Chapter 4: Character Creation
This chapter is all about the player character. The choices you make here determine who your character is, what he/she is capable of, and how likely his/her chances will be to make it to the top. Because this is a rather complex and important task, you get a whole week to think about your options. In other words: You have time until Tuesday, the 12th of June to finish your character creation (and post it).Step 1: Name, gender, age, and nationality
Let’s begin with the easiest points, shall we? Give your character a fictional name, age, and nationality. While name and age might have no impact on the gameworld, your character’s nationality might – all depending on the people he/she is doing business with later on. But don’t feel restricted by this. Just because you want your character to be, for example, Australian, doesn’t automatically mean that your team has to be located in Australia as well, nor does it mean that your team has to be australian itself. Even your character’s heritage doesn’t have to be strictly from one country – his/her parents could be Japanese, but your character was born in Australia and therefore counts as an Australian. Do what you like, be creative!
Though one word on gender: In theory, you can pick any gender you like. Neither has any advantages or disadvantages compared to the other. But please do us all a favour and pick the gender that suits you the most. I’ve witnessed enough guys „playing“ supposedly female characters to know that this hardly ever works out...Step 2: Your character’s former profession
And here comes the difficult part of the character creation process – choosing a character class. These former professions determine what your character did for a living before he/she became Team Principal. For now, we’ll stick to former professions within the world of motorsports only. Each profession comes with an individual set of skills, giving you certain advantages that other professions don’t have.Each player can only choose 1 character class/former profession once
– and that is by the time he or she joins the game! During your involvement in this series, you can not change your character class, so choose wisely!At the beginning of your journey, you may also only pick 1 skill.
Said skill(s) can either be upgraded at the end of each season, if you’ve managed to fulfil your season goal, or you can pick an additional skill on its lowest level instead. (Any player can have all 4 skills maxed out at one point in the game. By that point, you’ll most likely be unbeatable.)Class 1 – The Former Racing Driver
Your character was a racing driver before becoming Team Principal. While it doesn’t really matter in which series he/she has been active, one of the skills below is influenced by your level of success. As a former racing driver, you know how the mind of a driver works, which gives you an advantage when dealing with your drivers in particular. But, of course, you also know (depending on your specific choices) how to set up a car and how to deal with tyres.Skill 1: Personal Reputation (D20)
If you choose this skill, you get to roll a D20. The result not only tells you how successful your character’s driving career was, but it also determines how many additional Reputation Points your team gains. (Reputation Points will be explained later, but in short: the more you have, the easier it is for you to negotiate with partners, suppliers, staff and drivers.)
This list shows you the exact effects your dice roll has on your team’s reputation and your character’s personal level of former success (possible examples in brackets):
Skill 2: Driver Motivation (D12)
- Code: Select all
DICE ROLL LEVEL OF SUCCESS ADDITIONAL TEAM REP
1 – 5 Former Karting Champion 0 (zero)
6 – 10 Lower Division Champion (F3, GT4) 1
11 – 15 Nationwide Championship (DTM, NASCAR) 2
16 – 20 European/US/Asian/World Champion 3
As a former racing driver, your character knows how a driver’s psyche works. Therefore, should the situation ever occur (trust me, it will!) that one of your drivers loses motivation rapidly, you can try to counteract that via a test on this particular skill. Is your dice roll higher than that of your soon-demotivated driver, your character is able to give her new confidence for a certain amount of time. (Trust me: You don’t want to have a demotivated driver in your team in this game!)Skill 3: Setup Specialist (D10)
Before any race, basically, your character can use his/her setup knowledge to try to make final changes to the setup your race engineers have cooked up. This skill comes with 2 dice rolls. The first is the one that determines if the setup can be improved at all (which depends on the capability of your race engineers). The second dice roll determines the level of improvement (1 – 5 = 1 point / 6 – 10 = 2 points). It may not sound like much, but it can give your drivers a small but notable advantage during the race. Also, any additional point reduces the chance of your drivers crashing due to a barely handling car.Skill 4: Tyre Whisperer (D8)
Since teams aren’t allowed to change tyres during a race (except for weather changes and dangerous tyre damage), finding an ideal car setup to save tyres is essential in this game. As a former racing driver, your character has gained enough knowledge to do so. Before each race, you can roll a dice to determine if the setup your race engineers came up with is good enough to save the tyres until the end of the race (which, again, depends on the capability of your race engineers). If the result indicates that it isn’t, you can roll again to try to improve the setup (1 – 4 = minus 1 tyre degradation / 5 – 8 = minus 2 tyre degradation).Class 2 – The Former Team Manager
Your character was a Team Manager before becoming Team Principal. As a former Team Manager, your character is skilled in dealing with sponsors (both potential and existing), manufacturers and suppliers, and contract negotiations in general. The only downside is that he/she has no real personal connection to drivers or staff members, aside from managing their contracts, though they will all acknowledge your character’s capability of building a solid financial basis for his/her team, which gives them at least a small sense of security.Skill 1: Team Reputation (D6)
Like any other capable Team Manager, your character’s connections to sponsors automatically guarantee a bigger and more solid budget than other Team Principals may have. At the beginning of each season, you get to roll a D6. Your team’s reputation increases by 1 to 6 points over the course of the entire season. (Again, more on Reputation Points later, but in short: 1 Reputation Point = 500.000 Credits in team budget).Skill 2: Contract Negotiations (D20)
In any race for contract negotiations (partners, suppliers, drivers, staff), you can beat your opponents by throwing in your character’s remarkable negotiation skills as a deciding factor, instead of more money. That means that each player interested in a certain contract rolls a dice. You, as the proud owner of this skill, get to roll a D20, while all the others roll a D8, unless they also have this particular skill (or a different version of it). If that happens, you can always try to shut down your opponent by rolling the D20 a second time (your opponent, again, counters with a D8). Whoever has the higher number, wins the argument and also (probably) the contract.Skill 3: Exclusive Drivers (D12)
Should you decide to run a customer team for a certain manufacturer alongside other players, you can still try to gain an advantage by using this particular skill. Because almost all manufacturers in this game offer factory drivers to their customers, you can roll a dice to negotiate the exclusive use of said factory drivers. These drivers usually come for free or at least for a lower salary, and they know the manufacturer’s GT3 cars like the back of their hand, guaranteeing better results in general. If two (or more) players use this skill to outwit each other, the one with the highest number wins.Skill 4: Instant Factory Status (D12)
In this game, you need a certain amount of Reputation Points to be even considered a worthy partner for a manufacturer. But since your character is basically Eddie Jordan, he/she can always roll the dice to gain full-blown factory status, despite the obvious lack of Reputation Points. This skill also works when you’re battling a rival, who has enough Reputation Points to gain factory status the usual way. Said rival may then counter by also rolling a dice, but unless he/she has this particular skill as well, the dice in question is a lowly D8. The only time this skill might not work as smoothly as expected, is when you try to gain factory status from a manufacturer that doesn’t offer factory support at the moment. The test will then be much more difficult, but you could still be able to pull off a miracle.Class 3 – The Former Chief Engineer
As a former engineer, your character has gained knowledge on the technical side of things. Of course, since most (if not all) engineers in motorsports have also worked as a racing engineer for a number of drivers at one point in their career, he/she has also gained some knowledge about the psyche of drivers – though not as much as the former racing driver did. Skills 1 to 3 basically allow your character to also act as the team’s Technical Director – a double duty you’ll find in many GT3-teams.Skill 1: Setup Specialist (D20)
Before any race, basically, your character can use his/her setup knowledge to try to make final changes to the setup your race engineers have cooked up. This skill comes with 2 dice rolls. The first is the one that determines if the setup can be improved at all (which depends on the capability of your race engineers). The second dice roll determines the level of improvement (1 – 5 = 1 point / 6 – 10 = 2 points / 11 – 15 = 3 points / 16 – 20 = 4 points). Any additional point also reduces the chance of your drivers crashing due to a barely handling car.Skill 2: Tyre Whisperer (D12)
Since teams aren’t allowed to change tyres during a race (except for weather changes and dangerous tyre damage), finding an ideal car setup to save tyres is essential in this game. As a former racing driver, your character has gained enough knowledge to do so. Before each race, you can roll a dice to determine if the setup your race engineers came up with is good enough to save the tyres until the end of the race (which, again, depends on the capability of your race engineers). If the result indicates that it isn’t, you can roll again to try to improve the setup (1 – 4 = minus 1 tyre degradation / 5 – 8 = minus 2 tyre degradation / 9 – 12 = minus 3 tyre degradation).Skill 3: Contract Negotiations (Drivers) (D12)
The working relationship between a driver and his/her race engineer is sometimes so strong and healthy that one follows the other when they change teams. Your character also has formed some of these working relationships and can put this to good use during contract negotiations with drivers. (This specific version of the skill only works with drivers!) As before, each player interested in a certain driver rolls a dice. You, as the proud owner of this skill, get to roll a D12, while all the others roll a D8, unless they also have this particular skill (or a different version of it).Skill 4: Driver Motivation (D8)
As I’ve already said: Your character is not as skilled in this field as the former racing driver is, but it’s still better than nothing! Therefore, should the situation ever occur (trust me, it will!) that one of your drivers loses motivation rapidly, you can try to counteract that via a test on this particular skill. Is your dice roll higher than that of your soon-demotivated driver, you’re able to give her new confidence. (Trust me: You don’t want to have a demotivated driver in your team in this game!)Step 3: Bad Habits
Until now, you’ve only gained advantages for your character. Let’s undermine that by giving your character a downside, shall we? In all my years as a GM, the games that were the most memorable to me (and my group(s)) were the ones forcing bad habits onto the players. These can be so bad, that they not only affect your character, but also the people around him/her.
The World of Motorsports (F1 in particular) has given us a lot of different characters over time – and a lot of bad habits as well. Each player must either choose 1 bad habit for their character, or they can try their luck and roll a D8.
There are 6 bad habits available, so if you manage to roll a 7 or an 8, you get to be the lucky bastard to walk out of this scott-free. If you roll anything other than that, you must take the bad habit the D8 chose for you. If you’re really unlucky, the bad habit in question can totally negate the skill(s) you just picked, and you’ll have to live with that.Bad Habit 1: Temper Tantrum (D6)
Patrick Head had them, Günther Schmidt had them – your character can have them, too! Whenever the situation occurs that your drivers may not deliver the result you wanted them to deliver, you’re put to the test. (This happens mostly when your drivers finish lower than their qualifying position.) If you fail the test, your character loses his/her temper and lashes out at the driver(s) in question – in public, if you roll a 5. The result will not only be bad press, but the driver(s) your character lashes out at will lose motivation rapidly. And if you’re unlucky enough to roll a 6, your character fires the driver(s) in question right then and there – breach of contract and possible compensation fee(s) included!Bad Habit 2: Restless Perfectionist (D6)
Ron Dennis did this after losing Honda in the early 90’s – he went through three different engine suppliers before finally hooking up with Mercedes-Benz. So will your character. On the hunt for perfection, after each season, you must roll a D6. If you fail this test, you’re forced to break up an existing contract (1 – 2 = driver / 3 – 4 = tyre supplier / 5 – 6 car manufacturer) and go look somewhere else – no matter how good or successful the partnership was. Oh yes – if you’re forced to do that, you’re also going to have to pay compensation fee(s) for breach of contract, simply because this bad habit NEVER chooses the one-year-contracts that would expire anyway!Bad Habit 3: Faulty Perception (D6)
Your character is not too good when it comes to judging other people. When you’re on the hunt for new staff members or drivers, this bad habit may strike (roll of the D6) and adds 1 to 6 random new people to your list of staff members/drivers you want to hire, should there be less than 6 names on said list. Then, instead of you getting to choose by your own will, you must roll the D6 again. It randomly picks the new staff member/driver from your list for you. You might not like who you’re getting, but your character believes it to be the perfect choice.Bad Habit 4: Gambling Addiction (D6)
Oh, sweet, sweet price money... Instead of putting it in his/her wallet to the rest of the season’s budget, your character takes it right to the nearest gambling den or casino (trust me, there’s one in literally every town on earth!). Of course, this wouldn’t be a bad habit, if your character was actually good at gambling. First, you have to roll the D6 to determine, if your character can resist the urge to visit the casino he/she saw on the street corner right next to the race track (1 – 2 = you resist / 3 - 5 = you only take half the price money / 6 = you take all the price money to the casino). Once there, you roll the D6 again to determine your evening in the casino: 1 = you manage to save 10 % of the price money / 2 – 5 = you lose all the price money / 6 = you lose all the price money plus 10 % interest from your season budget).Bad Habit 5: Money Grubber (D6)
Money can be made in many different ways. One way is certainly the use of pay drivers in your team. While other Team Principals might do so out of desperation, your character does so out of sheer greed. Each time you want to hire drivers, you must roll a D6. If the result is 2 or higher, you have no chance but to go for pay drivers for D4 seats. I should explain this, since it’s the only time the D4 is ever used in this game: After the D6 has forced the use of pay drivers upon you, the roll of the D4 determines how many of the four available seats you have to rent out to pay drivers.Bad Habit 6: Show-off (D6)
Your character can’t resist the urge to make the pitlane into his/her very own catwalk. No party is safe from him/her, and he/she will always reside in the most expensive hotel you can find around any race track. With at least one supermodel at his/her side at any given time, your character is going to be the centre of all media interest – mostly the yellow press. While this might not sound like such a huge downside to some of you, your reputation will suffer from this sooner than later – and if the reputation itself doesn’t, the team budget definitely will! Your character will get a lot of negative press for his/her behaviour, your team will most likely assume that he/she will put all the price money into his/her new wristwatch instead of the team’s infrastructure (which might actually be true), and business partners will lose faith in your character’s capability to gain the results he/she promised.Step 4: Posting your fictional character
I know that this concept is a bit more complex and difficult than the one used in other management series, so should you have any question – at all, no matter how stupid you think they are! – feel free to ask me!
As mentioned before, you have the entire week (until Tuesday the 12th of June) to finish your character creation and post it
. In order to do that, please use the format below:
Fictional character name:
Don’t forget to add the dice values (in brackets) to your skill(s) and bad habit(s)! Also, if you want to take a risk at the bad habits, please fill in „D8“ instead of a habit name. Thank you!