commentary on character generation

Per discussion with a player on the character generation systems complexity:

Bad, terse instructions:

0) come up with a concept
0b) no, really.

1) The spreadsheet opens to the most recently created tab, not the most useful tab.
1b) Go to the Atributes tab.
2) Set Attributes (Cell B4) to 27 and Skills (Cell K4) to 21.
2b) … because step 3 will move these goalposts
3) Click the radio buttons located inside Cells A23, A25, A27

… now you’re ready to start …

4) assign attribute points (arrows up and down in column D).
4b) Basic mechanic is the “pip”. Three pips equals a “D”, as in D6. (Roll ND6+m, where m is between zero and two, and sum the result, with one of those dice designated as explode-y/botchy.)
4c) Human starting max/min is 2D / 4D for attributes. 2D is “normal human average”
4d) Con is involved in soaking damage, Per is involved in initiative.

5) After, or while, you assign your 24 remaining attribute dice (after steps 2 and 3), go to tabs Str, Con, Dex, Wil, Mech, Per, Tech, Know
6) In the yellow A columns, start tagging the square radio buttons.
6b) You are only “vaguely adequate” with skills you tag. You can tag a number determined by how many pips you have in the attribute.
6c) be aware that there exist prerequisites, default ranks, and advanced skills
6d) mostly, worry about that later
6e) yes, you get to tag every listed STR and CON skill.

7) look at merits and flaws. There are links to descriptions of the ones people have taken in the past, and many/most of the rest are direct references to Gurps flaws

8) either assign three pips to force skills, or remember to save one die of skills to do so later.

9) begin to assign skill ranks (three remaining points) by adding integral numbers in column K of the skill tabs. (It keeps track of your running total, and won’ t let you add too many)
9b) be sure to not add anything to column O. That is for later advancement, not character generation
9c) you have to tag skills, in step 6, before you can add to your rank.
9d) If your concept is “dude what kills shit”, spend ten dice on killing shit and ten dice on being a dude who lives in a galaxy. Alternately, if you’re a librarian, spend half (10D = 30 pips) on being a librarian, and 10D on… everything else (inclusive of killing shit) (“Career” versus “lifetime” skills.). This is one reason step 0 is important. (There is a good reason for this split, but will require a longer explanation than I want to type right now.)

10) after step 8, consider tagging some force powers on the tab labelled Force Powers… some skills use points from multiple categories. Some are bad (evil). I’m going to review everything to make sure it makes sense, but especially these, since you probably don’t know what half of these are or which have prerequisites from what.

11) There will almost certainly need to be adjustments, because I haven’t pointed out that certain skills don’t mean what you think (“Missile weapons” is a skill in firing rockets at people, not all ranged weapons…) and others are important (“Planetary Systems” is really handy when… you want to find a planet where there is X, where X is the thing you don’t have that you want?)

High level summary of the process
I. Come up with a concept
II. Try to express that concept by moving points around
III. Evaluate where you come up short, and where the GM says you should have more of Y and less of Z, and where you and the other players want to cover gaps
IV. Return to II.

etc., until you’re done

commentary on character generation

Kamino Sunrise bdewhirst bdewhirst