How to Actually Make a Character

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COLTOR COLTOR's picture
How to Actually Make a Character

Here's a condensed, reordered, and customized version of character creation from the book. I found the explanation in the book was a little too spread out for my first-time players, so here's what I put together for them:

1. Define Character Concept
Pick a few words to describe what your character is. Ninja. Spy. Soldier. Pick an archetype and stick to it when you make decisions. p.130

2. Choose Background
Simply, pick one that you think is interesting. Use it to help you define your character's backstory. If you can't decide between two, look at the benefits of each and weigh them. Note all benefits and detriments neatly on a scrap sheet. p.131-132, p.390

3. Choose Faction
Again, pick something interesting to hash out your character. By now, you should have pretty good idea of who your character was during the fall and who they are now. Write down all the advantages and disadvantages on your scrap sheet. p.132-134, p.390

4. Skill Wish List
Browse the skills and make a wishlist. You're gonna want 15-ish active skills and you must have perception, fray, and networking. It's best to have at least 2 different combat skills as well. (beam weapons, blades, clubs, *control, exotic melee, exotic ranged, gunnery, kinetic weapons, *psi assault, seeker weapons, spray weapons, throwing weapons, or unarmed combat) p.176-185, p.391
* denotes async-only skills.

You now have 1000CP to build your character. Separate this CP into 3 "accounts". One account has 400CP for active skills, one has 300CP for knowledge skills, and the third has 300 "free" CP. I'll refer to these "accounts" later as "active CP", "Knowledge CP", and "Free CP"

5. Buy a morph
Browse the morphs and pick one. You do not spend Credit on your starting morph, just free CP. Don't bother doing modifications right now. Write down your morph information on your character sheet. Note the aptitude maximums on your scrap sheet.

6. Traits
Traits are listed on p.145-152. You cannot spend more than 50 free CP on positive traits or gain more than 50 free CP from negative traits. No more than 25 CP can be gained from negative morph traits.

7. Aptitudes
Start out with each aptitude at 15. Tally up which aptitudes you'll use most (from your skill wish list) and adjust your aptitudes accordingly. You can't lower any aptitude past 5 or increase it over 30 unless your morph says otherwise. (the Feeble and Exceptional Aptitude traits can alter this)

8. Active Skills
This is where things get a little complicated. Your skills start at your aptitude level plus any modifiers you get from faction or background (do not include modifiers from your morph). It costs 1CP/level to raise your skill up to level 60 and 2CP/level after that. (or another cost specified by your background) For example, if your REF is 20 and your faction gives you +10 to Fray, your starting Fray is 30 (for free!) Then, to increase your fray from 30 to 60, it costs 30CP. To increase from 60 to 70, it will cost 20CP. Thus, your total cost for Fray in this case 50 Active CP. You would write 40 under the base column for Fray on your character sheet (because 70-30 = 40). No skill can be raised over 80 at character creation unless you have the Expert trait. You must use all 400 of your Active CP on Active skills.

9. Knowledge Skills
Do your knowledge skills in the same fashion as your active skills, using all of your knowledge CP to buy them. Look up the knowledge skills in the list of skills to see examples of fields you can take the skill in. You get 70 as a base for your natural language (free).

10. Bonuses and Totals
If your morph gives you an aptitude bonus, write it in the appropriate row in your aptitudes, then calculate the total for each of your aptitudes. For each skill that you've got a morph bonus for, write the bonus in the appropriate column on your character sheet. Then, for each skill that you're not defaulting on, add your linked aptitude (the total), the base skill, and the morph bonus. Write that in the skill total column. The total column is your target number for making tests.

11. Moxie
You get 1 point of moxie for free. Most players like 3-5 moxie. You can buy additional moxie at 15 free CP/point. Write your total under MOX in your stats as well as total moxie points to the left of that.

12. Rep
You start with 50 reputation. It's simple; just put the points in whichever network(s) you want. Descriptions of the networks can be found on p.287 No rep score can exceed 80. No more than 35 free CP can be spent on rep at 10rep/ 1CP.

13. ???
The rest of character creation sort of all happens at the same time. Use your remaining CP to upgrade moxie, increase aptitudes, buy psi slights, gain specializations, improve skills, increase rep, or get credit to buy gear. The exchange rates can be found on p.135

Each gm will have their own ruling on gear, but here's mine for reference. My players make up a list of the gear that they want with the cost category noted next to it. Then, they tally up the number of items in each cost category and multiply by the average cost. Then, they buy the Credit with free CP. This works as long as there isn't something special. For example, one of my players has a blade implanted in each of his forearms. I took the cost for the blade he wanted [Low] and the cost for some generic implant [Low], combined them, and then added a little cost for the custom gear. It came out at 700 credit per arm.

14. Profit
Pick motivations and calculate derived stats. p.138

PSiRoflcopter PSiRoflcopter's picture
Re: How to Actually Make a Character

This is almost verbatim how I show my players how to make characters and it works very well. Excellent guide. The only thing I would add is when selecting skills have players prioritize their active skills wishlist by putting a ++ next to skills that define the character(infosec for a hacker), + for skills essential to their job but don't define them (networking: criminals if the hacker were a criminal hacker), blank next to skills that are related to their concept but don't need to be prioritized (weapon skills for a hacker), - next to skills that aren't exactly related but may need some points (networking: civic for a hacker, for instance), and a -- next to points that aren't related at all but the player wants (unarmed combat for a hacker infomorph, for example).

Also I tend to encourage my players to pick up and put points into skills like art and interest, even maybe having multiple at lower values as this typically reflects a real person. It's important that they know they are creating a personality more than they are assigning stats.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: How to Actually Make a Character

now that's a very clear and concise run down of the character creation.
It helped me clarify some points that left me uncertain before.

I would have placed the motivation with the concept picking, personnally
it's a very important element tied to the concept, for those who value roleplay over system orthoxy and simulationism. it's quite similar to the mental balance pilar in Cthulhu Gumshoe, if you think about it, and it serves the same goal.

tomorrow (well, today, considering the time) I will translate the post and plug it in my introduction booklet, along with the rundown of the background, factions and co

Could you give an exemple for your gear houserule, please?

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

COLTOR COLTOR's picture
Re: How to Actually Make a Character

What do you mean? I thought I gave a pretty good example with the forearm swords...

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: How to Actually Make a Character

you did, but you jumped steps.
I tend to do the same when explaining homemade rules for Mage or Cops, and take shortcuts because I know the mechanic inside out. But my players don't. Not for the house rule, anyway

That's the same problem here you jump from 'A' to 'C' without showing the process going from 'A' to 'B' to 'C'
I suck with theory, I admit, I learn best by exemple and practical application

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

COLTOR COLTOR's picture
Re: How to Actually Make a Character

I guess the first step is for players to describe in detail to the GM what they would like their character to have that is outside of the rulebook. Then, based on existing rules/gear in the book and the GMs discretion, they work together to come to a compromise on what the player will be allowed to have, how much it will cost, and how it can be used in-game. Whenever I allow non-standard gear, it always comes with the corollary that I can revoke, nerf, and change what I allowed if it complicates, breaks, or ruins my game.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: How to Actually Make a Character

My group use some of the 1889 character generation mechanic, That is to determine social level & careers (two choices of careers) first. Having that defined first greatly assist the concept & the rest of the character generation. If someone is uncertain or doesn't feel creative, its common to roll dice instead.

the social level + the chosen "careers" affect what skills & gear the character should have. (its assumed he was succesfull in learning his "trade" & functional.) After that there is the private life part, people are more than their career. My group has used this approach, to most rpg games, we feel it speeds character creation up.

Otherwise , Coltor your approach, looks quite similar to how I would do the rest of it.



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch