Creating your Character
As a player, you create a character.
Your character is defined by certain traits, and tied to certain elements of the world they live in. They will affect the world around them with their actions. If their actions are not completely successful they will lead to consequences which might inflict stress or worsen their condition.
The details of your characters are a good way to make your characters unique in the fiction, but Charge uses talents to give characters mechanical benefits when doing an action roll.
You can find each of those terms in the character sheet, but let's go over what all of them mean and how we use them during a session.
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.
The concept of your character is like the elevator-pitch version of who they are.
On your character sheet, write a small sentence that quickly sums them up.
A good concept could include things like:
- their profession or role within the group
- where they come from
- a personality trait
- a unique talent they possess etc.
Next is your character's appearance.
Use this section to describe what your character looks like. You can talk about their shape, size, what they wear, etc.
This will help everyone at the table when they need to picture your character as they are interacting with them.
Since your character is one of the story's protagonists, they need to be linked to the different forces in the world. They weren't born yesterday (or were they?), so they have probably made friends or foes with different people or organizations.
To establish those links, we define ties.
A tie links your character to another player's character, an organization, or other world forces.
When you write down a tie for your character, try to answer who is my character linked to and also how they are linked to them.
This will also help establish a bit of a general backstory for your character, without you having to write down 10 pages of notes that might end up staying unused.
Choosing Details in Play
You don't need to entirely flesh out your character before you start playing.
Simply choosing your concept is more than enough to get going.
After the first session or two, you will have a better idea of who your character is, so finding those details later is totally fine.
But if you want some help in fleshing out your characters, you can always use the free Fari Story Builder to get the inspiration flowing!
If a player character wants to do something challenging or that could potentially fail, they make an action roll.
Failure is possible if there is some sort of obstacle to overcome, like something that's in your way or somebody looking to stop you.
That being said, not every interaction with the world requires a roll. If the character does something we'd expect them to simply accomplish, then you don't roll anything. They simply do it.
In Charge, there are 12 actions characters can do.
When creating a character, you need to distribute 7 action dots among those 12 actions. At the start of a campaign, a single action cannot have more than 2 action dots.
Those dots represent how good your character is at doing things. As the game progresses, you will gain additional dots that make your character more flexible. See Mechanics » Progression.
The 12 actions are grouped into 3 categories called Attributes. There is Physique, Insight and Resolve. For now let's look at the 12 different types of actions.
The 12 Actions
When you Muscle, you use your force to move, overcome or wreck the obstacle in front of you.
You might lift, punch, grapple, hack and slash. You might wrestle with a wild animal. You might blast a door open. You could try to fight in a formal duel (but Finesse might be better).
When you Finesse, you employ dexterous manipulation or subtle misdirection.
You might steal something from someone's pocket. You might hack a security system. You might helm the controls of a ship. You could try to pick a lock (but Tinker might be better).
When you Move, you quickly shift to a new position or get out of danger.
You might climb, swim, run, or jump. You might outpace the guards. You might jump above a spiked pit. You could try to lose someone on your tail (but Sneak might be better).
When you Sneak, you traverse skillfully and quietly.
You might sneak past a guard or hide in the shadows. You could try to back-stab a solder in the middle of a battle (but Muscle might be better).
When you Shoot, you carefully track and shoot at a target.
You might snipe an enemy long-distance. You might throw a fireball to light the battlefield on fire. You might aim the ship's laser guns. You could try to skill-fully throw a dart in a bar game (but Finesse might be better).
When you Tinker, you understand, create, or repair complex mechanisms or organisms.
You might create a new gadget or alter an existing item. You might mend a broken bone. You could try to use your technical expertise to control a vehicle (but Finesse might be better).
When you Study, you scrutinize details and interpret evidence.
You might gather information from documents, newspapers, and books. You might closely analyze a person to detect lies or true feelings. You could try to examine events to understand a pressing situation (but Notice might be better).
When you Notice, you observe the situation and anticipate outcomes.
You might pick up important details in the moment. You might anticipate danger before it happens. You could try to figure out what is making someone sick (but Study might be better).
When you Bond, you reassure and socialize with friends and contacts.
You might gain access to resources, information, people, or places. You might make a good impression or win someone over with your charm, style, or empathy. You could try to manipulate your friends with social pressure (but Sway might be better).
When you Command, you compel swift obedience with skills and respect.
You might intimidate or threaten to get what you want. You might ask a small militia to get their things together. You might order your undead minions to sacrifice themselves for you. You could also ask your familiar to look for something in a room (but Bond might be better).
When you Focus, you concentrate to accomplish a task that requires great strength of mind.
You might meditate to enter the spirit world. You might concentrate to win a game of chess. You might enter a trance to finish up an important ritual. You could try to pay closer attention to your surroundings beyond what is visible (but Notice might be better).
When you Sway, you influence with guile, charm, or argument.
You might lie convincingly. You might persuade someone to do what you want. You might argue a compelling case that leaves no clear rebuttal. You could try to trick people into affection or obedience (but Bond or Command might be better).
Which Action to Pick for a Roll
Some actions may overlap with others. This is by design. As your campaign progress, you group will also establish which action is the most effective in given situations.
Make this game your own.
As a player, you get to choose which action you roll by simply saying what your character does. Choosing one approach versus another might influence the risk or effect of your action. The GM should tell you those details before you roll.
A character's momentum is a measure that represents the impact of your character on the world. The more you interact with the world, and the people that live in it, the more your character gains charges of momentum.
You start with 2 momentum at the beginning of each session and consume it to boost your action rolls or assist your teammates.
Stress & Condition
When your character faces dangerous challenges and fails their action roll, something bad happens.
Maybe the situation is more complicated or even perilous. The alternative to this is that you get hurt. The GM is the one who decides if the consequence of the roll is harm or something else.
When you get hurt, you take a certain amount of stress, and each stress ticks a segment on your character's stress clock.
Each time your character takes stress, you need to update your character's condition and write down a short detail describing the state your character is in.
A Word on Clocks
Clocks are circles divided in 4, 6 or 8 segments used to track things that evolve over time during the game.
They are used to track a character's condition, the different projects they are working on, the complications that they are creating around them, and even the obstacles that they are facing.
Clocks will be covered later in Mechanics » Clocks
When a character has a condition, their narrative liberties are restricted by said condition.
For example, it's almost impossible to climb on the roof of a house with a twisted ankle. So even if you have only 2 segments ticked on your stress clock, your condition in and of itself still imposes narrative restrictions on what your character can do.
Here are a couple examples of conditions:
- When your stress clock has 1 or 2 segments filled, you might be: exhausted, humiliated, tired, sore, winded, sick, etc.
- When your stress clock has 3 segments filled, you might have a gunshot wound, a slash from a blade, a first degree burn, or be completely drunk.
- When your stress clock reaches 4 filled segments, you clear it, and are taken out for the scene. You might have gotten a second degree burn, or a fractured leg, or your brain can't comprehend what is happening anymore.
Talents are a way to make the characters progress over the course of a campaign.
Over time, characters gain new talent dots which make their talent tree advance.
Every dot in the talent tree gives you either a new action dot, or a situational bonus.
A situational bonus often represents a boost in effect, an increased dice pool or a reduction of the risk, but it only triggers in a certain situation.
You don't need to worry about talents right now, especially if you just started your campaign.
When your campaign reaches a significant turning point, you can read Mechanics » Progression to know how to make the characters feel more flexible.
Projects and Complications
The Projects and Complications section of the character sheet is something the GM and players use to track long-term projects or ever-evolving dangers that span multiple sessions.
You don't need to know how to use this right away, so for more on this, check out Mechanics » Projects and Complications.
That covers the basic of how to create a character for Charge.
Now we will go over all the mechanics used in the game that exist to resolve unknown elements in the narrative.
The Character Sheet
- Character details to highlight who they are. (Concept, Appearance, and Ties)
- 7 Action dots distributed across the 12 actions to explain what they are good at.
- Momentum charges to boost your actions and help your teammates.
- A stress clock and condition to represent the state physical and mental state of a character.
- A talent line to make the character feel more powerful.
- Projects and complications clocks to track session-spanning efforts or dangers.