CD10 - Character Creation

A Quick Guide on Creating Characters

Words are hard
— Toblin
  This article is a comprahensive guide on how to make a player character for the setting of Pekkola using the Celenia D10 RPG System. The system isn't as heavy on mechanics as other games such as Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder so getting a grasp of the rules and understanding how characters are made should hopefully be easy to understand. If something did elude you and left you confused, feel free to ask your game master for questions.  

What is a Character

Chracters in CD10 are composed of a backstory, their culture, a set of traits and skills, and in the rules there are also abilities, but Pekkola doesn't have any at the moment, but that is subject to change. These stats will help you understand what kind of a person your character is and what they are good at.  


A background is among the most important parts of a character and even though it isn't displayed on the character sheet, the backstory is what helps the player guide which traits and skills to choose for the character. In addition, the background sets up a couple of important events and people for the GM to use in future stories.


Traits are descriptors of the character and can describe things like physical prowess, mental faculties, quirks, personality and even things like fate. Traits help define a character and thanks to their integration into the core of CD10, traits can play a large part mechanically, giving your choices real gameplay impact.


The culture of the character affects the starting traits in addition to providing a social context for the story. Your choice of culture doesn't have to be made early on in character creation. It can usually be left to until after you've created your backstory.


The skills of a character define what they have learned in life and how good they are at performing them. Most anyone who has played roleplaying games are familiar with skills and how you perform "skill checks" to overcome challenges in the game.


The first step of character creation is to come up with a backstory. Where did your character come from? Who are they? Create a background story together with the GM. The background is important to allow the GM to tailor the story to your character and to establish some important people in your character's life.   It's usually a good idea to come up with a profession for your character during character creation, to help guide you in picking skills and traits.  

The Great Questions

  • Where were they born?
  • Who are/were their parents?
  • What were they doing before the adventure?
  • Why did they leave that behind to go adventuring?
  • What did they leave behind?
  • What is the character's goal?

  • How to be a Great GM's video on the topic

    Where were you born?

    Deciding on where your character is from is a great way to start off the creation. Look at the map and work with the GM to find a place that fits your character. Your starting location will usually also determine your characters culture, but expections can be made.   The GM may already have an idea already of where she wants the party to be from. That can help you, give you some constraints on what to pick from.


    The GM sets a starter experience level for all the characters in the campaign, depending on what she needs. This "starter level" determines how many skills and traits your character can have.   The groups of Average, Skilled, Superb and Legend represent increasing amounts of experience at the start of the adventure. Each group gets a different amount of skills and traits.
    In the top row, the column headers list each base experience level and each row below that determine your Traits Value and how many skills of each competency level you get. Skills are granted in four levels: +2 to +8. If you've already looked through CD10 Core: Skills, you know how these work. They represent your ability with a skill. A skill at +2 is a hobbyist skill, while a +6 skill is professional level skill.   Character experience is just a descriptor for indicating the average skill and experience of the character at character creation. We do not track "levels", like for instance DnD, and your character do not increase in distinct levels through gameplay. Once character creation is done, your starting experience is irrelevant and the level is not noted on the character sheet. Most characters, unless the GM decides otherwise, should use start at Skilled.  


    A character can theoretically possess any number of traits as there is no hard cap on how many traits you can have. At character creation, however, a character is limited in two ways: They may only have a maximum number of negative traits and the total sum of their traits (not counting traits from species) may not exceed the value in the "Traits" row on the character starter level table.   If that value is "4", then your character may only have 4 negative traits total (not counting species traits) and when calculating their total traits values together (again, not counting species traits) the sum of all traits may not exceed +4. If a character is Superb, these numbers both change to 6 negative traits and a total sum of +6.  

    Traits from cultures

    A cultureis defined by a set of traits. These traits are separate from the traits the player chooses for their character and while they can be altered by the player, they should not do so without good reason. By doing so they alter the maximum value of their other picked traits.   If, for instance, a player wants to play a Vakner but not be Inflexible. His character is created as a Skilled character, so his Trait value number is 4. Now, to get rid of Inflexible he must "pay" one point to raise the trait from -1 to 0. This means that when he calculates his total trait sum, he is no longer limited to a sum of +4, but +3, since he already paid a point to remove his culture trait. This holds true for lowering traits as well. Say the player wants to remove Strong from his character, he then gains a point and his total would then raise from +4 to +5. Any trait changes to the culture traits work this way.  

    Property, Wealth and Gear

    Finally you need to equip your character. First, add up the values of the traits Status and Riches (or Poor alternatively). You have a base amount of funds on your or on your person and can purchase equipment for an additional sum of money. The additional sum cannot be converted to in-hand funds post creation, so spend them wisely! Also take note that a character without any traits that affect it, can only carry 12 Kg of gear on their body or risk becoming encumbered in combat.   The number under "average income" is a suggested target level for your monthly income from work, stocks or other sources. You should come up with a narrative way of how your character makes that kind of money, be it employment, freelance work, criminal activities etc.

    CD10 Core: Characters
    Generic article | Jan 8, 2021

    CD10 Core Character Creation

    If the GM wants the players to have a bit of a head start on things she can have them created at a higher experience point. The Average is generally used for creating NPCs.
    A character created as a Skilled character will have a Traits value of 4, meaning they can only pick a total of 4 negative traits and the total sum of their traits when added together may not exceed +4. They also get 6 skills at +2 skill level, 3 skills at +4 and 1 skill at +6.
    Vakner CD10 Starting Traits
    If a player doesn't change his culture's traits, he can ignore them for all his calculations. Please note that even if you remove negative traits from your culture's traits, you cannot add more negative traits to your character than your starting level allows.

    Age and Death

    A character who sticks around for a long time may eventually grow old. When the character passes the threshold for old age the character must make a check against +3 difficulty per 5 years beyond the threshold and can use any applicable physical trait, such as Iron Physique, Strong, Feeble or Sickly for the check.
      Should the check fail, the character gains the trait Old -1 and will age according to the trait's description.

    Trait Value Starting Wealth Starting Equipment Living Standards Rent Avg Income Other
    -4 5 R 0 R Streets 0 R 0 R Tattered clothing
    -3 10 R 25 R Abandoned Building 10 R 20 R Rough clothing
    -2 15 R 50 R Hut 20 R 30 R Dirty clothing
    -1 20 R 100 R Small Cramped House 30 R 40 R Decent clothing
    0 25 R 200 R Decent House 40 R 75 R -
    1 50 R 400 R Fortified Farmstead 60 R 110 R -
    2 100 R 500 R Comfortable Town House 100 R 160 R Riding horse
    3 200 R 750 R Manor or Motte-and-Bailey Castle 175 R 250 R Personal horse and carriage
    4 500 R 2 000 R Fortified Manor or Shell Keep 275 R 400 R Personal horse and carriage
    5 500 R 3 000 R Fortified Manor or Shell Keep 275 R 400 R Personal horse and carriage
    6 750 R 4 000 R Luxurious Manor or Shell Keep 400 R 700 R Transport ship
    7 1 750 R 8 000 R Concentric Castle 900 R 1 400 R War ship
    8 2 500 R 15 000 R Exquisite Palace 1 000 R 2 000 R Luxurious leisure vessel


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