Creating a character
The most important part of a character is his or her background. Before you
start working with rules and numbers, think of who or what you're actually
going to play. The world is one of mediaeval fantasy, so there's a certain
lack of technology but enough magic to compensate for it.
Think of how you would fit into that world - a race is a nice place to start,
and the profession your character normally works in. Aside from that most
characters have a trait or two that make them special. A couple of them are
on the sheet; it's a good idea to fill these in. Why did you go (or are you
about to go) on an adventure, why don't you stay at your hearth? What are
your thoughts on the rest of the world? Do you have a hobby, or maybe a
severe hatred for something? These things give a character more depth than
a hundred of sheets of numbers.
The five most common races on Savagea (sah-'vaa-zjah) are humans, elves,
dwarves, gnomes and orcs. Apart from that there are small groups of hybrids,
basically crossbreeds between humans and another race. Other races are also
possible, with the GM's consent. For now I'll assume you know what the races
stand for, look it up in any fantasy novel.
A character starts with a hundred experience points. These can be spread as
the player sees fit among attributes, traits, skills, aspect and adrenalin.
Any remains are kept as experience points for later use.
Later in the adventure you'll gain experience for clever ideas, succesful
actions, good roleplaying etc. These points can be used to improve your
character. Between gaming sessions you can raise your attributes, skills and
aspect, and buy extra adrenalin.
All your attributes start at rank five. You can buy higher ranks for points;
lowering an attribute gives you points. The minimum rank is one, and you can
only lower attributes when first creating your character. Note that when you
modify an attribute, this affects all skills associated with that attribute.
- Strength measures your muscle, which is useful for lifting weights and
hitting people hard.
- Dexterity shows how nimble your hands are. You can use it to tie or
untie knots, perform legerdemain and sleight of hand, and pick pockets.
- Agility indicates the flexibility and speed of your body as a whole.
Acrobatics, swordplay and many sports are related skills.
- Reflex is useful if you have to jump out of harm's way fast. It
influences your defense and reaction speed.
- Endurance tells you how much your body can take before you collapse.
This can be vital if you're standing at the north pole, running a marathon,
or when flu is all around.
- Intelligence indicates the speed of your thoughts, reasoning and
problem-solving ability. It also measures insight and creativity.
- Knowledge can be obtained by reading a lot of books. It shows the
strength and clarity of your memory, and how much trivia you can relate on
just about any subject.
- Willpower tells you how much your mind can take before you collapse.
It improves concentration, and allows you to keep going where others despair.
- Perception is a measure of how much you notice of the world around
you. Apart for its obvious use in locating needles in haystacks, it is of
great importance for archery.
- Anti-magic shows how vulnerable you are to magic in general.
- Empathy is some kind of sixth sense. It tells you what other people's
feelings are, whether a room is safe or 'gives you the creeps' and where
magical auras lie.
- Persuasion shows how good you are at talking over people and making
clear to them that you in fact are right.
- Charisma indicates what people think of you in the blink of an eye.
Such first impressions are useful to the politicians among us.
- Faith is a measure of your trust in and devotion to the Gods that rule
the world. If you worship them, they or their priests can help you. If your
faith score is five or higher, you have to pick a specific religion.
The first raise costs five points, the second ten, the third fifteen points,
etc. So if you want to start with a strength of seven, you'll have to pay
for two raises, which costs 5 + 10 = 15 points. Lowering attributes works
the same way - the first reduction gains you five points, the second ten,
A character can have a maximum of six traits - three positive and three
negative. Most characters have less. Positive traits cost points, negative
ones give you extra points. Some examples are nightvision, extremely good
luck, arachnophobia, any mental disorder, and blindness. See the
list of skills for more traits.
You can, of course, think of your own traits. Ask your GM how many points
they're worth - this depends on their severity. Remember that something must
have an obvious effect on your character for it to count as a trait; things
like 'brave' or 'fondness of spinach' aren't traits. 'foolishly fearless' and
'severe allergy of spinach', on the contrary, are traits.
A new skill, i.e. rank one, costs you five points. Each next rank costs a
number of points equal to your current rank. When first creating your
character you may not take any skill at a rank higher than four, unless the
GM specifically allows it. Your score for a skill is your rank in said skill,
plus your rank in the appropriate attribute.
Some examples of skills are tracking, archery and foreign languages. See the
list of skills for details. Again it is possible to
think of your own skills; your GM will tell you the relevant attribute.
For example, if you have rank one it'll cost you one point to increase your
rank. If you have rank three, it'll cost you three points. So, to start with
a skill at rank four, it'll cost you five points (for rank one) + 1 + 2 + 3
for three increases. The total is 11 points. Swordplay is related to agility,
so if your rank in swordplay is 4, and your rank in agility is 6, your score
in swordplay would be 4 + 6 = 10.
Occasionally two skills are similar, for instance fighting with a shortsword
and fighting with a longsword. You may use half your rank (round fractions
down) in shortsword to
fight with a longsword if you don't have the second skill, and your full rank
in shortsword if you also have the longsword skill.
For instance, if your rank in history of a specific realm is 5, you can use
rank 2 for general history of the continent if you don't have that skill. Or,
if you have rank 6 in longbow, and rank 1 in shortbow, your score for
shortbow may be calculated using the full rank for longbow as the two are
There are three aspects: life, mana and psyche. These each have a maximum
and a current score; your current score is occasionally lowered, and can
never exceed your maximum.
Aforementioned starting scores count as rank one. You can buy extra ranks
in mana and life for experience points. Psyche may not be raised. Each rank
gives you an extra point in the aspect, and costs the current rank plus two.
When first creating your character you may lower your psyche. You gain three
extra points for each point of psyche you give away. This means both your
current and your maximum psyche, and can be dangerous to your health.
- Life indicates how much your character can take. Each wound you take
is subtracted from your life aspect - if the current score reaches zero
you're unconscious at best, and dead at worst. Life can be regained by
resting, at one point per night, or by using magical healing. Your maximum
life is the sum of your strength and endurance.
- Mana is the character's magical potential. Using magical spells or
miracles, or attempting to, costs mana; if you have none left, you cannot use
magic. Just as with life, you regain mana by resting. For a night's rest,
you gain mana equal to your faith minus five, or half of your highest magical
discipline, whichever is higher. If both of these are zero or less, your
current mana cannot exceed zero. Your maximum in mana is your willpower plus
- Psyche indicates your mental stability. It is also the score you
use in defending yourself against priestly miracles. The starting score and the
maximum are equal to your knowledge plus your faith. If your character
encounters terrible or horrific situations, the score drops. Certain mental
spells can cause the same effect. This aspect does not replenish itself, and
if your psyche hits zero you become permanently insane and a danger to the
people around you. To prevent this you can ask high ranking Mentalist wizards
and/or priests for aid in regaining psyche.
For instance, if you want four ranks in life and two in mana, it will cost
you 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 = 18 for the life, and 3 + 4 = 7 for the mana. These extra
points are added to both your current and your maximum score.
Each point of adrenalin costs you two points of experience; there is no
maximum. Adrenalin is never regained unless you buy more for your experience
points. It can be used to succeed more easily at critical moments; see the
chapter on action for details. For this reason it's always wise to have at
least one point of adrenalin.
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