- Ability Scores: Players may use the standard the 4d6 discard the lowest six times and arrange to taste method. If the sum total of the six basic statistics does not exceed 25 points when counted using the point buy method described on page 169 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, you may add enough points to bring your character’s total to 25 points. Alternatively, players may choose to forgo rolling, and construct a 28-point character using the point buy method. The option must be chosen before ability scores are generated and cannot be changed.
- Hit Points: All characters start at maximum hit points at first level. After first level, players may choose to either roll the new hit die, or take the average roll for the new hit die (e.g. a d12 is a 6.5, a d10 is a 5.5, and so on, track the .5 hit points from this method, so you gain a whole hit point every other level). Whichever method you use, add the character’s Constitution modifier to this amount and add the total to the character’s overall total. The option must be chosen before you roll, and cannot be changed, although you can change with each new level you gain.
- Psionics: No psionic characters are permitted. The rules just don’t fit very well with the campaign setting. I will also avoid throwing psionic monsters at you for the same reason.
- Alignment: No evil characters are permitted. The characters are supposed to be heroes, or at least people who could be heroes. I know playing Belkar sounds like fun, but that's a graphic novel and this is a play session. In play, Belkar-like characters are disruptive and annoy the other players and the DM. This implicitly rules out characters that are clerics, rangers, or worshipers of the Demon Lords, or members of evil druidic circles.
- Races: The currently playable races in the campaign, and the versions of those races used in the campaign are alvari, changelings, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, humans, ironborn, and khülen. Note that even the races with "standard" names may have had substantial changes made to their racial characteristics. The campaign does not have elves, half-elves, or half-orcs as playable character options.
- Bloodlines: Characters may have a bloodline.
- Favored Classes, part I: There are no penalties for multiclassing. All of the potential experience point penalties for multiclassing are eliminated. Instead, a character gains an extra bonus skill point for every level that they take of their favored class (four bonus skill points if the character's first character level is of that race's favored class). This bonus skill point works exactly like the bonus skill point granted by the Human racial ability. In addition, for every five levels they advance within their favored class, a character gains a bonus racial feat which may be selected from the lists of racial feats.
- Favored Classes, part II: The favored classes for each race are as follows:
RaceFavored ClassFavored ClassAlvariAristocratChangelingRogueExpertDwarfFighterWarriorGnomeAdeptHalflingExpertHumanAnyAnyIronbornWarriorKhülenWarriorHumans may choose a single class as their favored class at character creation and gains all of the benefits of a favored class for that class throughout their career.
- Specialist Wizards: Specialist wizards a required to use all of the the alternate special abilities set out in Unearthed Arcana on pages 59-64.
- Additional Classes: Characters may be members of the favored soul or scout classes.
- Bards, Paladins, and Rangers: The standard bard, paladin, and ranger classes have been removed from the campaign. Instead, the prestige bard, prestige paladin, and prestige ranger versions of these classes detailed in these rules will be used.
- Exclusive Racial Classes: In addition to the standard classes in the Player's Handbook, each race has an additional class open only to members of that race. A member of one of these races who takes levels in their exclusive racial class may (at their option) treat this class as their favored class, substituting this class for the standard favored class of their race.RaceExclusive ClassAlvariChangelingDwarfGnomeHalflingHumanAnyIronbornKhülen
- Skills: Characters use the Skills by Character rule rather than the standard skill lists by character class.
- Personal Characteristics: Players may select characteristics such as height, weight and so on for their own characters. If you want to play a hulking warrior, a stocky dwarf, a slender thief or a fat cleric that’s fine with me. Players are, of course, free to randomly determine the height and weight of their character if they so desire.
- Quirks: Define at least three “quirks” for your character. These are things that illustrate, reveal, or develop his or her personality, goals, ideals, and motives – the inner workings of the character’s mind that we otherwise would not see. Keep this list handy, and each time your character uses one of these quirks in a session, make a note of which quirk was used (and if possible, the context of the use), and give me the record at the end of the session. I will award “role-playing” experience points based partially on this tally.
If you have access to any GURPS books, many of the example quirks given in those sources would be a good starting point for these sorts of character development elements, although there are no specific limitations on these other than what sort of reasonable minor personality traits your imagination can produce.
- At least one quirk should be something the character does during an “action” scene. This could be a battle cry, a favorite tactic, or favorite maneuver. Do not express this in rule terms: it is a dash of color and not a quantifiable matter.
- At least one quirk should be something the character does during a “story” scene; an element of an adventure where the action is advanced through interaction rather than conflict: an employer briefs the party on their opposition, or the party discovers a clue on the body of a fallen foe. This could be mispronouncing long words, using a magnifying glass, or using a particular catchphrase.
- At least one quirk should be something the character does during a “character” scene; a sequence in which the character’s personality is the focus, rather than action or story. An example would be a simple conversation between PCs and other PCs, or PCs and NPCs. This could take the form of smoking a pipe and blowing smoke rings, cleaning a weapon, or drinking heavily. These are things that your character tends to do in otherwise idle moments.
- Background Questions: Characters should not exist in a vacuum. When creating your character, think about these sorts of questions. Write up a background that answers some or all of these. The more information you can give me about your character, the more likely it is that the plots and direction of the campaign will reflect your character’s background, desires, and goals.
- Who are the character’s parents? Are they alive or dead? Are they married, divorced, separated, never married? Where do they live? What do they do?
- Does the character have any siblings? How many? Are they older or younger? Are they alive or dead? Where are they? What do they do? Are they married? Do they have children?
- What is the character’s favorite food? Least favorite food? What is the character’s favorite color? Least favorite color?
- How does the character wear his or her hair? If male, how does the character wear his beard?
- Does the character have a distinctive style of dress?
- Does the character have any distinguishing marks? Tattoos? Scars? Where and how did the character get them?
- Who is the character? What does the character want? Why is the character here? Does the character have anything worth living for?
- Did the character go to school? Where? What did the character study?
- What has the character done in the last five years?
- Was the character born in a rural or urban environment? Where did the character grow up?
- What was the most important event in the character’s life? Why?
- Who is the most important person in the character’s life? Why?
- What is the character’s greatest fear? Is there a reason for this fear?
- Does the character have any pets? How does the character feel about dogs? Cats? Horses? Other kinds of domesticated animals?
- ECL Races: At some point, I may introduce races with an ECL to the campaign. Generally, once such a race has been introduced to the campaign, a player may introduce a character of that race when the level of the incoming character would be no lower than twice the ECL of the race. If you want to make a character of a particular ECL race that has not previously been introduced to the campaign, consult me and I’ll see if there is a place for that race in the setting.
- Prestige Classes: I generally allow the use of prestige classes, but I will be attaching some to particular organizations, religious groups, schools, or regions. If you are interested in a particular prestige class, consult with me and I will try to work your desired class into the campaign, or at least point you in the right direction to accomplish your goal. I don’t have any particular rules against having levels from multiple prestige classes, or any other limitations on taking levels from prestige classes. Certain organizations may limit membership, or prohibit membership in another organization, or have rules against certain combinations of training and so on, so a character may encounter these sorts of limitations in what classes he may obtain training.
- Character Retirement or Death: I am not interested in routinely killing Player Characters, but adventuring is a dangerous and sometimes fatal profession. In the course of the campaign, characters may die, or players may decide that they no longer wish to play a particular character. A character who retires leaves the game with all of his equipment, while a character who dies likely does not, although most people in the setting would expect the deceased’s property to be passed along to their next of kin, or, if they have a will, the beneficiaries under that will. In the event that a player decides to retire and replace his character, or a character dies, a new character can be brought into the game. The new character cannot be of the same race or class as the player’s last character, and starts with equipment of appropriate value for his level (as given in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, at page 135). The new character starts with experience depending on how the player’s previous character departed:
- Retirement: The new character enters the campaign with the same number of experience points as the player’s previous character.
- Death: The new character enters the campaign one character level lower than the lowest level among the PCs currently in the party (if two characters die and are replaced at the same time, they start at the same level). The new character starts with enough experience to place the character exactly half-way towards advancing to their next character level.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Campaign Design - Character Creation Guidelines
Character Creation: Characters should be created using the standard 3.5e rules and the listed house rules and options, using the core races and classes, within the following guidelines.