Flamepunk: Character Generation: The Forge

From RPGnet
Jump to: navigation, search

Flamepunk:Main Page -> Flamepunk: Character Generation: The Forge

Overview of Character Generation[edit]

Character generation can be broken down into the following steps:

1) Create Concept

2) Select Traits

3) Buy Equipment

4) Record Pyros, Burnout, Action Dice Pool and Wound Points

Create Concept[edit]

Who are you?

Have a good read through the game background to familiarise yourself with the world of Flamepunk, and have a talk with your GM about what sort of game he is running. Once you've done that you'll no doubt have ideas as to what sort of character you want to play.

Your character will, at the very least, need to answer the following questions:

  • What is your name?
  • What do you look like? What is your physical appearance? How do you dress? What about your general demeanour, mannerisms and distinguishing features?
  • Where are you from? What sort of place was this? What is your social background?
  • What do you want from life? What motivates you?
  • Who do you work for, or what do you work for?
  • Who or what do you feel loyalty to? Who or what do you like and love?
  • Who or what are you opposed to? Who or what do you dislike and hate?

Select Traits[edit]

Number of Traits[edit]

Traits describe your character and are rated at four different levels: Untrained, Proficient, Expert and Master.

You can select the following:

  • One Trait at the Master level.
  • Two Traits at the Expert level.
  • Four Traits at the Proficient level.

You can also choose to "trade in" traits for lower level ones, at the rate of one Master for two Expert, and one Expert for two Proficient.

For example, you could forgo an Expert trait to gain two extra Proficient traits, or you could trade in your Master trait for 2 Expert traits, or 4 Proficient traits, or 1 Expert trait and 2 Proficient Traits.

You cannot "trade up" traits for higher level ones, unless the GM specifically allows it.

It's worth sticking with the default package if you're a new player - niche protection is a good thing in a game like Flamepunk, and a team of specialists will generally outperform a team of generalists.

Any traits that you do not select default to being Untrained traits.

Types of Traits[edit]

There are various types of traits to select from. Check the following lists to see what appeals to you:

  • Physical Traits - Select these traits if you want your character to be good in a fight, or just physically capable. You want a lot of these traits if you want to be the group's frontline fighter.
  • Social Traits - Select these traits if you want to be skilled in socialisation, from intimidation to seduction. If you take a lot of these traits, expect to be the group's "faceman".
  • Mental Traits - Select these traits if you want to be smart, wilful, or otherwise mentally superior.
  • Arcane Traits - Arcane traits are needed if you want to be able to manipulate Flame as a pyromancer, or if you want to be able to act as a Flamerunner. Everybody should consider having a little arcane skill though - without it, your ability to use your innate Pyros is severely reduced.
  • Miscellaneous Traits - Miscellaneous traits cover everything else.

Buy Equipment[edit]

Next, its time to go shopping! You'll want to check out the Technology and Weaponry section to see what sort of stuff is available to you.

First though, you'll need to know how much cash you have to spend. The world currency is known as "Dragons", and traditionally each Dragon is a single gold piece. However, use of paper notes is equally accepted. Street parlance dubs the currency "Lizards" and the Guilds tend to talk in terms of "Credits". Using the word "Dragons" is pretty archaic, when it comes down to it.

Nevertheless, the default starting amount of money is 1000 Dragons, though Wealth and Income (a Miscellaneous trait) can increase this, and GMs may want to increase or decrease the default amount to reflect the nature of their campaigns.

Record Pyros, Burnout, Focus, Wound Points and Will Points[edit]


Pyros is inner fire - the essence of magic and pyromantic force that exists within every living being. Ordinary everyday humans only have 3 points of Pyros, but the player characters are something more special.

Player characters have a starting Pyros of 6 points. This is also their Pyros maximum.

Powerful NPCs (such as trained Guild operatives, mages, enemy runners and the like) will likely also have 6 points of Pyros. Especially powerful creatures (high power demons, elementals and ancient sorcerors for example) may have even more.

A character's Pyros pool can't normally exceed its initial amount, though some equipment and some special arcane traits can circumvent this.

Pyros is spent to power various arcane tricks, and can also be channelled through certain pieces of tech, and through specialised techniques. These are detailed in the relevant trait descriptions and the equipment chapter. Most humans can't access their own Pyros at all - its the ability to do so that makes the player characters (and more puissant NPCs) special and significant.

Pyros can be regained by being in the vicinity of fire and flame, or by simple exposure to sunlight. See the Pyros chapter for more details.


Certain pieces of equipment (especially enhancements incorporated into the body, or which involve flamerunning) and certain arcane techniques can result in Burnout. Burnout is a physical, mental and emotional process that gradually warps an individual until they become something less than human.

These techs and techniques apply cumulative Burnout. For example, if you have one piece of tech that gives you +1 Burnout, and another that gives you +2 Burnout, then your total Burnout rating is 3.

See the section on Burnout for more on this. For the time being, assume that more Burnout is a bad thing, and that if you want to be unblemished (in body and soul) by Burnout you'll want to keep your Burnout below 6.


Your action dice pool is equal to and determined by a trait called Focus.

For player characters, Focus is by default six.

Focus represents a mixture of mental quickness, determination, flexibility, fluidity of action and sheer willpower.

Most ordinary humans are less capable than player characters, so have a default Focus of 4. Highly trained NPCs that are on a par with the players tend to have a Focus of 6, and especially powerful creatures may have even more, though Focus values above 9 are very unusual even for the mightiest of supernatural creatures.

Because a higher Focus equates to a higher action dice pool, it also means that the character will be stronger, faster, more accurate, more versatile, more mentally adept, more socially adept and more powerful all round then a low-Focus character. It's good to be focussed...

Wound Points[edit]

At the end of the day, all human bodies can take about the same amount of damage before they are broken. What determines how long you keep going for isn't the hardness of your flesh, but how determined you are to stay on your feet.

The number of wound points you have is equal to your Focus, plus your maximum Pyros. (i.e. 12 points, unless otherwise modified).

Note that certain traits (notably the physical trait "Hard as Nails") will increase this amount, as will some arcane effects and equipments.

Will Points[edit]

Just as a body can only take so much, so too can a mind.

The number of Will Points you have is equal to your Focus, plus your maximum Pyros. (i.e. 12 points, unless otherwise modified).

Note that certain traits (notably the mental trait "Born Stubborn") will increase this amount, as will some arcane effects and equipments.

GM Notes: Character durability and game style[edit]

It's worth noting that as the default system stands, people (even impressive people like the player characters) die pretty easily. A sword strike might just do 2 points of damage, but on a perfect roll a starting player character could conceivably deal 52 points of damage! Doing 12 damage in a single hit isn't that uncommon, and "one hit kills" will happen sooner or later if the player characters go into the game with an idea that they can take on a swordfight naked.

This is an intentional design feature - in the world of Flamepunk, you get tooled up, or you get smart tactics, or you die.

GMs looking for a more forgiving setting, where armour isn't de rigeur for battle, and where traits that give combat survivability aren't essential, might want to change the default amount of Will Points and Wound Points to Pyros multiplied by Focus, though they should bear in mind that this cuts both ways - player characters will no longer be able to drop their enemies in one hit either.

It's probably better to let players know the approach that this game takes to combat up front, and to clue them into the various tricks they can use to make themselves more survivable. The smart runner knows that killing is number two on the list of priorities - the number one priority is not being killed.

For players and GMs, a quick crib-sheet on making a survivable character is here: Staying Alive

Pages Related to this Topic:[edit]