4th Edition Character Generation
Wu-Yu Character Generation
RuneQuest is a skill-based system. That means when you make a character, you get a basic set of skills, but you are not defined as a “fighter,” “thief,” “priest,” etc. You may certainly achieve such specializations, but that is a matter of how you develop your character in game play. Character generation is mainly a way of defining your starting point. For a more extensive overview, see the appropriate section of RuneQuest Rules Summary.
You will want to download and print a customized WuYu Character Sheet.
Steps in Creating a Character
|6||Free Skill Points|
|7||Magic, Religion, and Martial Arts|
|8||Flesh Out the Character|
Step 1. Race
There are nine player-character races in Wu-Yu. In descending order, from the most common to the rarest in the Empire, the nine are Goblinoids, Dwarves, Orcs, Elves, Halflings, Humans, Vanara, Gnomes, and Tabaxi. For an overview of races in the context of Wu-Yu, see Races. For detailed descriptions of each race, click on the individual race name.
Choose Race or roll on the %Frequency column, which reflects the relative rarity of finding these races wandering the Empire as adventurers.
|Race||Attribute Modifiers||Skill Modifiers||Movement Rate||%Frequency|
|Goblinoids||-1 SIZ, +1 POW||+15% Athletics, +15% Dodge||4 meters||01-30|
|Dwarves||-1 POW, +1 CON||+15% Oratory, +15% Resilience||4 meters||31-50|
|Orcs||+0||+30% Ride (Horse)||4 meters||51-65|
|Elves||-1 STR, +1 INT||+30% Lore(Plant)||4 meters||66-75|
|Halflings||-2 SIZ, +1 DEX, +1 CHA||+15% Evaluate, +15% Lore(World)||3 meters||76-85|
|Humans||+0||+30% Play Musical Instrument||4 meters||86-93|
|Vanara||-1 SIZ, -1 POW, +2 DEX||+15% Sleight, +15% Athletics||4 meters||94-97|
|Gnomes||-1 SIZ, +1 INT||+30% Literacy||4 meters||98-99|
|Tabaxi||-1 SIZ, +1 DEX||+15% Athletics, +15% Stealth||5 meters||00|
Step 2. Characteristics
Characteristics are a character’s basic abilities. They are the basis of derived Attributes like Hit Points, Magic Points, and so on, and they contribute significantly to relevant skills.
|Abbreviation||Characteristic||Brief description||Good for||Bad for|
|STR||Strength||Brute muscle||Damage, close combat skills, athletics, carrying more||-|
|CON||Constitution||Health and hardiness||Hit Points, resilience||-|
|SIZ||Size||Body mass||Damage, Hit Points, carrying more||Stealth, dodging|
|INT||Intelligence||Thinking and analyzing ability||Knowledge- and perception-based skills, memorizing magic, sorcery skills||-|
|POW||Power||Life force and strength of will||Magic Points, using magic, willpower-based skills and rolls||-|
|DEX||Dexterity||Agility, coordination, and speed||Acting faster and more often, close combat and ranged weapon skills, agility- and coordination-based skills, stealth||-|
|CHA||Charisma||Attractiveness and leadership qualities||Social and artistic skills||-|
Use the following procedure to determine the character’s Characteristics.
|To Determine Characteristics|
|1. Roll 4D6 seven times, removing lowest die each time. Mulligan once if you choose.|
|2. Assign to Characteristics. If SIZ or INT are below 8, raise to 8.|
|3. Apply racial modifiers.|
Step 3. Attributes
Attributes are functions of Characteristics. Figure according to the following system.
Combat Actions (CA)
Combat Actions are the number of actions a character can perform in a round.
|6 or less||1|
|19 or more||4|
Damage Modifier (DM)
This reflects how hard a character can hit based on strength and size. This applies to melee attacks, thrown weapons, and some projectile weapons.
Hit Points (HP)
Hit Points determine how much damage a character can sustain before reaching unconsciousness or death. Each hit location has hit points. If a location is reduced to zero (Minor Wound) or less than zero (Serious Wound), it is injured and may result in scarring, incapacitated limbs, or unconsciousness, depending on the vulnerability of the location. If a location reaches a negative number greater than its starting Hit Points (Major Wound), the result may be severed or maimed limbs, unconsciousness, or immanent death due to blood loss if not treated with the First Aid skill. Particularly vulnerable areas, including head, chest, and abdomen, may result in sudden death unless the character successfully makes a Resilience check.
Magic Points (MP)
These are used to activate any spells the character knows.
|Starting Magic Points = POW|
Strike Rank (SR)
Strike Rank reflects how quickly the character acts in combat.
|Strike Rank = DEX|
Characteristic Skill Bonuses
Characteristics also modify skills. For Basic Skills, these are listed on the character sheet. For example, “Acrobatics (DEX)” gets a bonus equal to the character’s Dexterity, while “Athletics (DEX+STR)” gets a bonus equal to Dexterity and Strength added together. Advanced Skills benefit in the same way, but not until the skill is acquired through training. Advanced Skills Characteristic Skill Bonuses are listed in the skill descriptions in the RuneQuest rulebook.
|Characteristic Skill Bonuses|
|As listed on character sheet or in rulebook|
Step 4. Subsistence Type
Every society needs to get food. Subsistence Type refers to the way in which the character’s society does that. Different survival strategies produce radically different ways of life, resulting in different skills the character knows.
There are four basic Subsistence Types: Hunter-gatherer, Nomadic, Agricultural, and Urban. “Urban” includes the surrounding farming and herding communities which support towns and cities. For detailed descriptions, click on the name of the Subsistence Type.
Elves are an odd fit in this four-fold division. They lead a wandering life which may resemble that of nomads but which is specially adapted to the civilized environs of the Empire. They may be considered “urban” or “agricultural” according to the type of people they tend to wander amongst. Elves usually do not wander among nomads or hunter-gatherers, because their peddling and tinkering has little to offer such peoples.
Choose a Subsistence Type or roll on the %Frequency column, looking only at the character’s own race. Then find the character’s skill bonuses on the subsequent table.
|Race||Typical Subsistence Type||Typical Homelands||%Frequency|
|Goblinoids||Hunter-gatherer||Southern Islands, Western Islands||01-05|
|Goblinoids||Nomadic||Jie Die Grasslands||06-15|
|Goblinoids||Agricultural||Yellow Forest, Blackbark Woods, Lao Du Marsh, Hoto Coast||16-35|
|Goblinoids||Urban||Imperial Lowlands, any Imperial city||36-00|
|Dwarves||Hunter-gatherer||Bay of Dhaksa||01|
|Dwarves||Agricultural||Iron Forest, Anga Mountains||03-22|
|Dwarves||Urban||The Tathatan, Imperial Lowlands, any Imperial city||23-00|
|Orcs||Nomadic||Uga’ama Steppes, Goro Desert||01-20|
|Orcs||Urban||Imperial Lowlands, any Imperial city||21-00|
|Elves||Agricultural||any agricultural area||01-20|
|Elves||Urban||any urban area||21-00|
|Halflings||Urban||any Halfling city, Imperial city, or area with a trade route||02-00|
|Vanara||Hunter-gatherer||Jungles of Shen Bei||01-05|
|Vanara||Urban||any Imperial city||06-00|
|Gnomes||Urban||Plateau of Trulkor||01-00|
|Tabaxi||Urban||slave markets of Shen Bei and wherever their masters take them||01-00|
Once the character’s Subsistence Type has been determined, apply the following skill bonuses. Note there will be more bonuses coming in subsequent steps. Advanced skills begin at their base Characteristic Skill Bonus scores. If the character already has the Advanced Skill indicated, or chooses the same Advanced Skill multiple times, +10% is conferred for each duplicate.
|Subsistence Type||Basic Skill Bonuses||Advanced Skills|
|Hunter-gatherer||Athletics +10%, Lore(Animal) +15%, Lore(Plant) +15%, Perception +10%, Resilience +10%, Stealth +10%; PICK TWO: 1H Axe +10%, 1H Hammer +10%, Dagger +10%, Sling +10%, Bow +10%, Spear +10%||Language(Native)+50%, Lore (Regional), Lore(Mineral), Tracking, Language; PICK ONE: Play Instrument, Dance|
|Nomadic||Athletics +5%, Lore(Animal) +10%, Lore(Plant) +10%, Lore(World) +5%, Perception +5%, Resilience +10%, Riding OR Boating +10%, Stealth +5%; PICK TWO: 1H Axe +10%, 1H Hammer +10%, Blowgun +10%, Bow +10%, Dagger +10%, Shield +10%, Sling +10%||Language(Native) +50%, Language, Lore(Regional), Lore(Mineral)+10%; PICK ONE: Craft, Lore, Tracking, Play Instrument, Dance|
|Agricultural||Athletics +10%, Lore(Animal) +5%, Lore(Plant)+5%, Lore(World)+5%, Resilience +10%, Evaluate +5%; PICK TWO: Boating +10%, Driving +10%, First Aid +10%, Persistence +10%; PICK TWO: 1H Axe +10%, 1H Flail +10%, 1H Hammer +10%, 2H Axe +10%, Dagger +10%, Sling +10%, Spear +10%, Staff +10%, Unarmed +10%||Language(Native) +50%, Lore(Regional), Lore(Mineral), Language; PICK TWO: Craft, Dance, Lore, Play Instrument|
|Urban||Evaluate +10%, Influence +10%, Lore(World) +10%; PICK THREE +10%: Boating, Driving, First Aid, Persistence, Resilience, Sleight, Stealth; PICK TWO +10%: 1H Hammer, 1H Sword, Dagger, Bow, Crossbow, Polearm, Shield||Language(Native)+50%, Lore(Regional), Streetwise; PICK THREE: Artistic Expression, Courtesy, Craft, Dance, Language, Literacy, Lore, Mechanisms, Play Instrument, Shiphandling, Streetwise|
Step 5. Profession
Almost everyone in Wu-Yu enters the profession into which they are born. Times are harsh, however, and many are now forced to change. Others are taking advantage of new opportunities.
Roll percentile dice to determine hereditary profession. If the character desires to leave the family business, follow the procedure below under “Changing Professions.” It is not necessarily easy to strike out on one’s own, and sacrifices may be required.
Once the character’s final profession is determined, click on the name of the profession and write down the corresponding Basic Skill Bonuses, Advanced Skills, and Equipment. Magic may be listed as an available option.
See also the page Professions, listing all the available Professions in alphabetical order.
|Goblinoids, Vanara, Dwarves||Occupation|
|01-30||Fisher or Forager|
|31-98||Hunter or Forager|
|Goblinoids||Orcs, Humans, Dwarves, Halflings||Occupation|
|08-85||08-85||Herder or Fisher|
|86-95||86-95||Hunter or Fisher or Forager|
|56-70||56-70||21-45||Fisher or Forager|
|81-90||81-90||76-90||Hunter or Forager|
|91-94||93-94||91-94||Priest or Shaman|
1 All Tabaxi are slaves. Results reflect the capacity in which they serve (or don’t serve, in the case of runaways). Use the same skill bonuses and magic, but any equipment is considered the master’s property.
Changing professions can be both difficult and costly. A mentor must be found to take the character on, and a great deal of money may be expended or lost due to gifts for the mentor, travel and lodging, loss of the previous profession’s income, and/or unforeseen occurrences (for example, a plague may have struck a herder’s animals, thus leading to the change in profession).
To change professions, a character must first of all find a mentor from which to learn the trade. For some professions, such as farmer, this is not too challenging. For others, such as sorcerer, it is extremely difficult. To find a mentor, first find the percentage chance of naturally rolling the desired profession on the appropriate table above. For example, there is a 58% chance of a Goblinoid being a farmer, while there is only a 2% chance of a Gnome being a sorcerer. Multiply this percentage by five. If you roll this number or less on percentile dice (96-00 is always a failure), a mentor has been found. If a mentor is not found, then the character stays in the original profession and can only change through in-game role-playing.
Common sense may negate the need for a roll. For example, it is always possible to become an unskilled laborer or beggar in an urban setting.
Once a mentor has been found, a “sacrifice” of wealth must then be made. Whatever the character’s final starting money would be, that sum is cut in half. Starting money may be in the form of goods or coin, and is listed under equipment as “X iron shu worth of…” Players may come up with imaginative reasons to explain the loss.
If the change of profession is successful, then for the purposes of game mechanics the character is treated as if the new profession were the one originally rolled. Skills and other traits are figured as per the new profession. However, the character is still considered to have come from the family background originally rolled. This may affect in-character game play. For example, a farmer that becomes a high-class servant may occasionally be the butt of jokes about his humble birth. Furthermore, some traditionalists still adhere to the caste system, such as the Dwarves of the Tathatan. Among such folk, birth is everything. Once a herder, always a herder. Changes in social class are looked on with scorn.
|To Change Professions1|
|To find a mentor, roll the appropriate percentage chance for the desired profession.|
|Use the skills, magic, and equipment of the new profession, except...|
|All money (whatever is listed as “X iron shu worth of…”) is cut in half as a result of the costs and mitigating circumstances of changing profession|
1 Characters may not change to “Noble” or “Fallen Noble.” Birthright is the only gate to nobility during character generation.
Step 6. Free Skill Points
Subsistence Type and Profession have already started to define the character, but that is not the whole story. Every character is also self-determined, learning best what he or she is interested in. To reflect this, allocate 100 free skill points. These may be spent in the following ways:
|Allocating Free Skill Points (100)|
|* Add to a Basic or Weapon skill score.|
|* Add to an Advanced Skill score, as long as the character already possesses the skill.|
|* Purchase an Advanced Skill. This costs 10 free skill points and the Advanced Skill starts at its basic Characteristic-derived score.|
|* NOTE: No single skill may benefit from more than 30 free skill points. This means that an Advanced Skill purchased with with free skill points cannot be increased by more than 20 points.|
Step 7. Magic, Religion, and Martial Arts (if any)
The description of the character’s profession may have offered magic. If so, the character must now choose the tradition in which the spells were learned: Shamanic, Priestly, or Sorcerous. This decision has social ramifications, so select with care. It also affects what is required for the character to cast spells, and grants some related equipment.
|Magical Tradition||Respected by||Despised by||Required to Cast||Equipment|
|Shamanic||Hunter-gatherer and Nomadic peoples, Agricultural common folk||Urban peoples, Agricultural educated elite||Focus||One focus per spell|
|Priestly||Urban peoples, Agricultural educated elite||Hunter-gatherer and Nomadic peoples, Agricultural common folk||Gesture, chant||Holy symbol (not required for casting)|
|Sorcerous||Gnomes, secret sympathizers||People everywhere except the Plateau of Trulkor||Mere thought||Sorcerous texts, one per spell, required to re-memorize after casting|
Most characters will only have access to Low Magic related to his or her profession. Some may also have access to High Magic. For example, shamans wield Spirit Magic, priests Divine Magic, and sorcerers Sorcery. Those who do not begin with High Magic can only obtain it in-game through advancing on the path of shamanism, priesthood, or sorcery.
Only priests are required to choose a religion, but other characters may do so as well. Shamans and sorcerers are not necessarily required to choose a religion, but they may if they wish.
A character may have numerous reasons to join a religion. For one thing, priests are much more likely to teach spells to characters of the same religion. For another, the path toward the High Magic called Divine Magic begins with religion. Other benefits may also accrue, such as family approval, social standing, community networking, or personal fulfillment. These benefits manifest in-game through role-playing.
Those who are not priests, shamans, or sorcerers begin as lay followers. Lay followers have no formal obligations, but are expected to attend services on High Days at the very least, and to behave in general accordance with basic tenets of the religion.
Below are the religions officially recognized by Imperial law. All center on five primary deities. All local deities, of which there are thousands, are syncretized (or identified) with the main five. This masterwork of theology, called the Doctrine of Unity, allows officials to proclaim solidarity in the Empire, even while variety obtains on the local level. It keeps the many races and provinces united on an ideological level, and allows top-down enforcement of doctrine. Local peoples, especially on the fringes of the Empire, do not necessarily follow the Doctrine of Unity to the letter and adhere instead to local deity names and customs.
|Religion||Primary Deity||Titles and Epithets||Archetypes||Followers|
|Thauma-Virun||Thauma as Viru||Sun-prince, One With Thauma, Vanquisher of Darkness, Savior, He Whose Avatar Is the Emperor, Ancestor of Orc-kind||Ruling Deity, Sun God, War God, Hunting God, Sea God||Imperial Orcs, Imperial officials, crafters, warriors, horsemen, archers, fishers, sailors, healers, the needy and lost, and in theory all Imperial citizens|
|Thaumatan||Thauma||Master Fashioner, Lord of Sky, Rain, Thunder, Smithing, and Sovereignty, Sun God, Ancestor of Dwarf-kind||Ruling Deity, Sun God, Storm God, War God, Sea God||Dwarves, nomadic and agricultural peoples, warriors, crafters, sailors, rulers|
|Tathatan||Thauma||Master Fashioner, Lord of Sky, Rain, Thunder, Smithing, and Sovereignty, Sun God, Ancestor of Dwarf-kind||Ruling Deity, Sun God, Storm God, War God, Sea God||Conservative Dwarves|
|Wu-Yun||Wu-Yu||World Spirit, Mother of All, Ancestor of All||Earth Goddess, Agricultural Goddess, Hunting God, Sea God||Goblinoids, Halflings, most all species, majority of shamans|
|Yaj Yeeb||Wu-Yu||Mother of All, Giver of Madness, Ghost Rider||Earth Goddess, Night Goddess, Moon Goddess, Trickster||Goblinoids, the low-class and oppressed|
|Atmahan||Atmah||World Serpent, Dragon Encircling the World, the Natural Principle, Ancestor of Dragon-kind||Sea God, Ruling Deity, Trickster||Philosophers, the educated elite, scribes, healers|
|Bharatan||Bharata||Lady of the Underworld, Mistress of the Dance, Lady of Mystery, Ancestor of Elf-kind||Moon Goddess, Night Goddess, Underworld Goddess, Ruling Deity||Elves, wanderers|
|Maha-Mengan||Maha-Meng||Great Dreamer, He Whose Dreams Create the World, Lord of Song, Poetry, and Bardic Knowledge||Trickster, Moon Goddess, Hunting God||Humans, bards, poets, and musicians|
|New Cults||Various||Various||Various||The lost, orphaned, disillusioned, and hopeful|
|Trulkoran(Heretical)||-||-||Sorcery||Gnomes, dabblers in sorcery|
A new system for Martial Arts is currently in development. Check back later for updates.
Step 8. Flesh Out the Character
The character generation process has already provided the main contours of the character. The last step is filling out the details and nuances.
If a homeland has not yet been chosen, select it now or ask the Games Master for a recommendation. See Step 1. Race above for typical homelands of various races. Feel free to invent details of the character’s local tribe, clan, village, or city, including locations, prominent people, customs, festivals, and so on. The world of Wu-Yu is constantly growing due to player contribution. Of course, the Games Master has the final say.
Based on homeland, languages may be chosen. The official language of the Empire is Imperial. Character generation should have provided the skill Language(Native) +50% and perhaps a few other languages. Find the character’s native language on the table below and select any others desired. If a character knows a foreign or unusual language, a creative reason should be invented to explain it.
Fluency in a language is 50+. Normal interaction in a fluent language requires no skill check. Languages of the same family can be understood with a Hard (-40) check.
Note that reading and writing is a separate skill called Literacy. There are only a few scripts used to write languages in Wu-Yu, so the one skill enables reading and writing in any language the character knows.
|Language||Family||Native speakers||Other speakers and purposes|
|Imperial||Dwarven||Urban peoples of the Empire, Imperial Lowlands peoples||Administration and trade throughout the Empire|
|Imp Grog (Imperial Grog)||Dwarven||-||Sailors, pirates, thieves, urban Vanara|
|Anga Imperial||Dwarven||Anga Mountains peoples||-|
|Blackbark Imperial||Dwarven||Blackbark peoples||-|
|Jie Die Imperial||Dwarven||Jie Die Grasslands peoples||-|
|Yellow Forest Imperial||Dwarven||Yellow Forest peoples||-|
|Apsara Dwarven||Dwarven||Apsara Desert peoples||-|
|Dhaksa Dwarven||Dwarven||Dhaksa Bay peoples||-|
|Iron Forest Dwarven||Dwarven||Iron Forest peoples||-|
|Old Dwarven||Dwarven||-||Sacred Dwarven Law-scriptures, followers of the Tathatan religion|
|Xing Xiang Goblinoid||Goblinoid||Extinct||Unreadable stone glyphs|
|Eastern Islands Goblinoid||Goblinoid||Eastern Islands tribes||-|
|Southern Islands Goblinoid||Goblinoid||Southern Islands tribes||-|
|Hoto Goblinoid||Goblinoid||Hoto Coast Goblinoids||-|
|Goro Orcish||Orcish||Goro Desert nomads and descendants in the Empire||-|
|Uga-ama Orcish||Orcish||Uga’ama Steppes nomads and descendants in the Empire||-|
|Elven||Elven||Elves||Followers of the Bharatan religion|
|Maritime Halfling||Halfling||Peoples of Halfling cities||Halfling-related trade throughout Hoto Coast, Eastern Islands, and Southern Islands|
|Traditional Halfling||Halfling||Nomadic Halflings of the Northern Wastes and peoples of Yakas||-|
|Highlands Human||Human||Humans of the Imperial Highlands||-|
|Goro Human||Human||Nomadic humans of the Goro Desert||-|
|Gnomish||Gnomish||Gnomes and peoples of the Plateau of Trulkor||Sorcerers, sorcerous texts|
How old is the character? Races in Wu-Yu vary slightly in longevity, but not enough to affect rates of maturity. A 19 year-old elf is just as mature as a 19 year-old orc or human.
Most characters start between 17 and 27 years of age (2D6+15, if you let fate decide), but younger or older characters are certainly possible. Ask the Games Master about ramifications for Characteristics and Skills for the very young or old.
|Choose the character’s age, or…|
|Roll 2D6+15 to determine years of age.|
|Describe the character’s physical appearance.|
Now flesh out the character’s personality. Each character will have quirks or traits that distinguish him or her. Choose at least three.
Most importantly, decide the character’s motivation for adventuring. Wu-Yu is a harsh and hazardous world, and few adventure just for the fun of it. Almost all are forced to do so by various circumstances. Perhaps the family shop may have burned down, requiring a risky journey to fetch new trade stock. War, famine, or disease may have turned the character into a refugee. The character may be fleeing conscription by a local army, or seeking a mentor for a new profession. The possibilities are endless.
|Choose three traits or quirks.|
|Create a motivation for adventuring.|
Hero Points define that indescribable quality of certain people to do the impossible. Call it fate, favor, or luck, but some simply seem destined for greatness.
Hero Points may be spent in-game in the following ways:
Second Chance: Reroll any die roll that affects, such as a skill test, damage roll, or opponent’s attack roll against the character.
Glancing Blow: Downgrade a Major Wound to a Serious Wound, and return Hit Points in the location to a negative score equal to its starting Hit Points.
Legendary Abilities: Hero Points may be banked up and spent to acquire Legendary Abilities, which are powers and propensities that few mortal creatures enjoy. The minimum number required is 8 Hero Points, and many abilities require more than 8.
Starting characters begin with 2 Hero Points. Further Hero Points may be awarded in-game for exceptional role-playing, conflict resolution, daring or imaginative stunts, and completion of adventures. The Games Master has the final say.
|Starting Hero Points|
|All characters begin with 2 Hero Points|
Equipment and Encumbrance
The character has already received equipment granted by profession, and perhaps also by magical tradition. Most will have received some starting coins or tradeable goods (listed as “X iron shu worth of…”). These coins or goods may now be spent to obtain any further equipment desired. See the RuneQuest rulebook for price lists.
The possessions listed granted by profession and magical tradition may be personalized and/or substituted for others with the Games Master’s approval.
Also, keep in mind that Tabaxi slaves own nothing, all belongs to their masters.
Finally, understand that the more weight the character carries, the faster he or she will tire. This is called Encumbrance (ENC). Characters may carry a total ENC equal to their STR+SIZ. Overloaded characters suffer a -20% penalty to skill tests requiring physical actions, and a -20% penalty to Fatigue tests. The maximum a character can carry is equal to twice his or her STR+SIZ.
|Equipment and Encumbrance|
|Spend coins or tradeable goods if desired.|
|Beware of overloading.|
|Make sure the character does not exceed carrying capacity.|