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Character Creation

Character Creation Steps

As a player, the first thing you need to do is create a character. This is the in-world individual you’ll be playing during the game, and it’s up to you to create her background and personality. You’ll also want to build the character using the game’s mechanics to determine her starting capabilities at various tasks and the special abilities she can use during her adventures.

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Character Sheet

For each step in the character creation process detailed below, fill in the necessary information in the appropriate field on your character sheet.

The following instructions assume you’re building a 1st-level character. These steps are presented in a suggested order, but feel free to complete them in the order you prefer.

Many of the steps below instruct you to fill out fields on your character sheet, but note that the character sheet is arranged for ease of use in gameplay rather than character creation—for instance, several fields listed at the top of the character sheet are finishing details you’ll determine at the end of the character creation process.

If you’re creating a higher-level character, it’s a good idea to begin with these instructions before progressing for instructions on leveling up characters.

Step 1: Create a Character Concept

What sort of science fantasy hero do you want to play? A good way to start character creation is to decide the general thrust of your character’s personality, sketching out a few details about her past and thinking about how and why she adventures. During this step, you’ll likely want to peruse the available races, themes, and classes, so that you have an idea of the options available. The sidebar briefly introduces these. Race refers to your species—from bug-like shirrens and reptilian vesk to humans and elves. Themes represent an element of your background, whether it’s from your upbringing, training, or destiny; it can be related to your class but doesn’t need to be. Classes represent the primary Focus of your character’s abilities in battle and while adventuring—a technomancer manipulates technology and casts spells, an envoy issues commands and inspires her allies to feats of heroism, and so on.

Once you’ve considered your options, come up with a brief description of your character, Focusing on what sorts of things you want her to be good at (shooting guns, flying starships, and so on). Then consider how best you could model that using this site’s rules components. Do you want to play a hulking lizard-creature with an enormous laser rifle? Then a vesk soldier with the mercenary theme is a perfect choice. If a scrappy bipedal rat who likes to burgle is more your style, a ysoki operative with the outlaw theme could be the way to go. If you’re feeling lost for ideas, try choosing a piece of art from somewhere in the book and creating a character who matches it.

Character Sheet

Write your own name in the Player field. Depending on how much you’ve developed your character’s background, you may also want to note your character’s name and gender and perhaps add a short physical description or a sketch.

Step 2: Choose a Race

Your character’s race, or species, is one of her most important characteristics. Your character’s race grants her abilities and languages and determines a portion of the Hit Points (HP) she has when you begin play (HP represents how badly she can be hurt before she falls unconscious or dies). Her class will also impact her starting HP total, as described in Step 6.

Your character’s race also modifies her ability scores. These are important values that affect many of your character’s statistics, but you won’t finalize them until Step 5.

Character Sheet

Put your character’s race at the top of your character sheet. Note her starting racial Hit Points and her racial language (if any), as well as the racial abilities she can use. For now, note any points she’ll add to or subtract from her ability scores due to her race in the margins next to her ability scores (you’ll need this during Step 5!).

Step 3: Choose a Theme

Next, you can choose a theme for your character, which represents a core aspect of her background and motivations. A theme can help express your character’s approach to adventuring—whether she’s a bounty hunter, a scholar, or the embodiment of another classic adventuring trope. In addition to reflecting a certain background, a theme provides benefits to an appropriate skill or skills at 1st level and also grants 1 extra point to a specific ability score—you’ll finalize your ability scores during Step 5. Character themes are summarized in the sidebar above.

Character Sheet

Write your character’s theme at the top of your character sheet and record any bonuses it grants to skills. For now, note the point it adds to an ability score in the margin next to that ability score (you’ll need this during Step 5!).

Step 4: Choose a Class

At this point, you’re almost ready to finalize your character’s ability scores, which are key values you’ll need to calculate many of her statistics. First, though, you need to choose your character’s class. This affords her access to a suite of heroic abilities, determines how well she can attack, and governs how easily she can shake off or avoid certain harmful effects.

You don’t yet need to note all of your character’s class features. You simply need to know which class you want to play, which will tell you the ability scores that will be the most important to you. Each class notes its key ability scores, as well as other particularly helpful ability scores, but for easy reference, Table 2–3 lays out the key ability scores for all classes.

Character Sheet

Put your character’s class at the top of your character sheet, then write “1” after it to indicate that you’re 1st level. Don’t worry about other abilities your character gets from her class—you’ll handle that in Step 6.

Step 5: Finalize Ability Scores

Now that you’ve made the most important decisions about your character, it’s time to fill in her statistics. Your character’s ability scores determine a wide array of her capabilities and consist of six values: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. To learn how to calculate your ability scores, see Ability Scores. That section will also tell you how to determine your ability score modifiers, which affect the calculation of many of the values described on your character sheet and later in this section.

Character Sheet

Record your ability scores in the appropriate fields on your character sheet. Next to the scores, write down each score’s modifier.

Step 6: Apply Your Class

Now, determine the powers, special abilities (called class features), and other key statistics your character gains from being 1st level in her class. The table at the beginning of each class section includes your character’s base attack bonus, which helps determine how good she is at attacking. You’ll add this base value to her melee and ranged attacks. That table also indicates your character’s base bonuses for her Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throws. See Step 9 for more information on saving throws.

Additionally, your character’s class affects her total Stamina Points (Sp). Stamina Points measure how much punishment she can absorb before it begins to really hurt her and reduce her Hit Points. At 1st level, you gain the number of Stamina Points listed in your class + your Constitution modifier. At 1st level, you also add the number of Hit Points indicated in your class to the number of Hit Points you gain from your race. (See Hit Points and Stamina Points.)

Finally, your character’s class influences how many skill ranks she can assign per level (see Step 7), and determines her armor and weapon proficiencies (see Step 8).

Character Sheet

Note your character’s total Stamina Points as well as her total starting Hit Points. Record her base attack bonus and the base saving throw bonuses she receives from her class. (Step 9 explains how to calculate your character’s final saving throw modifiers.) Also write down your character’s 1st-level class features.

Step 7: Assign Skill Ranks and Choose Feats

Next, figure out what skills you want your character to be good at, whether it’s using technology or surviving in the wilderness. At each level, she gains skill ranks, representing her growing know-how and training. The number of ranks she gains at each level equals her Intelligence modifier + an amount determined by her class (but she always gains at least 1), and you can allocate the ranks to any skills you want. Some skills are called out as class skills in your class entry—these are skills tied to your class, and you automatically get a +3 bonus if you put a skill rank into them. (You can still put ranks into skills that aren’t class skills; you just don’t get the special +3 bonus when you do.)

Once you’ve assigned your character’s skill ranks, choose her feats. Most characters begin play with one feat, though humans gain a racial bonus feat. Feats are a good way to boost an element of your character that might be lacking. For example, Toughness grants extra Stamina Points, while Bodyguard lets you protect nearby allies from attacks.

Character Sheet

Assign your character’s skill ranks on your character sheet—remember, her ranks in a skill can never exceed her character level! If any of the selected skills are class skills, note that she receives a +3 class skill bonus in the appropriate box. Include her ability score modifier for each skill. Note her feats, and if any provide bonuses to skills, put them in the skills box for miscellaneous modifiers. Finally, add up and record her total skill modifier for each skill that isn’t a trained-only skill.

Step 8: Buy Equipment

At 1st level, your character has 1,000 credits to spend on armor, weapons, and other supplies (though your GM may give you alternative instructions for how to choose your gear). Armor and weapons are often the most important—keep in mind that your character’s class determines the types of weapons and armor that she is proficient with. Your character’s weapon determines the damage she can deal in combat, while armor affects her Energy Armor Class (EAC) and Kinetic Armor Class (KAC)—see Step 9 for more on Armor Class. Additionally, there are other staples that can help your character during play.

Character Sheet

Once you’ve spent your character’s credits, note the equipment she owns as well as any remaining credits. Record your weapons on the appropriate lines, as well as their relevant details, including how much damage each weapon deals.

Step 9: Fill In the Finishing Details

Now add the following details to your character sheet.

Alignment

Note your character’s alignment, which plays a role in her personality.

Armor Class

Energy Armor Class (EAC) and Kinetic Armor Class (KAC) represent how difficult your character is to hit in combat. Energy Armor Class represents her ability to avoid injury when hit with energy attacks, such as lasers. Kinetic Armor Class represents her ability to avoid injury when hit with physical attacks, such as bullets.

The values for EAC and KAC each begin at 10. Add your character’s Dexterity modifier to each value. Then add the EAC bonus and KAC bonus that her armor provides to the respective values. You’ll also want to note your character’s Armor Class against combat maneuvers, which is her KAC + 8.

Attack Bonuses

You noted your character’s base attack bonus in Step 6, but you still need to calculate her total attack bonuses with melee, ranged, and thrown weapons. To do so, add her Strength modifier to her melee and thrown attacks, and add her Dexterity modifier to her other ranged attacks. Then add any miscellaneous modifiers from feats or class features to the appropriate attacks.

Carrying Capacity

This is how much bulk your character can carry based on her Strength score. She is encumbered when carrying an amount of bulk equal to or greater than half her Strength score, and overburdened when carrying an amount of bulk equal to or greater than her total Strength score.

Deity

Note the deity your character worships, if any.

Description

If you haven’t already, write a short description of your character.

Home World

This is where your character was raised, whether it’s a planet, a space station, or even an asteroid.

Initiative

Your character’s initiative modifier is added to her initiative checks to determine the order in which she acts in combat. It’s equal to her Dexterity modifier plus modifiers from feats or other abilities that affect initiative.

Languages

Your character begins play speaking and reading Common, her racial tongue (if any), and the language of her home world (if any). If she has a positive Intelligence modifier, she knows a number of additional languages equal to that value.

Resolve Points

Your character can use Resolve Points for many important purposes, including replenishing her Stamina Points and powering some class features and other abilities. At 1st level, your character has a number of Resolve Points equal to 1 + the ability score modifier for her class’s key ability score.

Saving Throws

From time to time, your character will need to determine whether she can avoid or shake off an effect or spell. When this happens, the GM will call for a Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saving throw, depending on the situation.

A saving throw is a d20 roll to which you add your character’s base saving throw bonus of the appropriate type and other applicable modifiers. Your character’s class determines her base bonus to each type of saving throw. Additionally, you apply her Constitution modifier to her Fortitude saving throws, her Dexterity modifier to her Reflex saving throws, and her Wisdom modifier to her Will saving throws—and you must do so even if a relevant ability score modifier is negative. Finally, you apply any additional modifiers to specific saving throws as appropriate, such as bonuses from feats or other abilities.

Size

Your character’s race determines her size.

Speed

Your character’s land speed at the beginning of play is 30 feet, unless she has an ability that modifies it (or penalties from armor or encumbrance).

Starship

While you can play this game without the starship rules, most adventures assume the PCs are (or will soon be) crew members of a shared starship. Ask your GM whether you’ll be starting out with a starship or potentially acquiring one as part of an adventure. If you begin with a starship, ask the GM for its statistics, and find out whether you’re able to customize it—at the very least, every ship needs a good name!

Once you’ve recorded all of this information on your character sheet, you’re ready for adventure!