When creating a character to role play, it's important to remember that the only real restrictions are those that you create for your character, within the Midnight Passions guidelines.The following set of rules are designed as a template for combat, as well as a guide for you to create just about any character.
Keep in mind as you flesh out your character, that a less powerful character not only relies on others more, but he/she also is presented with more challenges. Therefore, I urge you to keep in mind reality and what you consider to be fun. Also keep in mind that others tend to get frustrated when one character can do just about anything.
The last thing I want to point out is that these stats are for combat. Therefore, they are simple simple simple. They are meant to be that way. Many that come from a freeform background don't like to roll dice during combat. But, there are times when this is a good idea. There is a certain satisfaction when you succeed and there is a chance of failure.
The basic heart of the rules, defines success only. It is up to the players to determine attacks, defenses, and results. For more information on that, read the Rules of Combat.
BASICS OF STATS
STEP 1: The Attributes
There are three stats that are needed. These are broad terms, that incorporate most of the combat skills that are needed in Free Form Combat.
Mind. You don't have to hang around a free form realm very long to realize that a lot of mental combat occurs. It's entwined in the way the chat is created, and when using whispers, is very effective. Mind skills can range from telepathy, mind blasts, empathy, or even defensive traits such as mind walls, and seeing through illusions.
Body. Body traits can be anything from high strength, to fast feet. With a high body score, you can physically smash apart an opponent's head with your bare hands. Abilities such as picking locks fall under the Body Stat. Sword play, obviously is part of this trait as well.
Magic. Almost everyone has some sort of training in magic. You have to have some to survive. I'm not going to bother making a list of examples, because the possibilities are as varied as the characters that play here. But, I'm sure you understand that its how your character taps into that magical force and creates whatever it is that he or she wants.
STEP 2: Pick your level
Characters, new and additional, may advance one level every ten weeks.
For the first three skills, they define your characters stats. They are skill levels, and you need to pick your level in each. Your choices are:
Rank Skill Level Target
1 Untrained 20
2 Novice 17
3 Skilled 14
4 Expert 11
5 Master 8
6 Grand Master 5
Untrained might be someone who has no skill in a particular area. Like a ranger that has no mental or psychic skills.
A Novice would have some skill in an area. An example would be a youthful wizard that has practiced long and hard in necromancy, but can only cast the first few levels of spells.
Skilled is a character that has some training in an area. A well trained fighter or mage would be an example.
The Expert level in Dungeons and Dragons terms, should be anyone that was in the levels of 10-15. An example would be the drow thief who has trained for decades, adventured for years after that, and now has the power to back her words.
Masters are a wide and broad group of people. Think of them as high level characters, in the 15+ range in Dungeons and Dragons. They are so skilled they might have students, large libraries, and great magic. Far above the average skill level, these are individuals that have studied long and hard, and have climbed to the peak of thier profession.
There should be few Masters, and even fewer Grand Masters, but an example of one would be the High Priest of an evil cult. An ancient dragon, powerful Demon Prince, or a lesser demi-god would be on this level.
NOTE: Each character can only have one stat at Grand Master level.
Also, while playing your character, only 'level up' to the Grand Master skill level when you think your character is the best at what they do.
The Grand Master level should only be used if both of the following are true:
1)Your character is the best he/she can be.
2)There will be no room for further growth.
If only one or neither of these are true, choose Master as your skill level.
Characters may only have one Grand Master stat.
STEP 3: What does this mean?
This table shows the number that is needed for each level to be what is called a success. You need that number or above on a d20 to successfully complete an action.
Please notice, there is no modification to these numbers. You can't go out and say you have a Master skill in your body, and you are using a magical sword with a +2 bonus on it, which gives you an 5 needed for your die roll. It doesn't work that way. It takes everything into consideration and averages it.
This doesn't mean that you character can do everything. It's still up to you to stop and define what your character can and can't do. It's up to you to specialize these stats for your individual needs.
That's it! That's all you need for a character.
Optional Step 1: Skills (You are more than a tank.)
Nothing defines a character better than abilities. However, in free form, anything goes. But, that doesn't give your character license to do anything that is needed at the given moment. So, in order to keep things fair, you the player should define what you the character can and even cannot do. These abilities can be ANYTHING, but they must be specific. Remember, you don't just need to have combat abilities, this is for role playing too.
For examples of good, well worded, specific abilities:
Shapeshifting - Bear form
Quick Draw - Sword
Optional Step 2: History (You didn't start life in a vacuum.)
Even if your character was created by a mad mage.. there was an automatic history there before you took your first breath. Take into consideration parents, siblings, family foes, or other important NPC's that might play some important role in the future.
You can't do everything.
Not only that, you don't want to do everything. This is a big problem with Free Form characters. Sometimes it is called 'godmoding' but it is more like being a 'spotlight hog'. It boils down to the same thing. If your character is not dependent on other characters.. there is no reason for him to be part of a group. If your character is the strongest fighter in the universe, why should anyone bother fighting him? Nothing builds up resentment faster than when another player feels unimportant.
Everyone has an Achilles' Heel.
Again, this falls under the 'godmoding' category. Why is your character off doing good/evil deeds.. if he is already all powerful? 'Just because' is not an answer.
Consider your morals/religious beliefs.
Even being atheistic and apathetic are beliefs.. not very creative ones.. and frankly, rather boring. Unless they are taken to an extreme.
Create a secret.
This is very good for RPing. It is something your character doesn't want the other characters to know about. Maybe something that happened in childhood.. or something about his/her heritage. Either way, it is something the character wants kept from the rest of the world. It keeps your character just slightly distant from the others.. and creates just a bit of tension when the others catch on that you are keeping something from them.
Optional Step 3: Goals. (Why are you bothering to interact with people?)
Goals keep your character growing. These can be both short term and long term goals.
Goals get other players interested in your character. Other players are interested in characters that have something to do.
Goals give your character something to do. If you find yourself sitting in the Inn drinking tea with strangers, you need to work on your character's goals.
Goals give your character a story. Without something to do, and people to do it with, there is no story. More often that not, a character can have the most facinating background, but if they have no goals, then they end up being tossed in the garbage.
If you take the time to think of why your character is running around saving the world, or hoarding treasure... You'll have the makings of a grand story.