Character Basics

Character Creation Methods

To make a character, you’ll need to select a template or make your own.

Templates

A few starting templates have been provided at the end of this book. To get started right away, pick one and distribute seven skill dice among the skills listed; the dice for attributes have already been done for you. Note that the listed skills are the ones that type of character might typically have, though you could include others not on the list if you’d like. For skill descriptions and details on how to distribute skill dice, see the “Skills” section later in this chapter.

If desired, you can fill in the other character features (such as gender, age, and so on) and provide any additional notes on the character’s history. There is no need to purchase equipment, as that has already been figured for the characters.

Once you have finished filling in your template, you can either start playing the game with your group, or you can skip to the “Game Basics” chapter and read more on how to use your new character.

Defined Limits

If you wish to make your own starting character from scratch, without a template but with defined limits on what can be put into attributes and skills, use these guidelines. This chapter describes each characteristic in more detail, including examples on how you can split the dice.

These guidelines assume you’ll make a normal Human character. If not, talk with your Game Master about the minimums, maximums, and other requirements for the character species you want to use. See the various sections in this chapter for details on dice distribution and figuring out other aspects of your character.

Attributes: Distribute 18 dice among the seven attributes. The minimum is 1D and the maximum is 5D in all attributes except Extranormal attributes, which remains at 0D for most characters.

Skills: Distribute seven dice among the skills. The maximum number of dice added to any one skill is 3D.

Move: This equals 10 meters per round.

Body Points: If your Game Master is using this characteristic, roll your character’s Strength and add 20 to the total. Ignore this characteristic if your Game Master is using Wounds only.

Wounds: If your Game Master relies on the Wound levels option with Body Points, see the appropriate table in the “Damage” chapter to determine the range of Body Points associated with each Wound level. If your Game Master uses Wounds only, you don’t need to figure out the Body Points range; you can put a line through that column if you’d like. Strength Damage: Drop the pips from your character’s Strength or lift score (including any Special Abilities or Disadvantages that affect the die code), divide the number by 2, and round up. This is the Strength Damage die code.

Funds and Credits: Funds and credits measure how much wealth your character can usually get at without too much trouble. All characters start with a base Funds die code of 3D. Look under “Funds” in this chapter for modifiers to this roll and how to convert this number to cash. The cash equivalent of Funds goes on the Credits line.

Character Points: Characters start with five Character Points.

Fate Points: Characters start with one Fate Point.

For equipment, Advantages, Disadvantages, Special Abilities, background, and character features, see the appropriate sections in this chapter for more details on how to fill out these optional sections.

Creation Point Pool

Those who wish to use points to create their characters, rather than following a template or being restricted in what they can put in skills and attributes, can use a point system. Each novice character receives 79 creation points to distribute among all the options. Players may only spend creation points as whole points, not fractions. See the “Attribute” and “Skills” sections in this chapter for details on distributing dice.

One attribute die equals four creation points.

One skill die equals one creation point.

Three skill specialization dice equal one creation point.

Advantages and Special Abilities have their own costs associated with them; see the “Character Options” chapter for details.

Attributes have a minimum of 1D and a maximum of 5D, except in Extranormal attributes (which may have a minimum of 0D).

The maximum starting number of dice that may be added to any one skill or specialization of skill is 3D.

Players of Human characters may add up to 10 additional creation points to their totals by taking an appropriate number of ranks in Disadvantages. Non-Human species may have their own creation point totals, maximum number of points from Disadvantages, and starting Advantages, Disadvantages, and Special Abilities.

For worlds involving more Special Abilities, Game Masters should feel free to raise the number of starting creation points and the number of possible creation points received from Disadvantages.

Characters also receive the following aspects, like those created with defined limits:

Move: This equals 10 meters per round.

Body Points: If your Game Master includes this characteristic, roll your character’s Strength and add 20 to the total. Ignore this characteristic if your Game Master is using Wounds only.

Wounds: If your Game Master relies on the Wound levels option with Body Points, see the appropriate table in the “Damage” chapter to determine the range of Body Points associated with each Wound level. If your Game Master uses Wounds only, you don’t need to figure out the Body Points range; you can put a line through that column if you’d like. Strength Damage: Drop the pips from your character’s Strength or lift score (including any Special Abilities or Disadvantages that affect the die code), divide the number by 2, and round up. This is the Strength Damage die code.

Funds and Credits: Funds and credits measure how much wealth your character can usually get at without too much trouble. All characters start with a base Funds die code of 3D. Look under “Funds” in this chapter for modifiers to this roll and how to convert this number to cash. The cash equivalent of Funds goes on the Credits line.

Creating Experienced Characters

If you are making an experienced character, you’ll need to figure out how many more years that character has been around than one starting out.

By Defined Limits

Using the initial novice totals of seven skill dice, five Character Points, and one Fate Point, add 15 skill dice, 15 Character Points, and two Fate Points to the initial totals for each year the character has been a full-time active adventurer. (For part-timers, halve these figures, rounding up.)

By Creation Point Pool

With the initial novice totals of 79 creation points, five Character Points, and one Fate Point as a starting point, add 15 creation points, 15 Character Points, and two Fate Points for each year the character has been a full-time active adventurer. (For part-timers, halve these figures, rounding up.) Unless the Game Master decides otherwise, there are no maximums for skills and Disadvantages.

Creating Existing Characters

Players basing their characters on existing fictional entities should ignore the skill and Disadvantage limits and, with their Game Master’s approval, create the character by distributing dice as best reflects how the character appears in his, her, or its stories.

Game Master’s Characters

Game Master’s characters (sometimes referred to as nonplayer characters or NPCs) may or may not be created using the same rules as players’ characters. Because the Game Master’s characters serve as interactive elements in the story, it all depends on the NPC’s importance to the storyline. Minor Game Master’s characters have fewer attribute and skill dice, fewer Body Points or Wounds, and few (if any) character options, Character Points, or Fate Points. Major characters, however, should follow the same guidelines as the players’ characters, possibly having more skill dice, Advantages, Disadvantages, and Special Abilities than a typical starting player’s character. An increase over the players’ characters reflects the fact that a major antagonist has been around much longer.

Attributes

Each character has attributes which measure basic physical and mental abilities that are common to every living creature (and some nonliving things), no matter what universe or dimension they exist in. There are two types of attributes.

Normal: All characters and many objects in the game possess Normal attributes. These are used to describe a specific way in which the character or object ordinarily interacts with the game world, which could include physical, mental, and social abilities. Characters have a minimum score of 1D in all Normal attributes, since these are possessed by everyone. Agility and Strength are two examples of Normal attributes.

Extranormal: Some characters and objects in the game possess Extranormal attributes. These are used to describe a specific extraordinary way in which the character or object interacts with the game world, which could include psionics, magic, or super abilities. Most characters begin with a score of 0D, since people with such abilities are extremely rare. Magic and Psionics are two examples of Extranormal attributes.

Normal attributes have a minimum value of 1D and a maximum value of 5D. Extranormal attributes have no minimum and no maximum. When you put dice in an attribute, you can either put whole dice in each attribute, or you can give each a mixture of whole dice and pips. Each die equals three pips.

Example: You’ve distributed most of your attribute dice, but you have four dice left to put in Perception and Presence. You could put 1D in Perception and 3D in Presence,or 2D+1 in Perception and 1D+2 in Presence, or some similar combination.

Skills

Skills are more specific applications of an attribute. For example, the skill dodge is a more specific use of your character’s Reflexes. Characters learn them through instruction or experience.

Skills are areas of knowledge that are not necessarily common to every living creature. Some creatures simply don’t have the capacity to learn certain skills.

All skills beneath a given attribute begin at that attribute’s die code. To highlight skills in which the character has trained or has some experience, add pips or dice to the base attribute value.

As with attributes, when creating your character, you can either put whole dice in each skill, or you can give each a mixture of whole dice and pips. Remember that each die equals three pips.

Example: Your character’s Physique is 3D+1. If you wanted her to be a little better in the lifting skill, you could add one pip to the base attribute to get a lifting skill score of 3D+2. If you decided to add two pips to the base attribute, the lifting score becomes 4D.

You can also specialize in skills. Specializations reflect a greater familiarity in a particular area covered by a base skill. One skill die equals three specialization dice. Of course, one specialization die still equals three pips.

You don’t need to have any extra dice in the base skill in order to take a specialization in that skill, but when you give your character specializations in that manner, they are treated as separate skills. If you give your character specializations in base skills he already has, those specializations are considered bonuses to the base skill when attempting tasks of that type.

Once you’ve chosen at least one specialization and put one or two pips or dice in it, you have to use the remaining specialization dice and pips to either purchase more pips in the same specialization or purchase one or more pips in other specializations.

You roll the specialization’s die code only when you use the specific item or knowledge reflected by the specialization. Otherwise, you roll the base skill (or attribute if you didn’t put additional dice in the full skill).

Example: If your character’s Knowledge is 3D and her demolitions is 3D+2, you could give her a demolitions specialization of vehicles of +1 (which means that, when she’s attempting to blow up vehicles, she rolls four dice). You would then have two specialization dice and two specialization pips to place among other specializations. With these, you could further improve her demolitions: vehicles specialization, or you could pick one or more other specializations in the same or other base skills.

A character may not put dice in any skill associated with the Extranormal attribute unless that character already has dice in that attribute.

The maximum number of dice the character may start with in any base skill is 3D greater than the governing attribute, with no more than 3D greater than the base skill in any specialization.

Options: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Special Abilities

Advantages and Disadvantages are benefits or quirks your character has developed. Some affect the character’s attributes and skills, while others serve as useful roleplaying tools for rounding out the character. Special Abilities are unusual talents or powers the character has that are outside the norm.

Move

This number (usually 10) represents how many meters your character moves in a round at maximum walking speed in standard (1 g) gravity. (The running skill can increase this rate. It also serves as the base for other movement skills.)

Should the character have a different sort of movement than normal (such as fins for legs), see the Hindrance Disadvantage for information on how to account for this variability.

Special Points

Players’ characters typically start the game with one Fate Point and five Character Points. You can spend these points to improve your character’s chance of succeeding in especially difficult situations. Character Points alternatively are used to permanently improve skills. Your character earns more Character and Fate Points by having adventures. There is no limit to the number of Character or Fate Points your character may have at any time.

Body Points and Wounds

This section of the character sheet allows you to keep track of the healthiness of your character. Which you use depends on the Game Master.

Determining Body Points

When you create a new character, roll the Normal attribute that describes his ability to resist damage (e.g., Strength or Physique) including any modifiers from Disadvantages or Special Abilities and add 20. (Treat a 1 that comes up on the Wild Die as a 1 and add it to the total as normal; it has no negative effect on the result.) This becomes his Body Point total. Write it on the character sheet in the space provided. Templates already have their Body Points determined.

Example: Your character has 3D+1 in Physique. You roll three dice, making sure one of them is the Wild Die. The dice come up 4 and 6, with a 1 on the Wild Die. Since the 1 has no negative effect, you add the numbers to arrive at a total of 11. You then include the pip bonus of 1 with this for 12. Finally, you add 12 to 20 to get a Body Point total of 32.

Determining Wounds

If you are using the Wound levels with Body Points, each Wound level will be associated with a range of Body Points. If you are only using Wounds, you don’t need to figure out the Body Points range.

Strength Damage

Strength Damage indicates the amount of harm a character can do in combat with body parts, melee weapons, thrown weapons, and most missile weapons.

Determining Strength Damage

To determine the Strength Damage die code, take the character’s Normal attribute or skill that describes his ability to exert force (e.g. Strength, Physique, or lifting) including any die code modifiers from Disadvantages or Special Abilities and drop the pips. Divide by 2, and round up.

Example: A character with 3D in Physique has a Strength Damage of 2D. A character with 6D+2 in lifting has a Strength Damage of 3D. If you added dice to a template’s lifting skill, you’ll need to adjust the Strength Damage value listed.

Funds

To allow the Game Master to more easily adjust the “real world” cost to something appropriate for her world or her part of the world, this system substitutes difficulties for the prices of items. Each character thus gets a Funds attribute, which represents the amount of money the character can get without too much trouble on a regular basis because of work or investments.

All characters start with a base value of 3 in Funds. Use the accompanying rules to adjust this number. Include any modifiers to attributes due to Disadvantages or Special Abilities. The minimum total is 1. The final total becomes the die code in the Funds attribute.

Determining Funds

If the character has 1D in Presence, subtract 1.

If the character has 1D in Knowledge, subtract 1.

If the character has 4D or more in Presence, add 1.

If the character has 4D or more in Knowledge, add 1.

If the character has 8D or more in the character’s business skill plus its highest specialization, add 1.

After character creation, a player can increase the Funds attribute by spending Character Points (using the rules in the “Improving Characters” chapter) or through bonuses received as adventure rewards.

If the Game Master prefers to use cash or its equivalent, multiply the Funds total by a value specified by the Game Master (typically the equivalent of $150, €150, or ¥15,000, but Game Masters who want more accuracy can use a currency converter). This is how much money the character receives per week for whatever sort of work the character does or investments the character has.

Example: Your character has 4D in Knowledge, 6D in business, and +2D in a specialization of business, investing. Starting with 3, you add to it 1 for your high Knowledge score and 1 for having at least 8D in business plus a specialization. Your final total is 4, which gives you a Funds score of 5D. If your Game Master preferred cash, you would start with a regular income of $750, €750, or ¥75,000 per week.

Equipment

Players of starting characters may select one small weapon and a little protective gear plus a few tools of their characters’ chosen trade, unless there is equipment already listed on the template sheet. Some basic equipment is explained in the “Equipment” chapter.

Background and Character Features

The character sheet provided in this book and most other templates include spots for your character’s name, career, species, gender, age, height, weight, and background information. Everything else in these sections you are free to fill in as you like.

Height and Weight

Players who want their characters significantly larger or smaller than average should take the appropriate advantage or disadvantage. If the size is proportionately larger or smaller, then the character must have the Size advantage. If the size is a hindrance, then the character should have the Hindrance disadvantage as well.