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WIP: New Character Creation Tutorial


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Okay I'm Here, Now What?

A Guide to Building and Starting a New FC:PBP Player Character

Welcome to Freedom City Play by Post! Or if you’re not new and are making a new character anyway, welcome back! Building a character for our site can be fun, but it can also be a little frustrating, trying to figure out all the rules and templates you should be using. Then when you’ve gotten your character finished, what do you do with it? This is a quick reference guide for how to get your new character up and running. If you have any questions, please drop into chat and ask. Drop into chat anyway, it’s fun!

Getting Ideas

Maybe you have the perfect idea all fleshed out and ready to build, and that's great. If you don't, there are resources to help you get some ideas. A great place to look is in the Heroes Bank, which is where you will find sheets for all the currently active heroes in the game. You can have a look and see what other people are playing, and also figure out what the finished sheets ought to look like. Don't be discouraged if someone else has an idea similar to yours in play. People come and go frequently from the game, and what is a popular archetype today may be totally empty three months from now.

If you are a little uncomfortable with the rules system, you may want to start with an Archetype Character Sheet. These sheets are pregenerated version of popular hero types, which you can customize to suit your character. That's often easier than trying to stat a new character out from scratch. If you are not sure what you want your character to look like, or how your characters stats square up with the look you want, consult the Photographic Height/Weight Chart, where you can see people who have the build you're thinking about.

Building a Character

Character Template: This is the starting point for every new character. All characters must be built to conform to this template before they are posted for approval in the Character Bank. Your character must also be totally complete in both the statistical portions of the sheet (the crunch) and the description and history portions (the fluff.) If you want to get approval for something or have a partial sheet you need help with, you can post in Character Building.

Getting Started With Your Character

So you've gotten your character written up, statted out, and approved. Great! Now what do you do with it? The best place to go to find threads to put your character in is the Campaign Discussion forum. People who are interested in running threads post to look for players, and people who are interested in playing post to look for threads. If you do this and go into chat at least a few times to meet people, your chances of finding a thread quickly are very good. It still may take a few days, though.

In the meantime, there are plenty of things to do for your new character. There are a few activities you can do for your character right off the bat that will earn PP and don't require you to wait around for other people. These are the HellQ, the Twenty Questions interview, the Character Reputation table, and the Wiki page.

The biggest, meanest, and baddest of these is called The HellQ. This is a very long questionnaire that will make you think of all sorts of things you probably never considered about your character. You may think it is entirely ridiculous, but in fact, this is a version that was shortened and tailored for the site a few months ago, so you can take comfort in the fact that it actually used to be even worse. You may answer in first person or third person as you see fit, but all questions must be answered, even if it's with an "I don't know," or "That question doesn't really apply." The HellQ, because it is so large, is worth 2pp. You can post it in your character's thread in the News Forum.

A shorter, more storylike version of this is the Twenty Questions interview. You set up an interview between your character and an interviewer in some plausible circumstance, such as an interview for a job, a debriefing, a newspaper or television interview, etc. The interviewer can be an NPC you write as well, or if another PC is willing to conduct the interview, that's fine too. The interviewer will ask twenty questions of your character, preferably questions that aren't directly addressed by the HellQ, and the character answers them. Some sample questions can be found in this thread to get you started. The Twenty Questions Interview is worth 1pp. If it is between two characters, it can be posted as a thread in the appropriate location forum, otherwise it can also go in the News Forum.

Every character in the game has a Reputation, which is to say, there are things that can be found out about that character with use of the appropriate information gathering skills. You can make a chart of what various DC checks of various skills will net a character who is looking for information on your character. If several different skills could find out different things about your character, you can make charts for all of them. This makes things much easier for other characters and GMs, and will also net you 1pp. The Reputation Thread is where your charts should be posted, and is also the place to go to see other characters' reputations and get an idea of how to do it and what information should be added.

Finally, if you have a firm enough handle on your character and enough free time on your hands, you can build a character page on the FCPBP Wiki. This can include things like character artwork, pictures of people who look like your character, an expanded backstory, creation notes, and details of your character's ongoing adventures. It should not be a copied-and-pasted version of your character sheet, it must be substantially more than that to earn you 1pp. Look around the wiki at other completed character pages for ideas on what they should look like.

There are a few other fun things you can do with your character as well. We have a locally-hosted copy of Hero Factory, which you can use to make a character picture if you are not artistically inclined. It is unfortunately all in Portuguese and there is no English version, so you may have to use some trial and error. Be aware that there is no way to save your portrait within the program! Fechar does not mean save! You must take a screen cap to save your work. Alternatively, we have several artists who have been willing to share their talents. You can post in Alderwitch's thread or Carbon_Copy's thread to request character artwork. The muse is a tricky thing though, so it may take a long time. If you are an artist and would be willing to draw for the site, you can earn site-service pp for that, as well.

It shouldn't take too long to get the hang of how things work around here, everything's pretty standardized and most everyone you talk to will be willing to give newbies a hand. Don't forget to join the FCPBP Yahoo Group, so you will be notified of site downtime or any big changes. Be friendly, use the best grammar and spelling you can, and tell good stories, and you'll hopefully find this a fun place to hang out and play. Good luck!

Useful Links:

Ecalsneerg's Archetype Character Sheets

Photographic Height/Weight Chart

Character Template

The HellQ.

Sample 20 Questions

Reputation Thread

Hero Factory

Alderwitch's Art Request Thread

Carbon_Copy's Art Request Thread

FCPBP Yahoo Group

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