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Posted by Chris Davis on 2010-09-15
Welcome to the first installment of the Abandon All Hope (AAH) Preview.

Let's start with the basics shall we? Dice and then Character Creation.

Here's an excerpt from the Characters chapter of AAH.

DICE
As is the case with most role-playing games, Abandon All Hope makes use of common polyhedral dice to determine success or failure for many actions where chance could play a factor. This ranges from figuring out whether skills are used effectively, to whether a person hits a foe in combat, to the damage that weapon inflicts.

Throughout these rules you will notice traits and effects that alter which dice a character rolls. The default dice used is D12, but certain traits (such as Find Weakness, or ganging up in combat) can either increase, or decrease, the dice used in a given situation by what is called a "step". The steps, in increasing order, are D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20 (the maximum).

Sometimes multiple traits/effects will come into play, altering the dice up, down, or both. For instance, a character with Find Weakness gets to increase her Attack roll - normally a D12 - to the next step, which is D20. But an effect that reduces her Attack rolls by a "step" would leave her rolling D12s again.

As you see, this is not a d20 game.

Character Creation
Now let's get an overview of Character Creation. Characters in AAH are all inmates on a prison ship floating towards imminent destruction at the hands of extra-dimensional forces, many of which are beyond human comprehension.

The steps to making a character are:

  1. Roll your "Convict Identification Number" (or "CIN").
  2. Determine your "Prison Status".
  3. Roll your starting "Attributes", "Gauges".
  4. Determine your starting "Build Points".
  5. Pick your "Conviction".
  6. Purchase additional traits with Build Points.
  7. Purchase gear and equipment with Build Points.
  8. Roll your "Identifying Feature".
  9. Pick your "Personal Goal" (secret).
  10. Devise a "Back-Story".
  11. Choose your name.
Some of these steps I'll elaborate on in future previews, but let's take a look at 1 and 2. Again, here's an excerpt:
Convict Identification Number: An inmate's convict identification number is a unique seven-digit number each prisoner was assigned upon sentencing to the Gehenna. A character's Convict Identification Number is determined by rolling D10 seven times arranging the numbers in order as they are rolled. A character's CIN number is the "name" she is known by to the robotic custodians of the ship, all automated systems and computers, etc.
Once you get your CIN, you can determine your Prison Status, which affects other aspects of your character's creation (as we'll see in future previews).

C.I.N.STATUSDESCRIPTION
0000001 - 0999999Old TimerOlder prisoners who have spent more time on the Inside than on the Outside; generally pitied, but often also feared and respected for their knowledge of the inner workings of prison life.
1000000 - 3999999LiferPrisoners who have lived at least 10 years or more in various prisons; very knowledgeable and generally respected (if not feared).
4000000 - 7999999ConvictTypical prisoner; 2 or more years in prison, may have developed enemies, friends, or joined a prison faction before being sentenced to the Gehenna.
8000000 - 9999999Fresh MeatNew to prisons; less than 1 year on the Inside before being sentenced to the Gehenna.

Next preview, I'll discuss Attributes and Gauges.

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