Character Creation 101

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Gingerbread Guy
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Character Creation 101

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Thu June 30 05 ; 3 28 pm

Character Creation 101

Creating a character in a White Wolf game is a little different than in d20 systems such as Dungeons & Dragons. The focus is on measuring expressing personality, background and capability, rather than amassing as many destructive powers as possible. Its an elegant and actually quite simplistic system. We'll take it one step at a time.

Step 1: Concept
There are no "classes" in White Wolf. Everyone is simply a person (even monsters such as vampires and werewolves). In order to figure out how to shape your character sheet, we have to rely on something other than the guidelines of a class: We go with a character concept.

A concept is little more than a basic impression of what you want to play. I suggest starting with some kind of inspiration, which you can flesh out with more ideas. For example, lets say you really want to play a savy entrepreneur. You decide he's a cuthroat go-getter with a good education who is a wiz at playing the stock market and sealing business deals. Tada, you have a concept.

Once you know know what your character is going to be, we have to figure out who he's going to be. What is his personality like? Is he always sporting a charming smile, or is he a bit of a pompous jerk? Why is he so hard working? Maybe he has a dependant to support and he needs the money, or he has very expensive tastes, or maybe he's just an egomaniac who refuses to be anything but the best.

How did he get that way? What was his childhood like, and how did the events in his life shape him into what he is now?

What are his strengths? What are his weaknesses? Does he have fears, hopes, dreams, aspirations or inspirations?

Remember that a character's background doesn't have to be eventful, exciting or unusual. A character with a purely mundane, uneventful background can still be a very interesting individual.

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Thu June 30 05 ; 3 41 pm

Step 2: Archetypes
The first game mechanic you'll want to think about is Archetype. Archetype is a fancy word for "what makes my character tick". A list of Archetypes can be found below. Look through the list and pick out a Nature and a Demeanor.

Whats the difference between a Nature and a Demeanor? Good question.

A character's Nature is a description of who they really are, while his Demeanor is merely how he appears to others. For example, imagine a character with a Conniver nature and an Honest-Abe demeanor. Others typically percieve him to be an truthful, reliable, straight-forward person, but secretly he likes to manipulate others to accomplish what he wants. Someone with a Penitent nature and a Martyr demeanor appears to be self-sacrificing and righteous, but really she feels she's worthless, and that the only way she can give herself value is by shouldering the burdens of others.

Your character should feel comfortable and at home when behaving in a manner befitting his Nature. Caregiver characters are at their most relaxed when those that are dear to them are safe and content. Bravo characters feel secure when others are afraid of them. Director characters are only satisfied when they are in control of the situation around them.

People's Demeanors change from time to time, so it isn't too important which demeanor you pick. Demeanors are really just roleplaying guidelines to help remind you how you want to act. Often I find myself wondering "how should my character respond to this situation?" and at these times its handy to look at your demeanor.

Its perfectly acceptable to chose the same Nature and Demeanor. A Character with a Daredevil as their Nature AND Demeanor is simply transparent: He likes to challenges and risks, and everyone can tell.

A good exercise is to look at yourself and figure out what your Archetypes are. Incase you're curious, I consider myself to have a Caregiver nature. Though I can be a royal jerk, I'm actually a little too soft-hearted for my own good, and nothing matters more to me than my family. I enjoy caring for my housemate when she's sick, cooking meals for my friends, and fussing over every aspect of my dog's life and health. In terms of Demeanor, I tend to adopt Mediator, Director, and Confidant Archetypes.

Archetypes
Architect
You are unhappy unless you are creating something of lasting value. Your sense of purpose goes beyond your own needs; you try to create something of lasting value for those who will come after you.

Autocrat
You must have complete control of the situation, complete control over those around you and as much control over fate as you possible can. Control is the only thing you understand; it is what you worship. Authority is what you desire, and it is what you gain when you have control. The more authority you have, the more control you gain.

Autist
You hide your secrets from others. Even more importantly, you hide your true self. Anyone who understands you can hurt you, so no one must ever see the real you, or even come close.

Avant-Garde
You must always be in the forefront - always the first with a piece of news, a dance or fashion trend, or a discovery in the arts. Nothing pains you more than hearing news secondhand, or someone else telling you about a hot new band.

Bon Vivant
Life is pointless, shallow and meaningless - so have as good a time as possible. Rome may burn, but you shall drink wine and sing songs.

Bravo
You are known as a bully, a ruffian and a tough, and delight in tormenting the weak. Things must always go your way, and you do not tolerate those who cross you. Power and might are all you respect; indeed, you heed only those who can prove their power to you.
You see nothing wrong with forcing your will upon others. There is nothing you like better than to persecute, antagonize, heckle and intimidate those for whom you have contempt -and of them there are many. The emotions of kindness and pity are not completely foreign to you, but you hide from your own sense of weakness through cruelty to others. While most Bravos despise the weak, a few become their protectors.

Caregiver
You always try to help those around you, struggling to make a difference in the needs and sorrows of the unfortunate. People around you depend on your stability and strength to keep them steady and centered. You are the one people turn to when they have a problem.

Celebrant
The Celebrant takes joy in her cause. Whether the character's passion is battle, religious fervor, foiling her rivals or reading fine literature, it gives the Celebrant the strength to withstand adversity. Given the chance, the Celebrant will indulge her passion as deeply as possible.

Cavalier
You are as bold, intrepid, valiant and fearless as you need to be to complete your duty. You are the hero who tries to live up to glorious ideals and codes of justice. By protecting that which is good, you seek to preserve the society that made you what you are.

Child
You are still immature in personality and temperament: a kid who never grew up. Though you can (hopefully) care for yourself, you prefer the security of being watched over by others. Often you seek out someone to look out for you - a caretaker of sorts. Some see you as a spoiled brat, while others see you as an innocent cherub unaffected by the evils of the world. Some Child Archetypes are actually innocent rather than immature, ignorant of the cold ways of the real world. Children, spoiled individuals and some drug abusers are Child Archetypes.

Competitor
You are driven by the need to win at all costs. The thrill of victory is the only thrill you recognize; it is the thing that drives you. You see life as a contest and society as a dichotomy of winners and losers. You believe all the macho business proverbs - "if you're not lead dog, the view never changes"; "there are no prizes for second place"; "eat or be eaten." You try to turn every situation into a contest of some kind, and it is the only way you can relate to anything.

Confidant
You understand people and, more importantly, you like them. You are a facilitator who listens and advises. People confess to you and in return you give them advice, most of which is good (though sometimes your advice is more for your own benefit than for that of the recipient). Personalities fascinate you, as do the sickness and beauty of human nature.

Conformist
You are a follower. Taking charge is just not your style. It is easy for you to adapt, attune, adjust, comply and reconcile yourself to whatever new situation you find yourself in.

Conniver
What's the sense of working hard when you can get something for nothing? Why drudge when, just by talking, you can get what you want? You always try to find the easy way out, the fast track to success and wealth.

Critic
Nothing in the world should be accepted without thorough scrutiny and examination. Nothing is ever perfect, and the blemishes must be pointed out in order for the good to be truly known. Your standards are high for everything, and you insist on their being met. You encourage the same ideals in others, because laxity and low standards reduce the quality of life for everyone.

Curmudgeon
You are an irascible, churlish person at heart, taking everything seriously and finding little humor in life (though you may have a wickedly barbed wit). Cynicism is your middle name; it is the tool with which you judge everything in life. You have a very well-defined understanding of how things really work, especially when they involve the circus of human endeavor. Long ago the foolish actions of others ceased to surprise you.

Dabbler
The Dabbler is interested in everything but focuses on nothing. He flits from idea to idea, passion to passion and project to project without actually finishing anything. Others may get swept up in the Dabbler's enthusiasm, and be left high and dry as a result when he moves on to something else without warning.

Deviant (VPG)
There are always people who don't fit in, and you are such a miscreant. Your beliefs, motivations and sense of propriety are the complete antithesis of the status quo. You are not so much an aimless rebel as an independent thinker who does not belong in the society in which you were raised. You don't give a damn about other people's morality, but you do adhere to your own strange code of conduct.

Director
You despise chaos and disorder, and tend to take control and organize things in order to suppress anarchy. You like to be in charge, live to organize and habitually strive to make things work smoothly. You trust your own judgment implicitly and tend to think of things in black-and-white terms: "This won't work," "You're either for me or against me," "There are two ways to do this - my way and the wrong way."

Fanatic
You are consumed by a cause; it is the primary force in your life, for good or ill. Every ounce of blood and passion you possess is directed toward it; in fact, you may feel very guilty about spending time on anything else.

Gallant
You are as flamboyant as you are amoral; some see you as a rogue, a Don Juan, a rake, a paramour or just a lounge lizard - but you see yourself as all of the above. You love people and you love to impress them even more.

Honest (Abe)
You have a moderate temperament, and refrain at all cost from telling lies and stealing from others. You were brought up to live honestly and openly, and to be good to others - you have lived your life by these simple truths ever since.

Idealist
The idealist believes--truly, madly, deeply--in some higher goal or morality. The object of his idealism may be something as pragamatic or as amorphous as the triumph of ultimate good, but the belief is there.

Jobsworth
You are dedicated to the unbroken routine of your existence, and refuse to do anything that compromises your routine and established practices. Routines are what separate order from chaos. Make an exception once, and it sets a dangerous precedent; make an exception twice, and the door to anarchy is opened.

Judge
As a facilitator, moderator, arbitrator, conciliator and peacemaker, you always seek to make things better. You pride yourself on your rationality, your judgment and your ability to deduce a reasonable explanation when given the facts. You struggle to promote truth, but you understand how difficult it is to ascertain. You respect justice, for that is the way in which truth can reign.

Loner
You are the type of person who is always alone, even in the midst of a crowd. You are the wanderer, hunter and lone wolf. There are many different reasons why this might be so: you don't understand people, you understand people too well, people dislike you, people like you too much, or you are simply lost in your own thoughts.

Manipulator
You have always been fascinated by others. Why do people behave as they do? What thoughts and emotions affect their actions? The cognitive processes that influence the choices people make intrigue you. Sometimes just asking people questions about their actions can yield important information, but often people do not truly understand their own motivations and concerns. In these cases, it is far easier to set up situations - experiments, if you will - to see how people behave. You attempt to manipulate these situations for your personal advantage, in order to discover more information about your chosen subjects.

Martyr
All possess the martyr instinct, but few act upon it. Even fewer live the life of a Martyr, but you are such a one. Your desire for self-sacrifice stems either from a low self-esteem, a feeling of a lack of control, or a profoundly developed sense of love. You are able to endure long-lasting and severe suffering because of your beliefs and ideals.

Masochist
You like to push the boundaries and try to see how much you can take - how much pain you can tolerate before you collapse. You gain a certain satisfaction from suffering humiliation, depravation and even mutilation, especially when you are the cause of your pain and have some control over it. You know that your need is somewhat perverse, but you know you aren't crazy. This is just the way you are.

Mediator
The world is full of people who want things; sometimes people want the exact same thing. Some people have what other people want and would be willing to talk about working out a deal, but just don't know how to start. These people often have immense trouble finding and communicating with each other. That is where you come in. You are dedicated to mediating between people - fulfilling needs, smoothing over disputes, and generally helping people talk to one another.

Monster
Please don't take Monster. lol

Optimist
"Everything always turns out for the best." That is the motto of your life, and you know if you can just stay cheerful and stop worrying, your problems will never be with you forever. Some call you a fool, but even they have to admit you're happier than they are. Certainly you'll encounter difficulties from time to time, but there's no sense in worrying yourself to death in advance. Don't worry, be happy, and have a nice day.

Pedagogue
You've been a few places, seen a few things, and picked up a thing or two along the way - and you like to tell everyone about what you've learned. Teaching is your avocation, if not necessarily your profession.You are dedicated to passing on what you have learned for the benefit of others.

Penitent
You are unworthy. You are sinful. You are base, vile and lacking in virtue. You have no right to exist and are utterly beyond redemption. Either because of a low self-image or because of a spectacular trauma in your past, you feel compelled to spend your life making up for what you are, what you lack or what you have done.

Perfectionist
You can't stand imperfection, not in others and certainly not in yourself. Neither can you tolerate those who do not do everything they can to do their best, to make everything neat and proper and right in their lives. Though you may be strict with others, it is with yourself that you are most critical - everything must always be in its place, and you must always do the best and be the best.

Plotter
Everything you do is planned. Very little springs from you spontaneously. Your plans are often long and involved, sometimes extending beyond the lives of the mortals involved in them. Details must be exact, for you believe any deviation could bring ruin. Deviation from routine, however, is bothersome, not traumatic. You are organized, not deranged.

Poltroon
Meeting trouble (or anything else ) head-on is the tactic of fools and optimists. The sensible way to deal with trouble is to deny it a target. While some people might accuse you of sticking your head in the sand, they do have to admit that it has remained on your shoulders for quite some time, and looks like it will continue to do so indefinitely. You never confront what you can evade, and never face anything unless there is no other option.

Praise-Seeker
You self-worth is based entirely on the opinions of others. You crave approval and praise, and will go to extreme lengths to get such - even risking yourself and things you love. Unlike the Sycophant, you do not think of protection, and you have no thought of using others' good opinions to your own advantage - you simply crave praise and approval for their own sake, so you can feel good about yourself.

Rebel
You are a malcontent, iconoclast and free-thinking recalcitrant. You are so independent-minded and free-willed that you are unwilling to join any particular cause or movement. You are just yourself and only desire the freedom to be yourself. You do not make a good follower and aren't usually a very good leader either (unless your followers are willing to go wherever you lead).

Rogue
Only one thing matters to the Rogue: herself. To each his own, and if others cannot protect their claims, they have no right to them. The Rogue is not necessarily a bully or thug, however. She simply refuses to succumb to the whims of others. Simpsons quote: "Hey, Surly only looks after one person. SURLY."

Scientist
To a Scientist, existance is a puzzle which she can help to reassemble. A Scientist logically and methodically examines her every situation and manuever, looking for logical outcomes and patterns. This is not to say that the Scientist is always looking for a scientific or rational explanation, but rather, that she examines her surroundings rigorously and with a critical eye.

Survivor
No matter what, you always manage to survive. You can endure, pull through, recover from, outlast and outlive nearly any circumstance. When the going gets tough, you get going. You never say die, and never give up - never. Nothing angers you as much as a person who doesn't struggle to make things better, or who surrenders to the nameless forces of the universe.

Sycophant [my personal fav]
In the grand scheme of things, you are small and weak and unfit for survival. Your best hope is to find someone who is more powerful than you are and persuade her to take care of you. In return you will serve, admire and follow her. You will do anything she says, unless it puts you in great risk. In any type of uncertain situation, you will attach yourself to the strongest-seeming person, siding with her, performing various barely necessary services and generally trying to ingratiate yourself. Thereby you hope to earn some kind of protection. There is no limit to the depths to which you will lower yourself in order to be accepted, and you have no pride.

Thrill Seeker
You live for that moment of danger when the adrenalin kicks in and you feel truly alive. Skydiving, bungee jumping and leaping across roofs on a dare are all just par for the course. As a junkie is addicted to his particular brand of poison, you are addicted to danger.

Traditionalist
You are an orthodox, conservative and extremely traditional individual. What was good enough for you when you were young is good enough for you now. You almost never change. In general you are opposed to change for the sake of change - what point is there in that?

Trickster
The Trickster finds the absurd in everything. No matter how grim life (or unlife) may become, the Trickster always uncover a kernel of humor within it. Tricksters cannot abide sorrow or pain, and so they strive to lighten the spirits of those around them. Some Tricksters have even higher ideals, challenging static dogma by exposing its failures in humorous ways.

Visionary
There are very few who are brave or strong or imaginative enough to look beyond the suffocating embrace of society and mundane thought and see something more. Society treats such people with both respect and contempt - for it is the Visionary who perverts as well guides society into the future.

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Thu June 30 05 ; 4 04 pm

Step 3: Attributes
Now we're getting to the good stuff. Attributes are a measure of your character's innate capability. They're "what you're born with" so to speak, though they can be raised with experience and hard work.

The attributes are..

Physical
Strength:: How physically powerfull you are. Muscles, mass, and your ability to apply them.
Dexterity: Your general quickness of body, as well as flexibility and balance.
Stamina: Your toughness and ability to last physically, and to some degree, mentally. You may be gritty or just determined.

Social
Charisma: Your ability to awe and inspire people, your way with words, and your preserce of personality.
Manipulation: How well you can get in touch with other people and the power you hold over their thoughts and feelings. This is difficult for people to understand.
Appearance: Not just how good you look, but how your physical presence is percieved. Its your hotness and your ability to make first impressions without opening your mouth [once you open your mouth, its Charisma].

Mental
Perception: Your awareness of the world around you, and to a degree, who you are.
Intelligence: Your capacity to learn, understand and recall.
Wits: Also difficult to understand. This is your quickness of thought and even your sense of humour.

Each Attribute is measured in "dots", from zero to five:

ZERO - Deficient
You are completely and catastrophically lacking in this area. Normal human beings can't even achieve this low an attribute unless its the result of some kind of accident. Someone with Apperance zero has been hideously disfigured, and someone with Stamina zero is clinically dead.
O - Below average.
Noticeably feeble. An elderly person or a child might have some physical attributes this low. The village idiot has some mental attributes this low too.
OO - Average.
Most people normal people have a lot of 2s on their sheet. A character should be neither proud nor terribly ashamed of an attribute at two dots.
OOO - Above Average.
Noticeably strong. Most normal people have a couple 3s in the areas where they excel. An athlete may have some 3s in their physical attributes, and a successfull business man or socialite should have at least one or two 3s in socials.
OOOO - Exceptional.
Only rarely do people achieve this kind of potential. A professional body-builder should have four dots in strength, for example. A fashion model will likely have four dots in appearance.
OOOOO - Perfection.
This is the absolute limit of human potential. Schwarzenegger had Strength 5 in his prime, Cleopatra had Apperance 5, and Einstein had Intelligence 5.

How do you figure out how many dots you have and where they go? Another good question! Follow these easy guidelines:

- All attributes begin at one dot.
- Decide which category (Physical, Social, Mental) is your character's strongest, and divide 6 more dots into that category any way you like, such that it reflects your character concept.
- Decide which category is your character's second strongest, and divide 4 more dots into that category.
- Divide 3 more dots into your last category.

Easy as pie. I'll work with you all individually over MSN to help you sort out your dots.
Last edited by Gingerbread Guy on Thu June 30 05 ; 4 47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Thu June 30 05 ; 4 37 pm

Step 4: Abilities
Whereas Attributes represent your natural, inborn talent, Abilities represent what you've learned, and how well you tackle certain tasks.

Like Attributes, Abilities are broken up into three categories, each with several Abilities under them:

Code: Select all

[Talents]      [Skills]      [Knowledges]
Alertness      Animal Ken    Academics
Athletics      Craft         Computer
Brawl          Drive         Finance
Dodge          Etiquette     Investigation
Empathy        Melee         Law
Expression     Perform       Linguistics
Intimidation   Security      Medicine
Leadership     Stealth       Occult
Streetwise     Survival      Politics
Subterfuge     Teaching      Science
Rather than type out a monster list of what all those Abilities are, I'll field questions individually over MSN. Most of them should be pretty obvious: Drive is your ability to drive a car. Melee is your ability to hit things with other things. Law is your understanding of the legal system.

Just like Attributes, Abilities are measured in "dots" from zero to five:


ZERO - Newbie
You have absolutely no idea what you're doing. Even if you've practiced this Ability before, you haven't really broken any ground yet. Furthermore, any success you've had was due only to your natural talent (Attributes) and dumb luck, rather than experience. Someone who doesn't know how to turn on a computer has Computers 0, a teenager attending driving school has Drive 0, and an 11 year-old grade-schooler has Academics 0.
O - Novice
You have some experience in your chosen field. You're at the hobby level, where you can practice your Ability but probably not make a significan career out of it. In the case of Knoweldges, consider your aptitude to be at the highschool level. A substitute teacher probably has Academics 1, a yellow belt in Karate has Brawl 1, and a weekend hiker probably has Survival 1.
OO - Professional
You have reached a respectable level of aptitude in your chosen field, and you can probably make a living practicing your Ability. Knoweldges at two dots might represent a degree. A cab driver probably has Drive 2, a police officer or soldier probably has Firearms 2, a nurse or paramedic will have Medicine 2, and a qualified highschool teacher probably has Academics 2.
OOO - Advanced
At three dots, you're better than the average competitor in your field. You probably have years of practical experience in addition to training. A Knowledge at this level represents a masters or even a doctorate. A corporate lawyer has Law 3, a homicide detective has Investigation 3, a research scientist has Science 3, and municipal politician probably has Subterfuge 3.
OOOO - Master
Beyond just being a professional, if you've reached four dots you're probably capable of advancing your field rather than just practicing it. Others in your field seek you out for advice, and universities invite you to to be a guest speaker. An oscar-winning actor probably has Expression 4, an FBI sniper has Firearms 4, a Nascar race driver has Drive 4, and the CEO of a Fortune 500 company likely has Finance 4.
OOOOO - Legend
You know all there is to know about your field, and may have only a few equals in the entire world. Only very, very rarely does a person achieve this level of expertise. Einstein had Science 5, Bruce Lee had Brawl 5, and no one even remembers the guy who had Stealth 5.

How do you figure out how many dots you get? Yet another fantastic question:

- All Abilities start with ZERO dots.
- Chose a category (Talents, Skills, Knowledges) in which your character is most skilled. Divide 11 dots among the Abilities in that category.
- Chose a second category and divide 7 dots.
- Chose a third category and divide 4 dots.

Presto, all done, and on to the next step.

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Thu June 30 05 ; 8 09 pm

Step 5: Backgrounds
Backgrounds are a measure of what your has collected and amassed throughout his life. Unlike Attributes or Abilities, they don't really represent potential so much as possession.

I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that Backgrounds are measured in "dots" ranging from O to 5! WOW! WHO KNEW?

The various backgrounds are:

Allies
Allies are people who help you out for some reason. They could be truly caring family members, best friends, people you've manipulated or blackmailed, or simply someone who has a vested interested in your success. An Ally, though willing to help, may not actually be terribly qualified in any given field (unlike a Contact). Each dot represents a different person who can help you out, although some truly powerful or helpful Allies may take up two or more dots. You have to take care to maintain whatever bond keeps them at your disposal, or risk losing the dot(s).

Contacts
Contacts are people who will supply you with valuable information or opportunities, but who might not actually do tasks for you. A mafia snitch, an ex-girlfriend with a job as a police precinct clerk, or a drug dealer are all examples of Contacts. Just like with Allies, you must work to maintain the relationship that keeps your Contact willing to lead you in the right direction.

Fame
Characteres with dots in Fame are known to others in some way or another. This reputation may be positive or negative, and it might not even be at all accurate, but either way it has it's advantages and disadvantages. The more dots of fame, the further your name carries:

ZERO - Nobody
Nobody knows your name. You're dust in the wind.
O - Social Circle
Your name and reputation have filtered through a small group that shares a common interest. Such a group might be a schoolyard gang, the regulars at a biker bar, or a members of an elite high-society club.
OO - Community
An entire community of people know who you are. This community is larger than a social circle, and isn't necessarily connected by any common interest or theme. The neighborhood you grew up in, the local chapter of the sicilian mafia, or public transportation union are all examples of communities.
OOO - City-wide
Everyone in town knows your name and maybe even your face, wether they're old, young, hip or square. Even neighbouring communities might have heard of you. Depending on how positive your reputation is, you might be hunted down by the Sherif or have a sandwich named after you at the local deli.
OOOO - National Sensation
You are a household name in your entire country. You've probably been featured in magazines and tabloids, and there might be an unofficial fanclub on the internet dedicated to you. You might get fanmail or death threats, and likely both.
OOOOO - Immortal Legend
Your fame has transcended borders as well as language and cultural barriers. Only the truly poor and isolated haven't heard of you - everyone else knows your most intimate details (wether they're true or not). Simply showing your face can get you almost anything you want, but kiss goodbye any chance at a normal life. The paparatzi is probably hiding in your bushes right now.

Influence
Influence is a measure of how much sway you have over a particular field of society. You can pull strings from behind the scenes and manipulate entire aspects of the world around you. Influence has several sub-categories, each measured from zero to five dots. The categories include: Bureaocracy, Church, Finance, Health, High Society, Industry, Legal, Media, Occult, Police, Political, Street, Transportation, Underworld, and University. If any of those categories interest you and/or suit your character, we'll discuss exactly how influential you should be (how many dots you should have) over MSN.

Resources
Resources is a measure of your income, and it also dictates what you own. Though like all backgrounds you can buy more Resources with experience points, you have to secure that level of income through roleplaying.

Zero - Broke
You are homeless, though you could be mooching off an ally without too much trouble. You have no discernable income, and only meager possessions.
O - Poverty
You have some small savings and a modest income, probably from a part-time job. You probably have a small apartment (likely with roomies), and cheap means of transportation such as a skateboard, bike, or bus pass. You have $500 of spending money per month.
OO - Comfortable
You have modest savings and holdings, and a comfortable income. You probably have a full-time job or career. You can afford a nice apartment/condo, or a small house, and probably a motorcycle or second-hand car. You have access to $1,000 spending money per month.
OOO - Middle-Class
You have significant savings and holdings and steady income. You have a desireable career that pays handsomely, and you can afford a nice house and a one or two cars. You have $3,000 spending money per month.
OOOO - Upper-Class
You have large savings and holdings and a very significant income. Your income may be the result of more than just a prized career - you may be supplimenting your cash flow by playing the stocks or making wise investments. You own a large house or mansion, or perhaps several smaller properties, some fancy cars, and other luxuries. You have $10,000 spending money per month.
OOOOO - Filthy Rich
You are rediculously wealthy and have a mind-boggling income. You have a career that others can only dream of, and your possessions are limited only by your imagination. You likely own a large estate and grounds, as well as several other properties, several vehicles (not limited to cars), arts and treasures, luxury items and more. You have $30,000 spending money per month.

Retainers
Retainers are similar to allies, only that they don't just do you favours - they work directly for you. A personal secretary, a buttler, a living assistant or a chauffeur are all examples of Retainers. In most cases you have to pay a Retainer's sallary, but it need not come directly from your income (Resources). Usually these people work for a company you own, or perhaps they are granted to you by the company or business you work for.

Wondering how you get Backgrounds? What an excellent question.

- Everyone starts with 5 dots of backgrounds that can be spent anywhere you like
- The only limitations on backgrounds are that Resources are capped at 3 at character creation, and no individual Influence can be higher than 2 at creation.
Last edited by Gingerbread Guy on Tue July 26 05 ; 6 54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Thu June 30 05 ; 9 48 pm

Step 6: Virtues, Willpower and Humanity
There are three more stats that need to be filled out:

Virtues
Virtues are measures of your character's.. well, character. There are three kinds of Virtues, each measured on a scale from zero to five (two to three is average):

Conscience: The higher your conscience, the more likely you are to feel guilty about your actions. Having a high conscience will help you maintain your Humanity (see below).

Self-Control: The higher your self control, the less likely you are to fly off the handle, lose your temper, and do brash, regrettable things.

Courage: The higher your courage, the more brave and composed you are in situations where your safety is at risk (well duh).

How do you know how many virtues you get? What an excellent question:

- All virtues begin at one dot. Assign 7 more wherever you like.
- Your Willpower score (see below) is equal to your Courage score.
- Add together your Conscience and Self Control: this is your Humanity score (see below).

Willpower
Willpower is a measure of your character's self-confidence, ego and inner strength. Willpower is measured in dots, on a scale of zero to ten (yes, ten, not five).

Willpower can be "spent" in various situations to help your character through sheer force of determination. Spending Willpower can increase your chances of success on a roll, allow you to ignore your wounds for a round, temporarily resist temptation, and many other things. These expendatures are only temporary; you can recover spent Willpower by acting in a manner befitting your Nature.

Your starting Willpower score is equal to your Conscience + Self Control score (see above).

Humanity
Perhaps the most important part of your character sheet is your Humanity score. Your Humanity score is a measure of how moral and, well, human your character is. Humanity is measured on a scale from zero to ten:

ZERO - Monster
Beings at this level of depravity are completely inhuman. They are incapable of speach or coherent thought, and act entirely on their sick, twisted instincts. Regular human beings almost never fall this far down the spiral.
O to OO - Animal
The lives and property of others mean nothing to people this far gone. Such a person more than likely indulges in twisted pleasure, which can be all manner of atrocity. Perversion, cold-blooded murder, mutilation, wickedness for it's own sake are all signs of one who is not long to continue.
OOO to OOOO - Predator
Hey, some people ought to die. Killing is very acceptable, provided the victim deserves to die (and its up to the individual to determine who's deserving). Theft, injury, torture and destruction are tools to be used to accomplish one's goals, and one's goals are always paramount.
OOOOO - Cold
People die. Stuff breaks. This kind of person has little difficulty taking from others. While s/he wont always go out of his/her way to vandalize or kill, s/he accepts that sometimes fate has it in for some people. They do what needs to be done with litle griping or effort on their part to avoid it.
OOOOO O - Jaded
What they don't know can't hurt them, right? People at this level no longer make much of an effort to do "the right thing" in situations they feel are petty or insignificant. They start to put their needs above those of others, though they avoid breaking the law where possible. Some rights are simply more important than others.. right?
OOOOO OO - Average
Theft is wrong, murder and harming others is wrong... but sometimes the speed limit is just too damn slow. People at this level are approximate to "normal" when it comes to social morals, and are on par with most of society. These people are concerned with the natural rights of others, but there is some selfishness mixed in.
OOOOO OOO and up - Angelic
People at this level are more human than human. Though they are not necessarily sweet, passive and pleasant, they do have excruciatingly high moral standards and often hold very clearly defined concepts of right and wrong. Maintining this level of morality is exceptionally difficult in a world so dark and cynical.

Your Humanity score can and probably will fluctuate over time. If you perform, take part in (or sometimes even witness) an act that is inviolation of your moral code as defined by your current Humanity score, you must pass a roll (based on your Conscience score). Those that pass the roll feel guilty and/or disgusted by the act, and maintain their Humanity. Those that fail the roll become comfortable with the new level of depravity and slip a little further down the spiral.

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Fri July 01 05 ; 5 33 pm

Step 7: Freebies
To make your characters a little more individual, you all get twenty one (21) "Freebie Points", or Freebies for short. Freebies can be spent only at character creation to give you more dots in various places as you see fit. The costs are as follows:

Attributes: 5 Freebies per dot
Abilities: 2 Freebies per dot
Backgrounds: 1 Freebie per dot
Virtues: 2 Freebies per dot
Humanity: 1 Freebie per dot
Willpower: 1 Freebie per dot

Bear in mind: increasing your Virtues with Freebies does NOT porportionate increase your Humanity and Willpower.

There are also a two other things you can do with freebies:

Secondary Abilities
Secondary Abilities are like regular Abilities, only they are more narrowly focused in a specific area. Focusing on a smaller, more specific set of skills is less costly in terms of experience points, and often makes tasks easier.

For example, if you were to attempt a backflip, throw a baseball or dance at a night club, you would use your Athletics ability. However, if you only wanted to be able to do backflips, you would instead take the Acrobatics Secondary Skill. If you just wanted to be good at throwing things, you could take the Throwing Secondary Skill. If you wanted to be a good dancer, you could take the Dancing Secondary Skill.

Secondary Skills cost half as much as regular Skills (one freebie point per dot). You don't need to take any Secondary Skills, but I will make them available to you. We'll discuss which Secondary Skills are appropriate for your character when we talk over MSN.

Merits & Flaws
I put this in Step 7 because it has a lot to do with Freebies. To further personalize your character you can take Merits and Flaws.

Merits and Flaws are traits that you can add to your character sheet that represent various aptitudes and shortcomings. Merits are beneficial, and cost anywhere from one to seven Freebies each. Flaws are detrimental, but they can give you bonus Freebies from up to one to seven points each.

You can only purchase a total of up to seven points of Merits, and take only up to 7 points of Flaws. You aren't required to take any Merits or Flaws at all, but be advised that they are very difficult to obtain later in the game.

Here is a list of Merits & Flaws that I'm allowing in this game (I'll give better descriptions over MSN, so jot down any that sound interesting):

Merits: Acute Sense, Ambidextrous, Bruiser, Code of Honor, Coldly Logical, Common Sense, Concentration, Crack Driver, Danger Sense, Deceptive Aura, Double-Jointed, Enchanting voice, Friendly Face, Harmless, Higher Purpose, Iron Will, Jack-of-all-Trades, Light Sleeper, Lightning Calculator, Lucky, Natural Leader, Pitiable, Self-Confident.

Flaws: Addiction, Allergic, Anosmia, Bad Sight, Blind, Compulsion, Dark Secret, Deaf, Deep Sleeper, Disfigured, Driving Goal, Enemy, Hard of Hearing, Illiterate, Impatient, Intollerance, Lame, Low Self-Image, Mute, Nightmares, One Arm, One Eye, Overconfident, Phobia (mild), Phobia (severe), Short, Soft Hearted, Speach Impediment, Twitch, Ward, Weak-Willed

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Fri July 01 05 ; 5 51 pm

Step 8: Specialties
This is the easiest step of the whole process - your sheet is essentially completed, don't worry. All you have to do is look at your sheet and find any Attribute, Ability or Secondary Ability in which you have four or five dots. In these areas you qualify for a Specialty.

Specialties are very specific aspects of the given Attribute or Ability in which you are particularly talented. You only get one Specialty, and it can never be changed, so chose wisely. When attempting an action that involves the use of your Specialty, your roll will be slightly easier.

For example, a character with Strength 4 might chose the "Fists Like Anvils" Specialty. That character will be especially good at pounding things with his bare fists. Another character might chose a Firearms Specialty in "Colt revolvers." When using a Colt revolver, she'll be extra accurate.

Specialties have to be fairly specific. You can't just chose "Hitting things" as your Melee Specialty, or "avoiding being hit" as a Dodge Specialty. A better Melee Specialty would be "thrusts" or "katanas". A better Dodge Specialty would be "diving for cover", "fist fights", or even "flinching". These are all narrow and specific uses of the Melee and Dodge Abilities that will only come into play under certain circumstances.

You MUST chose a Specialty when you qualify for one. If you raise an Attribute, Ability or Secondary Ability to 4 dots by spending XP, you will still get a Specialty. Specialties reflect an incredible level of skill, so it may be that you won't even have a single 4 on your sheet at creation.

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Post by Gingerbread Guy » Fri July 01 05 ; 5 53 pm

Step 9: Equipment (Final step)
Like step 8, this is a very easy step. When we talk over MSN we'll decide on some equipment that your character already owns. There is no such thing as "starting money" in Vampire. Rather, we simply decide what is realistic for your character to have based on his/her Resources score. We'll work it out one-on-one, and I'm full of suggestions, so fear not.

And there you have it, people! Thats how you make a human in the White Wolf system.

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Re: Character Creation 101

Post by jeomancer20 » Wed January 07 09 ; 6 34 am

Does anyone give me some link so I can download it to my PS and start plating it. I just want to try this game and follow those steps you provide.








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Re: Character Creation 101

Post by Hypo Luxa » Tue January 13 09 ; 7 47 am

It's actually a pen and paper RPG system, not something you can download and play.
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