Character Creation

Last Updated: 13 January 2018

Overview

Character Creation Quick Reference

Character Details

Your character needs a minimum set of details:

  • Name
  • Defining Personality Trait
    • What most people respect about you
  • Defining Personality Flaw
    • What most people dislike about you
  • Primary Skillset
    • A role you excel at
  • Shortcoming
    • A role you can’t perform
  • Driving Motivation
    • The thing you strive for
  • Conflicting Desire
    • A toxic need or habit that holds you back
  • Signature Move
    • That special trick of yours

It is suggested that you have the players go through each detail one at a time, as a group. For instance, everyone takes turns comming up with and announcing their main personality trait, then everyone takes turns with their flaws, and so on. Players should be encouraged to comment on other’s ideas and give suggestions, as long as they’re being respectful.

As the GM, it’ll be your job to help players flesh out their ideas, and make sure that they make sense within the context of the setting and the mood of the group as a whole.

As to what does and doesn’t work for each detail, that depends mostly on the setting. Generally, subtle settings will work better with nuanced but realistic characters while extravagent settings do well with big personalities with exagerated traits.

Signature Moves

The final aspect of character creation is coming up with a signature move. These are ‘Ace in the Sleeve’ type actions that your character perform so reliably, no check is needed, unless some extreme circumstance makes it difficult or impossible. Under the G

Players create their abilites themselves, with the only rule being that the GM must be okay with it. They can be as useful or silly as the player can imagine, but a good GM should reject ideas that are uncreatively powerful. Good abilities that add to the fun and narrative game create opportunities, but don’t always solve problems on their own. Bad abilities do more than one thing, are vaguely defined, and have no possibility of adverse consequences.

Good Examples

  • Everytime my character winks at someone, that person throws up.
    • This ability works because, while it’s almost magical in how it works, there is a simple way to explain it, it can be used to solve problems, and it can also cause problems in the wrong situations.
  • I can paint a flawless portrait of anyone.
    • This is a good ability because it’s very specific and powerful, but its usefullness depends on the context and creativity of the player.
  • I always shoot first.
    • This type of ability works because, while is somewhat vague and powerfull, it creates a very distinct behaviour pattern for the character and the GM can easily play around it if desired. It also doesn’t gurantee the shot will succeed just that it will happen before anything else.

Bad Examples

  • I can travel through time at will.
    • Unless playing a setting that specifically expects time travellers and super powers, this character will end up solving every problem by brushing it away under ‘Time travel solved it.’
  • I can paint a flawless portrait of anyone, even if I’ve never seen them.
    • This doesn’t work because it has unexplainable methods purely for the sake of working around its natural limitations. Simply removing the ‘never seen them’ part would make this a fine ability as explained above.
  • I can kill everyone I see before they can react.
    • This is a poor ability in 99% of scenarios because it is simply too powerful and has no interesting interactions unless every other character and NPC is equally powerful.

If a player gives an ability that is too vague or powerful, don’t just shut it down, try to suggest conditions and details that would make it work. The player will either enjoy the suggestions and add them, or they’ll make come up with something else as they decide that the idea isn’t as great as they thought.