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Character Design

Page history last edited by 1nfinite zer0 9 years, 7 months ago

Three ways to make a character:




haracter Creation


A character is a myn that you want to write a story about.  The most important thing about making a character is having an idea.  From that idea, sometimes characters make themselves, personality, history, weaknesses, advantages, desires...


The two approaches to make characters in the RPG are:

  1. Subjective creation - Describe the character from your idea, and then a GM will help you turn those into numbers later if you need to.  Take a piece of paper, or start a new page in another tab and start writing down ideas about your character.  There's a list of questions below to help you get started. 
  2. Objective creation - Allocate a set amount of points into the various statistics using the costs and guidelines below.


Background Story Description

 Subjective character creation


Answer any or all of these questions on a new page (hint: you can open a new tab if you right click that link)



Who is your character?  Try to make a picture in your mind, or think of one key thing. 

Write that idea down, you can always change it.  What are they called?


Perhaps it is their skills you see first, a noble warrior, a caring druid, someone who loves animals, someone who is meek but powerful, someone feeling misunderstood.  It's often good to start with characters that you can relate to, something that reflects how you see yourself with embellishments of who you would like to be.  Or maybe you want to be similar to your favourite character from somewhere else, and that's okay too.


How old is your character?  Where are they in their growth and how does that affect them?  Are they currently working or training in town? A city? A cloudship?  Or maybe they are a rebel who has run away to live in the forest.  What do they do to work, feed themselves, or keep their life busy.


What part of the world are they from? Where are they now? Which of the different subspecies are they?


Do you have an image of how they behave around others?  What kind of attitude do they have towards life?  What do they like/dislike or dream about?  What do they want to achieve?


Do they have any moments in their past that has made them who they are?  Describe one or two important ones, and how it changed them.  How do they feel about it now?


What is your character good at?  Why are they good at that? Is it natural ability or did they work hard for it?


What are they bad at?  A character with weaknesses gives rise to many story possibilities.  Maybe they are exceptionally beautiful and talented with words, but run away when there's signs of agression.


Do you have a better idea of your character yet?  And you've written it down I hope!


If not, there's some more questions here: http://www.charlottedillon.com/CharacterChart.html

And tonnes of resources on character building for fiction online, only a search away.



Okay, now pick three things from everything you've written and choose one of the words from the following to describe each one:

  • Terrible
  • Poor
  • Mediocre
  • Fair
  • Good
  • Great 

Mediocre is average for something you've never really practiced, like unicycling.  The quality goes up and down from that being in the center.


Try to pick different ranks of words, there must be something that your character is more serious about than another thing.

Did you have anything that is Mediocre or worse?  Try and think of one, even if it puts you to four things.


Yay!  If you've done all that then your character is ready to play!

Check out the available Adventures or start your own story with a Storyteller request.

Next Section: #7 Magic Mechanics

Index of all Mechanics


If you want to develop your character some more, you can write as much as you like on the page you've started.  Feel free to decorate your character page, practice using the wiki, adding images or linking to your stories and content!  There's no need to maximize your abilities, as you can update your character as the story progresses.


Point Allocation

 Fitting your character into an objective design


Objective design can take a description of a character and make all the words into numbers which can be used for ranks, rolling and dice mechanics.  You can go through the section below if you'd like, or message another member and they can go through your character sheet with you.


The chart below is something we started to establish with matching words to your character description.  Every attribute or skill can be given a word description, and by comparing the level your character possesses to the level of the task at hand, the chances you will succeed can be determined.  The numbers at the left of the chart correspond to the levels of the ranks that determine point costs for attributes, abilities, items, etc.



Level Description (Attributes)


Ability Requirement








Instruction Manual



Typical Task

High School



Average Challenge





Day Job


















Result lvl

Challenge lvl

Ability lvl

  The big table of difficulties that you really need to play this game.  For more help on understanding this chart please read the Core Mechanic.  By default a character starts with 0 rank at everything, even stuff you hadn't even considered, like surfing, you are Mediocre to start

  The process of Objective Character Creation is spending points to buy these levels up and down.  If you've already written a description, you have an idea of where some things will start.  Going up levels cost more points, and going down levels can give you points back.  So, not only are disadvantages interesting to plot, but you can use them to make your character better in other ways.

  It will cost more points to change something that has more power in the game.  Attributes can be applied to lots of things, like Agility for surfing, whereas the skill of surfing will rarely apply to anything else (maybe surfing the backs of flying manta rays in the clouds..... who knows!)



Are basic qualities and characteristics that define a myn’s overall capabilities.


Primary Attributes

Body, Mind, Soul

  • Red, Green, Blue ichors of life essence
    • Used for damage/drain resistance: Hit Points, Stun, Mana
  • Set the base levels of the secondary attributes during creation stage
  • Symbolized by the heart, brain, and breath. 
  • A common blessing is to touch the three in turn (heart, third eye, lips) with a hand in mudra whilst speaking words.


Secondary Attributes

Where primaries define the balance of a myn’s body, secondaries provide the specifics.  These attributes are most commonly used in checks against situations (Roll Low).  For example, when trying to move a large boulder out of the entranceway of a cave, a test using your Strength attribute can be rolled.

  • Agility – dexterity, litheness, flexibility
  • Physique – constitution, build, toughness, endurance
  • Strength – muscle power, might
  • Logic – reason, deduction, inference, astuteness
  • Focus – concentration, hand-eye coordination
  • Reaction – reflexes, inititative
  • Vitality – fortitude, presence, rooting in this reality
  • Willpower – strength of mind, perseverance
  • Intuition – understanding, wisdom, compassion


Tertiary Effects

Are not strictly attributes, but are calculated from them.  These include damage thresholds for your character, which determine how much hitpoints/stun/mana you can lose without going unconscious, and also give bonuses to certain type of situation checks.  E.g. you are travelling along a road in the forest and the GM secretly rolls to see if you detect the brigands hiding in the bushes.  She rolls against your Forest Awareness skill, and adds your Perception bonus because your Logic attribute is Great.


All tertiary attributes have calculation information in the sections about how they are used. The list is: Hit Points, Mana, Perception, Movement, Unluck, Generosity 


NOTE!! Hit Points is currently being calculated as Body x Vitality + 2 x Physique +6, which allows negative attributes to still produce a minimum of 0 Hit Points


Skill attributes


There are six skill attributes, just like the sacred number to the Shashnimyn people, and the same as the number of digits on each hand.  They are the 6 disciplines taught in their schools, and permeate throughout their systems of knowledge:

  • Social – abilities pertaining to interaction and communication with other myn
  • Animal – abilities which adopt or adapt to those of non-shashnimyn beings
  • Physical – abilities of body mastery
  • Technical – abilities focused on tools; their creation, maintenance or use
  • Intellectual – abilities of the mind and thinking
  • Spiritual – abilities of spirit, the soul and communication with other spirit entities


These skill disciplines are commonly abbreviated as SAPTIS.  Each level of skill attribute costs 3 creation points.  However, since a level of education is guaranteed to all Shashnimyn living under the guidance of the world council, if a character has taken the oath of citizenship they start with each of SAPTIS at 1/Fair.  Citizenship means that the character has rights and responsibilities, such as access to survival needs, voting and required public service .  SAPTIS levels gained from citizenship training cannot be reduced below Fair for more than two skill attributes or the character loses all privileges but basic survival (food, water, shelter) and still is required for service.  The alternative to citizenship is no free SAPTIS, but no laws to follow.  Hence the characters are only brigands or renegades and live outside the structured society.


Skills vs Spells vs Abilities – these terms will be used throughout as descriptors of abilities under the SAPTIS system, and using skill as a generic term when inclusive.  You’ll notice there was no Magic category, that is because it is present in all aspects of life, and is categorized by the form it takes.  Spells have casting requirements, as words, gestures, potions, runes, etc.  Abilities are innate capabilities that function without preparation or foci.  Skills are trained knowledge that don’t fit the other categories, and may require tools or supplies, anything we typically think of as skills, e.g. driving a vehicle.  Driving telekinetically, would be an ability.  Possessing a vehicle from far away requires much concentration and precision, and would be a superbly difficult spell.  Functionally, these differ in their use and acquisition costs (ie, point adjustments for spell-casting requirements, or the applicability of a skill when no tools are available).


Skill purchasing:

            There is a trade-off in point cost and generality of a skill when it is acquired.  The level of concentration on a particular skill determines the cost at which each level can be purchased.  More generalized skills allow a character to perform anything in that category at the same level of ability, but has not necessarily received specialist training in any one task. 

            There are three levels of concentration: Category, Generalization, Specialization. 

An example of this would be:

3pts     SAPTIS          – Social, Animal, Physical, Technical, Intellectual, Spiritual

3pts     Category          – Doctor

2pts     Generalization – Surgery

1pt       Specialization  – Opthamology



Creation point cost is higher when a skill is purchased at lower concentration of training


Difficulty modifiers increase when trying to perform a more specialized task with a more general skill concentration

Note that SAPTIS skill attributes also cost 3pts per level, but are not explicity skills.  They still are in the hierarchy of difficulty modifiers.  Meaning, that someone with Superb Technical and Intellectual skill attributes, would still have a Fairly Hard[1] time performing eye surgery.  Initial roll is Goodly Hard for a trained eye surgeon, but two Superbs gives a Superb +1 base, then it is three steps of difference from the concentration of the target roll difficulty.  (see Gameplay chapter for more explanation of diffculty scales of actions)


Optional Rule: Skill Difficulty cost multipliers

If you find the point costs imbalancing, you can adjust the availability of the skill by multiplying them by difficulty levels.  The correspond to the level of challenge the ability is to learn.

Average/Fair – x1

Moderate/Good – x2


Hard/Great – x3

Difficult/Superb – x4




In addition to things a person has learned in training, there are chacteristics intrinsic to hir that make them unique.  Advantages and Disadvantages (Good things known about you, flaws you have) describe these where they would have an effect upon interaction with others or the environment.  These can be blessings/favour from Gods, a bad habit, a dependent myn such as a child or frail elder bound to you, personality flaw that gets in the way of some decisions (lying, chivalrous to a fault, etc), a specific aptitude that is not skill based (keen sight, perfect pitch, excellent memory, etc).  They can even be a mixture of advantage and disadvantage (e.g. a battle beast which you own that has a specific dependency which prevents it from being self-sufficient).  Advantages and disadvantages can be nearly anything you can think of, but should be discussed with a GM if appropriate point costs are not already established on the wiki.  They will cost 1-3pts per level as per the decision of the GM.


Recommended supplementary material is the FUDGE SRD, or the d6 Fantasy rulebook. 



Items are a list of any specific item of note your character owns (armour, a sword), special things that would be taken with you if you left your home cillage or things that not everyone would have.  This is not a section where you need to fill out every possible utensil in a kitchen and bucket.  If you have chosen to be a citizen, a lot of your property is provided by and shared with the community.  The possessions a myn actually considers private are the only ones that need to be purchased in this manner.  And they are a culture of sharing and generosity.  If you are a farmer, it’s assumed you have access to a wood axe, a shed, tools etc.  But even those of exceptional quality can be borrowed and shared, so again, the items are only those things which would not be missed by the community if you left with them.  Items can also be special items that are unique or memorable: an hierloom, a magical crystal.  Items can also have negative points, if your family carries a cursed locket that must be disposed of, etc.  Negotiate the point value with your GM or purchase from pre-determined packages as they are available on the wiki.


Character Points

Recommended Creation Points: 50 for youth, 75 for just finishing the coming of age, 100 for typical adult, 125 for starting adventurer, 150 for intermediate adventurer.


Cost Summary Table

6 Action points per Character Point. Any left over character creation points become action points for immediate use.


Character Creation Points - points per rank change

9pts     Primary Attribute

     which sets the base level for the Secondary Attributes

6pts    Secondary Attribute

3pts     SAPTIS          – Social, Animal, Physical, Technical, Intellectual, Spiritual

3pts     Skill Category          – Doctor

2pts     Skill Generalization – Surgery

1pt       Skill Specialization  – Opthamology



Yay!  If you've done all that then your character is ready to play!

Check out the available Adventures or start your own story with a Storyteller request.

Next Section: #7 Magic Mechanics

Index of all Mechanics



Two ways to make a character:



[1] Fair & Good are levels of difficulty levels from Table 1 (PAGENUMBER), and can also be described as tasks with Average and Moderate difficulty.

 [RAB1]Rule of sixes.  Shashnimyn use base 12 and 6 is a holy number.  Picture of their hand, numerological significance of 6s.  Hence why the d6 is still used, also 6 action points can be converted into a single character creation point

 [RAB2]Maybe it’s better within the main body of text?  Need to decide stylistically whether it’s preferable to have detailed rules in the text and examples/summary at reference or not… I think reference as condensed rules is good, but each should be essentially playable independently yeah?

 [RAB3]Ranking roll modifiers; having other related skills or tools that would effect the roll, can take different forms: 1) Swap, where the better skill is used e.g. armed combat when carrying a weapon or 2) Assist, the difference of ranks is added


CC images

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stinkiepinkie_infinity/2808873932/sizes/l/in/photostream/ - snake lady

http://www.flickr.com/photos/caroslines/2321759288/sizes/s/in/photostream/ - knight in armour

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lgh75/2470607527/sizes/z/in/photostream/ - laterns


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