Each player must create a player character (PC) to start a game, who’s life they will take on.
SAKE’s base module is simple, but SAKE characters have many components, therefore you should allow yourself plenty of time to create them. Creating a PC can take upwards of an hour. You can pick a ready made archetype PC at the end of the book as an alternative faster option.
Start by assigning out PC Attributes. Assign your Skills points and choose Abilities. Finally come up with your PC’s distinctive personality traits. Write it all down on the Character Sheet.
Players and Game Master (GM) should work together in creating PC’s, taking into account the genre of the upcoming adventure. This ensures each player has useful skills in the game. You should discuss how much fighting will take place because one can easily create a PC that is either great or useless in combat using the same amount of Experience Points (EXP).
If a first time player finds creating their own PC too difficult, they can use an archetype. Archetypes are balanced. Each has their own skill sets specific to their archetype and they can all contribute to both combat as well as social situations. Archetypes and recommendations for beginners about developing them can be found in Lisa 1.
Furthermore, it is possible to leave out elements from the base game. A player can create their PC using only Attributes and Skills if they feel that Distinctive Personality Traits and Game Events system (part 2 on the character sheet) seem too difficult or tedious to deal. Game Events are marked down to develop a character after each game session as it awards the player with additional EXP. If you choose to not use Game Events system you can have the GM award any EXP needed to develop PC’s as the GM sees fit during the game. You can also postpone anything relevant to governance or economy until PC’s acquire villages or businesses.
Character sheet is divided into 3. One can play SAKE by only filling out the 1 part found on the first three pages. The first page focuses on PC’s Attributes, Skills, Abilities, equipment etc.
Second page of the character sheet focuses on characteristics and role playing. These fields give depth to a PC otherwise composed of positive and negative numbers. It helps the player relate to it’s PC and world that surrounds their PC.
A PC gains EXP at the end of each game session. For that they must assess the events of the game session and their PCs development and write it down in the Game Events system in part 2.
Third part of the character sheet is dedicated to sorcery; only those players who wish their PC to be a priest or sorcerer should fill these fields. Here you should write down character’s abilities in Otherworld and Spells.
SAKE’s PC’s have six attributes that define their physical and mental abilities. Body, Speed ja Precision are physical attributes that define a PC’s body and movement. Soul, Intellect and Instinct define a PC’s mental abilities. Physical and mental are separate in SAKE and the death of body does not necessarily mean the death of a PC’s soul.
Attributes are written in numbers starting from -10 and can go up to eternity. PC’s that are undistinguishable in a field should write down 0 as their attribute. GM should keep this in mind when creating random NPC’s. Someone who’s attribute is +6 is almost inhumanely capable in the field. An expert in some field of science would have +6 in Intellect, an Olympian sportsman would have +6 in Body and Speed. -6 in Intellect would on the other hand mean that a person would even have difficulty expressing themselves in their native language.
The amount of points used in creating PC’s is to be decided by players and the GM. These starting points do not cost any EXP. If a player wishes to add more Attribute points than agreed upon at the start of game they can do so by spending 30 EXP for each additional point. Each player should get either 6, 8 or 10 points. They should also decide attribute point limits in the negatives and positives when starting out. This will decide PCs capability (or incapability) at the start of the game. It is recommended to not go over +6 and under -2 in any field when creating PCs at the start of the game.
All attributes are at 0 by default when creating a new PC. If a player decides to lower an attribute into the negatives they can use the equivalent as positive points in another field.
Archetypes are built with 8 attribute points, which is standard practice in SAKE. The majority of NPC’s are also built using 8 attribute points. NPCs living tough lives, random bandits and other insignificant NPCs are built using 6 attribute points. Only significant NPC’s that play key roles in the game are built using 10 points and more.
Assigning Skill points
(Skill descriptions in respective paragraph)
Once you’ve assigned your attribute points in Body, Speed, Precision, Soul, Intellect and Instinct you can start adding skill points found in the 6 Attribute columns.. Bear in mind that you should leave some EXP for other fields on your character sheet on pages 1-2.
Attributes describe a PC’s natural prerequisite capability. It is Skills that determine the probability of success of a PC’s activities in game.
Players and GM must decide on how many EXP each PC starts out with at the start of a game. Archetype PCs are built using a 100 EXP, this makes them rather powerful within SAKE’s system. They will more or less manage in any situation within the game.
You can start with more or less than 100 EXP depending on the nature of the adventure. For example a true rags to riches story demands PCs start with 40 points or even less.
Each extra skill rank costs the equivalent in EXP, so rank 2 in Athletics costs 2EXP and so forth until 5 after which, each extra rank will continue to cost 5EXP. For example, +6 in Athletics costs 1+2+3+4+5+5=20EXP. Skill ranks can rise eternally with each extra rank after +5 costing 5 EXP
Once you’ve allocated your skill ranks it’s time to add Attribute points to them as well. If your Precision is +2 you should add 2 points to each Skill in the Precision column. If your attribute points are in the negative range you should extract them from your skills.
Skills determine how good a PC is at a given field. If a player wishes to create a scholar that has knowledge in many academic Skills it is smart to assign more Attribute points from the get-go in order to not spend extra EXP later on individual Skills.
Before spending all your EXP points on skills one should take a look at other fields within the character sheet to figure out what else they need. You can also buy extra Attribute points for 30 EXP.
PCs and NPCs can speak their native tongue without buying the skill; however PCs and NPCs can not automatically read or write in any language. Buying a reading and writing skill once applies to a PC’s native tongue as well as any additional languages that have been bought. If you want your PC to be able to communicate in for example Tauric which isn’t the character’s native tongue you will need to buy that ability.
A player uses d12 for skill check when they haven’t bought any skill ranks because they know nothing of the field. If a player has at least 1 skill rank they can use d20. 1 rank equals very basic knowledge in SAKE’s system. All additional ranks show a higher skill level and knowledge base. Because of this it might be useful to allocate 1 rank to all basic skills like Social skills, Athletics, Perception and Riding even when a player does not intend to develop these games further in game.
Note that Reflexes, Parrying, Willpower, Health Points (HP) and other similar Abilities on the character sheet are not Skills but Abilities. Their costs are written under the Abilities chapter
Here are some examples to illustrate how capable a certain amount of EXP points makes a PC or NPC. Points are divided within one field in each example:
20 points: a young person or someone with little to no education. Let’s say you’re creating a young farmer. He’d have +3 or +4 in Athletics, Agriculture and Wilderness skills and +1 or +2 in other fields relating to his profession such as Woodwork, writing or reading in their native tongue and Riding.
40 points: ashigaru, a marine or an apprentice to an expert blacksmith. They’d have +4 or +5 in their chosen craft or weapon and +2 or +3 in other general skills such as Social skills or Perception. A marine would have less skillpoints in general skills and more in Parrying or extra Health Points (HP).
60 points: most village samurais and craftsmen. A skilled craftsman would have +10 in his field of expertise and the rest divided between other relevant fields. A samurai has a bigger array of skills than a craftsman. A samurai would need Skill points in a wider array of skills, more HP, Parrying and Purchased Abilities.
80-120 points: All types of elite soldiers, master crafters, licensed merchants and DOMEENIJUHT would have +10 or more in their respective field of expertise. An Elite soldier would have less points in Skills but more fighting abilities such as Dual Wielding, Mounted Archery etc.
About 200 points: Specialty NPCs such as wyvern knights, astral warriors, samurai-priests etc.
300 and more points: Distinguished specialty NPCs such as extremely powerful astral warriors (having almost all spells in Astral projection spell school), archpriests who know powerful curses or blessings, wizards who can bring people back from the dead, warriors who remain untouchable for regular folk and so forth.
(Descriptions in the Abilities chapter)
Abilities define all types of tricks a PC can do. Abilities include spells witches and priests can cast. They’re found in Otherworld chapter.2
You will find prices for Reflexes, HP etc in the Abilities chapter.
Creating a distinctive personality
Personality is one of the most important aspect for SAKE’s character. This is not limited to roleplaying but also for technical reasons. PC’s development (how much EXP he gains after each game session) is calculated using personality traits.
PC’s personality is made up of Personality Traits, Principles, Madnesses, Pacts with lesser Gods and Goals. A wizard can descend into madness the types of which are also considered a Personality Trait. When a priest enters into a Pact with Lesser Gods they must agree to take on taboos or principles, these are also considered Personality Traits. A PC can not have more than 10 distinctive personality traits at any point in the game. A PC can have less than 10 personality traits and add more or change them at any point during the course of the game. Only Madnesses and Pacts with Lesser Gods are set in stone and can not be changed during the game as easily.
Personality traits should be general for example hot blooded, mean, honest, friendly, calm, unpredictable, naive, emotional, egoistic, etc.
Principles should be more specific for example, vegetarian, a pacifist, loyal to their master, only believes in one god, helps all those in need, never steals, never hits a woman or stranger principles relating to a religion such as never cutting their hair, never works during a Sunday, etc.
Goals can be short- or long-term for example, “I will survive a particular battle” or “I will end up marrying the heir to the throne”. Goals can be unspecific like “I will get rich” or specific like “I will rise to patrician caste”.
Different cultures can consider the same personality trait differently. What is considered positive in one can be seen as a negative in another even though they are transcultural. These examples of Personality Traits are divided into 3 groups; rather positive, neutral or rather negative. They have been divided from Asteanic cultures’ standpoint and characterise this culture which has spread over the world’s oceans.
Personality traits gain you additional EXP in gameplay so consider how you’d play your personality to maximise EXP gain.
- Dedicated/ consistent
- Realistic/ considerate / practical
- Proud/ arrogant/ very confident
- Polite/ diplomatic
- Greedy/ jealous
- Caring/ understanding/ empathetic
- Selfish/ self-centred
- Loyal/ faithful
- Impulsive/ spontaneous/ unpredictable
- Passive/ insecure / indecisive
Once a player has assigned Attributes, Skills, Abilities and Personality Traits they should add a few finishing touches and start the game.
Speed + purchased Reflexes (5EXP for 1Reflex point – Armour penalty = Reflexes
Armour penalty for each type of armour can be found in the Armour chapter.
Reflexes + purchased Reflexes + Shield = Parrying.
Later when a player changes their armour or gains additional Speed they should also recalculate Parrying.
Go to Abilities chapter to find out how many metres per round a PC moves. This is affected by Armour. Light armour does not affect Movement Speed, medium armour deducts 4m from Movement Speed and heavy armour deducts 8m.
Willpower and Spell Resistance
Soul + purchased Willpower (5EXP for 1Willpower) = Willpower
Willpower + purchased Spell Resistance (3EXP for 1SP) + Amulet) = Spell Resistance
Amulets can be bought. Their prices and descriptions can be found in the Sorcery chapter.
Willpower + Spellpoints from Spells = Spellpoints
Info and prices in the Sorcery chapter.
Attack consists of Weapon skill and Masterwork or in the case of a Magical weapon, it’s plus. ?????Rünnak (Attack) koosneb oskuse plussist ja meistritöö või maagilise relva puhul selle plussist.
Attack is weapon skill (n vibud või mõõgad). Kui tegelasel on meistritöö või maagiline relv, siis lisandub rünnakule ka sellest tulenev bonus.
Add Body to Weapon Damage when using melee or throwing weapons. Other ranged weapons like bows and firearms don’t usually get any additional Weapon Damage.
Relva kahjule (Weapon damage) liidetakse käsivõitlusrelvade ja viskerelvade puhul Keha. Laskerelvade puhul ei liideta tavapäraselt midagi.
Write down any EXP points you didn’t use if there’s a surplus. You can use them between game sessions or during the game as agreed upon by players and GM.
Osad kogemuspunktid võisid esialgu kasutamata jääda, kirjuta ka need ülesse.
It is completely up to the GM on what equipment and how much money players start with. This depends on the adventure and type of game.