Characters are representations of an individual or creature in the game. Each character being a unique representation of the powers and effects they may evince through their Actions. Character facets at the time of creation are chosen by the Player, the rest are gained through game play. Character development is measured in Challenge Rankings. The emphasis is on story, intrigue, and then combat. using tactics and knowledge. Awards by the Game Master match the pace and flow of the story, allowing players to develop their characters appropriately. They are based on game time spent, encounters and experiences, and benchmarks achieved in an adventure or campaign. Players are encouraged to advocate for their characters. Rewards are given in the form of Character Points (CP) – These can be used to gain knowledge (Lores, languages, literacy), skills, and Traits that serve to customize a character.
Story is critical to the Incarna perspective, though it is not required as part of the basic mechanics of creating characters. Character Concept is where character stories begin – defining the basics. A concept can be pulled from literary (ex: “a powerful leader like Boudica“), historical (ex: “a heavy infantryman like a Greek Hoplite“), or any other source, or just completely made up by you. You have a vision in your head of a character, and its about making that come to life. Robust Character Stories adds a whole new dimension to character crafting. There are specific rewards to encourage you do engage in a deep dive of story at the time of character creation. Do not let strict rules dictate your crafting of characters. Backgrounds, traits, and skills should be able to be modified to support most character concepts. A good Game Master can generally work with players to tweak any basic character starting aspect to match the concept.
- Detailed Upbringing:
- Alternate Upbringing:
- Generating Stats: Generate 7 ability scores; use 3D6 for each. As with all checks, stats must be generated in front of a witness who is part of the existing gaming group. This is to ensure all feel best 'fair-play' mechanisms are in place and no one got special treatment from the GM.
- Character Review: All character must go through a strict review process. Point mongering is highly discouraged and where obvious, the GM will disallow or may penalize. Obvious attempts at taking minor disadvantages to get a few more Character Points is frowned upon. Negative traits creating unfair vulnerabilities for the entire group and will be painfully exploited by the GM.
- Back Story: Creation of character back story is required. A, extensive and approved character background may grant additional starting Character Points. A back story worked out with all the players, incorporating them will grant additional Character Points for all involved. If the connections serve to balance the group out and create inter-dependencies, more Character Points may be granted to the group (as per Group Dynamic) AND Inspiration will be granted to the group members. Players are required to make a minimum of 3 "Perspective Stories":
Use the ©Players Handbook. In Incarna, level advancement is based on story, not Experience Points.
Incarna character are different from DnD characters in several ways. Character Tools
- Ability: There are 7 – Sanity is added; All characters start with an 11. Use the PHB system of point buying and adjust for race, feat, level, etc.
- Races: See the individual setting to see what race/sub-race options are available.
- Classes: While any class is possible in the right situation/background, race, culture, gender, regional issues, and social norms of the setting all factor into what path a character is able to take. See Character Stories. Multi-classing requires that the character have a 15 minimum in the ability of their new class; other than this it is limited by story and setting.
- Essence: All characters have Essence; Essence is a measure of the strength of your life force signal in The Pattern. It is used in several aspects.
- Affinity and Aptitude: Affinity (starting affinity with a pillar of The Pattern) and Aptitude can be decided at the time of character creation, both require Essence.
- Codes of Conduct: Alignment and beyond – Not that the more codes a character has, the more they can be tested, and the more Inspiration they can have.
Individual Flavor: Start with a concept – an idea of the personality and values they have and the Point of View they express in thought and action – perhaps it fits within one of the existing Alignment or a prime creed. The Incarna character process is constrained, but has a lot of options. Read through the ©Players Handbook and your setting materials (like Steel Realms) and decide what race and class you want to start with. You will be focusing your Essence and powers on that. Your race and place constrain your class and/or class path choice – there are cultural and social fabric which just does not produce certain classes or paths. Additionally, there are a great deal of upbringing and character trait options. Most players will choose and develop a character down one of the dominant 4 pillars of The Pattern – affinity and aptitude paths (divine, kinetic, occult, and psychic).
Group Flavor: For example, perhaps they desire to be the leader of a group; this is a sacrifice a player makes to use their own character’s experience to directly improve the group’s efficacy. Although they add depth and present a good role-playing challenge, behavior compulsions should only be considered by those willing to expose the party to a vulnerability.
A “Zero Level” or “Neophyte” character has only a race and a background and nothing else; they begin with the Wonderment trait. This option starts characters out younger than normal with a few CP and these small powers and extends the character development cycle by making them find their class direction as part of game-play.
When a character prepares to embark down their chosen path at 3rd level of any class, and while they are preparing to switch classes the character is said to be “seeking their path”. Any CP must go towards acquiring abilities and powers which are related to this new direction.
By Individual Settings
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