All aspects of a character must be written into the backstory or justified through gameplay and require approval by the GM. The GM is free to ban anything from their game, but parts of Character Creation that will particularly impact the game are specifically marked.
In Anesidora, there is no formal education system outside of the God cities. Most people learn from their parents or personal experience, and the lucky ones are taught by a tribal shaman or town communal teacher. Because of this, the majority of people are illiterate, as they have little use for reading and writing in their everyday survival. In fact, all Characters are assumed to be illiterate unless they specifically take Literate as an ability.
In addition, the Change is so prevalent that certain machines that require human DNA to operate and identify their user cannot be used by most people. Even if they do not consider themselves Changed, and look on the outside just like the Ancients, the only people whose DNA is untouched enough for these Ancient machines are said to have Ancient Blood. Without this “Change,” people are assumed to be too different for the ancient magic to work properly.
Finally, most people only learn the vocations and skills they need to survive. Practice in a variety of skills, including combat, is a thing for the wealthy, soldiers, and heroes.
-Characters are Illiterate unless they take a special ability
-Ancient Blood is required to use some advanced Magic
-High Skills make the PCs stand out as heroic and their enemies villainous
An important thing to remember about Anesidora is that not every Character is intended to fight. PCs are welcome to play combat oriented Characters, and a violent adventure may send them down the path of investing XP in combat, but it should not necessary for a Character. Players are welcome to play merchants who’ve never picked up a sword, or thieves who focus on stealth with no interest in assassination or violence.
Characters in Anesidora are not tied down to specific classes. Instead, every Character is a combination of Attributes and Skills that create a unique Character. Before even thinking about XP or special abilities, it’s helpful to know what kind of character you would like to make. There are a variety of ways to create a new PC, but I recommend one of these methods.
Think about who your Character is. Where do they come from and what is their relationship with their family and friends. What do they care about, and what are they afraid of? What kinds of things are they good at? If you have a very clear idea of who your character is, then it will be much easier to pick their Attributes and Skills.
Instead of creating a story, maybe you’ve found a particular Skill or Ability that interests you. If that’s the case, see if there are any others that could create an interesting combination or make the concept more well rounded. If you have an idea of how your Character will function in game, it will help when deciding who they are or how they came to possess these Skills.
Maybe instead of creating a new character from scratch, you’d rather start with an existing set of expectations. Anesidora is intended to combine different concepts. Instead of a Barbarian who fights, you could be an Exiled tribesman hoping to one day be Chief by combining combat prowess Skills with Skills related to leadership and organization. Once you’ve found an archetype or two, use them to decide who your Character is and what Skills they need to fill their role.
It is important to know where your Character fits into the World, story, and the rest of the PCs. Upbringing and philosophy can be a huge influence on a person’s life. Being born into a faction does not necessarily mean that is where a Character’s loyalty lies, and while there is a tension between Chosen and Exiled, many have found common ground and want to forgive each other, or even intermarry and find friendship across cultures.
Citizens are the people who are allowed to freely enter the sealed god and the inner god city. Many live outside of the god as nobles or governors in other cities and towns. In the case of another Time of Nyx, Citizens would be the first allowed in, while anyone else would be expected to fend for themselves or seek the Citizens’ mercy.
The Chosen are everyone descended from the people who survived the Time of Nyx in the sealed gods. Pantheism teaches them to control their population, but as generations forget the Time of Nyx, those rules are relaxed. The God City Chosen are people who live within the sight of the god.
These people choose to live on the edge of civilization. Homesteaders are usually Chosen who have decided to raise a family on their own terms, or people born from intermarriages between Chosen and Exiled.
Some Exiled choose to use Magic to improve their lives. Though it is illegal by Chosen law for Exiled to possess Magic, they can often find Chosen to trade outside the boundaries of the law. Sometimes Exiled are fortunate enough to find relics in the wilderness and keep them as heirlooms.
The Morrigan believe the gods and their followers are blights upon Anesidora and must be eradicated from this world, so the Goddess can recover from their corruption. They worship the Morrigan, a great black bird that blots out the stars and brings death in its path. They have also been known to worship and make deals with the Fae.
When the Exiled were turned away or rejected by the gods, some people never tried. Many were already changed or living in secret places not affected by the Time of Nyx. They are considered Exiled by the Chosen, and identify most closely with the Exiled civilizations, but they are neither and walk a lonely path. Almost no Outsider’s story is the same, and they do not have a unifying identity.
As populations increased and pressure over limited resources grew, many Chosen moved away from the God city. These Chosen establish farms, mines, and trading posts in fertile land and key locations. They use the support and power of the God cities to maintain and claim valuable land.
Some Exiled have chosen to reject the gods and their magic. They believe that, since the gods turned on them during the Time of Nyx, not only do the gods have nothing to offer them, their magic is dangerous temptation. If you rely on magic, you never know when it will be taken away or it will fail you. It is important to live a life where you and those you care about can take care of themselves.
Either seeking an easier life, desperation, or because their lands were taken by force, some Exiled live in and near cities. They are part of the urban and Chosen culture, yet still seen as outsiders.
Some people don’t feel a connection to any specific place. They can be Chosen, Exiled, Outsider, or of mixed descent. They feel no loyalty to culture, but they do maintain personal relationships and hold religious beliefs.
A Character’s natural talents are defined by their Attributes. Each one represents a Character’s prowess in a set of Skills.
These Skills are used for raw strength, precision, and conditioning.
These Skill are used to interact and work with other people.
This Skill are meant to use knowledge of processes and the world to create and interpret.
These Skills are used to survive in the wild, away from the support of Society.
At Character Creation, Players set their Character’s Attributes to 1, 2, 3, and 4. This represents a Character's natural talents.
Physique - Athlete, Rogue, Warrior
Society - Diplomat, General, Influencer, Librarian
Understanding - Craftsman, Druid, Hacker, Pantheist Priest, Researcher
Wilderness - Hunter, Knight, Scout
When Characters reach set amounts of Total XP Earned, they earn Attribute Points (AP). These points may be saved or spent to increase a Character’s Attributes. The cost in AP to raise an Attribute is just like raising a skill.
Anesidora has a way of changing life, especially with the influence of the Titan Kronos. People affected by this are called the Changed. The Change is more common among the Exiled than the Chosen.
Some Changed groups with particularly defined familial traits have more specific names like centaurs, dryads, and merfolk. Small Changes are common among the Exiled, but the more extreme Changed are incredibly rare and can face prejudice. They are often not even considered human by others, and sometimes they do not identify as human themselves.
All Changes must be approved by the GM.
A Character usually picks any Changes at Character Creation, but the GM may allow Changes to be added in game through roleplay and events that happen in the story.
A Character does not need to take any Changes. The vast majority of people living on Anesidora are “Human,” and do not have any obvious outward Changes. While there is no rule against it, it is highly advised that Characters only have one or two Changes.
Characters must take at least one of these Changes. A base human is one of these options.
The High Magic can only be performed by people with pure ancestry and blood. These people are said to have ancient blood. There are more people with Ancient Blood among the Chosen than the Exiled, and the Chosen Nobility has the highest numbers. Due to their unchanged lineage, people with Ancient Blood are especially vulnerable to the power of Anesidora. They receive double the usual injuries from Disease, Light of God, Poison, and Cold.
Characters with Ancient Blood may only take cosmetic Minor Changes.
Chosen of Hephaestus (Hephaestians)
Only those descended from the Chosen of Hephaestus may have this Change. These people are immune to the effects of radiation and the Light of God, though not the heat generated by it, such as the inside of a reactor. Because a side effect of the Change causes them to have neon pink skin, Hephaestians are immediately identifiable as Chosen and foreigners wherever they travel. They are also highly memorable.
Chosen of Hephaestus may take additional Minor Changes or Ancient Blood, though those Characters are incredibly rare.
These Characters have been altered by centuries on Anesidora. They do not suffer from the disadvantages of Ancient Blood.
Humans may take additional Minor Changes.
The Jotunn are giants among men.
Jotunn may take additional Minor Changes. Jotunn may be Khat as well, but they do not have to be.
The Khat are the opposite of Ancient Blood. Magic does not work for them, including some medications and vaccines. They often have completely different diseases that only they get, while being unaffected by ones that other humans get. The Unliving generally ignores them, unless they attack them. The Khat are seen by many as true Exiled, something completely different, or even soulless.
The Khat are very rare among the Chosen. All Completely Changed Characters are also Khat.
Khat Characters may take any combination of Minor Changes or be Completely Changed.
These Changes are very common among the Exiled. They are also noticeable, though some can be covered up.
Different Number of Eyes, Limbs, Etc
Unnaturally Colored Eyes, Hair, Skin, Etc
These people have developed the ability to change the characteristics of their own body. During a Long Term rest, an Adaptive Character can add or remove an Internal Change.
Child of Chione
Some people have been Changed so much by Kronos that most people would consider them a different species. These Changes are not recommended as PC Characters due to their affinity for specific environments, insular cultures, and outsider status. Though a group is welcome to play them.
All Complete Changed Characters are Khat. They may take additional Minor Changes.
Centaurs may move 2 Zones when they reposition and 3 when they rush. However, due to their large size, they only get half the normal benefit from low Cover.
Centaurs in Anesidora have eight legs and two arms.
Changelings have the ability to change their appearance. If they have examined another Character enough, they can appear like them.
Children of the Gods
Power over nature
Relatively common Change
The Unending will never die from time. Their bodies stop aging at 30 and stay that way for the rest of their existence. The Unending usually also have other cosmetic Changes.
Water Nymphs (Naiad)
Wood Nymphs (Meliae)
Skills represent a Character’s training and experience in a particular field. Skills are purchased one Rank at a time with XP. A Character adds their Skill Rank to the corresponding Attribute to get their Skill Check. In addition to using Skill Ranks to increase the size of a Character’s Dice Pool, they also give a Character new Abilities.
See the Skill Abilities for more information of Skills and their uses.
Player Characters earn Experience Points (XP) as they adventure. XP allows them to increase their Skill Ranks and purchase abilities.
As a Character rises in Ranks, they become stronger. Odd Ranks have special names to define that strength and what Rank a Character can reach. Some Skill progression differs from this basic chart.
3 - Trained
The character has formal training or experience with the skill. They may pick a focus and/or gain an ability. They may now assist other character’s Skill Rolls as their action.
5 - Specialist
The character has begun to master specific aspects of a skill. Pick an Ability.
7 - MasterThe character is a pillar of their field. Pick an Ability.
In order to purchase certain Skill Ranks, and eventually Ancient Secrets, with XP, a Player Character needs to have earned a set amount of XP.
5 - 100 XP Earned
7 - 200 XP EarnedAncient Secrets - 300 XP Earned
A Character earns 50 XP at creation. This XP can be used to purchase Skill Ranks that represent your Character experience and development.
The GM may give some Players or the entire party more XP at Creation or during the course of the game to represent that Character’s additional experience or training.
Players may not spend XP while traveling or adventuring. They must have time to rest, study, and train. As a general rule, this requires a Long Term Sequence in a safe environment, such as a town or encampment.
After Character Creation, a Character may only raise each Skill 1 Rank per game session without GM approval.
When advancing to the next rank in a Skill, a Character must spend XP equal to the new rank.
A skill marked with a * costs twice as much XP as normal. EX, 1=2, 2=4, 3=6, 4=8, 5=10, 6=12, 7=14
A skill marked with a ** costs triple as much XP as normal. EX, 1=3, 2=6, 3=9, 4=12, 5=15, 6=18, 7=21
Over the course of an adventure, the GM can award Players XP for great accomplishments or just time. As a general rule, Players should earn some XP at the end of each game session and more XP after a particularly challenging or impressive session.
When a character reaches an odd rank in a skill, sometimes they gain a new ability or focus. See the Skills Abilities for character options.
Once a Character is Trained in a Non Combat Skills, they may pick a focus. Characters making Skill Checks with the correct focus may count Eyes of Horus as successes. Some Skill Checks may only be made by a Character with a particular Focus.
Players may spend 7 XP to gain another Focus in a Skill.
Once a Character has reached Specialist Rank, they may purchase additional Specialist Abilities. Each new Specialist Ability costs the same XP as rank 5 in that Skill.
Once a Character has reached Rank 7 in a Skill and earned enough total XP, they may use their XP to purchase Ancient Secrets or additional Master Abilities. An Ancient Secret or Master Ability costs the same XP as level 7 in that Skill.
Some Abilities do not fall under a specific Skill and can be purchased by any Character in place of any other ability.
Companions may be purchased with XP. See their section of the rules for more details.
How a Character lives can make them better at surviving in the wild or maybe they grew up with wealth and know there way around the city. Characters start with 14 points to rate Wilderness Survival and Wealth from 1-13. These are used whenever a Character has to make a Lifestyle Check.
If a Player would like to raise their Character’s Wilderness Survival or Wealth, they may buy one point for 5XP.
Every character may start with items equal to half their total item slots round down. They can only start with items they could afford with their lifestyle. The GM must approve the item list and may change the number of starting items for any reason.
Player Characters also begin game with a number of languages equal to their Society and Understanding attribute, though they do not need to pick all of them at character creation. If a language is selected later, the character is treated as having always known the language, but the player might not know which languages make the most sense for their character at creation.
Instead of picking a starting language, a Character may know "simple phrases" in two languages.
Each character may take a single item that they found, earned, or was passed down through their family. This item has great importance to them, and they should work with the game master in its power level and backstory.
An heirloom item could be a magical weapon, like a gun, but it could also be something more generally useful like a computer tablet or night vision goggles. Non magical items could also have more conceptual power or Character purpose, like ritual components or business cards for a powerful ally.
Beyond basic stats, there is so much more to a Character. Their history and connections define their place in the setting, and where they want to go. These are only a few examples of the many ways a Player could customize their Character.
Visions of the Future
Born with Nothing