Making Characters

Information and discussion for players of the game. No spoilers here please!
Posts: 912
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: Making Characters

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon May 20, 2019 1:21 am

The rules I use are (and I think these are in line with the official rules):

Character Creation

Skill Slots
Each character starts with:
1 Professional Skill
6 Core/Optional Skills (minimum 3 Core skills. May leave up to 2 open slots to purchase skills later)
1-2 Knowledge Skills (Free, may leave 1 open for later.)
1 Speak Language Skill (Free)
1 R/W Language Skill (Free)
2 General Skills (Free)

Skill Ranks
Each character starts with a number of free skill ranks:
1 for Professional
2 ranks for Speak & R/W languages. House Rule: SL4 characters get 3 total ranks in languages and SL 5 get 4 total ranks.
2 for Knowledge skills

Each character starts with a number of points to distribute among the different skill categories:
10 ranks for Professional, Core & Optional
5 for Free Skills (Language, Knowledge, General).

The Skill Slot Gain paragraphs and table on page 269 can be ignored, as it is duplicate and duplicitous. I think it is simply saying that you can't get your skill slots until you get your Tier bump at PR 2, 5, 9, 13. I guess it sort of make sense. Some players might not bother train up a Tier when there just aren't many benefits other than access to new skills. But it gets weird if you train up to PR 6. So you get the Skill Slots for PR 6 but not PR 5 until you go back and go up a Tier?

The Errata says that GMs can choose to give access to the official Journeyman abilities at each Tier boost. I'll have to think about that.

Posts: 742
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: Making Characters

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon May 20, 2019 8:03 am

I think I might be under some confusion as what is sometimes meant by the word "Free". Whether it means that the character "gets a Free skill rank", "uses a Free skill rank", gets or uses a "Free skill slot", or a "usage of a Free skill slot without it counting as a Free skill slot being used", or some other usage.

OK, so just to be crystal clear on the subject of Free Skill Slots.
Are you saying that at character creation, each character can get the following Free Skill Slots for free, without using any of their 4 Free skill slots: Speak Language, R/W Language, 1 or 2 Knowledge Skills, and 2 General skills? These first 6 Free skills did not take up any of their 4 Free slots? So the sample dodger took all six free skill slots for free, then took one one more that cost him the only Free skill slot that he actually used? Because I don't think that is right. I think that the Language skill slots you get for free, but all the other skills cost you skill slots. Or maybe the first two knowledge skill slots are also free (don't cost skill slots)?

Specifically, as I understand it (looking at free skill ranks and slots only - not professional/core/optional skills):
Each character gets one rank in Speak Language and R/W Language, and they get those two Free Skill Slots for free (they don't cost Free skill slots).
They also get 4 Free skill slots, which get used up by any of the following.
They get two ranks in Knowledge skills for free, but they probably don't get the Free skill slots for free.
As far as I can see they do not get 2 general skills for free, ether skill ranks or skill slots. I am not sure where this came from, I kind of assume it means that if they took two knowledge skills they have two slots left for other stuff. Maybe this is the ingredient I am missing that is confusing me? Where is this coming from?
They get 5 ranks in free skills that can be distributed to Languages, Knowledge skills or General skills.

Specifically, the sample characters in the book all seem to have been built with 9 ranks of free skills. At least two of these have always been language skills, and at least 2 more have always been Knowledge skills, 5 more that could be language, knowledge, artist/artisan, or general skills. So the 9 ranks of skills have always been very, very consistent and I don't have any problem seeing how the ranks work.

Where I can't see any consistence is Free Skill Slots. Some have 9 free skill slots (including languages, 7 excluding languages). My assumption is that ether this is a mistake, or that there are things other than languages that don't count as using free skill slots., and I am not sure which is right.

And it looks like the sample characters were built using 8 core/optional skill slots, but the correct standard is 6 so they all ought to use two less than they do? and the very old comment earlier in the thread about 8 being correct is out of date?

User avatar
Posts: 376
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:41 pm

Re: Making Characters

Post by Andrew1879 » Wed May 22, 2019 11:37 am

Putting a pin in this for later.

User avatar
Posts: 376
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:41 pm

Re: Making Characters

Post by Andrew1879 » Sun May 26, 2019 5:06 pm

This is going in the errata.

The word "Free" is overused, like the word "Level" in That Other Game. Its meaning is determined by context and whether or not it is capitalized. You get free Skill Ranks in certain Skills. Getting Ranks in your Free Skills may be a different thing based on where you are in character build. Getting a free Rank in a Free Skill uses the word twice, but in one case it's not capitalized, referring to a Rank that you are given and do not have to buy, and in the other is capitalized, referring to a Skill that is not Core or Optional, but Free and not related to your Profession.

The Speak Language and R/W Language Skills are given to all characters and do not count against Skill Slots in any way, shape, or form. You get one free Rank in each at character creation that does not come from any other pool, allocation, or grant. Any further Ranks in these two Skills at character build must come from the five Ranks available to distribute to Knowledge, Language, and General Skills. See "Assign Free Ranks" on p.72, which if it wasn't a heading would say "assign free Ranks" to avoid confusion due to capitalization.

You get 4 free Skill Slots for Free Skills, two of which should be used for Knowledge Skills and two of which should be used for General Skills. The two Knowledge Skills, each using a free Slot, are Free Skills, not related to the character's Profession, and each get one free Rank. Come see the overuse of the word inherent in the system. The two General Skills must have Ranks allocated from the pool of 5 free Ranks, which can also be distributed to the two Knowledge Skills (each of them already at a Rank of 1) and the Language Skills (each of them already at a Rank of 1). You are not required to use both General Skill Slots, but if you do not fill them, you lose them. Likewise, you do not have to take two Knowledge Free Skills, but if you only take one, you lose the free Skill Slot that your other Free Skill could have gone into.

The older post is correct and should have been put into Errata. That is being corrected here and now.

The paragraph on page 72, and the table on p.266, are both incorrect. Starting characters receive 8 Skill Slots for Core and Optional Skills, not 6. A starting character thus gets one Skill Slot for their Profession Skill, two for their Language Skills (Speak and R/W), eight for Core and Optional Skills, and four for Free Skills, for a total of 15 Skill Slots:
• 1 – Profession
• 2 – Language
• 8 – Core / Optional
• 2 – Knowledge (Free)
• 2 – General (Free)

New Errata file being posted.

Posts: 742
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: Making Characters

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:05 am

I was helping somebody with this the other day, and want to just post a brief clarification on a point that they were still confused about even after reading the above: all of the example characters in the book except the "Medium" are incorrect, in that they have too many "Free skill slots".

In the example characters from the Players Guide, the Professional, Core, and Optional skills are all OK, but legal starting characters have no more than 4 Free skills (not counting the two language skills), and no more than 2 General (non-knowledge) skills.

The Medium is the (only) good example from the PG of how Free skill slots and ranks should work.
There are two language skills, two knowledge skills, and two General Free skills.
There are 9 ranks in Free skills. 4 of those ranks came "free" with the two language skills and two knowledge skills, and if the character was missing those skills, the ranks that came with those slots would have gone away and are not transferable anywhere else. The other 5 skill ranks were assigned to the language, knowledge and general skills in a legal manner with no rank greater than 3 (though page 160 seems to indicate that SL5 character can start out knowing more than 3 languages).

The Priest and Shaman are close to being legal, except that they have only one Knowledge skill, so would loose one of their Free Skill Slots, and the free rank that came with it.

All others just flat out use too many Free skill slots, and are not legal characters according the the rules (original or errata-ed).

To use those as sample characters, eliminate Free skills until there are no more than 4 Free skills (not counting the two language skills), and no more than 2 of the remaining Free skills are General (not language or knowledge) skills. If you then have less than 2 knowledge skills, there is no reason not to add skills and ranks until you have two. Transfer the ranks on the eliminated skills to language, knowledge, or general Free skills remaining.

User avatar
Posts: 376
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:41 pm

Re: Making Characters

Post by Andrew1879 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:09 pm

Chris, we've addressed this in a few other posts.

Posts: 742
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: Making Characters

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:43 pm

Yes, sure. It just was not addressed here in this post.
As I said at the top of my last post I was helping somebody make a character and passed them this link saying the last entry had all they needed to know about the correct rules for characters initial skills. They were still confused, so now the last two long posts do contain everything a player needs to know, all in one link.

Post Reply