Legends - Character Generation
Creating a Legend: Character Generation
Character generation follows the process below:
1) CHARACTER CONCEPT
Decide on the nature of your legendary character. Are you a thief without peer, a noble knight unmatched in martial prowess or a mighty mage who commands the elements themselves? Characters created should be epic – this is a game of great heroes and legendary deeds.
2) CHARACTER NAME
In the naming traditions of the realm people have a personal name and a domain name. The personal name will vary according to local naming traditions. Male personal names are usually of two to three syllables often end on hard consonants - for example, Vathak, Mored or Jarat. Female personal names are sometimes a little longer, and tend to end on vowel sounds – for example Eseria, Airethine or Thellissia.
Surnames are not inherited, but instead indicate principality of origin. For example if Vathak is a mage of Candlewhisper, then his full name would be Vathak Candlewhisper, or Vathak of Candlewhisper. Naturally surnames are not often used within a realm save to address strangers, as most present will have the same surname. Likewise marriage does not change a person’s surname, but an individual who wishes to foreswear allegiance to a particular principality and demonstrate that he is loyal to a new domain may change his surname. A list of principalities is included in a later chapter – though this is by no means exhaustive, feel free to pick a surname from this list, or to create your own.
Individuals of particular old or noble bloodlines will sometimes have a middle name that is passed down along to all (men and women) who are members of the family – for example Thelessia Helmsvaan Blackwaters is of the noble house of Helmsvaan, who dwell within the realm of Brightwaters. The family name is usually the same as the personal name of the House founder, who is likely a legendary individual himself. For example Helmsvaan Blackwaters was a legendary knight of the realm, who lived and died over six centuries ago. Family names gain honour and meaning through the achievements of the house founder, of family members and just by existing for many centuries. Those who carry a family name are invariably proud of it, and must be prepared to defend it. To tell someone that you have never heard of their family is tantamount to claiming that their family name is worthless, and is common grounds for a duel. Particularly proud members of noble houses may challenge those who carry a family name and have not (in the proud noble’s eyes) earnt it. For most people of the realm, a family name is simply more trouble than it is worth.
Additionally many people (especially legends) will acquire nicknames to reflect their talents or deeds. For example Abred Burningsands is also known as Swiftarrow, because of his skills with a longbow.
In some domains (usually those far isolated from Dragonthrone) there may be local naming traditions, but often when travelling across the Realm individuals will adapt their names to fit the Dragonthrone tradition. For example the daughter of Hida Kenada is known in her own lands as Hida Kachiko, but when she arrives at Dragonthrone she presents herself as Kachiko Hida Risingsun or simply Kachiko of Risingsun. Unusual naming traditions (such as those of Risingsun) often draw comment from those who dwell within the Empire proper. For example, a male samurai who gives his personal name as Tetsuo can expect to find the “femininity” of his name draws a few sniggers from those who regard him as an odd foreigner.
3) CIRCLE OF MASTERY
Your Circle of Mastery determines your base power level. Ordinary humans are of the First Circle of Mastery. Talented humans (for example the Red Knights of the Dragonthrone) are of the Second Circle of Mastery.
You begin the game at the Third Circle of Mastery.
More powerful creatures and heroes may start at even higher circles of mastery. For example, the Emperor Athan Eserian, of the Dragonthrone is of the Fifth Circle of Mastery, while Aos, The Angel of Blood is of the Seventh Circle of Mastery. Your Circle of Mastery determines the base number of dice you roll on any task, before modifiers. For example, heroes of the Third Circle of Mastery (such as the player characters) roll 3D6 for most tasks. Characters advance through Circles of Mastery by completing Legendary deeds – these are covered in more detail in a later chapter.
There are five different levels of traits, and three different types.
• An Untrained trait is the default level. • A Trained trait represents a minimal level of mastery only. You select six trained traits. • An Expert trait is the highest level that most humans will usually attain, representing specialised and developed skills. You select four expert traits. • An Elite trait represents the normal pinnacle of human achievement. An ordinary human will usually achieve only a single elite trait in his lifetime, and then only after decades of training. You select two elite traits. • A Legendary trait is beyond ordinary human capabilities, and is what makes you a Legend. You select one legendary trait. Ordinary humans on the First Circle of Mastery don’t get this many traits – instead they receive two trained traits and one expert trait. Humans on the Second Circle of Mastery receive EITHER three trained traits, and two expert traits OR three trained traits and one elite trait. At each circle beyond the 3rd, a character either upgrades one Trained trait to Expert, or one Expert trait to Elite. At the 20th circle of mastery, characters obtain godhood, upgrading all their existing traits to Legendary, and may not advance again.
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