Part I: Discovering Character
Part II: Conventions
PERSONA is a game about discovering character . Discovering
character. Those words are important for all the players,
especially that special player called the Game Master to
remember. Everyone starts the game with a blank sheet of paper
and fills in the details as the action unfolds. Conflicts that
require dice rolls are the best time for learning about a character's
strengths and weaknesses. Thus, PERSONA presents Just in Time
Character Creation . When your character needs a skill, buy
it--right there, right when you need it. In fact, the only time
when you are allowed to mechanically develop your character is after a
die roll, and truly just in time. Does this mean that your
character suddenly learns Kung Fu, on the fly, as if by divine
intervention? No. He always knew Kung Fu...
Yes, you read that correctly. The expenditure of points in PERSONA does not represent a character gaining a new ability, but rather the unveiling of something he already possessed. For the sake of example you might think of it this way: your character begins the game with all of the abilities he will ever have, but none of those abilities are listed on the character sheet. Through game-play you the player are learning what those abilities are--as dictated by the needs of the situation and story at hand. You learn about your character as you create him and are never limited to a predefined list of traits.
Character Points are the currency you will use to purchase newly discovered traits. And because of Just In Time Character Creation you don't have to spend the points until that first instance of game-play when Kung Fu is required. In other words, you and everyone else make up your characters as you go. You discover the character that you are playing, their strengths and weaknesses, on the fly.
And you aren't limited to just skills. You can buy any trait, item, ally, or enemy when you want to; when the need arises. In PERSONA, these traits are called Fragments , and they cover everything from innate ability to GM assigned wound penalties. We call them Fragments because in PERSONA your character is never complete. You are always only listing a part of what makes your character whole. Even playing a character from a previous campaign doesn't necessarily mean that you will make use of the same list of Fragments that you once did. Fragments represent the list of qualities that are important to reveal in one specific campaign, or for one specific story.
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