@Polaris North Regarding the background, why would the organization decide to kidnap a rich kid when stealing from the family? Unless they knew he had magical aptitude it seems like a waste, and I'm not sure how they would have worked that out.
@HowlsOfWinter Sure! A party of four's the ideal for me at any rate, so welcome aboard. If you have any questions, just let me know.
Sure. An orc generally has reasonably high strength and constitution, lower dexterity and intelligence, and thicker hide which affords a sort of natural armor. If you have more specific questions, just ask.
Polaris, I'll give your character a proper look either later tonight or tomorrow. This weekend's a bit rough for me.
The Meade Museum of Art and Arcanum is staged to open in three days. All of the exhibits have been moved in at this time, but security likely hasn't properly acclimated yet and many measures likely aren't set up. Our reports suggest that they'll be at their weakest tonight. We've prepared you a map and the routes to travel to get there and get inside undetected, but once you're inside, you're on your own.
We know the museum's divided into two wings. The East Wing is the art half, and the West Wing is the arcanum half. You should know all this, but an Arcanum Museum's basically a place where ancient magic formulas, old artifacts, and the like are put on display. They're all pretty much useless of course, but that doesn't mean there aren't old eccentrics looking to buy them, or some crackpot who thinks he'll be the one to recreate a magic formula four thousand years old.
The two priority goals are the crown jewels of the museum. In the art wing, the original painting of the great Arya Calypsia, one of Meade's most esteemed artists before her death a few years ago, known as "The Divine Silence". In the arcanum wing, a defunct magic formula which has been dated at nearly a hundred thousand years, one of the oldest ever discovered. Both of these items can be regarded as priceless, and the cut you get from us selling them will be enough to make you set for life as a rich man. Don't think you can get away with selling them on your own, though. We won't take being double-crossed very well, and besides, it's not like you can sell them half as easily as the organization itself can. Don't worry, you'll be getting more money than you could ever want from this job, providing you pull it off.
...by the way, we've gotten some weird reports lately. Apparently nobody's heard from museum staff in the past couple days, nobody's been seen going in or out, which seems odd given that they should be preparing for the opening. Be careful in case there's something nutty going on.
Name: I'd hope I don't need to explain this one.
Age: While the setting is modern fantasy in nature, please don't app some 3000-year old immortal freak.
Gender: Don't make this complicated.
Species: Humans are the obvious choice, but the standard fantasy fare are generally acceptable, with the caveat that they must have sufficiently humanoid bodies/attributes. Don't try and be that guy who apps a god. Also, check with me before you make a nonhuman, so we can talk racial abilities.
Appearance: Yes, you can use a picture. Yes, you can put it at the top of the sheet with a little italicized quote centered under it.
Personality: Don't skimp on this.
History: Remember, your character is, through one means or another, a thief. Whether they're a white collar criminal, an illegal magic-user, or one of those guys who dresses in all black and breaks into secure buildings, this needs to be a factor. Similarly, they need to be acquainted with the organization behind this heist, obviously.
You have 60 stat points to invest across the following six stats as you see fit. A value of 10 is considered to be the human average. These do not scale linearly though. Having below 5 in any given stat is not recommended, but I won't stop you.
Strength: Physical might. Factors into considerations like arm-wrestling, beating stuff up, and more arm-wrestling.
Dexterity: Agility, nimbleness, hand-eye coordination, and things like that.
Constitution: How much of a beating you can take. Also includes things like how well you can handle poisons and how many drinks it takes before you're under the table.
Intelligence: Refers less to learning ability and more to factors like memory, insight, and the like.
Charisma: Persuasive ability, likability, and so on.
Magical Potential: Your talent for magic, whether it's latent or not.
Skills: This includes learned abilities like combat or stealth techniques, racial abilities, magical shenanigans, stuff they went to college for, you get the idea.
Equipment: Things carried on the person, or resources that can be called in. Don't bother including personal wealth since the employee will reimburse expenses within reason. Must be mundane in nature. Don't go crazy here, just what you carry on your person for a job.
Artifact: You've been given permission to select one magical artifact from the organization's stores for this use, with the caveat that the organization thinks that it's useless. For instance, a cigar that will never go out, or an ever-replenishing bag of popsicle sticks.
So, while not a tabletop roleplay, you should expect some dice shenanigans to go on. To explain what I mean by that, there are two main circumstances where dice rolls where arise: "stretch goals", and combat.
A stretch goal is basically something that should be difficult to do, and will have some amount of random chance. This is considered independent of your own personal abilities. For instance, even if you're super strong and you're trying to lift something really heavy, it'll be counted as a stretch goal, but you'll have better odds at succeeding the dice roll to decide what happens than someone else. This also extends to stuff like sick acrobatics tricks, persuading NPCs, and so on.
Combat is basically working in a sort of turn-based DnD style affair, but with the attack and damage rolls consolidated. How well an attack does/if it lands in the first place is decided by a dice roll with the appropriate advantages given for your character. If it fails significantly, the attack will miss, or maybe hit but can't penetrate the enemy's defenses. If it does really well, you attack for massive damage.
NPCs are under the same constraints as the players with regards to this.
Also, it's worth noting that rolling a "1" or a "20" (the dice used will generally be a 20-sided die) results in a critical failure or critical success on that action respectively. An example of a critical success is persuading an NPC so well he decides to become your best friend. An example of a critical failure is throwing your spear at an enemy, but you miss and instead you spear your ally. For critical successes, I'll sometimes just say in the OOC "okay you got a crit success, the enemy's dying from this attack, how do you want him to die" or something so you can have fun with it.
So this will have an element of randomness and unpredictability that you'd expect from a tabletop, but all of the logistics for that are handled on the GM side. This is just so you know what all's going on, and why when I post that the NPC wasn't persuaded by you or that your attack made the enemy explode into a thousand pieces, you know why. This does also mean you can try to pull the sort of bullshit you couldn't ordinarily pull in a fully-freeform RP.
Put simply, magic is more of an art than a science.
The process of casting a spell involves the caster using their innate talent for magic to do two things. The first is converting a portion of their life force to a substance known as "magical energy". The second is using that magical energy to cast the spell.
A spell is essentially "telling a story to reality". It should be known that the caster himself does not create a fireball. Rather, the caster spins a story to reality about how there should be a fireball, and if the story is moving enough, reality obliges. It is the use of art to move the world.
Neither intellect nor charisma affect this. While the words "narrative" and "storytelling" are used, these acts draw on different faculties of oneself than writing an actual novel does; nonetheless, because the metaphor is suitable, it has been adopted in contemporary language.
As a result, magic is rather unpredictable, which factors into its strict government regulation. Two people who tell a story of a fireball will end with different results, because their stories will not be exactly the same. Even if you tried to learn the story of another and cast it exactly, it would not work, because reality will not be moved by a stolen story.
If the spell is the verbal story, a "magic formula" is the book. It is an engraving of someone's personal story which, by injecting magical energy to, they can cast the spell at a far greater speed than the time needed to tell the story itself. Of course, one cannot use another's magical formula. Loopholes to circumvent this have been tried; exchanging cells with someone else, trying to siphon out their personal magical energy, and the like, but nothing has managed to overturn this law yet.
An anomaly worth noting is the strength of multiple mages. If two mages collaboratively cast a spell, that spell will have greater strength than if a single mage casts it, even if the amount of magical energy being used is the same. This is known as the "multiplicity effect". The difficulty of this, though, is that is is exceedingly difficult to do this, as the two mages must be in perfect harmony to join hands and write the same story. As an aside, an incident which nearly ended the world nearly a century ago involved a now-destroyed country somehow managing to have a force of fifty thousand mages collectively cast a single spell, which summoned an eldritch horror beyond human perception.