Characters

In this article, we'll go over how characters are built and what stats you need to understand to create a character.

Core Stats

Characters in C2D10 do not have "base attributes" like most other role-playing games. Instead, such statistics are considered skills and represent a character's base competency in different areas, such as physicality, mental tasks and social situations.

Talents, skills and traits are represented by "dots" that can be filled ( ) representing one dice for the pool, or empty ( ) representing how many max dots an attribute can have.

Talents and skills can go between 1-5 filled dots, and traits are usually a single or two dots. A representation would look like in the box.

Example talent/skill notation

Strength
Manipulation
Willpower
Athletics
Subterfuge
Investigation

Talents

The talents are separated into three major areas, Physical, Social and Mental. Each area has three talents that represents a characters core competency in each talent. These talents form the basis of the character's general ability and are used together with skills to build the dice pool for tests and contests.

Mechanically you can sort of think of them as base attributes from other games, as they do represent the core ability of a character. However, these talents are not genetic or something your character is born with, but their core ability when the adventure begins and they can be trained and improved, with some effort.

These talents require a significant investment in experience points to increase after character creation, so in order to improve your character efficiently, you will want to focus on getting your skills and focus up before you invest experience into these talents.

An exception can be if your character has a trait that reduces the cost for increasing certain talents, in which case investing in these can be beneficial, even early on.

Represented by 1-5

  • Physical
    • Agility
    • Endurance
    • Strength
  • Social
    • Charm
    • Empathy
    • Manipulation
  • Mental
    • Logic
    • Reason
    • Willpower

These are the talents your character has, separated into the three groups.

It is usually beneficial to focus a character on one of these three groups, rather than spread yourself too thin.

Skills

These are specialised skills, more narrow in scope than talents. These represent your character's education and what they've spent their time learning and honing. Whenever a test or contest is called for, it's called for on one of these skills. Depending on the situation, one talent is also paired with the skill to build the dice pool for the test. Skills are generally paired with a talent from the same group (Physical,Social,Mental). Unless there's a very good reason, this should not be deviated from. There may be situations where someone who is exceptionally strong can use their Strength in an Intimidation test, but in general, you should stick to the groupings.

Skills are much cheaper to improve than talents, so spending your experience points here is a better idea than spending them on talents.

Represented by 1-5

  • Physical
    • Acrobatics
    • Athletics
    • Brawl
    • Burglary
    • Crafts
    • Driving
    • Firearms
    • Melee
  • Social
    • Carousing
    • Insight
    • Intimidation
    • Leadership
    • Persuasion
    • Politics
    • Street-smarts
    • Subterfuge
  • Mental
    • Academia
    • Awareness
    • Investigation
    • Medicine
    • Science
    • Stealth
    • Survival
    • Technology

Focus

A focus in a deep-dive into an skill. Having a focus on an skill adds 1D10 to your pool when performing tests and contests where the focus applies. Like other bonuses, a focus cannot increase your pool above 10D10.

You may be a firearms expert (Ranged), but you've spent some extra time diving specifically into handling sub-machine guns. So whenever you are using an SMG, you gain that extra die in your pool.

For suggestions of focus, see the skills article.

Traits

Traits are both permanent and temporary. When creating your character, you only care about permanent traits.

Permanent traits change things about your character in some significant way, and each character starts with a couple of positive ones and a few negative ones.

Some traits affect the way the character progresses, others affect situations and others further grant, or deny, the character certain abilities.

Temporary traits are usually just a single and last until the end of the scene. They are caused by Setbacks.

For more details on traits, read the article on Traits.

Represented by 1-5
(The below are examples, not an exhaustive list)

  • Astute (Pay less for Mental)
  • Bulky (large in size)
  • Likeable (Pay less for Social)
  • Olympian (Pay less for Phys.)
  • Psion (can use psionics)
  • Addiction (get CD if no fix)
  • Arcane (can use magic)
  • Curious (must investigate!)
  • Lucky (reroll a die)
  • Small (light frame)

Other stats

Stress

Stress is accumulated by social combat, mental attacks, long-term pressure, sleep-deprivation and other things. It's a combination of one's mental exhaustion, fear and pressure. Someone under a lot of stress is much more likely to make mistakes or break under pressure.

Each point of stress accrued, for whatever reason, adds +1 DC to a Willpower test that a character must take after the scene ends. If this test fails, the character accrues one point of Crisis. Crisis provides Crisis die to your pool and a character can suffer at maximum stress in a scene, after which any further points of stress are immediately converted into Crisis instead. Should a character who is at 5 stress suffer any more stress, they immediately gain a point of Crisis, but also keep their 5 stress.

Any suffered stress is usually cleared after the scene, following the stress test, regardless of if it was passed or not. The Keeper has final word on if stress is cleared between scenes, as it largely depends on narrative and in-universe relevance.

Strain

Strain is the physical equivalent of stress. Any straining activity, injuries taken or setbacks in physical conflicts add a point of strain. In the same manner as with stress, at the end of a scene, the character must pass an Endurance test against their strain, or suffer a point of Crisis. Strain is inflicted upon a character whenever they suffer setbacks or Complications in combat situations or during tests where physical injury is a risk, such as jumping across rooftops and risking a fall, pushing themselves beyond what their body can sustain in terms of stamina and endurance and similar things.

If a character has accrued 5 points of strain in a scene, they can gain no more strain. If they were to get one more point of strain, they instead immediately suffer one point of Crisis.

Any suffered strain is usually cleared after the scene, following the strain test, regardless of if it was passed or not. The Keeper has final word on if strain is cleared between scenes, as it largely depends on narrative and in-universe relevance.

Mechanics of Crisis

Each point of Crisis replaces one die in the character's pool with a Crisis Die, or [CD]. Crisis dice have special mechanics.

Note the word "replace". CD can never increase the pool size, so if the pool size is less than the current amount of Crisis, you roll your pool as intended, but comprised entirely of CD.

It is adviced that you use dice of a different color, or with 00-90 markings to differentiate CD from regular pool dice.

More on the effects of Crisis in its dedicated article.

Character Creation

This section only covers the mechanics of character creation. When it comes to the rest, like background, story and personality, we'll go over that later.

For character creation, each character starts with a pool of 220 XP, but rather than spend half an hour buying talents and skills, feel free to use any of the pre-set distributions below.

Talents

Distribute your talents as follows, taking into mind that some species of your setting might have certain requirements you must adhere to.

Your best talent
Three talents
Four talents
Your worst talent

Skills

For skills, distribute them as you see fit. Pick from one of the three distributions below, each focusing on either being, on average, more skilled in fewer skills, or being a generalist with lots of skills but not really being great at any of them. Everyone also get 2 Focus for free at the start.

Specialist

One skill
Three skills
Three skills
Three skills

Add five focus of your choice

Average

Three skills
Five skills
Seven skills

Generalist

One skill
Eight skills
Ten skills

Total XP: 100

Total ten skills.
Total XP: 120

Total fifteen skills.
Total XP: 120

Total nineteen skills.
Total XP: 120

Focus

Add a focus to two of your chosen skills. If you've chosen Academia, Crafts or Science, add a focus to each of them.

Traits

In addition to any Virtues and Vices provided by your choice of species, add eight on additional Virtues and add at least four of Vices.

Add eight worth of Virtues

Add four worth of Vices

Experience costs

Item Experience
Increase Talent New level x5
Increase Skill New level x3
New Focus 3
Virtue 3 per dot
Vice (not during character creation) +3 per dot

Wealth

Wealth, like everything else, is represented by 1-5 dots. Having a single constitutes a state of poverty. is someone who is average, by the scale of average wealth in the setting.

Any more dots represent different levels of affluence over the average. Wealth is used like a skill test for buying things that are within one's wealth scale. If an item is above your wealth scale, you must add assets to make up the difference. Each level of a wealth asset counts as one level on the scale.

You can consider your wealth stat to represent your average income and expenditure. It's your comfortable economic level. Any wealth assets represent loose cash or valuable assets that aren't part of your income/expenditure cycle. It's not assets your could normally sustain, but that you have for one reason or another.

A character begins at Wealth unless they've chosen the Fortune trait's Virtue or Vice, which adjust this up or down.

What wealth represents

A character's Wealth stat provides a pool of wealth dice, used to determine if a character can purchase an item or not. If an item is more than two levels of wealth out of the character's wealth stat, they must provide at least one dot's worth of wealth (or other applicable) assets in order to even have a chance to roll.

Bartering over price is generally unnecessary, but if you want to include it in your games, bartering prior to sealing the deal can adjust the wealth bracket of the item up or down, depending on the outcome of the barter contest.

For more details on how wealth works, please see the article: Wealth.

And we're done!



Cover image: Characters Cover by Tobias Linder

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