Dungeon Game

Character Creation

Written April 22, 2021

Characters are made through a combination of random rolls and personal decisions, reflecting a life of opportunities and pitfalls. At any point in the process, players are welcome to trade the in-progress characters with each other.

Path

Together with all the players (including the world player), choose the path your characters will be on. This defines what your characters will be doing as you play. Your path comes with three expectations and some powers.

Heritage

Your heritage is traditions that your culture and family upholds, and the physical shape that your people take on. The forms your people take (whether that be humanlike or something stranger) should be understood as poetical and not as any concept of “race”.

To determine your heritage, if your characters are associated with a specific homeland, you should roll on that location’s heritage table. Otherwise, you’ve come a long way from home: you can pick any heritage you like, come up with your own, or build your own table to roll on.

Who raised you? Give them a name a describe a few things that stick out to you in your memories. Your heritage has three favored approaches listed. Pick one that you took well to and improve that approach by one step. Record your heritage’s expectations on your sheet.

Rites of Passage

As you make your character, you will be presented with three rites of passage. The first is for your heritage, so we’ll start with that, and the others will work similarly.

First, pick one of the three attributes: strength, poise, or insight. At some point in your life, you were faced with a test of this attribute, a challenge that marks you as a member in your community. How well you did in this challenge determines your starting value for that attribute as well as how well you fit in with your people and culture.

Drawing upon the examples given for your heritage or inventing your own, paint a picture of the crucial moment where you needed strength, poise, or insight as you passed from childhood to adulthood. Imagine what it would look like to fail this test or to overcome it. Then, roll a d4 to see what happened. Write down the result of your roll to use later.

A 4 means things went perfectly: you passed through the challenge exceptionally. You’re known as a model member of your heritage and are naturally adept in the chosen attribute.

A 3 means you barely succeeded: you did it, but only scraping through. What went wrong and how did you recover? You’re considered a typical member of your community and are reasonably capable in the chosen attribute.

A 2 means you almost succeeded. What went wrong and how did you almost, but not quite, overcome it? You’re considered mostly typical for your community, if a bit odd or misplaced, and have some trouble with the chosen attribute.

A 1 means you unequivocally failed. Describe the worst possible outcome. You’re tolerated confusing, strange, or dangerous among your people at best and an exile or pariah at worst, and have little capability in the chosen attribute.

Background

Your background is the role you played in your community, perhaps a trade, caretaking, a ritual practice, or something else.

Next, roll three times on the background table for your heritage. These are the opportunities you had to make of your life; choose one that you decided to pursue. Who showed you the ropes and taught you what you needed to know? Give them a name and describe your memories of them, as well. Improve one of your background’s favored approaches and record its expectations.

Then you will do another rite of passage for you background, this time showing how well you fit into this role. Choose a different attribute from the previous rite, and describe and roll for it as before. Write down the result.

Vocation

Whether you fit in or not, at some point something restless grew inside you that caused you to be a wanderer. Vocations are the crafts you master as a wanderer. You start with one vocation which you might continue to advance in, and you may learn other vocations from the people you meet, from the harsh experience of the road, or from sources stranger still.

Choose a vocation, either one from your homeland or from a wandering teacher. Describe your memories of your teacher. Improve one of your vocation’s favored approaches and record its expecations.

Vocations

Now it is time for you final rite of passage, which will determine whether you’ve started off your new life with confidence or desperation. This rite will be for the last attribute not yet determined. Describe and roll for it.

Approaches

You may now finish filling out your approaches. For each attribute, you may improve an approach under that attribute of your choice a number of times equal to the value you rolled for the appropriate rite of passage, going no higher than d8.

Add up the results of all three of your rites of passage. If the total is 3 or 4, you are cursed, and have lived a difficult life with little opportunities to grow. However, if nothing else you have learned how to live through one day at a time. Add this expectation to your character sheet: “Survive another day”.

If the total is 11 or 12, you are blessed. You have drawn the attention and favor of one or more gods. The world player will tell you which, and what favors and expectations this places upon you.

Skills

Choose a number of skills equal to your insight.

Possessions

To choose your starting possessions, write down as many everyday and common things as you wish to be carrying (keeping in mind your available fatigue and leaving some slots open for you to exert yourself), plus one fine possession for each 4 you rolled during your rites of passage. For those fine possessions, consider: who gave it to you? why? who made it? and when?

Possessions