Think about your favorite adventure movie or fantasy novel. All of the heroes, heroines, and villains in those stories are characters. When you begin playing QoD, the character you build will be a conduit for exploring the fantasy world laid out by your Gamemaster. Your character can be anything you want it to be, from a Knight Crusader, to a Thieving Scoundrel, or perhaps a powerful Sorcerer. The basics of how to build a character are outlined below. Your character’s race will influence his (or her) background and culture. Your character's class will influence his training and expertise. But the details of your character, what makes him tick or what influences his decisions are up to your imagination.
Identity and Personality
Your character is like a real person, with an identity and personality that you create. While the rules serve as a guideline for your character’s capabilities, much of the essence of your character is the life that you breathe into him or her. Maybe you’d like to pattern your character after someone from your favorite novel, or perhaps you always imagined what it must be like to be an adventurer. Whatever your ideas, below are some questions that will help you develop your character’s identity and personality. As you build your character, keep these questions in mind as a tool to help you make choices, but feel free to make changes as your character develops.
Create a background for your character:
- Where did he come from?
- What was his childhood like?
- What successes or tragedies were in his past?
- How do the events of the past influence his attitude and decisions in the present?
- How did your character learn his trade?
- Did he have formal training, or is he self taught?
Give your character a personality:
- What does he like to do in his spare time?
- How does he feel about the city or town that he lives in?
- How does he react to different races or classes of people?
- What bothers or annoys him?
- What makes him happy?
- Why is he an adventurer?
- What goals does he have?
Think about your character’s mannerisms and how he speaks:
- What phrases might he use?
- What does your character look like and how does that influence how he interacts with the world?
- How old is your character?
- Is he talkative or quiet? A thinker or a doer?
Hopefully these questions will allow you to begin to form an idea of your character’s motives, what makes him who he is, and what drives him to be an adventurer. Throughout the story your character can continue to change and grow according to his interactions with the world.
After you've come up with some ideas for your character's background and identity, you can create your Character Thesis. Your Character Thesis is a short phrase or single sentence that represents your character's strongest and deepest motivation. This motivation will shape a lot of your character's decisions and roleplay, giving you something to guide the choices you must make for the character. If your Character Thesis ever changes, or they feel it has been fulfilled, it is considered to be significant and powerful growth for your character.
Generally the Character Thesis is a broad concept as opposed to a specific goal, such as "Protect the Innocent," "Make my Family Proud," or "Be Remembered." Discuss your Character Thesis with your Gamemaster, who will ensure that your choice meshes well with the story and with the Theses of other Player Characters (it is possible, but uncommon, for two players Theses to be in direct conflict, in which case the GM will work with both players to remedy the issue). Sometimes you will tweak or adjust your Character Thesis in the first few sessions as you learn how your character fits into the story, but it's a good idea to have a general idea of your Thesis before you start.
Steps to Making a Character
Below is a quick reference guide to the steps you will need to take when making your character. While you are likely familiar with these components from reading Basic Components of a Character, each component is described in greater detail, including what your options are and how to calculate the statistics of your character.
- Choose a Race
- Choose a Class
- Generate Attributes
- Create Appearance & Personality
- Choose Powers
- Determine Vitality
- Choose Skills
- Choose Feats
- Purchase Equipment
- Calculate Attacks & Defenses
Before you get started building your first character, you should have a basic understanding of the concept of level. Level represents your character's overall experience and provides a measure of his aptitude for adventuring. Through adventuring, your character will gain Experience that will allow him to increase level, which in turn increases his abilities and access to powers. The following tutorial will take you through building a first level character. Guidelines for creating higher level characters, see Creating Higher Level Characters.
The Level Modifier is a reflection of character experience and grants a bonus to many character aspects, including Attack Bonuses and Defenses. At first level, your Level Modifier is +1. Record your Level and Level Modifier on your character sheet.
Karma is a reward granted by your GM for completing difficult tasks that can be used for a variety of purposes. When creating a new character, you start with 1 Karma. You can learn more about Karma in the How to Play section.
Destiny Points are given as awards to your character throughout an adventure. Destiny Points are most typically used to purchase Talents which grant special abilities that can be used to distinguish your character. At first level, you start with 2 Destiny Points.
Most Talents have requirements that exceed the capabilities of first level characters, but there are some that are available at these low levels. For more information see First Level Talents.
Back to Basic Components of a Character