[Let’s Study: Degenesis] Part 4 – Character Creation & Sample Character

Posted: June 6, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Degenesis, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games

Degenesis’ character creation system is fairly straightforward, and has about the same level of complexity as Legend of the Five Rings 4e. There’s a little bit of flipping back and forth between pages, but nothing quite as migraine inducing as the old 3rd Edition L5R.

Degenesis includes a summary of character creation, something that I feel is a definite Best Practice for any RPG of almost any complexity nowadays. The steps are fairly easy to follow:

  1. Establish Attribute Values
  2. Choose a Culture
  3. Choose a Concept
  4. Choose a Cult
  5. Calculate Derived Statistics
  6. Determine Starting Rank and Equipment

There are five attributes in Degenesis: Agility, Body, Charism, Intelligence and Psyche. Starting characters have 5 points in each and can shift points between attributes to their satisfaction. Raising an attribute beyond 7 points is costlier however, requiring two attribute points for each step beyond 7. This sort of balances things off and encourages characters to have a more even spread of attribute values.

Cultures bestow a mini-template to the character, contributing attribute bonuses, as well as access to cultural skills and a handful of skill points. Cultures also require the player to pick a Principle, which is sort of a defining trait of the character which the players are encouraged to roleplay, as the GM can reward experience points for players who play up their Principles.

The Concept and Cult selection phases mirror the Culture phase, bestowing more attributes bonuses (in the Concept Phase), skills and skill points and a Principle for each step. By the end of these, the character should have three Principles that give an idea of what kind of person they are.

Derived statistics include Flesh Wounds, Trauma Wounds, Vitality and Maximum Spore Points.

Finally the character compares their stats to the requirements of their Cult to determine their status. Each cult has their own Rank table showing the Rank title, Requirements per rank, Equipment bestowed and funds given by their Cult. Some characters might start off as nothing but raw recruits, but other might be made of the right stuff to be higher up on the food chain.

Sample Character:

Kristof, Aspiring Marshal

Culture: Borca
Concept: Decay
Cult: Marshal


Culture Skills:
Perception 1 (PSY) AV: 8
Survival 1 (INT) AV: 5
Toughness 3 (BOD) AV: 10

Concept Skills:
Armed Combat 3 (AGI) AV: 9
Firearms 2 (AGI) AV: 8
Unarmed Combat 3 (AGI) AV: 9

Cult Skills:
Domination 1 (CHA) AV: 5
Leadership 2 (CHA) AV: 6
Self Mastery 2 (PSY) AV: 9
Stamina 1 (BOD) AV: 8
Law 2 (INT) AV: 6
Writing 1 (INT) AV: 5


Flesh Wounds:
Head: 3
Torso: 5
Legs: 4

Trauma Wounds: 10
Vitality: 8
Max Spore Points: 9
Rank: Vagabond

Claw Glove, DAM 4
30 Chronicreds

Overall Character creation took no longer than 15 minutes or so, with a little bit of flipping back and forth to check on the Principles more than anything else. An odd thing I noticed here is that a starting marshal has only 50 Chronicreds to his name, which is surprisingly little compared to the atrocious prices in the equipment list in the book. I decided to give him a Claw Glove to start off with and not much else. I suppose that’s to be expected given that Degenesis is a post-apocalyptic setting, so I’m assuming that Kristof will have to work on picking up his equipment from the bodies of his enemies.

Speaking of dead bodies, tomorrow we’ll take a look at a quick sample combat where we pit good old Kristof against an opponent and see how well he does in a fight


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