Character Creation

Okay, so you've looked at the basic elements of the role-playing system and you want to create a character. If you've played in this system, you know what to do. If you haven't, then read on.

It looks something like this:

1. Concept Creation- names, ideals, goals, basic personality, etc.
2. Write a background to tie it all together, if applicable.
3. Choose from our two Character Types. The first is casual, the second is more involved.
4. Choose Drawbacks, Qualities, Packages, Attributes, and Skills.

First Things First

Create a character. Think about this person. Why does she do what she does? What is she good at? Bad at? What defines her? Try to imagine her as a friend or foe, or just someone you're ordering coffee from. You're welcome to two-dimensional characters, but role-playing can be a lot more fun when the characters that drive the story are well-rounded.

Because that's what were creating here: a story.

Who, What, Where, When, and Why

We've talked about how role-playing games essentially create stories. Classic D&D tends to create something akin to a high fantasy novel series. FATE is well suited to portraying the feel of a graphic novel. Risus is like an early 2000s wacky cartoon. The Unisystem in this incarnation is designed to be Cinematic. Like a tv drama.

Accordingly, we use actors to portray our characters where others traditionally use sketches and other character portraits. So pick an actor that suits your character. The casting is your call.

Next, ask yourself what your character does for a living. Where does he live? Where has he lived- where's he from? Where does he want to be? Who's important to him? You know, the who's, what's, when's, and why's.

For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be using Sir Dinadan, played by Joe Armstrong.

About the Background

This lets me know what kind of character you're creating. It's not required for the first Character Type, but it is required for the second. Think of that as a reward for putting some thought into the character, much like how you would get experience points for killing monsters in an MMORPG.

For the most part, we want to see a life story. Nothing too in-depth, of course, just a basic outline.

The Background

"Oh, yes. I know of you. You're Sir Brunor's son, aren't you? The youngest one. Yes. We all admire him, and any son of his is welcome here." Not "Greetings, Dinadan," or even "What do you want, Page?". Wherever he went, from as young an age as he could remember, Dinadan lived in someone's shadow. He didn't have his father's reputation in battle, his brother Balin's legendary ferocity, or the calm nobility of of his brother Breunor.

What he did have was a penchant for mischief and, as he grew used to the rare books he managed to read, a way with words. So when the other lads faced embarrassments in the tilting yard, he turned his foibles into laughs. No one could fall quite as dramatically as Dinadan. His good nature and affable manner made him a favourite with the peasants of Huntington and castle staff alike.

As he came of age, he was made a household knight of the Lord of Huntington- partially because of the guffaws he elicited from the old man at every dinner. His particular set of skills made him especially useful as a diplomat, and upon his knighthood he was sent to negotiate the ransom of several knights. He won their ransomers over with mead and laughter, and the knights were returned unharmed.

When others (like his eldest brother) were quick to draw their swords over any slight, Sir Dinadan kept the peace with razor wit- something which earned him the name Sir Dinadan le Agile. When the five-year war broke out to fill the power gap left in Uther Pendragon's absence, Sir Dinadan proved his mettle by securing allies for Huntington and deflecting around Castle Beale Valet save one. The Battle of Dubglas River- in which Dinadan secured his reputation as a capable warrior, despite the fact that he was often called 'The Fool Knight' in jest. He went on to fight a series of skirmishes under his Lord's command.

He fought against Lambor in Arthur's ascension to the throne, and it was here that he let some of the walls he'd built around himself fall- finally fighting for something he truly believed in. While his lack of appreciation for courtly love and chivalric pastimes earned him a small measure of disdain from certain avenues, he was recognized by his brothers-in-arms for his ability to keep the men merry.

Accordingly, Merlin recommended him for a place alongside his brother Sir Balin on Arthur's newly formed chivalric order: The Knights of the Round Table. Honoured, Sir Dinadan le Agile took his chair, though people still mention his brother every time they see him.

Selecting Stats

After you've decided on a character concept and perhaps written a background, it's time to flesh out the numbers on your character sheet. Of course, I assume you've chosen a Character Type. This will determine how many points you have to spend, for Sir Dinadan, I've chosen An Uncommon Hero.

You're going to pick Drawbacks, Qualities, Packages, Attributes, and Skills, though not necessarily in that order.


It's a good idea to start with drawbacks, not just to get the negatives out of the way, but because it involves less numerical juggling later. Each drawback point is effectively a point you can use to buy new qualities, but more on that later.

For now, let's go back to the character concept. What weaknesses does this character have? Bad habits? Annoying tics? This is where they come in.

We've mentioned that Dinadan likes his mead, so let's specify just how much with the Addiction drawback. He drinks regularly, but not heavily, so this is a 1 point drawback. It's also clear that he's quite the Clown, so we'll add that drawback for 2 points. A total of 3, thus far.

In addition, Dinadan does like the lime light- which is why we're getting him 1 point (mild) worth of Covetous: Conspicuousness. Also, there's a reason Dinadan eschews courtly love- he's too scared of a lady rejecting him, so there's Emotional Problems: Fear of Rejection for another point. Five points total!

Lastly, Dinadan isn't much of an outdoorsman, he's more of a Townsman, which is a 1 point drawback. Which is where we're stopping, at 6 points worth of drawbacks. We could go for the full allotted 10, but Dinadan doesn't really have that many drawbacks, and it's fine to stop here.

Qualities and Packages

It's time for qualities and packages. These represent the natural aptitudes, as well as sets of skills, nuances, and training that your character has gained along the years. Dinadan's character type, Uncommon Hero, yields 10 character points. With his drawback points, this comes to a total of 16 points to spend.

The first thing to select is a package. In a lot of ways, this is similar to a character class or 'job'. Pick one (or two that don't conflict, if you wish) that suits your character and purchase it. Dinadan wouldn't be Sir Dinadan le Agile, of the Round Table, without being a Knight, so we'll buy that for 9 points.

That leaves us 7 to spend. Sir Dinadan is a well-known man, and he's got friends practically everywhere. We're going to represent this with 5 points worth of Contacts. Lastly, Dinadan is Literate for 2 points. That's it. We've spent all his Quality Points.

Don't forget the qualities from his Knight package. Rank: Household Knight and Hard to Kill +2.


These represent the most basic elements your character is born with. The extents of his physical capabilities, and the full range of his mental ability. They're typically used in a roll along with skills, when it comes to combat and other forms of conflict resolution that require dice.

As an Uncommon Hero, Sir Dinadan received 15 base points to distribute among his attributes. We'll start with Strength. Dinadan has unremarkable strength, so we'll set his Strength at 2. He's quicker than some, but due to package bonuses, we'll give him 2 Dexterity. Finally, he's kind of reedy, so he's got a Constitution of 1.

He's smarter than some of his peers, so he gets 4 Intelligence. His wit comes in part from his ability to observe- and that's represented by his Perception, which we're assigning 4 points to. Which leaves 2 points for Willpower.

Now, it's time to apply the bonuses from his Package to the Attribute totals. His only package is Knight. We'll accentuate his natural strengths with 1 point to Strength, 2 points (remember, he's quick) to Dexterity, and 1 point to Constitution from his years of training as a knight. This brings his totals to: 3 Strength, 4 Dexterity, 2 Constitution, 4 Intelligence, 4 Perception, and 2 Willpower. That's it for Attributes!


Ah, the results of hard years of work. Sir Dinadan gets 15 points of skills to spend as an Uncommon Hero. He's been known to dabble in the arts, so we're putting 1 point in Art. He's also no stranger to basic work, helping around the castle, so he's got 1 point in Craft.

He's spent years socializing with people all over Britain, so we're dumping 3 points in Heraldry. His strong point- the thing he does better than most, is Influence. That gets 5 points. He read a few books back in the day, but he hasn't opened one in awhile, so we're putting 2 points in Knowledge. He's not much of a warrior, so we're putting 1 point in Melee, 1 point in Notice, and 1 point in Riding.

Lastly, we'll add the bonuses from his Knight package. 2 to Riding, bringing it up to 3, and 1 to Melee, raising it to 2.

We're Done

Done. FUCKING FINALLY. Now we're ready to play!