Character Creation


Characters are defined by descriptive traits called details. Each character usually has between 2-5 of them to highlight who they are, and what is important about them. Those details aren’t just information to give the character color, but should be the aspects of the character that we pay attention to in the story. They are also used as a guide to know the different narrative liberties that a character has in the fiction.

When creating a new character, write on your character sheet their:

  • Concept: an elevator-pitch version of who the character is.
  • Appearance: what the character looks like, what they wear, etc.
  • Ties: 1-3 relations that the character has with certain people or organizations in the world.

Designer Note: Hacking the Details

An easy way to customize Charge is by changing the default details of the characters. They are a simple yet effective way to reinforce what is narratively important in your setting.

Are the PCs parts of noble houses? Or are they magically imbued with certain types of powers? Define details around those concepts to support important aspects of the game.

You can aim to have around 2-5 details.


When a PC needs to overcome an obstacle and there is a risk, they use one of their actions.

At character creation, assign 7 action dots among the following action list:

  • Muscle: you use your force to move, overcome or wreck the obstacle in front of you.
  • Move: you quickly shift to a new position or get out of danger.
  • Finesse: you employ dexterous manipulation or subtle misdirection.
  • Sneak: you traverse skillfully and quietly.
  • Shoot: you carefully track and shoot at a target.
  • Tinker: you understand, create, or repair complex mechanisms or organisms.
  • Study: you gather, scrutinize and analyze information.
  • Notice: you observe the situation and anticipate outcomes.
  • Bond: you reassure and socialize with friends and contacts.
  • Command: you compel swift obedience with skills and respect.
  • Focus: you concentrate to accomplish a task that requires great strength of mind.
  • Sway: you influence with guile, charm, or argument.

At the start of the game, a single action cannot have more than 2 action dots.

Designer Note: Hacking the Actions

Words are important so you should look at changing the default action list to better fits your game's aesthetic.

First, look at what you think characters will do the most in your game. Are they going to fight a lot or are they going to play a political game? Depending on what you are aiming for, adapt the action list to reflect your intentions.

If you use less than 12 actions, you might want to look at reducing the initial action dots PCs get at the start of a the game. A good ratio is something like {number of actions} / 2 + 1.

Here are a couple of generic examples you can use as is or as an inspiration for your game:

Assign 4 action dots in:

  • Muscle: you your force to move, overcome or wreck the obstacle in front of you.
  • Finesse: you employ dexterous manipulation or subtle misdirection.
  • Move: you quickly shift to a new position or get out of danger.
  • Study: you scrutinize details and interpret evidence.
  • Talk: you reassure, socialize or influence with kindness, guile, charm or argument.
  • Focus: you concentrate to accomplish a task that requires great strength of mind.

Assign 3 action dots in:

  • Strength / Agility / Intelligence / Charm

Assign 2 action dots in:

  • Power / Speed / Focus



Talents are specific abilities your character gains when they reach certain milestones in the story.

A talent either gives a new action dot to invest in a character's actions, or a new situational talent which gives a temporary boost to their character in specific circumstances.

At the start of the game, characters begin with zero talents. They will gain those special abilities when they achieve certain milestones in the story.

Designer Note: Hacking Talents

The default character sheet in Charge has a talent tree containing 13 talents. That being said, we don't necessarily think you should do the same for your game.

Taking into consideration that Charge is generic by default, we wanted to offer more leeway for the group to make their characters progress at their own pace. That's the reason the talent tree is that big.

Since the average campaign lasts for around 6 sessions, having a talent tree with 4 or even 6 talents should be more than enough.

Designer Note: Making Playbooks

Playbooks are character sheet presets that often represent a certain archetype. They are partially filled to make character creation smoother for the players.

Limiting choices is often a good way to kickstart creativity, and that's exactly what happens with a game that uses playbooks. They are also a great way to introduce the group to the kind of characters the story is going to be focused on.

To make a playbook in Charge, you first need to find a cool name. Look for something catchy that will be easy to remember, and fits the theme of the game. Once you've found one, write it down as the concept of that playbook.

For the other details of the character, offer multiple options for the players to choose from. For example, a list of possible ties or relations the characters might have.

For the actions, assign 3 starting action dots in what you think this playbook is skilled at. The remaining 4 are left for the player to assign. If you decided to use increase or reduce the default number of actions, you should adjust those numbers accordingly.

The last thing you need to make a playbook is to define its talent tree. Each playbook can have between 4 or 6 distinct talents which makes playing this playbook a fun, and unique experience.

A good way to get started with this is to think about what makes the playbook you are designing special. Think about its powers, abilities or the cool gear they might be using.

Give each talent a name and describe what they do. A talent can do many things including, but not limited to:

  • +1d6 when __
  • Lower the risk when __
  • Increase the effect when __
  • Use [action] instead of [action] when __
  • [New narrative liberty] when __



CC BY 4.0
This site is powered by Netlify