In order to participate in the adventure story that the game master (GM) and the players will jointly unfold in this world, players must first create their player character (PC), who becomes a member of a team (the party) that interacts with the story elements, each other, and non-player characters (NPCs).
The first choice you must make in creating a PC is which civilization your character comes from. This choice will determine the value structure and world view in which you were raised, and not incidentally, which chakra energy is strongest within you. In additional to influencing your roleplay, your culture of origin also confers certain capabilities and attributes measurable by the game mechanic. (This is similar to choosing a race in D&D, but hopefully more dynamic.)
Since you are all heroes, you will create a character on a heroic template: either the Strong Hero, the Fast Hero, the Tough Hero, the Smart Hero, the Dedicated Hero, or the Charismatic Hero. (This is in contrast to D&D, where your main selection is that of a predefined character class: cleric, wizard, rogue and so on.) Using the parameters of the template, you can create a wide range of characters: a Strong Hero might be a newly-freed veteran gladiator or a callow but powerful farmboy; a Charismatic Hero might be a street-smart urchin or sly warrior-priest. This template assigns some basic values – such as the attach bonus – and provides the framework through which you organize your abilities, skills, feats, and talents, and determines at which rate the various aspects of your character improve as you gain experience and “level-up” – move to a better version of your character.
Sample Hero Template
Abilities: A character’s Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma: the fundamental qualities and capabilities of any individual. (The same as D&D.) These are expressed in a number from 8 to 18; an average person would rank between 10 and 14. You will assign your levels in these categories in a manner determined by the GM, and in logical accord with your character template.
Skills: Particular aptitudes that a character’s basic abilities are expressed through, such as climbing, diplomacy, stealth, crafts, languages, athletics, riding, lock-picking, and so on. These are expressed as numerical value representing your investment in the skill, your level in the related Ability, and any cultural or special modifiers. Your character’s pre-heroic background, which will be developed jointly by you and the GM, determines the skills available to you at character creation (as opposed to the arbitrarily designated “class skills” in D&D.)
Actual skill levels are set at character creation and increase at each leveling-up.
Listing of Skills
Feats: Particular exceptional qualities or special proficiencies, mostly in the area of combat, such as specific weapon proficiencies and fighting styles. Each player, regardless of template, achieves new feats at character creation and at every third level advanced to, and achieves feats keyed to their specific character template on even-numbered levels.
Listing of Feats
Talents: Specific capabilities associated with your character template. Talents are more precise in nature than feats, and can only be achieved by characters built with the appropriate template; examples of talents are Charm (Charismatic), Empathy (Dedicated), Evasion (Fast), Extreme Effort (Strong), Trick (Smart), and Rage (Tough). Characters achieve talents at character creation and at every odd-numbered level advanced to. Talents are organized in trees, and selecting which branching to follow determines to a great degree your character’s customization. (These are similar to the class abilities in D&D, but with much ore flexibility.)
Listing of Talents
Other qualities: Character actions are also determined in the game mechanic by the following numerical values: your Hit Points (how much damage you can take: varies by template, improves each level, and can be influenced by feats and/or talents); your Base Attack Bonus (how strong your offense is: varies by template, improves each level, and can be influenced by feats and/or talents); your armor class (how hard you are to hit and hurt: depend on abilities and armor worn, and can be influenced by feats and/or talents );and your Fortitude, Reflex, and Will Saves (how good you are at avoiding damage: vary by template, improve each level, and can be influenced by feats and/or talents).
A player must create a character by first choosing a background and a culture of origin, as these affect the game mechanics directly. Other individualizing characteristics, such as gender, age, attitude, quirks, motivation, and goals are the details that enable robust roleplaying. Then, using an initial bank of points, a player assigns the character’s ability and skill levels, “buying” and balancing attributes, selecting starting feats and talents to flesh out the character, and equipping the character with any armor, weapons, or other good the hero might need. As the game goes on, if your character survives, you will have the opportunity to increase your base abilities, improve your skills, acquire more feats, learn more talents – and maybe get some more cool stuff.