Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chivalry and Sorcery character generation

A couple days ago, Chris sparked a discussion about running "some kind of hardcore medievalist game like first or second edition Chivalry and Sorcery" on G+, which resulted in over 100 replies, nearly uniformly positive of such a venture. Part of the discussion dealt with which edition of C&S to run (I'm going with 6th, Chimera, which is technically a bootleg), either 1st or 2nd. I am not one to argue with fate, so I figured I'd roll up a character for each edition for fun. All random, too. No cheating. How long will this take…

2nd Edition

Since I am most familiar with 2nd, I figured I'd start here. On to the die rolling!

1) Determining Omens At Birth

Yeah, lemme roll that d100 to see how my life begins…it's not indicated whether or not you roll for your Astrological Sign or Aspect first, so I'm going Aspect, then Astrology.

55 - Neutral. That's not terrible.
98 - Pisces. +10 bonus for fighter and thief. That sounds good. Or guildsmen or craftsmen. That sounds boring.

2) Computing Character Prime Requisite Points (CPR)

2d6 = 9 x 10 = 90 + 50 = 140 points. Quite a few points to make the character. I'll wait to figure out race and vocation before assigning any points.

3) Choosing a Race and a Vocation

Let's go human here, as I have no desire to play an elf or monster. I thought about making a goblin, but that requires an inauspicious birth. Also, it's difficult to pick man-at-arms or knight vs. thief when I have NO IDEA what the social class of the character is. Arrg…okay, time to roll that.

4) Determining Social Class

Father's Social Class: d100 = 60. Townsman.

Character's Sibling Class: d100 = 75. 3rd son/daughter. I'm gonna say "son", because if this is going to be remotely hardcore and medieval, I'm not about to play a female character. Actually, if I go the thief route, that could be interesting…as I am the youngest, rolling d6s determines that the other two siblings are male (4, 1st born) and female (5, 2nd born). No chance for property either way. I might come back and use the Death Rule to kill those two off once I determine age.

Character's Family Status: d100 + 10 for Neutral Aspect = 69. Good son/daughter. Better than being a black sheep, but if I go thief that could put a damper on familial relations.

Father's Vocation/Rank: d100 = 78. Blacksmith. Monthly income is 150 sp, which is quite a bit, and starts off with a status of 4.

5) Determining the Prime Requisites

So, two ways to go here…female thief or male man-at-arms. Either one would fit with what I've rolled so far; as a change of pace, I'm going with female thief character. No would would suspect a woman as being a thief in hardcore medieval gaming, and the fact that she has reason to be in the city (unmarried, lives with her blacksmith father) means lots of opportunity to do all sorts of stuff. Small size would also be an advantage. Let's go with that. I'm prepared to have no money, nor property, as she'll just steal it. Suckers.

But first…yeah, Character Size. Isn't this fun? d20 = 4. Light Frame. Reduce bodyweight by d10% (7) + 10% = 17%. Size, d100 = 70. 5'7", which is definitely tall for a female back in ye olde dayes. Weight is 132 * .83 = 110 pounds. Body is 13. Going to pulls up this as an example type:

Thin, but not ridiculously so. NO ONE WILL SUSPECT MY THIEVERY!

Dexterity - Let's jack this up as high as possible. A DEX of 25 would be 34 points, which seems extremely expensive, but still leaves 106 points left, or an average starting amount. Since this is my character, I'm going with the 25. DEX CR 19, Move Silent +25%, Hide +36%, Pick Pocket +25%, Disarm Trap +25%, Pick Lock +25%. Already an excellent thief.

Constitution - CON of 14 is "healthy", which seems good for a blacksmith's daughter. 14 points, 3% body, 14% fatigue recovery. +3% Resist Disease, 70% Resurrection chance, 0.4 CON Factor, CON CR 14.

Strength - A lithe female who steals crap doesn't need a high strength…I'll go with a STR of 9 for 9 points, CR 7. Strength Factor .7.

Wisdom - Someone dumb enough to be a thief when their family is rather well-off (relatively) cannot have a lot of wisdom. Plus, she's young, so I'll make this low. How about a 9 (9 points) for "naive"? Slightly below average, but not a complete idiot. CR 6.

Intelligence - While not wise at all, a thievish-type needs to be pretty sharp to not get caught. I'll go with an IQ of 18, "brilliant". That use 20 points, CR 15. It also helps with some thief skills: Find Door +25%, Find Trap +15%, Find Hidden Object +20%. Read Well is 95%, Remember Spell 90% (hey, it could happen), unlimited language facility with 7 points/level. She is going to put some scholars to shame.

Bardic Voice - A BV of 15 seems pretty good; that's 15 points and she is "eloquent". CR 13, so somewhat persuasive.

Piety - As a thief, the character probably doesn't put much emphasis on religion whatsoever, given the medieval mindset of certain doom for breaking a Commandment. She goes to church every week to keep up appearances, but really she's just there to look for potential targets. Piety 4 makes her a "nominal" believer, with a minor chance to call on divine intervention (4%).

Personal Appearance - I have 35 points left, and of course as this is a female character I want to dump a bunch of points into appearance. APP of 20 is 24 points (CR 14), and makes her "attractive". Good for distracting idiots when they're getting their pockets picked.

Ferocity - 11 points left over gives a FER of 11, CR 11. "Determined". Not a leader, but no slouch, either.

Now to determine Charisma…

DEX + WIS + IQ + BV + APP + FER / 6 = 16.33, rounded to 16. Pretty good starting score.

DEX 25 = +3
WIS 9 = -1
IQ 18 = +1
BV 15 = 0
APP 20 = 0
FER 11 = 0
Social Rank = 0

So an overall CHA of 19, CR 16, "Commanding". I guess being smart and good looking can make up for a lot.

Body Levels - 13 + 2 for CON +2 for IQ = 17 * 1.0 (thief/assassin) = 17.

Fatigue - CON + 1d6 = 3, 17 to start.

Carrying Capacity - STR Factor + CON Factor x Weight = .7 + .4 * 110 = 121 DR (or 12 pounds). Wow, that is pathetic. So she can basically wear clothes and carry a dagger, maybe a small bag of loot. Whatever.

Military Ability - 1/12 * (DEX + STR + WIS + IQ + CHA + FER) = 7.58 * 1.0 (thief) = 8 rounded.

Command Level - MA/2 = 4.

Personal Combat Factor - Equal to Military Ability (8), which makes me question the usefulness of having Yet Another number to track. Sticking with light weapons, 1 blow per round, +1 to hit/parry, 3xWeapon Damage Factor (which means Not Bad). Pretty decent for a thief. PCF increases by 1 per level.

6) Special Character Traits

Optional, but really the most fun part about this crap.

Eye Color - d10 = 10. Blue-grey.

Complexion - d10 = 2, dark, tans easily.

Hair Color - d10 = 8, auburn.

Hair Texture - d10 = 9 - 2 (dark complexion) = 7, straight

Eyesight - d100 = 02, farsighted, +5% in Archery and Throwing Missiles. No idea if there's any disadvantage to this; doesn't look like it.

Hearing - d100 = 14, normal hearing range.

Special Traits - d100 = 09, Natural Sense of Distance. 99% accuracy judging distances…that could come in handy.

Character Attitudes - d100 = Character is self-interested and can prove disloyal if it is seen to be in his best interests. Hah, perfect.

7) Phobias

Again, optional…but not really. If there's a table, I roll on it.

d100 = 47, no phobias. Boooooring. Out of curiosity, rolling d100 on the table gives 48, Hydrophobia. That could be fun. Maybe the character will develop that later.

8) Experience Skills

Oh boy, the fun part…since this character is a thief, I have a lot of crap to figure out.

Climbing - 75% + 2% per point of DEX over 12 = 101% + 3%/level. Well, that's nice.

Listening/Watching - Normal human chances here.

Learn Languages - Average of IQ/BV = 16.5 rounded to 17. So a new language takes 9 weeks to learn. Average of IQ/WIS is 13.5, rounded to 14. Takes 18 weeks to learn the written language. Starting with 7 points, I'll put 5 points into Writing Like a Native (whatever starting language we get to begin) and the remaining two points into basic fluency in two more languages. How about Thieves Cant and Latin? It'd probably make more sense to assume the written language is also Latin, since anything worth reading would be in that tongue…I doubt written English in a HARDCORE MEDIEVALIST GAME would be very useful. It also means my character is "extremely educated", and that's alright. Helps with the cover.

Counting - Important! Bahh, start with the minimal 20% as I already blew all the language points. At 2nd level, she'll spend the year (and all 7 points) on becoming an expert, along with Abacus use.

Estimate Distance - 99%, by virtue of the Special Trait.

Understand Simple Mechanisms - SR roll of IQ + WIS x 2 = 54%.

Thievish Experience Skills - This might take a while…

Disarm Trap - 5% + 25% = 30%
Pick Lock - 5% + 25% = 30%
Detect Hidden Door - 3% + 25% = 28%
Detect Hidden Trap - 5% + 15% = 20%
Detect Hidden Object - 5% + 20% = 25%
Hide Object
Pick Pocket - 5% + 25% = 30%
Thief Detecting Thievery
Evade Discovery - 25%, Move Silently + 25% (50%), Hide + 36% (61%)
Mugging and Backstabbing
Evaluate Loot - 50%
Fencing Loot - 20%

Considering I'm starting at Level 1 with no experience points, that gives a base of 1 for all these skills. What's interesting is that the character has bonuses to Move Silently and Hiding, but the actual TES is called Evade Discovery. And that skill isn't even explained. Isn't that great? Also, being a Pisces of Neutral Aspect gives +10% to all thief skills. At least how I understand it. That's cool.

Again, since no XP, can't buy any skills…but I shall roll on the Food Preparation chart. d100 + 15 for being female = 32, so she possessing cooking knowledge. Rolling on Haut Cuisine first = 43, nope. Rolling the rest results in knowledge of Baking Bread, Making Desserts, Cooking Vegetables. Don't ask her to cook any meat or use spices…prepare for bland vegetable soup.

After all that, I have no desire to pro-rate this character, hence I'm done. I'll give her some normal clothing and say she has a "thief outfit" hidden under her bed, along with a dagger somewhere. Fuck this, I'll do the 1st edition character later.


  1. "Also, being a Pisces of Neutral Aspect gives +10% to all thief skills."

    I'm pretty sure the +10% is an experience bonus. For every 100 experience points earned, she gets a 10 point bonus. At least that's how it worked in 1st Ed.

    1. Okay, that makes A LOT more sense. 2nd edition never explains this. Ever.

    2. 2nd ed. needed 1 more pass through blind testers who never played the system before.

  2. One more thing, a Dragon is a pound (see page 32 of the character creation book), so your character's carrying capacity is 121 pounds, not 12.

    (And the explanation of the sign/aspect bonus is on page 13, in the second paragraph: "The following table is a representation of the broad effects of the Life Horoscope. The numbers indicate the percentage bonus or penalties assessed against experience points earned in a given field of endeavor, and are termed Astrological Bonuses.")

    1. Right you are. It does say 1 DR = 1 pound, but later it says something about 10-to-1. Or perhaps my brain simply misread that part, as I know it's 1 pound and always treated it as such. And the astrology part, yep, again correct.

      Proving once again that no matter how familiar we think we are with the rules, you have to read EVERYTHING in detail. Making characters takes a village.

    2. I suppose the most useful part of doing this is that someone can read my post and use it as a basis on how to fuck up.

    3. Nah. C&S is just a super-complicated game. If I hadn't learned it back when I had time and inclination to learn complicated systems, I wouldn't pay it any attention. Hârnmaster is better, to my mind, as its complexity serves a purpose (why rename pounds to Dragons? It seems like jargon for the sake of jargon), and is generally more coherent at least.

    4. What's funny is that as I was thinking about it, I always used the Horoscope to add XP when pro-rating characters; it made perfect sense as that's used in the example.

      I'm going to blame poor reading comprehension skills coupled with literally not rolling up a character in 20 years.