GURPS Midnight – Character Creation

So, I can’t just post the handout I’m using because it has a bit of formatting, but here is what’s on it.  The plan is for the players to go through the handout and that it will helpfully lay things out clearly.  My experience of teaching new players to create characters in GURPS has involved a lot of jumping back and forth and re-explaining things and passing the core rulebook around.  Because of this, I have at least some of the rules on the handout.

Setting Introduction
This is just a paragraph introducing the Midnight setting.

This is a big text box for the player to write in their concept, including name, gender, age, family background, racial package if any (with cost noted), how they resist the Shadow, relationships and so on.

I broke down Disadvantages into four categories, tying them into the game that I’m planning and the setting.  I find that I need to be somewhat specific with Disadvantages or else new players become overwhelmed reading through the books or GURPS Lite.  For each category, I have a line to list what the player chooses as well as

Heart: Here I list Disadvantages that are kind of “moral”, things like Code of Honor or Sense of Duty.   I wanted to make sure that at least one of the Disadvantages the players chose would mark their characters out as ‘good’ people.  Or at least somewhat good.

Relationships: This is the place for Disadvantages that connect the PCs to other people and their community. I have a problem with characters who are orphans with no siblings or friends, so this is the place to pick things like Dependents, Reputation and Vow.

Weakness: Lastly, the spot for the kind of weaknesses that GURPS players love to pile onto their characters, things like Absent-Minded, Greed and the Phobias.

Quirks: For the ‘usual’ 5pts of Quirks, I tend to go pretty broad – more like Traits in Burning Wheel.  Just pick five descriptors of your character that may or may not come up in game.

Where Advantages are concerned, I encourage players to spend around 40pts.

Talents: Simple – just things that the character is good at, like literal Talents, Ambidexterity, Flexibility and Voice.

Fighting: No secret – this game will involve combat, and I want each character to have at least one Advantage that will help them in a fight; Combat Reflexes, Fearlessness, Rapid Healing, etc.

Socializing: To encourage players who like to just create killing machines, there’s a spot for at least one social Advantage.

Magic: Lastly, in Midnight use of any kind of magic is a capital offense, and of course I want the PCs to make lots of trouble for themselves.  This includes not just Magical Aptitude but also things like Higher Purpose and Medium.

This part is kind of obvious.  For Attributes, I encourage players to spend around 70pts.

Skills and Spells Worksheet
This is the biggest section of the handout – it gives a lot of room to list skills and spells, note how difficult they are to learn, how many points the player has spent on advancing them, and so on. This is often the most challenging part of character creation, and it’s hard to get around that.

Here I have a paragraph about equipment and money in the Midnight setting – in brief, you don’t get any, and no one has any.  I decided that Midnight characters start with only $500, and I might reduce that even more, but I wanted to give a fighter-type the option of having a cheap sword.

Some Math
At this point I give brief descriptions of how to calculate Block, where to find thrust and swing damage, Dodge, what Damage Resistance, and how to calculate Move.

Racial Packages
The Game is set in the region of Baden’s Bluff, and reading through the setting material, I decided that aside from Humans (general Erenlanders), players can play Gnomes, Gnome-raised Dwarrow, Halflings, and Halfling-raised Elflings. For each, I have a brief description and the breakdown of the racial package.

Heroic Paths
On the last page of the Heroic Paths, I list each path and then have a few possible Advantages to be gained from each.  As one example, I list the Beast Heroic Path, I also list Animal Empathy, Ally (Animal Companion), self-only buffing magical Knacks, and improved sesnses.

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