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The first step is to understand the theme of the game. The main themes of the current campaign are exploration and the rebuilding of human lands. The setting will be realistic with a cinematic combat style. The tone of the game is similar to "The 13th Warrior". To learn more about the genre, read Setting and History.
The next step in creating your character is to think of several good concepts. A character concept is a one sentence description of his role in life. For example, a reluctantly retired militia member, a struggling musician, or a daydreaming apprentice metalsmith.
Once you have selected a concept, you'll build the rest of the character around it. You must choose a race and class. After that, you will spend a certain number of development points on your character, increasing his attributes, skills and traits. You may even choose some disadvantages, negative traits that allow you to allocate more points on other aspects of your character.
Next, you'll come up with a physical description of your character. You'll write a short history of your character's life before the campaign, describing any major events that shaped their outlook or taught them unusual skills. You'll choose an alignment for your character, a general category of moral and ethical outlook. Finally, you will create a list of his adventuring equipment and special possessions.
Please download and use the blank character sheet. Recording all of your character's information on this sheet will make the GMs job easier. Both of you will know exactly where to look for specific facts and numbers.
When you are finished creating your character, the GM will review and approve it before allowing you to participate in the story. He may request that you make a few changes, to ensure that your character has a good chance of success and can interact well with the other player's characters.
Unless their characters are very close friends with yours, don't tell the other players everything about your character. Let them discover his history through roleplay. The other players will learn a lot about your character by the way you portray him. Building relationships between characters is an enjoyable facet of storytelling.
The core of every new character is its concept. Your character can be from any culture, social class or walk of life. For a beginning roleplayer, it's best to start with something you're familiar with. Be careful not to combine too many concepts into a single character. For example, it's usually a bad idea to play an amnesiac orphan assassin. It's also good to avoid epic stereotypes, such as a fearless scholar barbarian, a cryptic meddling arch-wizard, or a dark-skinned elf that wields two magical swords. It's best to create a character between the ages of 16 and 45, with no crippling mental or physical defects. Remember, your character will be special and interesting because of what he does, not because of what he is.
Once you've thought of several concepts that you'd enjoy playing, find out which of these are acceptable to the GM. Some of your concepts may fit in particularly well with the main plot. Others may not fit the theme of the campaign. A character that you and the GM are both comfortable with is more fun to play than one that causes problems with the story.
After you have two or three suitable concepts, share them with the other players. It's important that the characters have a good range of skills and are able to get along with each other. A balanced group that works well as a team will succeed more often than a random group of adventurers.
A sample character concept generator is available.
Your character's race affects which skills and traits you can spend points on. It influences how members of other races will treat your character. It may also affect his starting attributes. His race cannot change during the campaign, so choose carefully.
All characters are of primarily human stock. A character can choose to have mixed blood from one other race. A human with elvish blood, for example, can purchase traits from the Elven Heritage category.
More information is available on the Races of Xina.
Each character must belong to one of the following classes - Bard, Mystic, Ranger, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior or Wizard. The class selection determines whether or not a character will be able to cast spells, and how much skills will cost. Mystics, Shamans and Wizards are spellcasters.
- Bards are musicians, storytellers, messengers, historians, minstrels, and social chameleons.
- Mystics are healers, physical adepts, and shapeshifters. They often serve as messengers and teachers.
- Rangers are explorers, scouts and outdoorsmen, skilled at combat and tracking.
- Rogues are skilled dungeon delvers, capable of thriving in the urban underworld.
- Shamans are experts at magic dealing with the mind and senses. They are often spiritualists and priests.
- Warriors are experts in combat and tactics, able to train in the use of any type of weapon.
- Wizards are the most combat-oriented spellcasters, expert at material and kinetic magic.
More information is available on the Character Classes.
Each player is allotted a certain number of points to spend on their character's attributes, skills and traits. How you spend these points directly affects how much your character knows about a particular topic, how strong he is, how much money he has, and so forth.
You start the game with 150 character points (CPs) to spend on a beginning character. Up to 25 points can be gained from disadvantages, and 5 points can be gained from quirks. These points are spent on attributes, skills, traits, and spells. Your character's attributes, skills and abilities should match your concept. For example, a player creating a soldier should spend more points on physical strength than a player creating a bookworm librarian.
There are six primary and three secondary attributes. The primary attributes are Strength (ST), Dexterity (DX), Health (HT), Intelligence (IQ), Perception (Per) and Willpower (Will). The secondary attributes are Hit Points, Fatigue and Mana. No attribute should be lower than 7 or higher than 15 without the GM's approval.
In addition to primary and secondary attributes, there are also six figured characteristics. These are Basic Speed, Movement, Fatigue Cost Per Round, Dodge, Parry, and Block. Each of these is based on primary attributes and skills. You do not spend CPs on them.
More information is available on Attributes.
Characters can buy skills from the general list, and trademark skills from their own class list, for the regular point cost. Trademark skills from other classes can be purchased at double the normal cost. Your character should have at least a few skills which are useful to the entire party.
Spells are purchased as mental easy (ME) skills. Spells from the High Paths of magic are considered trademark skills - Shifting (orange) for mystics, Spirit (purple) for shamans, and Creating (teal) for wizards. for
View the List of Skills to choose general and trademark skills.
Read information on Skills for costs, specialization, and descriptions.
Traits are advantages and disadvantages that apply to your character. Advantages cost character points (CPs). Disadvantages cost negative CPs, giving you more points to spend elsewhere. Choose your traits carefully, as they will all be worked into the story.
A list of Traits is available, including the point cost for all advantages and disadvantages.
Quirks are worth -1 point. Read the list of sample quirks.
Spellcasters should purchase the appropriate traits for access to the paths of magic.
Describe your character's physical appearance. Include his height, build, hair color and style, eye color, typical style of dress, and any birthmarks or scars. Make sure that you design a physical description that is appropriate to your race. Also write a few words about his personality.
Once all the points are spent, spend some time writing your character's background. Give a brief description of any important events that occurred during his childhood, teen years and adult life. Describe his social ties, including close friends, family members, lovers, contacts, allies, enemies, rivals and mentors. Explain his personality, such as what he cares about, what he wants out of life, and what his long and short term goals are. Detail his resources, including savings, source of income, home and vehicle. Make a list of any expensive or unusual possessions your character owns.
Your character's background should make sense when compared to his attributes and skills. For example, a very intelligent character probably spent more time studying than playing sports while growing up.
Don't design a "lone wolf", immoral, obtuse, or annoying character. Try to avoid clichés when inventing your character's personality and history. Not every character should be a dark and mysterious rebel wearing leather, with piercing blue eyes and a custom motorcycle.
It is possible that the characters know each other when the game begins, due to common elements in their history. If so, work this out between the players and GM ahead of time.
Please chose a name for your character that is appropriate for his race and culture. Check the lists of sample Human and Metahuman Names and Surnames.
Choose your character's alignment, a code of ethics that affects his conduct. There are three good, one neutral, and three evil alignments. Players should choose one of the good alignments, or the neutral one with the GM's permission. The good alignments are worth CPs as a disadvantage trait.
Honorable - An honorable character always keeps his word. He avoids lying, never attacks or kills an unarmed foe, and never harms an innocent person. He will not torture for any reason and does not kill for pleasure. He is always willing to help others, works well in groups, respects authority, and obeys the law. He believes in self-discipline and honor. He will never betray a friend. He won't break the law unless the situation is desperate. Theft, breaking and entering, and assault are out of the question unless someone is in peril and there are no other options.
Dependable - A dependable character keeps his word to any good person, helps others, and will lie only to selfish or evil people. He will never attack or kill an unarmed foe, harm an innocent, or betray a friend. He won't torture unless absolutely necessary. He won't kill for pleasure, and will always try to bring a villain in alive no matter how vile. He attempts to work within the law whenever possible, occasionally bending or breaking the law only when he deems it necessary. He will use strong-arm techniques, harassment, breaking and entering, and theft if necessary for the greater good. He distrusts authority, works well in groups, but dislikes red tape and bureaucracy.
Steady - A steady character has a high regard for life and freedom, and helps friends in need. He keeps his word of honor. He will lie and cheat only when necessary, especially to anarchists and evil people. He will not kill an unarmed foe, but will take advantage of one. He does not torture for pleasure, but may extract information from criminals and evil men. He works well in groups, especially if it is beneficial or profitable. He does not harm innocents, kill for pleasure, or betray friends. He dislikes authority.
Mercenary - A mercenary character might keep his word. He lies and cheats if it seems necessary. He is not likely to kill an unarmed foe, but will attack him, beat him up, or knock him out. He won't kill innocents, but may harm or kidnap them. He is not likely to help someone without an ulterior motive, even if it's just to show off. He seldom kills for pleasure. He will use torture to extract information but not for enjoyment. He often does not work well in groups, and may be the stereotypical cocky loudmouth who does as he pleases. He has little respect for authority. He will sometimes betray friends.
An average starting character begins the game with 3,000 copper pieces (CP) to spend on gear. If you have a money-related trait, it will change this value. An equipment price list is available, including sample inventory lists.