Horror would be nothing without characters to experience dread and terror. Science fiction would be little without characters to make the future happen. Player characters are the heart of any roleplaying game. Character creation in Shadows Over Sol takes place over the course of a few basic steps. These steps establish a character's concept, capabilities and place in the world. A bit of insight about each of these steps is given below.
The first and perhaps most important step of character creation is to to form a vision of the character. Who is she? What does she do for a living? What does she struggle with? It is off this initial vision that the rest of the steps in character creation will work.
When coming up with a character concept, the player should keep in mind the type of game the GM is looking to run, particularly in regards to what type of horror the game will feature. Characters in survival horror games tend to be average joes who have been thrust into a bad situation. Characters in investigative horror need to have some driving motivation compelling them to dig deeper into the horrific. Characters in action horror need to be the sort to face the horrific head-on.
The second step of character creation is to determine the character's basic aptitudes by assigning her stats. There are eight stats: Strength, Dexterity, Speed, Endurance, Intelligence, Perception, Charisma and Determination. The player will assign values to each of these. The values will be modified later by the player's choice of geneline.
The player then assigns points for the character's skills. In Shadows Over Sol there are twenty-five skills. These will later be modified by the player's choice of subculture.
Most humans living in the twenty-third century possess genes that have at least a minimum amount of modification. Modifications that protect against disease, genetic defects or—among spacers—loss of bone density due to microgravity are particularly common. These gene modifications are typically either applied directly to the individual's genome before birth or the modifications are inherited from the individual's parents. A rare few people even have genes that were modified sometime after birth as a patch job.
In Shadows Over Sol geneline is an important part of character creation. It helps by providing bonuses to a character's basic attributes, as well as providing insight into the character's orgins.
Society in Shadows Over Sol is riven in a variety of different subcultures, each with their own norms, dialects and preoccupations. Subcultures tend to run in families, and in the new transient society, they provide a ready-made set of contacts and a social safety net. The subculture into which a character is born naturally influences her development in life, providing her with different experiences and opportunities.
Subcultures were the subject of the last preview for Shadows Over Sol. They provide the character with bonuses to a number of skills, and more insight into the character's social context, contacts and world view.
In the final step of character creation, the player does some math to determine the value of a few scores, such as: Wound threshold, Wealth, Edge and Defense. She may optionally pick a Weakness trait or two for her character. Finally, she has a few purchases to make for the character's starting gear. With that, the character is ready for action!
Shadows Over Sol is our upcoming science fiction horror RPG. Its Kickstarter is scheduled to begin September 1st. In the meantime, you can download the free Quick-Start, or sign up to be notified when the Kickstarter is ready.