Your character is your avatar in the game world, and it’s also what makes playing the game fun and interesting! When you create your character, it’s important to try to build them based on how the character would actually be within the world… you’ll see what I mean.
First, get your Character Sheet so you can fill it out with your character information.
To create your character, first you need a backstory, a personality, and an appearance. It’s often fun to model your character after yourself, but you can do whatever you’d like that fits within the specified game world.
The backstory can be as simple or in-depth as you like, but in-depth stories can help you know how your character would act in any given situation. Did something tragic happen in their past, or did life come easy for them? Were they bullied when they were young, or were they the bully? There are lots of different angles you could approach this from, and this can always be expanded as necessary later.
Once you have a backstory in place, it’s often easy to decide what kind of personality your character would have as a result of the backstory. Did their tragic backstory make them pessimistic or hopeful for a better future? Did them being bullied influence their sense of justice or tear down their perception of their worth? Don’t overthink it too much, just try to be true to what you think your character would be like.
Finally, your character’s appearance determines how they will be seen by other characters, how they fit in a room, and potentially how many injuries can be sustained. Be as detailed as you want, but at least choose their height, weight, and body type. Smaller characters will be able to squeeze into tighter spaces but won’t be able to see over tall walls, while larger characters will be able to stand their ground more easily but not be able to hide very well.
Next, use your character’s body type to determine whether you should modify the base injury chart for your character. The base chart will probably suffice for most characters, but if your character has more appendages than a basic humanoid (i.e. wings or a tail), be sure to add those to your injury chart. Or if your character is a creature with a particularly thick skull or horns or something to that effect, you may be able to add a major injury slot to the head. Just consult with your GM about what such customizations might require before you commit it to ink.
Once you know a little bit about your character, it’s time to choose your qualities. There are four base qualities that every character has:
- Gumption: The character’s go-getter-ness—their willingness to rush in, their ability to last, their overall drive.
- Utility: The character’s handiness—their ability to do things, their breadth of skill, their overall competence to perform.
- Thought: The character’s brains—how much they know, their general awareness of their surroundings, their overall smarts.
- Slyness: The character’s ability to go with the flow—their sneakiness, their conversationalism, their overall elegance.
You must also create at one custom base quality of your choice based on their biography. This can be anything from “Technology” (to gain extra proficiency in using computers) to “Acrobatics” (to gain the ability to be extra graceful) to “Multilingualism” (to gain the ability to communicate in different languages)—anything that makes sense for your character. In addition to the first, mandatory custom quality, you can create up to 2 additional qualities that fit your character’s background or personality. If you want to choose the Essence quality, it must not be your first custom base quality.
All qualities start at level 1.
Once you’ve picked your custom qualities, it’s time to increase your qualities’ levels using a pool of 3 points. Apply your points to increase the level of certain qualities in a way that makes the most sense to your character. For example, if your character is a poet, their Thought and Slyness levels might be higher than their other qualities, whereas a mechanic might have high Utility. You may add a maximum of 2 points to any one quality; no quality can be higher than level 3 when creating your character.
Skills & Proficiencies
Your character’s skills and proficiencies are directly tied to the qualities you have chosen above. If one of your character’s additional qualities is “Knives,” for example, then the quality’s level is tied to how skilled your character is at using knives and influences what your character can do with them. If your character is trying to perform an action or use a tool that they do not have proficiency with, then one of the GUTS qualities will stand in at the GM’s discretion.
Clothing & Accessories
What your character is wearing plays an important role in both the narrative and the number of items they can carry with them.
While you are creating your character, you can choose whatever clothing you want for your character, so long as it fits their personality. Be sure to take advantage of this freebie to get the best advantage—your GM may or may not provide the opportunity to get new clothes during your game.
You may also choose any accessories your character is wearing, so long as they do not enhance any abilities and are only to complete their appearance. Anything your character is wearing does not take up inventory space.
Clothes are wearable items that can be worn on the torso, legs, and feet. As a general rule, if you can wear it in real life, your character can wear it in game, with some general assumptions included (for example, specifying socks doesn’t matter if your character is wearing shoes unless they’re special socks that make your character happy).
Simple clothes like jeans or shorts and a t-shirt with tennis shoes are good, basic clothes, and they provide you with the default inventory space and no other real advantages beyond being unencumbered in your movement. Cargo shorts or a dress will influence your inventory space as well, providing more or less space, respectively, but gaining other benefits and hindrances at the same time.
Accessories are things (like jewelry, hats, bags, or even armor) that enhance your character’s qualities and narrative influence in some way. Depending on the accessory, the places that your character can wear them is limited to their intended use. For example, your character can wear one necklace at a time, so if you want to add a new necklace’s ability but your character already wearing one, you can’t use another necklace as a bracelet or belt.
The characters that the GM places along the way in your game may react differently to different accessories, so be sure to dress for the occasion!
Hands & Pockets (Inventory)
Your character’s inventory is a limited collection of items that they are able to carry with them. By default, your character can carry 2 items in their Hands (one held in each hand) plus 8 items in most Pockets, totaling 10 items. The player’s inventory excludes whatever they are wearing (i.e. clothing, accessories, and equipment). Items in your Hands and Pockets are interchangeable, meaning that if you have only 8 items in your inventory, your hands are considered empty unless you specifically say your character is holding something in their hands.
While you are creating your character, you may choose up to 5 basic items for your character to be holding.
As mentioned above, whatever clothing your character is currently wearing also influences the number of items your character can carry. If your character is wearing a dress, skirt, or kilt, then they have no pockets and can only carry items in their hands, which means they have only 2 item slots.
You can get creative with your Pockets, however: if your character is wearing a particularly poofy shirt with a lot of space in the sleeves, you can get up to 5 extra item spaces but sacrifice easy movement when you are carrying more items.
Items in the player’s inventory do not stack, meaning that if your character is holding 2 sandwiches, those sandwiches each take 1 space. The only way to stack items is to bundle them up. For example, if your character has 2 sandwiches, they can tie the sandwiches together to create a bundle of 2 sandwiches.
You can only bundle up identical items, and items that are bundled cannot be used until they are un-bundled into their respective items. You can remove just one item from the bundle in order to use it so long as you have space for it in your hands. If your inventory is full, you cannot un-bundle an item until you make space for it.
If a bundle has enough items removed from it to the point that only one item remains in the bundle, that last item is no longer bundled and can be used as a regular, un-bundled item.
You can augment your inventory space by accessorizing your character with a bag of some kind. Bags act like Bundles for any type of item, including bundles. For example, if you give your character a purse or a backpack, they gain an additional 10 item slots, but taking an item out of the bag requires that you have space in your Hands or Pockets.
The type of bag being used is merely cosmetic, but remember that accessories can affect how other characters interact with your character in the game world.