The hardest part of character generation is often deciding what type of character you want to play. At the heart of most roleplaying games is combat. With this in mind, the most basic character building begins with one question:
What role do I want to play?
A role simply represents the character’s combat style and responsibilities. Would you prefer to enter melee combat or attack at range? Do you want a character who wears heavy armor and goes toe to toe with opponents or light armor and moves around the field of battle? Deciding on a role will be helpful for selecting other factors such as race, background, etc.
There are two ways to select a role, choose a package or build the role from scratch. For players familiar with the system who have a specific concept in mind, its best to build from scratch, but using the roles packages for reference can help players to avoid missing important skills.
There are a variety of packages that have been constructed providing a specific framework from which to begin. These builds include a description of the role, a list of included skill tress – with the most common starting skills, and notes for getting started. Players may choose to use them as they are or make substitutions for a specific character concept.
When customizing the packages, pay close attention to the cost of the skill tree and the number of skills that are included in each to avoid breaking the build.
In order to build a role, it’s important to understand the concept behind them. To put it simply, a role is a collection of skill trees that define certain archetypes. The skill trees each contain a number of related skills that must be purchased individually but are advanced together by putting points into the tree. This allows players to customize archetypes and build out their character in a variety of ways. In keeping with the rest of character generation, the formula for building these roles from scratch is based on a point system. All starting characters begin with 40 build points with which to purchase skill trees and skills. The point values are weighted to keep the roles balanced.
Build Points = 40
Skill Trees = 0-30 Build points
Skills = 1 Build point each
There is no right way to spend build points, but there are some guidelines. The more expensive specialty skill trees (Martial Combat, Wizardry, Dryanstone, etc.) require more focus and it is recommended that they only be pared with Proficiencies and/or Background Skills. As for the others, a combination of specialty skill trees shouldn’t exceed 30 points, buying into no more than three (3) skill trees, as they will be difficult to advance otherwise. Each skill purchased within a tree costs one (1) build point regardless of the cost of the skill tree and at least one (1) skill must be purchased in a skill tree during character generation.
One of the things to keep in mind is that Novice skills are acquired quickly as characters advance, so it’s only necessary to get a few in each skill tree during character generation. It’s more important to focus on acquiring skill trees and Background Skills.