This is post number 6 in the series “30 Days of Tales from the Loop,” a celebration of the game set in an 80s that never was.
In Tales from the Loop, every character Type has a few details about the Kid beyond their attributes and skills. These are the Kid’s Iconic Item, Problem, Drive, Pride, and Anchor. (Each Kid also has details about relationships to other kids and to non-player characters, but those are a bit more involved and I’d rather not go that deep in this post.)
Each of the game’s built-in Types list a few options for each of these details, but I thought I’d provide a few more.
An Iconic Item is a special piece of equipment that serves a dual purpose: in addition to granting a bonus to any die rolls involving the item, it also tells you a bit about the Kid. Examples in the book include skateboard, boom box, and pocket calculator. I think these would also work:
- Back pack
- Superhero mask
- Portable tape recorder
- History book
- Running shoes
- Tap shoes
- Roller skates
- Remote controlled car
- Dad’s old briefcase
- Swiss army knife
- BB Gun
- Polaroid camera
- Bubble gum
- Chemistry set
Even Ferris Bueller had things he had to deal with every day. Your Kid’s problem might be…
- I feel like people only like me because of my looks / money / status.
- My brother terrorizes me.
- People tease me because of the way I talk / dress.
- My mom/dad might be getting a new job in another city.
- I’m flunking a class.
- My cat has been acting strange.
- I’m starting to have trouble reading things at a distance.
- I’m terrified of talking in front of a group.
- I’m tired of living in my brother/sister’s shadow.
- I hate being the new kid.
These give your Kid a reason to go on adventures. (Why make the Gamemaster persuade you to get involved in the story?)
- I want to make my mark on the world.
- I like a mystery.
- I don’t like a mystery.
- I’m trying to keep up with the older kids.
- I’m in the Junior Detectives club.
- I’ve heard there are weird things in this area, and I want to see them for myself.
- I don’t feel brave, but if I act brave, nobody will know it.
- My life is SO boring.
- The Lord helps those who help themselves.
- I want to be a police officer when I grow up.
- I need ideas for my stories.
- I don’t want to be at home.
- There’s someone I need to impress.
In addition to being something worth bragging about, a Kid’s Pride grants an automatic success on a dice roll when appropriate (usable once per session).
- I’m the class clown.
- I take good care of my brother/sister/mother/father.
- My mom/dad is famous.
- I’m an awesome dancer.
- My friends can always count on me.
- I have perfect musical pitch.
- I was born in another country.
- I’ve read an entire encyclopedia.
- My dad lets me help him in his workshop.
- I’m good at teaching tricks to my dog.
- No one is better at sports than me.
A Kid needs someone to rely on, and in Tales from the Loop an Anchor can cure negative conditions.
- Bookstore owner
- Candy shop owner
- Local musician
If you have any items you’d like to add to these lists, please speak up!