Highlighted text appears in this manner (bold and light red). It is meant for those people interested in quickly scanning the contents of this webpage. It does NOT convey the entire meanings of the rules, which should be read in full.
You have two types of ATTRIBUTES : Primary attributes (which you can determine) and secondary attributes (which are determined by your primary attributes).
Your PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES are : Physical, Mental, Value.
A beginning character starts out with 7 dice-rolls that they can assign to the primary attributes of PHYSICAL, MENTAL, and VALUE. All attributes must have at least a value of 1.
A character's PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES determines your character's other set of attributes, their SECONDARY ATTRIBUTES. SECONDARY ATTRIBUTES, in a way, could be categorized as how well your character can socialize, relate, debate, and convince other people of your views and opinions.
Secondary attributes are determined by putting the primary attributes through a simple equation. That equation is :
(Primary Attribute + Primary Attribute) / 2, and truncate (eliminate) the remainder of that result to get your final secondary attribute value.
The next part will deal with SKILLS, or more precisely, NON-COMBAT SKILLS.
If you can do something well, that's called a SKILL. There are two types of skills in WEM3 : COMBAT SKILLS and NON-COMBAT SKILLS. The titles are pretty self-explanatory - COMBAT SKILLS are used for combat (duh!), and NON-COMBAT SKILLS are used for just about everything else.
This "Create Character" section will only deal with NON-COMBAT SKILLS. The "Combat" section of WEM3 will deal with COMBAT SKILLS, even though creation of the two are similar.
Unlike ATTRIBUTES, there are no "primary" or "secondary" skills for either combat or non-combat use. However, there is a small sub-section of NON-COMBAT SKILLS that virtually all people have in common. These skills should be filled out before dealing with other NON-COMBAT SKILLS. These skills are the five senses (or SENSES).
Nearly every person on this planet has the five senses : TOUCH, TASTE, SIGHT, SMELL, and HEARING. As in real life, your senses can not tell you what it is you are sensing, only that it senses it and that the mind, from common experience, tries to interpret it.
Just like determining your primary attributes, you have a certain number of dice-rolls you can assign to your non-combat skills. Because this is a new character, you have 21 dice-rolls that you can assign to various non-combat skills (including your senses).
Let's assign some dice rolls to the SENSES now, before going on to the other non-combat skills. With assigning values to the SENSES, there is a limitation : Any SENSE must be either equal to or less then the number of dice-rolls for your MENTAL attribute. A SENSE must have at least one dice-roll.
Whatever dice-rolls you have left over can now be used for regular NON-COMBAT SKILLS. In order for you to assign these dice-rolls, though, you must first learn the system of how NON-COMBAT SKILLS are defined.
It would be entirely unrealistic to create a category for every possible skill a person may want for their character. Even if you categorized 500 of the most common skills a person may have today, there would still be an appreciable deficit of skills left undefined.
WEM3 allows you the opportunity to define your own skills. By using a "verb_noun" model, virtually any skill can be molded to fit your specific character's needs. This way, your character can be accurately represented within the WEM3 universe.(Editor's Note : Due to an overwhelming response, I've decided to "tweak" this section just a tiny bit by working on a variety of verbs that people can use to describe their skills so that there is not as much ambiguity as to which skill means what [ex. "Drive_Car" vs. "Operate_Car"]. Hopefully, this will satisfy the majority of the concerns).
90% of all manual skills can be broken down into three categories : OPERATING something, BUILDING/CREATING something, or FIXING/MAINTAINING something. It's surprising the number of routine tasks we do everyday that could fall into one of these three categories...
Because of the immense flexibility of this system, some natural abuse of it may occur, either intentionally or unintentionally. Please follow these rules so that you may create a character that best fits the profile you'd like them to portray...
Ask the Game Master when developing your character whether or not a particular task should be converted into a skill, or whether the attributes and senses cover it adequately. If you can't ask a Game Master for advice, try following these simple guidelines...
With an open-ended system such as this, it might be tempting to construct a skill that may be too grand in scope. Suppose, for instance, you have the skill OperateComputer. Does this mean PCs? Apples? Is it restricted to software or hardware? Both?
While constructing a skill of this nature is technically legal, there are several flaws in a skill that is overly broad. A Game Master might reject the character who has the skill, citing that it gives the character an unfair advantage during gameplay (or make the game scenario too easy to complete).
An overly broad skill is also much harder to advance then a more specific one. A Game Master may not award to advance the skill at the end of the game, citing that the player simply did not use it often enough in scope of it's potential range to merit an increase.
Another adverse effect of this system is to make a skill TOO specific. While OperateCarStick_shift may be an adequate skill, OperateCarHondaAccord1986four_door may be a bit too specific.
While specific skills would probably be easier to master and advance then more broad-based skills, remember that specific skills tend not to be very useful in a variety of situations. Build/Create BreadSour_dough might be a useful skill for a baker, but it would rarely, if ever, be practically used by other players in the game world.
Also try to remember that a specific skill can not translate, or "morph," into a more broad-based skill. Simply because you can play the clarinet does not mean you could play a saxophone or oboe.
This situation brings up the first opportunity to meet a maximum limit of dice-rolls on any particular skill, combat or non-combat. Until now, you have been mathematically unable to assign a maximum number of dice-rolls to any value.
The maximum number of dice-rolls you can have for any attribute or skill is 7. This is the realistic extent to which you may improve an attribute or skill. Just like in real life, it takes years of practice to get significantly better at almost anything. Even then, you are unable to be 100% dedicated to your craft, as you must constantly perform "real-life" tasks to "pay the bills," so to speak.
A computer programmer, for example, can not spend every waking hour of his or her life studying programming. They need to eat, they need to work for a living, they need to take out the garbage occassionally, they need to vacuum a room or visit a friend. In a typical day, even a person dedicated towards learning or enhancing a skill or attribute might only manage a few hours (at most) to do this. Even then, by concentrating only at that one skill, they deprive themselves of learning other skills or attributes.
So please reserve the rank of 7 only if you want a character to be supremely great at something, usually at the severe expense of something else.
The final section for creating your character (with the exception of combat) is your inventory. For the sake of simplicity, this section will only instruct on NON-COMBAT inventory, but will also give a brief overview of combat inventory as well.
People have stuff. As a famous comedian once said, houses are just places to hold stuff so we can go out and get more stuff. Needless to say, this is true in some regards.
Stuff (or inventory) can be broken down into three categories : Containers, tools, and luxuries.
CONTAINERS are anything that can store other inventory away, most of the time into a more transportable item. Backpacks, for instance, make it easier to carry books. Trucks make it easy to haul cargo, like rocks or furniture. Houses are used to store all kinds of inventory to make other people lives' more comfortable. Even clothes can be considered "containers," since it technically holds and protects yourself from the elements.
TOOLS don't just mean mechanical tools (wrenches, screwdrivers, and so forth). A tool can be anything used to create something else in a non-combat way. A pencil is used to write a poem, a pan is used for cooking, a calculator can be used to figure out harder mathematical equations. These are all tools of one variety or another.
LUXURIES are for all those non-combat items that don't fit into either CONTAINERS or TOOLS. It could be a poster of your favorite rock star or a jewelry ring.
Roll the number of dice-rolls in your PHYSICAL attribute, then multiply that by ten. Inventory is represented (just like items might be weighed) by units. The number you have just rolled represents the MAXIMUM number of units you may carry before you are significantly hampered by the cumbersomeness and/or weight of your inventory.
Now roll the number of dice-rolls in your VALUE attribute, then multiply that by ten. This the number of units you can actually start out with.
PART I : Clothes
As humans, we wear stuff on our bodies. Most of the stuff we wear has a name - it's called "Clothes."
Clothes do many things for the average human. It prevents us from getting arrested for indecent exposure. It protects us from the elements. We use the pockets in clothes to hold stuff. If you wear the "right" clothes, you even get to attract the chicks (or the guys, depending upon your preference).
However, in WEM3, clothes just protect you from the elements. Why? Because we like keeping things simple here. Someday, I'll release my "Anal Retentive expansion set #1" for all those people who live for mind-numbingly small details like, "Will this color bleed in the rinse cycle?", "Can this winter jacket be comfortable in light Autumn weather?", and the always classic "Does this make me look fat?"
Since WEM3 must account for some basic weather types, there are five types of clothes you can wear : Wet, Windy, Hot, Cold, & Normal. Brief explanations -
WET - A rain suit, so to speak. Doesn't protect against snow or rain during the winter seasons.
HOT - T-shirt, shorts (or cut-offs), sunglasses, etc. Summertime clothing.
NORMAL - Everyday clothes that you might wear if the temperature isn't blisteringly hot or mind-numbingly cold. Late spring/Early summer or Late summer/Early Fall kind of clothes.
COLD - Clothes you would normally wear when it is significantly cold out (ex. Winter). For the sake of simplicity, it also protects against snow and rain during the winter seasons.
WINDY - In a nutshell, Spring or Fall clothing, although you can wear it for any occassion when it's a little bit on the cool side.
In terms of units, each clothing type is your current PHYSICAL attribute times 2 (PHYSICAL x 2). Therefore, if you had a PHYSICAL of 4, a complete set of cold type of clothes would be 8 units to carry (4 x 2).
It is very important to note that, if you increase your PHYSICAL attribute, then you must also acquire a new set of clothes. Put simply, by increasing your PHYSICAL attribute, you outgrow your old clothes. The Game Master can leave it to their discretion what sort of "grace period" you can have acquiring new clothes while still managing to fit into your smaller and older clothes.
Clothes don't protect against weapons of any type unless they are specific clothing items. LEATHER, STUDDED LEATHER, and KEVLAR are about the only types of clothing that significantly reduce your chance of injuries with certain types of weapons.
LEATHER - Protects minimally from edged weapons.
STUDDED LEATHER - Protects from edged weapons and minimally from blunt weapons.
KEVLAR - Protects against firearms.
The combat section of WEM3 will dictate how wearing this material will alter your chances of a successful attack or defense. This section only indicates how much it weighs and how it affects you when you wear it.
These materials are very heavy, very cumbersome, and restricts normal movement. WEM3 assumes that each of these materials are augmented by a similar body suit (leather pants, heavy leather boots, etc.) for maximum protection for the type of material desired. After all, what's the point of a leather jacket if your opponent wants to chop a leg off instead?
The weight of these materials are (PHYSICAL x 5) in units each.
TOOLS! (Well, survival tools at any rate)
Here we run into the section of tools. Tools are defined as just about anything you can realistically use for a non-combat skill or sense. In our everyday lives, we use lots of little tools. A driver's license to legally drive a car, a car key to (hopefully) legally drive away in that car. Software to write computer programs. Pencils to draw things. Erasers to erase things. You get the drift.
However, some tools are more important then others. Some tools are...well, damn near essential if we want to operate during a normal day. Take your keys, for example. Your day would be considerably more difficult if you weren't able to get into your house or your car whenever you wanted to. Worse still, you wouldn't be able to lock them when you decided to leave.
Or, how about glasses and contact lenses? For people with less-then-20/20 vision, glasses and contact lenses are extremely important (especially to find their missing keys!) to go about their daily lives. Some would not be able to drive cars or do other essential functions.
Unfortunately, determining what is or isn't essential for each and every person would be mind-numbingly impossible and out of the scope of the WEM3 engine shell. Each plot module has it's own determining factors and will educate you on what you need to determine that.
TOOLS! (For non-combat skills and senses)
People need stuff to do stuff. It's just that simple. A car mechanic needs tools to fix a car. A person needs money (checks, credit cards, etc.) to buy items. A gun needs bullets to fire and a person to pull the trigger.
Without stuff, you can't do a lot of things, regardless of whether you know how to do it. The stuff you need to do things with your skills are called "Tools."
We've already covered the concept of "Essential tools," stuff you need just to exist in the real world on a competent level. Now it's time to cover the topic for tools that gets the job done.
Anything that helps you perform a non-combat skill or sense is called a tool. You might think this may mean everything in your inventory, but it isn't. In fact, when you break it down, most people may not have a lot of tools to perform their job.
Take, for example, the job of Invoice Co-ordinator (for no particular reason, I assure you!). You need a desk calculator to compute your numbers, a pen to write down your numbers with, a piece of paper to write your numbers on, and a few binders to put the paper in. Granted, you might also throw in a stapler, staples, paper clips, a desk lamp (with appropriate wattage light bulb), a "four-part" request form, royalty request forms, a xerox machine, some folders to put the completed invoice packets in...hmmm...did I miss anything? NOPE! That just about covers it.
See? Those are all the tools needed to do that particular job. You may not think it's simple, but suppose you had a skill called "Create_websites"? Can you imagine the number of programs and personnel needed to do that on a professional basis? (Not to mention you'd probably need a...ahem, computer).
Suppose you had all those tools, though. Every single one of them, right down to the Xerox machine. If you don't know how to process invoices, you'd be in deep trouble. Tools can help accomplish a job, but it can't substitute for experience and training. You need both if you really want to excel in the WEM3 universe.
So, how do you acquire tools? Well, initially, you can buy them outright from the reservoir of inventory "units" you have when you develop your character.
However, you do not acquire tools as though they were solid objects (ie one wrench = one unit). To figure out what you would need and how that relates to your ability to get a particular task accomplished would be extremely cumbersome.
What would make more sense (and save everyone a lot of time) in this case would be to allocate a number of inventory units to a non-combat skill (or sense) and calculate the approximate level of resources you would have to accomplish a task that needed that non-combat skill or sense.
That "level of resources" discussed is broken down to into 8 levels :
As you can plainly see from looking at the table, the higher level of tool adequacy you want, the more units you'll need. Mathematically-aware readers will note that the table follows a simple equation : Cubing the tool adequacy level equals the number of units you need to carry. This is roughly adequate for most of the non-combat skills and senses out there in terms of tool necessity.
Levels of resources (or tools) are factored into accomplishing a task as such - Suppose you had to replace a light bulb. For the sake of argument, you have a skill called "Maintain_Lamp" of 2, which is perfectly adequate for knowing how to change the lightbulb (Turn off lamp, unscrew old lightbulb, throw it away, get new lightbulb, screw it in, turn on lamp). We'll even be technical and say that you need a skill level of 1 or better to do it (which, technically, everyone has unless you've specified otherwise while making your character).
So far, so good. However, in order to change a lightbulb, you need a new lightbulb to replace the old lightbulb with. It doesn't matter that you know how to change a lightbulb, or what the electrical diagram for the lamp is...if you don't have a new lightbulb to replace the old one with, you can't accomplish the task. Period. So we could say that you need a Maintain_Lamp skill level of 1 and tool level +1 to change this particular lamp's lightbulb.
In WEM3-speak, we could shorten this down to Maintain_Lamp 1+1. Not only do you need the knowledge to do something, but the resources as well.
A final note about tools : Tools set aside for one skill can not be "transferred" to another skill, no matter how similar. Yes, this is a rule that some may feel is exceedingly obnoxious, but it does several things. It reduces the temptation of people building vague skills so they can have easily transferable tools. It forces people to spread out their skills so they have a diverse variety or concentrate on a few skills instead. It's also meant to annoy people endlessly. :) Sorry, but us game designers need our ego trips on occassion, too.
LUXURIES! (And it's about time!)
Luxuries is a vaguely worded category for all that crap you're carrying that's neither useful to your significant skills or that carries stuff. So what the Heck is it?
It can be sentimental crap, it can be money, it can be junk (in so many words or less). Depending upon the universe, it can be a variety of things. For all intents and purposes, though, just consider it money for now. It may be other things, in other universes.
That's it. You're done. Grab a twinkie (if you can handle it) and kick back.