Character Creation (Orion Supplement)
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|World of Orion|
Rules for Character Creation
All characters must be made using the rules specified below to ensure that this campaign setting is used properly and to help it achieve its maximum results. Otherwise you have as much freedom as possible when creating your character.
The first thing you should do is choose a race from the list of available races. After you have chosen a race that suits you, find a class from the list of available classes. Generate your ability scores using the rules listed in the section below. Then figure out any feats, flaws, traits, or skills you may have, again using the rules listed below.
It is the player’s choice whether to generate his backstory, personality, etc. before or after creating the game statistics. I often like to generate personality and alignment first, then game statistics, and lastly a backstory. However this is just my personal preference and you may choose any order you wish.
The world of Orion is a savage one so all creatures raised there must be able to fend for themselves. Everything out there is dangerous, so you better be prepared. Due to the animosity of the world, all characters should be rolled using one of the systems provided below depending on the intensity of the game. This is to ensure that they can hold against the powerful monsters and many dangers that present themselves in the world.
- Option 1: Roll 5d6 and drop the lowest two results for ability scores.
- Option 2: Use a 48 point-buy system. (The elite array for this option is 18, 16, 16, 13, 13, 10)
- Option 3: Use a 58 point-buy system. (The elite array for this option is 18, 18, 16, 16, 14, 14)
- Option 4: Roll 4d20 and drop the lowest three results for ability scores.
Option 1 is for powerful, randomly generated ability scores. This can be used for average campaigns using this setting.
Option 2 is for powerful, predictable ability scores. This can be used for moderately intense campaigns. Remember, no score can be taken over 18 before racial bonuses.
Option 3 is for very powerful, predictable ability scores. This can be used for very intense and challenging campaigns.
Option 4 is for campaigns taking place in a very hostile environment. This option should only be used under the strict supervision of the DM and is not recommended for normal adventures.
If you have no score over 17 or your total modifier isn't +5 or higher, re-roll. This ensures that characters will be strong enough to survive.
Also, depending on the location and conditions of your birth you will gain specific bonuses (or penalties) to certain stats. These bonuses are added to your initial rolls and will be elaborated on later.
- Flaws & Feats
- You may gain one optional flaw during character creation chosen from the list of flaws provided for the Orion campaign setting. At the DM's discretion up to 2 more flaws may be randomly rolled or decided upon by the DM. In all other respects they follow the normal flaw rules and guidelines.
- You may gain one optional trait during character creation chosen from the list of traits provided for the Orion campaign setting. At the DM's discretion up to 2 more traits may be randomly rolled or decided upon by the DM. In all other respects they follow the normal trait rules and guidelines.
- You may use either Int or Wis for Survival whichever is higher.
- You may use either Str or Cha for Intimidate whichever is higher.
- You will gain a specific set of positive and/or negative attributes depending on the region you are from. The regions and their corresponding effects are detailed here. More information on each specific area may be found on the Geography and Sites or the Organizations/Cultures page under the appropriate header.
- South Empire (Accounts for 2% of world population) - Dexterity +2, Intelligence +2, Local geography (You know the general pathways between South Empire cities and can navigate between them with ease.)
- The Empire (Accounts for 2% of world population) - Charisma +2, Intelligence +2, Reputation (You are received well and welcomed by other nations and their people, more so than a normal person of your social class would be, except for in The Exiled lands.)
- Ereogothis (Ere) (Accounts for 5% of world population) - Strength +2, Constitution +2
- Sylvariathius (Sylvar) (Accounts for 5% of world population) - Dexterity +2, Wisdom +2, Wild Instincts (You gain a +3 competence bonus on all survival checks for temperate forested areas.)
- The Exiled (Accounts for 2% of world population) - Dexterity +2, Strength +2
- Kenwash (Accounts for 2% of world population) - Constitution +2, Dexterity +2
- Deepthorn (Accounts for 5% of world population) - Constitution +2, Intelligence +2, Local geography (You know where the gates to the dwarven cities are and can navigate between them with ease.)
- Reaper's lands (Accounts for 2% of world population) - Constitution +4
- Oakfield (Accounts for 1% of world population) - Intelligence +2, Wisdom +2, Charisma +2, Local geography (You know where locals are hidden and how to enter and navigate between their households.)
- The Great Forests (Accounts for 75% of world population) - Dexterity +2, Strength +2, Constitution +2, Intelligence -2, Charisma -2
- All characters begin with +1 LA from their selected region.
In the world of Orion it is much harder to gain levels than in a usual game. This is so that characters can't level up every 3 encounters making the game more rewarding and longer. This also allows players to gain some of the lower levels at a faster speed so they don't feel like it's hopeless. For levelling up please use this table instead of the usual one.
|1st||0 -- 2,000|
|2nd||2,001 -- 4,000|
|3rd||4,001 -- 8,000|
|4th||8,001 -- 18,000|
|5th||18,001 -- 35,000|
|6th||35,001 -- 70,000|
|7th||70,001 -- 125,000|
|8th||125,001 -- 250,000|
|9th||250,001 -- 500,000|
|10th||500,001 -- 750,000|
|11th||750,001 -- 1,000,000|
250,000 experience points per level for each additional level beyond the 11th.
Once the amount of experience specified to increase in level is achieved, you may not gain any experience past that number until you level up. For example, Satyn, a 5th level monk, is at 33,000 experience. He then gains 4,000 experience in a single encounter. He gains some but not all of the experience, as his experience stops at 35,000 until he levels up. Satyn then enters another battle with 35,000 experience, and gains 500 more. However his experience still stays put at 35,000.
Levelling up is a complicated process. First you must find a trainer. Trainers can sometimes be other adventurers, members of a town watch or guard, or hired men. However as you get passed about level 2-3 you will most likely be forced to either join a guild to find suitable trainers or start doing a lot more searching for trainers; however once your level reaches 11 or higher most guilds will no longer be able to help and you will be forced to go on adventures to find trainers. These adventures in themselves could give you enough experience to level up twice over, however your experience stays the same until a new level is achieved and you may begin gaining experience again. Training in this way takes an amount of time equal to 2n+2 months where n equals your next class level. When you will gain a feat in your next level (unless it's a bonus feat from your class) you must spend one additional week training per feat. However for faster paced campaigns you can change months to weeks and weeks to days for sake of time and keeping campaigns moving. Each day spent training is an eight hour day, giving you approximately 4-8 hours of extra time not in training.
There is an alternative to levelling up this way. You may also level up simply via self training; however this process is much more difficult and requires a fair amount more time. First of all, to even begin levelling up by yourself you must gain 1.5 times the needed experience to level up; however like always your experience still stays the same. This could be represented for a fifth level character as 35,000 (52,500). Then once next level is obtained it would look normal again, 35,001 experience now held. Once you have the required experience you must retreat to an area of semi to complete seclusion so you may concentrate on your work. Each day you must spend ten to twelve hours in rigorous self training of the body and mind; after an amount of time equal to 4n+4 (+2 extra per feat gained) months you level up. For faster paced campaigns where you would use the week system if using a trainer, you may use the normal system if you had a trainer, even if you are self training. This is a very long and difficult process, however is often necessary once levels of 20-25+ are attained.
First and foremost you must remember that your alignment does not determine how you act. You determine how you act and your alignment is set according to your actions. Also be careful of this, because if you act out of character to much your DM may decide that your alignment needs to be changed according to your actions. Don't box yourself in within the alignment, just because you are Lawful doesn't mean you never break any laws. Maybe you hold to a personal set of laws, or a specific cities regulations. Remember, lawful alignment does not mean you follow the kingdoms laws and regulations, it means you like law and order over anarchy. Likewise, chaotic doesn't mean you completely disregard laws. Alignments should simply be used to help better determine your characters moral compass, and give the DM a short idea of what kinds of actions your character may take with certain other party members.
For choosing specific alignments to fit into the campaign, be as creative as you can. This world is designed to encompass all possible alignments. When I DM, my friend usually plays a neutral evil character and I find that to many DM's assume characters will want to be good, or will force them to be good. I hate DM's who do this. Remember, just because your party member is lawful good, that doesn't mean you can't be neutral evil. Often, if played properly, varying alignments, even to extreme amounts can create good roll playing situations. Think of the Dragonlance chronicles, in them the parties alignments varied a great deal, Sturm being lawful good and Raistlin being neutral evil. However it did not stunt game play, it actually made things a lot more interesting. However, do remember to be careful, varying alignments is a great thing, but can be disastrous if played poorly.
Your characters personality is arguably the single most vital piece of information about him. Make sure when you’re making a personality for your character you devote as much time into it as you would anything else, if not more. It is good to flesh out your character beforehand to prevent some tough situations.
A characters personality is so important because it includes things like your characters fears, his hates, and his loves. A characters personality also gives him motivation to do whatever he is doing. Have you ever read a book and asked yourself 'Why is the character doing this? He has absolutely no motivation!'. Kind of frustrating isn't it? A characters motivation and reasoning helps to put a meaning to the game and allows all participants to get more involved. Whether it’s a cliché like 'your parents were killed when you were a baby and now you seek revenge' or a completely original idea it’s always good to figure these things out.
As for specific personality types or traits that should be used to fit into this setting, there aren't many. This setting as I have stated before is designed to give the players as much freedom as possible. If you are adventuring alone sometimes its better to have a more extroverted character to help move things along, although this is still not a steadfast rule. Make your characters completely in your vision, and then find a way to fit them into the game.
A characters back story ties in closely with his personality in most cases because your personality generally reflects how you were raised or perhaps past traumas in your life. Back stories allow for character development, goals, more fun game play, and more in-depth role-playing in the campaign.
Always remember to do your research before creating a back story. Don't go throwing in random kingdoms and events that aren't really there. It's often fun to use various events and other trademarks of the campaign setting in your back story to help shape your character and help him to feel more connected to the world, whether it is for good or ill reasons. Create your back story with your DM. This allows you to collaborate ideas and create the best possible back story for your character and the game that the DM is running.
Always remember, when creating a character, make him variable, flexible; plan for the long term. Characters aren't things you make willy-nilly; characters can be played for a long time. As a player or a DM, most of my adventures last years, in the game and in real-life.
When creating a backstory I have often found it helpful to use the Character Lifepath listed on this site. This can create very interesting back stories and the different pieces rolled can be connected together to form a past that you like. Here is an example of a randomly rolled lifepath and the backstory that could be created based off of it. This example does not include the personal preferences section of the Character Lifepath. This is because I would recomend only using the variant rule for actual past events, any character traits you would like, you should choose yourself.
Birth and Childhood
Place of Birth
- Elven Kingdom
- Elven Aristocrate
- Royal Father and Royal Step-Mother Birth Mother Deceased
- Two Elven Half Brothers
Significant Times in Your Life
- Made a Friend
- An old Enemy
- Personal Enlightenment
- Financial Boone
- Made an Enemy
- Dark Powers
- Major Figure
- Cold Murder
- Who Hates Whom?
- The other person towards you
- Cupid Strikes
- Made a Friend
- An Old Lover
- Personal Enlightenment
Backstory Based off of Lifepath
I was born in a place of peace. The world was beautiful and all was at one with itself. As a baby I never knew war or strife, however that soon changed. One day when I was out playing, a portal opened up and these creatures, so strange in appearance walked through. They had only hair on there chins and tops of their heads, and what’s more, they wore strange cloths all around their bodies. They took me, I never even got a chance to say goodbye before I was swept away from my home. I was thrown in a cell and eventually sold at action to some man dressed in wealthy robes, later I learned he was a king.
He put me to work as his personal slave, abusing me and mocking me every chance he got. He would whip me in front of friends and they would all laugh. Although I did learn much about these humans that took me away, I learned their language and customs. However one day some people came to my master and after a long conversation, dragged him away. I, having no master anymore, ran away and left that horrid place behind, with all of the memories it held with it. However life was not easy on the streets either.
I lead a hard life still, and still people mocked me, wherever I went. However one day, a couple of years down the road, I met the king again, my former master. He was now an indentured servant for some high noble, and he seemed glad to see me. However I am not one to give up a grudge, and that did not change for him, at least, not yet. Over the next few months he made his repentance very clear to me and repeatedly asked my forgiveness. In the end, I gave way and forgave him. We are now dear friends, and I visit whenever I am in town.
However eventually I decided to move away. I eventually settled down in a nice city, and stayed in inns as I could not afford my own house. In this time I worked extensively in manual labour, constantly pushing my muscles to ever greater extents, and eventually I began to perform feats of strength to earn gold. This not only helped me to survive, but it also allowed me to grow immensely in strength. Quickly, once I had started flaunting my feats of power around the city, more and more people came to watch. I earned a substantial amount gold, more than I ever had in my life. I could not believe my luck, but I could finally stop living on the streets. However with all great victories, there will be a great loss; even if at first it disguises itself in the most pleasant of manners.
One day my strength was called upon by some wealthy noble. However as I was questing for him, I quickly learned of what he truly was. He was a demon, playing at being mortal to what ends I did not know, however I did know that these missions, where to be of ill intent. So, I did my best to fail at all the tasks he gave me, and foil any plots he may come up with. I succeeded, and for a while rejoiced, however he soon found out. Wielding great political and physical power, I was forced to flee, however his animosity towards me still remains intact, and I’m sure to this day he would kill me if he ever found me again.
I ended up in a city somewhere far from anywhere I had ever been. It was all new and strange, everybody was different and I was afraid, being no more than 15 at the time. However I struggled on. I used some of the gold I had earned in my previous occupations with the noble to buy myself a home and to live off of. One day, as I walked the streets, I noticed a young gnome; she couldn’t have been more than 30. However, for some reason I was strangely attracted to this small gnome, who barely reached up to my waist. I followed her for that day, and then went to bed dreaming of her. The next day, determined to find her, I sought her out, walking the streets until I caught a glimpse of her, then I confronted her. It was slow and awkward at first, me being such a strange and large beast and her being so tiny, I think I might have scared her at first. However conversation quickly picked up and we agreed to meet again. That was the start of a beautiful relationship that lasted well into the next year, however sadly, it could not last. She died of malaria that year, it was a slow and horrible death, but I stuck with her until the end.
For the next month, I wept, believing my only hope of true happiness had deserted me. However eventually I brought myself to return to normal life, and began to live again. Shortly after, that dive back into life was rewarded as I found another woman who caught my interest. She was an elf, incredibly beautiful and I fell deeply in love with her. However in the end, she just could not bring herself to love, or date such a creature like me, herself being an elf. However both of us still enjoying each others company agreed to be life long friends. That relationship ended better than I could have ever hoped, for now I had a friend.
After that I began to realize that my money was dwindling, having lived off of my previous ventures for the past few years I knew I had to start making a keep again if I wished to stay above water. So, I decided to put my only true talent to use once more. I began to compete in tournaments all over the city. They were small tournaments, just enough to earn my keep and keep my gold at a steady level. Although these tournaments toughened me to an awesome degree, being suddenly whipped into shape and taking numerous wounds all the time, I was able to toughen myself up and become stronger and tougher than ever before. To continue winning these tournaments I began to buy better equipment to supplement my fighting abilities. Eventually, when I thought I was ready, I entered a big tournament, determined to win the gold prize at the end. My now good friend and former girlfriend Alhonna worried over me entering, however consoling her I drove myself on. What I didn’t tell her is that I was worried myself that I wouldn’t make it out alive…