Luisant – Character Creation

CHARACTER CREATION

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.

As you progress through this Guide, use the Luisant Character Form to fill out your character’s info. After submitting the Character Form, expect to be contacted by staff regarding your character’s sheet and approval status. Prior to starting the approval process with Staff, please fill out the Story Survey, a quick survey of your prefences, desires, and triggers as a player. Filling out this survey helps us write your personal plot!

Step 1 – CHARACTER BACKGROUND

Your character’s destiny was shaped by their parents, their culture, their land and many other factors that had a say in who they were before they were ever born.  Choose these factors now to begin telling their story.

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 any 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.

Skills: Persuasion, Provocation, Intimidation, Sincerity  

All three Skills must be different Skills.

CULTURE

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.  All characters in the Luisant Theater are from the immediate local area of Luisant, in Capacionne.    

Each character of a given Culture receives the knowledge of their culture for free as a Study.  

(Read more about Capacionne)

Language
You are fluent in your own culture’s language (Capacian) 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 a Technique.

(Read more about Studies and Techniques)

Lineage

As the forest around us is linked by roots and water, so too are we linked by our blood and bonds. To some the bonds are the most important. To others, the blood. If one thing is certain, the family, the soil from which we grow, shapes us just as much as any bond made or blood spilled.

Choose the Lineage from which your character descends, then select 3 of the 5 Skills to raise by 1 Rank each.

(Read more about Lineages of Luisant)

Rocheaux
Walking firmly in the footsteps of their ancestors, the Rocheaux see the world in practicalities and strengths rather than niceties and empty praise.

Skills: Mining, Heavy Weapons, Blacksmithing, Intimidate, Grit

DuBois
The care of the surrounding forest is held mainly by the secretive DuBois family with their many Cutters and Counters, so that it is said that not a needle falls in the forest that is not made note of by them.

Skills: Hunting, Forestry, Archery, Courage, Survival

Jovienne
Known best for their revels and the joy they bring through any threshold they cross, the Jovienne are frequently the soothers of pain and turmoil within the community. 

Skills: Finesse, Needlework, Etiquette, Performance, Provocation

LeBlanc
A lineage not native to the region, the LeBlanc came with the first of the Beauchene line and with them came the sharp tongues and a quick memory for the latest gossip.

Skills: Firearms, Etiquette, Sincerity, Vigilance, Streetwise

Mervaille
Having embraced the Throne ideals of progress and innovation, the Mervaille preserve their legacy through inventions and ingenuity to improve the lives of those in Luisant.

Skills: Zeal, Engineering, Mining, Morale, Mercantilism

Veneaux
Curious to a fault and frequently considered obsessed with their interests, the Veneaux are often found elbow deep in things others consider better left alone.

Skills: Academics, Sincerity, Apothecary, Hunting, Vigilance

Outcasts
Those without a lineage to call home, left of their own accord or else cast out for actions too terrible for a family to bear, the Outcasts are those cast out into the wilderness to survive (or not) by ones own hand.

Skills: Courage, Stealth, Survival, Grit, Intimidation

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.   Your character is from Luisant

All characters from Luisant choose 2 of the Skills presented to raise by 1 Rank.

Skills: Any Gathering Skill, Any Crafting Skill, Survival, Morale, Archery

SOCIAL STATUS

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.

Peasant

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: 

Skills: Archery, Zeal, Grit, Survival, or any Gathering skill. 
(Multiple Gathering skills can be chosen to raise one rank.)

Scum

Either through the circumstances of your birth or your own disposition, you have a lack of interest in the work that keeps the community running. You prefer pursuing your own interests, and feel no need to rely on others as the rest of the community does. Scum are somewhat few in Luisant due to the difficult nature of such a life, but far from unheard of. 

Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: 

Skills: Streetwise, Light Weapons, either Intimidate or Sincerity, Finesse, or Stealth.

Merchant

A capable craftsperson or a keen organizer, you are resourceful and determined. As a merchant of Luisant, you are among the folk who keep resources flowing between families and manage the fight for survival against the howling wilderness. 

Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: 

Skills: Mercantilism, Vigilance, Academics, Provocation, or any Crafting skill. 
(Multiple Crafting skills can be chosen to raise one rank.)

Gentry

You are one of those who serve the Noble as a personal house servant or man at arms.  Known as the Gentry, you are among the upper crust of Luisant. Although merchants or peasants can be in the employ of the Noble in other capacities, they are not afforded this distinguished classification.

Choose 3 of the following skills to increase by one rank: 

Skills: 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.

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.

REVELER’S TRAIT

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 naïve 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.

Favored Attribute

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.

Strength
Grants powerful attacks that control the flow of combat.
Locked Skill: Heavy Weapons

Speed
The ability to slip in and around attacks, and move with great grace.
Locked Skill: Mobility

Fortitude
Powerful endurance and resistance to damage, drugs, and disease.
Locked Skill: Grit

Resolve
Mental endurance – the ability to resist shock, trauma, fear and manipulation.
Locked Skill: Courage

Faith
Spiritual sense of self to affirm personal beliefs and fight for your Devotion.
Locked Skill: Zeal

Intellect
The ability to learn and adapt quickly, to take in and teach new information.
Locked Skill: Academics 

NAME

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.

Bonds

Bonds are statements about the way your character feels emotionally about someone or something.  Bonds are used in the Social System to both prevent you from acting against those feelings, and to provoke you into acting because of them.  

You may define up to 5 Bonds during Character Creation.  This can be useful if your character already knows other characters, or you’ve done some coordination ahead of time to have backstory with others.   If not, you can always establish them during play.

Bonds always state how you feel (called the attachment) and what you’re going to do about it next (called the vector).   Bonds are meant to be frequently updated and changed through roleplay. 

Examples:

    • I respect Gunnar.  I’ll seek out his advice about Morgan.
    • I hate Morgan.  I’ll make her pay for what she did to my father.
    • I love my father Gregoire.  I’m going to write a letter on his behalf to the town marshal to clear this up.
    • I’m worried about Tasha.  She is never around during Convocation anymore – I must see where she goes.

(Read more about Bonds in the Core Rules)

EXPERIENCE 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.

EQUIPMENT

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.

Peasant:
Professional Tools: (Mining, Farming, Forestry, or Hunting), 10 of any Uncommon commodity, any Weapon that is a tool (such as a farming implement like a hammer or scythe), Peasant Outfit

Scum:
Any light weapon, Professional tools: (Engineering, Needlework, or Apothecary), A set of Light armor, Scum Outfit

Merchant:
Chest and Basic Lock, an empty paper notebook and writing kit, Professional tools: (Any Craft),  Merchant Outfit

Gentry:
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 using using the Luisant character form. Please be ready to 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 their personality.

A good background should include information especially about conflicts your character has had that developed her into the person they are, 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!