Diablotin 3 character creation rules

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Character Creation Instructions for Julie’s Pathfinder Game: Diablotin 3

Welcome! Here are the instructions for you to create characters for my game. I strongly recommend using the online Pathfinder rules: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/home. The basic character creation rules for Pathfinder are located here. The rules that follow are house rules that modify those rules, and are designed to work with the character spreadsheet sent out separately. If you have any questions along the way, let me know. Have fun!

Step 1. Develop a Concept.

The game is based in the city of Diablotin (which is somewhat reminiscent of early 20th century Paris), set thirty years after the conclusion of Diablotin 2. Gender and age are up to you. If you like, at this stage you can also make up your character’s appearance: hair and eye colour, height and weight, distinguishing features, etc. Diablotin is a predominantly human city – if you want to play a non-human, you'll need to spend some of your Background points (see below) on your race.

Humans: Humans have two main benefits.

  • 1 extra feat at 1st level
  • 1 extra skill point at each level

Step 2. Pick a Class.

If you're playing a human, your choices for classes are:

Core classes:

  • Bard: A performer whose music works magic – not bad at lots of things, expert at none.
  • Cleric: A caster of divine magic and general fount of wisdom.
  • Fighter: A warrior who is very, very good at combat of all sorts.
  • Paladin: A holy warrior and champion of goodness and right.
  • Ranger: A cunning and sneaky warrior of the wilderness.
  • Rogue: A stealthy thief, spy, or scout who uses her skills to defeat her foes.
  • Sorcerer: A spellcaster who gains magical power from her own mental energies.

Core classes (require justification):

  • Druid: A divine caster whose power derives from the natural world.
  • Wizard: A spellcaster who derives magical power from academic study.

Base classes:

  • Alchemist: A specialist in potions, powders, and similar materials.
  • Gunslinger: A warrior specializing in the use of firearms.
  • Inquisitor: A holy hunter of enemies of the faith.
  • Oracle: A divinely inspired, mysterious agent of a divine force.

Other classes from the Pathfinder rules are available only upon request and with careful justification. Once you’ve selected a class that sounds like it would fit your concept, you can proceed to the next section. There’s more to come with regards to classes, but it can wait for a second. Except where otherwise indicated below, all the information on your class from the Pathfinder site should be correct.

Step 3. Assign your Attribute Points.

Your character has 6 main ability scores:

  • Strength (Str – physical strength)
  • Dexterity (Dex – agility, reflexes)
  • Constitution (Con – health, fortitude)
  • Intelligence (Int – book-learning, ability to learn new things, cleverness)
  • Wisdom (Wis – common sense, perception, willpower)
  • Charisma (Cha – persuasiveness, magnetism, physical appearance).

Each of these will have a rating. Most will fall between the 10-18 range when you’re 1st level. Human average is 10-11 in any ability, but you aren’t average humans – you’re PCs! Because I am a benevolent GM, I allow 82 points to assign between your 6 stats. This will allow you an average of something closer to 14. You will be quite a bit better than average humans, but that’s to make up for the torment I inflict on you later…

Things you need to know about ability scores:

  • Each ability score also has a modifier. This is +/- 1 for every 2 points above or below 10. A 6-7 score has a –2 modifier, an 8-9 score has a –1, a 10 has a 0 modifier, a 12 has a +1, a 14 has a +2, etc. You’ll need to know this modifier because it will affect things later, so it’s best to note it down beside each stat.
  • Because of the point above, you’ll notice that even stats are more ‘useful’ than odd stats. They bump you up to the next modifier. But odd stats aren’t useless, because of the next point…
  • Ability scores can increase. In my games, I allow each PC to add 1 to any stat at every even level (2, 4, 6… you get the idea). So it’s not an entirely foolish idea to have a couple of odd stats, so that those increases actually get you something beyond simple satisfaction (i.e. an extra modifier point).
  • At 1st level, 18 is the maximum number of points you can put in any ability score, prior to adjustments.
  • Some ability scores are more important for some classes. While there are no minimum stats required for any class, you still need to distribute your points appropriately. Here’s a brief summary of who really needs what to succeed in life:
    • Str. – Fighters (Paladins and Rangers to a lesser extent)
    • Dex. – Rogues (Bards and Rangers to a lesser extent)
    • Con. – Anyone can use a decent Con, because it affects your hit points.
    • Int. – Sorcerers, but anyone can use a good Int, since it gives you more skill points.
    • Wis. – Clerics, Rangers (Paladins to a lesser extent)
    • Cha. – Bards, Paladins

Note: I prefer to have sorcerers’ key ability be Int, rather than Cha, which I feel makes them too much like bards.

Once you’ve distributed your points between your six abilities, you’re ready to go on to the next step.

Step 4. Pick your House.

In Diablotin, all humans from the Aveyronne Empire are part of a House. This isn’t your family or your clan – it’s much, much larger. You’re born into your House, and you keep the same one throughout your life – it can’t be changed. In some ways, it will affect your personality and your outlook on life. Also, it is much more typical for people to marry someone from their own House. Inter-House marriages do occur, but they are rare (though less rare than in the past). In game mechanic terms, each House gives its members some particular features: each grants a bonus to one attribute, and access to a skill known only to other members of the same house. While your character automatically gets the +2 to the appropriate ability, you still have to buy the skill as usual. House skills are considered to be class skills for the purpose of determining your rating (see below). These skills are supposed to be known only by members of each House, although occasionally such information leaks out to outsiders. Descriptions of the new skills will be found in the Skills section below.

These are all broad stereotypes.

  • The House of the Bear: Members get +2 Str. Only members of the House of the Bear may begin play with the skill Overbear. The stereotype of this House is that they're mostly warriors, and often nobles. Most members are large and physically imposing. Preferred classes are fighter, paladin, ranger. House colour is dark green.
  • The House of the Lizard: Members get +2 Dex. Only members of the House of the Lizard may begin play with the skill Sign. The stereotype of this House is that they're mostly underworld figures and shifty folk. Most members are small and slender. Preferred classes are rogue, bard. House colour is light blue.
  • The House of the Ox: Members get +2 Con. Only members of the House of the Ox may begin play with the skill Meditate. The stereotype of this House is that they're mostly peasants and farmers. Most members are stocky and solid. Preferred classes are cleric, ranger. House colour is dark brown.
  • The House of the Wolf: Members get +2 Int. Only members of the House of the Wolf may begin play with the skill Use Technological Device. The stereotype of this House is that they're mostly artisans and craftspeople. Most members are thin and lanky. Preferred classes are sorcerer, rogue. House colour is grey/silver.
  • The House of the Owl: Members get +2 Wis. Only members of the House of the Owl may begin play with the skill Divine Insight. The stereotype of this House is that they're mostly merchants and professionals (e.g. lawyers, bankers, etc.) Members tend to be plump. Preferred classes are cleric, paladin. House colour is purple.
  • The House of the Cat: Members get +2 Cha. Only members of the House of the Cat may begin play with the skill Seduce. The stereotype of this House is that they're mostly artists, entertainers, performers. Members are generally attractive, or at least interesting-looking. Preferred classes are bard, rogue. House colour is red.
  • The House of the Rat: Members get +2 to any one attribute of their choice, and also the Low-light vision ability. Only members of the House of the Rat may begin play with the skill Scent. They also automatically begin play with Speak Language: Rat in addition to Aveyrone. There are very few members of House Rat as compared to the six other Houses, and until eighty years ago they lived in the sewers beneath Diablotin, unbeknownst to the vast majority of the populace. House colour is light green.

Note on Inter-House characters: You are permitted to play a character who is the offspring of members of two different Houses. You receive a +1 to each appropriate stat. Inter-house characters who have one Rat parent do not acquire Low-light vision. You may also learn the House skill of one of your parents (depending on which one raised you, for instance, or if you were adopted into one House). Although you may face some prejudice because of your Houseless status, it's not as overwhelming as it was in the past. Inter-House characters are slightly more likely to manifest magical power.

Humans from outside the Empire or who, for some other reason, are outside of the House system entirely, get +2 to any one attribute, but do not have a House skill.

Please note that preferred classes are just a guideline – there are members of the House of the Bear who are sorcerers, and members of the House of the Lizard who are paladins. Same thing goes for the appearance of the various Houses. All of the Houses have noble families as part of them, and all have members at the very lowest rungs of society. The House colours are merely the formal designation of each house (for instance, the colour robes that their priests wear) – most people don’t always wear their House colours, except perhaps on formal occasions.

Note on clerics: There is an Order of priests that corresponds with each House, each with slightly different traditional responsibilities (the Order of the Bear tend to be more martial in focus, caring for wounded soldiers, etc. while the Order of the Cat often perform weddings and childbirth celebrations, the Order of the Owl perform funerals, and the Order of the Wolf traditionally educate children, for instance). Though it is more customary for a cleric to be a member of the Order that matches their House, it is not mandatory.

Step 5. Choose an Alignment.

Each character has an alignment, which represents their moral compass. It’s not meant to define your every action, but to provide a guideline by which you will try to live. Think of it as a tool for developing your character’s personality, not a straightjacket. It’s something that can change over time without penalty, so don’t be too afraid of commitment.

There are two axes on which alignments exist: Good/Evil and Law/Chaos. Just so we define a few terms here: “Good” implies respect for life, altruism, and caring for others. “Evil” implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others, lack of compassion, and selfishness. “Lawful” implies honour, reliability, obedience to authority, and a desire for order, but also closed-mindedness, lack of adaptability, and a judgmental nature. “Chaotic” implies freedom, flexibility, rebelliousness, but also recklessness, irresponsibility, and a lack of respect for authority. The 9 possible alignments are:

  • Lawful Good (LG): Combines a respect for society’s customs with a desire to do good. Such a character will generally be honest, honourable, just, etc. A kindly monarch who provides justice, stability, and order for her kingdom would be lawful good.
  • Neutral Good (NG): Does good, but might go against society’s rules if it was necessary. Such a character will generally be kind, caring, helpful, etc. A hardworking peasant who holds back some money from the tax collector to help his sick mother would be neutral good.
  • Chaotic Good (CG): Does good according to their conscience, not the expectations of society. Such a character will generally be rebellious, independent, benevolent, etc. A carefree bandit who robs from the rich to give to the poor would be chaotic good.
  • Lawful Neutral (LN): Follows the dictates of law or tradition, and does not particularly care about either good or evil. Such a character will generally be reliable, upright, rigid, etc. A strict judge who insists on finding the truth and upholding the law at all costs would be lawful neutral.
  • True Neutral (TN): Uninterested in moral debate, does whatever will serve him best in any situation. Such a character will generally be self-interested, ambivalent, flexible, etc. A selfish artist who cares for little except her art, regardless of the consequences to her family or friends, would be true neutral.
  • Chaotic Neutral (CN): An individualist who is spontaneous and avoids responsibility. Such a character will generally be unreliable, carefree, anti-authoritarian, etc. A solitary woodsman who roams the land, living only for his own amusement, would be chaotic neutral.
  • Lawful Evil (LE): Does evil, but nevertheless plays by the rules of society or a personal code of conduct. Such a character will generally be methodical, tyrannical, authoritarian, etc. A cruel, iron-fisted queen who rules her people harshly would be lawful evil.
  • Neutral Evil (NE): Does whatever she can get away with, regardless of who it hurts. Such a character will generally be selfish, heartless, callous, etc. A greedy assassin who double-crosses his employer to get more money would be neutral evil.
  • Chaotic Evil (CE): Does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, without thought for anyone else. Such a character will generally be arbitrary, ruthless, destructive, etc. An insane alchemist who plans to destroy the world would be chaotic evil.

Note: I have removed the alignment restrictions on all classes.

Remember, alignment is only a tool. If you’re not sure how your character would react in a given situation, use her alignment as a guideline. Otherwise, just act the way you think your character would act. Please also remember, there can be serious repercussions to being evil. Evilness is detectable through magic, even if you try to act nice when people are watching, and as a result folks may not trust you (and may even try to kill you). I'm not going to forbid anyone from playing an evil-aligned character, but I'll advise against it.

Step 6. Pick your Skills.

Skills represent what your character can do. Each character will have a certain number of Skill Points to distribute among their chosen skills at 1st level and every level thereafter. How many points you get depends on your class and your Int modifier. However, I give different amounts than in the book. So bear with me here for a second:

  • Bard: 6 + Int mod.
  • Cleric: 4 + Int mod.
  • Druid: 4 + Int mod.
  • Fighter: 4 + Int mod.
  • Paladin: 4 + Int mod.
  • Ranger: 6 + Int mod.
  • Rogue: 8 + Int mod.
  • Sorcerer: 4 + Int mod.
  • Wizard: 4 + Int mod.
  • Alchemist: 4 + Int mod.
  • Gunslinger: 4 + Int mod.
  • Inquisitor: 6 + Int mod.
  • Oracle: 4 + Int mod.

Humans (most of you) add 1 to the above total.

Once you’ve worked out how many points you have, you need to pick what skills you want. While you can acquire almost any skill, certain skills are designated as 'class skills'. You receive a +3 bonus to any class skills, as long as you have put one or more ranks in that skill.

For the most part, I will be following the table of class skills here, with the following modifications:

  • Druids: add Knowledge: Religion
  • Fighters: add Bluff
  • Paladins: add Gather Information
  • Rangers: add Acrobatics
  • Sorcerers: add all Knowledges
  • All classes: add Perception
  • Human characters will normally have a House skill, considered as a class skill.

House Skills

Overbear (Str): This skill (possessed by the House of the Bear) allows a character to dominate or command another person. It differs from Intimidate in that it does not rely on verbal threats or body language, but on raw physical presence. Possible uses include compelling a guard to let you into a merchant’s home; interrogating a prisoner; breaking up a bar brawl (all DCs depend on the target’s Will). Retry: Not usually effective.

Sign (Dex): This skill (possessed by the House of the Lizard) allows its user to communicate wordlessly with another user of the skill. By means of hand gestures and subtle body language, two or more Signers can hold an elaborate conversation that will be both silent and unintelligible to those who do not have the skill. The Signer must be visible to the target he is trying to communicate with. The DC of the check depends on the complexity of the message being imparted: “Help me take this guard down” might have a DC of 10, while “Have you ever wondered about the possibility of persistent dualism in the human soul?” could have a DC of 30. Retry: Yes, if the situation permits.

Meditate (Con): This skill (possessed by the House of the Ox) allows a person to enter a trancelike state. While in a deep trance, the user will be able to subsist without food and water for a number of days equal to his check; alternately, he may resist extreme heat or cold for a number of hours equal to his check, or hold his breath for a number of minutes equal to his check. In this state, the user will not move, and may barely appear to be alive. He will not hear normal sounds around him, although a very loud noise, or a concerted effort to wake him, may disturb him. While in a light trance, the user may focus his concentration on one task to the exclusion of all others, granting him a bonus dependant on circumstances. In this state, the user will remain mobile and aware of his surroundings, but will tune out all distractions except direct threats to his safety (i.e. he would notice the herd of rampaging bulls headed straight for him). Entering a trance can usually only be done in a situation without a large number of distractions – the DC, normally 10 for a light trance and 20 for a deep trance, will increase in loud or violent situations. Retry: Not for at least an hour from previous attempt.

Use Technological Device (Int): This skill (possessed by the House of the Wolf) allows its user to operate, fix, or even build a mechanical or otherwise non-magical device. Possible examples include: printing press, hot air balloon, telescope, turbine, clock, barometer, combination lock, flush toilet, submarine, eyeglasses, siege engine, blast furnace, windmill, water mill, loom, odometer, astrolabe, pump, hang glider, etc. Of course, a user must have the appropriate materials at hand in order to attempt to construct any device. DC depends on the complexity of the device. User may attempt to operate a device she has never encountered before, at a penalty. Retry: Yes, but a critical failure (roll of 1 on d20) results in the device being damaged or malfunctioning.

Divine Insight (Wis): This skill (possessed by the House of the Owl) is what gives its House their reputation for intuition. When trying to figure out a particularly tricky problem, those possessing this skill may make a check (DC determined based on difficulty of problem). Depending on their level of success, they may suddenly receive a flash of insight into the question. Retry: Not twice on the same problem.

Seduce (Cha): This skill (possessed by the House of the Cat) is used for charming or seducing people. It incorporates much more than physical beauty, relying on small talk, body language, and even more subtle traits. Possible uses include picking up a stranger in a tavern; persuading a nobleman’s daughter to let you into her father’s mansion; getting a priest to reveal his dark secret (all DCs depend on the target’s Will). Retry: Not usually effective.

Scent (Wis): This skill (possessed by the House of the Rat) represents their unsually keen sense of smell. Users can detect scents beyond the usual human range, and can use this skill to identify and track known individuals by their odour, distinguish the vial that held the poison from other identical containers, choose the passage that leads to the surface by scenting fresh air, etc. The typical DC for perceiving a fresh scent is 10. This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong or distinctive the odour is, the presence or absence of other conflicting scents, and the age of the trail. Retry: Not usually effective.

So, you’ve got your number of skill points, and you know which skills you can choose from. At 1st level, you are allowed to put only 1 rank in any skill. At every subsequent level, you may put one additional rank, maximum, in any skill, so your maximum ranks in each skill will normally equal your character level. Now spend, spend, spend!

Once you’ve decided which skills to buy ranks in, you need to work out what your score is in each one. Following the table linked above, you’ll see that each skill has a Key Ability listed. This means that you apply the Modifier from the relevant stat to your Skill. Example: In making George, my fighter character, I take one rank of the Climb skill. The Key Ability for Climb is Strength, in which George has a 16 (+3 modifier). Because Climb is a class skill for fighters, and he took a rank in it, he receives a +3 modifier. George’s total score in Climb is thus 1 + 3 + 3 = 7. But if George hadn't taken a rank in Climb, his rating would only be 3 - he wouldn't get the +3 class skill bonus unless he actually took a rank in it.

What does all of this mean in practice? I mean, 7 sounds pretty low, right? In game play, if you need to make a Skill check, you roll 1d20 and add your character’s score in that skill. You will be trying to beat a Difficulty Class (DC) assigned by the GM. Example: George the Fighter needs to climb a rope (DC 15). He has a 7 in Climb, and rolls a 10 on his die, for a total of 17. He has beaten the DC, and climbs the rope without falling. So don’t worry if your scores sound impossibly low at the moment. Not only will they go up as you increase in level, but they aren’t really that bad.

Step 7. Select your Feats.

Feats are designed to improve some aspect of your character. In general, you should choose feats from this list, although I’m not going to promise I’ll automatically allow all of the feats contained therein – some of them are grossly abusive, and some are just not appropriate to a high fantasy setting!

Anyway, feats. You start with one, but you get an extra one if you’re human (you lucky bugger, you!) So, two feats at 1st level, unless you’re a fighter. Fighters get an extra feat on top of that, bringing them to a total of three (although their bonus feat must be drawn from a certain list - see their class description.) As you go up in level, you’ll get more.

Some feats have prerequisites – a minimum score in some stat, a base attack bonus of a certain level, or another feat, for example. Obviously, if you don’t meet the prerequisite(s), you can’t take the feat. Yet. If, however, you notice a feat that you think would be really cool for your character to have, it’s a good idea to start planning for it early, by taking the right prerequisites. Example: I think it would be super-keen for George the fighter to eventually get Spring Attack. I can’t get it now, but I can start planning for it. The prerequisites are Dex 13+, Dodge, Mobility, and a base attack bonus of +4 or higher. So I make sure George has a high enough Dex (I give him a 13, figuring I can always increase it later), and I take Dodge and Mobility as two of my three feats at 1st level. Now I just have to wait until I get to 4th level, when my base attack bonus will be +4. And then watch as George springs into action!

Step 8. Choose your Traits.

One of the features of the Pathfinder system is that all characters have Traits, which are minor abilities, less powerful than feats, and not tied to race or class. They reflect unique qualities and should relate in some way to your character concept. You begin play with two traits, chosen from the enormous list here. You may also acquire additional traits by taking a feat, Additional Traits, or by buying them as backgrounds (see below). Some of the traits listed on the site are clearly inappropriate to this setting, so please check with me if you have any questions.

If you wish, you can also select a Drawback, which is a minor disadvantage (similar to a 'negative Trait'). If you take a Drawback then you may take one additional Trait.


Step 9. Work out the Numbers.

Pathfinder has a lot of numbers. Don’t be intimidated by them – they’re easy once you get the hang of them. One of the nice things about the Pathfinder system is that you do a fair amount of math during character creation so that you don’t have to do it during the actual game. So, what numbers do you need to know?

Saving Throws

  • Fortitude represents your ability to withstand physical punishment (i.e. being crushed by a giant boulder) and attacks against your health (i.e. poisons). It is modified by your Con.
  • Reflex represents your ability to dodge out of the way of things (i.e. a giant boulder falling at you). It is modified by your Dex.
  • Will represents your resistance to mental influence or domination (i.e. a charm person spell). It is modified by your Wis.

Here are the saving throws for each class at 1st level:

  • Bard: +0/+2/+2
  • Cleric: +2/+0/+2
  • Fighter: +2/+0/+0
  • Paladin: +2/+0/+2
  • Ranger: +2/+2/+0
  • Rogue: +0/+2/+0
  • Sorcerer: +0/+0/+2
  • Druid: +2/+0/+2
  • Wizard: +0/+0/+2
  • Alchemist: +2/+2/+0
  • Gunslinger: +2/+2/+0
  • Inquisitor: +2/+0/+2
  • Oracle: +0/+0/+2


Hit Points

Each class gets a certain die to determine their hit points (HP). Hit points represent how much damage you can take before you fall. If you reach 0 HP, you fall unconscious. If you ever get to –10 HP, you’re dead. Your HP are modified by your Con.

  • Bard: d8
  • Cleric: d8
  • Fighter: d10
  • Paladin: d10
  • Ranger: d10
  • Rogue: d8
  • Sorcerer: d6
  • Druid: d8
  • Wizard: d6
  • Alchemist: d8
  • Gunslinger: d10
  • Inquisitor: d8
  • Oracle: d8

At first level, you get your maximum HP without rolling. Example: George the fighter gets a d10 HP, and he has a Con of 14 (+2 modifier). He thus has 12 HP at 1st level. At each subsequent level, you will add another die roll + your Con modifier to your total HP. Because I am benevolent, I allow people to re-roll ones – once.

Attack Bonus

This represents how good you are at attacking with various weapons. There are two basic kinds – melee (weapons used in close combat) and ranged (weapons used from a distance). Your attack bonus is the total of your Base Attack, an attribute modifier (Str for melee combat, Dex for ranged combat), and any other modifiers that may apply.

Here are the Base Attack scores for the various classes at 1st level. (Don’t worry, they’ll increase):

  • Bard: +0
  • Cleric: +0
  • Fighter: +1
  • Paladin: +1
  • Ranger: +1
  • Rogue: +0
  • Sorcerer: +0
  • Druid: +0
  • Wizard: +0
  • Alchemist: +0
  • Gunslinger: +1
  • Inquisitor: +0
  • Oracle: +0

Example: George the fighter has a 16 Str (+3 modifier), and a 13 Dex (+1 modifier). His base attack bonus is +1 at 1st level, so his melee attack bonus would be +4, and his ranged attack bonus is +2.

Initiative

Initiative determines in what order people act in combat. This is easy – it’s just your Dex modifier, unless you have the feat Improved Initiative. Note it down somewhere.

Speed

Humans have a base speed of 30 feet. This tells you how far you can move in a round and still take an action (like, say, casting a spell or attacking). If you aren’t taking any actions except moving, you can move twice your base speed (i.e. 60 feet) in a round. If you’re running headlong, you can move up to four times your base speed (i.e. 120 feet) in a round. Mostly this will only be important in combat situations, but it’s still good to know.

Armor Class

This number represents how hard it is for other people to hit you in combat. It’s equal to 10 + your Dex modifier, if you’re completely naked. Please don't be naked. If you’re wearing armor or carrying a shield, or have other modifiers, this number will go up, depending on how good your armor or shield is. Since you don’t have equipment yet, don’t worry about that too much (but you can see p. 123 for examples, if you’re interested). Armor is divided into light, medium, and heavy categories, and is available for your use depending on your class.

Weapons

Weapons come in three broad categories – simple, martial, and exotic, each of which is divided into light, one-handed, two-handed, and ranged subtypes. Each class is automatically able to use some weapons. Each weapon does a particular amount of damage (say, a d4, or 2d6, or whatever); if it’s a melee or thrown weapon, you also add your Str. modifier to that number.

Firearms

Diablotin is now at the "guns everywhere" stage in the Pathfinder firearm rules. Revolvers and rifles are considered simple weapons. Additionally, Diablotin's booming industry has reduced the cost of firearms even further, to 1% of their former price. Ammunition remains at 10% of its former price.

Divine favoured weapons

Clerics and inquisitors should also note their deity's favoured weapon:

  • Bear: Warhammer
  • Lizard: Rapier
  • Ox: Staff
  • Wolf: Light pick
  • Owl: Morningstar
  • Cat: Short sword
  • Rat: Kukri
  • Serpent: Star knife

Okay, that’s enough numbers for now. Let’s move on to something more interesting.

Step 10. Spells.

Not all characters have access to magical spells. Some (paladins and rangers) will eventually get to cast spells, but not at 1st level. Bards, clerics, sorcerers, druids, wizards, inquisitors and oracles have access to spells at 1st level. If you belong to one of those classes, consult your class page for more information about how many spells you can choose from (and from what lists), and how many spells you can cast per day. Each type of spellcaster can also have bonus spells if their main class attribute (Int, Wis, or Cha) is high enough. If that attribute is high enough that you get bonus 2nd, 3rd, or 4th level spells, you still can’t cast them until you have reached a high enough level.

Clerics of the Wheel, who derive their power from the deities associated with the seven Houses, have four domains available each. Clerics must choose two of their chosen deity's Domains at 1st level.

  • Bear: Strength, Nobility, War, Glory
  • Lizard: Trickery, Water, Destruction, Rune
  • Ox: Healing, Protection, Earth, Weather
  • Wolf: Knowledge, Magic, Creation, Artifice
  • Owl: Air, Death, Travel, Repose
  • Cat: Charm, Luck, Fire, Community
  • Rat: Animal, Darkness, Liberation, Madness
  • Serpent: Good, Evil, Law, Chaos, Fate, Time

Picking which spells you want your character to have can be hard, especially if you’re not that familiar with the game, and don’t know which ones are the most useful. If you need advice, I’m here to provide it.

Step 11. Class Features.

Most classes get one or more special abilities or powers, described in their class page. Make a careful note of which powers you have, and any adjustments that may apply to your attributes, skills, or other abilities that may apply.

Step 12. Backgrounds.

Once more I scam a good idea from Terry ;) You have 15 background points to spend, distributed as you wish between the following features:

Allies: (2, 4, or 6 pts) This background represents skilled or knowledgeable friends that your character can call on to help them out in a pinch. Players should outline each Ally and the nature of the characters' relationship. Of course you can have friends and associates without taking this background, but the advantage of spending points on Allies is that they will always help you, if they are able, with no Charisma roll required. It is important to note, however, that the more you call upon your Allies for help, the more likely they are to return the favour, so to speak. If you betray an Ally, you lose the advantage of this background.

  • 2 pts – a single Ally
  • 4 pts – two Allies
  • 6 pts – three Allies

Bonus Attribute Points: (2 or 4 pts) You have bonus attribute points to spend on your attributes. You cannot use these points to raise any attribute higher than 18.

  • 2 pts - 1 attribute point
  • 4 pts - 2 attribute points

Bonus Traits: (2 or 4 pts) You have bonus traits beyond the two standard at 1st level.

  • 2 pts - 1 trait
  • 4 pts - 2 traits

Destiny: (1, 3, or 5 pts) You are clearly destined for some great event. The higher your destiny, the more important events will swirl around you. You may use this background to re-roll any roll you have just made, or to ask the GM to re-roll a roll an NPC has just made that affects you (e.g. an attack or damage roll, a Heal check, etc.) The level of destiny determines the number of times it can be used each game month.

  • 1 pt – once per month
  • 3 pts – twice per month
  • 5 pts – three times per month

Special Gift: (1, 3, or 5 pts) You have a special gift, an item passed down to you, or perhaps discovered by accident. This item may have magical properties or may just be of particularly fine quality. The level of Special Gift determines the approximate worth of the item.

  • 1 pt – approx. 500 gp
  • 3 pts – approx. 2000 gp
  • 5 pts – approx. 4000 gp

Status: (1, 3, 5, or 8 pts) You have some level of social status that is outside the ordinary. This is either related to your family (noble birth, child of a renowned person) or your own personal achievements (fame as a healer or musician, for instance). Your status may grant you special privileges and modifies any interaction rolls where social status is relevant; however, it also has the potential to hinder you in some situations (for instance, aristocrats are not universally beloved!) Note that Status does not automatically bring Wealth.

  • 1 pt – Lesser Status (Of noble blood, but family holds no titles, younger child of a titled family, closely related to a local celebrity; minor fame), +2 bonus to interaction rolls
  • 3 pts – Moderate Status (Heir to a major title, or holder of a minor title; moderate fame), +4 bonus to interaction rolls
  • 5 pts – Greater Status (Holder of a major title; major fame), +6 bonus to interaction rolls.
  • 8 pts – Imperial Status (Member of the Imperial family; inescapeable fame), +8 bonus to interaction rolls.

Unusual Heritage: You are something other than a typical human member of mainstream Aveyrone society. While this may convey certain advantages, it can also serve to set you apart from your neighbours in less-desirable ways, making it more difficult for you to act unobtrusively or subjecting you to prejudice from unenlightened folk.

  • 4 pts – Half-elf or Shadar-kai. Shadar-kai have wizards rather than sorcerers.
  • 6 pts – Elf, Seventh, Tiefling, or Aasimar. Elves can potentially have access to the monk class, and have wizards rather than sorcerers.

Wealth: You are wealthy, not only receiving additional starting money but receive a regular monthly income without having to work for it (e.g. as income from property or investments, or an allowance from your family). You cannot have 5 pts in wealth without at least 1 pt in Status (minor fame).

  • 1 pt – 250 gp starting money, receive 25 gp each game month
  • 3 pts – 600 gp starting money, receive 60 gp each game month
  • 5 pts – 1200 gp starting money, receive 120 gp each game month

Step 13. Equipment.

By this point, your character is almost complete. You have all of their necessary numbers down on paper, and hopefully by this time they are moderately well fleshed-out in your mind (or possibly also on paper). But they still need gear – whatever things they own. You may begin play with up to 150 GP worth of equipment, unless you have purchased Background(s) that affect this sum.

Note that firearms are ubiquitous in Diablotin at this time period; all firearms cost 1/100 (1%) of the listed price in the Pathfinder rules, and ammunition costs 1/10 (10%) of the listed price.

Step 14. History

I don't require that you write a novel detailing their every waking moment from the age of three onwards, but at least a couple of paragraphs containing information about their personality, their interests, where they're from, how they got where they are now, and where they imagine they're going in the future would be useful. I’ll suggest additions or changes if necessary. Also, if you have any NPCs you particularly want them to be associated with (family, friends, enemies, etc.) please provide a short description of those characters and I'll flesh them out more fully. It would be sufficient to give me something like: George has a mentor who taught him everything he knows, but who is now a run-down drunk, a rebellious younger sister that he's very protective of, and an enemy, the merchant who was responsible for bankrupting his elderly parents. If you don't know what name to fill in for a place or person, you can just leave it blank and I'll supply something appropriate. E.g. George was born in [a small village north of Diablotin] and currently lives in [a lower-class but respectable neighbourhood]. He was apprenticed to [a local merchant] when he was ten…. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!

This Questionnaire of Doom! is a tool you could use to flesh out your character, if you so desire.