Gold and Lead
Step 1: Character Concept
This is by FAR the most important step. Your stats and dice pools are NOT the sum of your character! WHO is your character? Personality? Age? Where have they been, what have they done? What was their childhood like? WHAT is your character? HOW does your character fit into the setting?
So the main question here, is was your character around for the Civil War? It started 12 years ago, finished 8 years ago. How do they feel about it? Did they lose people they loved? How did that affect them? What resources do they have in these tough times?
IMPORTANT: Everyone has something they regret, or something they’d rather folks didn’t know. Somenting like a dark secret, but not as severe – It’s something your character would prefer remains secret, not something that’ll make them unplayable or the enemy of everyone who knows.
IMPORTANT2: The job interview questions! What is your character’s greatsest strength. Tell me about some event in their past that you think demonstrates this.
Write up as much as you need to flesh out a vibrant living character. You won’t be able to cover all the little details of your character’s life, but get a good idea. You will no doubt discover and explore a myriad of new things about your character as time progresses.
Step 2: Grab a character sheet and start filling out the top!
Ok, so most of the top of the sheet is self explanatory. Name, Age, Player, Concept should be easy. The thing that probably needs explaining here is the ‘virtue’ and ‘vice’ sections of your sheet.
VIRTUE: (Charity,Faith,Fortitude,Hope,Justice,Prudence,Temperance) (nWod p. 101-103) – regain all spent willpower after a chapter if actions fit the virtue
VICE: (Envy,Gluttony,Greed,Lust,Pride,Sloth,Wrath) (nWod p. 103-105) – regain a willpower point after a scene if actions fit the vice
Step 3: Attributes (5/4/3 dots)
Now to start putting dots on your sheet! The first section on your sheet is your attributes section. This represents the raw natural talents of your character. These can be increased (or decreased) depending on what happens to your character and with exp. expenditures, etc. Attributes are on a scale from 1-5 for most characters. Dots in your attributes mean they are: 1= terrible (you get the first dot for free anyway) 2= average 3= good 4= excellent 5= peak of human capacity (costs 2x to buy)
There are 9 attributes separated into 3 different categories, physical, social, and mental and you start with one dot in each. What you need to do is prioritize these three categories into your primary, secondary and tertiary attributes. Ex. If your character is a smooth talker but not too smart, then you’d be a social primary, physical secondary and a mental tertiary. Then you get to assign dots to the attributes in each of those categories. 5-primary, 4-secondary, 3-tertiary
When you’re picking your ratings for your character, try to pick what makes sense for your character. The goal here is to make the sheet match the character concept, not let the sheet define the character!
Step 4: Skills (11/7/4 dots + 3 specialties)
Skills represent your character’s life experiences, knowledge, etc. There’s a lot of them and it may seem like you don’t have enough dots to really flesh out your character’s whole life, but don’t worry! For more detailed descriptions of the abilities consult your core book. For this game Drive is replaced by Ride, and Computer by Technology.
Loosely though, a single dot means you have a high school level of education in the subject. 2 dots means you have a college education in the subject, 3 means professional, 4 means expert, 5 means world class master. The 5th dot costs 2x to buy.
All skills are divided into three categories, exactly like attributes. So you’re going to pick a primary, secondary and tertiary category again and assigning dots to abilities that make sense for your character concept.
11-primary, 7-secondary, 4-tertiary. Then pick 3 skill Specialties – Each specialty gets a bonus die when rolling that particular skill.
IMPORTANT: If you’re professional+ in a skill, or have a relevant specialization – I’m less likely to make you roll for something you’re doing that you ought to be able to do.
Step 5: Merits – (7 dots) (+2 dots for a detailed background!)
Mental Merits: Common Sense (¥¥¥¥), Danger Sense (¥¥), Eidetic Memory (¥¥), Encyclopedic Knowledge (¥¥¥¥), Holistic Awareness (¥¥¥), Language (¥ to ¥¥¥), Meditative Mind (¥), Unseen Sense (¥¥¥)
Physical Merits: Ambidextrous (¥¥¥), Brawling Dodge (¥), Direction Sense (¥), Disarm (¥¥), Fast Reflexes (¥ or ¥¥), Fighting Finesse (¥¥), Fighting Style: Boxing (¥ to ¥¥¥¥¥), Fighting Style: Kung Fu (¥ to ¥¥¥¥¥), Fighting Style: Two Weapons (¥ to ¥¥¥¥), Fleet of Foot (¥ to ¥¥¥), Fresh Start (¥), Giant (¥¥¥¥), Gunslinger (¥¥¥), Iron Stamina (¥ to ¥¥¥), Iron Stomach (¥¥), Natural Immunity (¥), Quick Draw (¥), Quick Healer (¥¥¥¥), Strong Back (¥), Strong Lungs (¥¥¥), Stunt Driver (¥¥¥), Toxin Resistance (¥¥), Weaponry Dodge (¥)
Social Merits: Allies (¥ to ¥¥¥¥¥), Barfly (¥), Contacts (¥ to ¥¥¥¥¥), Fame (¥ to ¥¥¥), Inspiring (¥¥¥¥), Mentor (¥ to ¥¥¥¥¥), Resources (¥ to ¥¥¥¥¥), Retainer (¥ to ¥¥¥¥¥), Status (¥ to ¥¥¥¥¥), Striking Looks (¥¥ or ¥¥¥¥)
Step 6: Finishing touches
Health = Stamina + Size . Willpower = Resolve + Composure • Size = 5 for adult humans • Defense = Lowest of Dexterity or Wits • Initiative Mod = Dexterity +Composure • Speed = Strength + Dexterity +5 • Starting Morality = 7