[ESSENTIAL BASICS] Creating a Character

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Raine

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CREATING A CHARACTER

In order to participate in the game, you must create a character - a process which involves generating a detailed character sheet. The character sheet gives the user, the co-players and the Game Master, a more or less 'complete view' of your character. It includes a character description, various character skills, special abilities and currently used equipment. The character sheet must be completed before you begin to take part in game adventures. How do you go about creating one? Specific guidelines designed to help you design your character are outlined below.

Currently, SWO does not have any pre-made character templates. Game Masters may create templates for special use, or for visitors. We believe that creating your own allows for the greatest freedom of choice when designing a character. However, should you have any questions or needs to make your new character fit a certain mold (for example: pilot, field medic, renegade Jedi), just ask your Game Master and they will be more than happy to help you select specific skills to meet your needs.


CHARACTER CONCEPT

Once you have created your character sheet, you should have it kept in a handy place where both you and others can reference it during game play. This character sheet which will form a solid framework for your character, such as the description, gender, height, weight, personal quote (and some others) - along with pertinent real life information (like e-mail, messenger details, etc.) Certain fields will allow for greater freedom of detail (such as character description) to aid in the visualization of your character by yourself and others. To sum up, you - the player - are responsible for coming up with the specifics for the above. You are encouraged to provide all your information to the greatest degree of detail, to facilitate character interaction with others and help both the players and the Game Masters to understand your PC to the best of their ability. The best way to do this, is to write it all up in a simple notepad (.txt) file (or a Google document) - and have it ready for the Game Master once both of you are ready to get together to generate your character.


CHOOSE A SPECIES

The Star Wars universe has a tremendous variety of sapient species to choose from. A large number are humanoid to one degree or another, meaning they have two arms, two legs, a head, and a body. However, there are many that are completely alien in physiology as well. Some even fall in-between these two distinctions. Just as varied is the background and culture of these species, as well as their physical and mental abilities, and the environments they come from. As you might imagine, this can have a huge impact on how your character interacts with other players, as well as the Galaxy at large.

In order to keep game play realistically simple, the list species available for Characters to choose from only includes species that can generally live in the same environment. In order to keep the game mechanics also realistically simple and easy to play, the playable species are generally humanoid in physiology as well.

Selecting a species is also very important, because it forms the basis of what is physically possible for your character's physiology. That is why this is the first step to generating your character's actual statistics. This is represented by the Species Minimum and Species Maximum statistics for Attributes. These are also extremely important during Character Upgrades.

Each species has maximum and minimum Attribute die codes. No starting character's attributes may be lower or higher than these codes, and they vary from species to species.

Each species also determines the total number of Attribute Dice, which you will distribute among your core Attributes, according to the Species


ASSIGN ATTRIBUTES

Once you have selected your species, the next step is to assign your Attribute Dice to your attributes.

These attributes are:
  • Dexterity (DEX)
  • Strength (STR)
  • Knowledge (KNOW)
  • Perception (PERC)
  • Mechanical (MECH)
  • Technical (TECH)
You MUST assign at least the Species Minimum of Attribute Dice for each. After that, you may assign more of your Attribute Dice as you see fit, up to the Species Maximum.

There are a few other attributes that are used in the game. Some are based on your primary attributes above. Some you are allowed to choose for yourself.

  • Initiative: Roll Perception (PERC) to obtain your Initiative score. This can be used in certain situations by the Game Master to determine how fast you can mentally react to a situation.
  • Hit Points: Roll Strength (STR) to obtain your character's health - or starting hit points (HP). However, the minimum starting HP any character can have is 10, even if your roll falls below 10.
  • Character Points: Once you have filled out your character sheet, you will be awarded 5 CP to start gaming with. These CP are the "experience" your character earns for playing.
  • Fate Points: Force Sensitive characters receive 3 Fate Points upon character creation. Non-Force-Sensitive characters start out with 2 Fate Points.
  • Alignment: A character's Alignment represents how "good" or "evil)" they are Upon character creation, players may choose their morality anywhere between -30 and +30.

SKILLS

Once your Attributes have been chosen, you may then choose the skills that your character knows. Your character may still perform tasks that they do not know the skill for, but will take a penalty for doing so. REMEMBER: You do not need to take a skill, in order to perform an action covered by that skill. You may still perform that action, or any action for that matter, by rolling the Attribute above it, at a -1D untrained penalty.

The number of skills you are allowed to choose depends on the Experience Status of your character, which will either be Initiate or Veteran. More on that later.

The number of skills you may take are as follows:
  • INITIATE - 24 Regular Skills
  • VETERAN - 35 Regular Skills, 1 "free" Advanced Skill
Advanced Skills:
You may choose to take an Advanced Skill from the skill list, in lieu of 2 Regular Skills. Advanced Skills are quite powerful, and thus expensive to acquire, and they require that your character meet a certain level of proficiency before you can have that skill. You may only take an Advanced Skill at the time of character creation if your character will be able to meet ALL of the prerequisites listed in it's description. If any prerequisites are not met, you cannot take that Advanced Skill and will have to wait until you can learn it later.

After your skill selection is complete, you will have to allocate Skill Dice, which are used to upgrade some of your skills above their base Attribute level.

The number of Skill Dice you may upgrade with are as follows:
  • INITIATE - 7D (21 pips) Skill Dice to upgrade Regular Skills.
  • VETERAN - 10D (30 pips) skill dice to upgrade Regular and Advanced Skills.
IMPORTANT: Your species may provide extra "freebie" dice for spending some of your 7D on certain regular skills. See your Species Description entry to determine if this applies to you.


CHARACTER TRAITS
(Conditional/Optional)

Character Traits are an optional system that a particular game group may use to add more flare and individuality to characters. The presiding Game Master of your group will decide if they wish to use this portion of the character system. If your game group decides to use this system, it becomes part of the character creation process. These traits include special perks or drawbacks the character will have, and often will include rules on how the character will behave in certain circumstances.

All character species have what is called a Character Trait Modifier provided in their Species listing. The thing to remember is that the lower the Character Trait Modifier, the better. This modifier is a gauge of the available points that you have to use in the character trait customization system. Once you have completed your character and have gotten to this point, please see the full description of Character Traits in the Character Trait list. For game groups that use the Character Trait system, a new character has a grace period to get accustomed to playing, before they must finalize choosing their character traits. How long this grace period lasts is up to the Game Master, but the length of time must be standard for everyone in the game group.

Character Traits are divided into two types of traits.

Positive Traits benefit the character and generally provide bonuses to specific skills, actions, or provide some other boon in certain circumstances.
Negative Traits are the opposite, and generally induce penalties in the same manner.

Each Character Trait chosen has a Character Trait Value applied to it, with Positive traits having a positive Character Trait modifier, while Negative traits have a negative number applied. When a Character Trait is selected, it's Character Trait value is mathematically added with all of the other traits the character has taken. When all taken character trait values are added together, the sum total must not go higher than Zero. A character may leave a negative Character Trait balance if they wish.


The player may choose as many or few Character Traits they wish to accept, as long as the sum total still remains 0 or lower.
It is recommended that new players take as few as possible, since the more Traits a character has, the more complicated it will be to play.


RE-CONFIGURING CHARACTER TRAITS

Character Traits may be reconfigured by a player during any normal Upgrade session. This process costs 10 CP, regardless of how many or few traits the player wishes to change. Game Masters are highly encouraged to allow the changing of traits very, very rarely. Usually, changing the traits should only be done once or twice in a character's lifetime, and only because the player has found the character's traits exceedingly cumbersome or difficult to play. If a character was created and finalized with a negative remaining Character Trait balance, they may add a Trait that does not raise the balance above Zero for free.


GAME MASTER ASSIGNED TRAITS

It is entirely possible that during the course of play, that the character may perform actions that significantly and permanently change the course of their lives. In these cases, the Game Master may decide to add a Character Trait to the character's sheet. If this happens, that character's player may need to re-balance their character traits. This may be due to a new Positive Trait, which will require being balanced out by a Negative trait to compensate. However, it may be due to a new Negative trait having made "room" to take on a new Positive trait they could not afford to have before. Re-balancing the Character Traits under these circumstances is always Free, and will not cost CP.


CHARACTER EXPERIENCE STATUS

Players with at least a couple of years of role-playing experience under their belt may opt to apply for advanced placement. This is usually done by conducting an IRC interview with the applicant, and may be followed by an impromptu test of the player's knowledge of the SWO RPG rules as well as a brief (up to one hour) sim session which would be designed to test the player's RP aptitude.

For Players that are new to dice-based and/or chat-based role-playing, or for Players that just wish to start off with a brand new character, will start at the Initiate Status.


INITIATE LEVEL

Players who are new to the game will find an Initiate Status character the easiest to learn, the simplest to play, and offers the most rewarding experience while they learn how to play.

Initiate Status is for brand new characters. While they start with lower character stats than Advanced Placement characters (see below), the progression curve of our game favors faster progression at lower levels. Therefore, Initiate Status characters will start off progressing much faster than advanced ones, allowing for newer players to gain immediate and substantial improvements to their characters' abilities each time they upgrade their skills.

All Initiate Status Characters receive:
  • 24 Regular skills
  • Species Attribute Dice (Typically 18D, or 54 pips) for their 6 Regular Attributes
  • 7D (21 pips) Skill Dice to upgrade Regular Skills with.
  • Basic Weapon (Melee or Ranged, 4D damage)
  • Funds start at 1000 Credits
Force Sensitives:
  • Start at Initiate rank
  • Must Allot between 1D and 3D of Skill Dice to each Force Attribute (7D in total)
  • 1 Force Power
NOTE: Minimum HP for Initiate players, is 10. It can be higher if achieved by the applicable roll.


ADVANCED PLACEMENT

In this day and age, you may meet people who wish to join your game group. Sometimes, they are experienced role-players, or they may already have characters for the same universe and time line in which your game is set. To facilitate bringing in new (yet experienced) players into your game group, the presiding Game Master of the game group may approve a player to start their character with Advanced Placement. Such a character will be awarded a higher number of skills as well as starting die codes, and they are given Veteran status.

There are a few limitations to how a Veteran character's stats may be distributed.

All Advanced-Placement Characters must adhere to the following:
  • No Attribute may start with less than 2D, even if species minimum is lower.
  • No Attribute may start at more than +1D over the species maximum for that character.
  • No skill may start at more than +2D over the starting attribute level of the character.
  • Advanced Skills count as 2 Regular ones, for the purpose of choosing skills.
  • Advanced Skills cost double the Skill Dice as a normal skill, for the purpose of adding to it's starting level
  • Specializations count as 1/2 a Regular one, for the purpose of choosing skills.
  • Specializations go up by +2 Pips for every 1 Pip in Skill Dice spent to upgrade them.
  • Funds start at 5000 credits.
  • 2 sets of appropriate basic clothing.
VETERAN LEVEL

Experienced RPG gamers do not always wish to start at the very beginning with a brand new character. If the Game Master approves, they may start with a VETERAN character. These characters have "been around for a while", and are considered more capable and independent than base starting characters. The vast majority of applicants for advanced placement will be approved for this level.

Applicants for Veteran Status must attend at least one official game session, which will act as a trial to gauge how well they understand basic dice-based game play, as well as their ability to adapt to the group's style of role-playing. It is in no way considered dishonorable not to be chosen for Veteran status, since there are plenty of chances for advancement, and a character's overall skill levels are taken into account when the Game Master assigns bonus rewards.

NOTE: Because of the natural progression curve of our game, VETERAN players will progress at a slightly slower rate than Initiate characters (who can advance very quickly). Please take this into account when applying for VETERAN Status.

All VETERAN Status Characters receive:
  • 1 "Free" Advanced Skill
  • 35 Regular skills
  • 24D (72 pips) Attribute Dice for their 6 Regular Attributes
  • 10D (30 pips) skill dice to upgrade Regular and Advanced Skills.
Force Sensitives receive:
  • Start at Padawan rank
  • 10D Force Attribute Dice (2D minimum in each)
  • Up to 10 Force Powers
  • Basic Lightsaber
Non-Force Sensitives receive:
  • 4 Additional Regular Skills
  • 2 Additional "Free" Advanced Skills
  • Extra 2000 Credits
  • Basic Weapon (5D Damage)
NOTE: Minimum HP for VETERAN players, is 20. It can be higher if achieved by the applicable roll.


STARTING EQUIPMENT

Technology, equipment, and money plays a very big part in the Star Wars universe. Every character will need some kind of currency and equipment in order to get by in the Galaxy. As with nearly any game, whether it is weapons, armor, portable electronic devices, droids, starships - you name it - gear and possessions are often coveted by player characters for whatever reasons that apply to their own personal motives. It is often a core motivation for players to play the game, and a key way to advance the character's abilities, prestige, and power.

Equipment in the game may be obtained in various ways, which include (but are not limited to): buying, trading, finding, stealing, and looting defeated enemies. We also have a healthy system for designing & constructing your own equipment. With the exception of design and construction, which takes place during an upgrade, all the other options are done during regular game sessions.

There will be plenty of opportunities to acquire money and equipment during various game adventures and campaigns. You can also trade with other characters and NPCs, to obtain suitable items. The process of choosing equipment is somewhat skipped over for now, since most characters only start with very basic possessions.

MONEY

A starting character will receive 1000 credits, which is the standard unit of Money in the Star Wars universe. Every full-length game session will earn a character 100 credit stipend, to represent a basic wage or income based on whatever it is that they do in the Galaxy. Characters are free to buy and haggle during appropriate opportunities that present themselves in a game session, as long as the Game Master approves.


EQUIPMENT COST CHART

Availability Code - this lists where the equipment can be found. These codes are general guidelines, and while generally accurate, local factors may make some devices illegal or more readily available than this article indicates.

1 - Readily available throughout the known Galaxy.
2 - Normally available only in large cities and space ports, or on planets of origin.
3 - Specialized item, normally available only on planet of origin.
4 - Rare item; difficult to find anywhere.
F - Fee or permit often required for purchase.
R - Restricted on most planets and normally may not be bought or sold without appropriate Imperial, Alliance or other relevant license.
X - Illegal on most planets. Possession and use often violates Imperial, Alliance or local laws except for specially authorized individuals; penalties may be severe.

The Black Market - most items or equipment, even if they are restricted, can be found on the black market if one is willing to look hard enough and pay the price. Sometimes objects are sold on the black market simply to avoid paying lavish tariffs and fees; other times, the black market may be the only way to find a given object on a particular planet.

Cost - this will be the average cost for the piece of equipment under normal circumstances. Most prices reflect the general price for an 'average' piece of equipment in that category -- as always, prices vary depending upon brand name, quality of goods (if used), and other factors (for example, a 'stripped' landspeeder is much cheaper than one equipped with lots of frills or weaponry). Due to local tariffs and taxes, plentiful or scarce availability, or any number of other factors - prices can vary considerably.

TYPICAL ITEMS

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of equipment. The following items are just considered "typical" of the types of items your character may possess.

Generally we recommend the character start with at least the following basic equipment. These are not required, but not having them can severely hamper your character.

  • Basic Clothing - Your character will be provided with one set of basic clothes for free.
  • Comlink - which is a personal communication device to speak to other characters.
  • Medpac - which is a basic medical kit for the treatment of wounds in the field
  • One basic weapon, of a type that matches the character's skills. A blaster pistol or similar item is a good start.
As with nearly all aspects of the game, any starting equipment must be approved by the Game Master.


LEGEND:
Item (Availability) - Cost in Credits

Equipment

  • Breath Mask (1) - 50
  • Comlink, Personal (1) - 25 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
  • Comlink, Military (2,R) - 100
  • Comlink, Vehicle (1) - 300
  • Datapad (1) - 100
  • Glowrod (1) - 10
  • Macrobinoculars (1) - 100
  • Medpac (1) - 100 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
  • Recording Rod (1) - 30
Explosives
  • Fragmentation grenades (1,R) - 200
  • Thermal detonators (2,R) - 2000
  • Mine (2,X) - 750
Melee Weapons
  • Knife (1) - 25
  • Vibroaxe (2,R) - 500
  • Vibroblade (2,F) - 250
  • Lightsaber (4,X) - N/A - Restricted to Force Sensitive characters only
Armor
  • Blast helmet (1) - 300
  • Blast vest (1) - 300
  • Bounty hunter armor (2,R) - 2500
  • Stormtrooper armor (3,X) - 2500
Vehicles
  • Airspeeder (1,F) - 15K new or 10K used
  • Cloud car (2,F) - 75K new or 18K used
  • Sail barge (2,F) - 250K new or 50K used
  • Skiff (1,F) - 25K new or 6K used
  • Speeder bike (2,F) - 5K new or 1K used
  • Swoop (2,F) - 7K new or 1.5K used
Weapons
  • Hold-out blaster: Q2 (2,R or X) - 250
  • Sporting blaster: Defender (1,F) - 350
  • Blaster pistol: DL-18 (1,F, R or X) - 500
  • Blaster pistol: DH-17 (1,F, R or X) - 550
  • Heavy blaster pistol: DL-44 (2,R or X) - 750
  • Blaster carbine: QuickSnap 36T (2 or 1 if on backwater planet, F, R or X) - 900
  • Blaster rifle: Stormtrooper One (2,X) - 1K
  • Sporting Blaster Rifle: Hunter (2,R) - 900
  • Light repeating blaster: T-21 (2,R)- 2K
  • Heavey repeating blaster: E-Web (2,X) - 5K
  • Wookiee bowcaster (3,X) - 900
Blaster Artillery
  • Atgar 1.4 FDP-Tower (2,R or X) - 10K new or 2K used
  • KDY v-150 ion cannon (3,X) - 500K new or 100K used
Starships
  • Starfighter (2,R or X) - 150K and up (new or used)
  • Corellian Corvette (2,R) - 3.5 million new or 1.5 million used
  • Stock YT-1300 Transport (2,F) - 100K new or 25K used
  • Stock Ghtroc Freighter (3,F) - 98.5K new or 23K used
  • Sienar Ships Lone Scout (2,F) - 150K new or 30K used
Droids
  • First-degree droid (2) - 5K
  • Second-degree droid (2) - 4K
  • Third-degree droid (2) - 3K
  • Fourth-degree droid (2) - 5K
  • Fifth-degree droid (2) - 1K
  • R2 astromech droid (2) - 4,525
  • DeepSpace 9G Explorer Droid (2) - 6.7K
  • K4 Security Droid (2,R or X) - 7.5K
  • 3P0 Human-cyborg relations Droid (2) - 3K
CHARACTER DEATH

The SWO GMing Staff takes character death very seriously. Given that most players take many months (or even a few years) to build up their characters, they want them to survive for as long as possible - unless some freak accident or unforeseen disaster happens to prevent it. As such, we have a rule that any player that loses a character in a regular sim scenario, he or she has the option to roll their new/replacement character at 80% of their deceased character's stats.

NOTE: The character death must have occurred due to unfortunate circumstances and not because the player simply got tired of playing the character OR lost the character due to irresponsible or otherwise inappropriate character behavior. In order to receive the 80% remake bonus, each re-roll must be HGM approved. This rule is not a 'guarantee' - every character death will be reviewed on case by case basis to determine whether the privilege will be granted.


IN CONCLUSION

Once your Character Sheet has been completed and fully approved by the Game Master, you may start participating in all game events at your leisure. Worry not; even if you have never played before, other players and (especially) the presiding Game Master will be there to help you along to get your 'feet wet'. Everyone should help ensure that your gaming experience will be a thoroughly pleasurable AND memorable one!
 
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