Orchestra: Character Creation Revisions

Orchestra on StoryNexus is becoming less and less representative of the true Orchestra world and eventual tabletop game release. Characters currently resemble a standard Orchestra-setting agent, but character creation is far more simple than it should be. I’m going to be implementing a Quick Creation (the old way) and a Detailed Creation (the new way) method. Both will give about the same amount of power, but Detailed Creation will plunge players straight into the setting and allow more fine tuning of their characters.

First I should mention the tradition system. Dominance manifests in many ways in Orchestra, as I’ve mentioned cryptically before in regards to the Damned and the Heralds of Pandora. However, there are modern traditions that follow the same ideas, and their traditions allow anyone to use Dominance in their own way. The three major traditions, as stand, are the Raphaelites, Infernus, and Sorcerers. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. The Raphaelites are an order that resembles a Judeo-Christian (with more of an emphasis on a Christian, but they include elements of Judaism) miracle system, with a focus on warding from evil and more that gives them increased Masking and Creation but lowered Warping. Infernus is an order that is essentially the opposite of the Raphaelites, and their “magic” is heavily based on Warping. The Sorcerers are balanced, preferring no Dominance school over another but also seeking knowledge as a source of their power and learning about the way the world works, slightly hindering their abilities.

Each of these has a different flavor- the Raphaelites favor combat-hardened operatives and secret agents, while Infernus recruits what are essentially weekend cultists and use artificial consciousnesses for their heavy hitting, favoring guile and deception in their agents. The Sorcerers rely on a high amount of knowledge, and hide behind cryptic symbols and the like.

These are not all the traditions, it is even possible for individuals to make their own, but they are the prominent ones. Also, most of the leaders of these traditions, as well as any artificial consciousnesses they make, are aware of the truth about Dominance, but use their traditions to empower their followers and keep them in line while continuing a clandestine existence.

In addition to the new Tradition system (people can still choose to be Awakened, or directly in tune with Dominance without using a tradition, but doing so only boosts Dominance and not other skills) there will be background and training things. These are things like where the character grew up. A New Californian (or South Pacifican, depending on who’s talking) would almost certainly have more practical physical and combat skills than someone versed in the protocol of the dangerously divided power in Tokyo. Someone in Phoenix may be accustomed to living amongst cutting-edge tech, while an Armenian survivor of the Middle East Cataclysm may have been warped by the blast and made more in tune with Dominance. As for prior professions, this will be something like soldiering, thieving, conning, or the like, typically something in the underworld that is based on the already chosen backgrounds and traditions (for instance, Raphaelites may gain access to special backgrounds, while an Armenian may not have been able to make a living as a computer hacker in the war-torn region). These backgrounds will determine starting gear as well, something noticeably lacking in the current system, as well as equipment slots. Quick creation will be phased out, but will remain available for testing purposes and for those who enjoy a harder style of play.

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