Basic Components of a Character
In addition to the background and personality that you set for your character, you also have a set of simple numbers that describe your character's capabilities. These statistics, along with other basic information about your character are maintained on a Character Sheet (a downloadable character sheet can be found here). The different sections of the character sheet are described here, presenting each of the statistics and numbers. After you have a basic understanding of the character sheet and its components, you can choose to make your own character or start playing with one of our sample characters.
Basic Character Information
The top section of the character sheet contains a variety of basic information about a character. Here lies the character's name, family or clan associations, details of its appearance, and the deity (if any) it worships. These aspects have very little to do with the mechanics of the game, but can greatly influence roleplay and the story. Here player's also keep track of the character's level, experience, and karma rewards granted by the Gamemaster (more on this later). This section of the character sheet also lists a character's Race, Class, Attributes, and Alignment.
In the world of QoD there are many races to choose from. In addition to Humans, many more exotic Races, such as Dwarves and Elves exist in the world. Each race has a cultural heritage that can help to define your character's background. For example, Dwarves are proud and boisterous, valuing actions that bring honor to one's village or clan. Elves tend to have strong ties with nature and a long lifespan, sometimes leaving them arrogant and distrusting of younger races (though they usually appear respectful to those of authority).
Each race has guidelines for a character's culture and physical appearance. Race influences your character's senses, physical and mental abilities (by adjusting attribute scores), and background (through Racial Skills and weapon proficiencies). Perhaps the greatest diversity present between races comes from unique Racial Features that augment your character's capabilities.
A Class is an archtypical representation of a character's education and training. It helps to shape and define the character's role in the game. For example, will your character embrace Martial Training as a Fighter, utilizing weapons with strength and vigor to defend others? Or will he train as a Rogue, using precision and cleverness to achieve his goals? Will he study the Eldritch Arts as a Wizard, calling on magical energies to do his bidding? There are many classes to choose from, and your choice will dramatically shape your character's fate.
Class determines a character's access to Philosophies and Powers, grants training in specific Skills and Equipment, and offers a number of Disciplines that define a character's combat style and power options. Class Features are unique abilities that separate the character from characters of other classes. Each class also favors and depends upon on one or two Attributes.
The six Attributes are a measure a character's physical (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution) and mental (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) capabilities. These attributes influence virtually every aspect of a character: its capacity towards certain skills, its ability to interact with others (whether it be talking or fighting), and its strengths and weaknesses. Attributes affect a character's success or failure at completing tasks, be it questioning a witness, noticing a trap, fighting an enemy, casting a spell, picking a lock, or breaking down a door.
- Strength (STR) is raw physical power and muscular capacity. High scores allow a character to lift heavy objects and exert powerful force.
- Dexterity (DEX) is a measure deftness and quickness. Characters with high Dexterity are able to accomplish intricate and reflexive tasks.
- Constitution (CON) represents physical hardiness. Frail characters have low constitution while a high Constitution helps a character to withstand harsh conditions.
- Intelligence (INT) is a measure of mental acuity, allowing for the recall of information and the forming of complex strategies.
- Wisdom (WIS) indicates common sense and mental reasoning, allowing characters to detect changes in their environment and make decisions based on such observations.
- Charisma (CHA) is a character's personality and mettle, being important for social interactions and overcoming the mental influences of others.
Attribute scores usually range between 3 and 18 (plus Racial modifiers), with the highest scores representing a character's strengths, and the lowest its weaknesses. Typically, the highest scores are assigned to those attributes most important to a character's class. For example, a Fighter will likely have a high Strength score to improve his weapon attacks. Conversely, a Wizard will have a high Intelligence to improve the power of his Spells.
Alignment is a character's propensity towards good or evil, law or chaos. Creatures exist between all extremes, but most heroic characters (though definitely not all) tend towards some sort of good alignment. Lawful creatures maintain rules and regulations, holding themselves accountable to society. Chaotic creatures, on the other hand, are more free spirited and hold themselves accountable only to the individual. While a character's alignment has little mechanical function, it greatly influences roleplay and a character's decisions.
Skills represent aptitude for certain tasks. There are two different groups of skills: Active Skills and Trade Skills. Active Skills represent relatively simple tasks, including physical abilities (i.e. jump, Swim, climb), social abilities (i.e. Charm, Coercion), sensory abilities (i.e. spot, listen), and knowledge skills (i.e. law, mathematics, local history).
Trade skills are more complex and have two components: Application and Lore/Theory. The Application component represents the character's ability to complete activities involving the skill. For example, a Weaponsmith's ability to forge a weapon, or an Alchemist's ability to distill a potion. Conversely, the Lore/Theory component represents the character's ability to recall or extrapolate information based on the skill. For example, a Weaponsmith's ability to determine that a weapon was made by a famous smith or the Alchemist's ability to recall the many uses of Dragon's blood.
Skills have ranks which range from 1 to 15 (though Rank 15 is rare), with higher ranks representing a greater competency and training in the skill. Skill Rank, along with a character's attributes, contributes to the Skill Check Bonus which is used to determine the success or failure of a task within the game. Skill Ranks are increased by applying Skill Points to a specific skill, with higher Ranks of skills costing more points then lower ranks. This makes higher ranks more difficult to achieve (see Skills for more details).
A character's Race and Class will grant a list of Favored Skills that are important to their heritage and training. Along with gaining free Skill Ranks in a selection of these skills at first level, Favored Skills increase the Maximum possible Skill Rank of a skill by 1. The Maximum Skill Rank is otherwise determined by the character's level.
Powers represent special abilities that a character can perform and are listed under the power section of the character sheet. Most powers have an energy cost, limiting how frequently they can be used. Philosophies dictate what powers a character may have, as all powers have a Philosophy Rank prerequisite.
Stamina & Resolve
A character's powers and abilities draw energy from the wielder. Stamina represents stress placed on the body by such abilities, while Resolve represents stress placed on the mind. Each character has a specified amount of Stamina and Resolve that are used to fuel their powers. This energy does not return until the character rests (or is subject to another effect that restores energy). If a creature ever becomes completely expended of its energy, either Stamina or Resolve, it falls unconscious from the effort. The total of a character's Stamina and Resolve depends on its Attributes, Race, Class, and Level.
A character's Philosophy Rank determines its access to powers and enhances the use of those powers. Most characters will start off with access to three philosophies: Mental, Physical, and one that is specific to their class. A character's Race will grant it free ranks in the Physical and Mental philosophies, while its Class will grant free ranks in a third philosophy.
General powers represent abilities that require Physical or Mental conditioning to perform, and often do not require class specific training (though some do). General Powers may be chosen from Physical Maneuvers and Mental Methods, which include a wide variety of abilities to augment almost any aspect of a character. Some general powers augment skills, while others give simple actions or tasks a character can perform. When a character gains a general power , it may choose any power for which it meets the prerequisites. Prerequisites can include Physical or Mental Ranks, other philosophy ranks, Skill Ranks, and more.
Class powers are abilities gained through training in Class Philosophies, and consist of specific bits of training unique to students of that philosophy. These powers are what largely separates one Character from another. For example, Fighters and Rogues train under the Martial Philosophy, granting them diverse weapon fighting techniques to be used in combat. Wizards and Sorcerers study the Eldritch Philosophy, where they immerse themselves in powerful magical spells that can used to call lightning from the sky, create complex illusions, confound the minds of enemies, or allow telepathic speech. Clerics and Paladins draw strength from the Divine Philosophy, using prayers that assist and heal allies, protect the innocent, and smite the wicked.
The Combat section of the character sheet contains most of the information that a character needs in a combat situation. In this section you will find information about the character's health, attacks and defenses, movement rates, and its ability to overcome effects.
Initiative is a character's reaction time and determines when a character takes its first turn. Initiative Order determines which character's action occurs first, when two creatures act at the same time.
Saving Throws are a character's ability to overcome a Status Effect that has been placed on them. A character's Saving Throw scores are generally equal to their base Attribute Scores plus a philosophy rank, though some abilities can grant bonuses or penalties to a specific attribute or against certain effects. Saving Throws and Status Effects are discussed in more detail later.
Hitpoints represent a Character's health and determine how much damage it can take before risking an injury, being knocked out, or killed. When your character suffers damage, subtract the damage from its current hitpoint total. When the hitpoint total is reduced to 0 hitpoints, it risks suffering a significant Injury, which could lead to its death, see Injuries for more details.
Characters can be healed by resting and through the use of powers, items, and other abilities. A creature's Healing Value is a percentage of its total health and is used by many abilities to represent the amount of healing a creature gains.
A character's Defenses represent their ability to withstand or avoid attacks. Armor Class (AC) signifies defense against physical and weapon attacks, and is heightened through the use of armor and shields. The Touch defense protects against being touched by a harmful substance and is similar to Armor Class, except that wearing armor does not assist with the Touch defense. Reflex represents a character's ability to move out of the way or deflect a hazard or effect. Fortitude is the ability to withstand effects directly targeting the body, while Will is the ability to withstand effects directly targeting the mind.
Your character will have several different attacks that it can utilize against its foes. They are broken down into three general types: Weapon Attacks, Non-Weapon Attacks, and Casting.
Basic attacks are basically any type of physical attack that does not utilize a weapon. One of the most common of these, Grapple, represents a character's ability to grab, hold on to, or trip an opponent. The Melee Attack is used when attempting to grab something a target is holding or to get near enough to grab them. The Ranged Attack is used when throwing potion vials or similar substances at an opponent. It may be appropriate to make other basic attacks at your GM's discretion.
The statistics for weapon attacks are based on the specific weapons a character wields. Melee Weapons, such as swords and axes, are typically wielded using on a character's Strength. Ranged Weapons, those that can be used from a distance, are typically wielded using a character's Dexterity. All weapons have an Armor Negation value, which can partially overcome a character's Weapon Resistance (see resistances below). All weapons also have a Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Damage values, which are used to deal additional damage when a character hits a particularly vulnerable location. More information on Critical Strikes will be given later.
Certain classes grant a character the ability to use Cast Actions. When the effects of these powers include attacks, their accuracy and damage is based on an Attribute specific to that class.
Your character will typically have three movement modes: Shift, Skirmish and Sprint. The distance you can move with each mode will be based on your Race. A Shift is a few steps, moving a character about 5 ft, which can be taken cautiously and therefore does not risk attack from nearby enemies. A Skirmish is a fast movement, in which the character still remains cautious, but risks attack from nearby enemies. A Sprint is an all-out run, in which a character moves with no caution and is vulnerable to attacks.
Characters also have overland movement speeds which indicate how far they can walk in a day.
Morale represents your character's mental steadfastness and courage. A character's base morale score is dependent on its Charisma and can be raised or lowered by a variety of effects. When morale is lowered, the character becomes susceptible to debilitating effects, such as Fear. Within combat, the morale of the party grants a bonus (or penalty) to Defenses and Attacks.
Your characters may be subject to a variety of Damage Reduction or Damage Resistance, which directly reduce damage suffered.
Equipment includes not only the Armor and Weapons that your character uses on a daily basis, but mundane gear like sleeping rolls, rope, and rations. In the Equipment section you can keep track of a character's equipped gear and items, stowed gear, Spellbook and Ritual Book lists, and cash your character carries.
Feats represent special bits of training that grant a character new abilities or improve its existing abilities. Feats can improve damage, defenses, skill bonuses, hitpoints, Stamina and Resolve totals, and more. Many feats have prerequisites which can include Philosophy Ranks, Skill Ranks, Racial or Class features, powers, and other feats.
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