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Character Creation

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 9 months ago

Character Creation


Characters in this game are designed by the players, using a choice and point build method, rather than a completely or partially random system. This allows you greater control over the results, but does require you to have some idea about what kind of character you would like to portray.


It is also a hybrid between a ‘Develop at Start’ and a ‘Develop In Play’. Your character should be well defined before actual game play begins, but there is plenty of room to expand the skills of your character thru character growth. Attributes generally change only thru plot and action results rather than mechanical development.


In order to make informed choices and decisions, it’s recommended that you read thru both the mechanics sections and, if possible, the setting information presented for this specific game campaign before you begin creating your character. This will allow you better integration with the setting and thus to optimize your fun potential in many ways.


Think about a character concept first that fits the setting and planned campaign, then go thru the traits and choose those that fit the background, current life and personality of the character you want to play.


If you have an idea for an important trait, favorable or unfavorable, that fits your character concept, that does not exist on the current lists then talk to your GM and see if it will fit the setting and campaign and if so then your GM can assign a rating (Minor, Major or Severe) to it in within the system in comparison to other the other available traits.


Your GM may, of course, add traits to the existing lists in reflection of your ideas, and thus improve the game in design for everyone as things go along.


Once you have the traits, then distribute attribute points, and finally spend the resulting skill points.



A trait is a favorable ability, possession, or social position that is advantageous to a character; or an unfavorable physical, mental or social problem that the character has that in some way limits their abilities, actions or options or produces plot problems for them in a game.


Generally traits are rated as minor, major or severe. To take a favorable trait on their character a player must choose an unfavorable trait of equal rating to take to balance.


You can take two minor unfavorable traits to buy a major favorable one, or two major unfavorable traits to buy a severe favorable one, or four minor unfavorable traits to buy a severe favorable one. This compound purchasing is referred to as 'Switching'. Generally each step is called a switch, so taking four minor for one severe is to switch twice, while taking 2 minor to gain one major is to switch once.


Generally the GM's guideline is that you can only switch 5 times in the construction phase, otherwise the accounting and the whole process becomes cumbersome and characters may be unbalanced at start from each other too widely. You do not have to take any switches at all in your design, switching is optional.


Not only do traits give some in-game balance to abilities, but they allow the player to define certain aspects of their character’s past life, current life and personality as well.


Players may suggest to the GM additional ideas that they have for traits that they would like for their character beyond these lists.


Some traits have specific suggestions of good traits to accompany them, or specific traits that cannot be taken in conjunction with them (often because they are contradictory or are too close in regards to what they do).


A few traits will have a combination of favorable and unfavorable features, and such will be listed based upon their perceived overall position whether to be favorable or unfavorable.


A few traits may change the attributes of your character or the number of skills a character has in a category. If such are chosen then you may need to recalculate skill points based on these changes and adjust accordingly.


Although there is no official limit as to how many of each you take, so long as you balance your purchases, it is important to remember that taking too many unfavorable traits may make your character unplayable or incompatible with other characters. You MUST remember that the GM will make sure that you play your problems out and will make sure that you encounter challenges associated with your traits regularly. Don’t take a fear of snakes and then complain when the GM decides you found a snake in your sleeping bag when you unpack it, roleplay it!

Trait Lists :



By Value:


Minor Favorable Traits, Major Favorable Traits, Severe Favorable Traits,

Minor Unfavorable Traits, Major Unfavorable Traits, Severe Unfavorable Traits


By Special Category:


Asset Traits Growth Purchased Traits Mystic Traits Story Traits



There are six Basic Attributes and two Special Attributes that give numberic definition to some of the aspects of your character. All Attributes at start are assigned 1 to 10 points by the player (this is not the maximum range, just the maximum allowed during this stage of character generation.) Generally a 5 is perceived as an average value for a player character. Initially players have 50 points to distribute among these attributes. Attributes directly affect the success of Skills (See Also : Skill Lists)


Creativity : This is the base of skills used for creating art, understanding symbolism and language. It is used as the basis of most art and magic related skills.


Dexterity : This is the basis of skills associated purely with hand eye coordination. It also is used to determine the character’s reaction time in stress situations, such as combat initiatives. It also is half of your movement calculation for distance covered in an action round.


Fitness : This is the base of many physical skills, except those where reaction time and hand eye coordination are involved. It also represents your ability to survive injuries, wounds and damage. It is half of your movement calculation for distance covered in an action round. It is also used to determine the weight a character might carry, ability to withstand fatiguing situations, etc. A character’s Fitness *5 equals the number of wound points they have. If you take all your wound points then the character is dead.

Influence : This is the base of all social skills. It represents physical appearance, eloquence of speech, and general interaction with other sentient people in general.


Logic : This is the base of skills associated with academics, science, and technology usage.


Spirit : This is a measure of the character’s strength of will, and is used in situations of checking morale, defending against magical attacks, fear and sanity checks and is used as a measure of applied magical power when casting spells by magic wielding characters.


Education : This special attribute is used to determine the number of extra skill ranks you have for the character when you come to purchasing skills. A character has 50 Skill Ranks plus (Education * 10) additional ranks. Education Also is a measure of how fast a character learns, reducing the time needed to learn the first rank of a new skill. Some traits require a minimum Education rank as a prerequisite.


Resources : This special attribute is used to determine the financial resources that the character has to start with. It is not the basis for any skill rolls and has no effect upon skills. The actual amount of funding and what can be bought with it is based on which world/country the game is being set in and what items are available for purchase. Generally (Resouces * 100)= money units to start. Some traits may require you to have a resources of a specific minimum value to take them as well.

Calculated Values


These derive from your attributes, and may be modified by environmental factors, traits the character has or situational modifiers. These are basically here to give you effective understanding of what you can do with your attribute values in a less abstract way.


Move : This is your basic speed on foot in Meters. Add your Fitness and your Dexterity, and this is your unencumbered full move distance in one round of combat action. Half this (round to the nearest whole number) is what you can do in a half-move or in full movement when you are considered encumbered. (If encumbered your half-move distance is 1/4 of your Move). Move may be modified by injury, obscured senses, terrain and some traits.


Lift : This is the maximum weight the character can manage to lift (not move with, but lift) in Kilograms. Take your Fitness and multiply it times 20 to get your lift. This may be modified by some traits.


Carry : This is the amount of weight the character can carry around without being considered encumbered. Carry is equal to your Fitness multiplied by 5 in Kilograms. This may be modified by some traits or certain kind of equipment that can be purchased.


Height & Weight : Determining the height and weight of your character is a bit more complex than a number calculation. It generally should not be done until AFTER you have determined the traits and physical attributes. Then you should go look at the the Size information.



Skills are broken down into categories based on which of the basic attributes that they link to. All characters start with 50 free base skill ranks to invest in their skills.


A player character also gets a number of skill ranks to distribute into skills equal to their previously chosen Education attribute multiplied by 10, thus producing another 10 to 100 skill ranks (unless a trait allows them to exceed the maximum of 10 in the attribute).


A maximum of 10 skill ranks can be put into a skill at this stage of character construction, unless they have a trait that allows otherwise.


(A Skill Rank, in system definition, gives a +5% success in using a skill.)


It is possible that some traits, added later in design, may give additional skill ranks in a specific skill, category or allow additional skill ranks to be distributed, which then could exceed this 'rule of 10'.


Additionally, thru character growth, skills may exceed the beginning rule of 10, and the system is designed with this in mind.


In actual use, skill ranks are added to the attribute ranks (and any base modifiers from traits) and the total is multiplied by 5 to produce a percentile target number for rolling (which can exceed 100). This number may also be reduced before rolling by environmental conditions, complications or choices made by the player.


Non-combat related skills are always rolled against the third column (sub-labeled Skills of the action table) when determining degree of success, presuming that they actually rolled their percentile target or less on the percentile dice.


All Characters get 5 free ranks seperate from this in their Native Language (see : Languages) and their Native Culture. They also get 5 free ranks in Area Knowledge for their home city or regional area (if not from an urban location).


See the Skill Lists for details.


Favorite Skill Use


For each skill they possess on their character, players may choose for the character a favored use of the skill. Generally this is a purpose or condition that when they are using the skill for or in that they receive a bonus of +10% to their percentile target number (the equivalent of 2 extra ranks) when it occurs.


They must record this on their character sheet to use it in this manner before using it to make a roll, and they cannot change it once it has been declared on the character for that skill. It must be a purpose or condition that is not the only one associated with using the skill involved, and it must be GM approved. It should not be too broad a category of use of the skill.


It is not appropriate for a spellcaster to take as a favored use 'spells using mystic sense X' unless they have more than one mystic sense that is used in their spells.


Least Favorite Skill Use


This is the opposite of the Favored Skill. It's a use of the skill that the character is just not as good at as they are normally and far less effective than their favored skill use. By taking a Least Favored Use they can raise their Favored Skill Use (getting a +4/+20% Bonus) but they will have a -4/-20% for their Least Favored Use. The choosing of a least favored skill is optional.


This must be recorded on their character sheet, and it cannot be changed once it has been declared on the character for the skill. It must be approved by the GM, and not be to broad a category of use.

Weird Ideas


It is possible that a GM may decide to allow a player or group of players to design characters that lie outside the rules and mechanics as portrayed. The rules are designed as a structure for constructing your ideas, not a straightjacket, and so long as concepts of balance are applied the system options can be expanded to make the setting and characters go in many other directions than those listed here.

Comments (3)

Anonymous said

at 3:30 pm on May 30, 2006

I added the <B>Switching</B> system to the trait purchasing rules today (May 30 2006) after much consideration of problems I was having with designing certain concepts. I'm hoping that it doesn't get abused, and that people will use it logically, but we'll see what happens when it gets into playtest.

Anonymous said

at 5:30 pm on Nov 8, 2006

This section is going to get some redesign in the weeks to come, based on the playtest group's feedback on some problems with character creation and growth, so presume the content here as being 'unstable' for the present.

Anonymous said

at 2:06 pm on Nov 21, 2006

I've been clarifying this section, have expanded the description for the Education Attribute as it has been revised, and added 'Least Favorite Use' as an option to skills.

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