More Grey Ranks stuff. More verbiage on unappealing/immortal, changes to dice, other stuff.
YOUR AGE: “HEY, KID, HOW OLD ARE YOU?”
Choose your starting age – 15, 16, or 17.
15 year olds must put the same or more dice in a mission than they put in the accompanying vignette.
16 year olds have no die peculiarities.
17 year olds must put the same or more dice in a vignette than they put in the accompanying mission.
You cannot play a character outside this age range.
YOUR DISTRICT: “WHERE ARE YOU FROM, SHORTY?”
Choose your district. Squads are deliberately mixed so that youngsters may find refuge in multiple neighborhoods if they get in trouble. The choices are based on the Home Army’s operational commands:
Districts of Warsaw
I: ÅšrÃ³dmieÅ›cie and Old Town – the heart of the city.
II: Zoliborz, North Warsaw.
III: Wola, Northwest Warsaw.
IV: Ochota, Southwest Warsaw.
V: MokotÃ³w, Southern Warsaw.
VI: Praga, On the east bank of the Vistula.
VII: Powiat Warszawski, Greater Warsaw – the suburbs, forests, and farms.
You may choose any of these. When a mission is set in your district, you get an extra bonus die.
THINGS YOU HOLD DEAR: “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR?”
Initially, there are six things your character holds dear (a seventh, My Sweetheart, can be added). Rank them from most important to least important as you see fit. In play you may be forced to cause harm to these if your character fails under pressure. The things your character holds dear are:
This includes the Resistance, the Home Army, and anything related to the larger struggle for a free Poland.
This includes only your immediate family – mother, father, grandparents, brothers and sisters.
This includes your nest of Bees and, possibly, a dear friend who is not in the Grey Ranks for some reason.
This obviously includes your physical and emotional health and well-being.
This includes every aspect of your religious life – your parish priest, your local church, Warsaw cathedral, the local soup kitchen, as well as your personal relationship with the Lord.
This includes your extended family – cousins, aunts and uncles, as well as neighbors, teachers, doctors, and all the people and places that make your neighborhood home.
Starting characters do not have a love relationship. Once a character acquires a sweetheart, immediately add this person to your list of things you hold dear in whatever position you choose. If you choose, this position can be filled by a Best Friend instead, with the same consequences.
You can add a bonus die into any conflict (mission or vignette) by putting the next Thing You Hold Dear on your list at risk. You must include it in the conflict somehow. If you risk a Thing You Hold Dear and fail, that Thing is ruined or destroyed (just like Trauma), along with whatever other penalties are accrued.
LOVE AND MORTALITY: “NO RUSH, CASANOVA – AFTER ALL, YOU’RE GONNA LIVE FOREVER, RIGHT?”
In Grey Ranks, a starting player character is a very unappealing teen with a host of embarrassing problems. This same character is also, happily enough, immortal. As the game progresses your character will lose that sense of immortality but gain the potential to love and be loved. This is called growing up.
Before each episode begins, you receive a number of dice equal to the number of unappealing and immortal traits you have remaining. Since these are crossed off in pairs as you grow up, this will begin at 12 and decrease by a multiple of two throughout the game.
Puberty is a bitch. A teen’s body is in utter turmoil, wracked with conflicting impulses and awash in a furious bath of hormones. Compounding this is enough education and experience to be simultaneously ignorant and opinionated, confident and ridiculous. Top it all off with acne, bad hair, and an entire world going to hell, and it’s no wonder player characters are a mess.
Choose six reasons you are unappealing. These can be any negative trait that might manifest itself – clumsy, socially awkward, pimple-faced, having a German parent, etc. As the game progresses, you will shed these burdens – actually or metaphorically – as you gain experience and mature.
Immortality is a potent force in Grey Ranks. It represents the teen world-view, which is both blindingly optimistic and tragically naive. You are the center of the universe, at least until you acquire a sweetheart, and you will live forever. Blind luck and the watchful eyes of your more experienced comrades will save the day again and again, although you will be too busy to notice how very close you come to death again and again.
Choose six reasons you are Immortal. These can be any positive trait you can conceive of – tough as nails, lucky, knows the sewers, alert, military training, a bright future, etc. As the game progresses, you will shed these gifts as the harsh reality of your human frailty becomes apparent to you.
UNAPPEALING/IMMORTAL COMBINATION SUGGESTIONS
Things that make you unappealing are intended to complicate your vignettes – Sure, she runs like the wind, but who wants to be friends with the girl with bad breath? Things that make you immortal are intended to make missions easier – who knew the crater-faced loser was such an excellent shot?
Some of these combinations are thematically linked and others are not. Either is fine, although linking them can result in easier and more elegant narration when the pair is lost. The loss of some (Foolish) is easier to explain than others (German relatives), but the loss can always be metaphorical. Feel free to mix and match, or invent your own ways to be unappealing or immortal.
Arrogant/Nose for trouble
Bad breath/Fast runner
Bad hair/Strong as an ox
Emotionally damaged/Glory hound
German relatives/Smooth talker
Out of shape/Funny
Maladroit/Guided by angels
Poorly dressed/Keen senses
Short/Fits in small places
Stubborn/Tough as nails
Failed missions cause player characters to grow up a little, crossing off an unlovable/immortal combination each time.