The Kickstarter for Forbidden Lands has recently posted an update discussing the steps to character creation for their upcoming game, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to do the same with Nordsaga, whilst also introducing the Attributes and Skill.

Now the design aims for Nordsaga are to bring the flavourful elements of WFRP into the Year Zero engine, whilst also employing relevant, fitting mechanics from other games.

And so character generation (“chargen”) here uses an (approximate) approach that is a dirty mixture of Mutant: Year Zero, WFRP, Conan 2d20, Blades in the Dark and Shadow of the Demon Lord.

What we end up with is a career-centric chargen system that in a number of steps builds a character based on their background, and offers optional (though highly recommended) random tables to generate everything.

Here are the summarised steps:

  1. Roll/choose a RACE. This provides the inital spread of Attributes and grants your character one point in three skills, plus one racial talent.
  2. Roll/choose an UPBRINGING. This grants your character a free skill point and a free attribute increase (from a choice of 2). Also determines some of your starting gear (especially starting coin).
  3. Roll/choose a COMMON CAREER. This provides a list of common careers (24 at the moment) that can either be rolled for or chosen, each of which has a list of skills and a lis of talents associated with that career. You gain a point in each of the listed skills, plus one talent at chargen. The Careers also determine the remainder of your gear (especially weapons).
  4. Roll/choose a LIFE-CHANGING EVENT. Something transformative happened in your life, making you more susceptible to a life of adventuring. This provides a free attribute increase (from a choice of 2), plus the final free talent at chargen.
  5. Roll/choose a TEMPERAMENT. This defines why your character acts the way he/she does, and provides a free skill point and attribute increase (from a choice of 2).
  6. Roll/choose a PROBLEM. Like Vice in Blades in the Dark or Obligations in Star Wars EOTE, this is the major flaw in your character.  Acting on this in a session can grant bonus experience.
  7. Roll/choose a GOAL. Acting on this goal in a session can grant bonus experience.
  8. Roll/choose the FINISHING TOUCHES.  Gender, age, appearance, personality and mannerism can all be rolled randomly or chosen.
  9. Finalise the ATTRIBUTES.  For Humans, no Attribute can go higher than 4; for non-Humans, no Attribute can go higher than 5.  Redistribute any Attributes as needed to comply with this, choosing a related Attribute if possible.
  10. Finalise the SKILLS.  For all races, no skills can go higher than 2 – redistribute if needed, picking a similar skill if possible.
  11. Purchase additional GEAR. The last step is to purchase any additional gear with starting coin, subject to GM approval and if appropriate to the starting adventure.

What you are left with is a character with 15 points spread across 6 Attributes, 7 points spread across 17 Skills and 3 Talents (based on your Race, Career and Life-Changing Event).

Seeing as how I am talking about Attributes and Skills so much here, that will be the subject of my next post.

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