What will I need to know to get started?
Check the FAQ page first. If you have any questions you don’t see answered here or there, of course you should contact me! The TL;DR is:
- Level 1 characters
- Base Race must cost 12 RP or less (Without DM special permission)
- they have standard starting wealth to begin the game with
- they have 2 Traits (you can purchase another one with a Drawback )
- Attribute Points will be decided a little differently this time.
How do I determine my starting stat array?
Due to the unique circumstances in which you begin the game, the standard point-buy system wouldn’t work terribly well. I’m not overly fond of strict rolling systems either, so of course a compromise is in order to allow players the maximum flexibility to design the sort of character they intend but with just a dash of randomness to give it spice. Don’t worry, your Ability Scores will be much less important or permanent than in a typical game.
To determine your starting attributes, the first thing you should decide is your character’s Focus and Foible. The ability score which you choose as your Focus starts at a base of 18 just as though you had spent the pointbuy to push it up that far. Then you decide your Foible, your character’s weak point: this ability starts at 8.
Next comes a little bit of randomness. Instead of rolling “down the line”, though, you just need to generate three numbers by rolling 3d6 and adding them to create a single total, and repeating that process five times. The lowest of these five totals, is then discarded. The remaining four numbers can be placed anywhere you like.
For example: Loomis decides she likes the sounds of Dexterity and chooses it as her Focus so that it starts at 18. Then, she decides to create a character that isn’t particularly easy to get along with, so she selects Charisma as her Foible to start at 8 before she adjusts it for her race. Next, she needs to roll 3d6 five times to generate five more numbers. Picking up her trusty bones, she gives them a kiss for luck and rolls the first set, which total up 13. She writes this down and continues to generate three more numbers in this fashion: she gets 11, 5, 12, and 8. She decides to create a character with a little more wit than your average bear, and places her 13 into Intelligence. Then, feeling that it would do her little good to have all that knowledge but not enough insight to use it properly, she places her 11 into Wisdom, and gives her Constitution a 12 so she can take a few hits — which leaves the final 8 for Strength since she has discarded the 5. So her character’s ultimate starting array, before she adjusts it for her race, is…
… Not bad!
If all of your rolls are below ten, I may allow you to re-roll them all.
All playable races can be found here. Many of these have been either updated or altered from their default paizo settings. As such, players are encouraged not to use D20pfsrd when it comes to racial features, as results may not be entirely accurate. As time goes on, more races may become unlocked to the players through the completion of quests and in game events, expanding the allowed options for players.
What will all characters need?
A portrait, at the least. A biographical background can help. Specifically, when you design your character’s background, you need to give them a reason for being a member of the Apidae League, and an outlook which isn't opposed to working for similar agents. Whether misfortune previously in life drove them to seek out fortune in new worlds, whether they're a noble scion, bored of the mundanity of the court, whatever backstory they have, it should be one that gels well with operation within the Apidae League, as this is what the story will focus on. Starting wealth can be spent on any mundane equipment, but anything magical in nature must be run by the GM before you purchase it.
What happens if my character dies?
If a player character is destroyed and there are no plans to recover them (via Resurrection, Stone To Flesh or whatever the case may be), that player may create a new character with 2/5ths of the total EXP which their previous character had put towards their level progress, generate the new character at the corresponding level, using the starting wealth of a level 1 character. Your allies (whether Cohorts of your old character, fellow PCs or even NPCs) might see fit to allocate the wealth and equipment of the destroyed character (if they can be recovered!) to your new one, or perhaps they may keep them for themselves. Other rules concerning character generation still apply (see above).
For example: Kyle's character is the unfortunate victim of a well-aimed Disintegrate spell after he has earned 51,324 EXP, at level 8. His player decides that this was a tragic, but fitting end for his character, and knows that his comrades could not resurrect her in any case either because they lack the spellcasting capability or motivation to do so. Besides, he now wants to play a very different sort of character entirely.
He multiplies 51,324 EXP by 2/5ths to discover that her new character is to be generated with 20,529 EXP at character level 5 (since 20,529 is more than the 15,000 total EXP he would need to gain level 5, but still less than the 23,000 he would need to gain level 6). He decides his Focus and Foible, rolls his five sets of 3d6 and begins building the character level by level starting at 1 until he has a character which is level 5. His new character will introduce himself to the party with only a pittance to his name, a new recruit of the Apidae League, but the other PCs are quick to recognize the utility of the new ally (who comes with skills and talents they had need of while facing Disintegrations!) and are more than happy to shower her with some of their spare equipment and cash (some of which was once owned by the disintegrated Kyle!).
What source material is allowed?
For now, I’m using Paizo’s Pathfinder ruleset (which is an evolution of D&D 3.5e), supplemented by Dreamscarred Press’ excellent content and more than a smattering of appropriate 3.5 or older material. All of the Pathfinder material can be found at one of the SRD sites around the internet. I personally like d20pfsrd . You might need your own copy of 3.5 material if you want to use it, and check the “errata” pages here and/or consult me about it if it needs a bit of editing to play nice with the other boys. I consider Paizo’s Pathfinder material to be the primary design standard.
I’m new! Halp!
If you need advice about character creation and design, I’m always here, of course, but as far as power-building goes, I tend to think it’s probably healthier for players to grow with experience once they’ve got a handle on how to create a character using the rules. For now, you really shouldn’t worry about such things since (in my experience) your ability to enjoy playing depends far, far more on your attitude and collaboration with everyone else at the table. This isn’t the same thing as not knowing what numbers to put in which boxes, or how magic works. Rather, it’s my personal suggestion that you not go reading power build guides because, as theoretical exercises, they’re not meant to serve the entertainment purposes of actual players at the table. Relax and design a character that you find appealing and satisfying to explore, and don’t worry so much about how powerful you are since I’ll always be able to challenge you.
Is there a simple little template I can use to plan my build?
I sometimes use a loosely-organized block of formatted text to keep track of some NPCs’ mechanics if you really want to use it / can’t be arsed to build an entire spreadsheet or use some other tool. My plain little Textile-ized TEMPLATE can be seen here.