Character Creation Example

Example of Character Creation

All character creations start with a pool of 75 Build Points or BPs. BPs are like character experience from other games. I will use these to buy up attributes, skills, and talents(merits). BPs can also be spent during character creation to re-roll during random generation of background and details.

First I roll my character’s starting ability scores. Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, Looks, and Charisma are rolled in order, using 3d6 and a d%.

My character has generated these scores:

STR: 15.97
INT: 07.96
WIS: 10.32
DEX: 15.92
CON: 15.82
LKS: 11.93
CHA: 06.22

These scores can only be modified during character creation, so I have to consider that now. This character’s Intelligence and Charisma are both lacking, and these abilities are important later for improving skills. I want to beef them up a little.

This can be done first by sacrificing points from other abilities to increase them. The level of ability determines the level of sacrifice. At less than 8, I can sacrifice any other ability at a 1:1 ratio. From 8-10 the ratio is 2:1. The ratio continues to worsen as per the chart on page 24 of the A&E Manual. An ability can be sacrificed from so long as it does not drop below 1. The exception is looks, which can not be traded up or down.

First I will raise both INT and CHA to 8 by sacrificing 3 points from STR. I will further raise them both to 9 by sacrificing 4 points from CON. When sacrificing you can not split the requirement between abilities. For example, I raised INT from 8 to 9 by dropping CON from 15 to 13. I could not have dropped CON to 14 and DEX to 14 for the bonus to INT.

I am left with these scores:

STR: 12.97
INT: 09.96
WIS: 10.32
DEX: 15.92
CON: 11.82
LKS: 11.93
CHA: 09.22

The second and last way to increase abilties during character creation is expenditure of BPs. An ability can be bought up 5% for the cost of 1 BP, for the first 20 buys. After that the cost increases as indicated on the chart on page 25 of the A&E Manual. I want to increase my abilities to the next whole number where the cost is not too great. Raising STR and INT will only cost me 1 BP each. Similarly, DEX and LKS will only cost me 2 BP each. CON will cost me 4 BPs to raise. Finally to raise my CHA to a 10 will cost me 16 BPs.

For the cost of 26 BPs my final ability scores are:

STR: 13.02
INT: 10.01
WIS: 10.32
DEX: 16.02
CON: 12.02
LKS: 12.03
CHA: 10.02

For those blessed with incredible abilities it is worth noting that a score can be lowered by 1 and 7 BPs will be granted.

I am now down to 49 BPs and my character’s abilities are set in stone. Now we can determine a background. This can be made up completely if a concept has already been determined, or rolled randomly. I will be rolling randomly on the charts for Priors and Particulars located on pages 26-29 of the A&E Manual.

Nationality (d100) 69 USA (Kentucky)
Age (14+d12) 6 20 years old
Handedness (d100) 88 Right Handed
Height (d100) 83 5’11"
Weight (d20) 9 BMI of 32: 161.3 lbs.
Starting Cash (d100) 78+5 $40.00
Reason to Go West (d100) 76 Fleeing criminal prosecution

That is a solid start, however I want to continue expounding upon my character background using the Detailed Character Background charts on pages 383-388.

Circumstances of Birth (d100) 51 Legitimate
Parental Status (d100) 52 Father Deceased
Origin Background (d100) 90 Urban
Number of Siblings (d20) 7 5 Siblings
Order of Birth (d6) 2 Second Born
Sibling One
Sex (d6) 3 Brother
Status (d100) 34 Died from Pneumonia
Sibling Two
Sex (d6) 5 Sister
Status (d100) 31 Died in childhood from Diarrhea
Sibling Three
Sex (d6) 3 Brother
Status (d100) 09 Died in infancy from infectious disease
Sibling Four
Sex (d6) 3 Brother
Status (d100) 85 Living
Twin (d100) 30 Not a Twin
Relationship (2d12) 18 Very Close
Sibling Five
Sex (d6) 1 Brother
Status (d100) 71 Living
Twin (d100) 03 Not a Twin
Relationship (2d12) 14 Natural
Upbringing (d100) 79 Abusive (Roll on Quirks,Mental)
Mental Quirk (d100) 28 Claustrophobic
Social Class (d100) 90 Middle Middle Class
MMC Characters (d100) 97 Surveyor
Sample Names (Western) Male 38 Adam
Sample Names (Western) Surname 83 Cody

Now my character’s background is really getting fleshed out, and I have an idea for a background story. To bring it all in line I spent BPs rerolling on Upbringing until I got the result I wanted. After spending 2 BPs to reroll Upbringing twice, and the bonus BPs for the Claustrophobic Quirk, I am sitting on 59 BPs. It’s time to calculate my starting Reputation and Bonus BPs.

Starting Reputation is calculated by adding the seven ability scores together and dividing by 7, then rounding to the nearest whole number. This gives me a result of 12. This is modified by LKS and CHA, as well as certain background results. My modifier is only a +1 from my LKS ability. Therefore my starting Reputation is 13, which grants 30 bonus BPs bringing my total BPs to 89.

Next I have the option of rolling for, or cherry-picking Quirks and Flaws for additional BPs. In the case of Adam Cody, I decide to randomly roll on the tables.

Quirks and Flaws (d100) 84 Social Quirks
Social Quirks (d100) 70 Prejudiced Toward Nationality
Prejudiced Nationality (d100) 21 Confederates

This Quirk grants 40 BPs, bringing my total to 129 BPs.

Nearing the end of character generation it is time to purchase skills and talents. Skills start at 100%, unless they are Universal, in which case they start at (100 – the relevant ability score)%. In the case of multiple relevant ability scores, use the one that is lowest. To improve a skill you must purchase tallies in that skill. The BP cost of the first tally depends on the skill. The second tally costs 2x as many BP, the 3rd 3x, etc. For each tally, you subtract the relevant ability score plus the roll of the mastery die from the current skill level. Skill universalness, relevant scores, tally cost and mastery die are detailed on the chart on page 33 of the A&E Manual.

For example, Adam Cody is going to be proficient at riding. Riding is Universal, and the relevant ability scores are DEX and WIS. Adam must use WIS. Therefore his Riding starts at 90%. The first tally costs 3 BPs. The mastery die is a d8. Rolling a 5, Adam has increased his Riding to 75% for the cost of 3 BPs. The next tally would cost 6 BPs.

Something to consider is that INT, WIS, and CHA grant skill learning modifiers to the BP cost of skills they are relevant for. Skills will cost more or less depending on the modifier; however an increase is never free. If the modifier would reduce the cost to 0 or less, additional tallies must be bought until at least 1 BP is spent. For example, if Adam’s WIS was a 16 his skill learning modifier would be 5. His first tally in Riding would have cost nothing, so the second would also have had to been bought at the same time. The two tallies together would have cost 9 BPs, however they only cost 4 BPs with the modifier. The next tally would cost 9 BPs ordinarily, but with the same modifier would only cost 4 BPs.

Adam’s Skills have been bought up:

Skill Tallies Mastery Skill Level
Cartography I 76% Novice
Current Affairs I 76% Novice
Deception II 58% Average
Distraction III 47% Advanced
Fast Talking IV 20% Expert
Hiding II 60% Average
Language(English) 0 0% Master
Lock Picking I 74% Average
Pick Pocket I 66% Average
Reading and Writing 0 85% Novice
Riding II 62% Average
Rope Use I 65% Average
Sleight of Hand III 24% Expert
Slick Talker I 88% Novice
Sneaking I 63% Average

This leaves Adam with 48 BPs. It is worth noting that the first tally in Cartography was free and his Reading and Writing begins at 85% rather than 100% due to his fathers profession. Your native language also begins at 37% – 2x Intelligence, -d20. In Adam’s case the d20 came up 17, exactly enough to bring his knowledge of the English Language to absolute peak level.

With 48 BPs left to spend, I’ve opted to buy two Talents. Forgettable Face and Veteran Gunfighter cost me 45 BPs, leaving me with 3 BPs left to bank.

Character hit points are determined with a d4. HP are equal to 20 +d4 plus any modifiers from CON or talents or the like. Rolling a 3, and with a CON modifier of +1, I have 24 HP.

Two statistics that govern combat are speed and accuracy. Character base speed and base accuracy are taken from INT, WIS, and DEX. with a 10 INT, 10 WIS and 16 DEX, I have base values of 0 for speed and +3 for accuracy. These can be further modified by the number of gunfights a character has survived, wounds sustained, etc. In my case, being a Veteran Gunfighter and having 1 fight under my belt, I must take a +2 penalty to speed.

The last thing to do is buy starting equipment. From my starting money roll, which was modified by my result on the Birth Order chart, I have $40.00 to spend as I see fit.

Plain Shoes $1.75
Wool Socks $0.18
Underwear $0.45
Men’s Pants $1.00
Gun Belt and Holster $5.00
Plain Shirt $0.75
Derby Hat $1.50
Plain Pocket Watch $1.75
Hunting Knife $1.00
Colt Patterson $21.00
100x .36 caliber cap and ball $1.75

Leather Tool Set $0.18
Pocket Knife $0.25
Light Hammer $0.40
Chisel $0.23
File $0.06
Glass Cutter $0.05
Pliers $0.15
Screwdriver $0.18

$2.37 Cash

Now that is all that is required, Adam Cody is ready to begin his adventures in the American Frontier. Ordinarily Quirks and Flaws only give half BPs unless the player generates a backstory explaining them. In this campaign that will not be the case. Rather, if a player generates a backstory they will be awarded additional Reputation. Reputation in turn provides additional BPs during character creation, to spend on skills or talents. Reputation also acts as a safeguard for a character, as it can be spent to force or allow re-rolls when the characters fate is in question. As such, a player who puts time into developing a characters backstory will find that character more survivable. In the case of Adam Cody, if the backstory below was provided, 10 Rep would be awarded, bringing him from 13 to 23, and providing an additional 45 BPs to spend.

Adam Cody was born and raised in Lexington Kentucky, the second son of a Surveyor. The Cody family was rocked by hard times when over the course of several years their first born as well as two of Adam’s younger siblings were all lost to illness. Adam’s father turned to drinking, and often beat on Adam and his mother. As both Adam and his hatred grew, his father took to beating him first and locking him in a closet before beating on his mother, so that Adam could not intervene on her behalf.

At the age of fifteen, Adam bought an old revolver and stashed it in the closet. When his father locked him in there again he shot through the lock and confronted his father. Seeing the gun in Adam’s hand he pulled a pepperbox from his pocket, and Adam was forced to shoot him. Rather than stay around to see what would happen, Adam ran away.

For years now Adam has been grifting from town to town, doing what he has to to survive. He never stays in one place long, and soon after leaving he is usually forgotten.

And so Adam Cody is manifested.

Character Creation Example

Yesterday's Gone dedurrett dedurrett