Custom Character Creation
Step One: Discuss the
Character Concept with the
Before getting too involved in the process of building your character you need to run the concept by your gamemaster first and make sure that your idea will work in the campaign. There may be character types that she doesn’t want people playing in her game or there may be certain aspects of the campaign you’re not aware of that would make some characters less interesting to play. There may even be other player characters already in the game that have the same type of character and having another one would unbalance the group. It’s not all negative though! Your gamemaster can help you figure out the game mechanics for any special abilities you want, provide information about the campaign setting that would affect the character’s background, give you advice on how to represent something in game terms and generally provide assistance that will make sure your character fits into the group and the campaign world. The kind of information you should provide to your gamemaster in this step should include the race, a basic idea of how the character’s attributes will be arranged, the character’s tag skill, any special or unusual skills, any special abilities, the type of equipment you want and at least a general idea of the character’s background and personality.
Step Two: Assign Attribute Points and Skill Adds
All Torg player characters get 66 points to distribute across the seven attributes. The highest value an attribute can have is determined by the character’s race. There is no lower limit on attributes but in general an attribute of six or less is a serious weakness and there should be something in the character’s background that explains how or why the character has this debilitating condition. If its part of the character concept a low attribute is not a bad thing, but making one attribute very low just so you can make another attribute very high can easily backfire on you later.
The Non enhanced Attribute Upper Limit is 13 for all attributes.
Non- pure human race characters may purchase one package of three points that must all be put in the same attribute. This enhancement can exceed the Attribute limit of 13. Enhancement packages for non- pure human races are available as follows
Elf Blooded- Any except Toughness or Spirit
Dwarf - Any except Charisma or Perception
Giant Kin- Any Except Charisma or Mind
Human characters may purchase one package of 4 points that may be distributed as desired, but may not exceed the attribute limit of 13
There are two ways to purchase these enhancement points.
The first method is to pay an adventure cost of one Hero Point per package at the end of each adventure, an action which can obviously be taken only by Hero’s or Villains not mooks-
The second method is to place a limit on one of the character’s attributes of 7
Once the attributes have been determined the player can select skills for the character and assign skill adds. This is similar to the work done with a template character in Chapter One except that instead of choosing from a pre-determined list of skills the player makes her choices from the Master Skill List in Chapter Three.
The player must pick a tag skill for her character. As with the templates, the tag skill automatically receives three adds and the player has 16 points to allocate among her other skills. The same rules for allocating points to skills that are used with the templates apply here as well.
Step Two: Determine Special
Characters who have at least one point each in any two of the four magic skills (apportation magic, alteration magic, conjuration magic, divination magic) or have one of the four skills as their tag skill are given an extra 12 points to spend on arcane knowledges and spells. Arcane knowledges are attributeless skills that are combined with a character’s magic skills to determine what spells the character is capable of learning.
Information on how the arcane knowledges are used to determine which spells your character can learn can be found in Chapter Ten along with a selection of spells that you can choose from for your character. The available arcane knowledges are also listed in Chapter Ten. Each add of an arcane knowledge or a spell costs one of these 12 points. Arcane knowledges cannot be bought any higher than two adds during character creation, the same as any other skill. These additional 12 points may not be used to purchase normal skill add, they only apply to arcane knowledges and spells. If the player uses all 12 points and wishes to buy more spells or additional adds in arcane knowledges, the character’s starting Possibility Points may be spent on a one-for-one basis.
Example: Alan is designing a character using the Curious Mage template. Two of the character’s 12 points for magic are already spent in the template on the arcane knowledge of fire so he has 10 points left to spend. He decides to get +1 add in each of the folk, light, magic, metal and water arcane knowledges, leaving him with five points. Checking the requirements in each spell write-up first, he uses the last five points to acquire the spells Altered Fireball, Disguise Self, Away Sight, Detect Magic and Bullet. Alan decides that he wants one more spell for his character and adds Fog. Since he has already used all of his 12 points, one of the character’s starting Hero Points must be spent to acquire that spell, leaving him with nine points.
Characters that have at least one point in both the focus and faith skills have the ability to perform spiritual miracles. The maximum number of miracles a character may possess when she starts play is equal to the total number of adds the character has in her faith and focus skills.
Example: Tina is creating a character using the Doubting Cleric
template. Her character has +2 adds in faith and +1 adds in focus meaning that her character can start with a maximum of three miracles.
These are pretty simple, either you have them or you don’t. For races such as half-folk, natural tools can be determined from the write-ups for each race in the
Step Four: Equip the Character
A character’s starting equipment should be based more on how it helps define and expand the character concept than on how useful, powerful or helpful it will be when the character is adventuring. A good place to start is with the character’s tag skill. What kind of equipment does she use with her tag skill If the character’s tag skill does not use tools, such as persuasion, then think about the character’s profession. What did he do with his tag skill? Many professional sailors operate vehicles owned by their employers rather than vehicles they own themselves. If you want your character to have a vehicle, you need to provide an explanation for why the character has it. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy, complicated explanation, just something that fits into the character’s background.
How Much Equipment?
Heroes are almost always on the move so being able to travel lightly is important. A good rule of thumb when selecting equipment is that a character should be able to carry all of his equipment at the same time without being encumbered by it, though characters that have a vehicle aren’t expected to be able to carry it!
At the same time though, the amount of equipment a vehicle could carry should not be considered when selecting equipment, only what the character can personally carry. The amount of equipment a character can carry is not so much a matter of their strength as a matter of convenience. A suit of armor is heavy but a character can wear it and it won’t get in the way. On the other hand, a backpack full of clothing may be lighter than the armor but a character won’t be able to get around as easily while carrying it, and runs the risk of losing it if he leaves it behind somewhere while off adventuring. Try to envision how each piece of equipment is going to be carried by your character, and if it gets in the way or can’t easily be carried then they are probably better off without it.
Most equipment can be divided into three general categories; combat items, useful items and miscellaneous items. Combat items are things like weapons and armor. Useful items are things like spell components, toolkits, and first aid kits, generally anything that would be used in conjunction with a skill. Miscellaneous items are just that, random odds and ends that don’t fit into the other two categories such as a jar of armor polish.
A character’s profession provides a general indication of how many items she should have from the first two groups. Characters who are combat oriented should have three or four items from the combat group and two to three items from the useful items group. Characters who are not combat oriented should have the reverse, two or three combat items and three or four useful items. These numbers include any equipment chosen in association with the character’s tag skill. A character’s miscellaneous equipment is more for atmosphere” than usefulness, minor items that help define the character’s personality or background. A favorite book, a framed picture of someone important to the character, a lucky rabbit’s foot, a bag of jelly beans, a cool looking pair of sunglasses, just about any item that isn’t normally going to be useful to a character in his adventures will qualify as a miscellaneous piece of equipment. Typically characters can have three or four miscellaneous items but if you want more and the extra items can reasonably be carried then it shouldn’t be a problem. A fourth category of equipment are the “freebies”, things that every character is assumed to have but doesn’t need to be specified on the character sheet or counted against their number of combat, useful or miscellaneous items. Characters are assumed to have a set of clothing appropriate to their home and small personal items. Characters are also assumed to have minor accessories that normally go with other pieces of equipment they have. A character with a dagger for example is assumed to have a sheath, and even a cleaning kit for the weapon.
The amount of money a character starts with is determined somewhat arbitrarily by their home and the perceived wealth level of the character. The values given are a suggested maximum value rather than the amount that every character in that category receives; the actual amount chosen should be tailored to fit the character’s personality and background.
SUGGESTED STARTING MONEY
Currency Poor Low Middle High Wealthy
Trade 50 150 300 1000 3000
Step Five: Describe the Character
A description of the character’s physical appearance and personality serves as a guideline for how the character interacts with other characters and vice versa. While a character’s physical appearance is usually easy to determine and unlikely to change much over the course of time, defining a character’s personality is
a bit trickier and more subject to change over time.
A character’s general appearance can usually be defined quite quickly with some basic information - height, weight, skin color, eye color, hair color, hair style, facial hair and so on. The character’s race or culture may predetermine some of these features; elves for example have a pale skin and dwarvish men are well
known for having beards. A character’s clothing and equipment are also part of their appearance; an expensive tunic or gown creates a different impression than that caused by a suit of plate mail.
While a character’s appearance can often be described briefly, accurately detailing the numerous aspects of a character’s could fill pages of material and still not be complete. Plus it’s unlikely that you will be able to predict every possible aspect of the character’s personality that will come up in play, and your character may develop and evolve in ways that you cannot anticipate beforehand. So when describing a character’s personality, it’s best to generalize and only cover the highlights rather than trying to provide in-depth information. Two ways to do this are with personality traits and behavior tags.
Try to pick a few traits that can be used to quickly describe your character, such as “brave”, “sneaky”, charming” or “arrogant”. Don’t worry about being more detailed than that, the specifics can be explored and developed during play. Right now all that’s necessary are a few basics to get an idea of how the character will be roleplayed. Most characters should have a mix of positive and negative traits, and there’s plenty of room for variations within each trait. A character could be brave in battle but not in social situations or a
rude character may be a model of civility around his family. No trait has to be absolute; an honest character can lie if he feels it is necessary, a grim character can crack a joke every now and then. Think of the traits as tendencies, not ironclad restrictions on your character’s behavior.
Example: Roger has a pretty good idea of how to play the giant; he’s proud of his intelligence and of being a mage, sometimes to the point of being egotistical about it. Unlike most giants, he’s even tempered and can usually control his emotions so by comparison he’s a much more friendly and approachable giant than most. But he’s got that low Charisma, and because it’s limited it will never get any higher. While he can make up for that somewhat with skills, he’s still going to seem a bit rude and occasionally vulgar.
While the traits are meant to describe general qualities of the character’s personality, behavior tags are more narrowly defined and specific. They are unusual actions or behaviors that help identify a character. Two well-known examples are the way James Bond always introduces himself (“Bond...James Bond”) and Zorro always leaving his mark behind with three slashes of his blade. Below is a list of some possible behavior tags. Many can actually be done at the gaming table as part of your roleplaying the character,
though anything that might annoy the other players is probably best left as something you describes your character doing rather than doing it yourself!
Sample Behavior Tags:
• eats sunflower seeds all the time
• whistles when bored
• always chewing on a toothpick
• cracks knuckles before every fight
• collects a small souvenir from every adventure
• has a catch phrase or saying used whenever appropriate
• drinks only certain beverages
• neatness freak
• drums fingers on table when thinking
• performs a certain gesture of action when appropriate
• fiddles with an ever-present possession when nervous
• must always have the last word in a conversation
Step Six: Develop
Character’s Background and History
A character’s background is, simply enough, a brief description of the character’s life before becoming a Storm Knight. Describing your character’s entire life history is not necessary and in fact could be counter-productive in the long run. Leaving loose ends and gaps in a character’s background will allow for more character development and roleplaying opportunities as the game progresses. As was suggested with describing a character’s personality, only the highlights of a character’s background need to be defined during character creation. These will be the important events in your character’s life that shaped his personality and made him into the person he is at the start of the game. If a character’s personality describes how he acts, then the background should describe why he acts the way he does. Try to think of interesting and unusual events for your character’s background. The events could be dramatic, adventurous, tragic, inspiring or even bizarre. They could even be interesting only in retrospect, at the time the event occurred maybe no one would have viewed it as important.