- Determine character concept.
- Determine relationship to other characters.
- Assign Attributes.
- Assign Skills.
- Assign Reputation.
Before making your character in a mechanical sense, sketch out who they are as a person. What kind of background did they come from? What interesting things shaped their worldview? Is their current profession the only one they've had, and if not, what did they formerly do – and why aren't they doing it?
One way to do this is to start at low-detail and continually built it higher. Start with a broad summary, and gradually add more and more detail. For example, you might start with a concept like "educated gladiator", then raise it to "former scholar arena chariot racer", then "former loremaster's apprentice who after indentured servitude now races chariots and uses the proceeds to try to continue his dead master's work".
Relationship between characters
For every player in the game, it's important to have some relation to each other – good or bad, familiarity breeds coherence. A coherent group of characters has more incentive to do things alongside each other, which makes the game go smoother. Some quick versions of these include:
- One character pickpocketed the other unsuccessfully – and the ensuing fight got both sent to the drunk tank together.
- The characters met on opposite sides of a skirmish between a mercenary group and bandits, and soon became the only survivors when a dust storm kicked up.
- The characters met at a feast when one of them managed to court someone that the other was aiming for.
- The characters grew up as apprentices to the same merchant.
- The characters grew up together as slaves before being sold off – and later finding freedom before reuniting.
- The characters are related, by blood or by marriage.
- One character was hunted by another for the price on his head and either avoided capture, bought out his price, or was granted mercy.
It's recommended for each player to go around the table and name a way in which their character is related to the character to their left. Further ties can be defined from there, but that ensures that each character has at least some investment.
Attributes go from 4 to 10, and they define passive traits and inherent abilities. These attributes are Intellect, Cunning, Toughness, Dexterity, Presence, and Composure. You have 10 points to distribute among the 6 attributes on top of the default value of 4.
Skills go from 1 to 10, and they define learned abilities. Skills come in 5 groups: Combat, Physical, Knowledge, Intuition, Social. Each of these groups has 5 skills. Sort these groups from highest-priority to lowest priority, and assign points to these skills as such on top of the default value of 1:
- 1st: 12 points, maximum for any given skill in this group is 6
- 2nd: 10 points, maximum for any given skill in this group is 5
- 3rd: 8 points, maximum for any given skill in this group is 4
- 4th: 6 points, maximum for any given skill in this group is 4
- 5th: 4 points, maximum for any given skill in this group is 3
Reputation, Wealth, Influence
Reputation is your impression upon the world, while Wealth represents your liquid funds and Influence represents accumulated favors and general credibility.
You start with:
- 2 Reputation points of your choosing (cannot be the same)
- 2 Wealth
- 2 Influence
You also get 2 of the following:
- 1 Reputation point of your choosing (can be the same as one of the above)
- 1 Wealth
- 1 Influence