Getting Started (updated March 2013)
Start with an idea of who your character is, or what profession they follow. Is your character a swashbuckling mercenary, an inquisitive wizard, or a devious rogue? Does your character obey rules and strive to make the world a better place, or live by their own code, intent on personal gain?
When encountering challenges, how does your character overcome them? Is your character combative, using physical force or martial skill? Or, does your character prefer to use their knowledge or wisdom—gained from the contemplation of lore— to engineer a favorable resolution? Perhaps your character prefers to rely on agility, dodging out of harm’s way, or persuading a foe that there are better targets available.
A focus is a preference, not a limitation. An experienced mercenary may find it easier to persuade a potential foe than to fight. Or, an opportunistic wizard seeing a beast with it’s back turned might choose the speed of a dagger in hand, instead of revealing his presence with the spoken words of a spell.
Choose: Combat, Lore, or Agility
Once you have a character concept and focus, your GM will share a character sheet with you. Character sheets are Google Sheets (spreadsheets), accessible with most browsers, that will allow you to assign and track the numerical elements of your character.
An ability is a physical or mental attribute of a character. The six abilities used in the game are: Strength (STR), Constitution (CON), Dexterity (DEX), Intelligence (INT), Wisdom (WIS), and Charisma (CHA). Abilities, and their associated modifier scores, help determine the character’s base capacities with skills and non-armor defenses.
Start with these six scores: 8, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10. Assign them to the six abilities according to your preference. You have 20 points to spend on improving them. In this initial point-buy, no ability score may exceed 18.
Assign: Ability Scores
Your character’s race is a matter of personal preference, but also has some impact on the mechanics of game play, specifically in regard to the character’s abilities and size. A larger character is more likely to be hit in combat, but can withstand more damage — a smaller character is more elusive, but also more fragile. Non-humans also have racial powers and can often see a broader visual spectrum. Humans, in contrast, learn and practice a wider range of skills than other races.
Choose: Choosing a Race
Each beginning character starts off with 60 points (+15 points for Humans) to allocate towards various skills. No more than 25 points may be spent on any single skill at 1st level. As characters gain experience they are awarded additional points that can be allocated towards improving current skills, or learning new ones.
Skills fall under three categories: Combat, Lore and Agility. Each skill has an associated combination of abilities from which a base capacity is determined. At intervals (40, 55, 70, 85, 100) many skills grant associated maneuvers and feats. During encounters, maneuvers — including spells — are purchased with action points to gain advantages or to damage opponents. Feats may improve hit points, defenses, movement rate, base characteristics of spells, weapon-use speed, facility with specific armor types, or grant other game-mechanical benefits.