All About Aspects: Modern Day High Concepts

Modern Day High Concepts

Okay, now we’ve explained the basic formatting in our previous post, we’re going to provide a series of ideas for creating the description, job and twist sections of the high concept for a modern day character.

Descriptions

Please note: Some of the description options suggested on our previous high concept post may also be applicable for modern day characters, feel free to pick and choose, we try to offer different options below.

No.Description When to invoke When to compel
1Well-connected Invoke when using your connections to provide information or resources. Compel when one of your contacts calls in a favour you owe them.
2Rich Invoke when paying for items, making resource rolls, trying to blend into high-class functions or when splashing the cash might aid in social rolls. Compel to have someone attempt to rob or swindle you out of your riches, or perhaps you are the target of someone's envy.
3Poor Invoke to be overlooked or to blend into the background, also to busk or panhandle for money. Compel whenever lack of money might cause problems or your threadbare appearance sees you excluded from a situation or barred entry to an institution.
4Homeless Invoke when begging for money or when locating people on the street. Compel to have yourself moved on or otherwise cast-out of social situations for being a vagrant.
5Whizz-kid Invoke when attempting technical tasks. Compel when your lack of knowledge of more practical taks causes you serious complications.
6Famous Invoke when attempting to use your fame to influence people or to get credit for expensive items. Compel to have a stalker or fanatically fans pursue you, also when your fame prevents any attempts at subterfuge or stealth.
7Well-educated Invoke when knowledge of an academic subject would be useful. Compel to have your character's lack of physical prowess prove a serious issue or to have a rival from college/university appear and make the character's life miserable.
8Scholarly Invoke when researching lore. Compel to have your character's lack of physicla prowess prove a complication, or perhaps a rival appears.
9Sociable Invoke when sociallising with people. Compel when someone obsessed with the character begins to stalk/follow them and cause issues in their life, or compel to cause issues when the character attempts to remain incognito.
10Shadey Invoke when engaged in larcenous pursuits or to contact underworld figures. Compel to have law enforcement officials hassle you or to have those wronged by your crimes seek vengeance.
11Headstrong Invoke when reacting quickly is a benefit. Compel to have you rush into a hazardous situation without adequate preparation.
12Seductive Invoke to add to social rolls when attempting to seduce someone. Compel to have someone your character seduced and discarded seek revenge or perhaps the character is equally vulnerable to being seduced themselves.
13Brutal Invoke when involved in physical combat or when trying to intimidate someone. Compel when your characters lack of book-smarts and academic knowledge causes them serious problems.
14Insane Invoke when your insanity could provide an insight or when resisting mental manipulation by outside sources. Compel to have your insanity prevent certain actions or have you behave in a way that brings complications to the scene.
15Insightful Invoke when making investigation rolls and other skill checks where logical thinking and leaps of reasoning might be helpful. Compel to have the character be so captivated by their insight that they miss some potential hazardous other events occurring.
16Influential Invoke whenever you are socially interacting with someone in your area of influence or are trying to push business legislation and target through red tape. Compel to have a superior or someone in the same industry try to ruin you or for some incident to have a detrimental effect on your influence.
17Blind Invoke whenever lack of distractions or use of non-sight sense would help in a situation. Compel to have yourself fail to notice an obvious danger due to lack of sight.
18Tough Invoke when you really on physical toughness to soak an attack or when trying to intimidate someone using threats of physical violence. Compel to have your character unable to resist being called out by someone, or to have them take an attack, over-estimating their toughness.
19Fit Invoke for tests of physical fitness such as running long distance, atheltics or even dodging attacks. Compel to have your character baited into proviing their physical prowess or being unable to resist the opportunity to display their skills.
20Perceptive Invoke for perceptions rolls or anything relying on visual acuity. Compel when your character is distracted by what they are paying attention to and misses potentially hazardous other situations occurring.

Job

No.Description When to invoke When to compel
1Cop When dealing with the legal system, arresting criminals or sociallising with other cops. Compel to have your character targeted by a criminal that they have previously arrested or to have them investigated by Internal Affairs.
2Vagrant Invoke when busking for money or when knowledge of the forgotten places in the local area would prove useful, also for quickly finding your way through back-alleys. Compel to have yourself moved on or thrown out of places due to your appearance.
3Chef Invoke when engaged in the culinary arts or when knowledge of herbs, meat and other food would be useful, also when handling knives and other kitchen equipment. Compel to have an emergency at the restaurant that requires your attention, also to have your character's free time severely restricted due to the demands of their job.
4Librarian Invoke when researching information or when knowledge of literature will prove useful. Compel when your character's lack of physical prowess gets them into trouble or the severley misstep in a social situation outside their comfort zone.
5University Professor Invoke when researching academic subjects or when dealing socially with your students. Compel when your character's lack of physical prowess gets them into trouble or the severley misstep in a social situation outside their comfort zone.
6Computer Programmer/Hacker Invoke when attempting to use/hack computer systems. Compel to have your character located by the authorities and possibly bought up on charges of espionage, or to have them unnecessarily hack a system (wasting time and potentially getting the party into trouble) just because they can't resist the challenge.
7Photographer Invoke when an eye for detail is required or when your character is attempting to compose a photograph. Compel to have someone take exception to being photographed or to have something startling and potentially dangerous appear on the PC's photograph when it is developed.
8Bouncer Invoke when physical violence or intimidation is called for. Compel when the character's love for violence and lack of subtly causes problems.
9Club Owner Invoke when a character's reputation in the business would open doors for them, to acquire liquor or anything else that you might find in a club. Depending on the club you could also invoke this aspect to aid in social interactions with those who frequent it. Compel to have their be some sort of emergency or police raid on your club that complicates your life and requires immediate attention.
10Office Worker Invoke when attempting to locate information in a filing system or when using an office computer system. Compel when a character's sedentary lifestyle causes them to fail a challenge that a more physically fit person might succeed at.
11Criminal Invoke when attempting to perform larcenous deeds. Compel to have yourself arrested/hassled by the law or to have a criminal rival show up and attempt to take you down.
12Drug dealer To obtain drugs or deal with the criminal underworld. Compel to have a rival make a hostile move on your patch or to have yourself arrested/hassled by the law.
13Private Investigator Invoke when trying to track someone down or when investigating a crime scene. Compel to have your case take an unexpected turn, to have yourself double-crossed by your client or they skip town without paying. Could also be compelled to have the target of an investigation take exception to the fact and have either them or their associates make life unpleasant for the character.
14Doctor/Nurse Invoke when attempting to perform first aid or other medical procedures. Compel to have the PC called away on a medical emergency or to have a medical situation occur nearby that they feel obligated to render assistance to.
15Salesman Invoke to persuade someone socially. Compel to have the door slammed in the character's face or to have their income compromised by low sales figures last month.
16Journalist Invoke to research for a story or wheedly information from your sources. Compel to have the irrate subject of one of your previous scoops make life difficult for you or to have your character jump into a dangerous situation, because they have to get the big story.
17TV personality Invoke when your celebrity status might open doors. Compel to have yourself besieged by fans or instantly be recognised when trying to remain incognito.
18Craftsman Invoke when your knowledge of crafting and how items are constructed is useful, when you are trying to jury-rig an item or build something. Compel to have your character slowed down or distracted at a crucial moment by a particularly stunning piece of architecture or construction work.
19Single parent Invoke when dealing with children or other parents in social situations. Compel to have an emergency with your child require immediate intervention or to have yourself give a villain the benefit of the doubt because they remind you of your child.
20Scientist Invoke when your knowledge of the sciences proves useful. Compel to have your character drawn an erroneous conclusion or to have them apply logic to the motivations of an opponent who is not logical, also to have them tinker around with experiments, causing possibly disastrous consequences.

 

Twist

No.Description When to invoke When to compel
1owes a favour to the mob Invoke when knowledge of and connections to the criminal underworld might prove useful. Compel to have the mob call in their favour.
2found an mysterious book Invoke when make lore rolls related to the subject of the book Compel to have other parties attempt to take the book from the PC or to have someone associated with the book show up and cause trouble in the PC's life.
3knows this city like the back of my hand Invoke to find your way around the city or locate a particular place or person. The character is well known in the city, this could be compelled to have them be easily recognised when they don't want to be.
4won big on the lottery Invoke when making purchases or when in social situations where cash would help matters. Compel to have the character pestered or pursued by people who want their money, they may also be targeted by criminals or receive unwanted press attention.
5is being stalked by a strange figure The PC is always on edge so invoke this part of the aspect to have them avoid ambushes or notice small details. Compel to have the figure interfere in the character's life, perhaps attacking either the PC or someone close to them.
6is haunted by their past Invoke on any roll where the character is directly attempting an action to make up for the sins of their past. Compel to have the character distracted or obliged to render assistance in a situation when they are reminded of their past, they may also find themselves in legal trouble.
7has a criminal record Invoke when trying to carry out shadey activities or make contact with people in the underworld. Compel to have the character bought in for questioning or detained by the police as a 'person of interest' in an investigation.
8owns a well-know establishment Invoke when the characters need somewhere to lie-low whilst things blow over or to make contact with someone who frequents the establishment. Compel to have the establishment raided, rubbished in a review or to have a regular patron contact the PC requiring assistance.
9is always armed Invoke when a character is surprised and combat ensues. Compel when carrying arms escalates a situation or when the PC is arrested for carrying concealed weapons.
10carries a licensed firearm Invoke when making firearms rolls. Compel when carrying a firearm might exacerbate a situation.
11has a personal assistant Invoke whenever you have duties that you can pass off to your assistant or when you wish them to deal with a problem in your place. Compel to have your assistant mess up their assigned task or make a situation worse either deliberately or accidentally, enemies trying to target you may start with your assistant, hoping to get information from them.
12has a drug problem Invoke on rolls when your character is dealing with other addicts or trying to contact underworld drug suppliers. Compel whenever your character takes an opportunity to indulge their drug habit to the detriment of the current situation.
13has a baby-face Invoke when socialising with people who feel protective of your character. Compel to get carded or not be allowed in clubs and bars.
14works for a big corporation Invoke when use of corporate resources can aid in a situation. Compel when you are required to perform services for the corporation at inconvenient times or that get you into more trouble.
15is haunted by a spirit Invoke when knowledge of ghosts or superstitions concerning them might be useful. Compel to have the spirit become hostile and either spectrally attack or cause great inconvenience for the PC.
16has a great memory Invoke when attempting to recall obscure facts. Compel when the character's obsession with (sometimes) trivial details causes them to draw a false conclusions or become blind to more pressing matters.
17has a way with animals Invoke when training or dealing with animals. Sometimes such characters have difficulty relating to other humans, compel the aspect when this causes issues in a social situation.
18is a very light-sleeper Invoke when rolling to avoid surprise upon waking. Compel when a character is exhausted from not getting enough sleep and may miss details or overlook things as a result.
19lives in a mansion Invoke when you need somewhere to lie-low or when dealing socially with people who will be impressed by your mansion. Compel when the building require expensive repairs, it also makes the PC ludicrously easy to locate for anyone who wishes them harm.
20is in love with someone Invoke when attempting to help or aid your true love. Compel when you forsake all else to rescue your lover from harm or when an enemy attempts to get to you through them.

 


Example:

I’m going to roll 3 times on the table and see what I get, so using the online dice roller I’ve rolled: 6, 11 and 15.

Looking at the tables this gives me the following:

I’m a famous criminal who is haunted by a spirit.

I can invoke my aspect:

  • When attempting to use your fame to influence people or to get credit for expensive items.
  • When attempting to perform larcenous deeds.
  • When knowledge of ghosts or superstitions concerning them might be useful.

And I can compel it:

  • To have a stalker or fanatically fans pursue you, also when your fame prevents any attempts at subterfuge or stealth.
  • Compel to have yourself arrested/hassled by the law or to have a criminal rival show up and attempt to take you down.
  • Compel to have the spirit become hostile and either spectrally attack or cause great inconvenience for the PC.

 

Coming Next for All about Aspects: Monstrous nature as an aspect

Circuit board tree image designed by Mastermindsro, you can see the full design here; used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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