4. Character Creation

To create a character for any D6xD6 RPG setting, follow these seven steps.

  1. Name: Choose something appropriate to the setting and your character conception. (Although Name is listed first, you may prefer to decide it last, to fit your other choices.)
  2. Gender: Choose a gender for your character—any gender you wish. (Some settings even include alien genders or genderless options like “Robot.)
  3. Age: Decide on an appropriate age for your character. In some cases, the game host may specify a particular range. Otherwise it’s entirely up to you.
  4. Attributes: Attributes serve as reactive ratings to roll against when occupation and skills do not apply. (They are used only to avoid, never to accomplish.) Choose one of the following to be your character’s primary (“Focused”) attribute and circle it. Choose another to be your character’s weakness (“Unfamiliar”) and draw a line through it. The remaining attributes are neither strengths nor weaknesses (“Unfocused”).
    • Brawn is your character’s strength and stamina.
    • Grace is your character’s overall agility and dexterity.
    • Will is your character’s self control and strength of personality.
    • Wits is your character’s intelligence and mental quickness.
  5. Occupation: In effect, your character’s occupation serves as a super-skill, identifying the field of knowledge the character is familiar with. Choose something appropriate to the setting you are playing in. Your game host may provide a list of possible careers to choose from; the host always has final say as to what careers are appropriate and what they can accomplish in the setting. (See chapter 5, “Occupations,” for more insights.)
  6. Skills: Every setting chapter will list 15 to 20 skills that are most important to that venue. In some cases, they are skills unique to that setting—such as the supernatural powers in “Ghost of a Chance.” Choose up to 9 of those skills for your character, remembering that the more you choose, the higher the character’s Focus number. This has an effect on the character’s chance to succeed with any particular skill, as explained in chapter 3, “Dice Mechanics.” Also choose 3 skills from the setting list or from chapter 6, “Basic Skills” as “Unfocused” abilities—things your character is learning or once knew but is rusty at.
  7. Focus: Total your number of Focus skills, then add 1 point for your occupation. The total is your character’s Focus rating. Minimum is 2 (your occupation and 1 skill); maximum is 10 (your occupation and 9 skills).

Final Details: Some settings may ask you to invent additional details, such as “Cause of Death” in “Ghost of a Chance.” Your game host may also want to discuss items of equipment, based on the setting and your character’s career.

That’s it! Your character is finished and ready to play.

11 thoughts on “4. Character Creation

  1. At first glance I am seeing that a higher number is skills is bad because it raises your focus and makes them harder to make success rolls. That part makes sense. What I am having a hard time with is the unfocused skills. From what I am gathering you must roll under your focus to achieve success for these. If this is in fact the case, why would I not just jam a bunch of skills on my character to jack up my focus and just use the unfocused skills? Again this is all at first glance. I may need to investigate further but it seems a bit broken to me. I would have just made it where unfocused skills -10 points to the die roll and keep everything the same.

    • Hi, Sean.

      Thanks much for the questions.

      Yes, 10 Focused skills (the max) means an equal chance of succeeding at Focused and Unfocused skills. However (1) That chance is only about 53 percent, so a lower Focus gives much better chances with Focused skills; (2) Focused skills always have the advantage of more possible Success Levels; (3) starting characters are limited to three Unfocused skills; and (4) rolling high means you act early in combat, giving Focused skills a distinct advantage over Unfocused and Unfamiliar ones.

      Personally, I prefer my characters with a Focus of 6, for a chance at four Success Levels at 36 (which isn’t uncommon with Drama Points, or with the optional “Combat Team” rule). Sometimes that extra Success Level makes a huge difference, especially given that it happens first in a combat turn.

      For what it’s worth, after nearly three years of play-testing and demoing, with lots of different settings, the idea has held up. We frequently hear, “There’s more under the hood of this ‘simple’ little game than meets the eye.”

      But don’t take my word for it: Check the reviews on DriveThruRPG, dig around the “Dice and Tasks” chapter here and “Dice: An Aside,” and try it out for yourself.

      Cheers,

      Lester Smith

    • Ah. That explains not seeing the example characters.

      We’ll get those posted here as soon as the expanded book is finished. Right now, that remains our primary effort.

      Best wishes!

  2. Hi, Ben.

    As step 7 says, count up your Focus skills. (Nothing else.) Then add 1 for your occupation. It really is that simple.

    Don’t add the Focused attribute. Don’t add Unfocused skills. Don’t add anything but Focused skills +1 for occupation.

    As for examples in the book, there’s one at the bottom of the Character Creation chapter page, plus 52 more in the four-page appendix, besides the various creatures in the Game Host chapter. Compare the Focus number of any of those creatures to their list of skills, and you’ll find this simple rule demonstrated time and again: Focus number = # of Focus skills + 1 for occupation.

    Cheers!

  3. Ben, only skills that you have as -Focused- get added together to create the focus number (+1 for your occupation). The three unfocused skills do not get added in.

  4. Never mind. It’s been a little while since I last looked at this game. I see that all skills do get added up to make the Focus number.

  5. I’m really confused about this. And I don’t see any examples in the book. Do focused skill NOT get added to the Focus? I’m under the impression that all skills get added to Focus. But step 6 seems to be suggesting otherwise.

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