This Chapter walks you through the handy dandy steps required to give gross and sloppy birth to a brand spanking new DAVE RULES character! Your game setting might have special rules or additions to this process, but the following steps are the heart and soul of character creation in this system.
Be a STAR: Not all characters are created equal, and every character using DAVE RULES has a Rank. Normal folks who are the rank and file of life are Extras. They aren’t very skilled, and most often act as henchmen and nameless background characters. Co-Stars are a bit higher on the food chain, and can take more punishment than Extras. Co-Stars act as Lieutenants to more important characters. Finally, Stars are the main characters of the Adventure. They are simply better and more capable than everyone else, and are the heroes, legends and villains of lore. As you might expect, all Player Characters are of Star Rank, and the following creation rules are used only to create Stars.
Step Zero: Concept
Think about the kind of character that you want to play and a basic template of that individual in your mind. You don’t need to have a mass of information beforehand, but a general idea of the type of character you want to play will help you put your numbers and points where they most make sense.
Step One: Species
Your Game Setting will have a list of available Species that you can choose for your character. Each Species has a vibrant and unique culture, as well as benefits and drawbacks of playing a member of that Species called Birthrights. Mark all your Species’ Birthrights on your character sheet.
Step Two: Stats
All of your five Stats (Agility, Endurance, Intellect, Presence and Strength) begin at 3. You have 30 Stat Points to distribute among your 5 Stats. Since you are supposed to be a heroic sort, only one of your Stats may be lower than 5. Keep in mind that some Species have minimum Stat ratings in order to play a member of that Species.
Purchasing a Stat at 4 costs 1 Stat Point
Purchasing a Stat at 5 costs 2 Stat Points
Purchasing a Stat at 6 costs 5 Stat Points
Purchasing a Stat at 7 costs 8 Stat Points
Purchasing a Stat at 8 costs 12 Stat Points
Purchasing a Stat at 9 costs 16 Stat Points
Purchasing a Stat at 10 costs 20 Stat Points
Step Three: Skills
You have 20 Skill Points to purchase Skills with.
Purchasing a Skill at 1 costs 1 Skill Point
Purchasing a Skill at 2 costs 2 Skill Points
Purchasing a Skill at 3 costs 4 Skill Points
Purchasing a Skill at 4 costs 6 Skill Points
Purchasing a Skill at 5 costs 8 Skill Points
The 15 Skills: Aim, Athletics, Bookworm, Entertain, Heal, Influence, Navigate, Primal, Scrap, Senses, Stealth, Survival, Technology, Thievery, Willpower.
Step Four: Boons
You may choose 5 Boons at character creation. Many Boons may be purchased twice to increase their effect.
Step Five: Odds and Ends
Energy: You begin play with 10 Energy per level of Endurance that you have.
Defense: Your Defense is equal to 10 + Agility OR Intellect Modifier + Armor Modifier + Shield Modifier + Bonus Modifier.
Luck: You begin play with 3 points of Luck.
Wealth: You begin play with 1,000 Units of Wealth to purchase weapons, armor and equipment for your adventures.
Languages: You can speak your native Species tongue, as well as the Universal tongue of your setting (if there is one). You gain a number of extra languages in addition to this equal to your Intellect Modifier. Therefore, someone with a Smarts score of 8 (+3 Modifier) would know 5 Languages (their native tongue, the Universal language of their area, and 3 bonus languages for them being such a smartypants).
Speed: Your Speed is determined by your Species. 30 Feet is the Speed of most Humanoid Species.
Step Six: Failing
You may be a bigshot hero, but nobody’s perfect. Every character in DAVE RULES chooses one Failing from the list provided. Failings are personality defects that we all suffer from and occasionally succumb to. While Failings are designed to grant a little bit of vulnerability to your character, they are not crippling weaknesses and should only come up sparingly and when dramatically appropriate.
It should be noted that while some Failings have lose game mechanics applied to them, most do not, and are simply roleplaying guides that you should keep in mind throughout play. The Dave Master should give bonus Experience to those who roleplay their character’s Failing when it counts!
Failings are explained in greater detail in Chapter IV.
Step Seven: Character Flair (Optional)
Your Character should be so much more than just a basic concept and a set of numbers and statistics. They should have a personality and unique style all their own. By answering the following questions, you can begin to flesh out your character and make it more than just an assemblage of numbers. Completing this step is not vital (as some players prefer to start with a vague concept and fill in the blanks as they get comfortable playing), but completing this step will net you 3 extra Experience Points and an extra 500 Units of staring Wealth to give you a bit of a head start in your adventuring career!
1. Describe your Character’s personality in three words.
Stay away from the obvious, here. If your character has 8 Vigor, we can already deduce that they are strong and sturdy. Don’t just repeat their highest Skills or Stats. Really think about how they act before you answer this.
2. Give your Character a unique trait or interest.
Remember, you’re playing a Hero, here, the main character of a movie or epic tale. They shouldn’t be boring! Pick an interesting trait for your character, whether that be a catch phrase that they say often, a strange hobby that they enjoy, or a physical mannerism that sets them apart from everyone else.
3. Name your Character’s primary weapon.
This seems like a simple step, but can really add to your Character. A Barbarian type who uses a big ass club in battle is all well and good, but a mighty warrior who wields the brutal club ‘Skullknocker 5000’ is truly to be feared!
Your particular setting will have its own native Species that are available for play, each with their own set of Birthrights, which are advantages and disadvantages that every member of that Species finds naturally inherent. Most Species have 3 positive Birthrights and 1 negative Birthright. Presented below is a list of possible Birthrights that you can cobble together to create Species for your particular setting. Following that is a list of Sample Species to act as guides and inspiration. Positive Birthrights are marked with (+) and Negative Birthrights are marked with (-).
Note: The following Birthrights are simply a list of common examples that you might see pop up in settings that you may play in. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Favored Stat (+)
Your Species is particularly adept at one of the 5 Stats, and in order to play a member of this Species, you must have at least a rating of 6 or higher. If your Species has a Favored Stat, you may choose to gain Advantage to any one Stat or Skill roll that involves your Favored Stat. You may do this once per day.
Favored Skill (+)
Your Species is naturally inclined towards one or more non-combat Skills, and consider all Blunders made with that skill to be considered mere Failures as long as you possess the Favored skill at 1 or higher.
Favored Boon (+)
Your Species has an affinity for a certain Boon, and gains that Boon for free at Character Creation.
Self Sustaining (+)
This Birthright is for all you Robots and Undead out there! Those with this Birthright don’t need to breathe, eat, or sleep in traditional fashion. You do not age and are immune to diseases and poisons.
Special Vision (+)
Your Species benefits from some unique sort of vision. Choose either Low Light (Enhanced vision in all but total darkness), Darkvision (Able to see in complete darkness without registering colors), or Thermal (Seeing heat patterns).
Choose one type of damage source: Poison, Fire, Cold, Electricity, etc. Your Species is inherently resistance to that type and suffers no damage from attacks of that sort.
Natural Weapons (+)
You might have a horn or claws or a giant samurai sword growing out of your ears. The point is, you can hurt people. You are never considered unarmed, and your natural weapons deal d4 + Strength or Agility modifier damage.
Magic Resistant (+)
Your Species is stubbornly resistant against Magic of all forms, and anyone who wishes to use a harmful Secret on you must spend twice the normal Focus cost to do so. Furthermore, all Secret damage rolls made against you gain Disadvantage. Species with this trait cannot learn any level of the Mysterious Blood Boon.
Your Species can effortlessly and naturally communicate with beings that normal folks can’t chat with, such as animals, insects, or even computers.
Your Species is at home in the wild and doesn’t really mesh that well with city-folk. You get strange looks at best from city dwellers whenever you decide to visit one, and you feel generally cramped and agitated in civilized places. You suffer Disadvantage to all rolls in such circumstances. Lastly, you cannot use technological items of your setting due to your…limited capacity with all things modern.
Your Species is vulnerable to a certain type of damage, whether it be Fire, Cold, Electricity or the like. Damage rolls from sources you are vulnerable to gain Advantage.
Code of Honor (-)
Your Species adheres strictly to a code of honor that you are expected to follow to the letter. Perhaps your Species is tasked with defending the wilderness at all costs, or always acting in a chivalrous manner, or never backing down from a challenge. If you break this code, the penalties are quite severe, and may even result in reduced Experience Points, not to mention severe loss of face from your peers.
Stat Limitation (-)
Your Species suffers from a limitation on one of the four Stats (Vigor, Agility, Smarts or Presence). Stat limitations put a cap on one Stat that you cannot exceed. A Stat Cap forever locks one Stat at a maximum of 6, and your Species simply cannot exceed this.
Your Species looks a bit…interesting. Members of this homely Species may never take the Hot Stuff Edge, and roll all social rolls where looks might be important gain Disadvantage.
Species Failing (-)
All members of your Species have an ingrained additional Failing that is suffered alongside the standard one Failing that all characters begin play with.
The following list isn’t all inclusive, but it will give some ideas on how to handle these sorts of classic Species using this rules system. Note that the Possible Birthrights listed for each Species are merely suggestions and hints as to what Species like this might have, and are not an exclusive list. Elves in some worlds might be completely different than the classic variety presented here, and your Game Setting will have detailed information on the playable Species and what they are capable of.
Description: Wow, Humans sure are boring, ain’t they? I’m assuming that anyone reading this is a Human themselves, so I don’t need to explain much. Keep in mind that if your game only has Humans as an available Species, they don’t get any Birthrights. Only give Humans Birthrights if there are other Species available for play, to make them more unique and not as…well, boring.
Possible Birthrights: Favored Skill (any one), Favored Boon (any one)
Description: Your average Elf is a tree hugging, flower picking hippy that lives in an enchanted forest. They have pointy ears, graceful, fine features, are very pretty to look at and like bows…lots.
Possible Birthrights: Favored Stat (Presence), Favored Skills (Survival and Primal), Favored Boon (Hot Stuff), Special Vision (Low Light), Communication (Animals), Stat Limitation (Strength)
Description: Stout and broad, Dwarves have gnarly beards, go nutso for booze and have a thing for mountains.
Possible Birthrights: Favored Stat (Endurance), Special Vision (Darkvision), Favored Boon (Poison Proof), Magic Resistant, Code of Honor (Always tell the truth…even if it hurts feelings), Stat Limitation (Agility)
Description: Short, courageous and adventurous, Halflings are plucky and optimistic companions.
Possible Birthrights: Favored Stat (Agility), Favored Boon (Charmed Life), Favored Skill (Stealth), Good Fortune, Stat Limitation (Vigor)
Description: Big. Green. Strong. Dumb. SMASH!
Possible Birthrights: Favored Stat (Strength), Favored Boon (Berserker), Natural Weapons (Tusks), Special Vision (Thermal), Stat Limitation (Intellect), Oogly, Uncivilized