Steps To Create A Character

Step One: Concept

What kind of character do you want to create? A typical gunslinger, saloon gal, preacher, or something else? Start by determining what the character basically is, and that will make all of the other steps easier.

Step Two: Determine Traits

The rules primer contains advice about where to place your standardized traits. Instead of determining them randomly, you get 4d12, 2d12, 4d10, 4d10, 2d10, 4d8, 4d8, 2d8, 4d6, and 4d4.

Step Three: Calculate Creation Skill Points

Creation skill points are spent on a 1-to-1 ratio (ie, to start with rank 5 in Shootin' takes 5 of your creation skill points). These points are much more valuable than Bounty Points, which is what you use to improve your skills later. There are four primary sources of creation skill points, with the possible addition of others if the GM decides to allow any.

1. Cognition + Knowledge + Smarts die types, added together. A character with 4d8 Cognition, 2d10 Knowledge, and 2d12 Smarts would have 8 + 10 + 12 = 30 creation skill points.

2. Turning in a character history is worth 10 creation skill points.

3. Hindrances are worth creation skill points; different hindrances give different amounts.

4. The Veteran o' the Weird West edge gives you 15 creation points and 1 point of Grit, but it comes with some drawbacks. See the skill description for more details.

Step Four: Determine Edges/Hindrances

Edges and Hindrances tend to be in-born talents that your character has, although a few can be developed later.

Examples of Edges include Dinero (your character is richer than normal), Brawny (your character is Size 7 instead of Size 6), and Two-Fisted (your character is ambidextrous). The various Arcane Backgrounds are also considered Edges.

Hindrances would be things such as Geezer (your character is old and knowledgeable, but physically weaker), One-Armed Bandit (your character has lost his/her non-weapon arm), and Yeller (your character is a coward and takes a penalty to Guts checks).

The cost of Edges or point bonus of Hindrances are listed next to their descriptions in the rule book.

Step Five: Determine Skills

Pick the skills you want your character to have. At least three ranks of Guts (if not five!), two ranks in Scrutinize, and three ranks in Shootin' or Fightin' are recommended. If your character has an Arcane Background, then there's probably a skill that goes along with it (ie, Faith for Blessed, Hexslingin' for Hucksters) that you should seriously consider putting five ranks in.

At character creation, 1 creation skill point = 1 rank in a skill, so getting 5 ranks in Shootin' would cost you 5 of your creation skill points.

Skills cannot go above rank 5 at character creation. If there are any skills you want to have at high levels (at least 4 or 5), setting them that high at character creation is more economical, as lower levels of skills are easily purchased with Bounty Points later.

Step Six: Purchase Gear

Your character has $250 to purchase starting equipment, though the Belongin's or the Dinero Edge will give him more. Be aware that lots of gear can get heavy. Horses are a good investment, but they cost $150 dollars (although the GM might just give you a free horse if the campaign will involve lots of travel).

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