Thursday, 28 April 2016

Character Creation Steps

The Savage Worlds core rules describe the following steps for character creation:
  1. Race.
  2. Traits (attributes and skills) and Derived Statistics.
  3. Edges and Hindrances.
  4. Gear.
  5. Background Details.
However what often happens is that upon reaching step 3, the player realizes they don't meet the requirements for the Edges they want, so they jump back to step 2 and rearrange their attributes and skills. Similarly, if they decide to use some of their points from Hindrances to increase an attribute, it may end up freeing one or more skill points, so they have to go back and recalculate. And of course certain Hindrances (such as Young and Elderly) can modify the number of available points to spend.

As a result, some experienced Savages prefer to choose Edges and Hindrances before they choose their traits. This means that when it's time to allocate their attributes and skills, they can immediately assign the points they need to meet their Edge requirements, and then distribute whatever is left over as they see fit. They don't need to keep going back and forth during character creation, retroactively changing things.

My Approach

I've created a lot of different characters for Savage Worlds, and the approach I find works best for me personally is as follows:
  1. Concept.
  2. Race.
  3. Hindrances.
  4. Edges.
  5. Traits.
  6. Gear.
  7. Derived Statistics.
  8. Background Details.
The first thing I do is think up a character concept. I refine and polish the concept as I proceed through the rest of the character creation process, but I like to have at least a rough idea before I start writing anything down.

Next comes race, as many races include baked-in Hindrances which I'll need to know about before choosing any of my own. After that I choose one Major and two Minor Hindrances that I feel fit my character concept. Then come the Edges, and as characters in Savage Worlds are primarily defined by their Edges, I always like to start play with one or two.

Now I move on to the traits. I assign any free attributes or skills granted by my race, assign whatever traits are needed to meet my Edge requirements, calculate how many points are left over (taking into account Hindrances), and then distribute the remaining points as I see fit.

After that I select my gear, and then I calculate my Derived Statistics. I leave the Derived Statistics to last because they can be affected by race, Hindrances, Edges, traits, and gear - and I don't want to have to keep going back to them.

Then at the end I finalize my background, which is really just of a summary of the concept I've been refining throughout the character creation process.