The character creation system will take you through the steps necessary to create your Gothic: The Lion Age character. Throughout the process, you will be asked to consider the details of the life that your character has led before you take control of him or her and enter them into play. As you decide on these factors, your character will be awarded Skills that represent their unique history. The character’s previous life events will form the reveal their starting abilities.
The following steps will guide you through Character Creation. At every step, you may choose several Skills to increase by one rank to represent your character’s background or upbringing. A given Skill may only be increased once per step through this process.
If you have not done so, review the Start Page and Skills Lists before continuing.
Mother and Father
Determine the identities of your parents. Who are they, or were they? What did they do, and what was it important that they pass on to you? Select their identities, their profession and their names. If raised in special circumstances, such as with guardians who were not your parents, choose that instead.
Secondarily, choose a value that they instilled in you for conflict resolution – did your parent reason with you to teach you a better way, showing you the value of Persuasion, or did he force you to do as you were told with Intimidation? Did they show you how to get what you needed with bargains or seduction, or instead how to earn or trick your way into the trust of others?
For both guardian figures, choose one Non-Combat Skill that represents each one that they passed along to you. Choose one Social Skill that represents the style in which you were raised, or the example set before you.
All three Skills must be different Skills.
Your character’s culture is the regional group from which they descend or were raised. Although most of humankind is united as the Throne, there are many distinct and diverse cultural groups that make up the Throne’s people. The environment that your character was raised in has a large impact on what sort of roles they end up pursuing, or what skills they pick up through exposure.
Each character of a given Culture receives the knowledge of their culture for free as a Study. The knowledge that each focus represents, detailed information, can be found here.
A rainy country to the far east of the Throne, Capacionne is bordered by mountains on two sides and is one of the two ways into the Throne. The armies of Capacionne are charged with protecting the border from any hostile incursions from Orc or Shariqyn. Their people love wine, poetry, horsemanship and the finer things in life.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Firearms, Hunting, Engineering, Morale, Any Social Skill
The Dunnick are a people living on a group of islands in the south-west of the Throne. Theirs is a culture of much history and connection to their ancestry and ancient lore, but they are under the restrictive subjugation of the ruling class of Rogalia, to the north. Many Dunnick fight for their independence, for all Dunnick share a fierce pride for their heritage and bright, verdant country, where the water is always warm and the hills are always green.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Brawl, Heavy Weapons, Survival, Mining, or Apothecary
The Throne’s heart and soul lives in Gotha alongside its glorious cathedrals and highly-trained armies of Templar. The Gothic people are strict and serious, especially with themselves, making every decision with the utmost care. Many leaders from all over the Throne are Gothic in heritage, and it is their steadfast determination, loyalty, and zealotry that has forged the Throne that unites all mankind.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Zeal, Shields, Farming, Vigilance, or Sincerity
The free-spirited and flamboyant Hestrali are a culture built on trade and wealth coupled with a love for adventure and new horizons. Their people are famous for being bold, brash, charismatic and daring, with a devil-may-care attitude. It is by courage that heroes are born, and the Hestrali mix it in liberal quantities with their fine wines and love for other cultures.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Mercantilism, Mobility, Temptation, Light Weapons, Stitchwork
A relative to the Gothic of the south, the Njords are a cautious and pragmatic people, living day by day in the icy reaches of the northern most parts of the Throne’s reach. Only recently annexed through a treaty with the hero who briefly united the disparate clans, the Njords were heretofore infamous for their daring and cruel raids on their southern neighbors in the Throne. Not yet fully converted to the religion of Holy Benalus, many Njords still cling to the worship of their pantheon of pagan gods. In the farthest northern reaches, many Njords consider the Throne to be no different from any other invading clan, and still cling to the old ways of raiding and bloodshed. The rest have found peaceful relationships within the Throne, and live in service to its great ideals.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Survival, Grit, Intimidate, Performance, or Arming Weapons.
Rogalia is a land hardened by war. Constant civil conflicts are the norm in this region, due in part to its very dense population of nobility. The laws change from one mile to the next at times, and infighting has made Rogalia the only country in the Throne with no King, only a Parliament of Ruling Lords. The constant state of low-level strife in Rogalia, however, has created some of the most brilliant strategic minds the Throne has ever known to date, and the finest military commanders in the Throne come with regularity from Rogalian stock. Even the meanest peasant here knows how to fire a bow, and when. In a hard world, the Rogalians mean to be harder still.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Archery, Etiquette, Courage, Morale, Blacksmithing
The Shariqyn are the one substantial human culture that is not part of the Throne. Their place is far to the deserts of the East, among the shifting sands of Sha’ra, a land of wonders and fabulous ancient magics. Tales of their land are the strangest in the Throne, and the people of The Throne think of their people as stranger still. Exotic of dress and distinct of culture, the Shariqyn stand out easily in the Throne, and though the two cultures are engaged in a bloody war, they are still welcome to travel the Throne and understand its people and ways. They are not considered citizens, and as such have fewer rights. They are a people that cling fervently to a strange religion all their own, worshiping water and purity with a priest caste of water mages, searching for their messiah. Many Shariqyn come to the Throne to trade, for they have goods that are rarely seen in the world, imported from their strange lands. Spices, elven-made silks, and even strange and dangerous magical objects come from the shifting sands of the East.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Academics, Mercantilism, Brawl, Persuasion, Apothecary
You are fluent in your own culture’s language and Gothic, the closest thing that passes for an international or trade language. Gothic characters themselves also learn Aldersabin, the language of the Church of Benalus. Learning additional languages can be done as an Advanced Study.
Location of Home
The location of your home, or in some cases, your tribe, clan, or other sub-cultural group, determines a great deal about what your character was exposed to before entering play. You will select a specific city (or the surrounding region) that your character is from, and you may select 2 of the Skills presented to raise by 1 Rank.
The specific locations of home can be found in the Character Creation tool.
Every culture, but especially Rogalians, should consult their Culture Packet and think about what noble house rules the region that they come from in order to give extra context to your character.
Your character’s social class is one of the most influential things in their life. Were they raised at the top of a hill in a wealthy manor, or at the bottom of the gutter in that same town? Did she raise animals to feed herself on a farmstead or did he filch muffins from the window of the bakery? A character’s social class endows them with a certain set of skills relevant to their position in the world, as well as predisposes them toward the acquisition of certain perks and flaws, discussed later on.
You were born on the streets of a major city. The rare urban environments that dot the Throne tell the tale of your origin, where quick wits and quicker feet keep you out of trouble. You’ve lived on the rotten underbelly of major ports, slums, and back alleys. Scum are parasites to normal society, making their living by exploiting the rules that others live by.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Streetwise, Light Weapons, Intimidate, Finesse, or Stealth.
You were raised in the dark of the country, where there is more to fear than unjust lords and petty wars. Your story begins in a terrible place where winter kills just as brutally as any sword or poison. Survival must be eked out by hard work and faith that you will live to see the next harvest day. Peasants make up the majority of people in the Throne, and must be broadly capable to survive the myriad challenges of rural life.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Archery, Zeal, Grit, Survival, or any Gathering skill. (Multiple Gathering skills can be chosen to raise one rank.)
Your life was that of a tradesman or expert in an urban center, matching the needs of neighbors and travelers to your crafts and contacts, or gainfully employed working in an established company or guild. Merchant’s sell their services and trades to others for coin, and then use that coin to serve their other needs and wants. City dwellers from all over the Throne, be they sweeping a shop or the master of international enterprise, are merchants.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Mercantilism, Vigilance, Academics, Temptation, or any Crafting skill. (Multiple Crafting skills can be chosen to raise one rank.)
You were born in the highest class of society and have either lived the life of a noble or the life of one of their entourage. Gentry life is not necessarily a life of opulence, but rather one of responsibility, order and duty. There are just as many dangers and knives in the dark in a royal court as there are in a rat infested alley. Knowing the game and the players has helped you, but steel is deadly regardless of the hand that wields it. Gentry life is defined by strict adherence to a powerful organization, and while at the pinnacles of society, have the fewest freedoms in their personal lives, expected to fight and die for their country and the family they serve.
Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: Arming Weapons, Etiquette, Academics, Intimidation, or Morale
STEP 2 – Personal Nature
Your character’s background defines much of their life, but not everything. His or her unique personality goes on to determine how they matured in their environment, and their natural aptitudes and methods.
Choose one Attribute to raise one step to the ● level to represent your character’s natural talent and predilection. You may also take as many Attributes at the (-) rank as you wish, each earning an additional 10 exp as a ‘flaw’ that can be bought off at equal value in game. Flaws are discussed in more detail in the Perks and Flaws section.
If you do not have any levels in the locked Skill for your Favored Attribute (see the chart for details), take the first Rank of that Skill now. If you already have it because of an earlier step in Character Creation, the next time you purchase a new level of that Skill, you may do so for 2 less exp.
ATTRIBUTE REFERENCE CHART
See Attributes for full descriptions.
Grants powerful attacks that control the flow of combat.
Locked Skill: Heavy Weapons
The ability to slip in and around attacks, and move with great grace.
Locked Skill: Mobility
Powerful endurance and resistance to damage, drugs, and disease.
Locked Skill: Grit
Mental endurance – the ability to resist shock, trauma, fear and manipulation.
Locked Skill: Courage
Spiritual sense of self to affirm personal beliefs and fight for your Devotion.
Locked Skill: Zeal
The ability to learn and adapt quickly, to take in and teach new information.
Locked Skill: Academics
The Human Spirit
Choose the hallmarks of your character’s inner fire – the things that drive them forward each day and dictate who they are at their core. See The Human Spirit for more information; select your character’s Devotion and Faith, then return to the process.
The Reveler’s Trait – your character’s true nature as revealed through the clarifying power of alcohol. Even if they never become Intoxicated in game, choose what sort of drunk your character will turn out to be should it happen:
Surly – Aggressive and belligerent, but unafraid
Decadent – Poor impulse control, but morally looser
Adventurous – Massively encouraged by success, devastated by failures
Cantankerous – Become even more stubborn and self-assured than usual
Brooding – Becomes distant and unwilling to engage with others, except through menace
Loquacious – Chatty and socially influential, but indiscreet in conversation
Enthusiastic – Full of excitement about your subject of interest, but naive of others
Amorous – A need for personal attachment, and an aptitude for it.
Daring – Unable to resist the thrill of a real challenge, and a flood of confidence to do it.
See the Alcohol & Intoxication page for details on what game effects each Reveler’s Trait has.
At this step, consider your character’s heart and soul, the name he carries with him, and all the infamy or fame he has gained comes with it. Your name is what you and others call you, but it is also your reputation. As you travel through the world and make decisions, people will remember you for your deeds, and those deeds with travel with you.
Typically, unless you are a Highborn noble, you do not posses a surname. Instead, you have something that mentions where you hail from, who raised you, your profession, or a title of some kind (see Renown in the Perks and Flaws section). Examples include Elliot of Oxwallow, Thorlief Erikson (Son of Erik), Jacob Fisher and Maximillian One-Eye. Most family names are a single word in the character’s home language that is the most important detail about who they are, fisher, soldier, strong, hillman, handless , translated for region, so perhaps, Fisch, Soldat, Starke, Hügel, Handlosen, were the character Gothic.
Naming conventions vary from culture to culture. In Gotha, people have their first name in Gothic, a second name in Aldersabin that is kept secret to protect it from witches. In Njordr, a man earns another name only after he has done some deed worth gaining one (See Branded in the Perks and Flaws Section). The North has men like Sonnar Grim, Koran Lackjaw, Tomar Ruthless, and Thalock Axehound. Often other northmen only refer to their companions by their earned name, “Ruthless,” etc.
See the appropriate Culture Packet for more details on naming and other cultural points.
Every character begins with 10 Experience points to spend as they wish. You may spend these on skills or other abilities, or you may purchase Perks for the listed value. Flaws award experience points, and Traits neither cost or give experience points. After character creation, perks cost twice as much and require in game justification. Flaws cost twice as many experience points as they awarded to remove, and also require in game justification.
When purchasing Skills with experience points, the Skills Heavy Weapons, Mobility, Grit, Courage, Academics and Zeal are only able to be purchased with the required Attribute level, even if they were awarded earlier in the process as free ranks.
If you wish to pick up Perks and Flaws, which is highly recommended, please see the Perks and Flaws page at this step in Character Creation.
If your character is part of an Organization such as being a Priest, a Paladin, a Knight, or a Magician, select the relevant Organization Membership Perk at this step in Character Creation.
Starting equipment depends on your character’s social class:
Choose 3 of the following items – you may choose the same item more than once. If you have the Journeyman perk, you may substitute any of your 3 items with equipment appropriate to your profession instead.
Professional Tools: (Mining, Farming, Forestry, or Hunting), Seeds: Vegetables or Hemp, a Herd: Pigs or Sheep, 10 of any Uncommon commodity, any Heavy Weapon with the Crude flaw (a farming implement like a hammer or scythe), Draft horse, Dog, Peasant Outfit
Any light weapon, Professional tools: (Engineering, Needlework, or Apothecary), A set of Light armor, Scum Outfit
Chest and Lock with 4 codes, an empty paper notebook and writing kit, Professional tools: (Any Craft), Traveler’s Wagon, Merchant Outfit
Any Arming Weapon or Shield, A set of Medium Armor, Riding Horse, 10 units of any Alcohol, Noble Outfit
BACKGROUND AND SUBMISSION
Finally, submit your character to the Staff for final approval at firstname.lastname@example.org. In that email, include all of the information above, as well as a character background that tells your character’s story up to this point and gives us a sense of her personality. Make sure to use the official character sheet, linked to the right.
A good background should include information especially about conflicts your character has had that developed her into the person she is, and explain Flaws such as Beholden or Enemy. It is a great idea to leave plenty of unfinished business – Gothic is a game of character-driven drama and how your story interacts with the personal stories of others, so unfinished business is an excellent way for us to tell stories for your character.
Another excellent tool you should include is 7 or more memories. Memories are simple one-offs that happened to your character, such as “Once I fell into the river, and my father told me that if I couldn’t swim to shore myself, I did not deserve to be his son,” or “On my brother’s wedding night, his young wife and I had our final dalliance.” These help flesh out your character with the moments that make them meaningful, and also serve as tools for the Staff to use when telling your personal story.
It is not absolutely required to submit your background before entering play, though you will be unable to spend experience to improve your character until you do submit it.
We look forward to hearing your story and helping you tell the rest of it.