If you've been reading the guide sequentially, you're nearly ready to create your own Contractor! Finish reading the article below on Character Concept, then click the button below to get started.
Coming up with a Contractor
Every Contractor has an Ambition, an Archetype, and a Paradigm.
Contractors must have a reason for risking their life for power in the Harbingers' Games. Usually this takes the form of a driving Ambition, some goal the Contractor believes so deeply in, they're willing to risk everything to achieve it.
Every Contractor is free to reject the Harbingers' invitations, and so The Contract is not well-suited for telling the stories of Characters who get "swept up" into grand adventures unless you take care to justify their participation (perhaps they're trying to rescue their spouse, or they have terminal cancer and want to go out with a bang).
Ambitions can take many forms, but lofty is generally better. The best ambitions affect the way the Contractor interacts with other Characters and the world itself. For example, an ambition to "become the greatest swordsman" is not nearly as interesting as a goal to "defeat every other swordsman in a duel to the death."
When trying to come up with an ambition, it is often useful to think about society and the world. How would you change the world if you were given superpowers? Would you try to take control of the world's governments? Would you drive humanity out of threatened rainforests? Would you replace humanity with the next, supernatural phase in evolution?
Starting out with a vague or achievable ambition is okay. Sometimes Characters take several Games to find their voice, and their Ambitions may evolve along with them.
A Contractor's Archetype refers to their archetypes and inspirations. Are they a gunslinger? A mad scientist? A pirate?
Although The Contract provides no set list of Concepts to choose from, having a specific Character Concept is extremely important and may have significant gameplay implications. Characters are only granted Powers that fit their Concept.
Like ambitions, a Contractor's Concept may evolve over time. Perhaps your mad bomber Character is converted to Christianity on their fifteenth Game and becomes a mad bomber on a holy mission. This is a great way to both add character depth and justify granting new types of Powers.
Coming up with a Concept is often intuitive or automatic based on the Character's inspiration. Concepts are often tied to the Contractor's occupation (surgeon, olympic athlete, cult leader, etc.), but they do not have to be. Sometimes they are a supernatural archetype (werewolf, fairy, vampire) or a character theme (jerk, slut, goth).
A super simple trick to creating an interesting concept is to just mix a few common archetypes together. Superhero reporter. Demon barber. Sorority sister witch. Trailer-trash leprechaun. Neurosurgeon wizard. Celebrity chef cannibal. Arms-dealing playboy billionaire technologist.
A Contractor's Paradigm explains the source of their Powers. Are they psychic? Cursed by a God? The product of a genetic experiment?
While it is true that all Contractors receive their Powers as rewards for succeeding in Games, it is best to flavor the Gifts as an awakening of a Contractor's potential rather than mere powerups that are unrelated to their character.
All players should be able to give some explanation of where their Characters are drawing their energy from and "how" their Powers work. Perhaps they have been trapped in the past, and the Harbingers are gifting them equipment from their own time. Maybe each Gift allows the occult scholar to pierce the veil and make sense of one of the spells in the library she inherited from her grandmother.
Character Creation Rules
When you create a Contractor, you are given 150 Experience points to spend purchasing Attributes, Abilities, Assets, and Liabilities. Their costs are the same as for Advancement.
Note that the Create Character page does these calculations for you, so you do not have to know the Advancement costs before creating a Contractor.
Any unused Experience is saved and can be spent as normal during any Downtime.
Cell Leaders are responsible for approving Contractors created in their Cells. For Contractors attending a Game in another Cell, the GM may allow or disallow their attendance at the start of the Game at their discretion.