Character creation can be a complicated task but it is designed in a step by step process to make it as easy as possible. When creating a character it is important to keep a few things in mind. Mainly, what kind of Character are they and do they have an overall goal? Sometimes players know exactly who they want their Character to be but, if not that is fine. As the Character is formed their identity steadily becomes more defined and clear. For now, we can keep the Character as blank as possible and instead start with their stats. To start let us begin with the Character’s basic information. It is recommended that an official Character Sheet is used as a reference to follow along so that the calculations and formulas make sense. For information on how a Character levels up to gain spells, feats, and increased scores then see the Leveling System.
Character Set Up
When creating a Character the player must decide basic characteristics that will help to fill out some of the scores and information on the character sheet. It is important to keep in mind what type of Campaign Setting the Verse Master has. For example, is your character a set level or do they level up progressively? This is very important as which Class Templates are recommended will vary depending on this set up although a player may choose a Template of a different Setting and modify it for the one they are in. Also, what abilities and skills you should take in what order is important if the character is made as is or if they level up.
One of the first things to choose is the character’s Race. The Race will determine what Age Categories, Genders, Health Die, Mana Die, and Senses are available to the Character. Certain Races also have Bloodlines available and all have different physical, defensive, and offensive traits available. One Race may have Dark Vision making them good for dark environments and another may be Small which grants them a bonus to their Dodges but penalties to CMB. A player may want to choose a Race that has larger a Mana Die if their focus is on magic combat.
Careers determine which Skills the character is proficient in and which Knowledges they have access to. Careers also determine their starting wealth and their Wealth Die, for gaining more funds in the future. This is important, as how much they can spend on weapons, armor, gear, and magical items will be limited based on their starting wealth and what is available to them. A player may want to choose a Career that compliments their Class.
For players who are having difficulty deciding what kind of Career they want or what kind of personality their character may have they can optionally choose an Astrological Sign for their character. This is also good for those who want to expand their characters even further or to help guide what kind of decisions a character may make in social settings. Astrological Signs also come with the added bonus have being able to gain a Bloodline either by chance or with the Verse Master’s approval.
With the Verse Master’s discretion players may also receive Character Traits that are used to enhance gameplay or to make their Character more interesting. These traits may provide background information or ultimate goal as well as mutations, curses, bloodlines, and more.
The Class Templates are designed to be recommendations on how to prioritize and assign the character’s Build Points including what bonus Spells and Feats the player should take. Additionally, Class Templates are already assigned based off of the Campaign Style and were created to optimize the Settings rules. This can be very helpful for new players who are uncertain for what kind of character they want to play and can also be used by the Verse Master to make quick builds for an NPC or companion that will assist the party.
Similarly, Character Templates are also designed for quick Character builds and already have the Race, Gender, Age, Career, and Astrological Sign predesignated for new time players who are uncertain entirely of what kind of Character they want to play. This can also be used with a Class Template to already have their other skills chosen as well. Any aspect of the template can be altered by the player to more easily learn and enjoy the game. This can also be used by veteran players who need quick back up Characters in campaigns that may have a high death rate or for Verse Masters to have on the spot NPCs or companions to assist the party.
Every Character has six Ability Scores that affect and determine their stats. All stats use the total Ability Score in their calculations. These six are Strength (Str), Dexterity (Dex), Constitution (Con), Sanity (San), Intellect (Int), and Empathy (Emp). Each score represents and reflects a different aspect of each Character. Factors such as species, sentience, and age can affect these scores. When a Character levels up, the player will gain the opportunity to increase these scores over time.
The Ability Scores are the most important statistics as they impact all other scores including Skills, Knowledge, Dodges, HP, MP, Saves, Attacks, and more. How a player wants to build a Character is reflected by where they put points into the Ability Scores and therefore this needs to be decided carefully. Does the player want the Character to be melee, magic, skill, charisma, or health focused or perhaps a balance between them all?
- Strength represents how physically strong a Character is. This includes how well they can lift heavy objects, how well they can attack physically, and all skills that are muscle and strength related. If Strength is at 0, the Character is considered a vegetable and is unable to move, they automatically fail all Checks that require Strength and are considered Helpless. Strength also determined carrying capacity, which is your strength Score x 10.
- Dexterity represents how well a Character can move around and how nimble they are. This is the base for skills based on being nimble such as Stealth and Acrobatics. It is also factored into the Dodges and CMD since it represents how well a Character can dodge attacks. If Dexterity is at 0, the Character is considered paralyzed and unable to move, they automatically fail all Checks that require Dexterity and are considered Helpless.
- Constitution is how hardy and fortified a Character’s body is physically and how much endurance they have. This is the base for all skills based on withstanding interactions physically. It also is what determines how well they can endure poisons, diseases, and endure weather conditions or environmental effects. Constitution is also factored into the total HP of a Character, since it represents how well a Character can take blows when being attacked. If the Character’s Constitution hits 0 then they automatically die.
- Sanity is how mentally sound, grounded, and sane a Character is. It is their ability to keep themselves mentally fortified against psychological conditions such as fear and unnatural occurrences. Sanity is also their ability to perceive reality as it truly is and to recognize the truth, thus their ability to discern illusions and lies is determined by this ability. This is the base for all skills based on withstanding interactions psychologically and is a type of mental constitution and endurance. It is also the foundation for a Character’s magical aptitude and thus Mana Pool. If a character’s Sanity score drops too low then they start to lose control over their mind and are unable to discern what is real and what is not, eventually going insane and gaining a mental illness or insanity. If Sanity hits 0 then the character is gains amnesia and automatically fails all checks that require Sanity including Will Saves, therefore they are unable to cast spells.
- Intellect is how smart and learned a character is in knowledge and the world around them. It is the Characters intelligence, use of logic, and wisdom from experience. If a Characters Intellect is too low, they will be unable to speak or figure out puzzles, just like animals. The score reflects their ability to learn, figure out complex problems and ideas, and to form connections between related and unrelated things. If Intellect is at 0, the Character becomes comatose and is unaware of their surroundings or others, are unable to gain new levels, spells, feats, or skills and are considered Helpless despite being able to move and interact with their environments.
- Empathy is how much control a Character has over their emotions and thus how emotionally hardened, empathetic, sympathetic, and social a Character is. It is the ability to communicate and relate to those around the character, representing empathetic intelligence based on emotion and is therefore how capable they are at reading body language, intentions, and social interactions. Empathy is used to form relationships and connect with other living creatures, determining how charismatic a Character can be. If the score drops too low, the Character becomes gullible, easily manipulated, and can become completely apathetic as they lose control of their own emotions. If Empathy is at 0, the Character is considered a sociopath and automatically fails all Checks that require Empathy.
Each Ability Score has a Save that it is associated with. This Save is used for a variety of Dice Checks either from natural environments, poisons, extreme tasks, spells, mental or other factors that the Character may need to survive. Although Saves are determined by the Ability Score, the Ability Score Total is not impacted by the Save Score. Bonuses and spells that impact the Save Score do not change or impact the Ability Score however, changes to the Ability Score Total do change and impact the Save Score.
Calculating Ability Scores
When a Character is created at level 1, they must determine what their Ability Scores are. How this is determined is up to the Verse Master and they can use any recommended system here or their own system, so be sure to ask your Verse Master which method they prefer. A few possibilities include:
(1) Point System in which all scores start at a base of 10 with each player starting with 6 Ability Points to put into their Character’s Ability Scores as they choose creating radically different results.
(2) Standard Array in which the preset scores of 13, 12, 11, 10, 10, and 10 can be assigned to one Ability Score each for an equal playing level.
(3) Dice Roll in which the player rolls 5d4 dice and selects four of the dice and adds them together to create one Ability Score repeating this method for each Ability Score for random and unpredictable scores.
Once the starting scores are assigned they cannot be changed except by in-game methods such as spells and buffs or by leveling using Build Points. Once Points are determined and assigned, they cannot be undone by the player unless an effect or magical ability allows them to do so.
Remember: The Player should look at the Races to see how they want to build their Character’s Ability Scores. Likewise, they should look at the Careers so that they can properly build their Character’s scores based around what Skills and Knowledge they are using. Different Weapons also use different Ability Score for attack and should be kept in mind when assign as well. The Ability Scores can even be assigned last after all other aspects of the Character are known so that they can be properly assigned. The Ability Scores are placed here so that they are well understood in order to help the player design their Character properly.
Character Health, Mana, and Information
The Health Pool (HP) of a Character is how much life force they have remaining within them. Once the character’s HP reaches 0 they fall unconscious and become helpless and begin to bleed which cases them to take 1 point of Constitution damage each turn. Using stabilize, with a First Aid DC 20 check or a Life affinity spell, can stop the bleed condition. If their Constitution also reaches 0 then they are officially dead. Creatures that do not have a Constitution score, such as the Undead, instead officially die when their HP reaches 0. The Health of a Character is determined by their Health Die (HD), which is determined by their Race and represents how much vigor they have. Some Races are hardier and healthier than others. In order to determine the total HP of a Character then they must roll the Hit Die and add their Constitution Score (or Sanity Score if they have no Constitution) to it. This is done each level while leveling up as well. The Character’s Health Pool is calculated by:
Health Pool = Constitution + Health Die
The Mana Pool (MP) is how much magic a Character has access to. The Mana Die (MD) of the character is used to calculate the Mana Pool as is provided by the Race and represents the Races magical aptitude. When creating a If magic isn’t important, then a Race with a lower life expectancy may suit them just fine. A Character’s Mana Pool is calculated by:
Mana Pool = Sanity + Mana Die
Players also choose what the Age range of their character is but the Race determines what Age Categories are available. The Character then rolls dice based off of the Age Chart to determine the exact age of their character. The Player or Verse Master can also calculate the Character’s Maximum Age to know when the Character will die of old age which is especially important for Elderly Characters, NPCs, long lasting campaigns, and certain spells.
What Senses are available to the character are predetermined by the Race they are playing. The Senses reveal how far a character can see, what their Field of Views are, and what color, hearing, and smell ranges are achievable. For example, some Races can see better in the dark than others or may see entire spectrum of light that others cannot see such as ultraviolet light or infrared.
The Gender of a Character is chosen by the player and Characters can be of any gender identity the Verse Master approves of for their race but, specifics about the sexes are determined by Race.
Every Race also has a specific Language that the Character is fluent in. The most common language in the Verse is the language of the Human Common. Most races in the Verse will know some form of Human Common and any additional native languages that belong to their race. Characters can learn new languages by putting Build Skill Points into the Linguistics skill. For every 5 points in Linguistics, a Character can learn a new language available to them.
The Dodge Score determines the Character’s ability to dodge attacks and is therefore how difficult they are to hit especially in combat. There are two types of Dodge that vary depending on the Character’s bonuses. The first type of dodge is the Physical Dodge Score which is a Character’s ability to dodge all physical attacks including melee, ranged, and touch. The second type of Dodge is the Spell Dodge Score which is a Character’s ability to dodge all spell attacks. Both Scores are calculated the same and only vary depending on the bonuses:
Dodge Score = Dexterity + Size Bonus + Bonuses
The “Dexterity” is the Characters ability to move out of the way and therefore how fast the Character is versus how fast the thing trying to hit them is. The “Size Bonus” is explained as larger targets are easier to hit but smaller targets are harder to hit. The “Bonuses” are granted from buffs such as spells, potions, deities, luck, or other such externally provided bonuses granted by the Verse Master.
The damage reduction score determines the Character’s resistances to attacks which depends on the type of armor they are wearing. Whenever a Character is successfully hit by an Attack, then Damage is rolled against the Damage Reduction Score. All damage that exceeds the Reduction score is dealt to the Character’s Health Pool. The rest of the damage is dealt to the Armor’s Health which over time can cause the Armor to break. The Character has two types of Reduction which are Physical Reduction and Spell Reduction. The Physical Reduction Score is the Character’s resistance to physical damage such as melee, ranged, and touch damage including slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning. The Spell Reduction Score is the Character’s resistance to spell damage. Both Scores are calculated the same and only vary depending on the bonuses, types of armor worn, and Natural Defenses:
Reduction Score = Armor + Shield + Natural Armor + Bonuses
The “Natural Armor” is provided by the Race such as creatures that have thick hides, shells, exoskeletons, or even robotic parts. The “Armor” is the strength and protection provided by clothing or armor that is being worn while the “Shield” is the strength and protection provided by shields that are being wielded. The “Bonuses” are granted from buffs such as spells, potions, deities, luck, or other such externally provided bonuses granted by the Verse Master.
Move Speeds & Initiative
All Characters have a Move Speed that requires a Move Action to take during combat. What can of Movement a Character has available depends on their Physical Traits. All creatures with legs have a Run Speed and most have a Swim Speed. If they have arms or equivalents then they also have a Burrow Speed. Only creatures with wings have a natural Fly Speed. The Base Move Speed of a character is calculated using all three Physical Traits rounded down to the nearest 5. This Base Speed represents the fastest or furthest a Character can travel on average and has nothing to do with what type of movement it is. Certain spells may use the Base Move Speed for various effects and ranges.
Generally, a creature’s primary mode of movement will be based off of their Base Move Speed. For example, a bird may use Fly as the Base Speed instead of Run. Otherwise, the following rules are used for a humanoid Character that is being made. When a Character performs a full retreat from combat then the Speed they are using is doubled and acts as a Full Round Action. Additionally, a Character can gain an additional Movement Action in combat by sacrificing their Standard Action instead.
The Character’s Run Speed is how fast they can move in one round by walking and is determined by combining all three Physical Traits together and rounding down to the nearest 5 and is traditionally the Character’s Base Speed. For example, if their Strength is 13, their Constitution an 11, and their Dexterity a 10 then the total together is 34 which rounded down makes a Base speed of 30.
The Swim Speed, how fast they can move in one round by swimming, is equal to the Strength Score rounded down to the nearest 5 as is their Climb Speed which is how far they can climb in one round. The Burrow Speed is determined by their Strength Score divided in half and rounded down to the nearest 5. If a character needs a Fly Speed then it is determined by their Strength and Dexterity added together and rounded down to the nearest 5. This is used when they are flying using a spell or special technology that grants them Limited Flight or when gliding. Otherwise, creatures that have a Fly Movement Score calculate it using Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution added together.
The Character’s Initiative is how quickly a Character responds during combat compared to others and determines the Character’s turn placement in combat. The Initiative Score is calculated by adding the Dexterity Score with any bonuses the Character may have.
Combat Maneuvering & Defense
Sometimes during combat a Character will perform a feat or task other than attacking or that requires special attention that requires a Combat Maneuver. However, in order to perform these maneuvers the Character must make Combat Maneuver Checks using Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) added to a 1d20 roll. The CMB requires that the Size Bonus is subtracted from the total, meaning that smaller creatures who normally gain a bonus now take a penalty as it is harder for them to grapple other creatures while larger creatures who normally take a penalty now gain a bonus as it is easier for them to grapple others. This represents how well the Character is actually able to pull off such a complex maneuver. The CMB is calculated by:
CMB = Strength Score – Size Bonus + Bonuses
Every Character has a Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD) that must be overcome in order for a CMB to be successful against them. This represents how well the Character can struggle against an opponent and prevent them from performing such maneuvers on them. The CMD has the Size Bonus added as normal, as smaller creatures are more difficult to grab a hold of while larger creatures are easier to grab. The CMD is calculated by:
CMD = Strength Score + Size Bonus + Dexterity Score + Bonuses + Penalties
A character’s CMB check must be able to overcome their opponent’s CMD. The Flat Footed, Prone, and Helpless conditions also effect CMD by making them denied their Dexterity, denied their Dexterity and Strength, or making them denied their entire score, respectively. Likewise, Characters who are Distracted may have additional penalties as they are also denied their Dexterity.
Corruption & Purity
Every Character has a Corruption and Purity score. Each Character starts off with a score of 0 in each unless stated otherwise or determined by the Verse Master. Different actions and deeds influence the purity and corruption scores and it can also be influenced by the deity a character worships. These scores are not a meter between good and evil but instead are a gauge for what is perceived by the Character’s (or Verse Master’s) moral compass. For example, breaking the law or a deity’s code of conduct may give a character a Corruption Point while helping the innocent or performing religious requirements may give the Character a Purity Point. However, the reverse may be true if the Character is evil or worships an evil deity.
The more aligned the Character is to their morals the more Pure they are and the more they deviate from them the more Corrupt they are. These are granted by the Verse Master and are used to gauge how the Characters interact with each others and NPCs. This also helps guide the actions of a Character when a difficult situation comes up for the player to make decision making a little easier and it acts as the most subjective part of the Character’s personality. These scores may also be used for influence, Wordsmith effectiveness, and how favorable others including deities are towards the Character but this largely depends on the Verse Master’s use of the scores and some may even not use the system at all.