Characteristics

This section helps you round out your hero. Here you pick your hero’s name, age, and other details. You may choose a virtue and/or a vice for your hero’s nature, giving you more options for determining Aspects and your Trouble. You can also look for Complications to help determine your character’s Trouble. Allegiances are another tool one makes in order to survive a harsh world. These, of course, are only aids and suggestions. The choices are limitless.

Details
Nature
Reputation
Trouble
Allegiances

Details

A lot of details go into making your hero more than just a collection of numbers; things like name, gender, age, appearance, and so forth help to define who he or she is. Take a moment, if you haven’t already, to consider the following things about your character.

Name

What is your character’s name? You can give your hero any name you like, based on a real-world name, one from fiction, or a name entirely of your own creation. Appropriate names depend on the kind of character and the type of story you’re telling, so consult with your group and your DM.

  • If your character is a noble (not just the Noblesse race), consult with the DM regarding one of the Noble Houses in the Kingdom of the Lake from which you can choose. Or you may create one of your own (if you hail from a minor house). Members of the Noblesse race may well have noble names, but they are so far down in the hierarchy of the family that all they can lay claim to is the famous family name, and little more. If you wish titles or wealth, that must be represented by one of your Aspects, perhaps as part of your High Concept.
  • Seitsmen usually have a rustic given name, and adopt an occupation name (i.e. Relmar Glover, or Alana Thatcher). Females take their father’s/husband’s names. Some Seistmen are given nick-names that they adopt, like Red, Bear, Ox, and the like. Some use family surnames, such as Harlanson, or Grensdottor.
  • Bastards are given surnames such as Lake, Rivers, Sand, Snow, Stone, Hill, or named after trees such as Birch or Willow, after flowers such as Rose or Daisy. The choosing of their last names is usually determined by the region of their birth. For the bastards, there is no set naming conventions.

More to come…

Gender

Is your hero male or female? There’s no requirement to play a character of the same gender as you. In fact, you may find it interesting to play a hero of a different gender, to experience a little of what life is like from another perspective.

Additionally, sexual orientation may be traditional or not, depending on your comfort level for role playing.

Age

How old is your character? Heroes tend to range from their teens to middle age, but some heroes are older, depending on a hero’s background, possibly much older.

Consider the effects of age on the hero. A teenager on her first adventure away from home isn’t likely to have the same views as a mature adult. A hero’s age may influence the choice of certain traits. Older characters are likely to have lower physical skills, for example, while younger characters may have fewer Craft and Knowledge skills (having had less time to train in them). A character’s age may certainly factor into on your Aspects.

Appearance

What does your hero look like? Consider things like the character’s race, sex, and other factors in appearance. Is the character short or tall? What about hair and eye color? Does the hero have any distinguishing marks or unique features? Although you don’t need to name an Aspect after your appearance, it is certainly an option. How does FAT FERGUS, or HAIR AS DARK AS A RAVEN go through life? Appearance is a fine way to pigeonhole a character, dictating events and decisions for Compels, as well as great opportunities for an Invoke.

Personality

How would you describe your hero’s personality? While heroes tend to share a desire to use their powers for good and uphold the law, they show a diverse range of attitudes. One hero may be dedicated to the ideals of truth, justice, and equality, while another is willing to break the rules in order to ensure things get done. Some heroes are forthright and cheerful while others are grim and unrelenting.

Consider your hero’s attitudes and personality traits as Aspects, particularly in light of the hero’s nature (below).

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Nature

All intelligent creatures make moral choices, to live according to their better nature or to give in to immoral impulses. Many walk a difficult line between the two. Your character in the Shimmering Kingdoms is no different. Below are lists of virtues and vices to assist you in determining how your character might behave. You may choose them directly and create Aspects, or you may simply incorporate them in your background, depending on how key such traits play in the character’s life.

A list of examples is given below, but you can make up your own virtues and vices. You may certainly incorporate a vice into your Trouble, such as FLIPPANT UNDER PRESSURE or TREACHEROUS NE’ER-DO-WELL. Likewise a Virtue can work to bolster another Aspect, such as CONFIDENT SWORDSMAN or HOSPITABLE MERCENARY WITH A HEART OF GOLD.

If you are clever, you can work both a Virtue and a Vice into the same Aspect, such as PETTY LOVER OF JUSTICE, or CREATIVE BUT DISHONEST. It makes for a compelling character if both are integrated into the character’s makeup and reflected by one or more Aspects.

Virtues

  • Acceptance, Altruism, Appreciation, Assertiveness, Autonomy, Awareness, Balance, Benevolence, Bold, Charity, Chastity, Cleanliness, Commitment, Compassion, Confidence, Consciousness, Continence, Cooperativeness, Compassionate, Courageous, Courteousness, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Cunning, Curiosity, Daring, Dependability, Detachment, Determination, Diligence, Discipline, Empathy, Endurance, Enthusiasm, Excellence, Fairness, Faith, Fidelity, Focus, Foresight, Forgiveness, Fortitude, Free-Spirited, Free Will, Freedom, Friendliness, Generosity, Gregarious, Happiness, Helpfulness, Honesty, Honor, Hopefulness, Hospitality, Humility, Humor, Idealism, Imagination, Impartiality, Independence, Industrious, Innocence, Integrity, Intuition, Inventiveness, Justice, Kindness, Lovingness, Loyalty, Manners, Mercy, Moderation, Modesty, Morality, Nonviolence, Nurturing, Obedience, Openness, Optimism, Patience, Peacefulness, Perfection, Perseverance, Piety, Prudence, Purposefulness, Respectfulness, Responsibility, Restraint, Sacrifice, Self-Awareness, Self-Discipline, Self-Esteem, Self-Reliance, Self-Respect, Sensitivity, Sharing, Sincerity, Spirituality, Sympathy, Tactfulness, Temperance, Thoughtful, Tolerance, Trustworthiness, Truthfulness, Understanding, Wisdom.

Vices

  • Absentmindedness, Aggression, Addiction, Animosity, Antagonism, Apathy, Arrogant, Bigotry, Bitterness, Alternatives, Callousness, Capriciousness, Carelessness, Commitment, Corruption, Cowardice, Cruelty, Cynical, Denial, Dependence, Despair, Diffidence, Dishonesty, Dishonour, Disobedience, Disrespectfulness, Excess, Favoritism, Fearful, Filthiness, Flightiness, Flippancy, Foolishness, Frivolity, Greed, Guilt, Hatred, Hidebound, Hostility, Ignorance, Immodesty, Immorality, Impatience, Impiety, Improvidence, Impulsive, Inconstancy, Indecision, Indifference, Indolence, Indulgence, Inequality, Inferiority, Infidelity, Ingratitude, Injustice, Insensitive, Insincerity, Intemperance, Intemperance, Irresponsibility, Irreverence, Laziness, Promiscuity, Licentiousness, Light-Mindedness, Malevolence, Malice, Misanthropy, Manipulative, Miserly, Relativism, Negativity, Officiousness, Omissiveness, Parasitism, Passivity, Permissiveness, Perversion, Pessimism, Petty, Judgment, Prejudice, Presumptuosness, Pride, Purposelessness, Rashness, Rudeness, Ruthlessness, Secretiveness, Self-Degradation, Selfishness, Shortsightedness, Slackness, Slavery, Slothfulness, Stinginess, Stubbornness, Suppression, Tactlessness, Treachery, Unfairness, Unforgivness, Unkindness, Unscrupulousness, Vanity, Violence, Wantonness, Weakness, Uncivilization, Wiliness.
Changing Nature

Generally speaking, a person’s nature tends to be fixed. Virtues and vices can be deep-seated facets of the character’s personality; some might say the halves of the soul. So changing one’s true nature is difficult. During standard Character Advancement, after a Minor Milestone (or greater), you may rename one character aspect that isn’t your High Concept. If you decide to change a Virtue/Vice Aspect, the new Aspect should reflect a differing attitude regarding the changed Virtue/Vice.

At the DM’s discretion, certain major events in a character’s life can lead to a change in nature, but these events are largely beyond the players’ control.

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Reputation

Reputation factors into the everyday life of heroes. It can be used to determine whether a non-player character recognizes a hero by sight, or by name. Depending on the reputation, those who recognize the hero might more likely to help the hero, provided the hero has a positive reputation. Likewise, a villain might well use reputation against the character. A famous Reputation also makes it difficult for heroes to hide their identities and go unnoticed. If you choose to take a reputation, it should be represented by an Aspect. Also, any aspect may be compelled or invoked as a potential Reputation.


More to come…

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Trouble

In addition to a high concept, every character has some sort of trouble (which is also an aspect) that’s a part of his life and his story. If your high concept is what or who your character is, your trouble is the answer to a simple question: what complicates your high concept? Every character must choose a Trouble.

You have many examples from which to choose your Trouble. It can rise from a virtue/vice of your .

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Allegiances

Heroes of the Shimmering Kingdoms are, by necessity, committed to others. Why not get mileage out of those relationships, in the form of Compels for FATE points, or Invocations for bonuses. Of course, a hero may start off being a selfish rogue, but inevitably, he will grow to care about those around him and the society he lives in. Being connected to those around them gives a character a cause to fight for, beliefs to defend, and a group of allies to fall back on in times of strife. It is a good idea to choose an allegiance for your character. Their life may depend on it.

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Sample Aspects

If you get stuck, here are some Sample Aspects to get those synapses firing.


Return to Hero Creation
Return to Character Concept

Characteristics

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