House Rules: Character Creation

Character Creation Outline

1) Determine Ability Scores

Rules for ability score generation can be found in House Rules: Ability Scores.

  • Point-Buy: all ability scores start at 8, 10 point-buy.
  • Roll: 3d6, 1s become 2s.

You can then increase two different ability scores by 1. Your beggining ability scores will further change as you select your race, your background, and your class.

2) Choose a Race

Pick a race, applying any modifiers to your ability scores and any other racial traits. Each race lists the languages a character of that race automatically knows, as well as a number of bonus languages it may learn. A character knows a number of additional bonus languages equal to his or her Intelligence modifier.

Available races can be found in the Races section of Legends of Celesia.

3) Choose an Ethnicity

Pick an ethnicity. Your ethnicity is the culture and traditions your character grew up with, based on a mix of ancestry, region, and religion. You gain a starting language and gain a proficiency skill increase in a skill specific to your ethnicity.

4) Choose a Background

Pick a background. Your background is your life before you completed your training in your chosen profession. You gain a +2 bonus to two ability scores and a proficiency skill increase specific to your background.

5) Choose a Class

Pick your starting profession, such as fighter or wizard. Each class one or more key ability scores. Select one key ability score, and add +2 to it. Applying the key ability score can only be done at your 1st character level; you do not apply the key ability score boost when you multiclass into a new class. Prestige classes do not have a key ability score.

Favored Class: Each character begins play with a single favored class of his choosing—typically, this is the same class as the one he chooses at 1st level. Whenever a character gains a level in his favored class, he receives either + 1 hit point or + 1 skill rank, although certain races may have a different option. The choice of favored class cannot be changed once the character is created, and the choice of gaining a hit point or a skill rank each time a character gains a level (including his first level) cannot be changed once made for a particular level. Prestige classes can never be a favored class.

6) Allocate Skill Ranks

Determine the number of skill ranks your character gets based on his class and Intelligence modifier (and any other bonuses, such as the bonus received by humans). Then allocate these ranks to desired skills, but remember that you cannot have more ranks than your level in any one skill (for a starting character, this is usually one).

Each level thereafter, your character gains a number of skill ranks dependent upon your class plus your Intelligence modifier. Investing a rank in a skill represents a measure of training in that skill.

Your skills with no ranks start at the novice proficiency level.

Class Skills: Each class has a number of favored skills, called class skills. Class skills begin at the skilled proficiency level, even with no ranks allocated to them. Additional skills can become class skills later on by selecting a different class, feats, or other character options. When that happens, the proficiency for skills that were not class skills and then become one automatically increases.

7) Choose Feats

Pick your starting feat. This can be any type of feat as long as you meet the prerequisites. You gain a new feat at every level.

Next, pick a racial feat appropriate for your race. Aside from being the appropriate race, you must meet all other prerequisites for that racial feat. You gain another racial feat at 4th-level and every three levels thereafter.

Your class and race may grant additional feats at 1st level.

8) Choose Aspects

Create FATE aspects for your character, and you receive one fate point for each one conceived. See the FATE section below for guidelines on creating and playing with aspects.

9) Determine Starting Hit Points

A character starts with maximum hit points at 1st level (the maximum number on its Hit Die) or if its first Hit Die roll is for a character class level.

To determine hit points for levels beyond 1st, roll the dice indicated by its Hit Dice. Creatures whose first Hit Die comes from an NPC class or from his race roll their first Hit Die normally. If you are not satisfied with your result, you may choose to reroll a level's hit points with a die one step lower (ex: from d10 to d8). You can continue lowering your die until you reach d4. If you choose to reroll, you must use the result of your very last roll.

Alternatively, you may choose a static value equal to half of your Hit Dice.

10) Get Equipped

Each new character begins the game with an amount of gold, based on his class, that can be spent on a wide range of equipment and gear. Usually you cannot use this starting money to buy magic items or use it for crafting without the consent of your GM. The starting amount of gold is the maximum possible result of the class' formula.

Making a Character Above 1st level: If you are creating a character or creature at a level other than 1st you should consult your GM and the Wealth for Higher Level PC’s table to determine your starting gold. See Table: Character Wealth by Level for details. You may use a magic item's crafting cost if you have the appropriate feats to craft them.

Table: Character Wealth by Level

PC Level Wealth
2 1,000 gp
3 3,000 gp
4 6,000 gp
5 10,500 gp
6 16,000 gp
7 23,500 gp
8 33,000 gp
9 46,000 gp
10 62,000 gp
11 82,000 gp
12 108,000 gp
13 140,000 gp
14 185,000 gp
15 240,000 gp
16 315,000 gp
17 410,000 gp
18 530,000 gp
19 685,000 gp
20 880,000 gp

11) Determine Saving Throws, Initiative, and Attack Values.

Determine all of the character’s other mechanical details, such as his or her saving throws, initiative modifier, and attack values. All of these numbers are determined by the decisions made in previous steps, usually determined by your class choice.

12) Description & Personality

Choose or make up a name for your character (or generate one randomly!), determine his or her age, alignment, and physical appearance (such as height, weight, eye and hair color etc). It is helpful to think of a few unique personality traits as well, to help you play the character during the game.

Middle-aged, old, and venerable age categories no longer give bonuses to Intelligent, Wisdom, and Charisma. Age penalties to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution still apply.

13) Other (Starting Spells)

If your character is a wizard (or any class that uses spellbooks) then you need to pick spells. A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from his prohibited schools, if any; see Arcane Schools) plus three 1st-level wizard spells of his choice. The wizard also selects a number of additional 1st-level wizard spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to the spellbook. At each new wizard level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new wizard level) for his spellbook. At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizards’ spellbooks to his own (see Magic).

  • Create the character at the level of the lowest level character in the group.
  • All classes from Pathfinder and other Wizards of the Coast 3.5 edition books are allowed. Dreamscarred Press Psionic and Path of War classes are also allowed.

Fate System

  • You gain 5 Fate Points.
  • Create 5 Character Aspects for your character.
  • Character Aspects describe who a character is defining the core his or her personality. Character Aspects represent a character’s history, relations, values, personality quirks, general descriptors, important objects and character flaws. Aspects are the sum of the character’s personality describing who he is rather than what he can do (abilities better covered by class, feats and skills.)
  • Character Aspects generally fall into one of following categories: phrase, person or prop.
    • Phrase: A phrase Aspect defines the character with a short descriptor such as “Silent as a Mouse” or a literal quote “I Will Avenge My Father’s Death.” Phrase Aspects come into play when the situation of the story matches or applies to the Aspect. The more interesting and descriptive the phrase Aspect the more often it will come into play, making phrase Aspects some of the most flexible and useful in the game.
    • Person: A person Aspect is someone important to a character. This could be a friend, enemy, family member, rival, mentor, etc. so long as the person is important to the character in some way. Additionally a person Aspect could represent an organization the character belongs to. Person Aspects generally become relevant when the person in question is present in a scene, however they can be more versatile. A person Aspect may be Compelled when a mentor asks his student to go on a quests or Invoked when the person in question taught the character something pertinent to the current situation.
    • Props: A prop Aspect is a thing be it an item, a place or an idea representing an important external element of a character (i.e. not a part of his physical or mental person.) A Prop Aspect represents the character’s relationship to the prop not the prop’s abilities or powers (which must be acquired separately.) Prop Aspects come into play when they are useful to a given situation, when their absence would be missed or when they are the crux of a conflict.
    • Note these three categories of Aspect are not set in stone and often blur together. An Aspect such as “Lord Commander of the Souldamned Sentinels” has features of both a phrase Aspect “Lord Commander” and a person Aspect “Souldamned Sentinels.”
  • Beneficial and Detrimental Aspects
    • When creating Character Aspects a character desires a mix of beneficial and detrimental Aspects. Why would a character want detrimental Aspects? The short answer is detrimental Aspects gain Fate Points.
    • A purely beneficial Aspect such as “The World’s Greatest Swordsman” can only be Invoked. A character with purely beneficial Aspects will quickly run out of Fate Points and options. “Dueling Master of the Bezantini School,” is a much more interesting Aspect combining most of the benefits of “The World’s Greatest Swordsman” with some detrimental connotations. First as a Dueling Master it can be Invoked whenever engaged in swordplay to show off the character’s mastery. The Bezantini School adds a lot of interesting possibilities. It’s an organization, which may call upon the character for service. Additionally the Bezantini School of swordsmanship may have a rival fencing school that occasionally interferes with the character. Lastly as a Dueling Master it may be hard or nigh impossible for the character to refuse a duel less he lose his title.
    • Players should not fear the detrimental Aspect because in addition to earning Fate Points they also put the spotlight on the Compelled character. Detrimental Aspects often create some of the most entertaining and memorable story moments for characters as they struggle not against an ogre or dragon but their own personal flaws.
    • The best Aspects are double-edged mixing beneficial uses a character can Invoke with detrimental uses a GM can Compel. When evaluating a Character Aspect ask these three questions.
      • How could the character Invoke this Aspect?
      • How could the GM Compel this Aspect to limit the character’s actions?
      • How could the GM Compel this Aspect to add a complication to the character’s life?
    • Each question should have at least one good answer and multiple answers being preferred. Writing this out and giving a copy to the GM will make sure the both player and GM are on the same page about a character’s Aspects.
  • Here’s an example of the three questions with the Character Aspect “One Eyed Orc on a Mission from God.”
    • How could the character Invoke this Aspect? This Aspect could be Invoked whenever the success or failure of a check would affect the “mission” negatively. Additionally it could be Invoked whenever the character uses any of his divine abilities and whenever being an orc would be beneficial such as making an Intimidation check against someone afraid of orcs.
    • How could the GM Compel this Aspect to limit the character’s actions? This Aspect could be Compelled to limit when attempting any type of perception based check or ranged attack due to the character’s lack of depth perception. Additionally it could be Compelled when the character’s actions might be dictated by the teachings of his god.
    • How could the GM Compel this Aspect to add a complication to the character’s life? This Aspect could be Compelled to add a complication whenever being an orc or a follower of the character’s faith would be a hindrance.
  • Things you'll be able to do with Fate Points:
    • Reroll a d20 taking the new result.
    • Keep a d20 roll and add +1d6 to the result, or add +1d6 to a defense such as AC, CMD, damage reduction, or Spell/Psionic Resistance.
      • The number of bonus d6s increases with higher levels.
        • 1st-7th: +1d6
        • 8th-14th: +2d6
        • 15th-21st: +3d6
    • Increase your caster/manifester/initiator level by one for one action.
    • Roll a new save vs. an ongoing effect at the beginning of your turn.
    • Ignore one of the following debilitating conditions for one round: blinded, confused, dazzled, deafened, fascinated, frightened, nauseated, panicked, paralyzed, shaken, sickened or stunned.
    • Activate a class ability with a limited number of uses per day.
    • Automatically stabilize.
    • Create a story effect.
    • Refusing/avoiding a Compel.
  • You gain Fate Points when:
    • Level up (you gain a number of Fate Points equal to half of your new level (minimum 1)).
    • Being Compelled.
    • Successfully completing a quest.
    • GM fiat.
Examples of Character Aspects
OK Better Awesome!
Fire Wizard Expelled Apprentice of Fire Magic Burn Scarred Reject from the Order of the Emerald Flame
Former Soldier Wartorn Hero Grizzled Veteran of the Great Crusade
Perceptive Eagle Eyed “Nothing Escapes My Eye, Especially a Pretty Face”
Stealthy Shadow’s Friend Trained in the Arts of the Shadow Weavers

Character Background

  • Write a short background for your character (about 3 sentences minimum, more if you like).
  • Write out 3 beliefs that your character has. This is your character's core philosophy. Example: "all creatures should live free", "dark elves are irredeemably evil", "everyone has their price", "death before dishonour".
  • Write a short-term, medium-term, and long-term goal for your character.
    • Short-term goal: A goal that is precise, and that you know exactly how to accomplish it in the foreseeable future. Example: "get promotion from private to corporal", "earn enough gold to buy magic sword", "defeat bandits preying on my village". Be prepared to develop new short-term goals as previous ones get completed.
    • Medium-term goal: A goal that you know how to accomplish, but that would take time and a lot of work. Example: "establish a thieves' guild in a known city", "eliminate the evil sorcerer in the neighboring nation", "get married".
    • Long-term goal: A goal that would take a lifetime to accomplish, the eventual ending point to your character's career. Example: "rule over a multi-nation empire", "craft an eternal artifact", "establish a world-renown school of martial arts".

Character sheets: Happy Camper's

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