Rookie – At rookie level, you start with 42 attribute points, 62 skill points, and 0 trait points.
All points are assigned as dice types – D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D12+D2, D12+D4. As Rookies, nothing can go over D12, and for attributes nothing can be lower than D4.
Traits are like the spice of life. The catsup on a burger. The everything powder on a bagel. Without them, people would just be blank slates of boringness. There’s a big list of common traits that people have in real life and in the game world. In order to build a real character, you’re going to need some traits.
Every character must have at least one asset and one complication, but no more than three of each, and they must balance out. The maximum number of complications is 30 points. The traits in the book that have supernatural effects that are permitted are limited – if you want to take one, you’ll need a damn good reason and GM approval.
Agility – This is like Dexterity in D&D or Quickness in Shadowrun. It’s what keeps you on your toes, helps you move and act with precision, and helps you avoid falling on your butt.
Strength – This is your muscle. Your ability to beat down. Not everyone needs a lot of it, but if you’re focusing on being a bruiser, it’s something high on the list. It’s good for hitting hard, running hard, and all-around brawniness.
Vitality – Simply put, vitality is what keeps you alive. It keeps you from getting sick or exhausted, and helps you keep going even when you’ve been hit.
Alertness – If you are going to hunt, you need to be alert. This attribute is the key to seeing what’s coming – whether it’s seeing better in the dark or noticing a nervous tic when the bad guy is lying, you need to be able to pay close attention.
Intelligence – If there’s a puzzle, research, or general need for know-how, this is what you need. The more educated you are, the more intelligence you’d have, but it can also be a more practical knowledge and common sense.
Willpower – When it comes down to it, the biggest danger is temptation. Whether it’s co-eds in short skirts or another shot, or even the urge to beat up every guy who looks at your girl, resisting temptation is important. Every weakness leaves you more open to possession, intimidation, and the effects of fear when you see the insides of someone. Willpower helps with resisting that kind of thing.
There are four derived attributes – Initiative (Agility + Alertness), Life Points (Vitality + Willpower), Endurance (Willpower + Vitality), and Resistance (Vitality + Vitality).
There are two types of skills: General Skills, and Specialty Skills. General skills can go up to D6, and then you have to specialize into a more focused skill starting at D8. The total cost would be 8 points – 6 for the base, 2 for the specialization. You can take the Specialty up to D12 at starting level, and every additional Specialty Skill costs 2 points or more – D8 (2 points), D10 (4 points), and so forth.
All the typical gear will be available. Starting lifestyle is D4 “Working Stiff”, and unless you take a complication or asset to change that, you’ll be able to get any gear you want at D4 level or under. Keep in mind, this is real life, so have a good reason for having anything unusual, and remember, you’ll have to carry it around, too.
D4 lifestyle includes basic needs: roof over your head, bills, and food. It’s the kind of life that keeps you going day to day, your clothes and body mostly clean, and your (probably 5 year old) car running.
Every character will start with 6 Plot Points, and you can gain them by updating Obsidian Portal, good roleplaying, cleverness, overcoming tough challenges, and meeting personal goals (and for any other reason I deem appropriate).
You can use Plot Points to improve an action – adding a bonus die to your roll. You can also use it to add to your die roll total if you’re juuust about there, but miss. It can be used to make a wound that could kill you less by buying a bonus die and using the roll result to reduce the damage, wound damage first, then stun.
You can use them to activate certain Assets, and manipulate the storyline. Spending plot points can make you remember that you have a fake ID stashed in the dashboard, or find the number of an old friend who just happens to have a talisman to ward off a nasty, or even to give the story a little flavor – the perfect song on the radio, knowing the right person, or another bullet left in the chamber.