Character Creation Walkthrough
The character generation process will go much more smoothly and satisfyingly if you go in with a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Who is your character? What does she want? What motivated her to take to the road and begin adventuring? What exactly the answer is is less important than having one. Don’t be worried about initially painting your character wit broad strokes and filling in the fine details over the course of play.
With your concept in mind…
Choose Race (p. 20)
Let’s look over our race options and choose one that appeals to us, noting the racial adjustments and abilities for the next session. As an aside, it’s a good idea to consider how choice of race might affect a character’s ability to function within the group from an in character point of view. For the purpose of this walkthrough we’ll choose Human.
Generate Traits (p. 16)
In Savage Worlds we have five traits, Agility, Smarts, Strength, Spirit and Vigor. Traits and skills are measured by ascending die type (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12), with greater numbered die types being more powerful than lower and a d6 representing average ability. Each trait begins at a base level of d4 and may be raised with any number of the 5 points you have available at creation on a one-for-one basis. Here’s an example of what our character might look like after we’ve spent our five points:
This character has average manual dexterity, average intelligence, below average strength, above average willpower/wisdom, and is no heartier or weaker than the average person. These stats would be a good representation of beginning fantasy priest style character.
Choose Skills (p. 23)
Next we’ll choose some skills, using the aforementioned concept and our generated stats at guidelines. We have 15 points to spend, and like Traits each die type costs one point as long as we don’t try to advance the skill beyond the value of its associated Trait, at which point it would cost us two points per die type advancement. The base level of a skill (d4) must be purchased. Unskilled tests may be made in game, but at a d4 -2, which does not offer a promising chance of success.
We’ve decided that our priestess is a fire and brimstone style street preacher who shouts her sermons at passersby in town squares and whose approach to putting people on the right path is through religious intimidation. To this end we’ll given her nominal fighting skills, the typical priestly healing skills, and Persuasion and Intimidate at a very respectable d8. Faith will be taken at d6, which is the skill for Arcane Background: Miracles, an Edge we’ll choose in one of the following steps. For now, though, we’ll reserve a couple of our skill points and put them into Faith.
If we’re not perfectly happy with our skills for now, don’t worry. We can get a couple of extra points later in the creation process that we can spend in skills if we like. For now, our preacher looks like this:
Derived Statistics (p. 17)
Our freshly generated traits will allow us to calculated a couple of important derived statistics. These are Charisma, Pace, Parry and Toughness.
- Charisma: Adjusts social rolls and is equal to 0 unless modified by an Edge or Hindrance.
- Pace: This is your movement, measured in inches. This will typically be 6" unless modified by Race, Edges, or Hindrances.
- Parry: Represents your active defense in close quarters combat. Equal to 2 plus half of your Fighting skill.
- Toughness: A measure of physical toughness. Equal to 2 plus half of your Vigor plus any armor on your torso.
Using these values our preacher looks like this so far:
These values are subject to change by the final phase of character creation as we make final adjustments to base values.
Edges & Hindrances
Last we’ll choose our advantages and disadvantages and spend whatever additional points we get from that process. We’ll start with Hindrances since they will provide us with a pool of points that we can spend when choosing Edges and boosting Traits and Skills.
We can take 1 Major Hindrance and 2 Minor Hindrances maximum. Leaning back on our character concept we’ll choose Quirk: Speaks Loudly (minor) because our preacher is always loudly and theatrically attempting to catch the attention of as many nearby “lost sheep” as possible. Next we’ll choose Poverty (minor), because she’s taken a vow of poverty and gives all that she doesn’t need for immediate survival to her church. We have two minor hindrances, so we have room for one Major Hindrance. Let’s take Enemy (Major) and say that before she took to the streets, our preacher practiced at a large, famous church and ran afoul of a powerful, manipulative higher-up in the organization. As a result she’s on the road and has a powerful enemy who would prefer to see her destroyed.
Taking those Hindrances has granted us four additional points to spend. The exchange rate for these points isn’t quite the same at the ones we spent for Traits or for Skills. Two points will buy us either an Edge or an Trait raise. One point will raise a skill by one or increase starting funds by 100%. We’ll keep them in our pocket for a moment and move on to Edges.
Edges are advantages that we can take for our character. They’re purchased with the points we get from choosing Hindrances, and we also get one for free for being Human. Let’s take Arcane Background: Miracles, so our priest can perform fantasy style priestly miracles like healing. Arcane Backgrounds are found in the Powers chapter, despite being purchased normally as Edges. They can be found on page 102 of Savage Worlds Deluxe. That’s as far as we’ll go with Edges for character creation for this particular character. We’ll have the opportunity to choose more edges, skills and traits over the course of play as we develop our preacher.
We still have 4 points to spent. Let’s raise Faith and Fighting by 1 point each and raise Strength to d6, since at this point we have an impression of the character as anything but frail or delicate. The raising of the stats and skills will affect our derives statistics, so make sure to double check those at the end. The last step is to spend our starting cash on equipment. This is normally $500 (units of income. Whatever you want to call them, the book says dollars for the sake of simplicity), but since we chose Poverty we’ll only have $250 to spend. With equipment purchased and spells chosen, this is what our street preacher will look like at the end of this process:
Name: Risum Burr
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Faith (Arcane) d8, Fighting d6, Healing d6, Intimidation d8, Notice d4, Persuasion d8, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Swimming d4
Pace: 6, Parry: 6, Toughness: 6(1), Charisma: 0
Gear: Rapier d6 (Str+d4), Unarmed Strike d6 (Str), Leather Armor (+1)
•Enemy (Cardinal Hughes): Someone is out to kill you
•Poverty: Start with half money; Lose half of money regularly
•Quirk (Theatrically loud speaker): Minor humorous foible
•Arcane Miracles: Gain the Miracles arcane background
• Absolution (Burst): Use Cone Template; Roll Agility or 2d10 damage
• Benediction (Healing): Heal wounds within one hour (2 with raise); Cure poison and disease within 10 minutes
Now you make one.