Characters

This section includes information on creating a character that will fit well into the Atlas Adventures game world, including:

New Game or Continuing Game?
Fighting or Role Playing?
Starting Character Points (CP)
Archetypes
Persona and History
Skills
Costume
Weapons
Money and Stuff
Skill-Related Gear
How to Talk

Also, be sure to read the Game World section for in-game information you will need when making your character.

New Game or Continuing Game?
Atlas Adventures is a combination between a new game and a continuing one. Atlas Agenda, a futuristic science-fiction game, immediately preceded Atlas Adventures, and steps in that campaign taken by the players led directly to the creation of the Atlas Adventures game world. Atlas Adventures is the same game as Atlas Agenda, but it is a different campaign world. A useful comparison is to think of Atlas games as "slider" games: much of the background and some of the characters remain the same from one game to the next , but the setting changes. This is a unique style of play allowing us to maintain continuity over games and passing years, but preventing the game from ever getting stale or redundant. The Atlas Adventures campaign is set to run for three years, from Spring 2003 to Winter 2005.

Some players in Atlas Adventures may be playing the same or similar characters to ones they played in Atlas Agenda, albeit reinterpreted for the new game world. Some will play entirely new characters. Some players never played Atlas Agenda, and will be starting new characters as well.

Returning Players: If you played Atlas Agenda, you may play the same character as you did in that campaign, with full memories of the previous campaign. Your character must be reinterpreted to fit the new Atlas Adventures campaign world, and must fulfill the following requirements: you must create an entirely new character history fitting the new campaign setting, and you must adopt a new persona, including costume, and manners of behavior and speech, also fitting the new campaign setting. Although these characters remember these new character histories as their personal backgrounds, they also remember the lives they lived in Atlas Agenda. It is exactly as if you were, for example, hypnotized, and can now vividly recall a past life. If is up to you to learn in-game whether, how and when it may be appropriate to reveal such information to others. Remember, you may sound like a candidate for the Sanitarium if you are not careful.

Returning Players: If you played Atlas Agenda, you may play the same character as you did in the campaign, with no memories of the previous campaign. As above, your character must be reinterpreted to fit the new Atlas Adventures campaign world, and must fulfill the following requirements: you must create an entirely new character history fitting the new campaign setting, and you must adopt a new persona, including costume, and manners of behavior and speech, also fitting the new campaign setting. Although you do not remember your past life, you may decide for role-playing reasons that you wish to play the same character with the same personality, like and dislikes. If players decide at any point that they wish to regain memories of their past lives, they may do so, or they may contact the Atlas staff between events. We may write a way for characters to regain their memories in-game.

New Players and Returning Players: If you have never played Atlas Agenda, or if you played buy you do not wish to play the same character, you must start a new character. Write a character history fitting the Atlas Adventures campaign setting, and send it to us so we can incorporate you into stories and adventures. Some new players may be concerned that they will suffer a disadvantage compared with returning players - for example, you may worry as a new player that you will not have as much information on the campaign world as a returning player. This is not the case. All players will have unique opportunities for role-playing and adventure, and all players begin this game with equal knowledge about the campaign setting based on the information included in the Campaign Book. While returning players may remember an earlier incarnation of this game, all players will have the opportunity to discover and dig in to the secrets, mysteries and goals of this game at an equal rate. Our goal in starting a new campaign is exactly that - to allow new players and returning ones to begin a new series of adventures together.

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Fighting or Role-Playing?
The Atlas staff strives to provide an excellent game for all kinds of players. Whether you prefer immersing yourself in mystery and intrigue, fighting great battles, sneaking your way in and out of trouble, politicking, entertaining, researching, getting rich or just sitting back and watching it all, we will do our utmost to entertain you.

Atlas will provide roughly equal doses of action and role-playing. Our first priority is to provide high-quality entertainment, no matter what kind it is. That is why we ask players to send Post Event Letters (PELs) after each event. Please use your PEL to tell us what you liked, what was not so much fun, and what you might like to see in the future, so we can offer you a great time every time you come.

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Starting Character Points (CP)

Note: This section only discusses the CP you can use to create a starting character. For more information about earning CP as you play the game, see Earning CP in the Logistics section.

All players receive 20 Starting CP with which to create a character. Players who choose to play an Archetype character receive 22 Starting CP. See Archetypes on this page for more information.

Players can earn up to 2 Character History CP for turning in a character history. 1 CP is awarded for turning in your character history at least 2 weeks before any event. 2 CP are awarded for turning it in at least 2 weeks before your first event.

Players can also earn Additional CP by donating or making props, donating time to help us with a game-related tasks, and through various other means. Opportunities to earn CP are posted on the Atlas Adventures Yahoo!Groups email list, at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlasadventures. A maximum of 5 points of this CP may be spent in creating a starting character, even if you earn more. Atlas players may spend a total of 10 Additional CP per year, 5 per season (Atlas game years are divided into Spring and Fall seasons).

Returning Players: Returning players, that is, anyone who played an Atlas Agenda character, are awarded 10% of their total earned CP at the end of Atlas Agenda, rounded up to the nearest .5 CP, toward their new Atlas Adventures character. This is the case regardless of whether you are playing the same character, with or without memories, or a totally new character. This CP award accrues as Additional CP, described above, and may be spent at the same rate as any other Additional CP. For example, if you had earned 60 CP by the end of Atlas Agenda, your award would be 6 Additional CP. However, you may only spend 5 Additional CP on your starting character, even if you earn more Additional CP by donating props before the start of the game. You must wait to spend the rest until the following season. Please note, when creating your character with our online character generator, you will need to contact us at: [email protected] so we can award you Additional CP based on your Atlas Agenda character.

Thus, all players may start the game with up to 27 spent CP, or 29 spent CP if they are playing an Archetype character.

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Archetypes
Atlas Adventures is a high-adventure game in a dramatic setting. We encourage players to play characters contributing to and building the atmosphere of the game. After all, it takes some effort to turn a campsite in Kingston, NH, into a bustling port town in Morocco.

To help create this atmosphere, we have designed several Archetype characters which typify individuals you might meet in Porto de Maio, Morocco in 1911. We encourage you to use these archetypes to give you an idea of the kind of characters that will fit well in Atlas Adventures. You can also play one of these characters exactly as we have designed it. If you choose to play an Archetype character, you will start with 22 CP, 2 more than normal.

To play an Archetype, you must select the exact skills we have designated (although each Archetype has a few free CP which you can spend as you choose), and you must also take care to dress in a manner consistent with the description of the Archetype. You do not have to look exactly like the Archetype picture - you just have to create a look similar enough to be consistent with the spirit of the Archetype. Other people should probably be able to guess which Archetype you are by looking at your costume. Of course, you can and should create a totally unique personality, history, name, set of goals, and other character details.

New Players: An Archetype is a great way to get right into the fun and adventure of Atlas without having to worry about choosing character skills. The Archetypes have been designed to get the most out of the starting CP awarded, and to fit well into Atlas storylines. You are sure to find your Archetype character fun and valuable as you play.

See the Archetype Characters section for descriptions and skills for each Archetype.

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Persona and History

New Players: You may want to read this entire section.

To make an Atlas character, start with the basics:

Choosing your skills will help determine what type of character you wish to play and what basic equipment and costume pieces you will need. A physician will need a doctor's kit, a soldier might bristle with swords and pistols, a journalist may want to carry a dispatch bag stuffed with paper and ink, a Sidekick might simply carry everything and anything his Boss might need. Remember to think about what kind of weapons you want use, if any. Atlas Adventures combat includes boffer melee and thrown weapons, ActionBall spring guns, and packets for magic and mentalist powers.

You will need to create a look - what should your character wear? Denim overalls? Khaki and a pith helmet? Sumptuous dresses and hats? Knickers and a golf cap? A wide range of options is open to you. Your costume will help define who your character is, not only to yourself, but to other characters with whom you interact. Just remember: you may have to do some running for your life in the middle of the night, and if those long skirts are going to get in your way, you may want to skip them and try to find something a little more practical - at least for after dark!

Now think about who you are:

Spend some time on your character's history - not only does the plot staff use character histories to create stories you will personally will have fun with, but writing a history will enhance your role-playing experience tremendously. Feel free to be creative with your character history and take the time to really flesh out a character you will have fun playing. All character histories will be reviewed by the plot staff, and if there are any problems with what you have written, we will bring it to your attention and give you alternate suggestions. While you are certainly encouraged to be creative with your character's background and surroundings previous to arriving in Morocco, try to avoid defining major parts of the campaign world, such as rewriting history for an existing country or defining a local government in Morocco. Be sure to read the Game World section to learn about the history and background of the game. We also encourage you to research and use any actual history in your background, so long as it does not violate any nTeraction rules or Atlas policies (for example, it is forbidden to include sexual violence, racism or religious hatred in your character history, as these concepts are not allowed in the game). Unless otherwise stated in the Campaign Book, Atlas Adventurers' general world history up to the start of the game is identical to that of the real world up to 1911.

Keep in mind that it will be easier for us to use your character history as inspiration for writing storylines if you fit your character into the setting and atmosphere of the game. If you would like us to send some action or drama your way based on your character history, do not be shy about mentioning that. Incorporate elements from the world information we provide into your history. Research interesting historical events and integrate them into your background. Feel free to leave "blank spots," loose ends, unresolved mysteries and such in your history, too - we will be happy to fill in the blanks!

Below are some helpful questions to ask yourself when developing a character history. This is a new persona you are creating. You can play a character very different from your real self, or take some personal daydreams and make them your character's reality. The goal is to make a character both interesting and fun for you to play.

  1. What is your character's name?
  2. How does your character move? Do you slouch or swagger? Are you stealthy or clumsy?
  3. How do you speak? Do you have an accent? Are you soft-spoken or brash?
  4. Did you or do you have any close family? How were you raised?
  5. What kind of education did you receive? How did you get your starting character skills?
  6. Where are you from?
  7. Why did you come to Porto de Maio?
  8. Do you have any fears? Any phobias (fear of the dark, fear of spiders, etc.)?
  9. What is your favorite past-time? Hobby?
  10. What (or who) do you hate? What (or who) do you love?
  11. What are your personal beliefs? Morals? How did you gain these?
  12. Are you shy? Outgoing? A leader or a follower?
  13. Do you have any personal goals? (i.e. finding a missing relative, avenging a friend's death, earning notoriety in a field of study or pursing a family legend)
  14. Do you know anyone else in Porto de Maio? How? What is your history with them?

Rule of Etiquette: Game World Exclusions
nTeraction rules specifically prohibit abusive or derogatory language or actions, whether they are in-game or out-of-game. You may not include in your character history nor make reference in-game to any of the following:

Although Atlas Adventures is set in 1911, it is not to be inferred that commonly-held derogatory beliefs of the time are in any way included in the game. These things simply do not exist in the Atlas game world, regardless of "real world history." Violating these rules may result in immediate expulsion from the game.

Please see the Game World section for more information on religion, history and other in-game aspects of the world.

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Skills
You may select your character skills with our new online character generator. Easy-to-understand instructions will help you create a user account and password, and try out different combinations of Attributes, Headers and Skills. Do not save your character until you are sure you are satisfied with your choices - players cannot change skills once they have been saved in the system. Please do not create and save "junk" characters to try out different skill ideas.

New Players: We highly recommend using the online character generator to experiment with different combinations of Attributes, Headers and Skills that interest you. Remember, do not save your character unless you are sure you like the choices you have made. However, if you have questions or would rather have personal help creating your character, do not hesitate to contact us. If you prefer, you can also create your character at event Check-In, with the help of the New Player Liaison.

Please see Making a Character in the Logistics chapter for more information about the online character generator.

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Costume
Atlas Adventures is set in the Edwardian era. However, both men's and women's costuming guidelines are not always historically accurate, and have been adjusted for practicality and fun. Remember that these are only guidelines, and that you may design any costume you like, so long as it is consistent with the atmosphere and period of the game.

Women's Costume
Men's Costume

Women's Costume

Atlas will not be consistent with historical turn of the century notions about the role of women in society. In Atlas, women do everything men do, unless, by choice of the player, a character happens to behave otherwise. There is no shock in a woman wearing pants, crawling on her knees through a crypt, or holding political office. Because of this, most styles worn by men are considered appropriate, perhaps with a few minor changes, for a woman as well. Read the men's costume overview for costuming inspiration as well.

The Late Victorian era closed with the turn of the century. Some conservative women, perhaps a dowager or matriarch, might still be dressing in that style. Late Victorian women's dress was quite formal, and included gowns with tight, corseted bodices and voluminous, bustled skirts. Traveling clothes were usually a tailored jacket to fit over a gown, a small flowered hat, and gloves.

Perhaps the most common clothing in Porto de Maio, Morocco would be informal clothing well-suited to life there. Adventurers such as archaeologists, tomb raiders, and soldiers might wear a combination of military and desert clothing. This might be a sturdy cotton or canvas jackets, belted at the waist, in tan or brown, with a skirt, knickers with socks and boots, or long pants tucked into high boots, and perhaps a blouse and tie underneath the jacket. Game hunters, American cowgirls, or outdoorswomen might wear more rugged pieces, like a leather vest or pants, or a fringed Native-American jacket. A military hat, aviators cap and goggles, a straw-and-flowers hat, French Foreign Legion headpiece (with a drape in back for the sun), Australian bush hat, or even a pith helmet, would top it off. Do not forget your leather gear bag and gloves. These pieces can be found at army-navy surplus, outdoors stores, and modern clothing stores.

Professional women such as journalists, correspondents and diplomats might wear similar outfits, or more formal clothes. The "Gibson Girl" outfit is a long skirt, high-necked blouse, bow or brooch at the neck, belt, ankle boots, upswept hair and straw hat with flowers. This look was famous for being the "uniform" of professional women of the time. Gloves, handbags, umbrellas and other details finish the look. You can buy these clothes at modern stores, or easily make them yourself.

Wealthy patrons, diplomats and dilettantes might wear formal dresses in day to day life, but in Morocco this would be a rarity. Dress bodices were not stiff or boned, but rather looked similar to a frilly blouse. Dress skirts were long and flowing, without the volume of earlier Victorian styles. Conservative or wealthy women might also wear traditional "walking clothes," such as a long skirt and tailored jacket, perhaps with a blouse and frilly bow or brooch at the neck. Simple or extravagant hats, gloves, fans, and small purses were common accessories. Edwardian dresses will be hard to find in clothing stores, but there are many good Edwardian dress patterns on the market if you sew or know someone who does. The jacket and skirt outfit is easy to put together from modern clothes or second-hand stores.

Gunsmiths and mechanologists might wear more practical clothing, like denim overalls with button-down shirts and an engineers' cap. These pieces are available at modern stores.

Sporting ladies, such as golfers, might wear knickers with socks and loafers, a thin sweater or turtleneck, and golf cap or visor. An equestrienne might wear jodhpurs and high boots. Auto-drivers and pilots might wear any outfit, adding leather caps, goggles, a scarf, leather gloves and a duster coat. Get these clothes at modern clothing, outdoors and sports stores.

In the colder months, ladies frequently wore long wool coats, very similar in style to the formal, tailored wool coats you see today.

Entertainers (and other slaves to fashion) might wear glamorous costumes on or off stage, though they are probably not going to crawl through a crypt in such pieces. Can-can dresses or slinky gowns might be worn on stage. "Oriental" dress was all the rage; a billowing kimono-style dressing gown and lavish headdress will catch a few eyes. Add tiers of beads, ostrich plumes and bold-colored scarves. Other women bucked tradition by wearing the "harem outfit": full pants that gather in around the ankle, a tunic with belt or sash, flat slippers, and a wide hat, knitted cap or small turban, perhaps all in bright colors. You can buy silky dressing gowns at modern stores. Harem pants and tunics are easy to make. You can also make or rent costumes to wear onstage.

In white or muted tones, the "harem outfit" works perfectly for a native Moroccan woman. She might pair it with a desert headpiece or veil, turban or fez. A wealthy or fashion-conscious Moroccan woman might have embroidery or beading on her outfit, richer-colored fabrics, and might wear jewels or perhaps an elaborate headdress on special occasions.

A shaman or mentalist might wear long robes and a turban, and carry a strangely-carved walking-cane. Or she might dress just like anyone else, depending on whether or not she wants to advertise her talents.

Remember, details and accessories are often all it takes to turn a modern outfit into a 1911s period costume. Flowery hats, scarves and bows at the neck, gloves, belt, umbrellas and such will lend your character the right air. Do not forget your weapons! A lady might wear pistols camouflaged underneath formal attire, four pistol holsters strapped to her belt, or have a hunting spear and sword casually on hand. Improvise!

Look through the Archetype Characters section for pictures and descriptions of typical costumes. Also, see the Resources section for more suggestions on where to find costuming.

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Men's Costume

The Late Victorian era closed with the turn of the century. Some conservative men, perhaps a politician or older man, might prefer that style. Late Victorian men's clothing was quite formal, featuring black frock coats (long black suit coats with voluminous amounts of fabric forming "tails" in back), black pants and waistcoats (vests). Tall black hats, canes, and gloves complete the look.

Clothing practical for an overseas adventurer will probably be the most common. Adventurers such as archaeologists, tomb raiders, and soldiers might wear a combination of military and desert clothing. Men often wore sturdy, khaki cotton jackets belted at the waist, buttoned shirts underneath, and light-colored pants either stuffed into high socks or wrapped about the calves with strips of cloth (to keep out scorpions and other nasty critters). They paired these with low boots like present-day army boots, or high equestrian-style boots. Accessories included cravats (wide neckties), bandannas, leather gloves, and hats (fedoras, military hats, pith helmets, French Foreign Legion hats, aviator cap and goggles, etc.). Game hunters, American cowboys, or outdoorsmen might wear more rugged pieces, like a leather vest or pants, or fringed, Daniel-Boone or Native-American clothes and a raccoon hat. Most of these pieces you can get in Army-Navy surplus stores (look for tan BDUs) and outdoors stores.

A wealthy or conservative man, such as a diplomat or dilettante, might wear a suit, though such formal clothing would probably be a rarity in Porto de Maio. Suits in 1911 looked quite similar to modern-day suits, but always included waistcoats. A conservative or winter suit might be dark with a small fedora, while a summer or more trendy suit might have a tan or white jacket or pants, with a light-colored vest and straw boater hat. Other accessories include pocket-watches, monocles, and gloves. You can get old three-piece suits from second-hand stores, or you might have one in the back of your closet. Modern sports separates will work fine for the "summer" suit. Do not feel you have to wear the right suit in the right season, though - wear whichever you like!

For working men such as journalists, photographers, or consular attaches, attire might be similar to the suits described above. These busy types might often discard their jacket, choosing to wear only their vest and shirtsleeves (though they would probably still wear their pocket watch and perhaps a hat or cap). Or, these men might be more "rough and ready," choosing to wear typical adventurer gear instead.

Gunsmiths, mechanologists and laborers might wear denim overalls with a buttoned shirt, suit pants and vests with a long (perhaps leather) apron, or blue jeans with a vest, boots and a cap. You can find these clothing items at modern clothing stores; you can get a cloth or leather apron at any home improvement store.

Teddy Roosevelt inspired men to adopt the sporting or outdoorsman look. Dapper golfers or polo players might wear long, wide pants or knickers and socks, loafers, thin sweaters and golf caps or visors. Equestrians might don long pants, high boots, jackets and leather gloves. Auto-driving outfits were popular, and looked like pilots' outfits: any outfit, plus leather caps, goggles, a scarf, perhaps high boots and leather gauntlets, and a "duster" coat to keep dust off your clothes. Get these clothes at modern clothing, outdoors and sports stores. If you would rather not buy them, you can make quick knickers by cutting the bottoms off pants and putting in elastic or stuffing them into the top of long socks or boots.

Some entertainers might dress in the most fashionable attire on stage, and perhaps off stage as well, with white-jacket suits, a tall hat, cane, gloves, and gold watch-chain. Vaudevillians, on the other hand, often wore humorously-oversized suits with the pants and jacket sleeves rolled up, and carried around carpet-bags full of stage props and other oddities. Some performers wore elaborate costumes on stage, such as Shakespearean costume for a dramatic reading. You can put these costumes together from second-hand stores, make them, or rent them from costume stores.

A native Moroccan man would commonly wear full pants that gather in around the ankle, a knee or ankle-length tunic with belt or sash, flat shoes or boots, and a small turban, desert headpiece, or fez. The clothing would likely be in white, tan or light colors, and made out of loose, flowing fabric. A wealthy Moroccan man might wear a similar outfit in richer colors, and might wear jewels or beading as well.

A shaman or mentalist might wear long robes and a turban, and carry a strangely-carved walking-cane. Or he might dress just like anyone else, depending on whether or not he wants to advertise his talents.

Remember, details and accessories are often all it takes to turn a modern outfit into a 1911s period costume. 1911 men's clothing is quite similar to modern clothing in many ways, so accessories will go a long way toward turning modern clothes into costume. Hats, pocket watches (or cheat and wear just the chain for effect!), tucked-in pant legs, vests (alone or under jackets), cravats and bandannas, suspenders and button-shirts, wire-rimmed glasses, a golf club slung over your shoulder or goggles on your head will make all the difference. Do not forget your weapons! You might wrap yourself in leather holsters and ammunition belts, bristle with hunting spears, or secret a pistol into your bootleg. Improvise!

Look through the Archetype Characters section for pictures and descriptions of typical costumes. Also, see the Resources section for more suggestions on where to find costuming.

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Weapons
You can fight with a variety of weapons at Atlas, including melee and thrown boffer weapons, ActionBall spring guns, and packets for spells and mentalist powers. All weapons must meet Atlas safety and size requirements and will be safety-inspected at Check-In. Some weapons you might have used in other games, particularly games that use nTeraction rules, will match our safety and size requirements, so be sure to check your weapons stock before making new ones.

All normal weapons, such as boffer weapons, spring guns, and throwing weapons, do not need to be purchased or found in-game - you may have as many of these items as you have physical representations. However, keep in mind that you must purchase a skill to use some kinds of weapons and fighting styles. See the Headers & Skills section for information on these skills.

Please see the Gear section for complete information on making Atlas-approved weapons, safety and size requirements, and specific types of weapons allowed (and prohibited). You will also find information there on purchasing all types of weapons from The Adventurer's Outlet.

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Money and Stuff
Each player receives starting money at Check-In of their first event. Certain skills, such as Wealth, provide players additional money at the beginning of each event. See the Headers & Skills section for more information on these skills.

At your first event, you may purchase in-game items, such as herbology packs, at Check-In. After their first event, players cannot purchase in-game items, at Check-In; you must find or purchase all in-game items during the course of events. By contrast, certain out-of-game items, such as ActionBall Ammunition and spring guns, are typically available for purchase at Check-In. Some items, such as timepieces, do not need to be purchased or found, but can be brought into game by any player. Please note that all normal weapons, such as boffer weapons, spring guns, and throwing weapons, do not need to be purchased or found in-game - you may have as many of these items as you have physical representations. Please see the Gear section for more information on items allowed, and prohibited, in the game.

Returning Players: Money and in-game items from Atlas Agenda do not transfer to Atlas Adventures.

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Skill-Related Gear
Some character skills, such as medical, mechanology, and armor- and weapon-repair skills, require you to use appropriate props while performing the skill. It is up to you to choose items that suit your role-playing. We encourage you to be creative with these props - feel free to set up a workshop or physician's office in your cabin (provided you follow the setup rules). However, you may not use any item that might cause physical injury to another person, such as sharp medical instruments. Before they are used, all tools and instruments must be approved by a member of the Atlas staff. Bring your items to Check-In for safety approval.

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How to Talk
There are no special requirements in Atlas Adventures for the way your character should speak. Speech and vocabulary is considered the same as it is today, although you may adopt an accent or special manner of speech if you wish.

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