Creating a Player Character in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

Creating a Player Character

The first step in playing any TTRPG is the creation of the Player Character (PC) that you will use in the game. Laurels and Loot tries to make this process easy, but especially fast, since there is a good chance you will be doing it often. Encounters can be deadly, and Player Characters will fall along the way. Being able to quickly generate a new character to get the Player back in the game was an important consideration.

There are two basic approaches to how you can go about creating your Player Character. Within the five steps below, these are referred to as "I Have a Plan", and "Let the Gods Decide". You can choose either. You can even switch back and forth between them as you go. Either way, you should be through at least the first six steps in only a few minutes. (Writing the backstory may take a bit longer!)

The Character Sheet

The character sheet is designed so that during play, everything you need is on Page 1 - all on one side of one standard piece of paper. Pages 2 and 3 are for reference, especially when your character is "gearing up" for a day of adventuring, and page 4 contains your character's physical description, personality traits, and backstory (which should fit on the page!)

You can view the Character Sheet here.

Generating a Player Character

Step 1 - Select a Parentage

Parentage describes just what type of creature you are. This choice will determine the base Attribute scores, as well as a number of other physical characteristics of your Player Character. There are 12 types of creatures that make up "the Folk" - the playable character types available in Laurels & Loot; these appear below in Table 1.

I Have a Plan
Select a Parentage you desire from Table 1 below.
Let the Gods Decide
Roll a d12 (or click the Roll button on the table) to determine your Parentage.

If you wish to play a hybrid character (i.e. one of mixed parentage), you can select (or roll for) two parents. You must then choose one parent that you will "take after", though; this choice will determine what adjustments, if any, are made to your character's initial attributes, Stamina Points, and special abilities. When choosing mixed parentage, the parentage of your character's mother may also determine whether your character begins life as a hatchling or newborn infant.

Once you have identified your Parentage, Enter your character's Size, Speed, and SD Type on your character sheet. Make note of your Inherent Abilities as well. Don't worry about the rest of the table entries yet; we'll get to them.

Step 2 - Determine Starting Attributes

Each character is defined by seven basic Attributes. Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution characterize the physical capabilities of your player character, while Intelligence, Awareness, Willpower, and Charisma describe mental and personality-related features.

Attributes are assigned bonuses or penalties to reflect capabilities measured against a standard - and in this case the standard is "the average Human". This "average Human" has no bonuses or penalties assigned to any attributes - all seven start at the base level of "+0". If your selected parentage is non-Human, however, you will need to adjust two of the Attributes now. Table 1 identifies one Attribute that is slightly better than average (+1) and another that is slightly worse than average (-1). Make these appropriate notations on your character sheet now, and fill in the rest of the zeros.

Player Character Adventurers are not average, though. They're special people, so each one starts with bonuses that reflect above-average capabilities related to one or more of these Attributes. After making any necessary Parentage adjustments, you then assign three additional bonus points across your Attributes in any manner you choose. There are two ways you can decide on which attributes get bonuses:

I Have a Plan
You decide where to place the three bonus points. You may apply more than one point to a single Attribute if you wish, so you may choose to have a +3 in a single Attribute, +2 in one and +1 in another, or +1 in each of three different ones.
Let the Gods Decide
Roll 2d4-1 to determine which Attribute receives a bonus, with 1 indicating Strength, 2 indicating Dexterity, and so on. Repeat twice more. If the same number comes up again, that Attribute will end up +2, or even a +3

Record the Attribute Bonuses on your Character Sheet. During play, each time you gain an Experience Level, you will gain have the opportunity to improve your Attribute Bonuses further.

Before continuing, there is one more thing to check which may affect your Starting Attributes. Look at the descriptions of the Inherent Abilities that your Parentage provided. Some of these abilities will allow you to make further adjustments to Attributes. If they do, make those adjustments now on your Character Sheet. Refer to Appendix 1 for full descriptions of Inherent Abilities.

Step 3 - Determine Stamina and Injury Points

You can now determine your starting Stamina Points (SP) and Injury Points (IP).

The Parentage table will indicate an SD Type; the type of dice you will roll to determine your Stamina Points. To calculate your character's initial SP, roll one die of the indicated SD Type, and then add to that the maximum value of that die type. In other words, if your parentage indicates a d6 SD type, your starting Stamina Points are 1d6+6. A parentage SD type of d8 starts with 1d8+8 SP, and a parentage SD type of d10 begins with 1d10+10 SP. (Buttons are provided below to generate your starting SP.)

Starting SP for d6 SD type Starting SP for d8 SD type Starting SP for d10 SD type

Record the result on your Character Sheet in both the Maximum and Current SP fields. During play, as your Character takes damage in combat, you will track your SP losses in the Current SP field; the Maximum SP value should remain the same as it indicates the limit to which you can recover SP between combats.

Next, calculate your available Injury Points value. Regardless of Parentage, this is simply 10 + your CON bonus, but note that if your character has the Hard to Kill Inherent Ability, an additional +1 is added to your IP. Record the result on your Character sheet in both the Current and Maximum IP fields. As with Stamina Points, you will track combat effects in the Current IP field; the Max IP will remain static to inform you of your healing limitations.

Step 4 - Determine Prior Employment

Before your character was an Adventurer, they had an earlier job and life experience. This past provides your character with certain talents and skills, as well as some starting equipment. Table 2 contains a list of potential careers which can either be randomly rolled for, or you can select a particular one you wish to use.

I Have a Plan
Select a Prior Employment from Table 2 below that will give you the desired Specialty. Skill and associated Starting Equipment that you desire for your character.
Let the Gods Decide
Roll a d20 and a d6 and cross-reference on the table for your Prior Employment, Specialty Skill, and Starting Equipement.

Record the information on your Character Sheet. (Prior Employment, and the Specialty Skill in the first of five slots on Page 1, and your Starting Equipment in your Possessions table on Page 2. (Do not put things in your Inventory just yet!)

Refer to Appendix 2 for detailed descriptions of the various Acquired Specialties.

Step 5 - Describe Your Character

Physical Appearance
While it has no real bearing on game mechanics, defining your character's physical description will help you get a feel for who they are. Tables 3 through 7 provide descriptors for overall physical build, facial features, clothing style, hairstyle, and distinguishing marks that describe what other Folk, including other party members will see when your character first appears before them. These should not be thought of as "limiting" lists, though. If you wish to describe your character's appearance using terms not found in the tables, feel free to do so.
I Have a Plan
Select descriptions from Tables 3 through 7 below to portray what others see when first encountering your character. If none of the table entries are what you're looking for, feel free to provide your own descriptions.
Let the Gods Decide
Roll a d20 on each of Tables 3 through 7 to determine your character's physical appearance. If the result seems to be completely inappropriate or even contradictory given the character setup thus far, or if they indicate something you'd simply rather not role-play, then roll again (or choose one yourself).
Record your selections on Page 4 of your Character Sheet.

Table 3

Table 4

Table 5

Table 6

Table 7

Understanding your character's personality traits will help you to better role-play. It will guide you in deciding how your character will approach encounters, both social and combat-oriented.

Selflessness is a measure of the relative importance a character places on the welfare of others versus the welfare of themselves. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 10, with a 0 indicating a purely selfish person who never considers the needs or wants of others, and a 10 indicates a person willing to literally give the clothes off their backs to see that others are better off. Most characters will fall somewhere in between.

Respect for civil law and authority, and for the prevailing social customs and norms is another important aspect of character behavior. This is also measured on a scale of 0 to 10, with a 0 indicating absolutely no regard for - and probably complete disdain of - civil authority and societal custom. A 10 indicates a character who strives at all times to "stay within the lines", respecting all civil law and authority regardless of its merit, and always conscious of behaving in a manner expected by the society around them. Most characters will fall somewhere in between.

Personality describes how your character puts themself forward when interacting with others. Table 8 below provides an extensive list of attitude traits that describe how your character may act when interacting with other party members or in social encounters during game play.
I Have a Plan
Select a number on the 0 to 10 scale to indicate your character's degree of Selflessness. Do the same for Respect. Then select a Personality from Table 8 below that describes how your character is likely to project themselves when dealing with other Folk in social situations.
Let the Gods Decide
Roll 2d6-2 to randomly determine a value for your character's degree of Selflessness. Do the same for Respect. Then roll a d20 and a d10 and cross-reference the results on Table 8 to select a trait to guide you in understanding how your character will interact with the world around them. As with the Physical Description attributes, feel free to add a descriptor of your own if nothing in the table appeals to you, or if using random generation turns up something contradictory.

Step 6 - Complete your Possessions

As a new adventurer, your character starts out with a few items in addition to the equipment they bring from their prior employment. These items make up the Basic Adventurer's Kit. These items should be recorded in the Possessions section on Page 2 of your Character sheet.

Finally, new Adventurers start out with a random amount of coin which they can use to purchase additional starting gear if they wish. To determine this starting wealth, roll d8 for gold coins, a d10 for silver coins, and a d10 for copper coins. Record your coin wealth in your Possessions as well. The relative value of coins is 100 copper pieces (cp) = 10 silver pieces (sp) = 1 gold piece (gp). The Gamemaster will work with you to determine the availability and cost of some or all addititonal equipment purchases.

Step 7 - Build a Backstory

With your character's attributes, prior career, physical description, personality traits, and worldly possessions defined, you should be able to put together a brief backstory to define where your character is coming from as they begin their new life as an Adventurer. The keyword here is "brief"; an adventurer's career could well be short...

You should try to answer the following questions:
  • Where were you born, and who where your parents?
  • Do you have any other notable relations? Do you have any siblings, or close living relatives (granparents, aunts, uncles, etc.)? Are you part of a clan, tribe, or notable social community?
  • What was your childhood like? What values did those around you try to instill in you? What events or people shaped you?
  • Why and how did you begin your Prior Employment?
  • Why and how did you leave your Prior Employment?
  • If they haven't already been explained, where did your Distinguishing Mark come from, and what happened to define your personality traits?
  • Finally, why did you choose Adventuring as your new career?

  • Work with your Gamemaster when developing your backstory. Do not inject adversaries you expect to interact with or situations that you intend to resolve in the future without first discussing this with the Gamemaster. These are all good things, but the Gamemaster must be on the same page! Do not presume that because you invented the evil landlord who threw your family out onto the street that your Gamemaster will include an opportunity for you to right this wrong! Do not presume that the rest of your adventuring party exists solely to support your efforts to right whatever wrongs were done to you in the past. Your backstory provides flavor, and guides how your character will behave, but it should not define the plot of the campaign -- unless your Gamemaster and playing companions want it to!


    The Laurels and Loot Rule System is published by Bob O'Brien
    It is available to all in accordance with the Creative Commons (Attribution) license
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    Laurels and Loot Rules are derived in part from the following sources:
    Knave 2.0 TTRPG System Rules published by Ben Milton
    in compliance with
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    The banners on these pages was composed with art attributed to:
    b0red from Pixabay (treasure chest image)
    Gordon Johnson from Pixabay (laurels image)

    The side panels are composed with art attributed to:
    Evelyn Chai from Pixabay (dungeon passage)


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