Creation and Background
The character creation system will take you through the steps necessary to create your Gothic: The Lion Age character. Throughout the process, you will be asked to consider the details of the life that your character has led before you take control of him or her and enter it into play. As you decide on these factors, you will be awarded Skill Ranks to spend toward the advancement of your character. Your life events, as much as your skills, will dictate who your character becomes. From any one category, you may only advance a specific skill a single rank unless noted otherwise.
Mother and Father
Determine the identities of your parents. Who are they, or were they? What did they do, and what was it important that they pass on to you? Select their identities, their profession and their names, and then choose one non-combat skill that exemplifies your Mother, and one that exemplifies your Father to raise by one rank. Alternatively, if raised in special circumstances, choose two different skills that relate to a single parent or guardian to raise by one rank.
For a list of skills, see the skills page located here: Skill List
Your character's culture is the regional group from which they descend or were raised. Although most of humankind is united as the Throne, there are many distinct and diverse cultural groups that make up the Throne's people. The environment that your character was raised in has a large impact on what sort of roles they end up pursuing, or what skills they pick up through exposure.
A more detailed description of each culture can be found here.
A rainy country to the far east of the Throne, Cappacionne is bordered by mountains on two sides and is one of the two ways into the Throne. The armies of Cappacionne are charged with protecting the border from any hostile incursions from Orc or Shariqyn. Their people love wine, poetry, horsemanship and the finer things in life.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Firearms, Hunting, Mechanics, Seduce or Persuade .
The Dunnick are a people living on a group of islands in the south-west of the Throne. Theirs is a culture of much history and connection to their ancestry and ancient lore, but they are under the restrictive subjugation of the ruling class of Rogalia, to the north. Many Dunnick fight for their independence, for all Dunnick share a fierce pride for their heritage and bright, verdant country, where the water is always warm and the hills are always green.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Brawl, Grit, Herbalism, Mining, or Apothecary
The Throne's heart and soul lives in Gotha alongside its glorious cathedrals and highly-trained armies of Templar. The Gothic people are strict and serious, especially with themselves, making every decision with the utmost care. Many leaders from all over the Throne are Gothic in heritage, and it is their steadfast determination, loyalty, and zealotry that has forged the Throne that unites all mankind.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Discipline, Farming, Medium Weapons, Leadership or Liturgy (Benalian Church)
The free-spirited and flamboyant Hestrali are a culture built on trade and wealth coupled with a love for adventure and new horizons. Their people are famous for being bold, brash, charismatic and daring, with a devil-may-care attitude. It is by courage that heroes are born, and the Hestrali mix it in liberal quantities with their fine wines and love for other cultures.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Mercantile, Mobility, Seduce, Finesse, Performance
A relative to the Gothic of the south, the Njords are a cautious and pragmatic people, living day by day in the icy reaches of the northern most parts of the Throne's reach. Only recently annexed through a treaty with the hero who briefly united the disparate clans, the Njords were heretofore infamous for their daring and cruel raids on their southern neighbors in the Throne. Not yet fully converted to the religion of Holy Benalus, many Njords still cling to the worship of their pantheon of pagan gods. In the farthest northern reaches, many Njords consider the Throne to be no different from any other invading clan, and still cling to the old ways of raiding and bloodshed. The rest have found peaceful relationships within the Throne, and live in service to its great ideals.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Survival, Grit, Intimidate, Performance, or Forestry.
Rogalia is a land hardened by war. Constant civil conflicts are the norm in this region, due in part to its very dense population of nobility. The laws change from one mile to the next at times, and infighting has made Rogalia the only country in the Throne with no King, only a Parliament of Ruling Lords. The constant state of low-level strife in Rogalia, however, has created some of the most brilliant strategic minds the Throne has ever known to date, and the finest military commanders in the Throne come with regularity from Rogalian stock. Even the meanest peasant here knows how to fire a bow, and when. In a hard world, the Rogalians mean to be harder still.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Archery, Etiquette, Metalworking, Discipline, Perception
The Shariqyn are the one substantial human culture that is not part of the Throne. Their place is far to the deserts of the East, among the shifting sands of Sha'ra, a land of wonders and fabulous ancient magics. Tales of their land are the strangest in the Throne, and the people of The Throne think of their people as stranger still. Tan of skin and dark of hair, the Shariqyn stand out easily in the Throne, and though the two cultures are engaged in a bloody war, they are still welcome to travel the Throne and understand its people and ways. They are not considered citizens, and as such have fewer rights. They are a people that cling fervently to a strange religion all their own, worshiping water and purity with a priest caste of water mages, searching for their messiah. Many Shariqyn come to the Throne to trade, for they have goods that are rarely seen in the world, imported from their strange lands. Spices, elven-made silks, and even strange and dangerous magical objects come from the shifting sands of the East.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Academics, Mercantile, Survival, Persuasion, Liturgy (Aab'oran)
You are fluent in your own culture’s language and Gothic, the closest thing that passes for an international or trade language. Gothic characters themselves also learn Aldersabin, the language of the Church of Benalus. Learning a language later requires 2 exp, the cultural focus in question, a teacher willing to offer the language to you, and a Downtime action.
Location of Home
Home is where your character was raised, more specifically than his or her cultural background. This can be a specific location you know about in game, such as the Imperial Capital of Fenristadt, or can be a largely undefined area specific to your character. The answer to this question can be specific or general, but should give some idea of the conditions under which the character lived and the things they saw on a daily basis.
Name and briefly describe your home town or area of upbringing. This can be an established area of the world you are aware of from the setting, or it can be some place you invent specifically for your backstory, but give us a brief understanding of its characterizing features.
Some examples include: Fishing Village, Fortified Town, Hog Farm, Port Town, Trade Market, Hamlet, Capital City, Fortress
Every culture, but especially Rogalians, should consult their Culture Packet and think about what noble house rules the region that they come from in order to give extra context to your character.
Choose 2 non-combat skills related to the experience living in your home area to raise by one rank.
You were born on the streets of a major city. The rare urban environments that dot the Throne tell the tale of your origin, where quick wits and quicker feet keep you out of trouble. You've lived on the rotten underbelly of major ports, slums, and back alleys.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Streetwise, Sincerity, Intimidate, Finesse, and Stealth.
You were raised in the dark of the country, where there is more to fear than unjust lords and petty wars. Your story begins in a terrible place where winter kills just as brutally as any sword or poison. Survival must be eked out by hard work and faith that you will live to see the next harvest day.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Perception, Liturgy, Grit, or Survival, any Gathering skill. (Multiple Gathering skills can be chosen to raise one rank.)
Your life was the life of a traveler or tradesman. You moved from town to town peddling both wares and skills. By road or sea, you have crossed great distances and seen the dangers of the world and what it takes to survive them.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Mercantile, Perception, Survival, Sincerity, any Crafting skill. (Multiple Crafting skills can be chosen to raise one rank.)
You were born in the highest class of society and have either lived the life of a noble or the life of one of their entourage. Yours is not necessarily a life of opulence either, but rather one of sophistication, order and duty. There are just as many dangers and knives in the dark in a royal court as there are in a rat infested alley. Knowing the game and the players has helped you, but steel is deadly regardless of the hand that wields it.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Medium Weapons, Etiquette, Academics, Intimidation, Leadership
Your character's devotion is the single most important thing in her life. It is the powerful driving force that is both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. Whenever a Devotion is triggered she may add 1 rank to any relevant skill that she already has at least 1 rank in. Faithful characters add 2 ranks to 2 skills of their choice, and Zealous characters add 3 ranks to 3 skills of their choice. When using Devotions in this manner, the bonus still only applies to uses that involve fulfilling your Devotion, and lasts until the situation ends.
At the moment you begin to undertake an action that supports your Devotion, mentally designate the skills which are receiving the benefit. These skills are enhanced for the duration of the activities that support your Devotion. You may designate new skills during a new scene, if different skills are appropriate to the new situation.
Some people give in to their obsessions and let them darken their hearts, some people twist their feelings of love and protection into a weapon for killing, and doing so leaves a stain on the soul.
If a character is opposing her Devotion at any time, she loses 1 rank from all Skills. Faithful characters lose 2 to all skills when opposing their Devotion, and Zealous characters lose 3. Thusly, characters with very high Faith find it difficult to bend their ideals as they tend to believe so adamantly in them. Every violation of their Devotion also causes the individual to gain Despair.
For example, if the Zealous Inquisitor Sariel takes Hatred: Heretics then protecting a heretic due to valuable information he may possess would incur a penalty of -3 Ranks to every skill he uses, as he is not particularly enthused with the outcome of recent events. Every time his shield would block an on oncoming attack aimed at this heretic he would face such a penalty. Any attempt to shield him from an attack would do so with his skills thus blunted. If he must help him escape judgment from another inquisitor, Discipline would need to be spent to even consider such a blasphemous notion.
--Grand Inquisitor Sariel
Devotions can be nearly anything, so long as you and the staff can agree upon what it means and when it applies, but these are some examples in broad categories. Choose a specific Devotion such as the examples below under Common Devotions, specific to the particulars to your character.
Chaos Devotions - You are committed to bringing an order out of power, destroying a status quo, or subverting a ruling authority. Although you may follow an authority yourself, it is simply a means to an ends. Your loyalty lies in your cause and although you may possess a sense of morality, your goals are destructive in nature.
Common Devotions: A ruling family, The Church, a thieves guild, an order of unjust knights.
Hatred Devotions - You have become the ruiner, the bane of something or someone and you have devoted yourself to its end. The very sight or mention of it can boil your blood. Your hatred may be for revenge, or perhaps you are committed to an ideal, but whatever the reason, you walk a dark and lonely path that will end in either blood or misery.
Common devotions are heretics, specific persons, orcs, sorcerers.
Idealism Devotions - Your calling in life is creating or preserving a single idea. You may be a man who ignores the law to preserve justice, a historian who is obsessed with her studies, or a druid that protects the forest from intruders. There are few who possess such rare dedication to something so abstract and ephemeral, but such things have risen to the first priority in your heart.
Common Devotions are discovery, art, untouched wilderness, justice.
Love Devotions - There is a person or persons that you care for more than anything else in the world. They are your world and perhaps are all you really have. It is a bond that transcends all instincts and yet feels instinctual. Perhaps you need them, or perhaps they need you, but whatever the case, you will go to the ends of the earth to help them and aid them.
Common devotions are lovers, family, friends.
Materialism Devotions - All that matters in this world is getting what you can before someone else beats you to it. Your devotion in life is invested in your possessions or perhaps possessing things you do not have. Some would call you greedy but it's hard for you to deny your fascination with the material world. You may be a collector of sorts, perhaps you are a skinflint with a love for money, or maybe you are obsessed with a single magical object and simply want to keep it safe.
Common devotions are money, paintings, books, gems, a specific object
Order Devotions - You are committed to keeping an order in power, preserving a status quo, or upholding a government and it's laws. The bastion of order, you follow an authority and are righteously loyal to its cause. Your motives are unselfish although not necessarily good. You can be found placing laws above morality and weighing the value of lives on the preservation of order.
Common Devotions are Imperial Law, the church, a specific ruling family.
Power Devotions - Your calling is to attain true greatness. Whether it be to fill in the footsteps or expectations of others, or because a deep thirst for power, you aspire to be the very best. This may be in political, intellectual, or physical arenas but always the motive is the same: you refuse to be content with your standing and only the top will satisfy you.
Common devotions are swordsmanship, political power, guild standing, sorcerous power, or fame.
Favored Attribute - EXP
Choose one Attribute to raise one step to the ● level to represent your character's natural talent and predilection. You may also take as many Attributes at the (-) rank as you wish, each earning an additional 10 exp as a 'flaw' that can be bought off at equal value in game. Flaws are discussed in more detail in the Perks, Traits, and Flaws section.
If you do not have any levels in the locked Skill for your Favored Attribute (see the chart for details), take the first Rank of that Skill now. If you already have it because of an earlier step in Character Creation, the next time you purchase a new level of that Skill, you may do so for 2 less exp.
When a character starts out she may choose what her faith score primarily represents. Although, it is possible to have faith in many different things, there is usually one thing that acts as a primary guide for one's beliefs and actions. A brigand may still believe in God but that does not usually stop him from stealing and occasionally killing in spite of knowledge about the afterlife. It is simply that the brigand has placed his faith and moral guidance in himself more than the potency of divine power.
FAITH IN SELF
Although you are not necessarily doubting of other powers in the world, you have a tendency to look within for inner strength. You are self-reliant and believe that those who forge their own blessings need never beg for them. As a result you are steadfast and self-assured and have an additional resource called Willpower.
Ritual magic has a harder time working on you, be it wicked or benign. During rituals, silently refuse to bow your head to give an out of character cue that you are Faith in Self.
Drawing upon her focus and self-confidence, the character may immediately recover all of her consumed skill uses that can be recovered through Rest, and may ignore all wounds and injuries except the Downed status for one combat scene. Willpower may be used once per day.
Once per game event, a character may spend Willpower to remove one Depravity of her choice as she works through her issues and comes to terms with her decisions.
FAITH IN A HIGHER POWER
Through a higher power, all things are possible. Whether it be the Holy Church, ancient Elven gods, the Altar of Vecatra, or even the Triumvirate, you know in your heart that it is belief and worship that has prolonged you thus far and only by the power of your devotion may you continue. Thus, all good fortune is the praise and attention of your god, while all bad fortune is punishment or foul machinations of opposing gods or devils. People with this type of faith keep an open mind to the invisible workings of the world, and unlike Faith in the Self, they are highly affected by Ritual Magic. As well, they gain the Prayer ability.
During rituals, bow your head to show your Faith to the character performing the ritual.
If the character prepares in the method their religion dictates for success in a single specific situation or goal, (a prayer to the Lord, a sacrifice to the spirits, Aab'oran meditation, etc) they may behave for one single task that the prayer was related to as if their Devotion was active. This requires at least a few minutes of uninterrupted preparation and the prayer registered with a Rules Marshall at least sometime before committing to the action in question. You may only use this in one such situation at a time until new preparations are made, and only once per day.
At this step, consider your character's heart and soul, the name he carries with him, and all the infamy or fame he has gained comes with it. Your name is what you and others call you, but it is also your reputation. As you travel through the world and make decisions, people will remember you for your deeds, and those deeds with travel with you.
Typically, unless you are a Highborn noble, you do not posses a surname. Instead, you have something that mentions where you hail from, who raised you, your profession, or a title of some kind (see Fame or Infamy in the perks and flaws section). Examples include Elliot of Oxwallow, Thorlief Erikson (Son of Erik), Jacob Fisher and Maximillian One-Eye. Most family names are a single word in the character's home language that is the most important detail about who they are, fisher, soldier, strong, hillman, handless , translated for region, so perhaps, Fisch, Soldat, Starke, Hügel, Handlosen, were the character Gothic.
Naming conventions vary from culture to culture. In Gotha, people have their first name in Gothic, a second name in Aldersabin that is kept secret to protect it from witches. In Njordr, a man earns another name only after he has done some deed worth gaining one (See Branded in the Perks and Flaws Section). The North has men like Sonnar Grim, Koran Lackjaw, Tomar Ruthless, and Thalock Pale-as-Snow. Often other northmen only refer to their companions by their earned name, "Ruthless," etc.
See the appropriate Culture section for more details on naming and other cultural points.
Every character begins with 10 Experience points to spend as they wish. You may spend these on skills or other abilities, or you may purchase Perks for the listed value. Flaws award experience points, and Traits neither cost or give experience points. After character creation, perks cost twice as much and require in game justification. Flaws cost twice as many experience points as they awarded to remove, and also require in game justification.
When purchasing skills with experience points, the skills Heavy Weapons, Mobility, Grit, Discipline, Academics and Liturgy are only able to be purchased with the required Attribute level, even if they were awarded earlier in the process as free ranks.
If you wish to pick up Perks and Flaws, which is recommended, please see the Perks and Flaws page at this step in Character Creation.
If your character is part of an Organization such as being a Priest, a Paladin, a Knight, or a Magician, please see the Organizations page at this step in Character Creation.
Characters with the Journeyman perk begin with a contract related to their profession.
Starting equipment depends on your character's social class:
Choose 3 of the following items - you may choose the same item more than once. If you have the Journeyman perk, you may substitute any of your 3 items with equipment appropriate to your profession instead.
Professional Tools: (Mining, Farming, Forestry, or Hunting), Seeds: Vegetables or Hemp, a Herd: Pigs or Sheep, 10 of any Uncommon commodity, any weapon with the Crude flaw (a farming implement like a hammer or scythe), Draft horse, Peasant Outfit
The last step in character creation is to choose your character's Reveler's Trait - their true nature as revealed through the clarifying power of alcohol. Even if they never become Intoxicated in game, choose what sort of drunk your character will turn out to be should it happen:
See the Alcohol & Intoxication page for details on what game effects each Reveler's Trait has.
Finally, submit your character to the Staff for final approval at firstname.lastname@example.org. In that email, include all of the information above, as well as a character background that tells your character's story up to this point and gives us a sense of her personality. Make sure to use the official character sheet, linked to the right.
A good background should include information especially about conflicts your character has had that developed her into the person she is, and explain flaws such as Infamy or Enemy. It is a great idea to leave plenty of unfinished business - Gothic is a game of character-driven drama and how your story interacts with the personal stories of others, so unfinished business is an excellent way for us to tell stories for your character.