Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/10/22/tabletop-review-mummy-the-curse-ready-made-characters/
Not be confused with the Mummy Interactive Character Sheets, which are customizable and editable free PDF character sheets, the Ready Made Characters pack features pregenerated characters, complete with a one page bio to help players run the characters. These characters are perfect for newcomers to roleplaying in general or Mummy:The Curse in specific, or those that haven’t had time to make characters and just want to play a quick pick-up session. Likewise, these pregenerated characters come with story seeds to make a Storyteller’s life easier. Writing an adventure for Mummy: The Curse is a daunting task because of the unique way a Chronicle of this game unfolds. This means the Ready Made Characters are pretty versatile. From using them to get a novice into a new game or to help you write an adventure for a convention, this is a fine addition to the Mummy: The Curse line of products.
The five characters in this pack control a dance and fetish club known as Club Taboo. It’s hard to imagine any five Arisen working ala a vampire coterie, especially when the one presented here has a character from each of the five guilds, along with five different judges and five different decrees. That means there is absolutely no common ground for any of these characters, and one would think that would cause more problems than anything else – at least at first glance. Thankfully, the background of each character and the page of Storyteller seeds limits the potential group infighting and gives them a few allied tasks to work together on. In fact, there one very BIG group goal that is all but impossible to achieve, but it’s a great idea for an entire chronicle. It also helps that all five Mummies will rarely be active at the same time, meaning that you have an easy out for some of these characters if you only have a group of two to four people that can get together. One thing this collection doesn’t address is how all five manage their individual cults and get THEM to work together. That’s a pretty big oversight.
Each of the five Arisen has the own role to play. One is the money handler and long term thinker of the five. One is the face of the group (and the club) who has some severe family codependency issues. One is the meat shield who has transitioned from a force of mindless destruction into an anachronistic protector. One is an information broker with trust issues who sticks with the group only because he’s in love with the female Arisen in the clutch. One is a sneaky, cynical Jack of all Trades. Together they fight crime work together, furthering their own goals while continuing their mission regarding Lost Irem. The characters are very diverse in terms of stats, skills, powers, utterances and personalities, so players will each have their own moment in the sun.
The only negative things I can say about this pack are intertwined. All five characters have only a Memory of three, which doesn’t jibe at all with the level of detail in their biographies. Nor does a group of five Arisen coming together to work as a mostly organized family unit with that low level of Memory. This is hard to justify, especially since so much of Mummy is discovering who you are. With bios this detailed, there’s too much defined for the Memory level. It’s disappointing to see this getting by editorial. I guess it’s also worth noting that Neith is actually missing his Memory rating, but it’s easy to assume he’s at a Memory rating of three as well, since everyone else is. Besides, I can’t think of the last time I saw a release for ANY tabletop game without a minor error like this. Add these in with the lack of any real Cult discussion and the Ready Made Characters pack isn’t perfect, but these are minor complaints, and for a free Kickstarter backer bonus you won’t hear me raise any real ire here.
As I’ve said, this is a fine addition to the Mummy: The Curse line so far. It’s nothing you need to play the game, like the core rulebook, or an optional piece that enhances the game, like Guildhalls of the Deathless, but as a freebie, it’s a lot of fun. I’m not sure if I’d pay money for this if there is a price tag attached to it once the piece is available to the general public, though, unless I was specifically planning to run games for people completely new to the concept of Mummy: The Curse or I wanted to run an adventure for a convention and make things extra easy on myself. Still, Mummy: The Curse is batting three for three so far, which is an impressive streak indeed.