Contractors are the individuals who have accepted the Harbingers' offer to risk life and limbs for a chance at glory in The Games. Each Contractor has unique motivations and capabilities. The only things most have in common is that they're extremely ambitious and competent individuals.
In general, all Player Characters in The Contract are Contractors.
At creation, Contractors are almost always mundane humans with no supernatural abilities. Certain Settings and Assets and Liabilities may allow Characters to start as inhuman or with a paranormal history, subject to the approval of each Cell's Leader.
The More The Merrier
Players usually start with a single Contractor, but they can make as many as they like. Most Players maintain several Contractors, and there are many benefits to doing so:
- Variety of gameplay
- Injuries may take longer than a single Downtime to fully heal, and most Players do not want to start a Game injured.
- Contractor death is less devastating if you have others waiting in the wings.
- Experienced Players often maintain at least one Contractor at each Status.
Contractors are categorized into several Statuses based on how many victories they've achieved.
A contractor's Status determines who they can participate in Games with and which Powers they're allowed to take.
Newbie Contractors have never participated in a Game.
Novice Contractors have participated in at least one Game and have fewer than ten Victories. Novices and Newbie Contractors may participate in the same Games.
Seasoned Contractors have achieved between ten and twenty-five victories. They can only participate in Games with other Seasoned or Veteran Contractors.
Veteran Contractors are fearsome beings that have achieved more than twenty-five victories in The Games. They may participate in Games with Seasoned Contractors and other Veterans, and they are the only type of Contractor qualified to participate in Solo Games.
Contractors may continue to participate in The Games as long as they'd like, but when a beloved and accomplished Character's story starts to lose direction, Players sometimes feel that it is time to take the next step and retire them.
Some retired Contractors continue to pursue their goals as Harbingers. Once used as a Harbinger, a Contractor may never again be played in a Game.
The Character Sheet
When creating a Contractor, Players fill out a Character Sheet that describes their Contractor's capabilities and characteristics. The Character Sheet can be considered the adaptor between the idea of a Contractor and the systems of The Contract.
You can see an example of a Character Sheet here
Overview of Character Sheet elements
- Characters have Attributes and Abilities to describe their raw capabilities and special training. Almost all rolls are made by combining an Attribute with an Ability. Attributes affect many other systems as well, especially in Combat.
- A Contractor's Powers are their lifeblood. They are simultaneously the reward for succeeding in The Games and also their greatest tools to achieve victory. Each Contractor's Powers are a unique expression of their inner potential, and no two Powers are quite alike. Most true Character Advancement comes via Powers rather than stat increases.
- Assets and Liabilities detail important aspects of the Contractor's person or background that may have an impact on their performance in the Games. Assets include things like access to wealth or restricted weapons, a talent for rationalizing their actions, or being downright gorgeous. On the other hand, things like a missing limb, an unfamiliarity with modern society, or simply being too darn trusting count as Liabilities.
- Limits are the lines a Contractor has a hard time crossing. Torturing and murdering people are two common examples. If violated, Contractors risk developing lasting traumas.
- Traumas and Battle Scars represent the long-term mental and physical tolls of a Contractor's experience in the Games. They are acquired primarily by crossing Limits and suffering terrible Injuries. Both can be removed through various means, though there is often a price.
- Body and Mind track the physical and mental fortitude of a Character and are similar to "Health" in other systems. Their capacities are derived from the Character's Attributes. Injuries, Traumatic experiences, and Exertion deplete Body and Mind. Death occurs when Body is fully depleted.