Setting Up a Character
The following steps should be followed in setting up a character. They are explained in detail below the list.
2. If non-human is not rolled, decide whether you will buy a non-human option with attribute
3. Whether human or non-human, roll Area of Origin (percentile).
4. Generate sub-race (percentile).
5. Decide whether to keep randomly generated subrace, or exercise another option.
6. Determine your PC's gender.
7. Determine your PC's re-roll option, assign rerolls.
8. There is no number 8.
9. Roll to determine your character’s Mortal Fear.
10. Roll your PC's Stats. If you chose to arrange your stats, do so.
11. Buy Attributes.
12. Buy Skills.
13. Buy equipment.
14. Determine Encumbrance.
The first step is to determine whether or not you are a human. To do so, roll percentile. If the result is a 98 or higher, you have the option of running a randomly generated non-human. If you have this option please consult DM before proceeding.
If you do not roll a 98 or higher, but you would still like to play a non-human, the chance to run a random non-human as above can be purchased by attribute points. Consult DM for details. You may only decide to do this at this stage of the character generation process; you may not decide to do this after rolling up a human character, or, in fact, after proceeding from this point.
If your character is a human, he/she will be a member of a human sub-race (just as you, presumably, are African, Native American, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian, or something else). What sub-race your character is will have an effect on your character’s statistics and attributes, and may affect his/her social background. Sub-race is generated randomly, and is very dependent on where your character was born--different populations predominate in different areas. Thus, the next thing to be rolled is your PC’s Area of Origin, then Sub-Race.
If you do not want to run a character of this Sub-Race, you may choose to be a Common Human (each campaign area will have a Common Human race, although the name of the race will change from place to place). Common Humans receive no extra attributes due to race, and their statistics are not modified due to race. Since these attributes and modifications are both positive and negative, the choice of Common Human is one that allows you the most freedom to set up your character. At this point, you may also choose to use attribute points to choose your Human Sub-Race. Most Sub-Races cost 8 points to choose, but certain rare ones cost 15. As with buying Non-Human, you may only buy a Human Sub-race choice at this point in character generation.
Once you have determined (randomly or otherwise) your character’s Human Sub-race, you should decide two things:
What gender your character will be--males and females have different modifiers for certain rolled Stats;
What your re-roll dispersal will be.
Re-rolls are opportunities to make certain dice rolls for statistics more than once. For example, if you put a re-roll to Strength, you could roll dice twice to generate your Strength score. The World of Empire allows all characters a certain number of re-rolls, in one of three patterns:
6 Pre Re-rolls This allows you to assign up to 6 opportunities to roll dice more than once to up to 6 different Statistics, before you roll any dice. Thus, you can decide you want to roll twice for Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Intuition, Size and Frame, thus greatly increasing your chances of a more desirable score in those statistics. Or, you could assign 2 re-rolls to Strength and 1 each to 4 other Statistics, or you could assign all 6 re-rolls to Strength (if, for some reason, you really want to play a strong character).
4 Pre Re-rolls and 1 Post Re-roll This allows you only 4 of the above described "extra chances", but it also allows you one Post Re-roll, i.e., a re-roll that you assign and roll after all of your Statistics have been generated. This can be assigned to any Statistic, even to one you’ve already put a Pre Re-roll to.
3 Post Re-Rolls This option gives you the fewest "extra chances", but allows you to choose where you need them after generating your statistics.
Assigned Statistics This option gives you no free re-rolls at all. However, players may roll their stats "undedicated", and then assign the numbers wherever they like... thus putting high numbers to the statistics they deem important. Those choosing Assigned Statistics may purchase the Attribute Re-Roll for 3 points instead of 4 (to Statistics only!)
For purposes of re-roll assignment, "Statistics" includes all Primary Statistics, as well as Age and Attributes--Positive and Negative included as one roll. Re-rolls may not be assigned anywhere else (non-human roll, origin roll, sub-race roll, etc.).
While Non-Human races are rolled on different sized dice from Humans, Human Sub Races roll the same size dice. They have no direct modifiers to the result (no pluses or minuses), but different Sub-Races are allowed more re-rolls to certain Statistics (2 for 1), so that if a player assigns re-rolls to these, he/she gets 2 for every 1 assigned, greatly increasing the chance of a superior score in that area. However, balancing this is the fact that Human Sub-Races may not assign re-rolls or use attribute points to modify certain other Statistics, meaning that they will receive only one random roll for that area. The DM does mercifully allow each character to purchase one, and only one, Double Price Re-roll (8 Attribute Points, instead of 4), to allow for extreme situations where a PC of a certain sub-race generates a score in an immutable area that is such that the player would not want to play that character.
Some Non-Human Races also have Sub-Races (there are eight different breeds of Jeopards and Aven, for example) and they are generated under rules identical with the above.
Some attributes may only be taken at a certain stage in character generation (generally, prior to rolling Statistics) because they can profoundly affect what sort of dice you will roll for your PC (Extremely Exotic Parent, for example). Consult DM with specific questions.
Your character’s Mortal Fear reflects the fact that everyone is scared of something, if only to a minor degree. All characters will have a Mortal Fear, and when confronted with whatever it is that they are afraid of, they will have to make a roll off of Willpower vs. 0 to remain in the presence of it, and will have to make increasingly difficult Willpower roll offs to approach whatever it is or manipulate it in any way. If a character succeeds in these roll offs, they will have a +1 to Fumble and a -1 to all Rolls while in the presence of their Phobia Object. If a character has the Positive Attribute Fearless, they have no Mortal Fear; if they take the Negative Attribute Phobia, then their Phobia will be much more pronounced.
Virtually every facet of a character can be important. Racial makeup can influence how strong, smart, stubborn, quick, handsome, or even lucky you are. How strong or quick or otherwise statistically graced you are will influence your skill choices; certain things you may excel in while others you may find a total waste of time. Virtually everything is interconnected; any one thing could make a decisive difference.
The only other thing that will need to be randomly rolled is your Character’s Birthday. This is a random roll, and can have a profound affect on your PC. At the very least, it will provide you with a basic sketch of your PCs personality. It may also, if certain rolls are made, provide your PC with some attributes (Positive and/or Negative) based on the Astrological Conjunction he/she is born under.
The above random rolling--for Characteristics, Area of Origin, SubRace, and Birthday--generates the raw material your PC will be built with. The rest of the Character Generation is under your direct control, as you shape that raw material into the finished Character you would like to roleplay. Of course, a great deal of the random rolling can also be controlled, to one extent or another, by Attribute purchase and other ways of exercising conscious choice (the most common way to derandomize the above processes, if only slightly, is to purchase Re-Rolls for 4 Attribute points, which can be used for any random roll in character generation). For this reason, players may wish, and are welcome to, roll their Attribute points first, even before rolling for Human/Non-Human status: while the rules do not allow a player to designate one of their free Pre or Post Re-rolls to such chances, they can certainly spend Attribute points for additional chances in such areas if they wish.
Once a character’s Primary Statistics are generated, Secondary and Tertiary Statistics (see below) should be figured. This is a long, tedious, and time consuming process, but it should be done at this point, so the player will know exactly what the PCs strengths and weaknesses are, and can make an informed and well-judged choice of Attributes and Skills.
Once a PC’s Statistics have been entirely figured out from their Primary Stat scores, their remaining Attribute points should be spent--"remaining" because some, perhaps many, may have been spent during Random Generation.
After this, Skills are selected and rolled for (see Skills) using the Skill Points generated by the Character’s Age, IQ and WP.
Once Skills are finalized, Equipment can be purchased out of the Starting Money generated by the Character’s Age, WP and Luck (Attributes likeWindfall will modify this score, if taken).
After equipment has been purchased, Encumbrance must be dealt with. Like figuring Secondary and Tertiary Statistics, this is a cumbersome and tedious process (the system is realistically sophisticated and detailed). Because of this, the DM will allow people to blow off Encumbrance if they wish to, with the understanding that if the DM has cause to question the character's ability to transport certain objects, the Player will have the responsibility of proving to the DM that the object or objects can be carried by figuring out the Encumbrance at that point. So don't be ridiculous and you'll save yourself a big hassle. Try and convince me your character can carry a 400 pound chest of gold coins, a six foot bastard sword, and a miniature crane, and you're going to have to figure it all out on paper.
Players should be aware of two final things: unless an Exotic Background is taken which excepts you from this, your PC will be subject to a Cultural Code of Honor; a set of taboos that your character will never willingly break, which are dependent on origin and subrace. In addition, a character’s sexual orientation will also be determined by this (for example, in most Riverish cities, there is no social stigma attached to homosexuality). Sexual orientation will be important, since it will determine which characters can or cannot make Sex Appeal rolls on your PC. Taking an unusual Sexual Orientation (for an Urban Riverscum, exclusive preference of either sex; for an ethnic Durshi, preference for the same gender, etc.) requires the expenditure of 1 Attribute Point, and should be written on your character sheet.
NOTE: The DM encourages players to use their imaginations and to be innovative as to the types of characters they would like to play. The DM will never discourage someone from playing a different or unique character, or from wanting to roll up some sort of interesting variation that the rules do not allow for. Such characters may require a large expenditure of Attribute points for Exotic Backgrounds, but this is the price you should expect to pay for being unusual. Players should also be aware that the DM has little patience with those who are only interested in playing very powerful and otherwise exceptionally disruptive PCs, and allowing such disgusting monsters to be generated is not at all the purpose of this Note. And, finally, some types of characters the DM may choose not to allow, as they are available on certain rare combinations of random dice rolls--for example, a bomba can be run, if a certain number on the Rare (00) Non Human Chart is rolled, and therefore, the DM will not allow such to be chosen for any expenditure of Attribute points.