A Display of Character

One of the major parts of the Dragons & Magic world that Simon and I created is that everyone has numerical characteristics assigned at birth that define their abilities. One of my fans emailed me after finishing Origin to say they’d spent some time afterwards pondering what their parents might have chosen if they had the choice. So, I decided to create myself; which turned out to be harder than I expected.

For those of you who haven’t read Origin yet, there are ten characteristics (measured from one – abysmal and ten – best in a generation), each of which starts at three, and parents get twelve more points to distribute between them.

Some of the choices were easy for me, and I had the advantage of knowing what the mysterious tenth characteristic is. However, as will be familiar to anyone who’s played a stat-based RPG, I didn’t have nearly enough points for everything I needed. Fortunately, I realised before I started labelling myself game-breakingly powerful, I remembered I had decades of levelling-up.

Dice and a pen lying on top of a character sheet
© James JonesCC BY 2.0

So, based on my imperfect recollection of my early childhood, here I am as a Dragons & Magic character:

Characteristic

  Value

Comments

Strength

4

I’m not weak, but I’ve never been buff

Constitution

4

Not sickly yet not noticeably immune to illness

Dexterity

4

Neither clumsy nor a creature of grace

Intelligence

7

Reading and thinking were always my hobbies

Charisma

4

While I can convince and entertain now, I was less self-confident as a child

Wisdom

5

I’ve become more thoughtful, but I always was more decent than not

Willpower

4

The world didn’t really bend to my will

Perception

3

Average senses, average awareness

Luck

3

I tended to rely more on ability than opportunity

HIDDEN

4

Reasons and stuff

I’m quite happy with that as a basis; it wasn’t the easiest build for going through school but it’s really paid off as a foundation for later life. So, I’m – ironically – probably much luckier than Edmond, the hero of Origin.

How would your parents have distributed your points? Do you agree with their choices?

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4 thoughts on “A Display of Character

  1. Interesting. My first thought was: I can’t even begin to think how my parents would have done this. Then I wondered — what if parents had serious disagreements about this? And wouldn’t their own limitations influence their choices? So an individual’s points wouldn’t necessarily be assigned in a pure and objective way. But I suppose that’s addressed in your book.

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    1. One of the major parts of Origin is that Edmond’s parents had minimum intelligence and wisdom, so put all his points into Luck in the hope that he would win the Lottery.

      Simon and I handled it in a humorous way, but there is a serious question of genetics and social expectation there: most pre-industrial societies had children following into their parents’ trade, so is having your parents shape who you are actually fairer than a world where you will probably do what they did but might not have the best abilities for it.

      Liked by 1 person

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