Setting Saturday: Building a Character

Let's build an After The Bomb character. Because of Palladium's rules regarding publishing things about their rulesets, no actual mechanical details can be included. That's fine by me since I want to demonstrate the thought process rather than the mechanics.

I have two ATB books: the main rulebook and the Road Hogs supplement. First thing I do is roll stats, then pick/randomly roll for a mutant animal. Normally I'd roll randomly for what kind of mutant animal the character is, but I want to make a mutant chameleon character because I'm rather partial to the weird little things.

Then there's the randomized background thing: what the mutant did before becoming an adventurer. I can pick from the backgrounds presented in either book. Since I'm not really a fan of the Mad Max style wasteland that Road Hogs presents, I'll roll from the backgrounds in the main rulebook. I end up with a mutant chameleon that was raised on the frontier. Great, a hillbilly chameleon. There's no particular education background, but the guy was raised knowing a lot about living in the boonies. His clothing's pretty poorly maintained (no textile industries in them thar hills), but he has enough stuff to start his own farm... or live off the land. He's got a clan-like social support structure as well. Probably never been outside his isolated part of the world before.

So I select some skills to support the country bumpkin type vibe I'm getting. I decide that the one technical skill he knows involves plumbing, because outhouses are kind of cold in the Appalachian winters. Plus if you know plumbing you're a pretty valuable guy in a post-apocalyptic world, since the sewage systems aren't so great after the nukes drop. Actually it gives him kind of a Vault-Dweller outlook I suppose- Maybe he's got to go find a water chip and save his community from a slow painful death by dehydration.

For equipment, I choose an old bolt-action rifle as the one aged weapon he's allowed. I spend the money he gets on a Bowie knife (for skinning, carving, and general survival tool) and some leather clothing with lots of pockets.

In terms of what the mutant animal stuff he gets: fully functional hands, fully bipedal, partial human looks (humanoid animal, basically), fully capable of human speech, climbing claws, prehensile tail, chameleon eyes, and chameleon camouflage. Since there's some leftover, I pick a mutant animal psionic power- Invisible Haze, which basically makes you vanish from the mind's eye of people around you. Probably the very thing that save this dude's hide given his child-like wonder at the world outside the valley he grew up in. Consider it an extension of his natural color-changing skin.

Because I just winged it instead of writing everything down and going through the actual process, I don't actually have a completed character. I have an outline and general idea of the character, but nothing terribly interesting. There's little hooks and ideas built-into the outline, so it would give me a good start if I actually wanted to write the character down.
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