Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Character Creation in the Known World

Character Creation houserules. We never bothered calling the setting anything specific, so I'm going with "Known World" for now.

Character Creation in the Known World

This is specifically for running sandbox crawls. I'd take out some of this if I wasn't running a sandbox crawl (especially the staggered development of character background & unlocks, etc).

0. Character Sheet. Here is a character sheet. There is an example of a completed sheet below. Print this page out for ease of use.

1. Pick a given name and write it down. No family names yet.

2. There are four classes. Pick one. You may unlock more for use later and/or can switch to those classes.
                                  Fighters are usually front-line combatants
                                  The Initiated invoke divine miracles
                                  Magic Users are weird and dangerous and cast spells
                                  Thieves sneak and rely on the element of surprise to do lots of damage

3. Starting Level. Write down 1.

4. Ability Scores. Roll 3d6 6 times and write down the results, in the below order:

Strength _______  is good for accuracy and hurting things at close range, lifting things, Fighters
Dexterity _______ is good for sneaking, being quick to act, dodging, accuracy at range, Rogues
Constitution ____ how hardy you are, able to withstand great blows, laugh at death, good for everyone
Intelligence _____ measures your ability to quickly recognize & understand complex abstractions, good for M-Us
Wisdom _______ measures how “on” your intuition & common sense are, some magi resists, good for The Initiated
Charisma ______ measures your ability to sway others, how many you may lead, how beloved a leader you are, good for everyone

Also, you may:
(A) re-roll one ability score that is less than six and take the better of the two AND
(B) swap two scores once.

Final numbers are entered on the character sheet.

After step 5, there are no bonuses associated with ability scores. There are certainly no penalties.

5. Traits from Ability Scores. If you've got an ability score of 13 or greater, see below. Otherwise skip to 6.

                               scores from 13-15 indicate notable ability
                               scores from 16-17 indicate remarkable ability
                               scores of 18+ indicate awesome ability

              For each such score, write down a "Trait" in the designated section on the Character Sheet. The Trait is: descriptor + ability. So, a 15 Dex grants the notably dexterous Trait. If you've 13+ in your constitution, describe it as "hardy."
6. There are three native playable species at this point. Pick one. Befriend or discover more to unlock them for future use (you can create a new character of this species, recruit henchman and hireling of this species and/or change your species at a Vat, with some limitations). Then write it down in both the "Trait" and the "character description" section of the sheet.
                               Humans are hard to kill (extra save at death)
                               Elves are fast (can attack an extra time in combat)
                               Haflings are violent (massive bonus to ambush)

7. HP (hit points) are 8 if you're a fighter, 6 if you're a thief or one of the initiated and 4 if you're a magic-user. Note it on the character sheet.

8. Gold Multiply your charisma by 10 for your starting gold. Cash/currency is in rare earth metals and barter goods, summarized, for ease of conversion, as the standard D&D currencies.

9. Gear Everyone gets a pack, a couple weeks' worth of rations, and the various and sundry adventuring gear you'd need to start off with. Varies per starting scenario (ie, your campaign starts focused on dungeon crawling, you get torches, poles, etc; you start mountaineering, you get picks, rope, etc). Ask if you're not sure if it's there. I'll tell you ahead of time if we'll be tracking encumbrance today (chances are, it's a maybe). Everyone gets a backup chit.

10. Special Gear I'll hand you a sheet. You'll likely be able to pick a couple things to take with you and then roll for something else. This changes, but basically, the things you pick will be strange, possibly useful (and you can certainly find a way to make anything useful). The thing you roll for will just be something that works like a Trait, but temporary.



  1. "Haflings are violent (massive bonus to ambush)"

    I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this. Superb.

  2. Nice. Very compatible with OD&D. I really like maxed hit points. It's hard enough to survive 1st level under any circumstances, but worrying about having 2 hit points, when you're the only fighter in the group, can give you a complex.

    What are backup chits?

    Thank you for Traits.

    Nice clean character sheet.

    I want to see a Special Gear sheet. Just a sample.

    1. This is from memory, so it's likely off a bit. Also, unlike you, I _have_ been drinking.

      1. Character Death: at 0 hp, roll a save v death or die (humans can re-roll a failed save as they claw their ruined body away from danger).

      2. Backup chits, cost 500 gp x level (maybe, I need to check this, it might be 1,000 gp. I think I decided 500 gp was too cheap at some point). Backup chits are bought at shrines/temples of Fire/life/fire. Basically a little clicker-button thing (think remote car opener). When reduced to 0 hp, if you've a backup chit on your person, you can opt to click it before you roll your last available save v death. If you use the backup chit:

      Roll a d6.

      On 1-2, reborn at nearest Temple or permanent shrine dedicated to Fire, healing or life from a font of Vat fluid. You come back with an adverse mutation. Likely a negative trait, or haunted by some ghost or minor deity. Can be resolved by doing a little something for the temple where you were reborn or else, perhaps, someone nearby.

      On a 3-5, reborn at nearest Temple or permanent shrine dedicated to Fire, healing or life from a font of Vat fluid.

      On 1-5, you also spend d12 hours recuperating. You're reborn nude, so you'll need to rely on your party to bring your old gear back to you unless its genebonded. You've also lost all the XP you earned since last level advance.

      On a 6, you come back with half the XP you'd earned since your last level advance. You skin gains a luminescent quality for about a week (no mechanical benefit, though peasants may mistake you for a Saint, angel or the like, you are also more obvious to monster, will probably have some trouble hiding). You still are naked, though, so no non-genebonded gear.

      Genebonded is stuff that you can't lose or drop, more or less. I'll write more on that later.

      So that's that.

      3. I'll dig out and write up a Special Gear sheet later, but there is an example of something like it here (at the two "choose one" options, there is no random roll part provided):


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