Creating Characters

Creating Characters

Now that we have discussed the components of a character in World Saga, let’s go through the process of making your own character. As discussed in the previous chapter, it might be helpful to talk to your GM before going through this process. Knowing about the setting and the type of adventures you are playing will have a large impact on the type of character you may want to create.

Session Zero. Before everyone jumps into the process of creating a character, it’s helpful for all the players and the GM to talk about the details of the game’s setting and style. Many groups get together and have a “session zero”, where they create characters together as a group with the GM. They all go over how those characters fit into the world and the game’s setting, and how those characters might be connected or know each other in the game world. 

Examples. Throughout this section you will find examples demonstrating each step as a fictional player named Olive creates her character for an upcoming game.

Olive has already talked to her GM and she knows their group will be playing an adventure on the high seas during the Age of Sail. She decides she wants to play a daring swashbuckler with a dashing smile and quick reflexes.

Ancestry

In most games of World Saga, a character’s ancestry is assumed to be human.  However, some fantasy games have elves, dwarves, and goblins as playable characters. In a science fiction setting, there might be alien species in the game world that your character can belong. In World Saga, there is no specific distinction between various ancestries.  The process of creating your character is the same, regardless of the biological and cultural origins of your character. It is up to the player if they want to alter the Attributes of their character to fit within ancestral expectations. Characters that choose to break these expectations are often quite interesting as well.

If your character does belong to a specific ancestry that is important to your game’s setting, talk with your GM about any special traits or abilities they might have that might affect what that character can do. The GM might allow for some of these abilities to grant mechanical benefits in specific situations. For example, in a fantasy setting, the GM might rule that elves and dwarves are able to see in dim light, and characters of those ancestries can reduce the illumination penalties for attacks in dimly lit environments.

Since Olive’s game is set in Earth during the time of sailing ships and pirates, Olive writes down that her character is an everyday Human.

Attributes

The first step to creating a new character, is choosing the character’s Attributes. When creating a new character, all nine Attributes are first set to a Rank of 4. You may then distribute 36 points to your character’s Attributes, increasing the associated Rank on a one-for-one basis. However, the total number of points may vary depending on the type of game you and your GM decided to play.

  • For standard gameplay, players will have 36 Attribute points to spend.
  • For a dark and deadly game, players will have 32 Attribute points to spend.
  • For high fantasy gameplay, players will have 40 Attribute points to spend.

Players are encouraged to give their characters strengths and flaws by adjusting their attributes accordingly. Lower Attributes add depth and interest to your character. Few people are perfectly average at everything.

Olive’s GM informed the players that they would use the standard 36 Attribute points to create their characters. Olive sets all of her character’s Attributes to 8 (distributing the 36 points evenly between the nine scores). She then decides that her character should be quite agile and charismatic, to fit with her vision of a dashing and agile swashbuckler. So, she increases her character’s Agility and Charisma to 10 each. To compensate for these increases, Olive decides to decrease her character’s Willpower and Perception each to 6. She decides that her character has little tolerance for pain and his inflated ego often keeps him from paying attention to his surroundings. She then lowers his Strength to 7 and increases his Intelligence to 9, since she imagines him as somewhat thin and lithe with a slightly sharper wit.

Background

Who is your character? Where did they come from? A character’s Background is a story of how they came to be where they are now. During their life so far, they might have picked up a few skills and knowledge along the way. There are two ways to create your character’s background: the Custom Path and the Life Path.

Custom Path. You might have a specific vision and story for your character’s background. If that is the case, then you can skip this section and add 20 XP for developing your character in the next section.

Life Path. If you are uncertain about your character’s Background, the following tables can help you generate their background randomly. Roll the indicated die on each table below, for each stage of life for your character, and look at the description for that result. These descriptions are starting points for creating an explanation and story surrounding the inflection points of your character’s story. Envision the circumstances of that result and elaborate on it.

After elaborating on the story around each life event, make note of the benefits listed, as you will be adding these to your character’s statistics as free Training Ranks for the listed Skill, Resistance, or Tolerance. Feel free to choose an option on the table instead of rolling if it better fits the emerging vision of your character as you generate their story. However, try not to focus on the listed benefits of a given option. If you want to build your character strictly based on mechanical benefits, use the Custom Path option instead.