So, we have a setting, we have some templates, and we have a bag of goodies to give our characters. Time to make some characters!
Just as soon as we know what characters to make. :P
1. What Does a Party Make?
Seeing as playing any table-top roleplaying game is a group endeavor, we need to figure out what roles need to be filled for the group to succeed and allow everyone to have a moment to shine. Sure, you can have a party of ex-marine non-coms with ruggedly handsome features, but this leaves holes and missed opportunities. You're never going to have to rescue your party's face from an ambush because there isn't a character to act as the face.
Refering back to our core activities from the last post we can infer what all of the PCs will need and what the party needs to be successful. After mulling it over, I think I have three character roles that cover our core activities. The first is the Face, this is the person with a silver tongue and both the charm and wit to fill any role. They gather information from key figures' significant others, bluff the party past guards and suspicious thugs, and give the party a respectable point of contact. The second is the Technician. This is the person largely responsible for getting the party past the technological barriers they face. They also gather information, but from security systems and customer databases rather than bored barristas and loose-lipped muscle. They pick locks and crack passwords to get the party in and out of secure areas. The third is the Muscle. This is the party's biggest asset when things go belly-up and also the one that is responsible for not killing bountyheads that need to be brought in alive. They are likely the most physically fit and capable of the party and also the one that could get by without any weapons at all if needed. They practice several martial arts in order to more effectively catch and restrain the party's quarry.
Of course, you can mix and match these roles, add to them, or even take them away. A party with no Muscle might use deception and guile to trick a target into a trap or use a creative plan of escape when the thugs of the local boss come after them during a heist. You could add a Driver/Pilot to the party that is responsible for getaways and transport. There's honestly a lot of room to play around here. For the sake of simplicity, we'll be sticking to the Face-Tech-Muscle party for now.
2. Peesee Party of 3
Having established what a typical party would look like, we move on to creating characters. Everyone has their own way of creating characters for RPGs. Some focus purely on the concept of the character then try to find the mechanics to fit that concept. Some focus purely on the mechanics and anything not related to those mechanics is an afterthought. Most people are in the middle somewhere. Me? Well I'm the guy that loves banter and character interactions. I lean towards that first extreme pretty far. I'm going to have to restrain myself and keep things vague since that's all we have at the moment and this isn't about adding to the world. (Well... most of the time it is, but honestly that is its own post for a later date.)
2.1. Building a Party
We could build the characters in Isolation, but unless you're doing this for a play-by-post recruitment, more than likely you'll be working with other players to figure out roles and how you all know each other, or will get to know each other as the case may be. In this case we have three characters that have been working together for a year to year and half now.
I like to play with archetypes and have things that don't meet with what I think are common expectations for that archetype. I'll go into details when I do that post on character creation, but I'm hoping that this will explain some of the choices I make and maybe give you some ideas for your next character. So that said lets get cracking.
We have the Face, the Tech, and the Muscle. In a setting where the gangsters are the local government it's easy to draw parallels with the roaring 20's and look at the tropes and archetypes that fit with that period and noir in general. If we do that, our Face is a suave lady's man who has a silver tongue and can generally fast-talk his way out of trouble. Our Muscle is likely some big guy, maybe of Slavic descent with a thick accent and a laconic way of speaking. Our Tech is, well... That one is the odd man out. The archetype doesn't really fit with noir. Informants are the closest thing I can think of, but they are more plot device than character and can be anyone, from the barkeep, to the young lady that was hanging on to Bigsby's arm last night, to crooks who want out and a ticket to the Bahamas. If we leave the sphere of noir and its associated tropes, we find that technically inclined characters tend to be socially inept, sometimes absent-minded, and may or may not have an unfailing faith in their own skills. More modern examples might throw in being a perverted, pimply-faced teenager that is obsessed with scoring with the most attractive girl in school, but I think we can safely ignore that without losing anything important.
Now that we've established the expectations, let's subvert them. We could swap out an expected archetype with an unexpected archetype. A fem fatale type would still be expected in this kind of setting, but we could make the Face more of a Pollyanna, someone who is kind and maybe a little naive. They'd have a harder time in the Delta, sure, but it'd definitely subvert expectations. I don't think we'll be doing anything that extreme, though.
Enough rambling. Time to dive into making some characters.
2.2. The Face: Hal Horace
Hal Horace is an ex-cop from the Republic, one of the polities surrounding the Delta. He's a smooth talker and a lady's man, and it's all just a cover. You see, the reason Hal is an ex-cop is that he doesn't take no for an answer and has a spiteful side that's a mile wide. Most of the time he does a good job of hiding it, but if he thinks someone has slighted him, he'll do everything he can to ruin them. He moved to the Delta after he was connected to the suicide of a co-worker who had turned down his advances with more force than grace.
Name: Hal Horace (200)
Attributes: ST 10 ; DX 11 ; IQ 12 ; HT 10 
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lb; HP 10 ; Will 12 ; Per 13 ; FP 11 ; Basic Speed 5.25 ; Basic Move 5 
Advantages: Appearance ; Charisma 3 ; Empathy ; Legal Enforcement Powers ; Police Rank 1 ; Single-Minded ; Social Chameleon ; Unfazeable ;
Disadvantages: Enemy (Spurned Lovers) [-5]; Lecherousness [-15]; Overconfidence [-5]; Selfish [-5]; Duty (Police Department) [-10]; Addiction (Tobacco) [-5]; Callous [-5]; Bully [-10]; Stubbornness [-5];
Skills: Acting IQ+2 -14; Area Knowledge (The Republic) IQ+0 -12; Area Knowledge (The Delta) IQ+0 -12; Body Language Per+0 -13; Brawling DX+1 -12; Carousing HT+2 -12; Computer Operation/TL10 IQ+0 -12; Connoisseur (Literature) IQ-1 -11; Connoisseur (Music) IQ+0 -12; Connoisseur (Wine) IQ+0 -12; Criminology/TL10 IQ+2 -14; Dancing DX-1 -10; Diplomacy IQ+1 -13; Driving/TL10 (Automobile) DX+0 -11; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Security) IQ+0 -12; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Surveillance) IQ+0 -12; Erotic Art DX+1 -12; Escape DX+1 -12; Fast-Talk IQ+1 -13; First Aid/TL10 IQ+0 -12; Forced Entry DX+0 -11; Forensics/TL10 IQ+0 -12; Gambling IQ-1 -11; Guns/TL10 (Pistol) DX+1 -12; Interrogation IQ+0 -12; Intimidation Will+1 -13; Law (The Republic) IQ+0 -12; Lockpicking/TL10 IQ+0 -12; Observation Per+0 -13; Psychology IQ-2 -10; Research/TL10 IQ+0 -12; Savoir-Faire (Police) IQ+0 -12; Savoir-Faire (Mafia) IQ+0 -12; Search Per+0 -13; Sex Appeal HT+2 -12; Shadowing IQ+1 -13; Sleight of Hand DX+0 -11; Sociology IQ-2 -10; Stealth DX+2 -13; Streetwise IQ+0 -12;
2.3. The Tech: Isa Lao
Isa Lao was born to the Delta and has been learning to survive anyway she can ever since. She is completely ordinary in almost every way, except for a fiendishly clever mind. She is one of the best crackers in the Delta and her skill with electronics is almost legendary. While the legends and stories about her make her out to be some heartless monster, the truth is Isa has a heart of gold. She often helps out orphans and runaways in her neighborhood which leaves her short of funds some months, much to the chagrin of her landlady.
Name: Isa Lao (200)
Attributes: ST 10 ; DX 11 ; IQ 12 ; HT 10 
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lb; HP 10 ; Will 12 ; Per 12 ; FP 10 ; Basic Speed 5.25 ; Basic Move 5 
Advantages: High Manual Dexterity 1 ; Talent (Cyberneticist) 2 ; Versatile ; Zeroed ;
Disadvantages: Compulsive Generosity [-5]; Dependant (The Rag-a-muffins (Orphans that Isa has taken in)) [-40]; Pacifism: Reluctant Killer [-5]; Post-Combat Shakes [-5]; Slow Riser [-5]; Secret (Soft spot for orphans) [-10]; Trademark (Leaves a note with an IP address on it. Address is to site that highlights Isa's exploits.) [-5]; Selfless [-5];
Skills: Area Knowledge (The Sinks) IQ+2 -14; Area Knowledge (The Delta) IQ+0 -12; Computer Hacking/TL10 IQ+3 -15; Computer Operation/TL10 IQ+5 -17; Computer Programming/TL10 IQ+3 -15; Connoisseur (Electronics) IQ+1 -13; Cooking IQ+2 -14; Current Affairs/TL10 (Headline News) IQ+0 -12; Current Affairs/TL10 (People) IQ+1 -13; Current Affairs/TL10 (Politics) IQ+1 -13; Current Affairs/TL10 (Regional) IQ+3 -15; Current Affairs/TL10 (Science & Technology) IQ+2 -14; Electrician/TL10 IQ+1 -13; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Communications) IQ+1 -13; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Security) IQ+2 -14; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Surveillance) IQ+1 -13; Electronics Repair/TL10 (Communications) IQ+1 -13; Electronics Repair/TL10 (Security) IQ+2 -14; Electronics Repair/TL10 (Surveillance) IQ+1 -13; Escape DX+1 -12; Expert Skill (Computer Security) IQ+1 -13; Explosives/TL10 (Demolition) IQ+2 -14; Filch DX+1 -12; Forced Entry DX+3 -14; Forgery/TL10 IQ-1 -11; Guns/TL10 (Pistol) DX+2 -13; Housekeeping IQ+0 -12; Lockpicking/TL10 IQ+3 -15; Merchant IQ+0 -12; Observation Per+2 -14; Panhandling IQ+0 -12; Pickpocket DX+0 -11; Scrounging Per+2 -14; Stealth DX+3 -14; Streetwise IQ+2 -14; Urban Survival Per+1 -13;
2.4. The Muscle: Jose Ramirez III
Jose is the heir to a family that rumor says can trace their roots back to Terra. Wealthy, famous, and charismatic, he coud live out his life in comfort until his father passes on leadership to him. Jose, however, prefers to stay active and earn his privleges, so he became a Freelancer after being trained by some of the best combat instructors money can hire. His family watches out for him, though, as do their most recent rivals, the Black Hound Syndicate. His easy-going personality and cultured manners have also earned him a reputation as a prize catch among the Delta's elite.
Name: Jose Ramirez III (200)
Attributes: ST 12 ; DX 13 ; IQ 11 ; HT 11 
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-1/1d+2; BL 29 lb; HP 12 ; Will 12 ; Per 11 ; FP 11 ; Basic Speed 6 ; Basic Move 7 
Advantages: Ambidexterity ; Charisma 2 ; Combat Reflexes ; Status 3 ; Wealth ;
Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Gentleman's) [-10]; Duty (The Family) [-15]; Enemy (The Black Hound Syndicate) [-30]; Enemy (The Ramirez Family) [-15]; Honesty [-10]; Overconfidence [-5]; Sense of Duty [-5];
Skills: Administration IQ+0 -11; Brawling DX+0 -13; Carousing HT+0 -11; Computer Operation/TL10 IQ+0 -11; Current Affairs/TL10 (Business) IQ+0 -11; Current Affairs/TL10 (High Culture) IQ+0 -11; Current Affairs/TL10 (People) IQ+0 -11; Diplomacy IQ+0 -11; Driving/TL10 (Heavy Vehicle) DX+0 -13; Explosives/TL10 (Demolitions) IQ+0 -11; First Aid/TL10 IQ+0 -11; Gunner/TL10 (Machine Gun) DX+2 -15; Guns/TL10 (Grenade Launcher) DX+0 -13; Guns/TL10 (Light Machine Gun) DX+1 -14; Guns/TL10 (Pistol) DX+3 -16; Guns/TL10 (Rifle) DX+2 -15; Guns/TL10 (Shotgun) DX+1 -14; Guns/TL10 (Submachine Gun) DX+1 -14; Knife DX+3 -16; Savoir-Faire (High Society) IQ+1 -12; Savoir-Faire (Mafia) IQ+0 -11; Savoir-Faire (Military) IQ+0 -11; Scrounging Per+0 -11; Soldier/TL10 IQ+3 -14; Streetwise IQ-1 -10; Throwing DX+1 -14; Wrestling DX+2 -15;
3. Improvements to be Made
While doing this, I found a few issues. The first is that -100 points of disadvantages is a whole lot of disadvantages. Having a limit of -75 points is more reasonable while still allowing room to play with the character's background and personality. The second is that the templates from Space are not at all tailored to what I need. I'll be raiding Action 4 for sure, and possibly expanding my Pyramid collection to include the recent (as of this writing) Action II issue. Third, I've got to get a handle on skills. I put in ones that made sense to me, but if you look, you'll see that Isa has 190 of her points in skills and Hal isn't mush better with 120 of his. Jose has only a paltry 75 points by comparison, but he also is indecently wealthy and rather famous.
I haven't done equipment yet for any of them, but that's not much of a priority at this point. The point was to have some characters to see if we have something viable, and I think we do. It's just a matter of setting things up.
I have some ideas for improvements, but for now, we'll be moving on to seeing how our intrepid crew does in a playtest session. Of course, it'll be interesting to keep myself from knowing what I am planning. Thankfully, being a little crazy helps with that. I just hope I don't wind up arguing with myself. :P