AresMUSH
A New Breed of MUSH Server

FS3.3 - Character Creation

Character creation in FS3 is meant to be quick and easy.

Concept

Who are you? This is the most important question when designing a FS3 character. It drives every Ability you take. A disconnect between your concept and your skills is the fastest way to raise a red flag when your character is reviewed.

Ability Points

Ability Points (AP) are a way of measuring the sum total of your character’s abilities. Every ability you pick and every rating you choose contributes toward your total AP rating.

Different kinds of abilities cost different number of AP, as explained in Choosing Abilities below. Action-oriented things are given more weight than background things, simply because they’re far more likely to come up during the course of the game.

Point Restrictions

You don’t start off with a fixed pool of AP. Instead, the system counts up how much you’ve spent to give you an AP total.

A game may restrict the maximum allowable AP by alt, by faction or any other criteria. There may also be limits on how many abilities you can have at high levels, and how many skills you’re required to take. Consult your local game policies for details.

Tip: If your character uses too many AP, ask staff for help. They may be able to help you adjust your points or re-work your concept to one that better fits the theme. Avoid shaving essential skills just to save points. A character missing essential skills is as much of a red flag as an overpowered character.

AP Disparities

Some characters will have higher AP totals than others. Is that fair? Sure it is, as long you realize that it’s the player’s choice. Characters in FS3 have equal opportunity, but ultimately you pick what you want to play.

The system is designed so that abilities central to the game’s “action” cost more than other abilities. A Navy SEAL will obviously have more action-oriented skills than a master cook (unless the cook is also Stephen Seagal). They’re both great at what they do - one just needs more AP to get there.

But why would you want to play a lower-powered character in the first place? Why not maximize your allowable AP rating?

Dice are fun, but story is the most important thing. Telling a story about a wide-eyed young recruit or sidekick can be fun. And John McClane in Die Hard wasn’t particularly powerful, but he’s one of the most badass action heroes ever. In the right story, everyone can have a chance to shine.

Choosing Abilities

The following sections will guide you in determining your Abilities.

Attributes

Attributes represent basic abilities that everyone has to some extent. Attributes boost related skills, and come into play when no skill directly applies. See Conflict Resolution for details.

Attribute Ratings

Attributes are rated from 1-4.

Rating Summary Description
1 Poor You are below average. (less than 40th percentile)
2 Average You are about average. (40-60th percentile)
3 Good You’re better than average. (60-80th percentile)
4 Exceptional You’re considerably above average. (more than 80th percentile)

Buying Attributes

The specific list of Attributes will vary from game to game. For an example, see FS3 Core.

You receive Average in all Attributes for free. Each additional rating costs 2 APs.

Tip: You don’t gain any points for taking a rating 1 in an Attribute. It costs the same as rating 2. Rating 1 is there solely for roleplay flavor if you want to denote a disadvantage.

Action Skills

Action Skills represent your training/knowledge in areas that are likely to come up in action/conflict situations during the game. For more details about using skills, see Conflict Resolution.

Action Skill Ratings

Action Skills are rated from 0 to 8, based on your training and experience.

Rating Summary Description
0 Unskilled You grew up in a cave or something and know absolutely nothing about this.
1 Everyman You know what the average inhabitant of the game world would know.
2 Fair You’ve still got a lot to learn, but you can handle easy stuff.
3 Competent You have competence at a junior-professional level, but lack finesse or experience.
4 Good You are thoroughly competent at a general professional level.
5 Great You understand nuances and shortcuts, and can handle even challenging situations with ease.
6 Extraordinary You are an expert, and can pull through even in dire circumstances.
7 Amazing You have mastered your field and few can compare. Example: an All Star athlete or world-renowned scientist.
8 Legendary You are one of the best that’s ever lived. Example: Einstein or Beethoven.

If the descriptions in the rating table above aren’t enough, you can use the Detailed Ratings as a guide.

Selecting Action Skills

Action Skills are likely to come up in the game in critical situations, so you should take any that you think your character would logically have.

Your skills should generally match your background and experience. While some variation is allowed for talent (or lack thereof), be careful not to stray too far. A brand-new pilot with an Amazing piloting skill isn’t going to fly (pun intended). Competent/Good/Great are professional skill levels, so most of your job-related skills should be in this range.

Tip: You don’t have to be amazing to succeed in FS3. Ratings 6+ are exceptional.

Everyman vs. Unskilled

The ‘Everyman’ rating covers the average layperson’s ability. Even for a specialty skill like medicine or piloting, that’s going to mean some amount of knowledge. Someone with Everyman piloting probably knows to pull back on the stick to make the plane go up. Everyman medicine means knowing to put ice on a bruise and how much aspirin to take.

Unskilled is when you’re really hopeless - worse that average. For example, in the 100 universe there are people from a space station interacting with people from a post-apocalyptic Earth. The Grounders know nothing about technology, so it would make sense for them to have Unskilled in tech skills and firearms. Similarly, most of the Arkers from the space station are Unskilled in Earth-based survival skills.

Most settings will not need to distinguish between Unskilled and Everyman.

Specialties

Some Action Skills are so broad that you need to pick a specialty. For instance, your paramedic’s “Medicine” skill might be really good, but it doesn’t cover brain surgery. If you take a specialized ability higher than Fair, you must choose a specialty.

Buying Action Skills

The specific list of Action Skills will vary from game to game. For an example, see FS3 Core.

You automatically get the Everyman rating in each Action Skill for free. Each additional rating costs 1 AP.

If you have a specialized ability higher than Fair, you must choose a specialty. The first one is free. Every additional specialty costs 1 AP.

Tip: You don’t gain any points for taking a rating 0 in an Action Skill. It costs the same as rating 1. Rating 0 is there solely for roleplay flavor if you want to denote a disadvantage. Bear in mind that this disadvantage is significant. “Everyman” represents your average person. For example - Everyman in piloting is someone who maybe saw some movies and played a flight sim game. Lower than that would be pretty low indeed.

Background Skills

Background Skills represent arts, sports, hobbies, professions and any other skills your character possesses that are not already covered by Action Skills.

Background Skill Ratings

Background Skills have a compressed rating system, so you don’t have to fret about the specific number attached to your baseball hobby.

  • Fair - Interests and casual studies. For example: playing in a bar league, a hobby, some college or equivalent study that never went anywhere.
  • Good - Professional or semi-professional competentence. For example: a minor league or college athlete, a serious hobbyist, a college degree with some professional experience.
  • Exceptional - Notable expertise in your field. For example: a Major league athlete, an advanced degree, a renowned expert.

Selecting Background Skills

Don’t feel obliged to list every single thing your character has ever done - focus on the things that are important to your background.

Background Skills can be broad, within reason. “Electrical Engineering” is sufficient for a degree in engineering; you don’t need to take individual skills for Math, Physics, Statistics, etc. Just avoid super-broad things like “Art” or “Science”.

Tip: You are assumed to have the Everyman rating in any Background Skill not listed on your character sheet. So even if you don’t take the “football” skill, you’ve still probably played it a few times in gym class in school, watched it on TV, etc.

Buying Background Skills

Valid Background Skills will vary from game to game. For an example, see FS3 Core.

You get some number of Background Skill ratings for free, determined by your game. Additional Background Skill ratings cost 1 AP each.

Languages

Languages represent the languages that your character can speak and/or read.

Language Ratings

Like Background Skills, Language Skills have more descriptive ratings.

  • Beginner - You know tourist-level common phrases like “my name is” and “where’s the bathroom”. Rolled as Fair (2).
  • Conversational - You can get by, but your phrasing is sometimes awkward and your vocabulary incomplete. Rolled as Good (4).
  • Fluent - You are fully fluent in the language. Rolled as Exceptional (6).

Your reading level is assumed to be on par with your speaking level, unless otherwise specified.

Buying Languages

The specific list of Language Skills will vary from game to game.

You get some number of Language Skill ratings for free, determined by your game. Additional Language Skill ratings cost 1 AP each.

Advantages

Advantages are used on some games to represent things a character has that are not skills - resources, rank, connections, etc. Valid Advantages will vary from game to game. Some games may not use them at all.

Advantage Ratings

Advantages have compressed ratings like languages and background skills. The precise meaning of each rating should be set by the game admin, since advantages mean different things on different games.

  • Fair
  • Good
  • Exceptional

Buying Advantages

Advantages cost 2 AP per rating by default, but individual games can adjust this cost.