5/12/2013

Characters I've Played: Eli/Rosie

Rifts has long been one my favorite settings.  Giving me a game world where "anything can happen" isn't just a catchphrase but typically an important part of gameplay really gets my creative juices flowing.  The system can sometimes frustrate me (like when it took us two hours to get through a 4 turn combat), but the setting always overcomes my distaste.  As such, I have many, many characters who hail from the world of Rifts.  But the ones to follow here are probably my favorite.

In case you don't know, Rifts is set on a technologically advanced Earth many years after a magical apocalypse that opened gateways (rifts) to other times and places throughout the multiverse.  This meant demons, dragons, elves, dinosaurs, superheros, Cthulhulian horrors, aliens, and giant bugs poured through onto Earth already rich with mecha, artificial intelligence, genesplicing, super-steroids, and lasers.  And then people discovered psychic and magical powers as the world crumbled around them, both from the invasions and the natural disasters causing and caused by the rifts.  Rifts also has a "prequel" setting called Chaos Earth, which will be relevant here.  In Rifts, the rifts have been open for hundreds of years; in Chaos Earth players play characters who are experiencing the first days of the apocalypse that will create Rifts Earth.

Taking to heart all of that, I came up with a dual character idea the last time we attempted to play Rifts that I think will carry forward as the most likely character for me to reuse.  The "main" character of this dual idea is Master Sergeant Eli Mercer, NEMA (Northern Eagle Military Alliance, a joint US, Canada, and Mexico military force) Fire and Rescue (nicknamed Roscoes) trainer, from the Chaos Earth setting.  The "secondary" character is Rose Marie "Rosie" Mercer, a wilderness scout obsessed with finding pre-rifts artifacts (thus a Legacy Scout in game terms), from the Rifts setting.  Rosie and Eli are bound to one another, though they don't know this at first, by a strange form of temporal displacement in which one of them is present in the world (at the time of the Rifts setting) and the other vanishes during that time.  Then, suddenly, they switch.  To them, no time has passed, but they appear wherever the other had been.

As usual, I'll stat them both out in Fate Core.  I'll start with Eli.

Name: Eli Mercer

The High Concept for Eli is a little more bland than my usual fare, but because it's got to pack a lot of information about his job and training in, there isn't as much room for flexibility.
High Concept: NEMA Roscoe Master Sergeant

Eli's trouble, though, is where things can get a little juicy.  He's on the other end of the apocalypse.  The military he worked for is gone.  And he's bound to a girl he's never met and likely never will.  That's a lot to pack in.  Mechanically, though, the fact that he and Rosie switch places is important (and works great as a compel in Fate Core).  I could use something like "Time and Space Displaced" or "The Other Side of Armageddon" here, but I think neither quite sums it up.  I think focusing on the thing that's hardest for Eli will fit best.
Trouble: Bound for Change

Eli's first phase aspect (aka background), is all about where he's from.  And in this case, I think it can help me bring back something from an aspect idea I passed over.  Eli's a fighter who'll always push to keep going, and he's definitely in a hard situation.
Phase Aspect (Background): Lost the Apocalypse, but Still Fighting

The second phase aspect is about guest stars, but Eli's weird situation doesn't present well for that.  Rosie's already tied to him and most of what's gone on in his life is well separated from the world he's in now.  But it might be able to match up later.  Still, a big aspect of Eli is that he's a skilled melee fighter and determined rescue operative.
Phase Aspect (Guest Star 1): Up Close and Personal

Same thing applies for the third phase aspect.  Another facet of Eli's personality that might be worth playing up a bit is that he's calm and generally willing to put a positive spin on things.  He's been trained to deal with the worst, so he's rarely overawed or intimidated.  He's also extremely well-trained physically, having to work in high pressure situations and preform extreme physical tasks, especially when wearing his NEMA-issue power armor.
Phase Aspect (Guest Star 2): Resilient Spirit, Armored Body

To keep this from getting too insanely long, I'll spare the justifications for Eli's skills.

Great(+4): Fight
Good(+3): Will, Investigate
Fair(+2): Athletics, Empathy, Shoot
Average(+1): Physique, Craft, Drive, Rapport


Eli's stunts are all fairly straightforward.  He has a stunt called "Carry it Forward" which allows him to use the momentum of a successful melee attack into a second attack.  Another called "Roscoe's Intuition" which allows him to use Investigate to Notice people in danger situations.  And a third called "Jury-Rigger" which gives him an extra +2 on trying to fix mechanical devices.
Stunts:
Carry it Forward
Roscoe's Intuition
Jury-Rigger

Now for Rosie.

Name: Rose Marie "Rosie" Mercer

Her high concept is all about her curiosity.  Rosie wants to discover the past and will search the modern world to find it.  She can also sense temporal anomalies  which fits in well with her curiosity, as she's more likely than not to seek them out.
High Concept: Time-Sensitive Relic Collector

Trouble for Rosie is mostly about her connection to Eli.  She feels acutely the time she loses while he's occupying her space in the world and it frustrates her that she can't figure out why it is happening.
Trouble: My Life is No Longer Mine Alone

Rosie's background is fairly tied in to the setting.  She was trained in Fort Hawkins in Florida, where she was within striking distance of quite a few potentially important areas of research into the pre-rifts world.  This is the key for her background.
Phase Aspect (Background): Trained by Pennant and Gran

Rosie is well-tied to the Rifts world and has lots of opportunities to guest star, serving as a guide or informant.  She's also got a lot of gear collected from these excursions and can pull from these things at need.  Her current prized item is a NEMA jeep (which was once Eli's) filled with NEMA gear.
Phase Aspect (Guest Star 1): My Jeep's Got Just the Thing

For a second guest star situation, I think the thing that should be brought out about Rosie is that she's fairly gifted.  She's pretty.  She's smart.  She's technically savvy when most people aren't.  And she's fully aware of these things.  She tries to stay humble, but she's pretty proud of her girl-genius status.
Phase Aspect (Guest Star 2):  Brains, Beauty, and the Best Toys

Skills:

Great(+4): Investigate
Good(+3): Notice, Shoot
Fair(+2): Athletics, Empathy, Will
Average(+1): Physique, Craft, Drive, Rapport


Stunts:
Rosie is a bit trickier for the stunts, but I think there's a couple that stand out.  She's got "Target-Rich Environment" for when she's got to get her gun-fu on against overwhelming odds.  She can use "Just a Southern Belle" to use Rapport for Deceive when trying to charm an opponent into believing her.  And "Fixing Old Stuff is Fun" to give her a bonus for fixing up pre-rifts mechanics.

So I think that sums this pair up.  They're a lot of fun to play, and hopefully I'll get another crack at it someday.