Character Design and Gear in the Carrington Event

This post is divided into two parts, because both are too brief for their own posts.

Character Design

The system is designed so you can design a character and get into play very quickly. You can spend a lot of time thinking about each option if you really want to, but at heart it is quick and easy.

  1. Heroic Archetype: Choose your character type – an intrepid explorer, dashing hussar, glamorous adventuress, mysterious rogue, or whatever. This is how you are known, and is your claim to whatever fame or notoriety you have. It will inform what Abilities you choose and also functions as your first Aspect.
  2. Tragic Flaw: Choose a tragic flaw, something about your nature or reputation that either attracts trouble, or gets you into trouble. These troubles are also covered later, but should always be the sort of things that make them more heroic. Don’t pick things to use as an excuse for selfish or psychopathic behaviour.
    They don’t have to be entirely negative. A Code of Honour drives you into helping other people and getting into unnecessary duels, membership in a prestigious family can impose duties on you and make you a target of rivals, and so on.
  3. Gothic Mystery: This is where things get weird. You have a connection to something supernatural. Pick a supernatural archetype that would fit perfectly into a gothic horror story of the period or a movie horror of the 1930s. A spooky vampire-like hero, a wolfman, a Madame Blavatsky-esque medium, a man-like creature cobbled together from parts and given the spark of life, and so on. Pick a quaint form of horror, not something more at home in a modern slasher movie.
    You might be literally inhuman and are just discovering it now, or might be human with access to unusual powers. A coming post will describe Gothic Archetypes and special powers.
    Describe an aspect related to the power.
  4. Supporting Aspects: Pick two different players, and work with them to find out how you took part in their history. Then for each, pick an aspect related to tose events. IMPORTNT: You don’t have to do this immediately. You can leave the aspect undefine. You can’t use it until it is defined, but you can do that at any time, even in play. Just suggest a way you were involved in another character’s backstory, pick an aspect that matches that, and if the player agrees, add it to your sheet.
  5. Starting Abilities: There are twelve broad Abilities, which are like skills. Assign one at Great, two at Good, three at Fair, and the rest are Poor. They can increase in play. Use your previous choices to inform which abilities you have, but you are free to take anything with two limitations: Courage cannot start at Poor (it must be one of the six Abilities you choose- Heroes are not cowards!), and Uncanny cannot start above Poor (it can be raised in play).
  6. And that’s It: You are now ready for play. You have a shared history, 3-5 aspects, and six Abilities. Add to your sheet whatever equipment is reasonable for you to possess, and go!

Your Gothic, supernatural side starts out hidden, and will likely terrify common people (who always have their pitchforks at the ready!). You are a hero or a rogue with a secret that you yourself don’t fully understand, and slowly learn more about what is really going on in the world and who and what you really are.


This is not a game about gear – equipment is treated abstractly, for the most part. But there is a place for Gear on your character sheet, with 5-10 slots. You can possess that many “things”. Make a note of any equipment that lets you do something you couldn’t do without equipment of that sort.

For example, a sword lets you hurt and even kill people, a pistol lets you do that at range (a limited number of times). A horse or automobile let you move at high speed and possibly carry others. A house or guest quarters in a powerful Lady’s home gives you a safe haven and a place you can go to rest up.

Anyone can use Shenanigans to hide or sneak, but you need some kind of tool to pick locks and disarm traps – you might record this on your sheet as Lockpicking Kit or Housebreaking Kit, or whatever.

Anyone can grab a coat and attempt to pretend they are meant to be there, but to impersonate someone or some type of person against any kind of scrutiny, you’ll need a make-up kit, acting kit, or disguise kit.

Generally, if something allows you to use an Ability in a way you couldn’t without special equipment, you need to make a note of that.

Also Victorian society is very regimented. Your clothes reveal what kind of person you are. Whether you’re a house maid, a dashing and decorated soldier, a belle of the ball, an important clerk, you’ll have an outfit that describes your status and possibly profession. That outfit counts as one of your “things” and will affect how people interact with you. (Yes, you can have multiple outfits, or a disguise kit that lets you pass yourself off as different professions and statuses with a roll.)

An ex-soldier might have Military dress, a Sword, a Pistol, a Horse, and, maybe if they are well-off, an apartment or even mansion. Anything on your equipment list is something that might come into play, so if you don’t want your home or sword to matter, don’t include them (and don’t use them).

During play, you can add to your equipment list whenever it seems reasonable. Our heroes are lost in a maze and Hector says they are going to mark their route with chalk. This triggers questions like, “How do you have chalk?”, but once that is answered, Hector marks that on his equipment list as a Thing, because it has affected play in a significant way.

You can say you possess things, but if its not going to matter in this session and you aren’t going to use it, don’t mark it on your sheet. It’s not one of your “Things”. For instance, say you are a rich adventurer and have a vast mansion full of servants, but you never visit it or it’s on another continent. That shouldn’t be on your sheet this time – it might be in a later adventure though.

Reminder: You have a number of slots for special gear equal to 5 plus one per Prestige rank above Poor.

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