Quick Character Creation Cheat Sheet

Here is a cheat Sheet for character creation. This should be done with the rule book which you can get for free online here.

Character Creation in no more than 12 Easy Steps.

1. Pick if you are a grog, companion or mage. Also decide how old you are, this is important for determining points for buying abilities. With that in mind if you are much older 35 + stamina you begin to show signs of aging. You could even start the game with an age related impairment.

2. Mages Only: choose a magical House. This is the branch of the Order of Hermes that you belong to and it represents your magical lineage. The houses are described on pages 18 – 20 of the rules.

3. You have 7 points starting to spend on characteristics. There are 8 characteristics that in most cases range from -3 to 3. These represent the basic attributes of your character (speed, intelligence, strength and so on). The 8 characteristics are described on page 31 of the rules. These are bought on a scale given by the table on page 32 of the rules book. + / -3 is the max / min level for a characteristics. Negative characteristics yield negative points which are used to buy more levels of other characteristics.

When choosing characteristics you can also choose a specialty for that characteristic. You can choose specialties whether the associated characteristic is positive or negative in value. Specialties are a short adjective or phrase that describe the characteristic. Someone’s Stamina characteristic might have the specialty (Rolls of fat protect me from harm). Specialties just flesh out the character and have no mechanical effect on the system.

4. Choose virtues and Flaws. Grogs can have up to 3 points in virtues and flaws while companions and mages can have up to 10 points in virtues and flaws. The total points in virtues your character has must be equal the total points in flaws. Virtues and Flaws are listed on pages 41 – 50 of the rules. Mages are required to take some virtues and flaws based on their house (see pages 21 – 26 of the Ars Magica rule book). Note: some virtues/falws change your characteristics or give you extra abilities.

5. Choose abilities. Abilities are described on pages 53 – 59. If you are a grog or companion you start with age * 2 points to buy abilities. If you are a Mage you begin with abilities and points based on your house (see pages 21 – 26). A chart on page 52 says how many points a given level in an ability costs. You should also choose a specialty for each ability you have. This is an area of that ability you excel in. When using your ability as it relates to your specialty you get a +1.

6. You will start with some free languages. Grogs and Mages start with the skill “speak own langauge” at 4. Companions start with the skill “speak own language” at 5. If your “own language” is not greek you start with “speak greek” at 4. If you are a grog or companion you start with speak latin at 4 for free.

7. Mage Only choose Arts. Arts represent your how adept your mage is in different types of magic. The arts are described on pages 64 – 67. Unless you have a special virtue or flaw you get 150 points to buy your arts. The chart on page 60 says how much it costs to buy a given level of an art. Sometimes choosing which and what levels of arts to buy makes your brain spin. A chart on the bottom of page 60 offers some examples of Art Score combinations that I recommend using if you get lost.

8. Mage Only choose spells. You get 165 levels of spells to start with. You can not start with a spell of a higher level then your technique + form +10.

At least Fifteen of the 165 spell levels you start with should be used to purchase a special spell of your own invention. This is the spell you created to prove yourself as a wizard. This spell can be of a higher level than 15 if you wish. You can also invent more of your own spells if you wish. I would start by looking over the rules for spells based on the Techniques and Forms you are interested in (pages 107 – 160). Then choose some of the spells in the book. After that, if you feel the urge and have points left over pitch some ideas for new spells. The spells described in the book are a good guide for the sort of things you could do.

9. Mages Only, remember your special spell! If you are stuck on coming up with your characters own spell feel free to email me and we can brain storm.

10. Choose details of reputation if you have one. If you have a virtue or flaw that gives you a reputation decide on a word or phrase that describes the reputation, the target group that you have the reputation with, and the level. Example: If you have a reputation for having poor manners among hobgoblins this might read: “poor manners” / “the hobgoblins in the enchanted forest” / level 3. Usually the virtue or flaw you took to get the reputation will tell you what level it is at.

11. Choose several personality traits. Personality traits are a brief word or phrase that describes something about your character’s personality. Personality traits have an associated level that ranges from + 3 to – 3.

Example: an impatient person could have the personality trait Patient – 3. You just get to choose which personality traits you want and their level as you please. The one limitation is that you cannot start with more than + / – 3 in any personality trait unless you have a special virtue or flaw that lets you break this rule. I would choose 2-3 personality traits as they help fill out the character and occasionally come up in the mechanics.

12. Write down finishing touches. Unless you have a virtue or flaw that says otherwise you start at size 0 and have a confidence of 3. After that feel write out a description of your characters personality / history / back story / quirks / etc.

Quick Character Creation Cheat Sheet

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