View Full Version : Making my first Cortex System Battlestar Galactica Character would love some opinions

2011-03-21, 08:47 PM
Hey, I realize not everyone knows this system, but what I'm really looking for is commentary on the backstory and characterization, any advice will be welcome.

We are starting our first game. The setting will be thematically the same setup as that of the new BSG series, but other than the situation being the same. (12 colonies of man, the cylons attack and destroy everything, a lone battlestar is left to defend around 50.000 survivors on a rag-tag fleet)

There's no guarantee the Battlestar will be the Galactica, there's no guarantee that Adama, Balthar, Roslin, Starbuck or any of the canonical npcs will be aboard (some of them, or new npcs based loosely on them, might be, depending on the story needs of the GM and what 'roles' are left unoccupied by PCs). The exact plans or capabilities of the cylons might be whatever the GM needs them to be, we don't know how many models there are or who they are or what they plan to do.

Basically we'll end up in a situation similar to what happens after the miniseries, with no guarantees after that.

Now, I've decided to play a character based loosely around the concept of Starbuck. I don't want to carbon copy her however, so there will need to be some differences. (further, I do want to play my own character, not just someone from a tv show. But belligerent hotshot pilot who's a bit of a tomboy with a chip on her shoulder is what I want my outline to sound like)

Anyway, then I set about imagining her character. What I came up with is this.

Alessandra Caelis is of a family that is essentially like the Kennedys of this setting. Another player is going to be playing her estranged father who is an eccentric scientist who disgraced himself long ago and withdrew from public life, perhaps even went to prison. Another player is playing her brother, who was a minor member of the government and is now the president.

My character had a youthful rebellion when she was 18, brought on by a near death experience when she was the lone survivor when a bus/shuttle carrying her class on a school trip to Aerilon was blown up by terrorists.

Instead of going to an elite school and entering politics like she had been groomed for, enlisted in the colonial navy instead. The whole thing caused a rift between her and the family and there has been little contact, after her training on Picon she immediately took a tour of duty that took her to the furthest reaches of colonial space. She had only recently returned to more relevant areas of space when the cylons strike.

Now, here's the twist. (and no, she's not a cylon, at least not by my contrivances, the GM will decide who are cylon sleepers, if any)

She's not actually Alessandra, but rather an Aerilon girl who was involved in the bomb plot to some degree. Orphaned at an early age, she fell in with a street gang who were later taken in by extremists and primed to strike against the colonial government. She was part of a group of kids who were dressed up like students and mixed in with the visiting Capricans. One of her co-conspirators had the bomb. (I've yet to decide whether she knew that the plot involved that level of death and destruction, I'm thinking not)

After it went off, she was by happenstance carrying Alessandras bag with her ID and such, and was thrown clear off the main explosion by sheer dumb luck, and was the sole survivor.

When she wakes up, she is surprised to discover that everyone is assuming that she's Alessandra, a golden child of one of the richest most powerful families on all the colonies. She had looked a bit like Alessandra before (by sheer chance), but the surgeons fixing her up after the explosion had used Alessandras pictures as references and the resemblance is ever closer now. Seeing a chance to escape absolute squallor and have a shot at everything life had ever denied her, she decides to go with it, not truly believing she'll get away with it.

Somehow, she did though, at least long enough to engineer a spat with her family, while she was still bandaged enough to conceal any remaining differences that her closest family would notice.

She had once in her life been on a plane, and ever since harbored the dream of being a pilot, knowing someone of her birth could never be anything more than perhaps a deckhand on a battlestar. This gave her the chance to make it happen, so she went away to Navy flight school.

As it turns out, she has an absolute gift for piloting, and took to a viper like a duck to...well, flying. While she has all sorts of emotional issues and baggage that goes along with being an Aerilon street urchin, none of that is justified by her supposed background of being pampered nobility, trying to hide her true feelings (like how she hates the rich and privileged while also pretending to be one of them) causes her great stress, and at times she has absolutely exploded at the slightest provocation, at one point sending to the hospital a cadet who implied a closer relation than they actually had.

Now, after the cylon attack, she is by happenstance "re"-united with her supposed family. She hopes that she has picked up enough Caprican mannerisms from other girls she made a point of getting to know in flight school, and that the years that have passed will disguise any remaining discrepencies.

Still, she is a far less cultured woman than the real Alessandra could realistically have become, even after a few years of military service.

Now, for those who DO know the system (or just wwant to take a look anyway) here's the stats that I'm currently assuming I'll use, though I expect I'll make some changes.

Any suggestions on how to make a more interesting character, more sensible ability/skill/asset choices, etc. are welcome.

(I realize I'm making an AWFULLY good pilot here, but I intend to use her pilot skills as a way to guarantee I can continue being in the game, even if her true background comes to light, which I'm assuming it will over time)

We are starting as veterans, so here's what I've got:

Attributes (48)

Agility: d10
Strength: d8
Vitality: d6
Alertness: d10
Intelligence: d6
Willpower: d8
(total 48)

Skill Points (68)

6 Athletics d6
4 Covert d4
4 Discipline d4
8 Guns d6
Pistols d8
2 Mech Engineering d2
6 Perception d6
12 Performance d6
Impersonation d8
Deception d10
16 Pilot d6
Viper d12
Ships Cannons d10
6 Unarmed Combat d6
4 Survival d4

Traits (4+30-30)

2 Allure d2
8 Lady Luck d8
4 Dogfighter d4
2 Split Second Timing d2
6 Talented (Pilot/Viper, Pilot/Ships Cannons) d6
12 Destiny d12


-4 Out for blood
-4 Contrarian d4
-4 Anger Issues d4
-6 Overconfident d6
-4 Prejudice (The upper classes/capricans)
-4 Crude d4
-4 Wise Ass d4


Any thoughts?

Human Paragon 3
2011-03-21, 09:29 PM
Very cool! I think this is a very fitting character for the setting, especially given the tensions between the different colonies that became more and more prevalent as the show went on. Sounds like a very multi-facated and intriguing person.

2011-03-21, 11:23 PM
Thanks a lot.

Hopefully it'll be a good game, I'm a bit worried since two of our players are relatively new at this and have only played in a pretty roleplay light D&D campaign.

Still, it's very promising, the GM is great and we've got some very good players in the group.

2011-03-22, 12:27 PM
i'm not familliar with the Cortex System whatsoever, but I must say I really like the character concept/outline. Sounds like you'll have a lot of oppertunity for very intense roleplaying/melodrama, in the BSG tradition.