Character creation rules:
Before we begin: Please don’t post your characters statistics in this thread. PM them to me instead. Feel free to use this thread to discuss the characters themselves.
1.) Determine your character’s race
[spoiler]There are five playable races available in SoA: Human, Dwarf, Elf, Half-elf and Halfling. Choice of race for your character is not merely a matter of numbers- a character’s race, in-part, determines his or her place in the world. That being said, there are statistical differences between the races, a brief explanation of which follows below:
Advantages: Can purchase skill specialties for 2xp
Bonus Language: Any
Humans are the dominant race in Platinum Falls. They are short-lived by dwarven and elven standards but have continued to frustrate the elder races with their ingenuity and ambition.
Advantages: +1 Stamina; +1 Health; Darkvision
Disadvantages: -1 Size; -1 Speed
Bonus Language: Dwarven
Dwarves are a stout and hardy folk native to the underground realms of Arcady. Once the possessors of a great empire they are a diminished people in modern times. The last surviving delve of the dwarves exists beneath Platinum Falls and it is there that most dwarves live.
Advantages: +1 Willpower; Darkvision
Bonus Language: Elven
Elves are an ancient, haughty people and the least populous of the races of Platinum Falls. History is littered with the exploits of powerful elven nations but like the dwarves their strength has nearly completely faded over recent centuries.
Advantages: Can purchase skill specialties of chosen skill group for 2xp; Low-light Vision
Bonus Language: Elven
Half-elves are a rare breed. Most humans and elves alike would say they lack exactly what makes their respective races great and they are, in general, despised within both cultures.
Advantages: +1 Dexterity; Can purchase skill specialties for 2xp; Low-light Vision
Disadvantages: -1 Size; -1 Strength
Bonus Language: Any
Sharp and precise, Halflings were once an independent, nomadic people but in recent times they have attached themselves to human society and assimilated. The two races still tend to view one another with some suspicion but despite that they usually get along rather well (compared to the other races at least).[/spoiler]In summary:
[ul][li]Choose a playable race for your character: Human, dwarf, elf, half-elf or halfling.[/li][li]Note that race’s stat adjustments.[/ul][/li]
2.) Determining your character’s attributes
[spoiler]All characters have nine attributes organized into three groups. The groups and their attributes are:
Intelligence, Wits, Resolve
Strength, Dexterity, Stamina
Presence, Manipulation, Composure
As stated in the “Notes on the system” section of the previous post, stats are measured on a scale of 0 to 5 (you start with a free point in each of these attributes, however). An attribute score of 1 represents a deficiency (for example: A character with a Strength of 1 would be weak), a score of 2 is average, 3 is above average, 4 is exceptional and 5 is the human peak (humans can’t go beyond an attribute score of 5, but other races might, depending on their racial adjustments- a score of 6 is superhuman).
1.) Prioritize the three attribute groups
Sort the three attribute groups (Mental, Physical and Social) in order from most important to least important. For example, my character Bob the Cook will prioritize Mental, then Social, and Physical is last.
2.) Determine base scores
Your character will have one free point in each of his attributes (Intelligence, Strength, Presence, etc). If your character has any attribute adjustments due to race (for example, dwarf characters get +1 Stamina) apply them now.
3.) Allocate attribute points
Before we continue, keep in mind this note: The fifth point allocated to any attribute costs TWO points. What’s important to remember in regards to this is that if your character has racial attribute adjustments this might change what “the fifth point allocated to any attribute” means. For example, a human would have to spend five points to get a Stamina of 5 (a free point, three to bring it to 4 and finally two to bring it to 5), whereas a dwarf would only have to spend three to get it to 5 (a free point, an extra point of Stamina for being a dwarf and finally three to bring it to 5) but could spend five to have a Stamina of 6. If this is confusing, don’t worry about it, just send me a PM and I’ll help you out.
Now allocate five points among your most important group. You cannot have an attribute score of 0, so if you have a starting attribute score with no points in it (for example, because of a Halfling’s -1 Strength adjustment) you must spend at least one point to raise that score to 1. So, continuing our example of Bob the Cook, I could put two points into Intelligence for a total of 3, two points into Wits for a total of 3 and one point into Resolve for a total of 2. Or I could spend all five points to increase one of those attributes to 5 and leave the others at 1 (not recommended).
Next allocate four points among your second most important group. As before, you cannot have any attributes with a score of 0. For Bob the Cook I’ll put two points into Composure for a score of 3 and one point into both Presence and Manipulation for a score of 2 in each.
Finally allocate three points among your least important group. For Bob the Cook I’ll put a single point into Strength, Dexterity and Stamina for a score of 2 for each.
Brief attribute descriptions:
Intelligence: Your character’s raw cognitive capacity. Your character’s ability to remember, comprehend and learn information. A character with a high intelligence is intelligent in an analytical sense, whereas a character with a low intelligence is not.
Wits: Your character’s ability to perceive and react quickly (or not), mentally. It, along with Dexterity, contributes towards your character’s ability to evade attacks (Defense is determined by the lowest of these two scores). A character with a high Wits is quick-witted and perceptive, a character with a low Wits is slow and absent-minded.
Resolve: Your character’s focus, determination and ability to resist coercion. It, along with Composure, contributes towards your character’s total Willpower score. Willpower measures both your character’s short-term mental resistance and his ability to squeeze out extra effort (your character can use Willpower to occasionally provide bonuses when performing actions). A character with a high Resolve is determined and focused, a character with a low Resolve is weak-willed.
Strength: Your character’s physical power and ability to lift and move objects and to strike people and things to deal damage. It, along with Dexterity, determines how quickly your character can move. A character with a high Strength is strong, a character with a low Strength is weak.
Dexterity: Your character’s hand-eye coordination, finesse and ability to react quickly (or not), physically. It, along with Strength, determines how quickly your character can move. It, along with Wits, contributes towards your character’s ability to evade attacks (Defense is determined by the lowest of these two scores). A character with a high Dexterity is graceful and quick, a character with a low Dexterity is clumsy and slow.
Stamina: Your character’s toughness and resilience and the key contributing factor to his Health score. A character with a high Stamina is tough and resistant to illness, a character with a low Stamina is fragile and sickly.
Presence: The power of your character’s personality. Presence is more than just looks (the Striking Looks merit covers that more appropriately), it represents your character’s command over the attention of others. A character with a high Presence is assertive and, indeed, has a strong “presence,” a character with a low Presence is the opposite.
Manipulation: This measures your character’s charm and charisma. Where Presence determines how much attention your character commands, Manipulation determines how well your character can work with that attention. A character with a high Manipulation is charismatic and persuasive, a character with a low Manipulation is not.
Composure: Your character’s restraint, poise and social and emotional fortitude. It, along with Resolve, contributes towards your character’s total Willpower score. Willpower measures both your character’s short-term mental resistance and his ability to squeeze out extra effort (your character can use Willpower to occasionally provide bonuses when performing actions). A character with a high Composure is calm and composed, a character with a low composure is reactive and emotional.
Obviously what each stat means exactly for your character is up to you, but these are good guidelines to follow when determing your character’s attributes.[/spoiler]In summary:
[ul][li]Prioritize the three attribute groups: Mental, Physical and Social.[/li][li]With each attribute beginning with a free point, apply your character’s racial stat adjustments (if any).[/li][li]Allocate five points among your character’s most important attribute group.[/li][li]Allocate four points among your character’s second most important attribute group.[/li][li]Allocate three points among your character’s least most important attribute group.[/ul][/li]
3.) Determining your character’s skills
[spoiler]There are twenty-three skills (seven Mental skills, eight Physical skills and eight Social skills). Given the number of skills I won’t be including a Bob the Cook example or a detailed skill description here. If you have a question regarding skills feel free to ask, either in the thread or in a PM.
Mental (-3 unskilled)
Academics, Crafts, Investigation, Magic, Medicine, Politics, Warfare
Physical (-1 unskilled)
Archery*, Athletics, Brawl, Larceny, Ride, Stealth, Survival, Weaponry
Social** (-1 unskilled)
**Animal Ken, Empathy, Expression, Intimidation, Persuasion, Socialize, Streetwise, Subterfuge
- When using a bow (not a crossbow), there is a -3 unskilled penalty rather than the usual -1 unskilled penalty for Physical skills.
Notice that next to each group is its unskilled penalty. This is the dice penalty a character receives when attempting to use a skill from that group with a score of 0.
As with attributes skills are measured on a scale of 0 to 5. A score of 0 represents an absolute lack of talent or experience with that skill, a score of 1 represents a basic understanding of the fundamentals of that skill, a score of 2 represents a working-level of understanding and talent, a score of 3 represents a professional-level of understanding and talent, a score of 4 represents expert-level understanding and talent and a score of 5 makes a character one of the best in the world.
Keep in mind when allocating skill points that a character must have a reason to have the scores that he does. It wouldn’t make sense for Bob the Cook from my earlier examples to have a Weaponry of 4, though he could get away with 1.
No characters will be allowed to start the game with a score of 5 in any skill.
Unspent points are lost. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing: Don’t look for a way to use unspent skill points if spending them wouldn’t make sense for the character.
1.) Prioritize the three skill groups
Just like you did with your character’s attribute groups, sort your character’s skill groups (Mental, Physical and Social) in order from most important to least important. You can prioritize them in a different order than you did for your character’s attribute groups if you’d like.
If you’re playing a Halfling choose which of the three skill groups you’ll receive discounted specialties in.
2.) Allocate skill points
Allocate eleven points among your most important skill group. Unlike attributes, you can have a score of 0 in skills.
Next allocate seven points among your second most important skill group.
Finally allocate four points among your least important skill group.
3.) Determine skill specialties
A skill specialty represents a character’s particular talent within a given skill. A skill specialty will grant a character a single bonus die to related rolls. Specialties can be anything you could possibly think of. As an example, possible specialties for the Athletics skill could be: Running, throwing, jumping, swimming, etc. Your character can certainly have several different specialties within the same skill but he can’t have multiple instances of the same specialty.
Characters start the game with three specialties. You can put them whereve you like across the three skill groups. Use specialties to help define your character- for example, Bob the Cook might have the skill specialty Crafts: Cooking.[/spoiler]In summary:
[ul][li]Prioritize the three skill groups: Mental, Physical and Social.[/li][li]Allocate eleven points among your character’s most important skill group.[/li][li]Allocate seven points among your character’s second most important skill group.[/li][li]Allocate four points among your character’s least important skill group.[/li][li]Choose three skill specialties for your character.[/ul][/li]
4.) Determining your character’s merits
[spoiler]Merits are features you can apply to your character and represent all the little details that can’t be covered by attributes and skills. Unlike attributes and skills they’re not directly used in rolls and they don’t have scores, though they do have ranks. Instead, merits are chosen to give your character certain advantages and help further define him.
You begin the game with ten points with which to purchase starting merits for your character. More can be purchased for your character during the course of the game by spending Experience Points (though keep in mind some merits can only be obtained at the start of the game).
This is a list of those merits currently available to your characters (more may become available as the game progresses). Costs are listed in parentheses. Note that some are ranges, such as “1-3”, while others are either/or, such as “2 or 4.”
Acute Senses (2): Your character has a keen sense. Select which sense when purchasing the merit. You can purchase this merit more than once, each time picking a new sense.
Ambidextrous (2): Your character is equally proficient with both hands.
Armor Proficiency (1-3): Your character can efficiently use light (1+), medium (2+) and/or heavy (3) armor.
Blitzer (2): Your character has a particular talent for making charge attacks.
Eidetic Memory (3): Your character has photographic memory.
Fast Reflexes (1 or 2): Your character can act with improved initiative.
Fighting Finesse (2): Your character prefers agility over power when attacking with melee weapons.
Fleet of Foot (1-3): Your character can move overland more quickly than normal.
Flyswatter (1): Your character is adept at attacking small creatures.
Giant (4) Humans only; Available at character creation only: Your character is at least 6’10 and weighs at least 250lbs.
Iron Stamina (2, 4 or 6): Your character can more easily shrug off the effects of fatigue and injury.
Iron Will (2): Your character is not easily touched by mind-affecting spells and abilities.
Language (1-3): Your character can speak another language. Available languages are Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Greenskin, Hin, Kobold, Lizardfolk, Shelesian (“Savage”) and Undercommon.
Longshot (2): Your character is adept at making ranged attacks from considerable distances.
Lumberjack (1): Your character is adept at attacking large creatures.
Mob-fighter (3): Your character can more easily fend off groups of attackers.
Natural Immunity (1): Your character is more resistant to disease.
Noble (4) Humans, dwarves and elves only; Available at character creation only: Your character is a minor member of the aristocracy.
Quick-draw (2): Your character can quickly arm himself.
Quick-healer (5): Your character recovers from injuries much faster than normal.
Quick-shot (3): Your character is adept at firing a bow repeatedly in quick succession.
Spellcaster (6) Available at character creation only: Your character has the ability to cast spells.
Striking Looks (2 or 4) Available at character creation only: Your character is particularly attractive.
Strong Back (1): Your character can lift and carry greater weights.
Strong Lungs (1): Your character can hold his breath for extended periods.
Toxin Resistance (1): Your character is more resistant to toxins.
Willful (4): Your character has a particularly powerful strength of will.
Wrecking Ball (1): Your character has a talent for damaging inanimate objects.[/spoiler]In summary:
[ul]Purchase ten points worth of merits for your character.[/ul]