Character Trait Suggestions

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Character Trait Suggestions

Postby MaxShields » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:50 am

As you may have read in the RTSGuru interview, the team have somewhere around 280 traits lined up to help create unique and interesting characters. With such a long list, most of their bases may be covered. Let's help them develop a comprehensive and entertaining list by compiling our own suggestions here. Maybe someone will propose something that they'll love and will incorporate into the design.

Here are some to start:

- Family Ties This trait could be further broken down into Parent, Sibling, Offspring, Spouse and Relative to other members on the station or elsewhere within the empire. These relationship between the characters could be positive or negative, creating performance synergies, points of friction, opportunities for backstabbing, or heroic sacrifice.

- Buzzword The character easily creates and adopts buzzwords as part of his daily vocabulary. This proves advantageous when dealing with commodores and above, results in peers rolling their eyes at the character at the attempts to make himself look smart, and any enlisted members and NCOs feel slightly to greatly annoyed by the continuous barrage of superfluous vocabulary.

- Master Briefer Any bureaucratic institution requires a continuous flow of organized information presented in tightly encapsulated presentations. The character is particularly adept at generating and presenting briefings, helping senior leaders to make vital decisions in a timely fashion. This skill would most often (but not exclusively) be offered to junior officers and is invaluable when dealing with Commodores and above, most of what they'll be doing is sitting around waiting for someone to tell them they have a decision to make, right? ;)

- Debriefer The character displays a natural talent at obtaining the best possible reports from away teams. This helps develop an accurate picture of events and leads to the development of a better intelligence packages and provides benefits to future missions to the same area or dealing with the same characters. Advantages can take many forms, such as information leverage during a discussion or having a more accurate assessment of enemy positions before an assault.
Last edited by MaxShields on Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trait Suggestions

Postby MaxShields » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:13 am

Should have probably posted the additions separately. This is simply a flag to indicate there have been new trait suggestions edited into the post above.

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Wildcard Traits

Postby MaxShields » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:23 pm

Since the player's emotional connection to the characters is one of your core principles, I suggest you add some spice to the concept of traits. In every game I can think of, traits, attributes, and the like are essentially WSYWIG. When the player checks his character's sheet out, he knows exactly the performance he can expect from him. Real life isn't so perfect. For this reason, I think adding wildcard traits would help keep the player on their toes and teach them to pay attention to the individuals under his command.

A wildcard trait appears as once thing (any existing trait from your already expansive list), but will eventually reveal itself to be another. The game effects are those of the concealed trait. This represents the fact that supervisors sometimes develop an imperfect picture of the people that work for them. Therefore, the information that makes it into their personnel docket may not be a perfect reflection of the character's true nature. Wildcard traits would be rare, their frequency either fixed at a low level, or modified by the supervisor's personnel administration or leadership skill. Supervisors with a high skill are more likely to correctly evaluate their personnel and record their traits correctly than those with poor skills.

Some examples:

1. Petty Officer Grun is renown for the tight grip he maintains on his team. They are always properly turned out and show up ready and on time for every task. He has earned the "Assiduous" trait. However, it is masking the "Lightbulb" trait. He only appears to shine when a superior is around. When there is no-one of greater rank than his own, he ceases to perform effectively. The trigger for uncovering this could be a surprise inspection (tying the concept back to inspections discussed earlier) of his Department's lower than expected output of widgets. A successful inspection reveals the shortfall, and sees the PO's trait accurately reflected in his personnel docket.

2. After an audit reveals shortfalls in the galley's fund, Crewman Pollock, once famous for his squeaky-clean "Trustworthy" trait is revealed to have been pocketing some of the cash. His record is modified to reflect the actual trait "Crook/weasel".

3. Recruit Gomez has earned the trait "Grey Man" for his quiet demeanor. He rarely ever stands out, and few of his supervisors really know what he does, or that he even exists. In reality, he is the one humbly working his butt off behind the scenes to save his team's bacon day in and day out. After a particularly arduous mission, it becomes apparent how important he is to the success of the Astrobase's mission, and his trait is corrected to "Quiet Professionnal".

If the player assigns characters to tasks based on their traits but then does not spend some time following up on them and questioning unexpected outcomes, the true nature of the trait concealed by the wildcard may never come to light.

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Re: Character Trait Suggestions

Postby MaxShields » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:16 pm

Babyface: The character has an unnaturally youthful complexion. Although this makes him/her popular with potential mates, it causes no end of difficulties when conducting official business as the character is always underestimated. This could be awarded as the result of a poorly-handled diplomatic or leadership task.

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Re: Character Trait Suggestions

Postby PensiveElephant » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:38 pm

Before I firget:

Gambler - the character organises polls regarding current affairs of the astrobase (Who will next be promoted? How long will it take to find the infiltrators?). Organising the betting makes the character less productive, but improves the morale of the people working around him.

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Re: Character Trait Suggestions

Postby MaxShields » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:41 am

PensiveElephant wrote:
Gambler - the character organises polls regarding current affairs of the astrobase (Who will next be promoted? How long will it take to find the infiltrators?). Organising the betting makes the character less productive, but improves the morale of the people working around him.


An I bet he'd generate a lot of interest with the station police once he gathered the Dishonest trait! :mrgreen:

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Re: Character Trait Suggestions

Postby MaxShields » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:22 am

Is character loyalty going to be a consideration? You've mentioned the risks that players will take with developing a group of characters with specialist skill sets. The obvious means of attacking them is physically. However, will there be opportunities where characters (either the player's or those of the enemy) could be manipulated and turned into the opponent's willing or unwilling agents? They could defect, leaving the station altogether, or serve as double agents, carrying out espionnage or sabotage.

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Re: Character Trait Suggestions

Postby MaxShields » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:10 pm

Hunter: The character is a commensurate hunter. This gives him the ability to hunt wildlife, greatly increasing the chances of survival in extreme conditions. He enjoys taking time off every year to spend time in the wilderness hunting. Any astrobase Commander can expect periodic leave requests to allow the character to indulge in his passion. He is immensely proud of his skills and has been known to parade various hunting trophies around the base to show off the results of his latest hunt.

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Re: Character Trait Suggestions

Postby MaxShields » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:22 am

Creeper: The character is notorious for letting scope creep derail his projects. Regardless whether he is assigned the duty of designing and building the station's life support systems, or simply organizing the station's annual Christmas party, he will end up trying to make things bigger and better than they need to be to get the job done. This usually increases the cost of getting things done, delays the achievement of key milestones, and runs a high risk of never actually getting done. But the real question is:"who wouldn't want fuzzy dice, black lights, and a bitchin' sound system in the point defense turrets?"

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Re: Character Trait Suggestions

Postby MaxShields » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:11 pm

Unfiltered: The character has no filter on his interior monologue. Though this can lead to humorous outbursts, it can also prove to be incredibly harmful to diplomatic relations when the character cannot stop himself from repetitively asking the Xinarian ambassador about the terrible It That Shall Not Be Discussed.

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