Shades of Shadora
Shadoran Character Creation
This section is a step-by-step guide to the character creation process for Shadora. Print out a Character Sheet to jot down your choices.
Step 1: Your Character’s Background and Tags
Get Familiar with the world of Shadora. A a bare minimum check out the Timeline. If you want more detail, read through the Mythos and History page. You may also find this 1 page summary handout useful.
Take a minute to think about at your character concept and how they will fit into this world. This will help guide some of your choices in the later generation steps.
- Write a few background and concept elements that you feel are important to your image of the character. These can be a concept overview, a list of important life events, a physical description, a personality profile, etc. Use whatever you need to get an image in your mind.
- List a goal for the character. What are they want to achieve
- List at least two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center on your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!
- Describe at least two people that are tied to the character. One friendly to the character and one is hostile.
- Describe three memories, mannerisms, or quirks that your character has. They don’t have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.
Step 2: Your Race
Humans are the most common race in Shadora. the Perali once lamented that they “bred like rabbits” once they were created. You are free to choose any of the races in the Races of Shadora page.
Step 3: Traits
Characters are defined by attributes and skills, collectively called “Traits,” and both work in exactly the same way. Attributes and skills are ranked by die types, from a d4 to a d12, with d6 being the average for adult humans. Higher is better!
Every character starts with a d4 in each attribute, and has 5 points with which to raise them. Raising a d4 to a d6, for example, costs 1 point. You’re free to spend these points however you want with one exception: no attribute may be raised above a d12.
- Agility is your hero’s nimbleness, quickness, and dexterity.
- Smarts is a measure of how well your character knows his world and culture, how well he thinks on his feet, and mental agility.
- Spirit reflects inner wisdom and willpower. Spirit helps your character cast some spells, resist spirit possession, hostile magic and recover from being Shaken.
- Strength is raw physical power and fitness. Strength is also used to generate your warrior’s damage in hand-to-hand combat.
- Vigor is endurance, resistance to disease, poison, or toxins, and how much pain and physical damage a hero can shake off.
Skills are learned abilities such as shooting, fighting, arcane knowledge, sailing a ship, and so on. These are very general descriptions, which cover all related aspects. Shooting, for example, covers all types of guns, bows, and other ranged weapons.
You have 15 skill points to distribute among your skills. Each die type costs 1 point (starting at d4) as long as the skill is equal to or less than the attribute it’s linked to (listed beside the skill in parentheses in SWD). If you exceed the attribute, the cost becomes 2 points per die type. As with attributes, no skill may be increased above d12. Shadora does not use the Guts skill.
Example: Fighting is linked to Agility. A character with a d8 Agility can buy Fighting for one point per die type to d8. Buying a d10 costs 2 points, and a d12 costs another 2 points.
All characters may speak (and read unless Illiterate) a number of Languages equal to their Smarts divided by 2. The first 2 chosen must be Slavetongue and their native tongue. (A human’s native tongue is Slavetongue) These are known at d6 (The speaker can carry on a prolonged but occasionally halting conversation) and may be increased like any other Smarts based skill. Other languages begin at d4. Increasing Smarts allows a character to learn a new language at d4.
Your character sheet contains a few other statistics you need to fill in:
- Charisma is a measure of your character’s appearance, manner, and general likability. It’s 0 unless you have Edges or Hindrances that modify it. Charisma is added to Persuasion and Streetwise rolls, and is used by the GM to figure out how non-player characters react to your hero.
- Pace is how fast your character moves in a standard combat round. Most races walk 6" in a round and can move an additional 1d6" if they run. This is 6" on the table-top where every inch there represents 2 yards in the “real world.” Some races move faster or have additional Pace ratings for swimming or flying.
- Parry is equal to 2 plus half your character’s Fighting skill, plus any bonuses for shields or certain weapons. This is the Target Number (TN) to hit your hero in hand-to-hand combat.
- Toughness is your hero’s damage threshold. Anything equal to or over this causes him to be rattled or worse. Toughness is 2 plus half your hero’s Vigor, plus Armor.
- Size represents you physical size and mass. This is 0 unless your Race specifies differently.
- Corruption represents your exposure to chaos and its warping nature. This is 0 unless Edges specifies differently.
- Devotion represents the strength of your connection to you cult and deity. This is 0 unless Edges change it.
- Power Points represents you initial spell casting strength in whichever magic styles you choose. Starting Power Points (PP) is 2 plus half your hero’s Spirit. This can be modified by edges and arcane backgrounds.
Step 4: Magic Style
Before you go about selecting your Edges and Hindrances you need to think about how your character will interact with Magic. Shadora is a highly magical world in which the common man will likely know a spell or two. It is a place where rituals and magic are a part of peoples’ daily lives. Nearly every intelligent creature in Shadora has some form of magic to help them through their daily struggles. Some heroes see magic as a way to enhance their already amazing talents, while others make mastery of magic their defining attribute. How much or how little your character relies on magic is up to you. Deciding on one of these styles will help guide your Edge choices in the next step. There are at least six approaches your character can take to magic in Shadora and Edges are recommended for each magic type.
- No Magic – These rare folks have been abandoned by their ancestors or their auras have prevented them from being accepted into any cults at even the lowest level. Perhaps the hand of chaos touched them or perhaps their ancestors were tainted and they are living under a curse of some kind. In any case, they are under a serious disadvantage compared to most other folks. Edges: None
- Cult Lay Member – These are casual worshippers of a god or pantheon of gods. They worship at the temple on holy days and have been connected to a few ancestors who granted them Possession spells as a result. Most of the population of Shadora falls into this category. Edges: None
- Cult Initiate – These are lay members that have taken the next step in their worship of a particular deity. They have committed themselves to the strictures of the cult and it’s teachings and in return they have been granted limited use of their god’s fantastic powers. Initiates usually know more Possession spells and a few Divine spells. Edge: AB: Initiate (Deity)
- Sorcery Student – About 500 years ago, the free men of Emancia discovered the origins of Sorcery in the ruins of the Journeymen civilization. They created a university system on their island kingdom and have turned their backs on the gods to draw their power from within. It requires many years of study but it allows them to eventually wield tremendous power. Edge: AB:Sorcery
- Hedge Wizard – Some folks can’t make it through the rigors of the Shadoran University system. These “drop outs” usually turn to the gods for their magic needs and become initiates in a cult, but some cling to the greatness that was almost theirs, becoming Hedge Wizards. Edge: AB: Sorcery
- Shamans – The spirit masters for their cult or tribe and know that names of ancestors and cult heroes going back hundreds—maybe thousands—of years. A shaman associated with an Ahay tribe may be called a “medicine man” and may or may not have a cult affiliation. They rely instead on asking favors of the denizens of the Spirit Plane, the cult, ancestor and nature spirits. Edge: AB:Shamanism
- Alchemist – Arcane tinkerers that imbue strange elixers with magical powers that can be stored and used for later. They are either accomplished sorcerers or devout worshipers of knowledge seeking gods. Edge: AB:Alchemy
- Wayfarer – The walkers of “the way” are fighting monks from secret sects of the Bandar cult. Besides being devout worshipers they have also learned to draw power from an inner source of strength and presence enabling them to perform super human feats. Edge: AB:Wayfarer
Step 5: Edges and Hindrances
Great heroes are far more than a collection of skills and attributes. It’s their unique gifts, special powers, and tragic flaws that truly make them interesting characters. Characters can take Edges by balancing them out with Hindrances. You can take one Major Hindrance and two Minor Hindrances. A Major Hindrance is worth 2 points, and a Minor Hindrance is worth 1 point.
- For 2 points you can raise an attribute one die type, or choose an Edge.
- For 1 point you can gain another skill point, or gain an additional 500T in starting funds
Here are some typical human fantasy archetypes that might help you choose the right set of Attributes, Edges and Skills to focus on. Don’t be afraid to ignore these and do your own thing.
Attributes: Agility; Skills: Climb, Lock Picking, Stealth; Cult: Ratrona
Edges: Thief, Acrobat, Alertness, Danger sense, Fleet-footed, Luck, Quick, Two-fisted
Attributes: Agility, Strength; Skills: Fighting; Cult: Artol,
Edges: Ambidextrous, Fleet-footed, Florentine, Quick, Two-fisted, First Strike, Frenzy
Attributes: Strength, Vigor; Skills: Fighting, Climbing, Ride; Cult: Vorthod
Edges: Berserk, Brawny, Sweep
Attributes: Spirit, Smarts ; Skills: Tracking; Cult: Peral
Edges: Beast Bond, Beast master, Woodsman
Attributes: Agility d8, Spirit d8; Skills: Survival, Tracking; Cult: Dagaral
Edges: Woodsman, Alertness, Marksman, Danger sense, Fleet-footed, Quick
Attributes: Smarts; Spirit; Skills: Knowledge (Journeyman), Arcane
Edges: Attractive, Charismatic, Fleet-Footed, Luck, Quick AB: Sorcery – College of Passion
Attributes: Agility, Strength; Skills: Fighting, Shooting, Boating, Climbing; Cult: Kasharos
Edges: Acrobat, Steady Hands
Attributes: Spirit, Strength, Vigor;
Skills: Fighting , Riding, Knowledge (Battle)
Edges: Initiate, Command, Brawny, Noble, Charisma
Attributes: Smarts, Spirit; Skills: Knowledge (Journeyman), Arcane
Edges: AB: Sorcery – College of Perception, Power Points, Wizard.
Attributes: Smarts, Spirit
Skills: Knowledge (Journeyman), Arcane
Edges: AB: Sorcery, New power, Power Points, Wizard.
Step 6: Starting Gear
Next you need to purchase equipment. Each Race description contains a list of “Starting Gear” and most list a few Possession spells. The Silver Talon (T) minted by the Lazuri Empire is the common currency in Shadora. Depending on your Magic Style choice from Step 4, you may not want Possession spells. If that is the case, you may trade them for 100T each. A list of some common gear can be found below and weapons and armor can be found in their own section.
Adventuring Gear Packages
| This standard equipment package weighs 16lbs and costs 85T:
* Backpack – 2lbs, 50T
* Bedroll – 4lbs, 10T
* Two Torches (1 hour, 4" radius) – 2lb, 5T each
* Rations (5 meals) – 5lbs, 10T
* Water skin (1 day) – 1lb, 5T
* Flint and steel – 1lb, 3T
* Two Candles – 1lb, 1T each
* Cloak – 1lb, 20T
Each group of adventurers will probably want this gear, spread out across the group:
* 60’ hemp rope – 15lbs, 10T
* 10’ Chain – 15lbs, 25T
* Crowbar – 2lbs, 10T
* Hammer – 1lb, 10T
* Hatchet or Axe – 2lbs, 10T
* Grappling Hook (Throwing skill, range of 3/6/12) – 2lb, 100T
* Manacles – 2lbs, 15T
* Healing Potion – 1lb, 250T (Heals 1 Wound)
Step 7: Revisit Background Details
Circle back to Step 1 and revisit your background details. Anything you want to change, add, remove, or update based on your skill, race, magic or edge choices? Put the finishing touches on your character and review it with your GM.
Finish filling in any history or background you care to. Ask yourself why your hero is where she is and what her goals are. Or you can just start playing and fill in these details as they become important.
You might also want to talk to the other players. Maybe your characters know each other right from the start. Or you might collectively decide to optimize your group a bit and ensure you’ve got a good assortment of skills and abilities. If so, make sure you’re playing what you want to play. There’s no point in being the party’s magical healer, for example, if that’s not a role you’re interested in.
You don’t need a long backstory, Savage Worlds has a mechanic for filling in your details as you go. A backstory that is too long or complex may box your character in. Also, you are starting out as Novice characters that will grow into greatness, you need provide just enough backstory to get the story started.