CHARACTER CREATION RULES
Physical traits are strict measures of your characters capability
or potential, and can usually be measured fairly directly. They are
rated on a logarithmic scale, which means that a +2 on your game
rating corresponds to double the capability. A -2 on your game
rating means that you are half as powerful. If you have a Strength
rating 2 higher than someone else, then you are twice as strong.
Besides the basic numbers, characters can have modifiers which
reflect their individual personalities. In general, a modifier will
mean a +1 or -1 to the rating for a particular circumstance. For
example, a character might have +1 to his weight class for "Upper
Body Strength" to reflect his top-heavy physique. At this point
the modifiers are free-form.
||Kilograms ||Pounds ||Average Height ||Pounds ||Description ||Weight
| 1 ||Fly-weight
|| 20-28 || 44-62 || 4'4" |
| 2 ||Feather-weight
|| 28-40 || 62- 88 || 4'9" |
| 3 ||Light-weight
|| 40-57 || 88-125 || 5'2" |
| 4 ||Middle-weight
|| 57-80 || 125-175 || 5'8" |
| 5 ||Heavy-weight
|| 113-160 || 175-250 || 6'2" |
| 6 ||Super-heavy-weight
|| 160-225 || 250-350 || 7'4" |
|Description ||Fitness |
|Sickly || 1 |
|Sedentary || 2 |
|Active || 3 |
|Athletic || 4 |
|World-class || 5 |
Strength = Weight + Fitness
Toughness = Weight + Fitness / 2
|mtrs/sec ||Description ||Speed |
| 3 ||Crippled || 1 |
| 4.5 ||Slow || 2 |
| 6 ||Limber || 3 |
| 9 ||Sprinter || 4 |
| 12 ||World-class || 5 |
A character's general competance is broken up into nine categories,
known as talents. Your score in a talent indicates your general
competance in that area. Individual specialties may vary, but the
level of talent should represent the default or baseline for
For many skills, your talent will serve as the default for that
skill unless you specifically bought that skill up. Some skills,
however, have no default.
An average talent is 4. Talents typically range from 2 to 6, see
the section on skills below for details on the scale.
- Athletic: This is skill in athletic endeavors, including basic
motor skills, balance, and so forth.
- Combative: This is skill in actual combat. While much of
combat is physical, there are two further elements: gauging
your opponent, and the vital mental attitude neccessary to
deal in actual harm.
- Craft: This is talent in working with your hands, i.e.
arts and crafts, as well as various mechanical manipulation.
- Environmental: This is talent in how aware the character
is of her environment.
- Linguistic: Skill in learning other languages, as well as
understanding the nuances thereof.
- Musical: Skill in understanding and performing music. While
different instruments depend on different physical abilities,
it is the ear for music that is central.
- Scholarly: This is talent in basic reading and writing
skills and scholarly disciplines.
- Scientific: This is talent in scientific endeavors including
mathematics and computers.
- Social: This is general skill in social interactions, of
||Gen. Practitioner |
- Athletic Skills
- Climbing (x1):
- Dance (x1/2):
- Driving (x1/2):
- Riding (x0):
- Swimming (x1):
- Throwing (x1):
- Combative Skills
- Analyze Style (x1/2): This is the skill of evaluating your
opponent both for general tendencies and for what move she
might do next.
- Archery (x1/2):
- Combat Experience (x0): There is no substitute for actual
experience in combat. This skill is critical for what you can
do when wounded, your awareness in the face of deadly force,
and practical tactics.
- Marksmanship (x1): This is skill with any sort of modern
gun which is fired by pointing at the target and pulling the
trigger -- thus including crossbows as well.
- Melee Combat (x1/2): This is skill in armed combat, using
swords, clubs, spears, and the like. Particular weapons
or combinations would be specialties.
- Unarmed Combat (x1): Specialties would include particular
styles like wrestling, boxing, or karate.
- Craft Skills
- [Craft]: Examples would be drawing, scrulpting, woodcarving,
basket weaving, cooking, etc.
- Mechanics (x1/2): This is general handling of mechanical
machinery, the skill of fiddling with switches, bolts, locks,
and so forth. Lockpicking would be a specialty.
- Sleight of Hand (x0): This is skill in deftly and quickly
manipulating small objects, but also in misdirection and
distraction. Pickpocket would be a specialty.
- Surgery (x0): This is the simple manual skill of operating
on living things (or dead things). It includes practical
knowledge of what organs look like and such, but in-depth
medical knowledge is under Scientific skills. Low levels
would include giving shots, dressing wounds, and so forth.
- Environmental Skills
- Hunting (x1/2): This is an outdoors skill of spotting
animals or people at a distance -- and positioning oneself to
not be seen at a distance. Approaching is handled by Stealth
(below), and shooting is handled by Marksmanship (under
Combative). Types of animals or environments would be
- Photography (x1/2):
- Searching (x1): This is the skill of sifting through a
limited area and finding things. It applies pretty much
equally to indoors and outdoors situations, although
familiarity with the setting is certainly a factor.
- Shadowing (x1/2): This is an urban skill, the skill of
blending in with the crowd while also picking out a target
from the crowd to follow.
- Sneeking (x1/2): This is skill at moving without being
seen or heard.
- Tracking (x0): This is skill at noticing small traces
left by people, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Linguistic Skills
- Obviously, the individual skills of this talent are specific
foreign languages. The relationship between languages are
complex, and for now will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
There are no defaults for language unless a related one is
The levels are (based on FSI proficiency scale used by U.S.
Dept. of State):
1: Can recognize the spoken/written language on encountering it.
Can puzzle out basic meanings (perhaps after several repetitions
when dealing with speech).
3: Has a basic vocabulary. Can read/write/speak slowly with many
grammatical errors. Can understand simple conversations, but will
require occasional repetition. Advanced vocabulary still not
5: Can speak/read/write/understand fluently. Speech is heavily
accented and flow is bad. Writing tends to the stilted. Will
occasionally make comical errors -- usually on subtler aspects of
the language. (e.g. "Es graut dem Morgen" instead of "Es graut
der Morgen" in German.)
7: Fully fluent. Speech is lightly accented. Vocabulary and
grammar are solid, however. Writing indistinguishable from a
9: Native. Speech is not accented.
- Musical Skills
- Keyboard (x0):
- Music Theory (x0):
- [Play Instrument]
- Singing (x1/2):
- Scholarly Skills
- Law (x1/2): This is familiarity with the common rituals
and procedure of law.
- Philosophy (x0):
- Reading (x1): This is simply skill at reading in detail,
speed as well as comprehension.
- Research (x1): This is the skill of library use, finding
information from written records, tracking down references,
and so forth.
- Writing (x1): This is skill in writing composition, forming
coherent and expressive narrative.
- Scientific Skills
- Botany (x1/2):
- Chemistry (x1/2):
- Computing (x1): This is
- Economics (x1/2):
- Electronics (x1/2):
- Experiment (x1/2): This is general knowledge of how to run
a laboratory and conduct a scientific experiment.
- General Medicine (x0): This is knowledge of specific
ailments and treatment of them. First aid is a low level of
- Geology (x1/2):
- Mathematics (x1):
- Engineering (x1/2): This is general knowledge about
mechanical engines and how they work. Low skill would
be a common auto mechanic; high skill would be engineer
of a submarine, or designer for company.
- Pharmacy (x0): Knowledge of medicinal drugs as well as
the mechanisms by which drugs effect the body.
- Physiology (x0): Knowledge of the human body and similar
mammals, including the functions and operations of various
organs and systems.
- Psychology (x0): This is knowledge of modern theory of
psychology, as opposed to
- Microbiology (x1/2): This is general knowledge of how living
things work on the level of cells, tissue, and nuclei.
- Physics (x0):
- Zoology (x1/2):
- Social Skills
- Acting (x1/2): This is the skill of pretending to be
someone else and feigning emotions. It includes basic
- Interview (x1/2): This is the basic skills of evaluating
another person in one-on-one interaction -- reading body
language, noticing attention, asking probing questions, etc.
It is used in negotiation, interrogation, haggling, medical
diagnosis, and many other situations.
- Judge of Character (x1/2): This is the longer-term skill
of deciding what a person is really like. It is in part
psychology, but also in being able to bond with people,
letting them open up or at least let down their guard.
- Lying (x1/2): This is partly attitude, partly memory, and
mostly practice. Skill in lying means preparation in
working out a consistent story, as well as.
- Performance (x1/2): This is the general-use skill of
performing before an audience (regardless of content). The
main part is staying calm and focussed when under the
spotlight. Greater skill is gauging your audience,
showmanship, and style.
John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Fri Jun 18 15:16:54 2004