We realize that the old World of Darkness system can be somewhat fickle with what numbers it assigns to particular themes (Mage, Sorcerer, Werewolf, Kinfolk, etc.). The system is by no means unified, and we realize any attempt at standardization may seem artificial, but some things have changed. It is the player's responsibility to read over our (painstakingly compiled for your convenience) wikia and inform themselves as to what changes we have made.
Additionally, we remain of the opinion that changing too much is asking for trouble, as the methods in the core rules for the various themes have been play tested and endured years of revision and use. Thus, upon careful consideration, the following is our current consensus for base line character generation. If you are creating a character, please read this page in order, beginning with Heroic Mortals.
When you're done with that, please see the sphere-specific Chargens for specifics:
- Random Name Generator
- Here's a good one.
Everyone starts here.
Also referred to as Mortal+, these individuals are the Kinfolk, Sorcerers, Ghouls, Unranked Cubs, and other non-Supernaturals (capital S) of the old World of Darkness. These are powerful individuals in their own right that, while not maintaining the same sort of supernatural strength as the Werewolves and so on, endlessly prove themselves as resourceful, enduring, graceful spirits that continue to live on in the World of Darkness in spite of the terrible powers that surround them.
Regardless of theme, all characters created out of base character generation begin at this level. All player-characters are by their very nature heroic mortals upon conception, even if they are to become Supernaturals later. Heroic Mortals are special in some way; they maintain a certain inner strength, adaptability, or mental fortitude that separates them from the bulk of mundane society. Their base statistics are reflected below:
- Attributes: 6/4/3 - Note that all Attributes start with 1 free dot.
- Abilities: 11/7/4
- Backgrounds: 5
- Virtues (7) - Note that all Virtues start with 1 free dot
- Willpower: 3
- Banality: Varies; generally between 6-8. This is a general rating and doesn't cost anything.
- Freebies: 21
- Note: You can only have a point maximum of 7 for merits and flaws, each.
- Note: Sorcerers receive 5 free dots of Numina. Kin can receive up to 3, but require justification for their training or manifestation. Kin may argue for an appropriate Gift instead of a Numina dot. This applies to Supernatural Kin as well, though these characters will be scrutinized more heavily.
- Note: Ghouls receive a free dot of Potence.
No one starts life as a Supernatural. All the various themes (Changeling, Mage, Vampire, Werewolf) attach a shard of destiny or even fate to certain Heroic Mortals that pushes them above and beyond the boundaries of reality and mundane thought (Chrysalis, Awakening, Embraced, Firsting). These individuals are more than just powerful; they are absolutely awe-inspiring. While that awe can vary considerably in condition, it is always the case that Supernaturals stand a great space away from even the most Heroic of mortals.
Essentially, this means that starting game play as a Supernatural insinuates that the character has been around long enough to come into at least a moderate understanding of their abilities as a Supernatural, and are usually on the path to further advancement. Keep in mind that soul-searching in this manner can be quite agonizing for even the most open-minded of Heroic Mortal-turning-Supernaturals, and should be noted somehow in the character's history; reality for them is shattering and reconstituting itself into something it could never have been before. The following statistics represent that understanding and soul-searching, and should be added onto the Heroic Mortal base template above:
- Attributes: +1 to both Primary and Secondary priorities (7/5/3).
- Abilities: Add the following to assigned priorities: +2 Primary, +2 Secondary, and +1 Tertiary (13/9/5).
- Backgrounds: +2 additional backgrounds.
- Advantages: These vary by Supernatural; see the appropriate sphere. Heroic Mortal Willpower may be overridden.
- Freebies: The 21 freebies from the Heroic Mortal template may be spent on Supernatural Advantages.
Both Heroic Mortals and Supernaturals are not necessarily limited to the 21 freebies that come out of base character generation. This section offers a number of guidelines to aid players in determining what level of experience their character maintains upon showing up in Crystal Springs, and how this should be reflected in freebie distribution.
* A player's first character is, however, limited to tiers 1 (Initiate) and 2 (Practiced); see guidelines below.
While Dark Forces does use a full sheet and dice, we want to make it very clear that players should always focus on the reasons why their character possesses certain abilities, and not strictly depend on number allotments to create a character's sheet distribution. Dark Forces has a preoccupation with story and character growth, not the arbitrary assignment of points to places they don't belong. Sometimes it may simply be inappropriate to use all of the freebies available to you. Sometimes, you may not have enough.
Yes, character concepts can be fickle. Yes, statistics are often imperfect numeric representations of ability. As such, we urge players to begin with base starting statistics and attempt to focus their character towards a particular theme as much as possible. In the event that this simply does not do the character any justice, a player may call upon extra freebies to further flesh out a character's statistics to align more closely with their intended concept.
The guidelines for such are as follows:
- Keep track of all your statistical expenditures on your character page. Also keep your base statistical expenditures separate from any additional freebie expenditures. This is best done in a section at the bottom of the application.
- Make sure all expenditures are justified in your application. A sentence is likely enough to explain why a character has Drive 1 or 2; a paragraph may be necessary to explain why a character has Science 4. Keep in mind that these explanations should be woven into the application. If an application is merely a list of justifications for high statistics, it will be promptly denied. We are looking for complete character portraits, not a resume.
- Consider the following to determine what approximate level of experience your character maintains upon entering the game. Note that only the best of applications will allow Adept-level experience; only the most stellar, fantastic applications (why aren't you getting published?) will allow Expert-level experience. The higher tiers are currently locked without tacit wizardly approval.
- x Base Character Generation/Initiate
- You've either just recently come into the realization that you're more than a normal person, or you're still just that, albeit with a waiting, unfulfilled bit of destiny lingering over you. These are army conscripts/fresh meat, cubs, kits, recently Awakened mages and relatively experienced Heroic Mortals (Kinfolk, etc.). These are the sorts of people that just live their lives to be fulfilled; they may have some dealings with the supernatural, and they may even have special powers, but they don't go out of their way to make a mark on the world, or they may just be beginning to make such a mark.
- A character of this level may spend no more than 21 freebies.
- • Practiced
- The supernatural world is no longer bright and new. You've seen the thick of the darkness that can pervade the world, and you've seen the terrible things that can befall the unwary. This level of experience may not have lead to a character being very jaded yet, but learning first-hand that the world is far more harsh than even the worst bedtime story can be a shock to the system. These people have likely traveled around a bit, or in the very least seen combat or similarly harrowing experiences. These are army privates, Rank 1 shifters, young/low Arete mages, Kindred that have been active for a moderate amount of time (possible Humanity loss -1), and moderately experienced Heroic Mortals.
- A character of this level may spend up to approximately 35 freebies.
- •• Competent
- You've been around the block a few times. While there's still plenty of secrets out there to be discovered, and many more mysteries that shade the darker corners of the world, you're aware of and have experienced some of the weirder (and perhaps more dangerous) things the World of Darkness has to offer. These are army sergeants, Rank 2 shifters, experienced, but often still relatively low Arete mages, Kindred that have been active for hundreds of years (perhaps from the Neoclassic era; possible Humanity loss -2), and Heroic Mortals of advanced experience. These are the sorts of people that have been into the thick of things several times, and have also been quite active in their appropriate spheres. This might have made them jaded or gained them some harsh perspectives.
- A character of this level may spend up to approximately 45 freebies.
- ••• Adept
- You're been scarred. Whether physically or emotionally, you have no illusions as to the state of the world and the dangers that can crawl from its darker places. You're likely jaded or at least maintain some interesting (and perhaps dark) perspectives, and it's very likely you've lead or acted as role model to the less experienced initiates in your sphere. The important thing is that you are active and a veteran of many supernatural encounters. These are the army lieutenants and captains, Rank 3 shifters, experienced and often mid-Arete mages (adepts, perhaps approaching mastery), elder Kindred that have likely existed since the dawn of the Renaissance or been active for centuries upon centuries (possible Humanity loss -3), and the most grizzled, impossibly experienced, veteran Heroic Mortals that make even powerful supernaturals anxious.
- A character of this level may spend up to approximately 70 freebies.
- •••• Expert
- You're an unequivocal leader, bastion of knowledge, or powerful warrior. You've probably nearly died several times, or perhaps you have died. The stories you hold instigate nightmares, curdle milk, and could shake the bones of generations. These are the army Majors and Colonels, Rank 4 shifters, advanced and often mid-high Arete mages (masters and beyond), and the Elders of Kindred elders that have existed since the Dark Ages (possible Humanity loss -4).
- A character of this level may spend up to approximately 90 freebies.
- ••••• Master
- There's simply nothing you haven't seen. Outside of going toe-to-toe with avatars of Celestial Incarnae or the most powerful spirits of death, taint, and corruption, you've seen it all and lived to talk about it. You are the Elder. You are the voice of your sphere, and there are few who would ever doubt your judgment and experience. These are the army generals, Rank 5 shifters, Oracular mages, and the Eldest of all Kindred (save those few near-antediluvians; possible Humanity loss -5).
- A character of this level may spend up to approximately 105 freebies.
- •••••• Legend
- You have ascended all that has come before you. There's very few ways to characterize a legend, because these are the sorts of people we use to characterize our fantasies. These are the army Generals and Leaders of the highest regard to forever go down in the history books, Rank 6 shifters, mages of the highest Oracular orders and Vampires of frightening age and discipline beyond compare (possible Humanity loss -6).
- A character of this level may spend up to approximately 115 freebies.