19 Jul 2018

Leverage By the Numbers - Oz

Last week, I reworked Numbers from By the Numbers, bringing her from the Shadowrun setting into one of my own creation.  Numbers was the easy one to work with; her background came to the fore during the story and her role didn't really change despite the translation; she's the hacker of the group, and the new system, the Leverage RPG, has that as an explicit role.

The rest of the cast of By the Numbers will take work.  The Mecha Academy setting doesn't have magic or cybernetics, meaning the rest of the crew will have fundamental changes made to them.  Yet, the goal is to keep to their personalities, not their abilities.  Having learned my lesson the first time I created characters for the game, I'll just focus on one character, Oswald, the mage.

It's the same approach as last week, using the Fast Recruitment option, to fill out Oz as much as possible.  The first change is his name.  I want to keep Oz as a nickname.  Oswald works as a street name for /Shadowrun/, not so much as a given name.  It has the feel of a family name, handed down to unsuspecting baby boys generation after generation.  However, Oswalt will work for a surname*.  That leaves his given name.  After a bit of a search, I'll go with Samuel.  Samuel "Oz" Oswalt.

On to the character creation steps, starting with background.  In By the Numbers, Oz was a former NYPD, Inc, mage detective.  Two of those descriptors are no longer valid.  In the Mecha Academy setting, a city police detective isn't going to make that many waves, and the idea that's forming is that the group isn't performing heists to make themselves rich, but for something bigger.  There's a hint of it with Christa, where she's going after her former employer.  Oz, though, should have a different reason.  Right now, I'm toying with him being being a former spy of some sort.  In fiction, that works to add a level of mystery to him.

For primary role, mage is out of the question.  A look at what he did in By the Numbers reveals that he took lead when planning the rescue of Nabi's kidnapped daughter.  He also worked with Mr. Johnson on details.  For that, I'm willing to call Oz the Mastermind.  He plans and has contingencies, though he also tends to keep things loose.  Nate Ford he is not.

Oz's secondary role is a little harder to determine.  He wasn't the one to negotiate, nor was he a combat mage.  His most used spell was invisibility.  But that may be the key.  Oz got into places without being seen, the hallmark of the Thief.  His stealth also works with his new background, a former spy.  So, Thief at d8 it is.  The rules call such a combination the "Merry Old Gentleman", similar to Dickens' Fagin; the teacher to a band of younger thieves.  It's an idea to keep in mind; Oz was the one Numbers went to for advice in By the Numbers.

Given the choice of focused or versatile attributes, Oz goes with versatile.  He gets one attribute at d10, one at d6, and the rest at d8.  He takes Willpower for his d10; not the usual choice for a Mastermind, but Oz may have had a group of agents under him when he was an active spy.  For the d6, he takes Strength.  Oz won't be breaking down doors, but if things go as planned, Charles will be at the door that needs to be broken.  The rest get the d8s.  That will keep him ready for anything that goes wrong.

Oz can now choose his first distinction.  The old Oz would have "Former Detective"; the new one takes "License Retired".  An oblique reference to /007/ and titles such as License Renewed.  Anytime being a former agent, and it looks like he worked for the Empire, he can roll a d8.  If that's a problem, he can use a d4 and take a plot point.

On to the Fast Recruitment, taking it step by step again.  The remaining roles get their dice first.  The d6 gets placed into Grifter.  He's not going to run a detailed con, but if he needs to bluff his way out of a sticky situation, he has a decent chance.  That means the d4s are in Hitter and Hacker.  That's why he has Charles and Numbers.

For the talents, the first one Oz takes is The Bigger They Are, letting him use what would be a complication as an asset.  Not quite what I was looking for, but I don't want to work out a new talent right now.  If I squint, the talent does look like it fits Oz's seat of the pants methods.  The other talent he takes is Johnny-on-the-spot, which lets him spend a plot point to appear in a scene if he's not already there.  Perfect for somone who once used invisibility.

Oz now needs two specialties.  The first one he takes is Lock Picking, under Thief.  He's good at getting places where people don't want him.  It's like his former job required it of him.  The other he picks up is Flirting, under Mastermind.  Don't think too hard about it.  Please.

Of the remaining two distinctions, Oz can choose one.  Here, he takes Seat of the Pants - things can crash around him and he'll still find a way out.  Of course, flying by the seat of his pants in a plan means that he may not always account for everything that crops up.  The last distinction is given to him by the rest of the team.  Ladies' Man fits, maybe too well.  It wasn't intentional at the beginning of By the Numbers, but Oz tended to talk to women more than men.

I'll leave the signature asset blank for now.  He didn't really have one in By the Numbers.  Given the setting, a starship of some sort might work, but that'll depend on where the story goes.  The character sheet follows below.

Name: Samuel Oswalt
Aliases: "Oz"
Background: Former corporate accountant.

 Agility: d8
 Alertness: d8
 Intelligence: d8
 Strength: d6
 Willpower: d10

 Grifter: d6
 Hacker: d4
 Hitter: d4
 Mastermind: d10  (Flirting)
 Thief: d8  (Lockpicking)

  License Retired
  Seat of the Pants
  Ladies' Man

  The Bigger They Are

Signature Assets:

Oz is a valid PC for the /Leverage/ RPG, so if you use him, let me know.

Friday, the fiction returns with dba LTV Paranormalists!
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, Remaking Peter Gunn.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, a test run of the 007 Project with From Russia With Love.

* Osterchek would work, too, but I tend to shy away from using names of people I know unless the name is very common.  It's a personal quirk.

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