Example Character Sheet #3: Muck McMagicman
- Name: Mackenzie "Muck" McMagicman
- Player: Grate Oracle Lewot
- Affinity: Poison
- Disorder: Insomnia
- Level: 0
- XP: 0/20
Blood Alcohol Level: 0.08
- Bow: D (0/21)
- Other: E
- 1) Hot Drumstick
- 2) Vulnerary
- Armor: Bronze Platemail
- 20-Quiver: 10 Arrows, 10 Venin Arrows
- Money: Rupees (42)
- HP: 10
- VP: 5
- MP: 10
- Attack Power: 1
- Magic Power: 1
- Defense Power: 2
- Brain Power: 1
- Strength: 1
- Hand-Eye: 9
- Platform: 1
- Knowledge: 1
- Clever: 3
- Charisma: 9
- Unique: Able to slip through tiny cracks.
- Weight: 1
- AP: 0/3
- Basic Attack: Oozes over, envelopes, and suffocates the target.
- 1) Thunder Tome (E)
- 2) Iron Bow
- Petrificate~ Attack: x2, VP: 5, Target: One, Element: Earth, Benefit (User): Raccoon State, Chance: 100%
"The user vanishes, then reappears as a statue above the target and falls. The user breaks out of the statue as a raccoon."
- Earth +2
- Ice --
- Water +5
- Wind +2
- Fire --
- Thunder x0
- Poison x0
- Plant --
- Appearance: A slimy green monster similar to the Swamp Thing or Grimer or Muk.
- Personality: Unabashedly self-serving yet fun to party with; totally ignorant of societal conventions but quick to pick them up; basically he never has any idea what he's doing, but damned if he isn't going to have a good time doing it. Likes to play pranks.
- Backstory: A bizarre monster who arose out of a polluted bog, he hasn't been around for long, but he's made a name for himself in every town he's passed through.
- Trivia: Although he appears to have holes where the human eyes, mouth, and ears would be, he has no organs, so even he doesn't know how he senses and processes information, or moves his arms.
- ~Made of Poison
With this character I've tried to exploit the system a bit to see how many different Elements and
strategies I can resist, use, counter, and cover. Let's see how I did.
This character's Affinity is Poison. While I note repeatedly that Affinity is not based on the Elements that a character uses, you'll find that these often synch up because of the inherent association between the Affinity's Element and its personality type. Anyway, Muck here not only has a Poison Affinity, he's also Made of Poison. He's some kind of muck monster, and he's so toxic that you might get Poisoned just by using a melee attack on him. These kinds of conditions, as well as unique ones that the players make up, are written in the "Notes" section at the end of the character sheet, which is left off of the sheets of characters who have no such conditions.
If you return to the top of the sheet, you'll see that Muck also has a mental disorder: Insomnia. I said I was trying to exploit the system; I just gave him Insomnia to make him immune to the Sleep Status Problem. Insomnia is not without its disadvantages, though: Muck will consider all nightly sleeping quarters uncomfortable, and his HP won't be healed by a night of sleep. He'll have to rely on heal points and items to restore his HP.
Speaking of his stats going up and down, you can see that on this sheet, there's a "Current Stats" section above the Weapon Level section. This won't appear on sheets for things like generic enemies or NPC species since they're not a sheet for one particular character but a reusable sheet for the whole species, and even on sheets for individual characters I might sometimes leave the Current Stats off if they're currently all at max/normal values—but the point is, for something like a player character, this section is where you indicate damage (i.e. missing HP), spent VP and/or MP, current Status Condition(s), and blood alcohol level. In Muck's case, it's the last one that applies: his BAL is currently at 0.08, which in turn means that his status is set to Drunk. Normally, when player characters first start out the game, they wouldn't have any points missing or any Status Conditions, but by starting them with some, you can imply something about events that occurred shortly before the game's story begins.
Anyway, smashed or not, Muck has a D Weapon Level in Bows, and he's carrying some items. He's also wearing some armor, which will provide him with some extra defense, and unlike Bob and Lewot, he's decided to start with 10 MP instead of 10 VP. His surname isn't McMagicman for nothing—I'm assuming he'll specialize in magical attacks.
But what's that "20-Quiver" thing after the Armor field? This is a complication related to Muck's Iron Bow weapon: in order for Bow users to carry lots of arrows, they can equip a special type of item called a Quiver. The "20" in the Quiver's name indicates how many arrows it can carry, so one thing that Muck can do to improve his battle performance is to seek out a larger-sized Quiver. Just like how only one suit of armor can be worn at a time, only one Quiver can be equipped, so any additional Quivers that he finds would each take up a slot in his item inventory. But whether equipped or not, they can each hold multiple arrows, and different kinds at that; the Venin Arrows listed after the regular arrows are a poison-dipped variety, but other types exist as well, and any combination can be put into any Quivers. If Muck unequips the 20-Quiver, then it will take up one of his item slots, and because it's no longer equipped, you won't see that "Quiver" field on his character sheet; rather, the numbers of arrows in the 20-Quiver will be listed after it in its slot in the item inventory. Similarly, if Muck equips his Iron Bow along with his 20-Quiver, the Quiver's arrow information will be written after the Bow's in its weapon inventory slot, in order to be readily available for Bow use. All of that's a bit unnecessarily complicated, though, so let's move on for now.
Muck has decided to start with 2 Defense Power. Remember that bit about spending AP on Defense instead of special attacks? He's taken a rather extreme route and only left himself one special attack. With 2 Defense, he'll be a bit of a tank, not having to worry much about taking damage. Combined with his being Made of Poison, which hurts and sometimes Poisons enemies who touch him, it looks like he's hoping to sit back and relax while his enemies kill themselves trying to hurt him. Remember, he's wearing armor too. He's got an effective Defense of 3.
For field stats, he's taken the advice in Lewot's analysis to heart, maxing out two of them at 9 and leaving several minimized at 1. He's grabbed the Unique ability to slip through tiny cracks in the walls or ground, which makes sense given his slimy form. This might help make up for his Platform of 1, allowing him to squeeze past obstacles instead of jumping over them. For Strength or Knowledge, though, he'll have to rely on his teammates.
Muck has two weapons, a Thunder Tome to allow him to cast magical spells, and an Iron Bow to make use of his Bow-type Weapon Level. Since players can only start with one D Weapon Level, they should not be allowed to start with more than one D-level weapon, but since magic weapons are mainly used to cast spells rather than to directly attack people, it's fine to start with one of those in addition to your main weapon. At least, that's the rule, and Muck is exploiting it a little bit to give himself access to the Thunder Element. Since he's Made of Poison, his basic attack will be Poison-type, and in case he's fighting an enemy who is immune to both Poison and Thunder, he can use his Iron Bow to deal 4 non-Elemental damage—as long as he doesn't run out of arrows, its type of ammo. Most projectile weapons draw their strength from the ammunition used, but Bows are the other way around, with the same arrows being usable by different bows but doing different amounts of damage depending on the bow. We've already gone over how the Quiver works, but anyway, the overall idea here is that even though Muck spent 2 Attack Points on Defense, he can still start out doing more damage than most D-level melee weapons (because the Iron Bow has a set power that ignores Muck's own stats) and utilizing several Elements. But he will have to find more arrows once he runs out of them, and if his Thunder Tome gets stolen, he won't be able to cast his one spell: one magical weapon of any kind is required in order to be able to cast any magic spell.
His spell is pretty unusual, doing Earth-type damage to the enemy and then giving Muck the Raccoon State Status Benefit. But the MP cost seems fair enough, so there's nothing wrong with the attack. Using it, Muck can give himself some extra HP in battle, not to mention dodging earthquake-type attacks (which might be good against him due to his Earth weakness). He could also use this move outside of battle to give himself the Raccoon State and fly over obstacles, thus compensating for his Platform stat of 1. Now that's covering your bases.
One very persnickety thing to note is that Muck's spell, in its description, specifies that he vanishes and reappears above the enemy's head... This is just flavor text, right? Well, actually, what we find is that, much like how you can't hammer a flying enemy in Paper Mario, flying targets in Arpeggio will dodge any melee attacks attempted on them by an attacker who has a smaller Platform stat than they do. Projectile attacks will still hit them, of course... but, well, logically speaking, so would a move that magically appears above their head, even if it is a melee attack (i.e., physically landing on them). Muck has done something very sneaky here to bypass that whole Platform detriment, essentially turning himself into the projectile via the spell's flavor text. Of course, since the spell also puts him in a Raccoon State, any subsequent melee attacks of his will benefit from that boosted Platform stat of 9, so at that point he can hit flying foes with anything.
Speaking of field stats, Muck's Weight was 1. He's gone the opposite route from Bob, opting for the ability to ride wind currents and do other such featherweight things. 1 Weight means he has terrible alcohol tolerance and will get drunk off of just one beer, but if you'll glance at his Elemental Modifiers, you'll notice that he's immune to Poison, which at least makes him immune to alcohol poisoning, if not drunkenness. He's also immune to Thunder, which means that he can freely attack Electrified characters, negating enemy use of that Benefit as far as he's concerned. Of course, these immunities have cost him, and he's got normal weaknesses to Earth and Wind and a super-weakness to Water. I chose Water because, while I can't say that it's necessarily going to be underused in the game in which Muck finds himself, it is at least not associated with any Status Problems, and Muck might be able to counter some Water-based enemies by whacking them with his Thunder Tome. Dodging earthquakes with the Raccoon State has already been mentioned, and because the State doesn't leave Muck perpetually flying, his weakness to Wind isn't exacerbated.
I considered having Muck automatically summon Acid Rain or Smog in the style of Pokémon Abilities that summon everlasting weather (this would have gone in the "Notes" section), but Acid Rain could prove a severe disadvantage for his teammates if they are not immune to Poison as he is, and since only his basic attack is actually Poison-type, he would be hampering his own accuracy with Smog. The players are under no obligation to design their characters based on team synergy, but basic considerations such as your character's mere presence potentially harming teammates should probably be kept in mind.
There is no one "best character" that can be built within the rules of character creation, mainly because the Maestro will tailor the game to the characters they receive and exploit their weaknesses regardless of how convoluted those weaknesses are. As such, while you can do these kinds of McMagicman-ian tricks to give yourself certain extra advantages, Arpeggio is designed with more of a focus on creativity and fun, and probably works best when characters are designed under the same philosophy.