Wednesday 14 September 2016

Back Alleys Bright Lights - Step By Step - Part 3 - Character Creation and Encounters

Character creation in Back Alleys Bright Lights is pretty simple and quick. If you have a character from 5150 Urban Renewal, 5150 Fringe Space, or even 5150 Future Tales you can bring it over into Back Alleys.
If you familiar with THW games you'll see that the character mechanics are pretty much the same. Here's how we do it:

  • Is it a Star or a Grunt? You start as a Rep 5 Star and ALL other Non-Player Characters, friend or foe, are Grunts - run  by the game mechanics. Stars have Free Will (you can choose when to leave the Encounter) and 1d6 of Star Power per week. I'll explain how this works later under Encounters.
  • What is its Race? You have 16 races to choose from. Some you may be familiar with while some may be new.
    Basic, Buardeem, Fezglok, Geenx, Grath, Hishen, Lerksah, Lycaon, Munjar, Nonne, Orabel, Razor,  Tip-Tip Glom, Vangore, Xeog and Zhuh-Zhuh. 
  • What are its Traits? Each Alien has a chance to be Aggressive, Cunning, or has no noticeable trait at all. The Trait it has will affect how it Interacts with others.
  • What is its Profession? We have over 15 Professions from the other books, but as we're Area specific - Little Hisha - you won't Interact with all of them. After all, it is a bit of a seedy area of town.
  • What is its Reputation? Characters start with a Rep of from 3 to 5, there's  no maximum Rep, and how well you do determines how well you Retire - after a ten year career maximum. We use Rep d6 to see how you do. Do good things and get Increasing Rep d6, do bad things and get Decreasing Rep d6.
  • What is its Defensive Value? Defensive Value (DV) is a number that reflects the ability of the character to utilize cover and its instincts to make it harder to be hit when shot at. All start at 1 but that is modified by your Race and Profession. The DV is added to the Rep of the figure so the range of DV is from a low of 4 to a maximum of 10.
  • What kind of Weapon does it have? We've divided them into Pistols (1 shot) and Automatics (3 shots). The actual is up to the player as it's the effect that we're dealing with.
  • Where is its Home? Although Back Alleys Bright Lights is set in Little Hisha, you can have your Home in any of the eleven areas of New Hope City. Time is tracked by the week, so if you declare to stay Home, you can move the Campaign one week, and choose not to have any Voluntary Encounters. Once a month you could have an Involuntary Encounter. When you go Home, you end the week.
There are six Encounters in the game. Once a month you will have an Involuntary Encounter thrust upon you. They are:
Job Offer.
Chillin' with a Friend. 

There are five Voluntary Encounters. They are:
Job Offer.
Robbery. Here's where things are a bit different from other THW rules. You can choose to have as many Voluntary Encounters per week as desired. One, five, three, ten, ...that's up to you. Just remember that your Star Power d6 are gained at the start of the week and not replaced until the next week. 


  1. If the encounters in this are of the depth found in Legends of Araby then its a must buy. If those deeper encounters become standard in future books then I think that's a major new plus point to these games!

    1. The Encounters are based on LOA but period specific and will be the basic for all future books.