Monday, July 29, 2013

The Seven Intelligences and Character Creation

In this week's post on Theatre Noir mechanics, we're going to discuss character creation.

Unlike other role playing systems, Theatre Noir's core stats are based on Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Theatre Noir uses seven of these intelligences:

  • Logical: How well your character preforms at pattern recognition, critical thinking, logical reasoning, etc.
  • Spatial: How well your character can judge distances and visualize.
  • Linguistic: How well your character can learn languages, memorize words, tell stories, etc.
  • Kinesthetic: How well your character can balance, preform fine motor tasks, etc.
  • Musical: How well your character can detect pitch, tone, listen, etc.
  • Interpersonal: How well your character can relate to other people.
  • Intrapersonal: How well your character understands their sense of self.
These stats are rolled out by using 2d4 for each Intelligence. In fate based character creation, the first roll determines your character's Logical Intelligence, the second roll their Spatial, etc. until each Intelligence is assigned a score. At this point, you can choose to reroll two of your scores, keeping the highest result. While fate based character creation is not flexible and may result in character archetypes you might not normally play, it has the potential to create a character with higher than average skills.

Free character creation is similar to fate based character creation, though in this method you can assign the scores as you like but you cannot reroll them.

Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences was used as the starting point of Theatre Noir's character creation system in order to create diverse characters. In one test campaign, for example, a player used the fate based character creation system and ended up with a character with high Musical so the player decided to make the character a filker. Another player who also used the fate based method ended up with a character with high Linguistic and Kinesthetic and made an interpreter who also enjoyed Judo.

Naturally, the seven intelligences are not the only major aspect of character creation (Aptitudes and Proficiencies are another post!) but they're an aspect unique to Theatre Noir.

If this post on character creation has caught your interest, consider signing up to become a playtest GM for Theatre Noir.

Interested in seeing the character sheet? Have more questions or would like to help? Email us at

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