Featured image of post Neon Angels Distinctions

Neon Angels Distinctions

How Distinctions Are Set Up In Neon Angels

I’ve been working on a new Cortex Prime build, Neon Angels, which draws inspiration from iconic anime such as Bubblegum Crisis, Dominion Tank Police, and Appleseed. The evolution of the Distinctions system for Neon Angels has been interesting, and I hope sharing my process could benefit fellow Cortex Prime designers.

From Prompted Distinctions

My first go around was using freeform Distinctions with question prompts to help flesh them out. I quickly realized that the Distinctions were weak and at least one overlapped with using Roles too much. I thought I could make them work, possibly with a Pathways-style setup, so I started on a hexflower-inspired system. I redid the hexflower several times to figure out the best way to organize it, but in the end, it turned out to be more work than I wanted to put in.

To Tales of Xadia-style Distinctions

Last week I posted how Tales of Xadia Distinctions work.‚Äč These Distinctions are designed to guide player choices without being overly restrictive. As I delved back into Tales of Xadia, I envisioned a similar system for Neon Angels, drawing from the worldbuilding I had already done.

The first thing was to remove Roles as a trait set and replace it with Aptitudes, a skill-like trait set from another of my builds. Then, I tweaked my original list of Roles and backgrounds that PCs could have. This gave me three Distinctions:

  • Origin
  • Vocation
  • Why You Fight

To maintain the mix-and-match style of Tales of Xadia Distinctions, I paired up the six origins that represent the PC’s origin with three social classes for each. While it’s not an exact replica of Tales of Xadia, it’s also not the same type of game. I then expanded the original list I was using for Roles into twenty Professions, and created a list of 120 adjectives that can be paired with them, offering a wide range of character customization.

But I didn’t want to come up with 120 SFX for all of those adjectives (this is supposed to be a lighter game than Tales of Xadia), so I decided I would only create SFX for the origin and social class combos, and the professions. The adjectives attached to the professions will supply the highlight traits for the Vocation Distinction. The third Distinction, Why You Fight, may receive additional massaging. The intent is to have a picklist, possibly with a trait statement. I’ve toyed with the third Distinction having an SFX to question the statement as its only SFX.

Hopefully, this will give some insight into how distinctions can be defined in a Cortex build. Distinctions don’t have to always have three SFX attached, the same number per Distinction, or even supply SFX at all. Tales of Xadia is what opened my eyes to that.

Look out for future posts, as there will be more about Neon Angels here as I continue developing it.

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