Friday, 11 December 2015

Symbaroum character creation

In the following post I will demonstrate how to create a character in the Swedish roleplaying game Symbaroum. I will go through the character creation process step by step, while explaining the rules.


Characters in Symbaroum are defined by 8 attributes, these are: Accurate, Cunning, Discreet, Persuasive, Quick, Resolute, Strong and Vigilant. Player character’s attribute scores range between 5 and 15, with the latter being the maximum a character can achieve. Now, the game itself doesn’t come with a random method of determining your stats, but it does have two options, a point buy and a standard stat array distribution. (The standard stats are: 5, 7, 9, 10, 10, 11, 13, 15). By the rules, only 1 attribute can be as high as 15.

The game doesn’t have classes, although it comes with quite a large list of suggestive character professions divided into three groups, Warrior, Rogue and Mystic. These professions give ideas what attributes and abilities should a character focus on, but they are by no means mandatory, and one can create a character without these easily. For the purpose of this demonstration, I will create an Ambrian wizard, one of the suggested professions by the book.
According to the book, a wizard character should be Ambrian and focus on the attributes Resolute and Cunning.
Being a wizard, I have to focus my strengths on the attributes Resolute and Cunning, and I build my character idea around that. I imagine him being willful and intelligent, but physically infirm, and not a very charming individual. For the sake of simplicity I choose the standard distribution of stats. 

 Accurate: 10, Cunning: 13, Discreet: 9, Persuasive: 5, Quick: 10, Resolute: 15, Strong: 7, Vigilant: 11.

If an archetype or character idea is chosen, and the stats are distributed accordingly, the player now has to choose a race. Races in symbaroum do not modify stats, but have access to unique abilities and traits. Since I want my wizard character to be Ambrian, I can choose between two traits, Privileged or Contacts
Privileged would give me extra starting money, as well as the chance to re-try my social challenges in my own culture, representing my higher standing in society, while Contacts would give me access to connections that could help me with specific problems. Both sound pretty nifty, but as I can only choose one of them, I think I will pick Privileged for my character.

The next step is to choose abilities for your character. The game offers two options here, a more focused approach having 1 ability of Adept level, and 2 abilities of Novice level, or a more generalist, 5 abilities of Novice level.
I think for my wizard, I will choose 5 novice abilities to represent his wide range of education and scholarly training, but have him be quite young, explaining the lack of mastery and experience. 

After looking through the list of abilities I have chosen the following 5. As a spellcaster, my known spells count as abilities, so if I wanted to have more spells, I would have to sacrifice my other skills. Also, in order to avoid getting permanent corruption from simply learning the spells, I need to dedicate one of my abilities on my mystical tradition (Wizardry).

Having an ability on higher level (Adept or Master) usually enhances its effect, or adds something to it.

Alchemy, Loremaster, Wizardry, Mystical power: Anathema, Mystical power: Brimstone cascade

Alchemy allows me to collect herbs and minerals sufficient for weaker potions, a very useful ability. Potions can save lives, and can be a good way to earn money. 
Loremaster allows me to decipher ancient texts and understand languages. If my character were to explore the depths of Davokar, this ability would come handy in ancient tombs, as well as conversing with savages. 
Wizardry, as mentioned before, allows me to learn mystical powers without risking permanent corruption. I still however, have to pay attention to temporary corruption when using said powers. 
Anathema allows me to dispel magic on a single object or creature, and with all the strange shenanigans happening in Davokar, this ability is very much needed. 
Brimstone cascade is my only offensive ability, which allows me to shower a creature in fire and flame, potentially killing weaker foes in a single spell. It is a very powerful ability. 

Other abilities include things like Iron Fist, which allows characters to use their Strong instead of Accurate for their attacks, Marksman, which increases the damage dealt with ranged weapons, or Exceptional Attribute, which allows characters to increase one of their attribute scores. Every player can find something flavorful and interesting for their character to compliment their innate capabilities. 

And with that, the character creation is nearly done. What is left is to calculate some simple secondary stats, like Toughness (Health) and pain threshold, all are very easy, and can be done under 1 minute. After that, spend your starting money and have your equipment ready which is pretty straightforward, so I won't bother with it. 
The game puts emphasis on the goals and personality of the character, (and of the group).

So that's character creation in Symbaroum, definitely short and simple. 

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