LEECH: The Medicaid

Next come the Attriboats. If you're familiar with any of the rest of the Storytiller series, either prepare for a heavy dose of deja-vu, or feel free to skip ahead to Liabilities.

Attriboats are divided into three categories, which at least kind of refer to what's in them. The attriboats themselves are referred to by a vocalization which I, at least, associate with what they're actually referring to. However, in the acknowledgment that not everyone would logically leap to the same associations I have, I'll be generous and explain them all.

First, though, to detail the way you know how good they are. Each attriboat has, well, a boat. For each major category, you get either 7, 5, or 3 lines with which to connect the dots. An attriboat with no additional lines (still at the first dot) is at the `destroyer' level. Connecting to the second dot makes it a `cruiser'. The third dot makes it a `submarine.' The fourth is a `battleship'. And if you have all four lines connected, it's all the way to `carrier'. {With thanks to Milton Bradley.}

[For later reference, remember:
  • 1 = Destroyer = Wimpy
  • 2 = Cruiser = Average
  • 3 = Submarine = Pretty Good
  • 4 = Battleship = Really Good
  • 5 = Carrier = Great.]

Oh, and just for the record, the couple that go all the way up to 10 are called "Steamliners".] It is ENTIRELY up to you which major category gets how many lines, except that it has to be divided up just like that (7/5/3) because, well, we trust you, but we don't trust you THAT much. [The highest-assigned is called your "Prim" category, the middle is "Fecund", and the lowest "Tepid."]

The first major category are your Fizzy aspects. ("Fizzy", of course, is a casual reference to "fizzikal");

- brute strength: your ability to pummel lesser beings into submission with your bare hands and to lift incredibly heavy pieces of round metal attached to the ends of a metal bar and to actually require that 110% from a certain speed-stick deodorant.

- movement: spinning casually to the side when someone tries to pummel you into submission with his bare hands, smoothly sliding the credit card to jiggle the lock just right, and stepping lightly when you sneak out of your room to raid the cookie jar.

- batteries: pressing on when every muscle is screaming out in agony, listening while your parents drone on about the importance of a higher education, or even listening to your walkman with the dial turned all the way up and not having your brain explode on the innocent man sitting at the bus stop waiting for the #17 so he can just for once maybe get to work on time.

The second major category are your Brainy aspects. (If you don't get the reference, you don't have to worry about 'em.)

- acuity: sighting land from a ship, hearing the catch in your SO's voice that tells you s/he's serious about breaking up this time, smelling the burning when the little brat sets fire to your shoes.

- mental power: solving the theory of relativity, remembering you're out of milk in time to pick up another gallon, operating the space shuttle, and just possibly even programming the VCR.

- intuition and quick thought: solving riddles, making up a ghost story on the spur of the moment...high Eureka means never having to say, "oh, I WISH I'd said.."

Finally, the third major category, your Friendly aspects:

- Likeability: Getting voted in as Prom Queen, having a warm, friendly handshake, setting your fiancee's parents at ease.

- influencing people: haggling for a better price at the flea market, talking the police officer into letting you off with a warning, convincing your secretary that your wife really wouldn't mind.

- looks: flexing those hunky biceps, flashing those tanned legs, giving that perfect come-hither smile.

Fourthly, come Liabilities. Don't let the name fool you - used properly, these will be liabilities for OTHER people. Once again, there are three kinds of liabilities: Talons, Skulls, and Gnawledges.

Talons are, kindaveryloosely, the kinds of hands-on things that anyone can do, but not necessarily well. Anything listed under Talons can probably be tried even without any practice in it as a pure attriboat-roll, but if you want a real chance at it, you probably want to go ahead and put some points into them.

Skulls are things that take more thought, but can be learned pretty much just through practice. These are definitely harder to do without any head start, though some can at least be attempted.

Finally, Gnawledges are the kinds of things you have to really keep plugging away at. Any attempt to do most of these without liability points is probably going to flop and make you look stupid, like complaining for months that you need a new computer because this old one doesn't work, only to find out that it just hasn't been plugged in the whole time and if you just put that thing with the pointy bits into the matching holes in the wall, it runs fine.

These, like attriboats, are ranked (by you) into Prim, Fecund, and Tepid, but here, they give you a baker's dozen, the triplet triad, and the square root of a quarter. {That's 13, 9, and 5. Geeze.}

Oh, but don't get carried away - you can't build any of these Liabilities higher than a Submarine, or we break into your house and set your character sheet on fire. Some people just have to be forced into making a well-rounded character, and if that means you, keep this in mind: Don't put any of these past 3 yet. Not even half-past three. If you want a Liability past three, wait until you get your KillerBee points, (which I'll describe when I'm good and ready.) Also, you'll probably note that all the boats from here on are missing the foredeck; in order to have one at all, you have to put one of your lines there, from 0 to 1.

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Left will delve deep into Leechian Archtypes.
Right moves you along into the clutch of their Talons.