Creating a Character

Choose Species

The character’s species is the species they belong to. It determines a number of special attributes and abilities they have as well as determining what background feats they can take, and their access to racial feats.

 

The species available to play in this book are:

 

Dwarf

While traditional and stalwart in their own lands beneath the mountains, dwarves have been slow to integrate into the societies on the surface, often finding themselves strangers in strange lands or rebels from underground discovering places where they actually fit better.

 

Elf

Descendants of couplings between humans and greater fey, the elves are long-lived and favored by the nature goddess Sylph. After centuries, elves can be found in their ancestral forests where they are the undisputed masters of nature magic as often as they show up as centers of the community in major cities.

 

Goblin

An ancient race from before the now-dominant races came to Ere, goblins have a unique and strange society where the children and teens are in charge while the adults’ responsibility is the production and rearing of children. By necessity, goblins tend to adaptability and creativity.

 

Hailene

Winged humanoids who arrived on Ere alongside humans et al, the hailene suffer from the sin of pride not only from the consequences of their own actions, but due to the destructive war their forefathers once waged against the rest of the world. Hailene all to a certain extent have a legacy they must live down… or live up to.

 

Half-Elf

The true-breeding offspring of human and elf, half-elves have risen from local curiosity to recently becoming the single most numerous race on Ere. Half-elves are now emblematic of the ‘common folk’ in the world and are only just now is society coming to appreciate the social power they wield.

 

Halfling

Small in stature, halflings are the favored of the god of luck and revelry, Pandemos. With his blessing, they are some of the few who can survive as a nomadic society in Ere’s wilderness without the aid of palisades or powerful defensive magics. As such, many halflings live in roving caravans where the highly value family, freedom and the joy of life.

 

Human

One of the original races that were brought to Ere, humans were once the most numerous race on Ere. This dominance was spurred by a willingness and drive to innovate. Armed with a scientific approach to both the physical and the metaphysical, humanity rose to power by being at the forefront of advances in science and magic alike, but are now being joined in that arena by the dwarves, goblins and half-elves who have learned from them.

 

Lasconti

The last of the hengeyokai (animals given the ability to assume humanoid forms by the goddess Sylph), lasconti gained a reputation during the Age of Tragedies thanks to widely reported instances of lasconti heroes making as difference on the frontier. Thanks to lasconti being more common in folk culture than most towns, the common belief is that most if not all lasconti are legendary heroes in the making. This leaves lasconti adventurers to either play the role to the hilt—or work extra hard to carve their own path.

 

Miare

When the goddess Sylph brought all of her peoples up to her realm on the green moon Azelia at the end of the Agen of Tragedies, the miare were left behind without a nation to call home. They survived by becoming servants and lackies to anyone that would have them. For an entire generation, the cost of survival was to become second class citizens, but the new generation refuses to be kept down and treated poorly. Some now manipulate the stereotype of the ‘good miare’ to their advantage while others seek to shatter it entirely.

 

Minotaur

What remains of the once mighty orcish society that rose from the end of the old world are the powerful but worldly minotaurs. The bull-headed humanoids possess physical strength to spare and as such put more focus into developing their skills and artistic pursuits. For most minotaur communities, theirs is the way of balance; combining physical capability with tactical acumen and a sophisticated philosophy.

 


Choose Class

A character’s class is a loose description of their capabilities. Classes help determine things like a character’s hit points, their skill points, and access to their bonus feats. Each class also grants access to abilities unique to the class.

 

The classes available to play in this book are:

 

Bard

Born with a special connection to the Well of Souls, bards wield the power that underpins creation in the form of the Word and the Song. So armed, bards are granted the power to alter the world around them provided they understand what they are altering first. To hone this power, they cloister together in colleges that teach a massive range of eclectic subjects and venture out into the world to bring back even more knowledge from a changing world.

 

Cleric

Powered by faith and devotion to the gods, clerics carry out what they believe to be their patron’s agenda on Ere. Their prayers raise up their allies while laying low their enemies. A cleric’s god, be they of the main pantheon of the setting, their ancestors, or a small god—as well as their sectarian beliefs—effect what powers they wield and how they approach the world.

 

Combatant

Warriors and weaponmasters, combatants rely on their skill at arms to see them through in most situations. By deploying techniques and combat maneuvers, they engage foes on the field of battle with a variety of tricks of the trade.

 

Mage

While most people on Ere can perform minor magic, mages or magi hone their natural talents through study and practice. Able to tap into the physical, mental and motive forces of the world around them, mages sport the most diverse variety of options to wield from fighting their enemies, helping their allies and simply improving their quality of life.

 

Rogue

Where combatants rely on their martial prowess, rogues make use of their guile and tools of the trade. Instead of meeting challenges head-to head, they come at them from whatever angle grants them the most advantage from exercising high mobility, laying traps of using chemicals and devices to press the odds into their favor.

 


Determine Ability Scores

Ability scores and their attendant modifiers provide the numbers that determine what a character is like and what they are capable of.

 

What Ability Scores Mean

 

Strength (STR)

Strength is the ability to apply physical force via muscle power. Strength determines a character’s ability to carry, lift or drag objects. It is an essential ability score for many melee-focused characters.

Uses of Strength in the game:

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to Fortitude Saves

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense.

  • Many melee techniques, including the melee Basic Strike add STR modifier to attack and damage rolls.

  • STR-based skills.

 

Dexterity (DEX)

Dexterity is a measure of a character’s reaction time, agility, and coordination. It is essential to high-mobility and ranged characters.

Uses of Dexterity in the game:

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to Reflex Saves

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to AC.

  • Many ranged techniques, including the ranged Basic Strike add DEX modifier to attack and damage rolls.

  • DEX-based skills.

 

Constitution (CON)

Constitution represents a character’s stamina, heartiness, and overall soundness of body. Constitution is important to characters that use techniques and to any who face frontline combat.

Uses of Constitution in the game:

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to Fortitude Saves.

  • CON score is added to hit points at 1st level.

  • CON score is added to fatigue points at 1st level.

  • CON-based skills.

 

Intelligence (INT)

Intelligence is the measure of a character’s analytic reasoning, learning potential and memory recall. It is important for skilled characters and ritualists.

Uses of Intelligence in the game:

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to Reflex Saves.

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to AC.

  • INT modifier is added as bonus skill points per level.

  • INT-based skills.

 

Wisdom (WIS)

Wisdom is a character’s common sense, instincts, spacial reasoning and self-control. It is important to characters have a deep connection to exterior forces such as gods or spirits.

Uses of Wisdom in the game:

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to Will Saves.

  • Contributes to Passive Perception

  • WIS-based skills.

 

Charisma (CHA)

Charisma represents a character’s force of personality, sense of self, empathy and the power of their soul. It is important for characters who cast spells and those who interact heavily with others.

Uses of Charisma in the game:

  • One of two ability modifiers that can contribute to Will Saves

  • CHA score is added to spell points at 1st level.

  • CHA-based skills.

 

Ability Score Modifiers

Ability scores mostly contribute to the game via derived stats called ability score modifiers. These modifiers are determined by using the table below:

Ability Score

Modifier

Ability Score

Modifier

1

–5

16–17

+3

2–3

–4

18–19

+4

4–5

–3

20–21

+5

6–7

–2

22–23

+6

8–9

–1

24–25

+7

10–11

+0

26–27

+8

12–13

+1

28–29

+9

14–15

+2

30–31

+10




Generating Ability Scores

The DM decides what method the players will use to generate the ability scores for their characters. Ultimately the choice is up to the group’s tastes and the DM’s desires, but several options are presented here in the order in which they are endorsed by the designers:

 

Standard Array

The Standard Array is the least random and most equitable means of generating ability scores as all characters start with the same base numbers to work with.

 

Players start with 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 and assign them to their ability scores as they see fit.

Alternative Standard Arrays

At the DM’s option, they may offer other numbers for a Standard Array or allow players to choose from a number of arrays. Here are some sample arrays that are reasonably balanced next to the Standard Array:

14

14

13

13

13

11

15

14

13

12

12

11

15

15

13

12

11

10

16

15

12

11

11

10

16

14

14

12

11

8

16

16

12

11

11

8

17

15

12

11

10

8

17

14

12

11

10

10

18

14

11

10

10

8

 

 

Point Buy

Point Buy allows players finer-tuned control of their character’s ability scores while maintaining balance by controlling the total value of the ability scores the players can generate.

 

There are many point buy methods, but the one recommended here is as follows:

 

Start with ability scores of 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10.

 

Each players is given 20 points to raise these scores with the cost of raising those scores to a given score as follows:

 

New Score

Cost

11

1

12

2

13

3

14

5

15

7

16

9

17

12

18

16

 

Rolling Ability Scores

Rolling ability scores introduces an element of randomness into the process of generating a character. Using rolling methods, it is possible to create unreasonably powerful or unreasonably weak characters, so both the players and the DM need to be prepared to live with those consequences.

 

Presented here is the most popular rolling method:

 

4d6 Drop the Lowest

The player rolls 4d6 and records the total of the highest three results. This is done six times and then the player distributes the results among their ability scores as desired.

 

For more powerful characters, the DM may allow the players to roll seven times and omit the lowest of those results.

 

For less powerful characters, the DM may require the players to roll seven times and omit the highest of those results.

 


Choose Skills

Skills represent knacks and disciplines characters employ in their day-to-day life as adventurers.

 

The number of skill points a character gains at each level is determined by their class plus their Intelligence modifier. At the cost of one skill point, a character can buy a rank in a given skill.

 

Having a single rank in a skill grants a +3 inherent bonus to that roll and makes a character Trained in that skill, which increases the variety and scope of how that character can use that skill.

 

One can have a total number of ranks in any one skill equal to their level.

 

Choose Expertises

Expertises are similar to skills, but encompass hobbies, professions and areas of study that are not directly linked to adventuring.

 

Each character starts with three expertise points at first level with which they can buy ranks in expertises, increasing their standing from apprentice, to master, to grandmaster. See Expertises for more information.

 


Select Feats

Feats represent a number of things: additional training or abilities, specialized tools, or just tricks of the trade your character has picked up in their life of adventure. They come from many different sources: some from simply leveling, some as bonuses from your character’s class, or even as rewards in your character’s travels.

 

Every character starts play with one regular feat, plus one feat that must either be chosen from the Background, Species-Exclusive, or Heritage feat lists.

 


Choose Equipment

Equipment includes all the tools character use to get along in their adventures. If your character doesn’t buy these items at character generation (or have them provided by background feats), they do not have them at the start of the game.

 

Every character starts with 100gp with which to buy their starting equipment. They keep whatever wealth is left over after buying their gear.

 


Fill in the Numbers

After making your choices, you should now be able to fill in the rest of the math on your character sheet using the supplied numbers. This section will explain what these numbers mean and how to come by them:

 

Hit Points (HP)

Hit points are a game construct representing how close to death a character is. While loss of hit points is colloquially called ‘damage’, there is no mechanical penalty to loss of any hit points except for the loss that takes a character from a positive hit point total to zero or negative hit points. Because of this, players are free to describe hit point loss as anything they like from physical wounds, their stamina being worn down, or their luck being consumed as they they narrowly escape another threat.

 

For reference, one character can be like John McClane in Die Hard, getting progressively bloodier and more visibly injured. Meanwhile, another can be like James Bond, crashing through action scenes with maximum bravado and only needing to smooth out their tux at the end.

 

A starting character has a number of hit points equal to their CON score plus their class’s hit point bonus.

 

Vitality

Vitality represents the hard physical limits of the mortal body in terms of healing. Most Healing effects will require spending 1 or more Vitality on the part of the target of the effect.

 

A starting character has a number of Vitality equal to 8 plus their CON modifier.

 

Fatigue Points (FP)

Fatigue points represent the stamina, bravado, timing and focus necessary to pull off complex martial combat techniques.

 

A starting character has a number of fatigue points equal to their CON score +STR modifier +1.

 

Spell Points (SP)

Spell points represent an internal reserve of magical energies characters possess. This reserve is used to power spells, certain magical items and other effects that require magical energy.

 

A starting character has a number of spell points equal to their CHA score +1.

 

Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB)

The combat maneuver bonus represents a character’s ability to perform many basic combat maneuvers against enemies in combat. Usually, CMB is rolled against an enemy’s CMD.

 

CMB is derived by adding ½ level to the higher of your character’s STR or DEX modifier.

 

Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD)

Combat maneuver defense represents a character’s ability to counter, block or otherwise defend themselves against enemies using combat maneuvers against them in combat. CMD opposes CMB rolls.

CMD is derived by adding 10 plus ½ level plus the higher of your character’s STR or DEX modifier.

 

Initiative (Init)

Initiative represents a character’s reaction time relative others in the current encounter. Most encounters begin with all parties rolling initiative. The characters with the highest initiative go first on each round, then the next highest, and so on.

 

Initiative for a starting character is their DEX modifier + any relevant modifiers

 

Armor Class (AC)

Armor class represents a character’s ability to block, deflect or absorb attacks in such a way that prevents the loss of hit points.

 

AC is derived by adding 10 + ½ level + the higher of the character’s DEX or INT modifier + the armor bonus provided by armor + the shield bonus provided by a shield.

 

Flatfooted AC

Some situations mean a character has been caught off guard, unable to properly dodge or interpose their shield. In these cases, the character is considered flatfooted.

 

Flatfooted AC is derived by adding 10 + ½ level + the armor bonus provided by armor.

 

Some bonuses to AC apply to Flatfooted AC but not both. See Bonuses in the Appendix for more information.

 

Fortitude Save (Fort)

The Fortitude Saving Throw represents a character’s ability to resist toxins, magical attacks that effect your physiology, and to withstand adverse environments.

 

The Fortitude save is derived by adding the bonus from your class plus ½ level plus the higher of either your STR or CON modifier.

 

Reflex Save (Reflex)

The Reflex Saving Throw represents a character’s ability to react quickly and dive, cover or otherwise avoid attacks that can be evaded using agility and quick reflexes.

 

The Fortitude save is derived by adding the bonus from your class plus ½ level plus the higher or either your DEX or INT modifier.

 

Will Save (Will)

The Will Saving Throw represents a character’s ability to overcome mental attacks, pierce illusions and exert their force of will.

 

The Will save is derived by adding the bonus from your class plus ½ level plus the higher of either your WIS or CHA modifier.

 


Roleplaying Character Details
If the numbers generated thus far are the skeleton of your character providing them structure within the mechanics of the game, the task of fleshing them out falls to you the player. Who your character is; their personality, appearance, past and mannerisms are something that are best left to your choices rather than assigning them mechanically.

 

However, it is known that especially for new players getting into the mindset of effectively creating a whole new person to embody in the game world can feel like a daunting and awkward task. With this in mind, ask youself the following questions about your character to help understand them better:

 

What Does Your Character Look Like?

Consider the description of the race you’ve choose for your character, then customize it to your liking. Are they shorter or taller than average? Heavier or more lean? More or less muscular? If you race has prominent features like horns, ears or a tail, do you adorn them with decorations, are they broken or scarred? Is your hair (if any) a natural color for your race or dyed? Do you have distinguishing marks of your own such as tattoos? How do you dress? Flashy, nice, shabbily?

 

Choosing a unique and interesting look or an average, unassuming look will allow yourself and your fellow players more easily visualize them and remember them. Appearance can also help inform personality. If you’ve made your character a flashy dresser who stands out in the crowd, perhaps they’re also bombastic and showy.

 

 

What Kind of Personality Does Your Character Have?

Now that you know what your character looks like, consider how they act. Are they friendly and open or aloof and prone to keeping secrets? Are they serious or fun-loving? Brave, careful or cowardly? Are they the type to rush in or plan? Is their idea of where to find a solution in a library, training arena or the bottom of a bottle—broken or otherwise?



How do their view others? Are they trusting or suspicious. Do they use others, help them, or are they more likely to be used?



Understanding how a character thinks makes it easier to consider where those mannerisms came from and from who they were learned. They’re also the most obvious parts of the character that others will interact with and the biggest indicator to you what kind of choices they will make.

 

What Does Your Character Do Besides Adventure?
While most adventurer characters do so as a career, not all of them do and even then, that doesn’t represent their entire life. Characters have hobbies, side jobs, and natural proclivities toward certain activities. Some of these are represented as expertises, but those are meant for such things a character has actively practiced to get better. Characters who just like to go dancing, sing, drink or go for long walks don’t need mechanical additions to represent this.



So what does your character like to do when they aren’t delving dungeons and fighting monsters? Do they garden, like to build things with their own hands, or cook? Do they like picking bar fights, or would they prefer to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot tea. If they dabble or even make a career of magic, do they enjoy studying it or playing with it? Do they like village festivals and parties, do they prefer formal balls, or would they just like to avoid so many people and loud noises altogether?



Knowing what your character does in their downtime helps you decide what to do when an adventure isn’t readily apparent and helps the DM plan hooks to gain your character’s interest and attention.

 

Who Are Your Character’s Family and Friends?
Even a lone wolf came from a pack. Who raised your character and how they were raised says a lot about who they are now, as does who they’ve chosen to surround themselves with in the present as friends, allies, and associates as well as enemies.



So consider whether your character knew both their parents, whether they’re still alive and what their current relationship is. The same goes for any siblings. Was your character an only child or did they have siblings? Step siblings? Fellow orphans? Were those kids younger or older? Do you still have a relationship in the present?



Who is your character’s best friend? How did you meet and why are you best friends? Did your character have a mentor or parental figure besides their parents? Are there people they meet with regularly? In their lives are there people who like them more than they like the other part or the other way around? Are there people your character just plain doesn’t like?



Is your character in a romantic relationship? How did that come about? Are there complications with that relationship?



It’s at this point that you might want to involve your fellow players. Perhaps their characters are your friends or family members. If you think your group can handle it, you can even play as enemies or romantic partners. Just make sure everyone is on the same page and understands that in-character actions shouldn’t be taken personally.

 

What Was Your Character’s Life Before Adventuring?
No character was born adventuring. And now that we know how your character acts, what they like to do and who the people in their lives are, now we can look to their past and ask how they got where they are now.



What caused your character to act the way they do? Who introduced them to their hobbies? How were they raised and how did they meet their friends and associates? Did your character have a career before they started adventuring? Where did they learn the things their skills, class features and feats say they can do?



Consider coming up with some amusing anecdotes about your character’s past or a few tales of woe. What was their greatest achievement? Their biggest failure? Have they had past loves or bitter hatreds? Have they ever sworn loyalty or vengeance? Have they gained something amazing or lost something dear?



Be sure to discuss such things with the DM to give them ideas about how to better integrate your character into the campaign. Maybe some important NPCs have connections to your characters, or you’ve comes across key information, settings or objects before.

The Little Things
All of the above are major bullet points when it comes to fleshing out your character, but like so many things, it’s the details that make the difference. Think about your characters mannerisms such as their speech patterns or ticks. While laying these on too thick can become annoying, adding just a dash can really bring a character to life.



Things like using colorful phrases for common curses, adopting a battle cry, or having a trademark favorite food or drink are just a few things one can do to achieve this effect.

 

 

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