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Character Creation Overview
Published by Dragavan on 2006/10/10 (7253 reads)
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Basic Version

Character Creation Overview

While the rules of this game are its backbone, the heart and soul of it are the player characters. And behind these characters are the players themselves. Each player gets to create an in depth character (using the following extensive rules or the full version of the rules included in the final game) and run them in the world and adventures of The Land of Karn.

These characters can be just about anything that fits into the world and the rules are flexible enough to have almost limitless combinations of skills, statistics, races, and more. These Basic Version rules include only a fraction of what is found in the full game, but still allows for an expansive number of options. But characters are more than just lists of skills, they have personalities of their own, created by the players as well. By the end of the process you should have a fully realized and well-rounded character ready to play.

This section of the Basic Version of the rules includes a run down of all the steps used in character creation (including those not used in the Basic Version) to help those who have already read the rules go through them quicker. It also gives some background on the process of creating a character in the Land of Karn. For the full descriptions of the steps mentioned here and used in the Basic Version of the LoK rules, read the next document of this set.

Although mentioned here for reference reasons, the character creation steps not included in the Basic Version were mostly removed because of their tight connection to the setting and dependency on the world information that is also not included here. Where a character is from, their family's standing in the community, what religions they followed, and other local world information all effect how a character is made in the full version of the rules. This leads to a far more robust and well rounded character, but would require posting a much larger part of the book for free to include these few steps of character creation here.

Creation Time

Since the character creation process can get into some of the background and life elements of the character, and skills are chosen from an extensive list, the process can take a while (especially the first time). The actual process is fairly simple once you get past the sheer size of it, since most of it is only used for very specific character types and not every character will need them. Don't let it overwhelm you. Just read through it and follow the directions. You should have no problems.

I will admit that full character creation (especially the version found in the full game) can be a little time consuming, but it has to be to get the level of depth I wanted to allow players to make for their characters. There are also some shortcuts to help characters to be made quicker for those who don't want to get that in depth. Some of these are standard in the Basic Version of the rule (like skipping the Family Background step) or can be done by players who chose to do so (like skipping other steps the GM says aren't needed for what they are doing). Anther thing that can be done is using a template to skip a number of choices and steps all at once.

Creation Points

Creation Points (CP) are used as a way to balance the races and limit the skills starting characters can get. They help make sure all players begin with an even footing at the start of the game and keep one person from being a master of everything (which can make any game fall apart quickly). Certain things will cost more points than others, but this is done to keep them all balanced in the world and between characters. If something is more powerful or more rare in the world or area, it will cost more CP.

The exact number of Creation Points a character gets to start with depends on the GM and the game they are setting up. The standard game uses 1000 (that's one-thousand) Creation Points for a starting character. This creates a potential heroic character who has some skills but is mostly just starting out and has much room for growth and learning. If you choose to play a far more heroic or powerful game you may increase this number, but I suggest never going above 2000 CP since it allows one person to do too much. If you choose to play a game with a more of a 'normal' man feel you may want to use fewer points, but I would suggest not going below 500 CP.

Creation Points are used to do a number of things, from increasing your characters attributes, paying to be certain races, skill selection, and increasing the skills you have chosen already. Most of the points are usually spent in the skills section, but this is not absolutely required. It is wise to look over the entire character creation process and plan a little before you spend too many of your CP, since you don't want to waste them all on one step or item when you want to have them for another. After all, it is important to have a few different skills and abilities.

Unused Creation Points at the end of the character creation process are lost and can not be used or saved for later.

Step Organization

I have organized the steps in a way that should be done in order, for the most part, but a few of them could easily be done out of order. The main thing to remember is that certain steps effect other things in a later step (so they need to be done in order). Personally I find it works best to do them in the set order, but the final decision comes down to the Game Master of your game.

Some steps can be skipped (and are skipped in the Basic Version of the rules), but this will most likely change the depth of your characters and the way the world around them treats them. I would make sure that your GM agrees to any change you want to make to the character creation process.

Character Creation Quick List

As a starting player you can read through these steps to get an overview idea of what is ahead for you, but I would not start making a character yet. Read through the whole process and at least glance at the rest of the rules before you begin. Once you have fully read and at least somewhat understand the steps of character creation, you can use this list to remind you of what to do without having to flip through this whole section over and over. These are only short descriptions and reminders (not the full character creation steps) and includes the ones skipped in the Basic Version (with explanations as to why they are not included).

Step 1: Attributes
The ten attributes are INT, RES, ALT, CHR, BTY, STR, END, AGI, DEX, and SPD. There are two ways to go about this, depending on what your GM and players choose. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but the choice is up to you and your GM as to what is allowed and you want to use. No matter what you chose, this step must come before step 3, since many things in and after than are based off these attributes.
A - Rolled: Rolled using 5D10+20 for each, placing the rolls as you go. After they are all rolled, altering is allowed using the rules.
B - Fixed Base: All attributes are set to 50 as a base, then the altering rules are used to personalize them.

Step 2: Choose a Race and Sex
Races and a sex are chosen at this step, and possibly paid for if they require it. Some races have special abilities you may also have to pay for, if you want them. This step must come before any of the later steps, but can be done first if you choose. If the race has any special skills or abilities that cost extra CP you can choose to buy them or not later in the process (if you have CP left a that point), but you must choose (and pay for) your basic race at this point.

Step 3: Hit Points, Stress Points & Magical Energy Points
The character's starting Hit Points are equal to half their END.

The character's starting Stress Points are equal to half their RES.

The character's basic MEPs are based on half of their INT and adding any racial bonus they may have.

Step 4: Starting Initiative Bonus
The characters starting initiative bonus can be figured out using a mathematical formula, 2.5% of their (AGI + SPD) and rounding down as mentioned in the introduction, but it is much easier to just look on the chart included in the full description.

Step 5: Family Background (Not Used)
The family background and social standing are rolled or chosen on the appropriate charts for this step. Although I see this as an important step in the process for the full rules, I have cut it out of the Basic Version because it is very dependant on the setting location and world information that it ties to. Since these things are not part of this Basic package I decided it should be skipped for this version.

The full version of this (found in the regular rules) is broken down by race and culture based on whatever part of the world the book covers. You roll on the included charts (or choose if the GM allows it) to find out what your family did and what their standing in the culture was. It alters the availability and cost of certain skills and abilities for your character creation process, but does not make anything impossible.

Step 6: Religion Selection (Not Used)
This step is where whatever faith or lack of faith you choose for your character is chosen. Some religion based skills are usually gained at this point, but as with Family Background this is not included with the Basic Version of the rules. Religion is tied to cultures and areas of the world, so I could not include them without going into some area of the world as the basis for this Basic Version. As such, I chose to just skip this section, but in the full game religion can be a large part of the game.

Step 7: Skill Selection
You choose and pay (in CP) for your character's starting skills and skill levels at this point. These skills and costs are listed in the skills section, on a large chart that covers nearly everything you can imagine a character being able to learn. Increasing skills, according to the rules, can also be done at this point.

Step 8: Personality Creation
This step is a little more fluid and doesn't have as strict of rules regulating it. It is simply figuring out how your character acts and what they believe is fun, frightening, good, evil, and all that. Normally this is tied to how they were raised and the culture they are from.

Step 9: Rounding Out The Character
This is really the last step of the actual Character Creation process, since shopping really happens after that is done. This is where you pick and write all the fun little details about your character. How they look (build, hair color, etc.), starting belongings, and all the other little things to finish out your character are all done here.

Step 10: Shopping
Now that you have a character all made and they have a certain amount of money, you can go buy all the things they would normally have for the story by this point in their lives. These are at standard books costs (since prices in the world change from one location to another once play begins) and pretty much anything they want is available (since they could have acquired it at any point in their life).

Character Templates (Not Used)
Templates are a single cost solution for getting a group of common skills and settings all at once. They make character creation much faster, but also remove a lot of the finite choice the game allows. Using templates you can get everything from a group of common skills (like everything a doctor would need) to a nearly complete character archetype (like a Human military soldier) for a single cost in CP. Some Templates even allow multiple of them be stacked onto one character. Any points left over can be used to add a personal flavor to the character after that point.

Templates are not currently a standard part of the Basic Version of the rules, but will be included as free extras eventually on the site. These templates will be based on the full version rules, so they may include some information and steps to skin that aren't used here. If they are used with the Basic Version of the rules you can just ignore references to these unused steps and they should work fine. The only thing you may have an issue with is if they include a race only found in a specific setting book.

The Land of Karn: Fantasy Role-Playing Game Basic Version 0.3.5
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