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Configuring FS3 - Chargen

To configure the FS3 Chargen Limits:

  1. Select Admin -> Setup.
  2. Edit fs3skills_chargen.yml

Before You Start

You should read the article Tweaking FS3, which contains important information to help guide you in customizing your game.

Note: Many of the chargen configuration options are lists. They can’t be left blank. If the list is empty, use [] to reflect an empty list.

free_languages and free_backgrounds

The first few points in Language and Background Skills are free, meaning they do not count toward a character’s Ability Point total.

  • free_languages: Free points in Language Skills. Make sure you assign 3 (Fluent) for each of the starting languages you set up in the skill list.
  • free_backgrounds: Free points in Background Skills.


You can require how many Background Skills (distinct skills, not points) a character must start with.


If you are using Advantages, you can configure the cost. The default is 2 points per dot. You can adjust this depending on how valuable advantages are in your game. Making different advantages cost different amounts will require custom code.

max_skill_rating and max_attr_rating

FS3 Attributes are rated from 1-5 (with 5 being Exceptional) and Skills are rated from 1-8 (with 8 being Legendary). Some games may not want to allow characters at the top end of the spectrum by setting these values lower than the maximum possible ratings.


The Unskilled level might not be necessary in every setting. See everyman vs. unskilled for details. To avoid confusion in chargen, the ‘Unskilled’ level is disabled by default. You can enable it by setting this setting to true.

Guiding Maximums

You can configure various guidelines about what skills and attributes a character can have.

Note: These are soft limits. The system will let someone go over them, but a warning will appear in their app command status. You can choose whether to allow a special exception when approving the character.


This is the maximum Ability Points a character can spend. Free skills and attributes don’t count toward this total.

max_points_on_attrs and max_points_on_action

This is the maximum number of chargen points a character can spend on attributes and action skills. Ratings 1-2 (for attributes) and 1 (for action skills) are not counted towards the total.

Attributes cost 2 points per dot and skills cost 1 point per dot. For exmple - setting max_points_on_attrs to 10 would allow you to buy 5 attribute dots above level 1-2.

Note: These limits also apply to XP spent after chargen, unless modified by the dots_beyond_chargen_max setting (see Configuring FS3 XP).

max_skills_at_or_above and max_attrs_at_or_above

You can set break points for attributes and skills to limit how many a character can have at or above a given level.

    6: 2
    7: 1

    4: 2
    5: 1

Remember that these limits are at or above. So given the max skills example above:

1 at 6, 1 at 7 –> OK
2 at 6 –> OK
2 at 7 –> NOT OK (even though you can have 2 above 6, only 1 of them may be at or above 7)
2 at 6, 1 at 7 –> NOT OK (you can only have 2 skills total at or above 6)


FS3 lets you assign starting skills and specialties for different groups. For example, you may want to ensure that people from a certain colony all start with a particular language, or that people in a certain position start with certain professional skills.

Note: As with the rating limits, these are soft targets. The app command status will have a warning if any starting skills are missing or too low.

Tip: Despite the word ‘skills’ in the name, you can also include attributes and advantages in the skills list. It’s just intended mainly for skills.

Group Skills

Starting skills are group-based, so you’ll see multiple entries for different groups in the list. You can list skills and also specialties. Here is an example:

            Swimming: 2
            Melee: 2
            Piloting: 3
                - Viper
                - Raptor
            Firearms: 3
            Melee: 3

A Navy Pilot would start with Swimming: 2 and Piloting: 3, whereas a Marine Pilot would start with Melee: 2 and Piloting: 3. The system will take the highest rating out of all applicable groups, so a Marine Rifleman would start with Melee: 3 and Firearms: 3.

Skill Notes

Sometimes you may want to prompt the player with a note about their skills. You can do this with the optional ‘notes’ field. For example, the following configuration will give a Combat Engineer Demolitions: 2 and prompt them to either raise it to 3 or add Technician at 3.

Combat Engineer:
    notes: "A combat engineer should also take a 3 or higher in either Demo or Tech."
        Demolitions: 2
        Firearms: 3

Everyone Skills

Sometimes you may want to give a skill to everybody. Instead of duplicating the information in each group, you can use the special “Everyone” group. For example, to make everyone start with Alertness 2:

        Alertness: 2


You can mark certain skills as unusual in your setting. Characters with those skills above Fair will receive a warning prompting them to have a good reason.

- Celtan
- Demolitions