Linsiren Moonlight is a character created to be used for the my Quintara campaign in Fantasy HERO (Sourcebook coming soon to The Ogmios Project). In a nut shell, her story is as follows:
Linsiren is the youngest daughter of a High Elven Baron and his wife. Being the youngest of five children, and quite far away from being a heir to her father’s title, his plans for her were simple – she received an excellent education, covering all the classic fields of knowledge a lady should be trained in like reading, writing, playing the flute, horseback riding and archery. Hopefully, she was to be wed to some young nobleman that her father would come across. Linsiren, however, had other plans. In her free time, she learnt the tales of adventurers and heroes, fantasizing she could one day be like them. One day, after a stupid argument with her father about whether or not a certain dress was suitable for a certain ball, she simply set out and left the mansion, off to peruse her dreams.
In reality, obviously, things aren’t that simple. Not having lived a single day in the real world, she stumbled through Archeon Forest in the middle of a terrible blizzard. The old ranger found her in the snow, starving and almost frozen to death. He took pity on her, and took her in, raising her as the daughter he never had. He taught her the ways of the forest, and for some time, they were happy together. But he was a human, and a sick and old one at that. Two years later, when his sickness got worse as it did every winter, he died.
Linsiren was devastated. Never before had she seen death. And death by old age was unheard of in the Elven race. On that very day she took an oath to take the her adopting father’s mantle and keep the forest safe, not only for the sentient beings that pass through it, and also from them.
The picture that is painted here is of a character who is very talented, yet very naive and ignorant in the ways of the world.
According to Quintara’s guidelines, the character will be built from 75 base points and up to another 75 points of disadvantages. As a rough start, I decided that I want Linsiren to have quite impressive stats on any characteristic she could have developed during her lessons (both as a young lady and as a training ranger), like DEX, PRE and COM, and relatively mild stats for characteristics that represent toughness like STR, CON, STUN and END.
As far as skills go, I’d like her to be a master archer (which she picked up at her father’s mansion) and a relatively sound pole-fighter (from her ranger training). She would also have quite a few skills from her noble upbringing like poetry, playing the flute, history and so on, and an assortment of wilderness survival skills which probably won’t be overly impressive.
As for disadvantages, we’ll round her character up with some disadvantages like “Doesn’t know how the real world works” and a sense of commitment.
That the grand scheme of things, and we’re set to go. Now we just need to set numbers to our thoughts.
First, to get a basic idea of what we’re dealing with, we select the following Package Deals for Linsiren – the High Elven Racial Package Deal (because of her race), the High Elven Cultural Package Deal (because of her lady’s upbringing) and the Ranger Package Deal (because of her training with her adopting father).
For clarity’s sake, we’ll record each ability under the appropriate section, except the abilities we record in the Combat Abilities section. In addition Linsiren gets some Disadvantages from these package deals, which we also note.
Just so we don’t forget it later, we take FAM w/Common Missile Weapons and FAM w/Quarterstaff now.
So far, we have spent 38 points.
As we said in the Initial Design section above, we want Linsiren to be extremely talented. We take high characteristics values for her, utilizing her increased maximums – DEX 21, PRE 23 and COM 24. We take a STR of 14 so she could use a Quarterstaff and a long bow. She is somewhat fit, but not amazingly, so we take CON and BODY of 13. She’s smart, but not a genius, and we aren’t about to invest too many point in INT, so we take a INT value of 15 and an EGO value 13. Note that we have already paid the costs for many of these characteristics by taking the High Elven Racial Package Deal, but must buy back some of the characteristics that were reduced by it.
Now, we calculate the basic values for the calculated characteristics and get the following values – PD 1, ED 1, SPD 3.1, REC 6, END 26 and STUN 21. We’ll round the SPD up, buy an additional point of PD and ED, and leave the rest of them as is for now. Later, if we have enough points, we might want to buff her END and STUN up a bit.
All of these characteristics cost as 82 points, which brings us to a total of 120, leaving us with only 30 more points. Things are beginning to feel tight.
The image I had in my head for Linsiren is of a very confident character, even if this confidence is not always backed by reality. Thinking backwards, her upbringing probably had a part in this confidence, but it alone couldn’t explain it. Such confidence could have been built from impressive combat abilities, even if she only had to shoot her bow at standing targets and animals for dinner and only tested her Quarterstaff skills training with her adopting father. Moreover, spending lots of points on combat skills could explain why she has so little other skills (i.e., real world experience). I decided to take all the maneuvers from the Archery martial arts package, and augment her Staff Fighting with a simple combat level. Including the background skills that come with it, this cost us 20 points, leaving us with only 10 points to spare. These points are split between her two areas of skills – the lady’s upbringing and the ranger’s training. We use these point to flesh out the character – a perk to indicate her noble background and some very basic skills she should have picked up as a ranger, such as concealment and shadowing.
Since we created the character according to a structured idea, we don’t have any problem writing up her disadvantages. They practically wrote themselves. In fact, we’ve already put some of them down during the earlier steps of the character creation, as both the High Elven Racial Package Deal and the High Elven Cultural Package Deal contain some disadvantages.
First of all, as we already noticed, Linsiren is overly confident, which derives mainly from he fact that she was never challenged seriously. We translate that into two disadvantages – a psychological one (Overconfident, which occurs in common situations and moderately affects her) and a physical one (Doesn’t know how the real world works, which hinders her greatly, but thankfully comes into play infrequently).
Next, from the characters background it is quite obvious that she is trying desperately to prove herself, to herself. We represent this with a psychological disadvantage as well.
And finally, being a member of nobility is a fact she hides from everyone (including her adopting father, in his day). Even though this is uncommon in heroic campaigns, this is a Secret Identity, created as a Social Limitation disadvantage.
That’s it, we’re almost done. All we have to do now is to copy down Linsiren’s background and personality notes we made in a tidy fashion, take care of equipment, and think of how to incorporate her in our game. And that’s it – here’s the final result.