Character Generation Guidelines
- This is the most important part of creating a character. Spending some extra time on your character’s background can make the rest of the process easier because when you have a solid idea of who the character is you can assign build points and chose qualities that fit their story.
- Start with a premise or a few loose ideas (example: former gang member turned hired gun) and then start filling in the details (like: How did he leave his gang and why? Was it on friendly terms? Does he still have enemies in rival gangs? Etc).
- If you need ideas and you aren’t familiar with the SR universe, read through the “History Lesson for the Reality Impaired” chapter.
- You can use the questions listed HERE to help you flesh out your runner.
- The average human attribute is somewhere around 2-3. A starting character at 400 build points should be about average in most Attributes, but might be slightly above average in one or two Attributes related to his specialty (like Agility for a combat oriented character or Charisma for a face).
- You can only spend half your build points (200)on Physical and Mental Attributes at character generation (plus some extra if you purchase one of the other races). This restriction does not apply to special attributes like Magic and Edge.
- All characters start with an Essence of 6 at no extra charge. Essence is reduced by various augmentations (cyber and bioware).
- SR is a very skill-oriented system. It is always a good idea to take a broad range of skills if you have the build points.
- At character generation you can raise a single skill to level 6 or two skills to level 5. All other kills must be 4 or less.
- In a 400-point game a skill level of 3-4 is decent. You might have a 5 in the primary skill related to your specialty (for example: Spellcasting for a magician).
- Some skills that are useful for just about any runner: Dodge, Perception, Infiltration, Athletics Skill Group, Data Search + Computer (or Electronics Skill Group), First Aid, Etiquette, Negotiations.
- Knowledge Skills represent useful things your character knows or their interests. You can use them to reinforce your character’s background (example: a former gang member might have a “Seattle Street Gangs” knowledge skill) or give your character depth (example: an alcoholic with a penchant for “Fine Wines”). Check out the sample characters for ideas, but also think about how your character gained their knowledge.
- You get [Logic + Intuition] x 3 free skill levels (not build points) for Knowledge Skills. You can buy more levels for 2 build points each.
- You pick one language at character generation to be your native language. You designate this by putting an “N” instead of a skill level.
- You can use your free Knowledge Skill levels for additional languages or purchase them for 2 BP per level.
- Qualities are one of the best ways to flesh out your character. Don’t just take things that give you a mechanical advantage- fit them to your character’s style, background or personality.
- You can take positive qualities alone by purchasing them with build points (up to 35 points worth). You can take negative qualities to gain extra build points (for skills, attributes, resources, etc) or to offset the cost of your positive qualities (up to 35 points worth).
- You can always give your character more that 35 points worth of negative qualities if you want, but you only get “credit” (in build points or positive qualities) for the first 35.
- All Qualities are subject to GM approval (there are some that just don’t work well in certain types of games). Also, these are not free build points- if you take a Negative Quality it has to be something that will come up in-game or otherwise affect your character.
- I like a lot of legwork and interaction with contacts in my games, but I manage contacts a little differently than in the rules.
- Your character gets [Charisma x 10] free contact points. You can buy extra contact points for 1 build point each.
- Every contact has a Connection Rating that is determined by their background story or specialty. This does not cost you anything.
- You pay [Contact points = Connection] for each level of Loyalty.
- All characters in my games are required to maintain at least one Lifestyle. You can be homeless if you want (Street Lifestyle) but you have to live somewhere.
- Make sure your character has armor for different occasions. Most times your character will wear armor in anticipation of trouble, but there will be times when your character might have to go places where bulky or obvious armor is not allowed. If your character is a social specialist (Face or Social Adept), you might also invest in a wardrobe.
- Like armor above, you might want your character to have a variety of weapons for different roles. A good pistol is always useful, but there will be times when you need more firepower or something less-than-lethal or whatever.
- A good starting commlink is the Novatech Airware with Iris Orb OS. This gives you average device ratings (3) for a cost of 2,250¥.
- Even if your character isn’t a hacker, there a few Programs you will probably want: Analyze, Browse, Command, Edit and Encrypt. Medic and Armor are also a good idea, if you have some extra cash. A program rating of 2 or 3 should suffice.
- Once you have a solid idea about who your character is and what he or she does, it’s a good idea to skim through the gear section and grab things your character will need. Regardless of what type of character you are playing, there are a few things that are always useful: Survival Kits, Med Kits, Tools, Vision enhancements, etc.
- Give some thought to how your character gets around. There are of coarse taxi’s and buses, so your character doesn’t necessarily need to buy a vehicle, but keep in mind that public transport doesn’t go everywhere, and especially doesn’t go to places where you find Low, Squatter or Street level housing. Its also hard to escape from a crime scene when you have to wait for a bus…