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.
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 active 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.
We do allow play of "sheetless mortals" meaning you do not have a fully fleshed out sheet, and doesn't require going through the full approval process. Please make sure not to use the IRC Nick of another character when doing so, however. If you do not already have a fully approved character, please discuss playing sheetless mortals with the STs before doing so, just so they're aware of your intentions.
Sheetless Mortals only require Step One, and do not need a formal sheet or approval. High Concept can be as simple as "College co-ed" or "John's Best Friend" but should not be supernatural or supernatural-related. If you can't think of a Trouble/Drama, it's ok to skip that. Sheetless mortals do not have Skill Ratings but can roll dice if needed in a scene.
Your First Character cannot be completely sheetless, but we do allow for partial sheets. A First Character must at least have Step One completely done and preferably at least 1 Aspect, but you do not need to do the full Aspects or Skills. A First Character can absolutely start with 1 Aspect and only 3-4 Skills at whatever ranks, if you're not sure what you want to take with the character yet. Just make sure to notify the STs when submitting that you understand it's a partial sheet and intend to continue filling out Aspects and Skills as they come up organically in play.
Organic Sheets - Sheetless or Partial Sheets that you intend to continue playing and fill out as things go on must always start as mundane. A Supernatural template character requires a full sheet and full ST approval process.
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).
High Concept is the "elevator pitch" of who and what your character is. This should give a rough sketch of who the character is, how they describe themselves to others, and make enough sense that it can be Invoked. For example, "High Plains Drifter", "Getaway Driver with a checkered Past", or "Veteran of the Blood Space War" are High Concepts that give you a broad overview of who the character is and some elements that can be brought into play.
Some Concepts might be problematic or more difficult to run in an online game. These might need to be altered or entirely changed as part of the approval process. Overly young characters or highly anti-social ones, for example, might need alterations in order to be acceptable.
Supernatural characters (from Wolf-Blooded and Ghouls up through Vampires and Werewolves) get an additional "Supernatural Aspect" where you'll describe Auspice, Clan, Covenant, Tribe, etc. for them, so it doesn't need to be part of the High Concept.
Trouble/Drama is the "Vice" that drives and hinders the character. These are also things that complicate their life, which drives story. These are often personal struggles or problematic relationships. Some examples are "Anger Management Issues", "I offended the Don and he has it out for me", or "Gentlemen prefer Blondes". If the character is supernatural, the trouble can be as well. "My friends hate my sire", "Spirits won't stop asking for favors", or "blood feud with the Prince of New York" are examples.
You get 3 Free Aspects that can be nearly anything that helps build up your character. They can be personal relationships, aspirations, past encounters, or other details about the character that can come into play during a scene. Some examples include "Life of the Party", "Adrenaline Junkie", "Psychic with a Cassandra Complex", "Cowboy on a Steel Horse", and "Have Gun Will Travel".
You are not limited to this as a maximum amount, but it becomes increasingly more difficult to use Aspects during gameplay if you have a bunch. The purpose of Aspects are to define your character but also to give you moments to shine in a scene. You don't have to take an Aspect of "shy nerd" for you to play the character as a shy nerd, unless you really think you can pull that off in a scene in some way that gives a mechanical benefit to a roll!
We use the skill list from FATE Condensed, but do not use Contacts, Resources, or Drive as they don't often come up. You can use other Skills in place if needed, and can use suggested Stunts from those Skills under other appropriate Skills. They are listed below. The Skill Pyramid is required, and at minimum a "Skill Column" (if you have questions please ask!). Those with a supernatural template use Scale for their maximum Skill rating (Mundane 4, Supernatural 5, etc). All Starting Characters regardless of template are max at 4.
Academics: Mundane, everyday human knowledge and education, including history, sciences, and medicine. Academics stunts often refer to specialized areas of knowledge and medical skills.
Athletics: A measurement of physical potential. Athletics stunts focus on movement—running, jumping, parkour—and dodging attacks.
Burglary: Knowledge of and ability to bypass security systems, pick pockets, and generally commit crimes. Burglary stunts give bonuses to the various stages of committing a crime, from the planning to the execution and escape.
Crafts: Ability to make or break machinery, build contraptions, and pull off MacGyver-esque feats of ingenuity. Crafts stunts let you have the gizmo on hand, give bonuses to building and breaking things, and provide justification for using Crafts in place of skills like Burglary or Academics under certain circumstances.
Deceive: Ability to lie and cheat convincingly and with aplomb. Deceive stunts might improve your ability to tell a particular breed of lie or help invent false identities.
Empathy: Ability to accurately judge someone’s mood and intentions. Empathy stunts can be about judging a crowd, picking up on lies, or helping others recover from mental consequences.
Fight: Ability to excel at hand-to-hand combat, whether with weapons or fists. Fight stunts include signature weapons and special techniques.
Investigate: Deliberate, careful study and puzzling out mysteries. Use this to piece together clues or reconstruct a crime scene. Investigate stunts help you form brilliant deductions or piece together information more quickly.
Lore: Specialized, arcane knowledge that falls outside of the scope of Academics, including supernatural topics of one sort or another. This is where the weird stuff happens. Lore stunts often support practical applications of your arcane knowledge, such as casting spells. Some settings may remove Lore, replace it with a different skill, or combine it with Academics.
Notice: Ability to pick up details in the moment, spot trouble before it happens, and generally be perceptive. It contrasts Investigate, which is for slow, deliberate observation. Notice stunts sharpen your senses, improve your reaction time, or make you harder to sneak up on.
Physique: Raw power and durability. Physique stunts let you perform super- human feats of strength, throw your weight around while wrestling, and shrug off physical consequences. In addition, a high Physique rating gives you more physical stress or consequence slots.
Provoke: Ability to push people to act the way you want them to. It’s coarse and manipulative, not a positive interaction. Provoke stunts let you push opponents into foolhardy action, draw aggression toward you, or scare enemies (assuming they can feel fear).
Rapport: Building connections with others and working together. Where Provoke is manipulation, Rapport is sincerity, trust, and goodwill. Rapport stunts let you sway the crowd, improve relationships, or build contacts.
Shoot: All forms of ranged combat, whether guns, throwing knives, or bow and arrow. Shoot stunts let you make called shots, quick-draw, or always have a gun handy.
Stealth: Staying unseen or unheard and escaping when you need to hide. Stealth stunts let you vanish in plain sight, blend into crowds, or advance through shadows unseen.
Will: Mental fortitude, the ability to overcome temptation and to withstand trauma. Will stunts let you ignore mental consequences, withstand the mental agony of strange powers, and hold steady against enemies who provoke you. In addition, a high Will rating gives you more mental stress or consequence slots.
All characters start with 5 Refresh. This provides your default number of Fate Points. Points are restored each week if you fall below your Refresh. If you manage to go above your Refresh, you keep the excess Fate Points until they are spent.
You may trade permanent Refresh Points for additional Stunts (or additional powers for Supernatural templates).
Stunts are the cool techniques, tricks, or bits of equipment that make your character unique and interesting. Where skills are about a character’s broad compe- tencies, stunts are about specific areas of excellence; most of them give you a bonus in particular circumstances or let you do something that other characters simply can’t.
Your character begins with three free stunt slots. You don’t have to define them all right away, and may fill them in as you play. You may purchase more stunts by spending 1 refresh each, to a minimum of 1 refresh.
Note: Some online Stunt lists combine Academics and Lore from older versions of FATE. If you take a stunt, make sure to separate appropriately (anything mundane, such as general knowledge, medicine, law, science, etc should be changed to Academics, and only things dealing with the Occult and Supernatural should stay under Lore).
Stress represents the ephemeral toll of participating in a conflict, whereas consequences are the lingering effects, and sometimes quite traumatic ones, of taking harm.
Every character has two different stress tracks. The physical stress track deals with physical harm, and the mental stress track mitigates mental harm.
Every character has a Base level of 3 in Physical and 3 in Mental Stress tracks.
Every character also has three Consequence slots. One is Mild, one is Moderate, and the last one is Severe. Unlike stress, these aren’t classified as either physical or mental -- any of them can apply to any type of harm. As mentioned above, consequences are the injuries and traumas you can’t just shake off after the dust settles.
Each clan is actually a different type of monster, they just are similar enough to use the same mechanics. Vampires can sense another vampire and their clan when in sensory range (sight, smell, hearing, etc). Psychic vampires are considered their own clan for this purpose. Each might have a different sensation or "flavor" to an individual.
Other supernatural monsters can sense vampires and understands they are vampires, but cannot sense the specific clans. They can tell a difference between blood-drinking vampires and psychic vampires. They might be able to use other supernatural powers to get a more specific reading. If the vampire is using a supernatural power to obscure their presence or identity, then this is also obscured during that time.
Ghouls can sense all vampires and can tell clan as well. Ghouls can sense Werewolves/shifters, and other monsters like vampires can. Ghouls cannot be sensed automatically by other monsters but might be able to be detected by heightened senses or special powers.
Werewolves/Shifters can sense each other once in sensory range (primarily scent range, with other senses being secondary if scent is blocked for some reason). They can tell if one is a wolf, bear, cat, or other type of shifter as well. They can use this sensory information to identify each other later if their senses are damaged (blinded and can identify by scent, the other in a mundane disguise, or when shapeshifted to another form).
Shifters can use "spirit senses" to see into the Hisil/Shadow Realm and see spirits and also see the Renown Brands on each other to further identify Auspice/Tribe/Pure/etc. They cannot see in Twilight without specific gifts.
Wolf-Blooded and other Blooded can sense Werewolves/Shifters and can tell type in the same way. All Shifters can sense Blooded if they actively attempt to do so, not automatically, by Scent. Blooded cannot sense other Blooded. Blooded can sense vampires and other monsters like Shifters can. Bloodeed cannot be sensed automatically by other monsters but might be able to be detected by heightened senses or special powers.
Scale is an subsystem used to represent supernatural beings which operate on a level beyond the general range of capabilities of most characters in your game. Usually you don’t need to worry about the impact of scale within your game. There may be times, however, where it’s desirable to present the characters with a threat bigger than they typically face—or an opportunity for the characters to punch outside their usual weight class.
The use of Scale as a bonus is appropriate in many situations, but can also be scene-negotiable like some Aspect uses. For example, a vampire could use Scale for "Feats of Strength" as they are magically stronger than mundane humans, but a Shifter might not in human form, as the point of that form is to blend in to Mundane Reality rather than overpower it. But they might when using their heightened senses in human form as that's appropriate for their supernatural tracking skills.
When applying scale to two opposing forces or individuals, compare the sides’ levels and determine who is higher, and by how many levels. They get one of the following benefits on any rolled action against their lesser:
Need to review how or if to handle age/character progression
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.
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.
How do I get a restricted item?Is this needed.
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?Needs to be rewritten to address Equipment as Aspects.
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:
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.