In a previous post, I promised to introduce you to the player characters for my Atlantis: The Second Age game I am preparing to run. This will also give me a chance to talk a little about character creation in the game. I'll start with RM's character.
Step 1: Choose a race. Of the 13 races available, RM chose to play a Lemurian, an advanced race of intelligent apes. Physically strong and technologically advanced, Lemurians could at one time have laid claim to the title of world rulers, but now most reside in isolation on the continent of Lemuria. Lemurians are also the only characters that normally have access to firearms, but RM chose not to equip his character with any. (This decision by the normally rabid gun enthusiast caused another player to ask "Who are you and what have you done with our friend?") This also set the character's baseline attributes and granted a few special abilities available only to Lemurians.
Step 2: Choose a culture. There are many, many cultures in the game to choose from, and all cultures are available to all races. RM chose the most obvious one for his character, Lemuria. This gave his character a variety of skill bonuses and a +1 to his intelligence.
Step 3: Choose a profession. This is as close to the concept of character class as this game gets. Of the 4 broad professions available, RM chose The Slayers, which gave him access to the Slayer Talents. (These talents can be chosen by other professions, but at a higher cost.) Within the profession, RM chose Warrior. This gave him a variety of skill bonuses, a +1 to his wealth rating, and the Slayer Talent, Cleave, which basically lets a PC hit multiple opponents per melee attack.
Step 4: Walk the Life Paths. (This is one of the features that led me to pick Atlantis: The Second Age for my next game. Last year I ran a very short campaign of Fortune's Fool. One of the things the players particularly enjoyed about it was the character creation Life Path system. I wanted to run a game where that was a part of character creation again.) A character's Life Paths are determined by a combination of choice and random die rolls. RM chose a civilized Upbringing and rolled "Child of Thieves". For Childhood Encounter he rolled "Switch places with a prince and asked to rule in his stead. After 1D20 (15) months the prince returned and took his rightful place." Family Status brought the result "Entire family killed in a great war." The Previous Adventures section can be chosen up to 5 times. Each trip through this section ages the character a random number of years. RM decided to go through this section all 5 times. At the end, his character had dined with a cannibal king and lost an eye, formed a love/hate friendship with a noble, found a strange and valuable device, gained a devoted wife and fathered 3 children, and fought with the Amazons. He's had a very busy life and the game hasn't even started yet!
Step 5: Final Details. There are a slew of things tucked into this category. Character Age (determined by Race and Previous Adventures), which can modify Attributes , Hit Points (determined by Race and the CON Attribute), Renown (which is sort of a combination of experience points and reputation), Hero Points, which are similar to fate points or bennies in other games, and are distributed into different Atman elemental categories, 30 Customization Points to spend on Attributes, Skills, and Talents, Disadvantages to choose, which the player can bring into effect in order to earn more Hero Points, and a Destiny to choose for the character. RM did all this and the finished character looks like this:
Name: Tafkap (which is a really, really bad joke) Profession: Warrior
Race: Lemurian Culture: Lemurian Age: 33 Renown: 6
Attributes: Str +3 Dex +1 Con 0 Spd 0 Int +3 Per +2 Wil 0 Cha 0
Combat Rating +2 Magic Rating -2 Wealth Rating +1
Hit Points 20 Hero Points 5 (2 in Earth, 2 in Air, 1 in Empyrean)
Athletics: 10 Evade: 8 Handicraft: Weaponsmith 2, Needlework 2 Instinct: Initiative 4 Languages: Lemurian 10, Atlantean 3, Hellene 3 Literacy: Lemurian 2 Medicine: 2 Parry: 7 Profession: Slayer 10 Ride: 2 Stealth: 6 Unarmed Fighting: 7 Weapon: Gun 2, Heavy 0, Melee 10, Ranged 8, Thrown 6
Disadvantages: Relationship: Jealous royal cousin of prince he switched places with
External: One eye
Destiny: To found the world's greatest fighting school and train disciples of renown
I will post the other characters later (but probably just the Life Path results and the Stat summary).