Delver’s Legacy: Aspects & Abilities

Here is an interesting little addition I thought up for the Delver’s Legacy project. Oddly enough I’ve noticed many interesting ideas pop up not when I’m actively trying to solve a problem, but when I’m just resting and letting my thoughts drift.

“Pick 3” Character Creation

To create a new character pick a race, class, and background for the character. Each of these aspects comes with a starter package. Copy anything listed in the starter package into the appropriate areas on your character sheet.

Extra Option – Random Aspects: When picking an aspect, you can chose to use dice or cards to pick the aspect at random. Each time you do this, the character’s luck increases by 1. Luck can be spent during play to cheat death and redo checks.

Most aspects will have an “ability ratings” entry in their starter package. Copy those ratings in the appropriate column for that aspect. Once you’ve filled all 3 columns, add up the total for each row and write it in the ability score column. Next, divide those scores by 3 (rounded down) and place that value in the ability bonus column.

Design Notes

All aspects should have an ability rating line. Background and classes will usually have equipment entries. Races will generally have very few features in the starter package. However, they will let the character gain additional features through later purchases. This should reduce how many features a new player has to memorize while also making it easier to balance out races.

Humans will probably have the ability to copy the ability rating of their class or background. There will likely also be backgrounds that mimic the scores of a race or class, as well as a background with randomized scores.

Behind the Scenes

As you may notice, I’ve been a big fan of fast character creation lately. While rolled ability scores are traditional, I feel the pick 3 approach is significantly faster. It also helps ensure characters start with abilities that match their class and lets us apply racial ability scores without breaking the standard score range.

The last point is pretty significant. If we want ability scores to add to checks, it’s a good idea to constrain the range. Otherwise, we’re back to the situation where one character automatically passes anything that challenges a character who didn’t pump that score.

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Published in: on December 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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