TL,DR - The cop drama story morphed into a former slave on the road looking for home and rescuing the downtrodden along the way, plus two questions regarding resources.
Thanks again for all of the great advice! This afternoon we sat down and started working out some details. Things took an interesting twist and I’m thrilled with how it all happened because we’re arriving at something that my player seems to have some investment in.
We started with the concept of being a detective, and we talked about how simply being a detective and having cases thrown at the character would be kindof flat, and that things would be better if there was a personal drive for the detective work. I cited Kate Beckett from the TV show Castle who became a homicide detective because her mom was murdered. That kicked things off, and my player came up with the idea that her personal trauma that will drive her is that she was captured and enslaved as a young child. She was taken far from home, and a big motive for her will be that she really hates slavery and injustices similar to that.
At this point we really started to diverge from the cop drama idea we started with. We opened the book and started flipping through lifepaths for inspiration. We came up with Born Peasant, then took the lead to Servitude and Servant lifepath. Then we decided that somehow the enslavement ended, and we took a lead to City Dweller. Her character hired on with the city guards for a time to get her feet under herself. But the big motivation is to go abroad and rediscover where home is, and try to reunite with her family, so the city guard thing isn’t long term. We need to get this character mobile so she can travel about and try to find home. So we took City Peddler and figured that she wants a mobile career. She’ll travel from town to town, keeping her head above water by peddling her goods and always be on the lookout for clues to her past - and she probably can’t keep herself from stepping between the downtrodden and the oppressors that she encounters along the way.
I think this is fantastic! I love the way the seed of the idea - ripped from home and trying to make your way back - combined with the Lifepath character generation of Burning Wheel to give life to this great character idea. Really looking forward to our first session.
So far Beliefs are still in process, but the rough idea is “find family,” “dislike criminal slavers” and “bring justice against slavers and thieves.” Instincts are still being mulled over.
Here’s my next hitch: Resource Point total for this character is 18. After some basic arms, clothes, and a skill toolkit for the Peddler thing, we’ll be very low on resource points. Not a huge problem, really, as we’re not going for a very wealthy character here. But… there will be no resource points for Property, which means that the starting Resources Exponent will be 0. Is that right?? That seems crippling. And honestly, in the few characters I’ve burned just for the sake of practice with the process, 0 Resources exponent has been a theme. Am I doing something wrong? Or is that how every campaign begins… with dirt poor humans groveling for a loan?
Second hitch: I envision this traveling peddler walking town to town leading a donkey laden with the small amount of gear owned, but with 18 resource points, that’s very tight. 8 for the skill toolkit, 5 for arms, 3 for clothes shoes and traveling gear… that leaves 2 resource points. A relationship would be fantastic, but I already can’t afford the pack animal (5 points). What’s the general wisdom - as it’s not really something that impacts rules and is more for flavor, just give her the donkey?
Thanks so much for your time!