GameRef: Character Creation

This guide has been created to lead you through creating a character for Chronicles of Darkness: Portland, OR. This guide applies to all characters, however, there are venue specific character creation rules cited throughout. Half-template (Fae-touched, Ghouls and Wolf-Blooded) character creation rules are addressed under their parent venues.

Book Policy

See Book Policy for approved resources.

Guidelines for All Characters

Chronicle
Select: Portland, OR
Age
All characters must be (and appear to be) 18 years or older. See Site Policies And Practices.
Free Bonuses
Certain traits (abilities, merits, etc.) grant additional bonuses elsewhere such as a bonus specialty or +1 to an attribute. If your character is granted a bonus, make note of it in your NOTES section of the character sheet. During sanctioning, the staff member will use that list to update your character sheet. Example: Professional Training merit grants free Contact merit.

“Z-Splats”

Because of uneven and limited publication of “Z-splat” content (Legacies, Bloodlines, etc.), these are not currently available to any characters.

Character Demographics and Background

Name
Enter the character’s name.
  • For ease of use, it is a best practice to use standard alphanumeric characters.
  • Nicknames: If a character is generally referred to by a nickname instead of their first name, enter the nickname for the first name.
  • Alternate Identity: If a character has an Alternate Identity they go by publicly that is different from their actual name, use that. (i.e., James Cooper goes by Johnathan Tucker as he’s in witness protection)
Mage Only
Shadow Name
The Shadow Name should be entered in hyphens between the first and last name: John -Sparklepants- Smith
Werewolves Only
Deed Name
The Deed Name should be entered in hyphens between the first and last name: Jane -Dances With Humans- Doe
Age
If it varies, enter the character’s apparent age and then their actual age parenthetically. As in: 25 (50)

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Affiliations

This area contains unique fields for each Character Type. Use the Drop Downs to select. Below are listed some specific explanations.

Changeling Only
Fetch
Enter the Fetch’s name. Additional information will be required in the Biography.
Ghoul Only
Ghoul
Use the applicable Drop Down to select the applicable Clan of your character’s Regnant.
Ghoul
Enter the Regnant’s name. Additional information will be required in the Biography.

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Biography and Notes

Compose a biography that identifies in written form or bullet point the history of your character that addresses the following:

  • Significant events or overall experience in childhood or adolescence
  • Significant events or overall experience in adulthood (relationships, professions, traumas, successes, etc.)
  • Significant events or experiences which lead towards the character obtaining specialized merits (professional training, contacts, allies, etc.), abilities or statistics. Items which require this will be noted in this guide.
  • If applicable, when the character moved to Portland including any significant events or motivations around the move.

If you compose a biography which is more than 5–7 paragraphs, you must also include a bullet pointed summary of all key points.

Supernatural Only
  • Events surrounding becoming a supernatural character (awakening, first change, etc.)
  • Significant events or overall experience after becoming a supernatural character (joining covenant, tribe, coterie, etc.)
Mortal/+ Only
  • If applicable, events surrounding becoming aware of the supernatural including which factions or spheres they are currently aware of
  • Significant events or overall experience after becoming aware of the supernatural
  • If applicable, events surrounding joining any groups or becoming associated with particular Factions.

Banned Backgrounds/Concepts

Please be aware that the following backgrounds or concepts are not allowed:

  • Anachronistic or over-the-top concepts. (Ninja, serial killer, Queen of England)
  • Recreations of signature characters of any book, film or other popular fiction.
  • Direct recreation of any actual person, living or dead.
  • Characters already played by you or another person during WW5 or currently on another site. See Site Policies And Practices.
  • Antagonist concepts (Loyalists, Pure, Seers, etc.)
  • Backgrounds which include rape. See Site Policy.

Notes

This field is primarily to call out any bonus items gained from the purchase of other traits. Sanctioning staff members will use this section to complete your character sheet during sanctioning.

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Stats

Attributes

Unlike the RAW Character Creation, we do not limit Attribute point allocation at Character Creation to 5/4/3. All Attributes begin at 1 for free.

Attribute 4+
This must be explained in Biography or Notes.
Attribute 1
This must be explained in Biography or Notes.

Skills

Unlike the RAW Character Creation, we do not limit Skill point allocation at Character Creation to 11/7/4.

Skill 4+
This must be explained in Biography or Notes.
Occult Specialties
This must be explained in Biography or Notes. Specialties in other Character Types represents significant “insider” knowledge and requires a detailed and fitting explanation.

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Traits

NOTE
Certain traits (abilities, merits, etc.) grant additional bonuses elsewhere such as a bonus specialty or +1 to an attribute. If your character is granted a bonus, make note of it in your NOTES section of the character sheet. During sanctioning, the staff member will use that list to update your character sheet. Example: Professional Training.

Abilities

All
Cost Breaks

Merits and powers providing Experience cost breaks do not apply to character creation unless they explicitly say so.

Changeling Only
Wyrd
  • 3 must be explained in Biography or Notes.
  • 4+ is not allowed at Character Creation.
Pledges
This must be explained in Biography or Notes.
Non-Affinity Abilities
Check the “NA” box for all Non-Affinity Contracts.
Mage Only
Gnosis
  • 3 must be explained in Biography or Notes.
  • 4+ is not allowed at Character Creation.
Praxis
Remember to record a number of free Praxes equal to the character’s Gnosis in Notes to be added to the sheet during sanctioning
Arcana
  • 4+ is not allowed at Character Creation.
Vampire Only
Blood Potency
  • 3 must be explained in Biography or Notes.
  • 4+ is not allowed at Character Creation.
Non-Affinity Abilities
Check the “NA” box for all Non-Affinity Disciplines.
Werewolf Only
Primal Urge
  • 3 must be explained in Biography or Notes.
  • 4+ is not allowed at Character Creation.
Non-Affinity Abilities
Check the “NA” box for all Non-Affinity Gifts.
Wolf-Blooded Only
Tells
Tells are capped at 4 total at creation, with those after the first purchased as a merit normally.
  • The following Tells are only available at Character Creation as they are Tells present from birth:
    • Moon Marked
    • Second Skin
    • Shadow Twin

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Merits

All Merit purchases at Character Creation must meet the Prerequisites in the RAW. The following general Merit guidelines are applicable to all merits except where listed under the specific Merit type.

Merit 4+
This must be explained in Biography or Notes.
Scaled Merit 4+ without a listed pre-requisite
Limited to 2 at Character Creation.
Mortal Only Per Hurt Locker, the following minor templates are available:
  • Atariya
  • Plain
  • Lost Boys
  • Psychic Vampires

The first dot in the defining merit of the minor template is free.

Supernatural Merits Ghouls, Wolf-Blooded and Fae-Touched are not eligible for Supernatural Merits listed in Chronicles of Darkness.
Wolf-Blooded Only
Raised By Wolves
This merit is required for a character who is a part of one of the Families. Being part of a Family is not a prerequisite for taking the merit if the character was raised among other werewolves.

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Mental Merits

Professional Training 2+
Limited to 1 at Character Creation.
  • Use the Notes section under Character Bio to identify the merit or skill benefits obtained by this merit, and the Sanctioning Staff will add them to your sheet during sanctioning.
  • Select two applicable Asset Skills if your Profession is not listed in the RAW, and there is not a close approximation.

Social Merits

Allies, Contacts, Mentor
This must be explained in Biography or Notes.
  • In the Merit Notes include the Sphere which the Allies, Contact or Mentor represents. As in: Contacts: (City Hall/Government) Mayor’s Office
Mystery Cult Initiation
A character may only have a total of 5 6 dots assigned to this merit(s). This must be explained in Biography or Notes.+}
  • Initiation may be in a setting-created Cults or Groups (See ) or a player may create a new Cult. However, player-created Cults become part of the setting upon approval and may be co-opted into a primary setting cult and/or utilized for plot.
  • Player-created Cults must be detailed in the Notes including an overview, cultist archetypes and rewards for each dot tier per the RAW guidelines. (CoD p.52)
  • Use the Notes section under Character Bio to identify the merit or skill benefits obtained by this merit, and the Sanctioning Staff will add them to your sheet during sanctioning.
Neighborhood 1+
This is a House Ruled Merit. This must be explained in Biography or Notes.
  • Neighborhood 3+ not allowed as an individual purchase at Character Creation.
Resources 3+
This must be explained in Biography or Notes.
Safe Place 3+
This must be explained in Biography or Notes.
Status
This merit can only be purchased up to 2. All characters receive 1 free dot of status in one Faction-specific group (for example, a vampire may take 1 free dot of either Covenant or Clan status).
  • The following Spheres are available for purchasing status:
    • Arts and Society
    • Business
    • Crime
    • Education
    • Law and Order
    • Media
    • Medical
  • Shadow Status in this Sphere cannot be purchased at Character Creation.

Physical Merits

Fighting Style 3+
Limited to 1 at Character Creation.

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Influences

Anchors

For Virtue and Vice, Masque and Mein, Mask and Dirge, or Blood and Bone select the applicable choice from the Drop Down or enter a custom value.

Touchstone
For supernatural characters, this must be explained in Biography or Notes.

Aspirations

See Site Policies And Practices for Aspirations help.

Short Term Aspiration
Choose at least two short-term aspirations.
Long term Aspiration
Choose at least one long-term aspiration.
Mage Only
Obsessions
Choose at least one long-term obsession that is associated with your mystical life.

Integrity and equivalents

Mortal Only
Questionaire
These questions need to be answered in addition to the Biography and Notes.
For applicable characters

Identify Breaking Points

Note:

You never have to make breaking point/detachment/etc rolls for things that happened before sanctioning (for example, a Vampire that has Cruac).

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Equipment

Add any equipment plus applicable modifiers to your character sheet.

Cost 1–3
Some leeway is given for one Cost 3 item, 2 Cost 2 items or 3 Cost 1 items without adequate Resources.
Cost 4+
Requires Resources 4+.
Carried
In Equipment Note, identify which items are typically “Carried.”

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Sanctioning

See Sanctioning for assistance.

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House Rules

See House Rules for custom rules.

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Directory: Game Reference
Book Policy House Rules Character Creation Sanctioning Experience Guide Code of Conduct Site Policies And Practices