored, attackers will have a bonus to hit you –  so if you’re going to be getting yourself in trouble you’ll want to be prepared.  In addition to these six starting items, your Moderator may allow you to purchase additional gear based on your Wealth Rating.  
  10. Choose your Defense Ratings (DRs).  The three DRs are Outer Defense (OD), Inner Defense (ID), and Ethereal Defense (ED).  One of these will get a +2 bonus, one will get a +1 bonus, and one will get a +0 bonus.  Remember that ED determines how much Fatigue you take from using Powers, OD along with your Size will determine your Combat Defense (CD), and ID will make you less susceptible to being influenced both by Energetic and Mundane means.
  11. Choose your Homeland. As in Step 5 when you chose your Organization, this choice has no bearing on your character’s in-game stats, but could affect how you roleplay your character.  

Wow, that was a lot!  It seems as if there should be a way to have some control over the character creation process without going into quite as much detail.  Lucky for you, we created our Quick Choice method to do just that (it’s only available through our website here).  Using this, you can click through and make a character in under a minute.  This is great if you know what sort of thing you want, but you don’t want to get too far into the thicket of numbers.  It’s also really helpful if you’re a Moderator and need to quickly generate some NPCs. It’s really that easy – so go have a look!

That’s all for now, folks. Join us next time for our two final methods of character creation: Off-the-Rack and our newest, never-before-seen method, still in Beta testing, called Master Builder. Until then, go forth and make a bunch of PCs.

Beyonder Online: The Builder

The Sutri

Coming to you from the Flying NightLab

Hello there! I didn’t see you come in. I’m doing quite well, thanks for asking – and you look terrific! Oh…what’s this nifty device I have here? Why, this is nothing less than the Beyonder Builder, a simplify-your-game application the Flying NightLab developed! The Builder helps you create and keep track of new PCs, advance them by spending Essence, and access other Beyonder information.

The Builder looks good, but we consider it in “beta” mode until we’ve had some smart people bang on it for a while.  That’s where you, our intrepid Beyonder followers, come in. We invite you to help perfect this capability to make it perfect for yourselves, and those to follow!

Try the Builder: it’s easy to do!

  1. Go to the Flying NightBear Games website and follow the link to the Builder by clicking on the Builder button in the upper left-hand part of the page.  
  2. If you have already registered, log in.  If you haven’t registered, sign up by clicking on “Register”
  3. Make yourself a new character, or several, by going to “My Characters” > “Create a New Character”
  4. Once you’re done, go to “My Characters” to see the list of all of your PCs — you can print them out, too!
  5. Email us (info@fnbgames.com) that you’ve made some characters, and we’ll give them some Essence — that’s what you need to increase your character’s strength and capabilities.
  6. Now, go to Character Advancement to spend your Essence, and make your Character even greater!

What’s in the Builder: funny you should ask!

The Builder contains some of our on-line functionality that we think you will find very helpful.  It’s easy to register yourself (or just login if you’ve already registered). You will see a menu that lists the things you can find, and do, including the following:

  • All My Stuff: the things that you own and other things that are helpful
  • My Characters: the Player Characters (PCs) that you have already made and links to all of our Character Creation capabilities
  • For Moderators: helpful things if you want to be a Moderator
  • Abilities: info on Talents and Powers and some other abilities
  • The World: info on things in the world, such as the Ten Races, the Guilds, and more