On Dark Spires, we use The Dresden Files RPG as the basis for RP. This is based on FATE system. We encourage you to buy books rather than download, because we want to support the authors. You will find character creation much easier if you have the books: we plan not to reproduce all the information in the books, and the character creation rooms reference specific page ranges in the books (especially Your Story, which holds the main system). There are general use cheat sheets available here.
We have set our game at "chest deep" power level.
In character creation, you will create your character's story so far: where they've come from, what's happened to them, where they might go next. If you put a lot of thought into it, then you can generate some great roleplay hooks for yourself.
Character creation is designed as a series of rooms, each with its own unique purpose. You can move through those rooms in order, or go back and forth between them until you're satisfied with what you've created. If you want to, you can even go back to The Beginning and reset your sheet entirely, to start all over.
Once you're ready for character creation, enter it from the OOC Nexus.
Please note: All chargen rooms respond to the command '+CG', which will give you information about how to proceed. Refer to +CG information in preference to this guide.
- 1 The Beginning
- 2 Background
- 3 Aspects
- 4 Skills
- 5 Stunts and Powers
- 6 Finishing Touches
This first room is where character creation begins. Here, you decide and define the basic character ideas which will guide you through the rest of the process. Your Story covers the 'character idea' basics on pages 52-57.
While in this room, type +show to see the current layout of your Template, High Concept, Trouble and name.
- If you are creating an Alternate PC, please see our rules regarding Alts here: Alts
The Template is, essentially, a character type that comes pre-packaged with various traits: suggestions for the High Concept, sets of related supernatural powers, suggested Skills and the like. Templates are described in Your Story, starting on page 72. There are occasionally a Moratorium on certain templates, and other things, for grid balance. You can only have one of each template (i.e. one scion, one wizard)
To write your Template, type +template <template name>.
- If you need some help coming up with a character idea, here is a list of possibilities provided by other RPers and GMs: Character Ideas
The High Concept (described in Your Story, page 54) is a phrase which describes the essential, defining traits of your character: who and what you are. If you have a template besides 'Pure Mortal', then it'll have suggestions which guide your High Concept, but there's still a lot to fill in.
To set your High Concept, type +aspects/set concept=<aspect name>. To erase it, type +aspects/set concept= on its own.
Wizard In Training
Psychic Private Eye
Special Investigations Detective
The Trouble (described on page 55) is, essentially, the core complication in your character's life: the thing which keeps your existence from being simple, smooth sailing. That Trouble is a driving force in the character's life, pushing them towards the adventures that happen in the game.
To set your Trouble, type +aspects/set trouble=<aspect name>. To erase it, type +aspects/set trouble= on its own.
Examples: A young apprentice has a desire for power, but knows that taking the power offered will harm those around them and conflict with their ethics. This could be called "The Temptation of Power".
A man has strong beliefs, but also a close-knit family, knowing that the latter could be harmed should he stick to the former. This character's Trouble could be "Family Man".
However, these Aspects are sometimes unclear on their own. A short, snappy phrase is great for memorability, but short on detail. Sometimes, you want to be more thorough in the description. To do so, you can attach notes to your Aspects. Type +aspects/note <Concept or Trouble>=<note> to do this.
If you haven't done so yet, pick a name for your character. To do this, type @name me=<name>.
You can also define a longer name for yourself, to be shown on your +finger and your character sheet. To do this, type &fullname me=<full name>.
This is the limit of what can be done in The Beginning. To do more, move on to the next room.
This room is where you define your character's background and personality, in more precise detail than given by the relatively simple combination of Template, High Concept and Trouble. This is where you work through the five Phases. Each Phase is a section of your character's background, a part of your past which has formed who you are now.
We do ask that you avoid adding characters from the books, or being from Chicago, since this messes with the plot staff.
Note: We only require that you add background phases 1-3 to your Character's page. Phases 4 and 5 will occur naturally during the course of RP on the site.
The Phases (described from page 58) are as follows.
Phase 1: Where Did You Come From? (Background)
This phase asks some questions such as: Where did you come from? Which nation? Who are your family? Are they rich, poor, isolated, educated? How well does your character relate to his family?
+bgadd 1=I was born in 1945, a time of change for the world in several ways, in Indiana. My family was a small one to begin with, and depleted early through death. I was left alone and chose to vent my fury by joining the army. Vietnam was my next stop, where everything changed for me, my discovery of my werewolf nature happening during that hell.
Phase 2: What Shaped You? (Rising Conflict)
This is the part of your character's life where your High Concept first truly came to the fore, showing when they most clearly defined who and what they were.
+bgadd 2=My coming of age coincided with the Vietnam war, and I went there a boy, lacking in faith and wisdom, and returned as a man, complete in my spirit and my Beast, as one. I changed during a battle, at a moment of stress, when all was lost. When I came to myself I had slaughtered not only the enemy but those around me.
Phase 3: What Was Your First Adventure? (The Story)
This was the first true 'adventure' in your character's life. If you imagine your character as an action hero, then this would be the first movie you starred in. While the Rising Conflict was when you defined your High Concept, the Story is when your character first really lived it. You'll need to come up with the basic details of this story, but this can be kept simple, perhaps even in the format of a 'story skeleton':
When (something happens), (your protagonist) (pursues a goal). But will (your protagonist) succeed when (antagonist provides opposition)?
While simple, this skeleton is also quite powerful when put into effect. For example:
When a series of grisly supernatural murders tears through Chicago, wizard Harry Dresden sets out to find the killer. But will Harry succeed when he finds himself pitted against a dark wizard, a Warden of the White Council, a vicious gang war, and the Chicago Police Department?
Phase 4: Whose Path Have You Crossed? (Guest-Starring)
In this phase, you tie your character's background to that of another, forming an in-character bond before play even begins. Generally, this is done by providing a minor, supporting role in that character's Story; however, events can be defined outside the Story if you so wish. The character can be either a fellow player character, or an NPC: it's your decision.
+bgadd 4=I left Vietnam, sitting quietly on a plane to get home. Opposite me was a Chaplain, a calm man who spent his time in silent thought, his face relaxed and warm. I spoke with Father James at length, and a penny dropped for me.
Phase 5: Who Else's Path Have You Crossed? (Guest-Starring Redux)
The same as Guest-Starring, except you're supporting a different character this time.
+bgadd 5=In the Seminary, I met several other priests and one went by the name of James Randall. He was a young man, full of fire and brimstone. There are times in life when seeing what you wish never to be teaches you what you wish to be.
That's it for this room. Move along.
Now that you've described the events themselves, you'll describe the Aspects that resulted from them. Aspects are described starting on page 98 of Your Story. In essence, they are short phrases which describe key elements of your character. They can describe relationships, beliefs, catchphrases, items, or pretty much anything else which paints a vivid picture of the character. As a minimum, we expect you to have the first three (out of five) aspects. The last two - traditionally relationships - can be done on grid.
At any time, type +show to see the current layout of your Aspects and any notes you might have.
To define an Aspect, type +aspects/set <1 to 5>=<aspect name>.
To attach a note to an Aspect, type +aspects/note <1 to 5>=<note>
When you're done with your Aspects, move along.
(Page YS120) In essence, while Aspects describe who you are, Skills define what you can do, and how well you can do it.
All characters start with 30 Skill points to spend, and can have Skills rated as high as Superb (+5). Any Skills not listed on your sheet default to Mediocre (0). There are 25 Skills in The Dresden Files RPG, and you can review their names by typing +skills/list or looking on the skills wikipage.
To see the current state of your Skills and Skill points, type +show.
Besides the restriction of the Skill cap and the limiting factor of Skill points, Skills are also subject to a system of structure: you can't have more Skills at a certain rating than you have at the rating just below it, and so on. For example, in order to have three Skills rated at Good (+3), you have to have at least three Skills at Fair (+2) below that, and at least that many rated at Average (+1) below _that_.
On this game, you first buy Skill slots at the various ratings. To buy slots, type +skills/slots <rating number>=<number of slots>. For example, +skills/slots 3=2 will give you two Good (+3) slots.
Once you have the slots you want, you set Skills into them. To do this, type +skills/set <Skill name>=<rating number>. For instance, +skills/set Lore=3 will put Lore into one of the Good (+3) slots you bought.
You can also swap the ratings of two Skills, as the benefit of a Minor Milestone (Your Story, page 88). To do this, type +skills/swap <Skill 1>=<Skill 2>. For instance, +skills/swap Lore=Athletics will set Lore back to Mediocre, and put Athletics into the Good (+3) slot in its stead.
When you have the Skill points ot do so - perhaps having gained them from a Significant or Major Milestone - you can also upgrade your existing Skills, such that they take their slot up to a higher rating, and you only pay the difference between the two ratings. To do this, type +skills/upgrade <Skill name>=<new rating>.
To refresh your Stress tracks and consequence slots to match what you would gain from your Skills, type +stress/update.
To clear the slots you've bought and Skills you've set and start your Skills afresh (but with all your gained Skill points), type +skills/clear.
To leave a note about your skills (i.e. Guns is actually bows only in this case) use +skills/note <note>
While in the Skills room you can also add your additional languages to your sheet. (Please note that if you take the Linguist stunt in the Stunts and Powers room, you'll have to add those extra languages onto your sheet after you've added the stunt, these additions can be made in the Stunts and Powers room as well.)
To add languages to your sheet use +language/add <language>
To remove languages from your sheet use +language/rem <language>
If you need help figuring out which language to add to your sheet other than the standard English, or how to name them correctly, please see this listing of commonly used languages on the site:
If you don't want to work on your Skills anymore, it's time to move on from this room.
Stunts and Powers
Characters on Dark Spires start with a Refresh value of 8, or 10 for pure mortals. In gameplay, this is the number of fate points you'll have each time you get a chance to refresh. So, a default starting character could expect to have quite a lot of fate points... or you could spend some of that refresh now, on Stunts and Powers. Both reduce your Refresh value, and player characters are not allowed to go below a Refresh value of 1.
Stunts as described starting on page 146, modify the way your Skills operate. Listing the Skills someone has and assigning a numerical rating to each doesn't quite capture just what someone can do with it. Most people have learned special tricks, or have little knacks, that keep their use of a Skill from being described just as 'on a scale from 0 to 5, how good at you with your Fists'? Those tricks and knacks are called 'mortal stunts', or 'stunts' for short. All characters, whether supernatural monsters or mundane mortals, can pick up stunts. Each stunt a character has reduces their refresh value by 1.
Powers are described from page 158. Though they're much like stunts, there are some key differences. One is that powers only rarely cost exactly one refresh point: most cost more, with the specific amount written with the power in the Powers chapter of Your Story. Secondly, powers are much more restrictive about who can and cannot buy them. Pure mortals can't buy any supernatural powers at all, and even supernatural creatures are unlikely to be able to buy _any_ power. The powers available to you depend on your Template, as chosen in The Beginning.
If you are a shifter, it is vital you read and understand the workings in Shapeshifter Central before you do this bit. Otherwise you may end up doing it again.
If you are a wizard, we suggest you read and understand the workings in the The Wizards' Library before you do this bit. Otherwise you may end up doing it again.
To see the current status of your stunts, powers and refresh value, type +show.
To see the lists of stunts and powers available in code, type +stunts/list or +powers/list.
To buy a stunt or power from one of those lists, type +stunts/buy <number on list> or +powers/buy <number on list>.
To create a stunt or power which isn't on the coded list, type +stunts/create <stunt name>=<linked Skill> or +powers/create <power name>=<Refresh cost>. The reason for this is to limit the amount of coded lists, protecting our data somewhat. *Any stunts or powers purchased with the /create option MUST be available on the Stunts or Powers pages. Those are the allowed refresh purchased abilities on the site, and the lists are kept current* Be aware that new stunts must be agreed by and created with staff. You are advised to do this prior to final submission to save time and energy.
For the following commands, <number> is the number to the left of the stunt or power name in the list given by +show.
To remove a stunt or power from your character sheet, type +stunts/del <number> or +powers/del <number>.
To add a note to a power or stunt, type +<stunts or powers>/note <number>=<note>.
To change the cost of a power, type +powers/upgrade <number>=<new refresh cost>. This is primarily useful for powers whose effects change based on cost, such as Refinement or Modular Abilities, or powers which allow the purchase of various options, such as Incite Emotion.
Done with powers and stunts? Done with this room.
As well as being a place to finish up your character, this room also links you to two other rooms: The The Wizards' Library, used by practitioners to set up their magic-specific traits, and Shapeshifter Central, used by shapeshifters to define their additional forms. These rooms hold all necessary information in their descs, and are locked to characters who don't have the relevant powers.
Make sure you complete your finger information, and your description. Review your character thoroughly before you leave character generation.
If you would like to create a character page for your Dark Spires character, you should follow these simple steps.
Request a wiki log in using +myjobs.
+request Wiki Account=<desired username and email to receive a password>
If you are familiar with wiki code, you can try your hand at building a page. Otherwise, fill your character name in the box below and click "Create!".
You can take a look at our list of already used Actors and Actresses here: Player Directory, although there is no rule prohibiting the use of an actor by two or more players.
Please set any appropriate tags.
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