Time to actually get around to starting this RPG thing here. So we’re going to go and create our characters!
If you want a visual example of what the character sheets look like (which is highly recommended) check out this site.
To begin with, let’s conceptualize that character of yours. Give them a name, and an age. Possibly also a concept, which is a one, maybe a few, words long summing up of the character (ex, Lazy Slacker, Cowboy Cop, Mad Scientist, Dedicated Student, etc.).
Then we pick a virtue and a vice for the character. These are based off the seven virtues/vices; if you aren’t familiar with them, the virtues are: Charity, Faith, Fortitude, Hope, Justice, Prudence, and Temperance. The vices are Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, and Wrath.
Now for the numbers part. We’ll start with attributes.
Attributes (and skills) are divided into three groups: Mental, Physical, and Social. Attributes in Mental are: Intelligence, Wits, and Resolve. Physical is: Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina. And Mental is: Presence, Manipulation, and Composure.
Now, unfortunately, you are not capable of being amazing in everything (unless, of course, you are me). So you need to prioritize your attribute groups for your character. Pick the order which you want Mental, Physical, and Social stats to be prioritized for your character. Once you’ve prioritized, you can start spending points.
Every attribute has at least one dot (or one point) in it by default. On top of that default, you have 5 points to spend on your primary group, 4 on your secondary group, and 3 on the remaining group. You can have up to five dots in any attribute (however, the 5th dot costs two points to purchase).
Now for skills. Skills are also divided into Mental, Physical, and Social groups. The specific skills are,
Mental: Academics, Computer, Crafts, Investigation, Medicine, Occult, Politics, Science
Physical: Athletics, Brawl, Drive, Firearms, Larceny, Stealth, Survival, Weaponry
Social: Animal Ken, Empathy, Expression, Intimidation, Persuasion, Socialize, Streetwise, Subterfuge
You have 11 points to spend in your primary group, 7 in your secondary, and 4 in the last group. Skills do NOT start with a default one dot in them, like attributes. Any skill you do not spend points in will have 0 dots in it.
Then there are specialties. These are very specific things which your character is specialized in. There’s no master list of specialties; it’s based entirely off imagination. You pick one a skill, and add on the related specialization. A character can have three specializations.
I know that was really vague, so here’s examples: Say your character is a star football player. So you put down Athletics (Football). For examples from games I played, I once had Athletics (Running Away), and another time, in a very, very odd game of Exalted, one of my specializations was Socialize (Seducing children). Yeah, that was a weeeeeiiiiiiirrrrrd game. Each character can pick three specializations.
That should take care of most of the number crunching stuff for you; the rest (calculating defense, speed, etc.) is all done by me.
Then we have merits, which on their own aren’t very complicated, but become extremely on account of everyone not owning their own copy of the rulebook to reference. Merits are character traits which can help you, or provide bonuses, in certain situations. Characters have seven points to spend on them.
As it would be nearly impossible for me to explain what every single merit does, I will just list out the names. If a player is interested in one, I’ll describe it.
The merits are: Common Sense (4), Danger Sense (2), Eidetic Memory (2), Encyclopedia Knowledge (4), Holistic Awareness (3), Language (1-3), Meditative Mind (1), Unseen Sense (3), Ambidextrous (3), Brawling Dodge (1), Direction Sense (1), Disarm (2), Fast Reflexes (1-2), Fighting Finess (2), Fighting Style: Boxing (1-5), Fighting Style: Kung Fu (1-5), Fighting Style: Two Weapons (1-4), Fleet of Foot )1-3), Fresh Start (1), Giant (4), Gunslinger (3), Iron Stamina (1-3), Iron Stomach (2), Natural Immunity (1), Quick Draw (1), Quick Healer (4), Strong Back (1), Strong Lungs (3), Stunt Driver (3), Toxin Resistance (2), Weaponry Dodge (1), Allies (1-5), Barfly (1), Contacts (1-5), Fame (1-3), Inspiring (4), Mentor (1-5), Resources (1-5), Retainer (1-5), Status (1-5), Striking Looks (2-4).
Finally, we have Flaws, which is an entirely optional part of the process which can be skipped over if you want to. Flaws are negative traits a character has. They are intended to encourage roleplaying. When a player has their character’s flaw affect the game in some way, they MAY be awarded XP later on. This doesn’t mean, “Oh, I’ll go get drunk during this gap in time during the game, that should give me XP for my addiction flaw, right?” It has to actually play a part in the game, such as getting drunk before going to investigate the spooky mansion, which causes your character to have a much more difficult time there.
As with merits, I’ll only list the names of the flaws. Anyone who is interested in a flaw, tell me, and I’ll give a description. There are no limits to how many flaws you can have.
Flaws are: Addiction, Amnesia, Coward, Forgetful, Crippled, Dwarf, Hard of Hearing, Mute, One Arm, One Eye, Poor Sight, Aloof, Behavior Blind, Deformity, Embarrassing Secret, Notoriety, Racist/Sexist, Speech Impediment.
Now I know that’s a lot of info, so to help, I’m going to an example of what it would look like were I creating Arkady Svidrigailov (as a puny little level 1 character, instead of the horde fighter he is in the story), from my blog, in this game.
As always, I am accepting of all questions asked.