As previously mentioned, all players must create a character to be their alter-ego in the Wing Commander Universe. A GM will likely have to create many more characters throughout the course of their career, including patrons, allies, villains, bystanders and occasionally a player character or two for themselves. Knowing the steps involved in how to create a character from scratch is therefore crucial to everyone who plays the game.
The steps involved in creating a character are as follows:
- Determine if the character will be a "player character" (PC) or not.
- Select the character’s species and note the modifiers.
- Determine the character's "hero level".
- Select the character’s Traits.
- Spend points on the character's Attributes and Disciplines.
- Spend points on the character's Skills and skill specializations.
- Determine derived statistics.
- Add any additional "finishing touches".
The following procedure outlines how to create a character completely from scratch but this is not always necessary. Sometimes a GM will want to create cookie cutter characters (like a group of Kilrathi children) whose stats really don't matter as much. For those situations, a set of character archetypes has been created. The list of archetypes is located in the next Chapter; instructions for their use are presented at the end of this Chapter. Regardless of whether or not a character is created using archetype rules, all characters use the Character Record Sheet (available in Appendix Two) in order to record their vital statistics.
Determine if the character will be a "player character" (PC) or not.
One of the biggest decisions a designer can make about a character is whether or not it will be controlled by a player and whether or not there’s the possibility that, should the character begin life as an NPC, the character may become a PC later on. These decisions are up to the designer and should be made before the character creation process proceeds. If the character is a PC, the designer should either write their name in the Player field on the sheet (if they intend to be the one to play the character) or leave it blank (in all other cases). The designer may simply write "NPC" in the same field if the character is a non-player character (NPC).
Obviously, a player will need to create at the very least one player character for themselves, but there is nothing that says they cannot create more PCs or NPCs at any time; player-designed NPCs may be used in upcoming adventures if the gamemaster so wishes. Likewise, GMs will be primarily interested in creating NPCs for use in their adventures but may create PCs if they so choose; having a couple of readymade PCs available can save time should a new player want to join the game.
Because a few of the character creation rules can be a little confusing, an example will be provided at the end of each step in the process. A player is creating a character for a non-traditional Wing Commander campaign; they would like for their character to eventually fulfill the role of a ship's Doctor. The player has been instructed by the GM to create their character from scratch. Since this will be the designer's personal player character, this one's a no-brainer; the character will be a PC.
Select the character’s species and note the modifiers.
WCRPG uses a series of building point pools to determine the strength of Skills and skill specializations, which in turn determine the strength of the character’s Disciplines and Attributes. The amount of points a character receives when they are initially created is largely determined by their species. A player should select a species for their character depending on the adventure the GM has in mind. For example, a traditional Wing Commander adventure would likely either require the character to be Terran or Kilrathi, but they could just as easily be a member of an allied or slave species if the GM has that sort of campaign in mind.On the Character Reference Sheet, there is an area labeled Race Stats. Once the character's species has been selected, the designer should note the stats for that species in the box on the sheet, including the number of points in each of the three Point Pools (for Physical Attributes, Mental Attributes, and Disciplines). The remaining modifiers indirectly determine a character’s derived stats and will help the player later on in the character creation process.
Our player knows that she is creating a PC for a non-traditional campaign. After checking with the GM to see what the campaign will involve, she elects to go ahead and create a Terran character; she names the character Lisa Freeman. Since Lisa's a Terran, the player records the Terran racial statistic values in the Race Stats box.
Determine the character's "hero level".
Hopefully, a GM will have an idea of just how difficult their adventure will be before the character creation process begins. In certain situations, such as when the GM determines their adventure will be particularly difficult for newcomers or when the character is a newcomer to a campaign that has been going on for a while, they may elect to give players additional building points during the creation process. This establishes the character's "hero level". GMs are allowed to give as many additional building points as they wish but are generally encouraged to give out no more than 250 additional points for a beginning player character; part of the fun of the game is allowing the characters to grow as they go along, after all. A good rule of thumb when creating a new PC for an ongoing campaign is to add up the total number of points a PC involved in the campaign already has accumulated (preferably the PC with the lowest overall total) and give the new character a comparable amount about 80% or so of that total. If a GM is attempting to create a more seasoned character, they may use as many extra points as they think is appropriate; a thousand points (or more) may be necessary in order to create a character, such as a fully trained Confederation Navy captain or a legendary pilot. Somewhat seasoned characters may have between 250-500 hero points, veterans between 500-750 points and legends between 750-1,000 points. A GM never has to allow hero points; it's entirely at their own discretion. If a player is building a character without the guidance of a GM, they may add extra points for hero level but it is strongly recommended that the GM of any future adventure involving that character review it before they or another player attempt to use it.
Hero level building points are set into a general pool; these points may be assigned to any of the character's various Skills at a later time or used to help buy off Talents.
The GM of Lisa's campaign has decided to beef things up just a little bit and gives all players a mere 30 points to add to their general building point pools.
Select the character’s Traits.
After any hero points have been assigned to a character, the amount of general points available may be bolstered or reduced by assigning Traits to the character; Traits are discussed in Chapter Four. There are three types of Traits: Complications, Talents, and Variable Traits. Strictly speaking, a character does not need Traits, but the rules make them mandatory; in addition to adjusting a character's available general pool of building points, Traits add a great deal of depth to a character right from the start. A character's Traits may even become the pivotal focus of an adventure (particularly when it comes to Complications, which are specifically designed to make life interesting...).Complications are Traits that generally have negative consequences, which can potentially impact a character and their entire group severely. Examples of Complications are effects such as blindness, short-term memory, a social stigma of some kind, and so forth. To offset their negative impact, a character gains a number of general building points if they voluntarily take a Complication. The number of building points the character earns depends entirely on the severity of the Complication; the more severe the degree of the Complication, the more points they earn. Note that there are times during the game wherein it is possible for a character to take a Complication involuntarily; the character does not earn building points in those instances. A character is usually stuck with the Complications they take and if a situation comes up wherein the Complication may apply, the situation must be role-played. If a player character is placed in a situation wherein a Complication has the potential to dictate their actions, the controlling player oftentimes, but not always, has the option to make a self-control Check in order to keep the character from giving in to the dictates of the Complication, or just giving in; giving in is good role-playing and the GM should consider rewarding the player for it).
Talents are the polar opposite of Complications. Talents are Traits that generally have positive consequences, which can help a character perform tasks that would be impossible for the average Joe. Examples include sharpened hearing, eidetic memory, a head for numbers and so forth). Because they enhance a character's abilities, Talents cost a number of building points out of their general pool; the more powerful the Talent, the higher the cost. Players may pay for their Talents with points from their Attribute or Discipline pools but points in the general pool should be used first if they are available (more on resolving a building point deficit shortly).
The third type of Trait is the Variable Trait. Variable Traits are unique in that they can behave either as a Complication or a Talent and as a result they can either add building points to the character's general pool (if the Trait is taken as a Complication) or cost building points (if taken as a Talent). Variable Traits taken as Talents can also cause a building point deficit, which can be resolved in the same manner as regular Talents.
Characters are limited in the amount of Talents and Complications they may take. Beginning characters must have at least five points worth of Talents and five points worth of Complications, and no more than fifty points worth of either. It is recommended that a player character (particularly for a player new to role-playing in general) have no more than five Talents and five Complications total; note that this is a recommendation, not a rule. Variable Traits can be used to count towards a character’s Talent/Complication tallies. Certain species have Traits as part of their racial abilities and restrictions; where they are listed, the character must take those Traits; these have no effect on any building point pool but do count towards the character's Trait tallies.
Doctor Freeman already has 30 general building points from the campaign's hero level. Lisa's player decides that a few more points would be helpful, so she decides to have the character take on a few Complications. She decides to give Lisa a minor (5 point) Allergy to plant pollen, gaining five general building points. The Doc also probably took the Hippocratic Oath; that justifies taking a 15 point Creed to "Do No Harm". These Complications add 20 points total to her general pool, so Lisa now has 50 general building points.
Now the player moves on to Variable Traits. She wants Lisa to have good Nerves and at least a little Wealth. A good Education would also be nice. She decides to give Lisa 5 points worth of in each of these Talents. This takes 15 points from her general pool, leaving Lisa at 35 points. This almost entirely offsets the gain from her Complications, so she decides that Lisa has bad Luck (10 points) and a bit of a Temper (5 points). These add 15 points back into the pool, putting Lisa back at 50 total general building points.
Finally, the player looks at Talents. The Empathic Sense Talent is an obvious choice; she gives Lisa the full 25 points. Lisa is left with 25 points in her general building point pool. She may not have a whole lot of points left there, but she's picked up a very powerful Trait in the process.
Spend points on Attributes and Disciplines.
A character with any additional general building points left over at this point may spend the remainder however they see fit on their character’s Discipline and Attribute point pools; the general building point pool must be emptied at this point in the character creation process. Should the pool have a negative number of points (i.e. if a building point deficit exists), enough points will need to come out of any combination of the character's other pools in order for the general pool to balance to zero exactly.
Once there are no more remaining points in the character's general building point pool, the time has come to "spend" the points in the various characteristics pools on the Attributes and Disciplines covered by those pools. Spending points simply involves making allocations to the appropriate characteristics; points from the physical Attribute pool are allocated to the Power, Finesse and Physique Attributes, the mental Attribute pool is allocated towards Intellect, Acumen and Charm, and the Discipline pool is allocated to the seven Disciplines. A player may choose not to allocate any points to any given Attribute or Discipline but must allocate all of the points in the point pools at this time; they cannot be "saved for later". Every ten points (rounded down) added to a characteristic imparts a +1 DC modifier to all Skills categorized underneath it.
Under no circumstances is any Attribute allowed to have more than 150 points allocated to it at any point during the game. Similarly, all Disciplines may have no more than 250 points allocated to them at any time under any circumstances.
After picking out Traits, Lisa's player decides that the 25 points left over from her character's general building point pool would be best spent on Skills under the doctor's Medicine Discipline. To facilitate this, she allocates all 25 points to the character's Discipline Point Pool. Lisa's point counts thus sit at 150 in her physical Attribute pool, 225 in her mental Attribute pool and 275 in her Discipline pool.The player first considers Lisa's physical Attribute scores. Knowing that the Doc's health is of utmost importance and that it's likely her exposure to diseases might be higher than the average character, the player puts 65 points in Lisa's Physique. This will give her a +6 modifier to her Physique Skill DCs. It's likely that the Doctor would have to go into combat situations sometimes; not getting hit would be important in those cases. Realizing this, the player assigns 60 points to Lisa's Finesse. She also gets a +6 DC modifier to all Finesse Checks. This leaves 25 points in the pool for Lisa's Power score; she can move reasonably well and she's tough, but she's not particularly strong. She only receives a +2 DC modifier for Power.
Next on the agenda is Lisa's mental Attributes. Knowing that all three mental Attributes contain potentially useful Skills for a Doctor but given their need to sometimes be forceful with stubborn patients and their need for extensive medical knowledge, the player assigns 85 points from the pool to Intellect and Charm each, leaving 55 for Acumen. She'll get +8 DC to all Intellect and Charm Checks and +5 DC for all Acumen Checks.
Finally, the player moves on to Lisa's Disciplines. Though she is tempted to stick all 275 points directly into Lisa's Medicine Discipline, the player does not do so because there are other useful Skills in other Disciplines (not to mention the 250 point limit). After some consideration, the player puts 90 points into Lisa's Command Discipline and 80 points into her Science Discipline; Command contains several useful Skills and a Doctor may have some additional knowledge of practical science. The remaining 105 points go into Lisa's Medicine Discipline. With the final allocation of points to Medicine, Lisa's building point pools are completely empty.
Spend points on character Skills and Specializations.
Once all the point pools have been drained, the time has come to spend the points the designer has allocated to the character's characteristics on the Skills that they cover. For more information about the effects of Skills, see Chapter Three. Each point spent on a Skill correlates to a +1 modifier to the DC of a d% roll that requires it (called a Skill Check). A player may leave any Skill unmodified but must allocate all of the points given to a characteristic to any combination of the Skills listed under that characteristic; points cannot be "saved" to be applied later.If a designer wishes, they may allocate points to a specific use of a given Skill. For example, if a character is supposed to be a particularly strong swimmer, the designer may want to spend points on "Swimming" instead of the more general Three-Dimensional Maneuvers Skill. These specific uses are called skill specializations. Specializing in a Skill has advantages and disadvantages. The primary disadvantage is that the bonus involved with a specialization only applies to specific situations wherein the specialization applies; a player rolling for another use of its controlling Skill under a different circumstance may only use the Skill's score. Specializations provide no bonus to any Skill other than the one under which they are assigned. Points allocated to specializations come from the same characteristic pool as general Skills and count towards the overall count of points underneath the controlling characteristic. The main advantage of Skill specializations is that they allow a potentially huge advantage by further increasing the DC of the Check; when making a Check wherein a specialization is involved, the DC is the standard DC from the Skill (the bonus from the controlling characteristic plus the Skill's score) plus the score of the specialization. Specialization Checks always count as a Check of their controlling Skill. There are no defined limitations on specializations, though a GM should always check with their players to make sure their characters haven't selected specializations that are too powerful or too general (for example, taking an "Instant Kill" specialization in Brawling is probably too powerful and "Piloting Fighters" under Vehicle Piloting is a bit too general, while "Piloting Confederation Heavy Fighters" is not). A character is allowed to have multiple specializations under a given Skill.
Under no circumstances is a Skill allowed to have more than 25 points allocated to it at any point during the game. Similarly, no specialization may have more than 50 points allocated to it at under any circumstances.
Lisa's player decides to assign physical Skill values first. Lisa only has 25 points in Power; she decides to put all 25 points in Three-Dimensional Maneuvers, as that may help her move around a little easier. For Finesse, it's a split of 25 to Dodge and 35 to Dexterous Maneuvers. Since the allocated number of points to Dexterous Maneuvers would exceed the 25 point limit, the player elects to throw a few of those points into specializations; ten points will go to the general Dexterous Maneuvers Skill while another ten will go to "Cutting Straight Lines" (which makes sense for a Doctor) and fifteen will go into "Lockpicking", which is a useful and relatively generic adventuring skill. Twenty-five of the 65 points set aside for Physique Skills will go to Recuperation to allow the Doctor to heal quickly. This leaves forty points; she sinks ten of it into Stamina, ten into Concentration and twenty into "Concentrate During Surgery", a Concentration specialization.
Moving on to mental Attributes, she puts 20 in Resourcefulness and Cunning, ten into Knowledge and the remaining 35 points in Intellect into a Knowledge Specialization called "Diagnostic Medicine". She sinks ten of the 55 points she has in Acumen into both Perception and Survival, with 25 going to Performance and the ten remaining points going to "Clinic Duty", a Performance specialization. Finally, 65 points go into the doctor's Personality (20 to the general Skill, 20 to a "Debating" specialization and 25 to another specialization called "Defense of Diagnosis") and 20 goes into her Leadership.
Now the player moves on to Disciplines. None of the Command Skills are particularly crucial for the doc, but she nonetheless put 40 points in Inspire (to help out Shaken crewmembers, 25 to the general Skill and 15 to "Oratory") and 50 points in Security (25 in the general Skill and 25 in "Hand Lasers"; this will help out the doc's combat bonuses, which haven't received much attention up to now). She takes an even split (40 points apiece) in "Biology" (a Planetology specialization) and "Anthropology" (an Archaeology specialization), which the player intended. Note than in neither of these cases were points assigned to the underlying Skills; a player may do this, though the bonuses involved won't help out any other circumstances in which the doc will need to make a Planetology or Archaeology Check.
Finally, the player reaches Medicine, the doc's crucial Discipline with 105 points to spend in its pool. She'll get another 25 points to spend here from her Empathic Sense Trait, increasing the pool to 130 points total. While the player might have preferred to spend points on specializations, she realizes the general Medicine Skills will give Doctor Freeman the greatest degree of latitude. She puts the full 25 points into all five Medicine Skills and places the remaining five points into an "Emergency Surgery" specialization of Intensive Care.
Determine derived statistics.
Once a character’s final Skill scores have been determined, it is time to figure out their derived statistics. All characters have twelve derived statistics: hit points (HP), non-lethal hit points (NHP), strength index (SI), hit difficulty (HD), touch hit difficulty (THD), flat-footed hit difficulty (FHD), Initiative (INIT), Speed, Melee Attack Bonus (MAB), Ranged Attack Bonus (RAB), Fortitude Save (FSV), Reflex Save (RSV), and Willpower Save (WSV).The first two derived stats are the character’s hit point (HP) and non-lethal hit point (NHP) counts. These two counts are used as a measure of the amount of damage the character can sustain before passing out (in the case of NHP) or dying (in the case of HP). The effects of the loss of HP and NHP are thoroughly covered in Chapter 9.2. To determine a character's maximum HP and NHP counts, simply add their Physique DC Modifier to the HP amount indicated by the Racial Characteristics of the character's species; any Armor HP or NHP may be added to the HP counts if the character is so equipped.
The next derived stat is the character's strength index (SI). The Strength index is a measure of how well they rate in combat as opposed to other characters. A character’s strength index is a combination of the sum of their hit points (including armor or shield hit points) and the strength of their strongest available weapon. Because this value is armor and weapon dependent, it can fluctuate greatly throughout the course of an adventure; the value recorded should be the maximum possible value for the specific character. The SI value is a basic method of "keeping score" and helps determine whether or not a character will withdraw from combat if given the opportunity.
Hit Difficulties (HD, THD and FHD) are a measure of how hard it is to hit and inflict damage on a character, whether in combat or in potentially lethal situations such as industrial accidents wherein no one necessarily intends to cause damage but damage could still potentially result. All characters have a set of three hit difficulty ratings. Normal hit difficulty (or HD) is how hard it is to hit the character under normal circumstances. Touch hit difficulty (THD) measures how hard it is to hit the character with a "touch" attack, an attack wherein the damage mechanism must directly come into contact with the character (such as an attack with a stun baton). Flat-footed hit difficulty (FHD) measures how hard it is to hit the character when they are surprised, i.e. when they don't have a reasonable expectation to take damage. HD ratings figure heavily into all forms of combat; see Chapter 9.2 for how it is used on the character-scale. All characters and lifeforms have a base rating to each HD count noted with the Racial Characteristics of the character's species. HD bonuses from any armor are subtracted from the character's HD and THD, while the character's Finesse DC modifier is subtracted from their HD and THD ratings. The final results of these calculations determine the character's HD ratings.
Initiative is a measure of a character's ability to react; higher Initiative scores can enable a character to go ahead of other characters in the order of battle, which is desirable particularly if combat is "turn-based". A character's Initiative value equals their Finesse DC Modifier.
Speed measures how much distance a character can cover over a given period of time. This stat, sometimes referred to as a character's base speed, measures how fast the character may move without any extra exertion on their part; there are actions that allow a character to move at an increased rate. Characters have four speed ratings. The first is movement in meters per round, which is used for local movement and as a base measurement of how fast the character will move in combat. The second is movement in kilometers per hour, used for cross-country movement when a vehicle is not employed. The third and fourth measurements are the character's combat speed ratings, which measure the number of range increments the character may move in short-range and long-range combat respectively (for more on the distinction between the two, see Chapter 9.2). Fractional combat speeds indicate how many rounds must pass before the character may move a single range increment. The speed of all characters is determined directly by their species.
All characters have two attack bonuses, their Melee Attack Bonus (MAB) and Ranged Attack Bonus (RAB). Both are used as bonuses to a character's attack rolls in combat situations; which one is used depends upon the mode of attack being employed (for more on this, see Chapter 9.2). Both bonuses use one-fifth the character's Security Skill score (rounded down) as a base value. To determine the specific scores, the designer may add the character's Power DC modifier to the base value for the character's MAB and their Finesse DC modifier to the base value for the character's RAB.
Finally, all characters have three Save rolls: Fortitude Save, Reflex Save and Willpower Save. Saves are generally used in extreme situations wherein quick action on the part of the character can either prevent or mitigate serious consequences. Fortitude Saves are used in situations where a character's toughness can mitigate the situation (such as whether or not a character will contract a disease after they've been exposed to it). Reflex Saves are needed when the ability to move instinctively is needed (such as moving to avoid falling boulders or pulling the D-ring to eject from an exploding fighter). Willpower Saves are needed when mental fortitude is required to keep a character from doing something against their will (such as trying to avoid becoming paralyzed with fear after taking a nasty weapon hit). The determination of a character’s Saves is dependent upon the value of certain Traits: their Health Trait score is used as the base for their Fortitude Save, Reflexes for their Reflex Save and Discipline for their Willpower Save. The designer must add the character's Physique DC modifier to the base value for their Fortitude Save, their Finesse DC modifier to the base value for their Reflex Save and their Acumen DC modifier to the base value for their Willpower Save. Finally, a value of thirty is added to all three Save values. The final results of these calculations become the DCs of the character's individual Saves.
Doctor Freeman's derived stats can now be determined. As previously mentioned, her Physique DC modifier is +6; this is added to the 60 base HP/NHP count for Terrans to give her an HP and NHP of 66 each (60 + 6 = 66). Her Finesse modifier is +6 and she hasn't been given any armor yet. She also has no weapons yet, so only her HP counts towards her SI; her SI is also 66 for the time being. A Terran has a base HD count of 50/50/50 as listed in the species' Basic Characteristics. Lisa therefore has an HD and THD of 44 and an FHD of 50 (50 + 0 - 6 = 44; 50 - 6 = 44; 50 + 0 = 50). Since her Finesse DC modifier is +6, she has an Initiative value of 6. As a Terran, she can move at 6 kph, 10 meters per round, 2 short-range combat increments, and one long-range combat increment every three rounds. She has 25 points in her general Security Skill; her base attack value is 5 (25/5 = 5). She adds +2 to that amount from her Power DC Modifier, making her MAB +7 (5+2 = 7). She also adds +6 for her Finesse modifier to the base amount, getting +11 for her RAB (5+6 = 11). She didn't take any points in Health, Reflexes or Discipline, so the base value of all three of her saves is zero. She has a Physique modifier of +6, a Finesse modifier of (once again) +6 and an Acumen modifier of +5; she therefore has a Fortitude Save DC of 36, a Reflex Save DC of 36, and a Willpower Save DC of 35 (30 + 0 + 6 = 36; 30 + 0 + 5 = 35).
Add any additional "finishing touches".
Once their derived stats have been calculated, a character is playable. The designer may stop at this point or they may choose to go on and add "finishing touches" to their character, depending on how many details of their character's life they wish to establish right away. Many good role-players will go on and add more details to their characters; doing so adds more depth to them and may explain some of the choices the designer made during their creation. A character's finishing touches can even serve as a launching point for an adventure.
There are a few "finishing touches" that should not be neglected:
- Name: If the character hasn't been named yet, now would be a really good time. Example names for characters of a given species are listed in the Onomastikon section of their profile along with the convention used by that species for names. If using a character record sheet, the character's name goes in the Character field.
- Gender: This may or may not be obvious from the name picked out for the character depending on the species. There are few real game effects that depend upon being male-versus-female-versus-something else; when they occur, they usually crop up during the course of gameplay.
- Billet: Occupation is another term for this trait - it describes the job the character performs for a living. This could be anything from a ship's captain to a lowly burger flipper out on some backwater outpost...
- Age: A character's age has some in-game effects and can therefore be a vitally important piece of information. There are six categories of ages for each species, known as life stages: Child, Adolescent, Adult, Middle Age, Old Age, and Venerable Age. It's generally assumed that a character being created with this procedure is in their Adult life stage, giving them time to gain the knowledge and experience reflected in their Skill scores. If this is not the case, their scores will need to be adjusted. Pre-Adult phase characters have temporary drains on their Attributes; if creating a pre-adult character, a designer should go ahead and assign their stats as with a normal character but make the following set of temporary adjustments when done. A Child takes a -20 DC penalty to all physical Attribute Checks, a -10 DC penalty to all mental Attribute Checks except when they are learning Skills and automatically fail all Discipline Checks. An Adolescent takes a -5 DC penalty to all Attributes and must treat all Discipline Skill Checks as having a DC of 10 regardless of their actual score. The penalties on pre-Adult characters are lifted when the character reaches the Adult life phase. Post-Adult characters have permanent drains and bonuses to their Attribute Checks; a designer should create the character as normal but apply the bonuses/penalties to the character as needed. Middle-Aged characters take a -5 point drain to all physical Attributes and receive five points to all mental Attributes. Old-Aged characters take a -10 point drain to all physical Attributes and receive five points to all mental Attributes. Venerable Aged characters take a -15 point drain to all physical Attributes and receive five points to all mental Attributes. Post-Adult gains and drains are cumulative with each life stage (i.e. a Venerable Age character will have lost a total of thirty points to their physical Attributes over their lifetime). Bonuses and penalties are applied when a character ages into the next age bracket for their species. When a character reaches Venerable Age, their controlling player should perform the Lifespan roll indicated in the species' Basic Characteristics for their character. The resultant age is their character's maximum age; when they finally reach the indicated age, the character will die from old age at some point prior to their next birthday.
- Height: This is an indication of the character's "long dimension" (see Chapter 10.2.7). Along with the character's weight and the character's physical Attributes, this little factoid helps to indicate the character's overall build. Height can be determined via the die roll indicated in the character's race profile.
- Weight: This is an indication of the character's mass. Along with the character's height and physical Attributes, this little factoid helps indicate the character's overall build. Weight can be determined via the die roll indicated in the character's race profile.
- Size Class: Characters have a "Size Class", which is based upon a "bounding box" volume (the minimum required dimensions of a box needed to contain the whole of the character). A character’s Size Class is directly determined by their species; the Size Class value is listed in the Basic Characteristics section of the corresponding race profile. Size Class is important for a number of actions that may take place during combat.
- "Handedness": This stat is called "handedness" for lack of a better term; it's entirely possible that a character has no hands whatsoever. Any character with motor appendages may use one of them more predominantly than the others; when a character has a dominant motor appendage, their “handedness” is in that specific appendage. For example, most Terrans use their right hand predominantly and are thus considered "right-handed"; their handedness is "right". Handedness is important in combat as using the non-dominant appendage (called "using the off-hand") can inflict significant penalties to certain actions.
- Equipment: After creating a character, it’s not uncommon for a player to want to purchase vital tools. This includes weapons, armor, shields, computers, medicines, food and so forth. Equipment and purchases are discussed in Chapter Five. The amount of money a beginning character receives initially is dependent upon their Wealth Trait; the designer must multiply their Wealth Trait by 30 and add the result to ¤900 to determine how much money they receive. Note that characters who have Wealth as a Complication will begin with less than ¤900 and may in fact start out with no money at all if they have Wealth -30. Regardless of how much money they receive, a character receives one outfit free of charge except under unusual circumstances as determined by the GM. GMs may want to restrict the kind of gear available to beginning characters for a number of reasons.
Here are some suggestions for other details to add to a character; these are optional at the time of the character's creation:
- Distinguishing Marks: Distinguishing marks help to identify a character and make them unique among the many members of their species. These can be mundane (such as red hair, blue eyes, dark skin, etc.) or something more exotic (such as a jagged scar, third nostril, hypomelanism, etc.). Some of the more exotic marks may have game effects; a player should consult with a GM before giving their character an exotic distinguishing mark.
- History: No good role-player ever neglects their character's history. Characters don't just pop into the world, (unless they do; this is science-fiction after all). The vast majority of characters will have a backstory that includes such details as where they were born, the kind of place where they were raised, a family life and other events and experiences that ultimately lead them to where they are, who they are and why they do things the way in which they do them. Characters may have secrets about their life from their experiences; these little tidbits can become elements of an adventure or possibly even its main focus.
- Personal Goals: A logical outgrowth of a character's history is a series of personal goals, things that they want to accomplish in their life before they die. Personal goals may be wide-reaching (such as attempting to become a public official or opening up a successful business) or they can be relatively mundane (such as wanting to get married and start a family). As with their history, a character's personal goals may serve as a focus for an adventure as the character tries to fulfill them. All personal goals must be specific, measurable and achievable (provided that is in line with the character in question; insane characters, for instance, may have personal goals that are in no way achievable). Personal goals should also not be related to the character's chosen profession in any way. GMs should be willing to award a character that fulfills a personal goal with extra building points, the amount of which should be commensurate with importance of the goal fulfilled.
- Personality: All characters have personality, something which indicates how the character acts, what their likes and dislikes are, what makes them react in whatever way they react, whatever code of ethics they live by and their overall life outlook. If a character is a PC, it's best if their personality is compatible with that of the player; this makes being the character more natural for a player. A character's personality can change over time as the character grows, develops and has new experiences.
Lisa's player decides to add a few details to her character. She obviously already has both a name and a gender. She will be assigned as the Chief Medical Officer (i.e. the Doctor) aboard TCS Aberwyvern, an Exeter-class Destroyer. Since Lisa has some medical skill, the player decides that she has just completed a fellowship and is about thirty years old. This makes Lisa an Adult, so none of her stats need to be modified. The player rolls the dice for Lisa's height and weight; she is 1.9 meters tall and weighs 80 kilograms ... so she is taller than average for a female but of average build. Terrans are a Character Size Class 5 species; Lisa is also that Size Class. The player decides to make Lisa left-handed, fair-skinned, blonde-haired and blue-eyed, with pierced ears.
Lisa's Wealth Trait lets her start out with a little more money than normal for purchasing initial equipment (¤1050, to be exact). She selects a Military Service Uniform for her free outfit - which makes sense if she's serving on a Confederation Naval ship - as well as a Trouser Holster and a Satchel to hold all of her stuff. She arms herself with a Third Class Phased Shot Laser, a good weapon of variable lethality; she'll put it in her trouser holster. She purchases a First Class Ballistic Mesh as well as a Second Class Energy Shield, the latter of which she deploys in her uniform's holster pocket. She purchases a PDA and a Short-Range Communicator along with spare batteries for her gun and shield, all of which she places in her uniform pockets. She also purchases a chronometer, which she straps to her wrist. Finally, she purchases three Vita Kits, placing them in her satchel. After all of these purchases, she has ¤13.15 cash remaining. Her Ballistic Mesh inflicts a +1 penalty to all of her HD ratings, so her final HD ratings are 45/45/51. The Hand Laser can do 35 points of damage, the Ballistic Mesh offers 50 AHP of protection and the Energy Shield offers up 100 SHP. The Armor and Shield Hit Points are added into her HP and the gun damage is added into her SI along with the AHP and SHP, giving her a final SI of 251 (66+35+50+100 = 251) and 216 HP total.
Now the player begins filling in personal details: Lisa was born into a middle-class family. She had a disease during her childhood (leukemia) and was subjected to a long medical stay in a hospital while undergoing treatment; this led to her interest in medicine but also to a simmering resentment towards her situation and her life outlook, possibly explaining her somewhat bad Temper. Having ultimately been cured of cancer, Lisa recovered but never developed a lot of strength afterwards, hence her low Power score. In high school she was part of a track and field team; she wasn't so great at it, but at least it helped her keep limber and helped her develop some stamina. She ultimately went to medical school to fulfill her childhood ambition of becoming a doctor. She ultimately joined the Confederation Navy as a means of paying off her student loans after being fired from her fellowship with the renowned diagnostician Dr. Grigori Domom.
Lisa does have a bit of a Temper, so it can be hard for her to make new friends. So far it hasn't led her to any incidents of insubordination, but she is aware that it could happen actively tries to keep it reined in. She doesn't make friends easily, though she is generally easy-going towards the people she trusts. She will drop everything to help someone who is in need of medical help and remains steady in a crisis.
The player decides that's enough about Lisa for the time being but continues to consider what she'd like to do with the character. Meantime, the GM begins to tell a fateful tale about the crew of TCS Aberwyvern...
Rapid Character Generation Routine
There are sixteen unique sapient species in WCRPG; something that should be obvious from that fact is that there are a countless number of beings within the Wing Commander Universe. Every individual within each of those various societies performs some kind of function within them, be it as a leader, builder, artist, criminal or whatever. A GM may want to include any one of these individuals at any point in an adventure. If the GM wants to add a character merely as window dressing for a scene, creating a full-on character may seem like a total waste of time. The bad news is that all characters in the game need stats regardless of how minor their role is intended to be, because a GM can’t predict when their players will do something totally unexpected and make the little background character do something they didn't intend (such as include them in a combat situation). The good news is that there are two procedures a GM can use in order to build a full set of stats for these characters with a minimal amount of fuss. Note that these procedures aren't designed to replace the character creation process but to try and speed it up as much as possible - hence the term "rapid creation routine". It's also possible to use the procedures more as guidelines; swapping out points between Skills or assigning a different Trait than what's indicated is perfectly acceptable.
To use one of the rapid character generation processes, a player needs to select a character archetype immediately after they select their race; this is the only step that must be added to the normal creation routine. Character archetypes are defined as original character models from which all other similar persons are patterned. Character archetypes in WCRPG consist of "point allocation" tables, which set the number of points in each of the character's Skills as well as the number and degree of their Traits. Basically, the archetype table makes all the difficult decisions for the designer, giving the character expertise in a skill set that best suits their desired purpose.
Between the number of archetypes available and the number of species that are in the game, there are unfortunately far too many possible combinations (over a thousand) to list out them all out explicitly and so it will still be necessary for a designer to do a little bit of work. That said, most of the underlying math has been completed for the creator; it's only left for them to reference the tables included herein to get the final values.
Rapid Creation Routine Without Hero Points
The rapid creation routine works best when a character doesn't require hero points (civilians, background characters and fairly weak opponents work well under this schema). That's not to say that the rapid routine cannot be used with hero points, only that the use of hero points will make the process more complex. The procedure for using hero points with the rapid routine is discussed in the next section.
Once a character's species and archetype have been selected, the procedure is largely a matter of filling in the indicated point values for Attributes, Disciplines and Skills and determining the character's derived statistics as normal. Information on Traits for the character is included with the character archetype; the designer needs to make a 1d5 roll and use the Trait set indicated by the result or just select whichever one they like best.
After the character's Traits have been set, their Discipline and Discipline Skill scores should be determined. The character archetype table contains a list of "priorities" for each of the character's Discipline Skills, which indicate the Skills most needed by a character utilizing it. Skills listed first (further to the left) are more important than ones listed later (to the right) and as a result will receive more points. Note that without the use of hero points it is possible for a Skill to receive no points; the Quinary Discipline Skill (lowest priority) will always have no points in this case. The Disciplines themselves are also listed as a set of priorities, with more important Disciplines listed first (towards the top) and less important ones last (towards the bottom). To determine the number of points going to an individual Discipline, the designer must find the row on the table below corresponding to the number of points in the character's Discipline Point Pool and distribute the points as indicated.
|Points||Primary Discipline||Secondary Discipline||Tertiary Discipline||Quaternary Discipline||Quinary Discipline||Senary Discipline||Septenary Discipline|
Once the number of points for a given Discipline has been determined, the designer may use the table below to determine how those points will be distributed amongst the corresponding set of Discipline Skills.
|Points||Primary Discipline Skill||Secondary Discipline Skill||Tertiary Discipline Skill||Quaternary Discipline Skill|
In all cases where a designer may assign points to a specific Discipline Skill, they have the option to assign those points to either the general Skill or to any specialization or combination of specializations. It's generally assumed that a creator building a character in a hurry will simply assign points to the general Skill. No guidelines have been provided for the assignment of Skill points to specializations, though it's generally recommended that any rapidly-built character be kept to a single specialization under a given Skill and that it be related to the character's occupation.
Another factor that needs to be taken into account when determining which Discipline Skills will receive points is the technological era of the character's species. There are some Discipline Skills that would not serve more primitive races at all (such as Starship Piloting) and some that may not see frequent use (such as Translate if the character is from a race that has a single language and no contact with other starfaring races). The archetype tables have been set up to make any resultant character as generic as possible, so that the results will be applicable to any technological era. That said, character designers may make a few substitutions to make their characters more or less advanced as need be. They can also split the available points with another Discipline Skill (splits should divide the available points up as evenly as possible). Substitutions may be made for the following set of Discipline Skills:
- Orientation may be split or swapped with Astrogation.
- Ballistics may be split or swapped with Marksmanship.
- Vehicle Piloting may be split or swapped with Starship Piloting.
- Defenses may be split or swapped with Internal Systems.
- Mechanics may be split or swapped with Faster-Than-Light Mechanics.
Attributes and Attribute Skills are determined next; Attributes and Attribute Skill Scores are handled a little differently from Discipline and Discipline Skill scores. As with Disciplines, all Attributes have a set of priority listings for their individual Skills and are themselves listed as a set of priorities. Attribute priorities are determined in two different ways: their overall priority (considering all six attributes) and their categorical priority (a priority set that only considers the Attribute within its category as either a physical or mental Attribute). When the system is used without hero points, only categorical priority matters and handling Attributes is generally the same as handling Disciplines. To determine the number of points going to an Attribute, the designer must find the row on the table below corresponding to the number of points in the character's physical or mental Attribute Pool as appropriate and assign to it the number of indicated points based on its categorical priority.
|Points||Primary Attribute Score||Secondary Attribute Score||Tertiary Attribute Score|
Once the number of points in a given Attribute has been determined, the designer may use the table below to determine how those points will be distributed amongst the corresponding set of Attribute Skills.
|Points||Primary Skill||Secondary Skill||Tertiary Skill|
As with Discipline Skills, a character designer may always opt to assign any points allocated to an Attribute Skill to either the general Skill or to any specialization or combination of specializations, with the general assumption that a designer building a character in a hurry will simply assign points to the general Skill.
Once the Attribute Skill scores have been set, the character's derived statistics and finishing touches can be determined using the methods discussed in the general character creation procedure. Characters created through the rapid routine are usually assumed to be the minimum Adult age for the species. If an older or younger character is needed by the designer, the character can be adjusted as they see fit but the designer should be ready to apply any changes that might need to be made due to life stages. Characters created through the rapid routine are assumed to be of average mass and long dimension for their species (assume results of 3 on any die roll for mass and long dimension). In situations where there is some sexual dimorphism, the player may either select a gender at random or use a roll of 1d2 to make a final selection (a result of one indicating male and two indicating female or whatever results are appropriate to the species). All other aspects of the character (such as a name, handedness, distinguishing marks, history and personality) are left up to the designer to fill in at their own discretion.
At this point, the creator can either decide to call the character done or go ahead and give them equipment. Each archetype table includes a short "starting package" consisting of several basic pieces of equipment a character of that archetype is likely to own as well as its cost and effect to their resultant total encumbrance class. The designer may choose to give their character money and equipment as normal or use the indicated starting package. If an equipment package is used, the designer will need to roll for the character's money. This is usually a 3d5 roll multiplied by ¤30, adding or subtracting one die for every five points in the character's Wealth trait; the result is the amount of money they have on hand. Some archetypes will roll more or fewer dice for money; designers should check the archetype's notes before making any roll. If a character would end up rolling a negative number of dice, the designer may choose to either give the character no money at all or roll the equivalent number of dice and apply it as an outstanding debt. In addition to the gear indicated, creators may choose up to two additional pieces of equipment to add to the character at their own discretion. All gear in the starting package is subtracted from the character's starting money; if they cannot afford the starting package, any amount remaining to be paid off is applied as an outstanding debt. If a holster is indicated in the character's starting package (either by itself or as part of an outfit), they may be given a weapon of the designer's choice; the cost of the weapon is not subtracted from the character's starting money. Characters belonging to certain archetypes may also have armor added to their starting package without the cost being subtracted from their money; archetypes that allow for free armor are indicated in their notes. Finally, it should be noted that some of the gear is designed for characters from more advanced societies, which may not be applicable to those from more primitive civilizations. Characters from Metal Age societies will need to have any Chronometer removed; ones from Stone Age societies will need to have any Wallet removed as well. In both cases, the designer may choose whether or not they want to subtract the cost of the removed gear from the cost of the starting package.
The starting package is okay for most minor characters, but sometimes a designer will want a character to be instantly ready for high adventure (or perhaps they just want them to have more crap available). In those cases, the designer may decide to give them a fast pack, a pre-selected set of gear designed to be useful in most adventuring situations. Fast packs have been built around the idea of using a Wilderness Backpack (a staple of role-playing games and one of the largest container objects in WCRPG) as the primary container for the gear; hence the name. As with the starting package, this cost of this gear is subtracted from the character's money; if they cannot afford to purchase a fast pack, they may take on any remaining amount as a debt as with the starting package (though coupling debt from the purchase of a fast pack with an already existing debt is not recommended). Six of the fast packs are "crew packs" designed for specific capital ship crewmembers; these packs are generally a lot more expensive than the others, so designers are welcome to say that they are "ship's property" rather than inflicting any personal cost upon a character. Gear in crew packs includes Starfaring Age equipment, so their use is not recommended for members of more primitive societies. Five "wilderness packs" for Starfaring, Industrial and Metal Age societies are also available for more general adventuring purposes. One of these may be selected using a 1d5 roll for the character's technological level or selected at the creator's discretion. There is also one fast pack available for Stone Age societies. The EC and size of the individual pieces of equipment in the packs is included; this has been done in case the total size of EC of the pack is too much for a character and if the designer would like to make adjustments (it's generally recommended that the second or third largest item be removed from a pack first if necessary, as the largest item usually is what makes a pack unique). The specific contents of the various fast packs are outlined in the table below:
|Name||Cost||TEC||Total Size||Equipment Included|
|Science Officer's Crew Pack||¤911.35||36||369||Backpack (Wilderness), PDA (EC2; 4), Ship-Linked Communicator (EC3; 8), Flashlight (Terrain-Proof) (EC4; 16), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Environmental Scanner (EC4; 16), Science Kit (EC8; 256).|
|Navigator's Crew Pack||¤263.15||28||105||Backpack (Wilderness), PDA (EC2; 4), Ship-Linked Communicator (EC3; 8), Flashlight (Terrain-Proof) (EC4; 16), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Hand-held Global Navigation/Triangulation System (EC2; 4), Compass (EC2; 4).|
|Engineer's Crew Pack||¤2,153.45||32||353||Backpack (Wilderness), PDA (EC2; 4), Ship-Linked Communicator (EC3; 8), Flashlight (Terrain-Proof) (EC4; 16), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Engineering Toolkit (EC8; 256).|
|Communications Officer's Crew Pack||¤443.70||35||140||Backpack (Wilderness), PDA (EC2; 4), Ship-Linked Communicator (EC3; 8), Flashlight (Terrain-Proof) (EC4; 16), Large Battery x2 (EC3; 8), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Translator (EC2; 4), Distress Beacon (EC5; 32).|
|Doctor's Crew Pack||¤1,507.95||32||353||Backpack (Wilderness), PDA (EC2; 4), Ship-Linked Communicator (EC3; 8), Flashlight (Terrain-Proof) (EC4; 16), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Medical Kit (EC8; 256).|
|Security Officer's Crew Pack||¤411.50||32||353||Backpack (Wilderness), PDA (EC2; 4), Ship-Linked Communicator (EC3; 8), Flashlight (Terrain-Proof) (EC4; 16), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Security Kit (EC8; 256).|
|Stone Age Wilderness Pack||¤56.40||16||64||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Luxury Food* (1wk) (EC5; 32), Rope (EC5; 32), Back Holster, Hip Holster, Quiver (EC3; 8).|
|Metal Age Wilderness Pack One||¤88.10||45||416||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Acid Vial (EC2; 4), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Luxury Food* (1wk) (EC5; 32), Mess Kit (EC7; 128), Weapon Cleaning/Repair Kit (EC2; 4), Lockpick Kit (Mechanical) (EC2; 4), Soda (EC6; 64), Bandage (EC4; 16).|
|Metal Age Wilderness Pack Two||¤77.85||37||341||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Acid Vial (EC2; 4), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Luxury Food* (1wk) (EC5; 32), Journalist's Notepad (EC2; 4), Pencil (EC0; 1), Weapon Cleaning/Repair Kit (EC2; 4), Mess Kit (EC7; 128), Handcuffs (Metal) (EC2; 4).|
|Metal Age Wilderness Pack Three||¤110.25||44||756||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Acid Vial (EC2; 4), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Luxury Food* (1wk) (EC5; 32), Backpack Tent (EC9; 512), Rope (EC5; 32), Lockpick Kit (Mechanical) (EC2; 4), Weapon Cleaning/Repair Kit (EC2; 4), Handcuffs (Metal) (EC2; 4).|
|Metal Age Wilderness Pack Four||¤71.75||43||382||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Acid Vial (EC2; 4), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Luxury Food* (1wk) (EC5; 32), Mess Kit (EC7; 128), Compass (EC2; 4), Hip Flask (EC1; 2), Tarp (EC5; 32), Bandage (EC4; 16).|
|Metal Age Wilderness Pack Five||¤102.55||46||621||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Acid Vial (EC2; 4), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Luxury Food* (1wk) (EC5; 32), Mess Kit (EC7; 128), Compass (EC2; 4), Rope (EC5; 32), Field Binoculars (EC8; 256), Chewing Gum (EC0; 1).|
|Industrial Age Wilderness Pack One||¤112.75||37||343||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Canned Food (1wk) (EC5; 32), Mess Kit (EC7; 128), Weapon Cleaning/Repair Kit (EC2; 4), Multi-Tool (EC1; 2), Purification Tablets (EC2; 4)|
|Industrial Age Wilderness Pack Two||¤106.60||34||276||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Canned Food (1wk) (EC5; 32), Toiletry Kit (EC6; 64), Mechanical Pencil (EC0; 1), Journalist's Notepad (EC2; 4), Multi-Tool (EC1; 2)|
|Industrial Age Wilderness Pack Three||¤132.75||42||755||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Canned Food (1wk) (EC5; 32), Backpack Tent (EC9; 512), Rope (EC5; 32), Lockpick Kit (Mechanical) (EC2; 4), Multi-Tool (EC1; 2)|
|Industrial Age Wilderness Pack Four||¤82.40||36||246||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Canned Food (1wk) (EC5; 32), Duct Tape (Mini Roll) (EC0; 1), Mechanical Lubricant (EC3; 8), Thermos Bottle (EC4; 16), Hotplate (EC4; 16)|
|Industrial Age Wilderness Pack Five||¤85.90||45||433||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), Canned Food (1wk) (EC5; 32), Toiletry Kit (EC6; 64), Mess Kit (EC7; 128), Compass (EC2; 4), Rope (EC5; 32)|
|Starfaring Age Wilderness Pack One||¤99.55||37||343||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Mess Kit (EC7; 128), Weapon Cleaning/Repair Kit (EC2; 4), Multi-Tool (EC1; 2), Purification Tablets (EC2; 4)|
|Starfaring Age Wilderness Pack Two||¤93.40||34||276||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Toiletry Kit (EC6; 64), Mechanical Pencil (EC0; 1), Journalist's Notepad (EC2; 4), Multi-Tool (EC1; 2)|
|Starfaring Age Wilderness Pack Three||¤119.55||42||755||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Backpack Tent (EC9; 512), Rope (EC5; 32), Lockpick Kit (Mechanical) (EC2; 4), Multi-Tool (EC1; 2)|
|Starfaring Age Wilderness Pack Four||¤62.20||36||246||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Duct Tape (Mini Roll) (EC0; 1), Mechanical Lubricant (EC3; 8), Thermos Bottle (EC4; 16), Fire Jelly Can (EC4; 16)|
|Starfaring Age Wilderness Pack Five||¤72.70||45||433||Backpack (Wilderness), Hip Pack, Bedroll (EC7; 128), Flashlight (Domestic) (EC3; 8), Small Battery (EC0; 1), Matches (EC2; 4), Canteen (EC5; 32), P-Ration (EC5; 32), Toiletry Kit (EC6; 64), Mess Kit (EC7; 128), Compass (EC2; 4), Rope (EC5; 32)|
Let's go through a practical example to see how the rapid creation routine works; we'll create a generic Jarma trader. We'll need the Trader archetype for this example. Grabbing the racial stats for the Jarma, we know that they have 150 building points in their physical Attribute point pool, 175 in their mental Attribute pool and 220 points in their Discipline pool. Jarma also have the Hunted Complication at -10 due to their being considered a delicacy by the Haggans. Now we roll 1d5 to determine the trader's Traits: the result is one. Checking the template, we see that the result corresponds to a Trait set of Reputation at +5 and Greed at -5. We'll add the previously indicated Hunted Complication to these Traits; simple enough.
Disciplines are next; again, there are 220 points in the trader's Discipline Point Pool. We first need to consult the various tables to see how many points go into the various Disciplines. The archetype lists Communications as the top Discipline, followed by Science, Navigation, Command, Tactical, Engineering and finally Medicine. Checking the table for 220 points, we see the point distributions are 50, 45, 35, 30, 25, 20 and 15. Therefore, our Jarma will have 50 points in Communications, 45 in Science and so on.
Looking the Communications Discipline in the archetype table, we see that the Skill priority order is Negotiate, then Rapport, then Intimidate, Distress, and finally Translate. Fifty points are allocated to this Discipline; checking the point chart, twenty points go to the primary Discipline Skill, fifteen to the next, ten to the next, five to the next and none to the last (as always). So in this case, the character has twenty points in Negotiate, fifteen in Rapport, ten in Intimidate, five in Distress and none in Translate. The rest of the character's Discipline Skills can be determined similarly: we know our character will have twenty points in Technology and Vehicle Piloting, fifteen in Archaeology, Security, Evasive Maneuvers and Damage Control, ten in Piloting, Orientation, Guidance, Marksmanship and Psychology, and five in Stealth, Coordination, Mechanics and Specialized Medicine. All other Discipline Skills will receive no points. To keep things simple, we'll assign these points to the Skills only; no specializations will be assigned.
Attributes come next. Once again, a Jarma has 150 points in their physical Attribute point pool and 175 in their mental Attribute pool. Checking the template, we see that the Attributes are ranked from top to bottom as Charm, Intellect, Acumen, Finesse, Physique and Power. We'll set points for the mental Attributes first (using the point values indicated in the appropriate chart) simply because Charm is on top. Charm is the top mental attribute, so it will have 65 points assigned to it. Intellect is the next highest, so it has sixty points. Acumen is the lowest mental attribute, so it'll get fifty points. The top physical attribute is Finesse; from the same chart for 150 points, we know it'll get fifty-five points, with Physique receiving fifty and Power receiving 45. Now we check the point and archetype tables. For a score of sixty-five (the indicated number of points for Charm), the top Skill gets thirty points, the middle gets twenty and the bottom one gets fifteen. According to the archetype, this corresponds to a score of thirty in Diplomacy, twenty in Personality and fifteen in Leadership for our character. In a similar manner, we know the rest of the character's Skill scores: twenty-five in Cunning, twenty in Knowledge, fifteen in Resourcefulness, twenty-five in Performance, fifteen in Perception, ten in Survival, twenty-five in Hiding and Seeking, twenty in Dodge, ten in Dexterous Maneuvers, twenty-five in Concentration, fifteen in Recuperation, ten in Stamina, twenty in Brawling, fifteen in Three-Dimensional Maneuvers and ten in Lifting. Diplomacy received thirty points, so we have no choice there but to take a specialization; we'll make one called "Pacifying Customers", which could certainly be useful for a merchant regardless of their personal ethics. We'll split the Diplomacy points evenly between the general Skill and the specialization; each receives fifteen. We won't assign specializations to any other Skills.
At this point, the character is basically finished; after figuring up their derived stats, we can set a few finishing touches. The character will be 1.5 meters in height, 84 kilograms in mass (assuming all threes on both die rolls), and the minimum Adult age of eleven years old in this case. We'll use the starting package for the Trader archetype for our character. The Trader archetype is one of those that has a special roll for money, so we'll roll 4d5. The roll totals up to eight, so the character has ¤240. The starting package costs ¤45.75, so the character will start out with ¤194.25 (which is not too shabby). Since this is a beginning Trader character, we can be content not to give them any other pieces of equipment for now. We will still go ahead and give them a First Class Slugthrower since the equipment package does include a Duty Holster and we can get it for free.
Note that only two die rolls were necessary for this whole process and only one of those was needed to determine any of the character's abilities; all of the point levels were determined upon the selection of the character’s archetype. Few decisions were really necessary on our part; the biggest one was probably determining the Diplomacy specialization, which took only a little bit of thought.
Rapid Creation Routine With Hero Points
As previously mentioned, the rapid character generation routine can be used with hero points, but it does have a tendency to complicate things and is a bit rigid. This is necessary in order to have pre-generated results. The rapid character creation routine allows designers to use hero points in pre-defined increments as a means of boosting the character's Attribute and Discipline scores (which in turn boosts their Skill scores). For the most part, the procedure is the same as it would be without hero points; the tricky part is figuring out where all those extra points are supposed to go.
If a designer wants to use hero points, they may roll 1d10 and multiply the result by 100 (zero counts as ten in this case) or select a multiple of one hundred up to one thousand arbitrarily; this sets the character's hero point level. Once the number of hero points has been selected, the designer may use the overall priority lists indicated in the character archetype table to distribute these hero points amongst the character's Attributes and Disciplines. These points are added to what would be indicated if the character creator was not using hero points; it's this addition which ultimately complicates matters. The amounts to be added to each Discipline and Attribute are outlined in the table below:
|Hero Points||Primary Discipline||Secondary Discipline||Tertiary Discipline||Quaternary Discipline||Quinary Discipline||Senary Discipline||Septenary Discipline||Primary Attribute||Secondary Attribute||Tertiary Attribute||Quaternary Attribute||Quinary Attribute||Senary Attribute|
The character stills receive the same number of points for their characteristics as they would without hero points; these points are assigned in the same manner (by categorical priority based on the number of points in the character's point pools). Once these points have also been allocated to the character's characteristics, the designer may begin allocating points to specific Skills. When hero points are being used, the following set of point tables should be used:
|Points||Primary Discipline Skill||Secondary Discipline Skill||Tertiary Discipline Skill||Quaternary Discipline Skill||Quinary Discipline Skill|
|Points||Primary Skill||Secondary Skill||Tertiary Skill|
Once again, designers can make splits and swaps for certain Skills if they wish (as listed in the previous section). One thing to note about the use of hero points is that it is likely that many Skills will need to have specializations assigned to them, particularly as the number of hero points goes up. It is possible for the most advanced characters to have an indicated characteristic score that exceeds the maximum limits. In those cases, any extra points are lost; they may not be transferred to a different characteristic.
Once all the building points have been allocated to their Skills, all that remains is to generate the character's derived stats and add their finishing touches in the same manner as described in the previous section. For each hundred hero points allocated to the character, their age should be advanced by 1d5 years (or 1d5 months if that's how their species measures age).
One final thing to note about the procedure with hero points is that there is no stipulation for using the same archetype table throughout the entire procedure; it is possible for a character to be created with one archetype, then swap out the archetype table and finish them with a different table. Such "cross-archetype" characters may occur whenever a character has had a major change in their vocation at some point in their life. A cross-archetype character receives a one new Talent and one new Complication from any of the Traits indicated in the new archetype table. They may also roll one-half the number of dice (rounded down) indicated for additional money. Any subsequent archetypes used will reduce the amount of dice rolled for money by an additional half (a character with three archetypes would get one-quarter the number of dice for money and so forth). Characters do not gain additional equipment when taking a new archetype. In all cases, adding a new table requires the character to take at least 100 hero points specifically for their new archetype; characters may not exceed 1000 hero points at any time as a result of adding additional archetype tables.
Here's a practical example of the rapid character generation routine with hero points. Let's again use the example of a Jarma trader. As with the previous example, we'll need the Trader archetype and racial stats for the Jarma. The racial stats for a Jarma (once again) are 150 points in their physical Attribute building point pool, 175 in their mental Attribute pool and 220 points in their Discipline pool. Jarma also must have the Hunted Complication at -10; we'll mix things up a bit and say our Jarma has Hunted at -15 (perhaps he's got more than just Haggans hunting him).
First things first: we need to roll for a Trait set. The 1d5 roll comes up as a five; from the table, this gives the character Education at +10, Linguistic Sense at +10, and Overconfident at -20; we'll add the Hunted Complication from the character's race to their Traits. Again, this part is pretty simple.
Now we need to figure out the number of hero points with which we'll be working. Let's let the die decide; the roll comes up as zero (a ten in this case), which we'll multiply by 100; the character will have 1,000 hero points, as far as they can go. Checking the Trader template, we see that overall Communications has the top priority for Disciplines, followed by Science, Navigation, Command, Tactical, Engineering and finally Medicine. For Attributes, Charm has the top spot, followed by Intellect, Acumen, Finesse, Physique and finally Power. Now, we need to look at the hero point allocation chart to see what points go where. At a thousand points, 140 points go to the top Discipline with ten fewer points per step down in priority, down to 80 and 70 for the final two Disciplines. 55 points go to the top Attribute with five fewer points per step down and 25 for the final Attribute. So in this case, 140 points will go to Communications, Science gets 130, Navigation gets 120, Command gets 110, Tactical gets 100, Engineering gets 80, and Medicine gets 70. For Attributes, Charm gets 55 extra points, Intellect gets 50, Acumen gets 45, Finesse gets 40, Physique gets 35 and Power gets a paltry 25 points.
Now we can distribute the normal amounts of points for a Jarma using the Trader template. Again, a Jarma has 220 building points in their Discipline pool, which will be distributed as per the chart in the previous section as 50, 45, 35, 30, 25, 20 and 15 in priority order. These amounts are added to what was given to the individual Disciplines from hero points. So, the final point totals for the character's Disciplines are 190 for Communications (140+50 = 190), 175 for Science, 155 for Navigation, 140 for Command, 125 for Tactical, 100 for Engineering and 85 for Medicine. We'll go ahead and distribute Attribute points while we're at it; the 150 points in the Jarma's physical Attribute pool distribute as 55, 50 and 45, while the 175 mental Attribute points distribute as 65, 60 and 50 in priority order. Adding these amounts to the previously allocated hero points gives us a final total of seventy points in Power (25+45 = 70), ninety-five points for Finesse, eighty-five points for Physique, 110 points for Intellect, ninety-five points for Acumen and 120 points for Charm.
Now we just need to consult the point allocation and archetype tables to see how many points each Discipline Skill receives. Looking at the archetype table for Communications, we see that the priority order is Negotiate, followed by Rapport, Intimidate, Distress and finally Translate. Checking the allocation chart for the 190 point entry, we see that fifty points goes to the top Discipline Skill, forty-five to the second, forty to the third, thirty to the fourth and 25 to the bottom Discipline Skill. Therefore, the character will have fifty points in Negotiate, forty-five in Rapport, forty in Intimidate, thirty in Distress and twenty-five in Translate. The rest of the character's Discipline Skills can be determined in a similar manner; for the sake of brevity, they will not be listed out explicitly here. Note that each of the Skills has been assigned more than 25 points (except for Translate) and therefore must have a skill specialization associated with them.
Attribute Skills will be treated similarly. We'll check the allocation and archetype tables once more, using Charm as the example. For a score of 120 points according to the allocation table, the top Skill gets forty-five points, the next gets forty and the last gets thirty-five. According to the archetype table, this corresponds to a score of 45 in Diplomacy, forty in Personality and thirty-five in Leadership for our character. We can find out the remaining Skill scores in a similar manner; once again for the sake of brevity, how they're determined won't be spelled out explicitly. The character also has 45 points in Cunning, forty points in Performance and Hiding and Seeking, 35 points in Knowledge and Concentration, thirty points in Resourcefulness, Perception, Dodge and Recuperation and Brawling, twenty-five points in Survival, Dexterous Maneuvers and Three-Dimensional Maneuvers, twenty points in Stamina and fifteen points in Lifting. Again, most of these Attribute Skills will require specializations.
Since we added a thousand points to this character, we'll need to advance their age by 10d5 years. Rolling this amount comes out as thirty-five, which we'll add to the minimum Adult age of eleven, resulting in an age of forty-six and making our character one old lizard - Old Age, just short of the Venerable Age threshold. We'll need to adjust scores to reflect the increase in age; this means subtracting 15 points from physical Attributes (remember that these adjustments are cumulative for all life stages) and adding ten points to all mental Attributes; the easiest way to adjust the points is simply to add the ten points to the top priority mental Attribute Skills and subtract the 15 from the lowest priority physical Attribute Skills.
At this point, our character is basically complete. After figuring up their derived stats, we can make a few finishing touches. The character will be 1.5 meters in height and 84 kilograms in mass (assuming all threes on the die rolls). We'll use the starting package as listed in the Trader archetype for the character. Rolling 4d5 for money (again, a special roll due to the archetype) comes up as a ten; the character thus has ¤300 for purchases. We can go ahead and add a little more to this character given their level of advancement. We might like to give the character the Communications Officer's Crew Pack since most of that gear might be handy for traders, but we don't want to put the character in debt necessarily, so we'll pick a Starfaring Age Wilderness Pack. Rolling d5 comes up as a four, so we'll go with the fourth pack, costing the character ¤62.20 and taking them down to ¤192.05. We can also pick up to two more pieces of gear for the character; we'll go with a Short-Range Communicator and a Translator, which combined add ¤57.25 to the cost of their gear, bringing the character to ¤134.80 and four to the character's EC. There's more than enough room left over in the pack for the extra equipment, so we'll put it in there. Finally, the starting package comes with a hip holster, so we can pick a weapon free of charge; we'll go with a Second Class Dazzler. Why not; this guy's being hunted, after all.
Note that the only real decisions necessary in this entire were the selection of the character's gear and skill specializations. For all Skills and Traits, all of the point allocations were established upon the determination of the number of hero points involved. Few decisions were absolutely necessary on our part past that point; it just took a little longer to create the character due to the extra steps involved and due to the decisions we made with the character's gear.