Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Easy Peasy EC PC Contest!

So here's the deal. One of the very few things I don't like about Encounter Critical is the amount of time needed to make a new PC. After rolling stats it takes a fair bit of time to get all your percentile abilities looked up, added together and recorded. The process is not as painfully drawn out as many other games, but lengthy chargen is one of the reasons I don't play many of those games any more. I much prefer to dice up a quick freak and hit the ground running. And when I'm behind the screen that's what I like my players to be able to do. I run the kind of rock 'em sock 'em games where death lurks 'round every corner. Slow chargen puts players in the penalty box for longer than I am comfortable with. I want that player back in the game as soon as possible.

So to deal with this problem in Encounter Critical I see three basic strategies to speed up chargen: streamline the percentile skill system, look up percentiles only as the player needs them or have a bunch of pregens ready. I reject the first option since a big part of the fun of EC is the crazy mechanics. I'm totally open to the second option but not every player will dig on running a half-baked PC. I'm hoping the readers of the Gameblog will be able to help me out with the third option.

So the challenge of this here contest is to make the awesomest starting character for EC that you can. If you don't have a copy of the rules you can get a free PDF by joining the official mailing list and going to the Files section (recommended) or nabbing one from If you've never read Encounter Critical before do yourself a favor and find somewhere quiet to sit down and carefully read it from cover to cover. Do not skim, as you will miss half the jokes. Then dice up a first level character. Here are the details:

1) Roll 3d6 nine times in order for your stats. I can't have the Dice Gestapo monitor your rolls, so we're on the honor system for this part. Note that I like awesome sucky characters at least as much as awesome uberpowered characters, so cheating won't do you much good anyway.

2) You can either pick a race or roll on the Racial Determination table on page 5. If you opt for the latter and end up with a Monster or Were-Monster it's up to you to work out the details.

3) All the Optional Features on page 6 are available, singly or in whatever sick combinations your perverted little heart desires.

4) You may use races or professions outside the main rules as long as you provide either a link to where you found it on the internet or a write-up in the same format as the rulebook.

5) Hit points and starting gold credits should be rolled with dice or other random number generators.

6) Purchase initial equipment. Non-Warriors should limit their weapons to items that do no more than 6 points of damage, 12 points for gunpowder and hi-tech weapons. Don't forget to buy reloads for weapons that require ammunition at 1% of weapon cost per battle's worth of ammo. No armor is available for initial purchase; the Lord of Unheroic Decay did something unspeakable to the armor table.

7) Warlocks begin play with a grimoire, staff, wand or other item containing a single spell, either drawn from the list on pages 20-21 or made up by you. If you create your own spell please provide a one or two sentence write-up of how it works.

8) At the end of this post is the template that you must use when submitting the character. When filling in the percentage skills remember that some skills are generated by adding numbers from multiple stats (e.g. To determine the PC's Logic score you need look in the Logic column for Intellect, Robot Nature and Strength and add all three together).

9) The Background section of the charsheet should only be a paragraph or two. Try to keep in mind that the point here is to inspire another player to want to play your character, not to write a freakin' novel.

10) When submitting your character you may attach a picture of the PC in jpg, gif or png format. This could be a character sketch you did yourself, something you put together using Heromachine, or a still from a cheesy old movie or TV show. Don't borrow other people's drawings. Note that a picture is not required, but non-artistic types should definitely consider sharing their crappy PC sketches. I don't care the you "can't draw". Check out some of the art in the rulebook to get an idea how low the standards are here. For a project like this sincerity and an earnest devotion to awesomosity trump mere technical ability.

12) The character sheet should be emailed to me at as a txt file, rtf file or simply in the body of the email itself. Please include the tag [EC PC] in the header of the email. Attached the picture (if any) to this email, please don't send them separately.

13) All submissions must be received by me by whenever I first open my email on February 3rd, 2010, so you probably ought to send it to me no later than the day before.

14) I am sole judge for purposes of awarding the prize for the best starting character. I reserve the right to be completely arbitrary. If I can't pick between two excellent entries, I may very well flip a coin. Deal with it.

15) The prize, as mentioned yesterday, is Jeff's Crazy Gaming Grab-Bag, the fancy pants name I am giving to this stack of game crap sitting next to my night stand. The contents of the Grab-Bag will remain a secret until it is in the winner's possession, with one exception. The winner will receive one of the following items: a lulu-produced copy of the Miscellaneum of Cinder, one of the super-rare Cumberland Games print copies of my full-length EC module Asteroid 1618, or my personal Kinko's-made copy of my OD&D module Under Xylarthen's Tower, whichever of the three the winner wants.

16) By submitting a character to the Easy Peasy EC PC contest you are granting me perpetual permission to use your creation in a free PDF that will be made available for download on the EC mailing list or wherever else on the internet that might be convenient. It would be awful selfish of me to keep any submissions to myself.

17) Multiple entries per person are totally allowed, so get cracking already!


Character Name:
Character Race:
Character Class:
Level : 1
Experience Points: 0
XP to Qualify for next level:

Hit Points:

Magic Power:
Robot Nature:

Berserk Chances:
Command Energy:
Command Matter:
Consume Alien:
Crowd Manipulate:
Experience Bonus:
Great Feat:
Lesser Feat:
Machine Friend:
Magical Attack:
Melee Attack:
Melee Damage:
Missile Damage:
Mistaken Identity:
Monster Friend:
PSI Resist:
Psychic Implant:
Ranged Attack:
Restore Courage:
Read Minds:
Saving Throw:
See The Future:
Sneak Attack:
Unpleas. Oder:

Mutations & Class Abilities:




Created by:

------END CHARSHEET------


  1. I see what you tried to do with "Unpleasant Oder".

    Shades of "% Liar" !

  2. Done! Sent!

    It's weird how you fall in love with a character during character generation.

    I was rolling and thinking...Planetary Ape? Midget? Seriously? Then all of a sudden--the vodka, the royal garb, the hand grenades--it suddenly all made perfect sense.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'd love to work on this but more over, based solely on his comment, I want to see Zak's character, lol.

  5. Jeff, would it be useful for you to have a web page which could generate an Encounter Critical character? If so I could make one. Email me (news at apolitical dot info) if you're interested).

  6. Hey! i've been working on a webpage to generate an EC PC as well. So perhaps you'll get 2... Because i'm not stopping now. It's about half done - it'd probably be further along if i didn't find it so amusing to keep tweaking the random name generator.