These are the rules for creating the various characters that are allowed on Original Sin. These rules take into account any Hacks or house rules that exist, so please check those pages as well.
It is advised that you create a first draft on paper or a text file before using the online sheet creation page, as there is no "save draft" feature unless you hit the submit button at the bottom, so any work done, especially in the longer text fields like the character background, will be lost if there is any trouble in submitting (even just a power failure will probably lose your work progress if your browser closes or crashes). Browser crashes are real and more than a few people have lost hours of work in seconds.
Character Creation follows the rules in the books unless noted in the following sections.
When creating the sheet, only put Initial Dots in the Attributes/Skills/etc drop downs. Things purchased with Experiences will be added by an ST during approval. Only placing Initial Dots makes it easier and faster to approve sheets which benefits everyone.
Your first character as a new player to Original Sin is required to be a plain mortal, and you must play that for the first two weeks. This character is considered your application for play at our game. You are learning the quirks of how we play and interact both in character and out of character. We also request that you make this a character that can stand on its own: do not make something that is a pre-change werewolf or a mortal about to be embraced. We can discuss changes after the first two weeks are completed, not before.
Character name is part of the concept section. Most people have a given and family name. They might also have a nickname. Jenny "Knives" Malone, for example. Since we play on IRC, we request that you specify the name on IRC you'll be using. Please try to use the name they actually identify or introduce themselves as (for example, don't request the IRC nick of Nancy if you plan on telling everyone your name is Mike and expect to be called Mike. Talk to an ST if there are any questions. You can also review the Wiki page on names.
Restricted names: Names that begin with A (we have a whole lot), names that begin with El-, names that are too similar to the STs IRC names, Religious or Famous names (no Jesus or Abraham Lincoln).
Concept is a very important aspect of character creation. Generally concepts should be a 1-3 word phrase that idealizes what the character is. While some exceptions can be made at ST discretion, a concept is not a job description: Primogen-to-be, Hound, and Malkovian are not real concepts. The books give various examples, if you have any questions please ask in #help.
Some Concepts require minimum stats in Attributes and/or Skills. Some examples are soldiers and doctors. Please see the appropriate book for the minimums (Soldiers are in Dogs of War, Law Enforcement in Tales From the Thirteenth Precinct, and medical personnel in Asylum.)
Some Concepts are not allowed at all (Banned) while others are limited (Restricted). The following are the Banned and Restricted Concepts on Original Sin:
Restricted Concepts: Mortal Characters under 18, EMT, Firefighter, Alcoholic, Hacker.
Banned Concepts: Major Templates under 18 (Vampire, Werewolf, etc.), Mortal characters under 16, Homeless, Government Agents, Law Enforcement, "Murderer" (assassin, hitman, etc.), "Crazy".
Do not make antisocial characters. This is a social game and requires social interaction with other characters. This is not a game for hermits and characters who refuse to talk to other people. For Supernaturals, this includes characters that don't know or understand their own existence, and Supernaturals who want nothing to do with their own society. Do not make a Kindred who hates and avoids Kindred politics, do not make a Werewolf who refuses to join a pack and wants to be a lone wolf, etc.
• Aspirations also fall under this step. Choose 3 aspirations or goals for your character. They can be short or long-term goals; a character gains a Beat when an aspiration is accomplished, or when major steps are taken towards completing a long-term one.
Attributes are straight-forward from the book. You prioritize the three categories (Mental, Physical, Social), with the Primary getting 5 dots, the secondary getting 4 dots, and the tertiary getting 3 dots. All Attributes start with one free dot. Please do not min-max every category, you will be instructed to level them out.
The fifth dot in an Attribute or Skill does not cost double points.
Some Supernatural templates grant a free dot in an Attribute. Do not add this on the sheet, simply put in the Experiences list where you want your bonus to go.
Skills, like Attributes, have 3 categories that are prioritized. Primary gets 11 points, secondary gets 7 points, and tertiary gets 4 points, and Skills do not start with any free dots. As with Attributes, do not overly min-max them or you will be asked to round them out.
The fifth dot in an Attribute or Skill does not cost double points.
Specialties represent narrow, specialized training a character has obtained at some point. They add 1 die to a relevant roll using the Skill they are linked to, unless modified by a Merit such as Area of Expertise or Interdiciplinary Specialty. You may only purchase one instance of a given Specialty, although multiple Specialties may apply to a given roll. For example, Surgery and Cardiology may apply to a Medicine roll to perform heart surgery. Also, a character requires 1 dot in the base Skill to take a specialty.
Some Templates grant bonus Specialties or have rules over what Specialties can be taken. Please note any bonus Specialties in the Experiences list as shown in the model text on the sheet. You can add bonus Specialties to the sheet or leave it for an ST to do during approval.
All character receive 10 dots to purchase Merits, including Mortals and Mortal-based templates. Please list all Merits and a quick explanation (for merits that need one, not all do!) in the Merits box on the sheet. Supernatural Templates may purchase their Supernatural Advantage for 5 Merit Dots, per the book rules; so buying a Vampire to Blood Potency 3 at Creation takes 10 total Merit dots. Some Supernatural Templates have rules or restrictions on what Merits can be taken; please review the core rulebook for that type for these rules.
Some Merits are not allowed at all (Banned) while others are limited (Restricted). The following are the Banned and Restricted Merits on Original Sin:
Restricted Merits: Languages; Fame; Striking Looks; Resources 4 or higher; Multiple Retainers; all Fighting Styles; any Merit that is not in the Chronicles of Darkness books.
Banned Merits: Professional Training, Mystery Cult Initiation.
Some Merits are listed as "Creation Only". This means only the initial 10 Merit dots can be used to purchase them, they cannot be purchased with Experiences at any point. The sheet must also meet any prerequisites using initial dots, before any Experiences are spent. Please keep this in mind when allocating your Merit dots.
This section has a few subsections.
• Virtue and Vice
Virtue and Vice should generally be an adjective that describes a major character or personality trait. Virtue should be something that gives the character a sense of worth and direction. Vice is a short-term pleasure, or distraction from the pressures of life. These should be different words for the same character, meaning a character could not take "Honest" as both Virtue and Vice.
Note: We do allow the "Virtuous" and "Vice-Ridden" merits.
Integrity is a measure of how well a character copes with the traumatic and supernatural events of life in the Chronicles of Darkness. Characters risk loss of Integrity with Breaking Points. Please use the Integrity box on the sheet to answer the Integrity Breaking Point questions (they are in the book and listed on the sheet).
The web-based sheet automatically calculates all other Advantages. Size, Health, Speed, Defense, and Initative Modifiers use the default information on the sheet but each can be individually modified by an ST should that be required (Such as changing Size for those who take the Giant or Small-Framed merits, or Speed for those with the Fleet of Foot merit, etc.). Please note that Health is modified for Supernaturals since we use the "Power is Health" Hack from Mirrors; Supernatural Advantage (Blood Potency, Primal Urge, etc.) is added to Health. See the Hacks page on the wiki for more information on Hacks.
All characters begin with 20 Experiences to spend as they please. We grant bonus Experiences every 6 months of active play.
Please write all backgrounds in third-person past tense. This is not a suggestion: backgrounds written any other way (first person, lists of accomplishments, etc.) will be told to rewrite in the proper format.
A background needs to give the ST an idea of the character, and should include major events in their lives. Things to include are Breaking Points and why they affect the character, how they obtained any special Merits (especially ones that require training or induction into a group), friends, family, etc.
Supernatural characters (minor and major templates) need to include when and how they became that, how it affects them, and any group affiliations specific to that template (vampires joining Covenants or Bloodlines, werewolves joining Tribes or Lodges, Changelings and their Durance, Fetch, etc.) and anything else that is important to the character.
Backgrounds generally should end with how or why the character came to New York City for their entrance into the game.
Background length should be age appropriate. A teenager is going to have a shorter background than an ancient vampire. If the approving ST does not feel your background is sufficient for the age of the character, you will be asked to expand the background or reduce the age of the character in question.
How do I get a restricted item?
As stated above, the only thing required to get a restricted item is a good reason in a good character background. We want to see that not only you understand what that item is, but also you have a decent reason why your character needs to have it. If it is restricted it will be based on a "need to have" basis only. Keep in mind, at creation, only one restricted item will be approved on a sheet. Other restricted items may be added on later in character, with good reason.
What kind of equipment can I take?
Equipment is generally governed by the dots you take in the Resources merit. However, some excpetions are allowed at creation. If you want a lot of equipment but low Resources for story purposes, please talk to an ST before doing this.
Businesses, Houses, apartments, mansions, living quarters, etc are required to be listed in the items section of the character sheet. If you plan on other PCs visiting this location, then a layout map is required and must be approved before play there is allowed. If this is not your initial idea, but decide later you want players to access the location a map can be added then.
Please note the following equipment has restrictions:
Please note the following equipment is not allowed:
How many Characters Can I play?
Initially, we require new players to start with a single mortal character for their first two weeks of game play. While we don't expect you to play every single day, we do expect you to play at least a few days each week. Playing once or twice and returning two weeks later will not meet the requirement. We have this requirement to ensure that new players are able to integrate into the game and learn how this specific game works. Please read this article on first characters for more information.
Once you have played your initial mortal character you can choose to retire it or keep it and make additional character(s). Please keep in mind, you may only submit one character at a time for approval. We ask you play each character for at least a week before writing another character.
In general we would like it if you keep your multiple characters somewhat separate. For example, you may play a ghoul for another PC, but you may not play your own regnant nor embrace your secondary characters. We will not allow you to teach your secondary characters anything or in general do anything to benefit your own character beyond a casual role-play degree. This means you can play multiple characters in the same scene and have them interact, even argue or fight, but you couldn't have a rich character give money to a poor one, or have one teach skills/Disciplines/favors to another. If you cannot handle this rule, your secondary character(s) will be removed.
Inactivity: Erase Dates
If for any reason you are gone from the server for more than 30 days, you will be considered an inactive player. At that point, all characters will be erased for inactivity. If you give us advanced notice of an absence, you may set your characters on Vacation and they will not be erased for 1 year. Extenuating circumstances might be allowed afterwards and characters returned, but this is rare. Please contact an ST as soon as you realize you are going to be absent for an extended period of time.
More information about Vacation Mode, Retiring characters, and what happens to Experience can be found on the Character Status wiki page.
Please consider your character submission a rough draft. We will review and place notes for editing, to edit the sheet to better mesh with our game.