Foresee Alpha provides many random charts, in keeping with the 4C original rules and the rules from which they took their inspiration. Also most of the old school fantasy games were filled to overflowing with such charts.
A criticism has been raised as to why on Earth someone would RANDOMISE a character in a superhero game in the first place?
But… The Foresee rules keep saying choose or roll, choose or roll. No one HAS TO randomise. But it isn’t just for the players. The charts let a GM randomise characters, items and so on in the course of play. My own experience is that no matter how experienced one is as a GM it’s impossible to really make an entire game session up on the fly. Everyone does it, and sometimes they are great, but even without charts a GM is rolling some kind of dice early on to get some flow and variation. It can’t all be the last film you watched and player questions.
As for players, if you roll randomly and stick with it, you may well end up with a character origin you would NEVER have played. For example the Peasant and the Hireling, and other apparent dirtkicker lowlies have their advantages. It’s also appealing to quite a few of the storyteller type players and quite a few of the “bored played 100 game systems” players to play something so off the wall. Sure, people will want to play a medieval fantasy version of Iron Man or the Hulk or will want to play Aragorn or Legolas. Most GMs will let them. But where a game session or a campaign really takes off is when you have Iron Man, Aragorn… and a Nodwick type character.
Hence, randomised characters> You DO NOT HAVE TO USE THE RANDOM CHARTS. But if you do, they are balanced for a world. Half-Elves: not very common at all. Humanoid Animals with Class: less than 1% of the population. Shouldn’t they be?
In some of the campaign idea books I am writing up at the moment there are variations of the original Foresee charts, and I am seeing very clearly that the random charts, especially because they’re quick to use, can let both a GM and a player engage with a setting fast. Particularly when Foresee uses the “describe what you want to be good at and that’s the Skill” approach rather than the rules-ing people to death approach. The former definitely encourages roleplaying, and in a game with so many superheroic powers it’s important to do that.